Blogging from the Marketing Profs B2B Forum 2007 - Day 2
The future of social, mobile networks

Whiteboard//Session: What is AJAX?

Picture 15.pngNot a day goes by when I don't see complex technical terms thrown around in media press or on blogs. I often wonder if the average marketer knows what half of these terms mean. This new series is aimed at graphically illustrating (this is where the whiteboard comes into play) complex terms in ways that normal, non-geek people can understand.

In this installment, I take a look at AJAX. This is a huge Web2.0 buzzword that you hear all the time, but do you really know what it means? It's actually quite straight forward from a marketing point of view.

AJAX Stands for Asynchronous JAvasript and XML. As a marketer you don't need to know about Javascript, which is a programming language, nor do you really need to know about XML, which is a data storage standard. The Asynchronous part is what is interesting. This allows web pages to behave in a more dynamic, application-like manner. Google's Reader, Mail and Documents all work with AJAX to make them work more fluidly for the end user. Data is transmitted and stored via XML behind the scenes to enable this process to happen.

This is also responsible for the so called "death of the pageview". Pages don't need to reload to get content thereby eliminating impressions. Check out the video for a tutorial on what AJAX is from a 30,000 foot, marketing centric view.

[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the video.]

Key takeaways:

  • AJAX allows technology to get out of the way of the end user
  • UX is improved through more dynamic, application-like interfaces
  • This idea is a driver behind Web2.0, but has been around for a while
  • Microsoft has their own version of AJAX called Atlas (same principle behind it)
  • AJAX bridges the design/UI field and the technical/integration field to make the users happier
  • Less pages to load means less impressions hence the death of the pageview
  • Major companies are using AJAX to design more responsive, rich interfaces than is possible in Flash

Is there a term that's confusing you? Do your tech guys like to show you up and you want a little revenge? Email me or leave me a comment with the terms/ideas/buzzwords that you would like to see explained in a future post. Also, let me know if you have ways you think I can improve on this concept.

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