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Information Superhighway Road Map:
A Glossary of Terms

From: LEAVEN, Vol. 32 No. 5, October-November 1996, p. 71
by Nancy Jo Bykowski and Sue Ann Kendall, Illinois USA

Email (electronic mail)--Like personal letters, only a lot faster. Used to send messages via your computer to friends and acquaintances around the world. Requires a computer, email software, an email account through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a modem.

Email Address--Sometimes called one's "login." A name that shows which user you are and from what site you are writing. Example: says that I am user "sak" "at" Prairienet, an organization (org). Other endings are edu (education), com (commercial site), gov (government), mil (military), net (network).

Email List--Join one of these to exchange messages on a particular topic of interest with like-minded people. Messages can come to you individually or in groups called digests. Some lists are open so anyone can join; others are closed and only invitees can join.

FAQ--A list of frequently asked questions. Many Usenet news groups' email lists maintain these so that newcomers' questions can easily be answered without filling the list with repeated information.

Flame--To react in a hostile or irrational manner to something someone said in a news group or email list. This never happens on lists where leaders participate! ;-) (an emoticon of a winking, smiling face).

Home Page--The opening screen of a Web site (a collection of Web pages on a similar topic or collected by one person). Usually attractive and full of graphics. Leads you to pages with more information.

Interactive Chat--Software on some ISPs that allows numerous people to "talk" to each other via computer in "realtime," like a big room full of people talking. Often chats are on particular themes (discipline, teens, parents).

Internet--A network of networks. A large collection of powerful computers all connected by telephone lines. They "talk" to each other via a computer software protocol and thus allow people all over the world to interact---to send email, to exchange files, to show Web pages.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)--A company, organization, or institution that provides access to the Internet. Some charge money and have lots of "bells and whistles" (Prodigy, CompuServe, America Online), others are free and very basic (Free-Net, Prairienet, etc.), others are both nice and free because they are hosted by a school or employer.

Usenet News Group--Organized Internet discussions on every imaginable topic. Requires ISP with news access, news reader software and lots of time. People send notes (posts) on topics of interest to the group, others respond. A collection of responses to a particular post is called a thread.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)--The "address" of a Web page. Example:* means that at a hypertext protocol site, in the Prairienet World Wide Web area, in the La Leche League International Subdirectory, is a file called homepage that is an HTML document or Web page.
*Ed. note: this URL for the original LLLI Web site is no longer valid. The current LLLI homepage is

World Wide Web--A collection of hypertext documents viewable on the Internet via a web browser program. By clicking on underlined links in the text, you can move to different topics and even to sites hosted in other parts of the world. Following links until you get completely lost from your original destination is called "cruising the Net."

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