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Social Media Terminology starting from “B”

Back channel communications are private emails or other messages sent by the facilitator or between individuals during public conferencing. They can have a significant effect on the way that public conversations go.

Blogs are websites with dated items of content in reverse chronological order, self-published by bloggers. Items – sometimes called posts – may have keyword tags associated with them, are usually available as feeds, and often allow commenting.
Here’s a longer explanation: Traditional websites have pages as their main building blocks, with an address link (URL) for each page, and menus to provide navigation between them. Blogs are websites where the items of content – for example text, photos, video, audio – have URLs plus other ways of identifying them by keywords – known as tags. This means you can search for individuals items on the Net, and also pull items out of their sites and remix them through feeds and aggregation. Blogs are generally designed in journal format, with most recent items at the top of a page, and written in a conversational, personal style, giving the author an authentic voice online. Blogs can offer readers the opportunity to comment on, and link to items. Because blog items can be made available from the site in a stream of content – known as an RSS feed – you can subscribe to them and read them through a newsreader or aggregator. That means you don’t have to visit a blog site to read it – you can pull the content to your desktop or a single website aggregator. Blogs are easy to set up, and update. Their disadvantage is that items can get buried under the growing heap of new content unless the author provides some signposting.

Blogosphere is the term used to describe the totality of blogs on the Internet, and the conversations taking place within that sphere.

A blogroll is a list of sites displayed in the sidebar of blog, showing who the blogger reads regularly.

Bookmarking is saving the address of a website or item of content, either in your brower, or on a social bookmarking site like del.icio.us. If you add tags, others can easily use your research too, and the social bookmarking site becomes an emormous public library. If groups agree the tags they’ll use, it makes collaborative reearch much easier.

A browser is the tool used to view websites, and access all the content available there onscreen or by downloading. Browsers may also have features including the ability to read feeds, write blog items, view and upload photos to photosharing sites. Browsers have become the central tool for using social media as more and more tools previously used on our desktops are becoming free online.

Bulletin boards were the early vehicles for online collaboration, where users connected with a central computer to post and read email-like messages. They were the electronic equivalent of public notice boards. The term is still used for forums.