As the discussion of newish web stuff changes, so do the terms used. For example, for a while, delicious didn’t just mean tasty; but now the web service formerly known as del.icio.us has gone off enough radars that the word means tasty again. Even the term for the newish web stuff changes: it used to be Web 2.0, and now it’s social media – unless there is some newer term that those more current than I are already using.
Back in the Web 2.0 days, cloud meant a tag cloud or word cloud. These days, cloud usually refers to cloud computing.
But what does cloud computing mean? According to the USA’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of…
I downloaded the whole definition (which I got to via ReadWriteWeb). I found it to be two single-spaced pages – of Word, which at first seemed a strange format for a standards body to be using, but there is such a thing as a de facto standard.
Using the wonderful Wordle, I generated a word cloud depicting cloud computing. Here it is.