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Why can't technologists speak English?

Throwback Article
Why can't technologists speak English?

Aside from delivering Internet technology solutions, I'm often asked by customers to lead in-house planning initiatives and then review development proposals from other vendors.

Fortunately, I speak fluent techno-babble and can translate accordingly. 

Sometimes I can't help but laugh at some of these proposals. Why can't technologists speak English? Reading their jargon and acronym overkill reminds me of an old high school prank my friends would play at a fast food restaurant. 

As straight-faced as Buckingham Beefeaters, my two friends would approach a young gal behind the register. While pointing at the menu above, one would bark out his order in a language only he understood. 

"Crowell diet spank-sniff without ballof, mayon topps tender shed. Caplet fore swivel tart!" 

And then he'd deliver a gentle smile. 

The other would translate: "My friend would like two cheeseburgers and a large fry and would also like you to wash your hands before preparation." 

"Sorlay jet-bay, uh-huh, wa-hoo!" 

"Oh, and he thinks you're cute." 

Sometimes they'd carry on for over 10 minutes. It was one of the funniest, non-scripted skits I've ever witnessed. 

As funny as this was, today's technology communication gap is no laughing matter. Hopefully your vendor speaks a language you understand. If not, this cheat sheet should help translate some of the more popular Internet technology acronyms and techno-babble. 

*Internet technology cheat sheet: 

ASP: Application Service Provider; Provider of applications/services that are distributed through a network to many customers in exchange for a stream of smaller payments as opposed to a one lump-sum price (or leasing). 

ASP: Active Server Pages; A scripting language commonly used to develop Web pages. 

B2B: Business-to-Business; Business that sells products or services to other businesses 

B2C: Business-to-Consumer; Business that sells products or services to end-user consumers. 

DNS: Domain Name System; an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. The Internet is based on IP addresses (numbers), so the translation makes addresses (domain names) much easier to remember. 

CMS: Content Management System; a streamlined process, utility, or application that allows non-technical managers to easily publish new content to their website(s). 

CPA: Cost per Action; Online advertising payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying actions such as sales, leads, or registrations. 

CPM: Cost per Thousand; Commonly used to quantify the cost of Web page ad impressions. 

CR: Conversion Rate; The percentage of visitors who take a desired action. 

CRM: Customer Relation(ship) Management; Refers to all interaction between a business, its prospects and customers. Also referred to software that facilitates this process. 

CTR: Click-through Rate; The average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions, expressed as a percentage. 

FTP: File Transfer Protocol; The Internet protocol (method) used to upload and download content from a Web server. 

GIGO: Garbage in Garbage out; an axiom meaning if invalid or poor data is entered into a system or application, the output will be equally invalid or poor. 

PPC: Pay per Click; Online advertising payment model in which payment is based solely on click-throughs from one Web property to another. 

RON: Run of Network; an Ad buying option in which ad placements randomly appear on any page within an ad network (Collection of websites). 

ROS: Run of Site; an Ad buying option in which ad placements randomly appear on any page within one website. 

SEO: Search Engine Optimization; the process of choosing keyword phrases related to a brand, product or service, and ensuring a website ranks well when those keywords are searched. 

SSL: Secure Sockets Layer; a protocol (method) for encrypting and transmitting sensitive data, such as credit card info, over the Internet. 

WIIFM: What's In It For Me?; an axiom commonly used to critique marketing and sales messages. Most, if not all consumers selfishly think: "Why should I care or listen to what you have to say." 

*Helpful source: www.marketingterms.com 

Next time you're reviewing a vendor's proposal, be sure to keep this cheat sheet close at hand. "Sorlay jet-bay!" 

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