My career as a freelance webmaster now has a foundation. I've been working for the past few weeks as a part-time HTML E-mail Designer/Coder for American Optometric Association. I'm helping them with their email newsletters. In summary, I take document files that are sent to me and an existing HTML template that was used for the previous month's newsletter and I integrate the new articles into the newsletter for the current month. The result looks something like this example. This is a great opportunity for me and all I need now is to get a few more jobs just like it. Eventually, I'll have a rotating list of jobs and projects that will help me develop my skills and interests. That's the dream anyway.
Before I continue typing about this, let me take a moment to state emphatically that I don't like the term "webmaster" for the purpose of describing what I want to do. I don't want anyone to use the word in this industry any more. It's klunky. It can variably cover any and all of the following roles -
- Web designer: CSS, graphics, logos
- Web developer: PHP, ASP, SQL, databases
- Web administrator: Server administration, Linux, IIS
- Web marketing: SEO, PPC, SEM, Social Media, Email
But when someone says "webmaster" this sounds too much like "dungeon master" and I picture the dice rolling and a purple robe with stars embroidered on it. We need a new encompassing title for what we do when what we do is some combination of the above.
It's a little bit funny that there are no real standard conventions for these roles or a way for people outside the industry to have a decent frame of reference. From outside, it can seem like magic. From inside, it can too often seem like technical support.
My fellow web-workers, I sometimes think we need a new job title. But I get the feeling that the connection with our nerd heritage means that this -master thing is going to stick around.
Wouldn't Webninja be more appropriate?
See this Video at WSJ.com.
I guess we could all be Ninjas. There's even a theme song for this.
I'm good with that. Just call me Webninja!
Update: Thanks for reading! Tune in next week when I reconsider this "ninja" business and instead go for WebJedi!