The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. Socrates
When I began delivering talks, seminars and training on anything related to e-commerce I
maintained a list of the key terms that I used in the sessions - handing out thousands of this expanding
glossary to attendees and participants over the years. Even when the web developed and all relevant terms became
easily searchable online, folk still seemed to like a hard copy to refer to - this was the foundation of what was to
become Key Concepts in e-Commerce.
As time went on, I found one of Palgrave's Key Concepts books - on marketing - to be a valuable guide for my students
in the subject. As there was no such title covering e-commerce that I could point my students at, I decided that it
wouldn't take too much to extend my personal list into a book.
So it was that I cleaned up the glossary [from my 'informal' language to something more akin to academic-speak]
and submitted it to Palgrave. At that time I predicted the book would contain around 600 terms. Well that
was a mistake - the final version is around double that size.
The contents are an eclectic mixture. Many originate from my connections with e-commerce going back to 1996. Others
come from the many newsletters, articles, books and websites that I read everyday. But no matter where they originate
from they all have one thing in common - they are written from a BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE and NOT computing or IT
[reading other pages of this site will let you know where I am coming from]. Sure, there are a few 'techie' terms
[including the term techie itself] - but they are included only to make e-commerce easier to understand for the
non-techies amongst us, and they are described in non-techie speak. There are also a number of terms that are
neither business or IT, but are included to give readers an insight into the environment in which e-commerce exists.
This book serves as more than a glossary of terms, however. Certainly it can be used to 'dip-in' and find the meaning
of a term you may have come across in the course of your work or study - but it can also be used as 'guide to
Reading the book from cover to cover will not only enlighten you with regard to the terms and phrases used in this fast-developing
discipline, but you will get a 'feel' of what the subject is about - how it is practised, and the environment in which
it is practised.
For example, there are nearly 40 entries under 'email' [from accreditation to white list] that give the reader an insight
to what email marketing is, how it works, what are best practices - and where it can go wrong.
The book has around 1200 entries [sorry, I did count them but I can't remember the exact
number] ranging from the 'standard' terms that you would expect to be there, through the unusual to the out-right
bizarre that might be rare - but still useful if you working in, or studying about, e-commerce.