Friday, October 23, 2009

What' Wrong with Webmaster?

Webmaster, another word that emprisons. Even the way the word rolls from the tongue. Web-master. The word brings to mind wizards or black belt instructors. "Grasshopper, you have much to learn." The imagery is of complexity, mystery, exclusivity.

In older organizations, web content is managed and posted by this one person. In any process, one assigned person equates to a bottleneck. Bottleneck imagery is pretty easy to figure out too. There's a whole bunch more content to post than one person can handle. You end up with good content put in a holding pattern as it is reviewed and converted to the new format.

As the web has evolved, it becomes the "source of truth" and the first place that the web savvy look for their information. For organizations that are controlled by a webmaster, however, it may be the last place that is updated.

There's software, however, that can distribute the job to the content authors, such as Red Dot of Open Text. Even more open are wikis, where content, moderated, may be opened up to the web. Some of my peers sneer at wikis, having read the articles in conventional media where a wiki page was temporarily spammed with false content. Here's a list of some of the biggest wiki blunders. I think these examples should not overshadow the huge step forward that open content has blessed this planet with. We now have 77,000 contributors to the biggest encyclopedia ever. Even bigger is the reader community - 48 million.