One of my favorite t-shirts is a geeky play on the seven OSI layers of networking. This shirt basically emphasizes that sure there are all these technical aspects that many of us are supposed to be working on (and perhaps learned about in college), but we all spend a lot of our time on political and other people-based layers (see also Layer 8).
Fundamentally, what we do for our clients is not particularly complicated. When someone in my family asks me what I do for a living, I say: We help organizations apply traditional, tried and true business practices to Web site management. At the end of the business day, organizations are trying to sell, inform, educate, influence-- you name it. The fundamental objectives are the same as they have always been. And fundamental rules of engagement still apply.
Should a federal government agency move ahead with defining Web governance in a presidential election year? The unknown of McCain or Obama, which may bring with it not only new politically appointed leadership, but also a new Web strategy and presence, is a daunting prospect. I understand some of this angst, as I too used to be a government employee (albeit a very junior one) working on the Web in an election year.
They’re a smart and dedicated bunch: the lonely and lowly webmasters. Actually, they’re not really a “bunch” at all considering they work alone—the sole members of their organization’s Web “team” or “department.”
We call them standards. Some people call them guidelines, some people call them standard operating procedures, but they are all nearly the same thing: they are the rules of the web site. And they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. But what’s in a standard?