Terms that describe any new technology can be vague and annoying, especially when marketers start adding a bit of spin.

So we decided to ask for your feedback to see what you think are the worst ones out there in the world of the cloud and we put together a weekly poll on the topic.

Judging from responses, it looks like almost any cloud term gets people a bit irked. It seems right to act in a curmudegeon-like fashion for this poll. It hit a high of 94 degrees in Portland, Oregon today. The Bay Area is going through its own scorcher. San Francisco hit a high on Tuesday of 96 degrees. So with this heat, isn't it also a good time for a good old-fashioned rant? I mean, where are the clouds when you need them?

Newsgator's Brian Kellner pointed to CloudFeed for may of the terms in our poll. Kellner, the company's VP of products, had perhaps the best rant we heard all day:

"The first issue is with the core term. What does it really mean for something to be in the "cloud"? Microsoft has an offering now where you get a bunch of hardware installed in your facility. Or you can have a partner host a platform for you. Is that cloud computing? http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/en/us/cloud-computing.aspx

If you look at platforms like Azure and EC2, you have highly generic capabilities. You can build pretty nearly anything. On the other hand, if you look at platforms like Salesforce.com and SharePoint Online, you can still build pretty nearly anything but you get some extra capabilities and some extra limitations from utilizing those platforms. Are these all "cloud computing"?"

He concludes:

"Here's my tiny rant on publishing, technology, marketing and noise. Over the last fifteen years of being in the high-tech industry, my observation is that the news generating and distributing people are forced to continuously talk about what's new, and with the era of search (and now link-sharing) behaviors for getting viewership, the motivation to create buzzwords has greatly increased. This is a big part of why we have proliferation of terms like this. The problem is that we quickly get to the point where the words don't mean anything. We consistently hear things like "Social CRM" is hot, but that term has no actual meaning. For the people who actually build real things that solve problems for real people, the motivations that drive the behavior of people who push information is becoming less and less helpful. Maybe I'll come up with some sort of cloud-based secret decoder to translate all the babble. But it will never sell because I won't be able to come up with a clever buzzword name for it... "

Our Top 5

1. Cloud Computing: The term should get an award for the vaguest, most-abused, misused term of the year. The thing is, we do like "cloud" as a metaphor. It provides a sense of mythology to cloud computing - a sense that it opens us up to new worlds. But that's the dreamy side of the cloud. In reality, the term is used to describe services such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace and every social technology on the planet.

2. Cloud: We like what @wgreiner says:

(3. Fill in the blank) as a Service: Platform-as-a-Service? Infrastructure-as-a-Service? How about Anything-as-a-fill in the blank-Service?

Harvey Matthews, former executive director of the Software Association of Oregon, added a few beauties of his own:

Any phase that attempts to coin a new term to add to the following over-used cloud terminology (fill in the blank below):

"On-demand _____"
"______ as a Service"
"Virtualized ______"

4. Mobile Cloud: Is this like a cloud in a Winnebago? Or is "cloud in a box" better because it is such a wonderful oxymoron. We hear the phrase more often to describe private clouds. Funny... almost.

5. NoSQL: So, now we have a disagreement associated with SQL. How about MaybeSQL?

So, what's your pick? Take the poll!

Rant away.