All posts for “Technology in Plain English”

Sometimes, I Need a Decoder Ring

Posted by: leelefever on April 14, 2004- 5:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English

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I’m considering having nasal surgery because I can’t breathe well through my left nostril. Yesterday, my doctor gave me a copy of an article that he said would help get a feel for the surgery and outcomes. The article might as well be in Latin. I get a lot of it, but it is filled with sentences these: Terbinate Hypertrophy can be treated surgically with a wide variety of methods, commonly with partial resection of the bulbous anteroinferior portion of the terbinate. Terbinate procedures... Continue Reading

Introduction to Stocks and Flows (3 of 3): Back to Basics

Posted by: leelefever on April 6, 2004- 5:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English

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In the first section of this series, I provided an introduction to stocks and flows in online communication. In the second section, I applied these terms to weblogs, wikis and RSS. In this final section of the series, I'm circling back to the basics of stocks and flows to help define the key points about each term in the context of more traditional websites. Flow Basics: The key point about flow and online communication is ongoing engagement. When a person engages in a flow, their attention is... Continue Reading
In the first section of this series, I provided a basic introduction to the terms "stock" and "flow" in the context of online communication. In this section, I'll apply these terms to technologies that are quickly becoming standards on the web: weblogs, wikis and RSS. Weblogs and wikis have recently created considerable buzz in the online world. These tools have made it easy for individuals to publish their thoughts and words to the web, which is having a profound effect on the way we use... Continue Reading
The following article is the first in a three-part series that will serve as an introduction to two terms that have had a profound effect on me and my work. The terms are "stock" and "flow" and this article is an introduction to these terms. Background: In a meeting recently, Jerry Michalski drew a diagram of communication tools and media in the context of "stocks" and "flows". His diagram first introduced me to how these terms can be used to describe online communication. After the meeting, I... Continue Reading

What is Atom? How does it Compare to RSS?

Posted by: leelefever on March 31, 2004- 4:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English

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As you can see in the right nav, I’m now offering two different “feeds�? for my site, Atom and RSS. Having both may prompt you to ask “What’s the difference? Why have both? What are they for anyway?�? What you need to know is that they do the same thing. They allow Internet users subscribe to a “feed�? from a web site. By subscribing to a feed, a user can be notified when a website has been updated. More on this here. The whole RSS vs. Atom history is rich and interesting... Continue Reading
Have you ever made a connection in your head that made you want to immediately run out and tell everyone you know what you just learned? I had one of these moments recently when I learned about a new way to describe online communication resources like online communities, email lists, weblogs and wikis. The terms are "Stock" and "Flow"and they have prompted me to look at the online communication world through a different lens. My excitement has also prompted me to write an article so I can... Continue Reading

TrackBack Described in Plain English

Posted by: leelefever on March 22, 2004- 4:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English

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In using weblogs, you have likely seen the word TrackBack or TrackBack URL - this post will help you understand what TrackBack is, why it exists and how to use it, in Plain English. The folks at Six Apart designed TrackBack and they offer a great beginner's guide here. My intent is to present TrackBack in my own words using descriptions from my perspective. An Introduction: TrackBack could be compared to carbon copying someone on an email. Suppose you write an email to your manager and talk... Continue Reading

RSS Described in Plain English

Posted by: leelefever on February 19, 2004- 4:00pm

Categories: Explanation, Technology in Plain English

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Updated:  We've created a video that explains this concept much more effectively. View it here. RSS is often discussed in very technical terms- so my hope with this post is to describe RSS in plain language using general terms. First, the "RSS" acronym itself isn't that important- in fact, there is disagreement on what it actually stands for. The front runners are: Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication. But again, don't clutter your brain with that. ----------------------------------... Continue Reading

Lost in Technical Translation

Posted by: leelefever on February 12, 2004- 4:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English

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Every industry has it own language. I wouldn’t expect to be able to visit a conference on jet propulsion and understand the language. This is fine with me as I don’t need to understand jet propulsion to be productive in my life. This brings me to the theme of this post: Internet technologies and online communication tools are innovations that can make a difference in the every day life of ordinary people, but the language we use to describe them can create a barrier to mass understanding... Continue Reading

Serving Customer Communities Online

Posted by: leelefever on September 29, 2003- 5:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English

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A while back I wrote about "What is an Online Community?�? in terms of understanding the basic concept of online communities. The theme was that online communities are “communities�? first and “online�? second - meaning that the “online�? part is secondary to the real-world community that is using the web site. Building on this point, I’ve been thinking about how to relate this theme to businesses. If a business is interested in the online community concept or curious about... Continue Reading

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