Digital journalist survival guide

From API to cloud computing to XML, PoynterOnline has created an extensive glossary
of tech terms
every journalist should know. Here’s a selection (but check out the full list for much, much more).

HTML5: “The upcoming, powerful standard of Hypertext Markup Language, which has added advanced interactive features, such as allowing video to be embedded on a web page. It is gaining in popularity compared to proprietary standards, like Adobe Flash, because it is an open standard and does not require third-party plugins. Using HTML5 will allow web pages to work more like desktop applications. The latest releases of most browsers support HTML5 to varying degrees. HTML5 does not cover CSS and JavaScript, but often when people refer to HTML5, they often are using it as a blanket term, applying not only to changes to the HTML, but also to changes in CSS and JavaScript.”

legacy media: “An umbrella term to describe the centralized media institutions that were dominant during the second half of the 20th century, including — but not limited to — television, radio, newspapers and magazines, all which generally had a uni-directional distribution model. Sometimes “legacy media” is used interchangeably with “MSM,” for “Mainstream Media.” Legacy media sits in contrast with social media, where the production and sharing is of equal weight to the consumption.”

open source: “Open source refers to a philosophy and a means of developing and licensing software and other copyrighted works so that others are free to inspect, use and adapt the original source material. There are many open source licenses. Some licenses are considered permissive (e.g. MIT and BSD), allowing inclusion in proprietary works, while others (e.g. GNU GPL) require that the resulting derivative works remain under the same license if distributed. While the term originally stemmed from software practices, the concept has now been incorporated into other fields such as medicine and agriculture. Many of the most popular technologies used in content distribution, including languages and publishing platforms, are open source. The glossary you are reading was developed using open source methodology and is available under a Creative Commons license.”

Scribd: “A document-sharing site that is often described as a “YouTube for documents” because it allows other sites to embed its content. It allows people to upload files and others to download in various formats. Recently Scribd, which is based in San Francisco, moved from Flash-based technology to HTML5 standards.”

social graph: “A mapping of the connections between people and the things they care about that could provide useful insights. The term originally promoted by Facebook and is now gaining broader usage.”

WordPress: “The most popular blogging software in use today, in large part because it is free and relatively powerful, yet easy to use. First released by Matt Mullenweg in 2003, WordPress attracts contributions from a large community of programmers and designers who give it additional functionality and visual themes. Sites that use WordPress include the New York Times blogs, CNN and the LOLCats network. It has been criticized for security flaws.”

XML (Extensible Markup Language): “A set of rules for encoding documents and data that goes beyond HTML capacities. Whereas HTML is generally concerned with the semantic structure of documents, XML allows other information to be defined and passed such as , , , , for a car. It is the parent language of many XML-based languages such as RSS, Atom, and others. It gained further popularity with the emergence of Ajax as a way to send back data from web services, but has since lost ground to JSON, another data encoding format, which is seen as easier to work with.”