Friday, May 04, 2012
Technology Alphabet Soup – 5 tech terms you should know

You know technology never stands still; there is always something new on the horizon and the tech industry likes to create new meanings for words, use acronyms for technology descriptions, or just create new words. The best example is Google, it is now a new verb in everyday parlance – “Just Google it”. The inspiration for this blog is my learning curve for hash-tags. What is this? What does it do? Why is it important?

So, I thought I share with you some tech terms that you will need to know, so you know the lingo and don’t look stupid when tech talk happens. It is always good to have a dose of humility when it comes to the tech business. I still recall my conversation with a NASA scientist, discussing hydrogen explosion propulsion computer simulations for the space shuttle at a Super Computing conference, as my lesson in humility.

(You can still win a Kindle Fire if you have not entered yet. The next one will be given out on June 30, 2012. Enter Here)

5 Tech Terms you should know
Below are the wikipedia definitions and my comments on what they mean to magazine publishers.

1. HTML5
“HTML5 is a markup language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web”

This is the 5th version of the programing code to build websites called Hyper Text Markup Language. This latest version will enable web designers to adapt to smartphone and tablets for their websites and digital magazines. This code is being used by digital publishing firms as the latest wave of digital magazine solutions providing cross platform support on all hardware devices.

2. Tags – Hash Tags, Meta Tags, Ad Tags
“a tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of
information (such as an Internet bookmark, digital image, or computer file)”

Tags are used by websites to identify content via a shortcut ID, ie: a Tag. This code is attached to the web page and can been seen by search engine spiders and internal website searches. A good tag helps with the relevance criteria for searches engines. A hashtag is a tag that is available only on Twitter, the # symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. A Meta tag is used on website pages to identify the nature of the content of that web page. The ad tag works differently as it is used by advertisers that link to their banner ad and their ad server for campaign measurement – impressions/clicks.

Cloud tags are showing up on technology foward websites as part of the
navigation process. The bigger the key word the more popular the
subject. It seems that “cloud” is the new buzzword in the tech community
to describe how technology can be accessed. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

3. RGB vs Pantone
“The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light is added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors."

RGB is the colour palette of the digital world. Don’t worry, there are Pantone equivalents. Instead of CMYK you now have RGB for colour combinations for digital files. Colours are given RGB codes or hex numbers. Here is a link to the RGB colour palette that you may find useful. You can also Google RGB Pantone Conversion and you will get a few choices.

4. SEO
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines’ “natural,” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”), search results”

The million dollar question! How do you get up on the search engine rankings. Rankings are based on a quality score based on relevance of the  key word matches in the article and authority that is based on the number of links to that article in cyberspace. The number of times a link to an article is clicked on is another factor in the quality score. While we naively believe that quality will rise to the top, according to Pat Herman, an SEO expert at Search Engine People, hackers have found a way to circumvent the rules with various tricks like URL masking and link wheels (here is a new word to learn).

5. Pixels
“In digital imaging, a pixel, or pel,[1] (picture element[2]) is a physical point in a raster image, or the smallest, addressable element in a display device; so it is the smallest, controllable element of a picture represented on the screen.”

Basically, it all comes down to is the number of dots on a page just like in printing or in this case a screen. The number of these dots on your screen is dependent on your screen size and resolution of your screen that determines overall dot density per inch. The more dots the higher the resolution. Pixels are the unit of measurement for graphic images on the web as ad sizes are based on the number of pixels. For the spatially impaired, 150 pixels is about an inch and half wide as a rule thumb on a 13 inch screen.

I know it can get overwhelming when it comes to technology as change is the only constant. Even myself I am constantly learning, so do not feel bad if you do not know what a term means, ask the question. Now if you have tech term that you would like to share with Masthead readers please comment at your leisure.

PS: Don’t forget to enter my Kindle Fire Contest. ENTER HERE

- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

Most Recent Blog Comment
Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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