Digital Branded Content: Jargon buster

Can't tell your RSS from your link love? Our essential guide to the language of digital branded content can help.

Advertiser-funded programming

Rather than advertise around independently produced content, advertiser-funded programming (AFP) allows brands to be involved in its creation.

Advertiser-funded content

Advertiser-funded content (AFC) is developed in partnership between an advertiser and a media owner. Increasingly common on digital platforms.


A blog where the posts are mainly voice recordings that have been added via mobile phone.


Someone who runs a blog. is a popular blog engine operated by Google that allows people to set up their own blogs.

Blog feed

XML-based file which places a machine-readable version of a blog so it may be 'syndicated' for further distribution online. Formats such as RSS are used to structure the XML file.


The blogging community; sometimes referred to as blogistan or, more rarely, blogspace.

Comment spam

Robot 'spambots' that flood a blog with advertising in the form of bogus comments that usually make little sense but include a link to a product page or pornography. Tools have been developed to exclude some users or ban some addresses in comments.

Community 2.0

The second generation of online services - in particular, virtual communities such as MySpace - that lets people collaborate and share information.

Contextual advertising

Advertising that is delivered against a certain subject. A web page gets better clickthrough rates on its advertising space if the ads are relevant. Many advertising networks offer contextual advertising services that automatically match content to ads.

Link love

The term given when a user links to a site or blog that they like or find useful. Usually unsolicited.

Online sponsorship

Will usually involve exclusivity and a range of ad vehicles including advertorial and pre-roll ads (see below).

Online PR

The act of using web communities, message boards, blogs and podcasts to generate positive PR and manage a brand's image. This is a dangerous occupation and it can backfire, as these are environments in which honesty is valued and PR is reviled.


The unique URL of a single post. Can be used to link to a post on another website.


Generic term for posting audio and video material on a blog and its RSS feed so it can be automatically syndicated for digital players - not just iPods.

Pop-up video

Pop-up ads used to be static or short animated files, but are increasingly featuring full video ads.


A TV term referring to advertising found at the end of the featured content.


Another TV term, this refers to advertising that is shown before the main content is played out.

Rich media

A catch-all term that covers any form of content that is not static text.


Really Simple Syndication is a system of content syndication that automatically alerts a user when a feed they have subscribed to - a blog or news site, for example - has been updated.

RSS aggregator

Online service that allows a user to read an RSS feed. Also called a reader, newsreader or feedreader.

RSS feed

An XML file containing a blog's latest posts. It is read by an RSS aggregator and shows at once when a blog has been updated.

Social network

An online group of individuals or organisations connected by ties ranging from business associate to close family bond. Online network sites include MySpace, Bebo, Faceparty and LinkedIn.

Social software/media

Enables people to form online communities. It can encompass older media such as mailing lists, but now mostly refers to software genres such as blogs and wikis (see below).

Streaming banners

The same size and shape as traditional online banner ads but carrying streamed video, these can lead to a product site when clicked on.

Video network

Advertising networks have developed specific video networks comprising publisher sites that can show video ads.

Video-sharing site

Sites such as YouTube and Google Video that allow users to upload videos for others to view. While they often operate their own content policy, many have issues surrounding copyright infringements.

Video stream

The delivery of a compressed video file over a connection such as the internet. Users can view the file without first downloading it to their computer.

Viral clip

A video clip designed to be recommended to friends, usually forwarded as a link.


Short for video blog. A vlogger is a blogger who creates entries in video rather than text format.

Web 2.0

A catch-all phrase to cover emerging technologies and maturing consumer behaviour online. Key aspects include social-networking sites, media-sharing sites and tools such as blogs and podcasts.


A website that allows visitors to add, remove and edit content. The best known is Wikipedia, but wikis can cover any subject.


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