The expression bike shed discussion, which comes from a FreeBSD mailing list post by Poul-Henning Kamp, describes the experience of being bogged down by interminable debate on a subject where everyone feels comfortable in their expertise -- such as the building of a bike shed. It also can be stated as a law: ... the amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change. Looking at the naming effort for the new syndication and weblogging format briefly known as Pie, Echo, ... read more

Workbench quiz (score at home): When was the following word so unknown that Wired Magazine defined it in Gareth Branwyn's Jargon Watch feature? Webmaster: The name given to the person in charge of administrating a World Wide Web site. Visit Jargon Watch for the answer. And to those of you scoring at home, congratulations! ... read more

Occasionally on Workbench, I document new jargon as it appears, hoping to offer something to the public record if the authorship ever comes into question later. It's my small contribution to the wonderfully geeky field of etymology. I cloned the feature from the Jargon Scout feature in the late, lamented Tasty Bits from the Technology Front newsletter. Today's Rob Enderle item features a nice bit of jargon: quote mill. Dave Winer appears to have coined it to describe Enderle on Feb. 28, 2002, and the meaning is ... read more

A bold attempt to coin new jargon from the Zia weblog: I use a word I made up 7 or 8 years ago, "nitam", to mean any email message, USENET article, or weblog entry (etymology: net-item, or acronym for "News ITem, Article, or Message"; pronunciation: like "night-um"). ... read more

In The Weblog Handbook, Rebecca Blood uses a term frequently that I haven't seen employed before: linktext, the words used to describe and provide context for a link. Example: "Composing linktext has given me practice in thinking through a subject by writing it down." The person who appears to have coined and popularized the term is Jorn Barger, publisher of Robot Wisdom. He defines linktext as all of the text used to describe a link, even if some of it is not included in a link, and calls the actual text of a ... read more

New jargon: Blogstreaming, the practice of chopping your weblog into a bunch of smaller weblogs so people can keep up with the interesting chunks and ignore the rest. Coined by Lloyd Wood on June 28, though he claims otherwise. ... read more

Jargonwatch (inspired by TBTF): Warchalking, the practice of using chalk to indicate the presence of a wireless access point in a public place. Coined last week by Matt Jones. ... read more