The corporate bulls@%&! reference

It seems that people have tough time wading through every new term that comes up in the “Web 2.0” world, so I have tried to be helpful here in your effort to navigate the cyber waters. Hopefully you will see that the terms themselves are perfectly harmless, but those who come up with them and use them at every opportunity are a different matter entirely.  Without further ado…

  • Web 2.0

    Sadly, it doesn’t exist. This is a contrived term used to introduce such human-contact-removing devices, as social bookmarking sites, video sites such, and other user generated content sites. These places are nothing more than public sink-holes (despite the occasional nugget of gold) that have somehow become fashionable due to the use of over-sized text in buttons, redundant and/or inappropriate JavaScript and Flash® usage, conflicting and malformed CSS, unusable “Tag Clouds” as well as the graphic overuse of the Georgia font.

  • AJAX

    Otherwise known as JavaScript. This has been the bane of disabled users and accessibility experts on the Internet since the 90’s. The idea is that certain content can be dynamically loaded or modified without refreshing the whole page. While this may seem like a good idea, it actually breaks the “Back” button on your browser. In short, it’s a poor-man’s Flash®, but more fashionable since it was hobbled together with dozens of script libraries that increase your page download size by about 50% – 70%.  (As we all know, clothing that looks like it’s about to fall apart is very fashionable. If you don’t believe me, take a look at any award show.) A great substitute for “real” content. I’ve designed multiple sites for disabled individuals and it almost makes me cry to think how poorly an AJAX infected site would perform on a screen-reader.

  • Evangelism

    Another brilliant idea contrived by this guy. It’s an “art”, therefore, it has arbitrary constructs here and there which would fit right in that “Philosophy” class you took as a business major to fulfill your requirements. Go ahead and take a read, it follows just like a step-by-step guide on how to create your very own cult. After all, who needs substance in a “cause” if you’re passionate about its hype. The unfortunate side-effect is that some people use “Evangelism” as a free license to spam everywhere. They don’t consider it to be spam because they “engage” (very thinly) in conversation before plugging their product. How is this different from spam? They do it personally and it’s content targeted. Since no automation is involved, it’s perfectly OK… Makes sense to me!

  • SPAM

    See : “Evangelism”

  • Promotion

    See “SPAM”

  • Experience

    Are you familiar with Usenet or IRC? I’m not kidding… This is what some people consider to be part of their “experience”: Your time spent wading through spam and chatrooms.  Actual experience in practical problem solving may be optional. It’s not like you’ll never have a point-by-point list of troubleshooting tips on your lap, right? What’s next? People putting “blogging” as part of their “experience”?

  • PDF

    Portable Document Format. Almost guaranteed to be followed by a link to the Adobe® Reader since it was put together by people with “Experience” who weren’t aware of the alternatives. This format was originally intended to make sure that presentational text and images are properly displayed on any platform. But just like “Evangelism”, everyone with a lot to say decided it was a good idea to cram plain text that would otherwise have been fine as HTML. Nothing says, “we care as a company” like alienating your disabled customers.

  • Mashup

    See “SPAM”

  • Rich Internet Application

    The holy grail of unemployed college graduates. It is essentially the combination of “Web 2.0”, “AJAX” and “Experience” on the part of the content authors, so you can look forward to brilliant eye-candy with 100% style, 100% inaccessibility and 0% substance.


Well, that’s all I can define for today with my limited patience. Once I recover from the trauma of having to, in a somewhat dignified manner, define these terms in far more detail (without the double-talk and space-filling BS) than the creators of said terms bothered to do, I will try and post more.


2 thoughts on “The corporate bulls@%&! reference

  1. not all “disabled individuals” use screen readers. I have sight problems. I don’t see well but I’m not blind and don’t need a screen reader.

    yet your site is practically impossible to read.
    instead of pointing fingers, take a look at your own site. please use black text on a white (or light) background if you really care about accessibility


  2. Hello Marc, Thanks for the comment

    Yes, I am aware that not all people with visual difficulties use screen-readers.
    One of my close friends use a screen reader as he is completely blind. He also makes use of a text-to-speech synth and, on occasion, a braille reader, which I had to accomodate in the past.

    In fact, he was one of my clients as I designed several sites for his personal use as well as a private portal. I have reiceved very positive feedback on those projects thus far.

    My site is, there’s nothing there yet. This blog is hosted on WordPress which uses their own standards for accessibility. Again, WordPress also makes heavy use of AJAX so my point is still valid.

    As for using black text on a white background… After talking to many people who have difficulty with their screens, We came to the conclusion that dark backgrounds with slightly larger off-white text is best. From the screen tests we have had, most people found it difficult to read a lot of text on an all white background.
    The glare seemed to make people tired far quicker than darker backgrounds as well as make focusing difficult after a lengthy read.
    I have no choice, but to use what I believe to be the best compromise when it comes the available WordPress templates.

    I can’t attest to everyone’s reading preferences, so I’m sorry you found this site difficult to read.

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