We Web Weavers

Subject: We Web Weavers
From: Natalie K Griffith <grif0028 -at- MAROON -dot- TC -dot- UMN -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 08:48:30 -0500

I like the name Web Editor - I think it most accurately describes what I
do. When I describe to my completely non-technical friends what I do
I give the analogy that it is somewhat like editing/managing a hardcopy
publication - with the individual website, however extensive, being the
publication. I get content from a number of people. Some is already in
html and in various degrees of site layout standards - I edit it so that
it fits.
Some is simply in ASCII and I have to put it into html myself. Some
comes to me actually in hard copy or handwritten notes. I direct a support
staff of one on producing some of our regular newsletters in
html. Because we are short staffed, I wind up coming up with some of
the content copy myself. We have deadlines that have to be met. I'm
responsible for the underlying taxonomy of the site and how it is and
isnÕt reflected in the structure of the user interface - the navigation
cues and graphic identity. I Ôd like to have the support of a graphic
designer who knows how to produce for an electronic environment - our
current designs were produced for us by a strict print design person (not
my decision). I look for new interactive capabilities that will further
the mission of our site and then find cgi scripts that are compatible
with our server. Our server is administered by someone else, but I have
access and freedom to install new cgis and whatever html files we need
for our site.

I do think that technical communicators are ideally suited for this work
- the ability to organize, visualize structure, think from a
task-oriented perspective, and be methodical all help. ItÕs relatively
exciting - new capabilities for web interactivity are developing
constantly - so there is always something new to learn and to weigh
whether or not it is appropriate for our site.

Pay? Well. I work for the university as temporary civil service. But,
I know that some folks in the commercial world are getting paid oodles
for this type of work. Incidently, IÕm looking for a new work venue come
mid-September! IÕm willing to relocate and IÕd appreciate any leads.

Natalie Griffith
WWW Editor at the Institute of International Studies and Programs
University of Minnesota

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