Internet Jargon Still Baffling Brits

Posted on October 4, 2006

A BBC news story cites a new research report that found many online Britons are still unfamiliar with many Internet terms including RSS, podcasting, wikis, VODs, PVR and IM.

According to research from Nielsen/NetRatings, people are buying cutting-edge technology but often don't understand the terms that describe what their device actually does.

So while 40% of online Britons receive news feeds, 67% did not know that the official term for this service was Really Simple Syndication.

Terms such as podcasting and wikis are still meaningless to many.

"In the relentless quest for the next big thing when it comes to new forms of digital consumption, there is a significant tendency for the industry to over-estimate consumer's knowledge and understanding of the seemingly limitless new terms and products out there," said Alex Burmaster, internet analyst with Nielsen/NetRatings.

The study was full of examples like the question that while many Britons use instant messages, 57% of online Britons did not know what the term IM stands for. Good luck getting people familiar with terms like RSS when there is that much confusion over IM. Americans probably would do just as bad -- if not worse -- if a similar study was conducted for American web users.

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