Re: Web media

Subject: Re: Web media
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Anthony Markatos <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 10:39:54 -0800 (PST)

> Tony Markatos responds:
> Yes, but these are not the main thing that needs to be done. In any
> communications project - paper-based or web - the main thing that needs to
> be done is to obtain a rigorous understanding of the end-user's goals.
> Yourdon & Associates state that this is ninty-eight percent (98%) if the
> REQUIRED work.

The web is a media outlet, like television. Therefore building sites is a
complex media and development process - not purely a writing task. The
traditional concept of "end-user" in terms of writing technical documents
simply does not apply. If you attempt to slap a tech writing process (which I
know you love, Tony) on a web development process you are doomed to building a
horrible site.

This is not because writers are all incompetent boobs, but merely because
building web content has many layers that writing a document or building a help
system do not. Mostly, there is a significant marketing aspect. There is also
tremendous technology issues. You can whine all you want about how the site
must cater to the needs of the user, but if you can't grasp the architectural
aspects of how the site does this - they you cannot exploit that technology to
meet your oh so dear end-user needs.

> Real men sling code - this is the nerds-eye view of web development. It
> fails to consider the main thing that needs to be done in any tech comm
> project (see above).

Real people don't shut off one side of their brain in favor of another. Real
people can see the forest AND the trees. Real web developers know how to
exploit technologies to accomplish MANY different communication and media

So, yes - to be a good web developer you need to sling code as well as write,
design, brand, architect, and implement.

> Andrew Plato said:
> Graphics, layout, interactivity, and branding are equally if not more
> important than the writen words.
> Tony Markatos responds:
> Here I agree with you 100%.

This seems to conflict with your earlier statements Tony. On one hand you say
the written word and audience analysis are paramount - now you are agreeing
with me that they hold equal importance. Which is it?

They do hold equal importance - which mandates that each components: word,
architecture, technology, and implementation are all of equal value. Thus to
be successful at such an endeavor, an individual must be able to handle all
parts with relatively equal acumen.

What I hear from many writers is "I don't need to code, I am a writer." Sure,
great - but you're not going to be designing powerful, high-profile web sites
then. Write all you want - the next hot .com is not going to hire you to
architect their site with such an attitude.

Andrew Plato
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Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

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