Web pages and the power struggles

Subject: Web pages and the power struggles
From: Michael Andrew Uhl <uhl -at- VISLAB -dot- EPA -dot- GOV>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 16:51:42 -0800

How many of you out there who create, maintain, or
otherwise work with Web pages have experienced the
intense turf battles over who controls the pages?

Managers, who haven't the faintest idea how pages
are created or the work involved in maintaing them
fight over *controlling* them. The fights are ugly and
technical communicators are often caught in the
middle. My attitude has evolved to "Leave me out
of the fight. Call me when you've made a decision
on who wants what." Of course, they *don't* leave me
out of it. I'm a human ping pong ball. Does this
sound familiar?

Armageddon arrives when these managers have forced
the creation of far more Web pages than they are
prepared to maintain...as in *pay* to maintain. Link
rot is rampant because managers give orders to move
pages around, change their filenames, and delete
them willy nilly.

I am anxiously awaiting the day when management
moves on to some new fad and leaves technical communication
to the professionals. Hopefully, the damage done
before then will not be insurmountable or excessively


Michael Andrew Uhl, Lead Technical Writer (uhl -at- vislab -dot- epa -dot- gov)
Lockheed Martin, Primary Support Contractor to US EPA
U.S. EPA Scientific Visualization Center
National Environmental Supercomputing Center (NESC)
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

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