Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Devil's Dictionary of internet terminology

This internet business is big money, people tell me. And apparently most of the money is spent by the marketing department, inventing new buzzwords. If I had a penny for every time someone used one of these nonsensical terms, well, then I'd have an internet business model.

To aid in linguistic understanding and to further world peace, I've been compiling a helpful dictionary. The start of a new year seems a good time to share, before we are overwhelmed with a new crop of jargon.

Virtual: On a computer.

The cloud: On someone else's computer, trusted implicitly for your security and privacy.

Platform as a service: On the internet.

Web 2.0: A method of refreshing advertisements without reloading the entire web page.

User-driven: Market-driven.

Market-driven: Profit-driven.

Just in time: Slower than before.

JIT inventory: Keeping inventory at the supplier's warehouse instead of your own.

JIT support: A public user forum full of guesswork and misinformation.

JIT distribution: A bike courier wearing a logo.

Pop-up: Temporary. A shop with no sustainable business model.

Genius desk: Tech support provided by underpaid, under-trained interns. So named because an HR genius devised it.

Location-based service: We know where you live but we don't want you to know we know where you live.

Rich content: Extending property rights to things formerly not seen as property. An abbreviation of "rich content owners".

Virus, malware: See "rich content".

Subscription-based service: Making customers pay repeatedly for something they would formerly have owned outright. See: "rich content".

Augmented reality: Because "cyberspace" is so last century.

Podcasting: Files on a server that someone might accidentally download. The opposite of broadcasting.

Long tail: Justification for waiting yet another year to repay your investors.

Micro-finance: When service charges exceed the value of the transaction.

Semantic web: The uninteresting part of the internet that remains once photos, music, games, and video are removed.

Security: Four numbers that provide a modicum of comfort.

Crowd sourcing: Getting your customers to do your work.

Mission creep: Your boss.

Haircut: Loss of investment, by a financial trader who wishes to downplay the importance of your money.

Viral marketing: Online marketing.

Buzz marketing: The opposite of the above.

Business intelligence: A strange creature last seen at a convention in Hamburg, circa 1955.

Social network: Antisocial people you like for liking you back.

Massively multiplayer: A search system that finds rich geeks.

Enterprise: 1. Business. 2. NCC-1701.


Read the classic work by Ambrose Bierce.


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