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Online Communications Glossary

Blog: A website or part of a website that publishes posts written by one or more authors. Posts are displayed in reverse chronological order and readers may be allowed to write comments on posts.

  • Baseline cost: Free.
  • Example: “Wellspring” blog of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY.

Creative Commons: A system of copyright notation that allows creators of content to designate how their content may be used.

  • Baseline cost: Free

Domain name: The online address that corresponds to a given website and is the basis for that website’s URL. Domain names generally must be purchased through a domain name registrar.

  • Baseline cost: Varies.

E-commerce: The online buying and selling of goods and services.

  • Baseline cost: Varies.

Facebook: A social networking site that allows users to create personal or organizational profiles and connect with friends or fans. Facebook facilitates the sharing of photos, videos, text, and other media. Congregations may find Facebook useful because it provides interactive functionality, facilitates the viral spread of information, and has an intergenerational user base.

Flickr: A website that facilitates the uploading and sharing of photos among users. Photos can be labeled with keywords. Flickr groups allow multiple users to pool their photos.

Foursquare: A location-based social networking service. Foursquare users share their geographic location by periodically "checking in."

  • Baseline cost: Free.

Gmail: Email provided by Google. A Gmail account is required in order to use some Google services, including Blogger and Google Analytics.

  • Baseline cost: Free

Google Analytics: A Google service that allows users website adminstrators to collect information about visitors to their website, including the number of visitors on a given day.

  • Baseline cost: Free.

Hosting providers: Companies that rent out space on servers which is used to support websites. Hosting plans may vary by price, space and bandwidth, and other factors.

  • Baseline cost: Varies.

RSS feeds: “Really Simple Syndication” feeds alert readers to new posts on a given website. Some blogging software, including Blogger, automatically generates an RSS feed for each of its blogs. Individuals who want to follow multiple blogs can set up an account with a “feed reader” like Bloglines.com and then subscribe to the RSS feed of each blog they wish to follow.

  • Baseline cost: Free.
  • Example: UUpdates, a website displaying feeds from hundreds of Unitarian Universalist blogs.

Second Life: A virtual world where users can create personal avatars and form communities.

TumblrA free blogging site that tends to be used for photos and short quotes more than long text postings.

Twitter: A short messaging service (SMS) that allows users to send short text messages to a large group of readers. Readers may view their messages on their cell phone or on the internet, and may reply to messages.

YouTube: A video-sharing website that allows users to upload and display videos. Users can also respond to videos by using ratings, comments, and other tools. Baseline cost: Free.

For web development terms and definitions, please see the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Glossary of Web Terminology.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

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