I can understand why it's fun to make up new names for techniques and technologies but why has it become increasingly popular lately?
What's with names anyway?
How is a name contrived? Well, in the beginning there was a necessity for creating a name for the web app that the developers were constructing. It made it easier for everyone around the office to talk about what they were doing if it had a name. Makes sense, I wouldn't want to walk around talking about the "website that will allow users around the globe to upload, store, label, and tag photos" if it didn't have a name either. [No points for anyone that can guess who that was referring to, it's just too easy]
So creating a name for a full featured web app is a necessity. I don't know how many people out there have ever looked for venture capital before but it's pretty hard to sell an app with 15 words in the title.
Why create names for already existing technologies or techniques? Marketing, pure and simple. By coining a new phrase, or re-wrapping an old technique, you can give yourself the upper hand. All you have to do is create the buzz around this "new" technology/technique by creating a few tutorials, and some well placed articles. This creates a tight association between then new buzzword and your company.
Take the following as examples:
- Blogging and Blogger.com: They may not have created the term blogging but they definitely capitalized on the terminology. By using a derivative of the term, they basically astablished themselves as experts in the field. That may not be true to the more educated of the world but to their audience â€” the working man, students, and your average internet junkie â€” they certainly did. By leveraging the name, they also effectively ensured that they reached the top 10, possibly top 5 search results for any search on the term blog, blogging or bloggers. Pretty smart in my opinion. Then they were bought out by Google, can't get much better than that.
- AJAX and Adaptive Path: This happened more recently and have created waves amongst the entire online community. The technology and techniques have been around for quite a while, more commonly known as XMLhttpRequest. It hasn't been extremely popular until now but it was still around. What Adaptive Path did was create a new catch-phrase for the techniques and technology. With some quick explanations they have set themselves up as the leader of the pack, even though others have been doing the same thing (sometimes for even longer). The buzz that is going around because of this new catch-phrase may point the light on the techniques but it also comes back to Adaptive Path.