Web media

Subject: Web media
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 08:14:49 -0800 (PST)

Seems like a good time to break this out from the originating thread.

> The evidence is clear: a plethora of web sites that
> are slow, uninformative, hard to navigate and badly written. Eventually,
> people will see the light, but for now the focus is on the delivery
> method, never mind the content.

I disagree, the problem in web right now is poorly trained web programmers and
not, as this individual suggests, less reliance on writers. People who have a
smattering of HTML experience and who can write think they are web designers.
Thus they sell themselves as web designers trying to bridge communication
skills to programming skills. The ability to write does not translate into the
ability to code.

Real web sites are software development projects, not documentation projects.
Building good, interactive, and compelling web sites requires the capability to
cut code, architect systems, and understand how disparate systems interact.
Since *most* writers flee in horror at the sight of code or gasp the mere
thought of having to learn something like SQL or ASP, tech writers by an large
do not make the best web designers.

Thus, many companies use programmers and true web developers to build their
sites and enlist tech writers to merely produce content.

Content is only a fraction of the puzzle that comprises a web site. Graphics,
layout, interactivity, and branding are equally if not more important than the
writen words. This is because the web is a different media and is not always
focused squarely on delivering information (like a document or help system).
The web is an entertainment and advertising media, and as such makes different
demands on the people who create content for it.

Andrew Plato
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