Discussion in 'Webmaster Discussion' started by davidbehan, Dec 20, 2006.
Well I never. I'm sure you weren't including me there
I think you need to have the backing of the most critical of your peers before you can claim to be an authority though, right? It's certainly something that needs to be explored. "Who can represent us?", as such!
It requires a very, very, very clear mission statement and that's all. If it introduces authority rather than community then you're screwed.
Would be nice but not often the case. Anyone can claim to be an authority on a subject and can be without the backing of their peers. They just better put forward a strong case Also I don't believe being an authority and being a representative necessarily mean the same thing.
I think his point is that IF the sight wanted to be an authority it would have to have backing or would simply be excluded from the community.
Not as such. What I'm saying is that if a group of designers, developers, etc. were to set something like this up then it could easily be construed as being elitist. How are other designers and developers, say of equal or greater experience or ability than the organisers, going to buy into this? Should they not be allowed in on the ground floor? Is there some amount of ownership of the organisation?
To make something like this work, I think two things would need to happen:
1) As the organisation grows, it would need to be independent of any vested interest, be it company or individual. This would entail the organisation effectively being owned by its members and its members being 'voted' in by existing members/peers.
2) There would have to be a very carefully considered exclusionist policy for those that continue to tout irresponsible design/development.
As I said, something like this was tried before and there was a serious whiff of self interest off it which is why it fell apart at the final minute.
Basically it would need a very comprehensive and transparent mission statement and needs to be established for the good of the industry and not the individual or company. If this were to turn into an 'old boys club' you can be pretty sure it would meet some severe dissent.
It's just something to think about folks. I'd love to see something like this happening but it needs to be well considered.
What qualifications ARE there, if any?
Good question. There aren't really any paper ones. I have a couple of diplomas but I wouldn't consider them worth anything.
Maybe there could be some kind of base-line, like for example three or four published websites? They would have to be commercial sites rather than personal projects.
Just an idea?
What if the sites are rubbish? How do you set a benchmark exactly? And, more importantly, WHO in such an organisation would be fit to judge? I know plenty of self-proclaimed web professionals out there who regularly bash my work yet who are utterly imcompetent and talentless themselves.
It's all so subjective that I don't think a representative body could possibly work unless it was moderated by someone who was respected and trusted by every single one of their peers. And that simply isn't a realistic expectation. There are quite a few bitter cynics amongst us who have been screwed around by this industry for a long time and who simply won't accept any kind of authority whatsoever at the risk that there's a self-serving agenda hidden underneath.
As I said, I'd like to see something like this happen for the good of the industry and, if done properly, it could be an excellent project. However, and excuse me for saying so, but the minute Blacknight or Spoilchild logos start appearing on the homepage then I would have to cry foul. Likewise, pictures of organisers in the Sunday Business Post gloating about how they've 'saved' the industry or any kind of media whoring would have to be outlawed.
Make it clear, honest, transparent and trusted and it will work. Simple as that.
I agree with you. There is no baseline standard. Therefore it is almost impossible to set any kind of standard.
The only baseline that exists at the moment is W3C standards, but you can have a cr*p site, with woeful design and impossible navigation that is 100% valid. So that's out.
As a matter of interest, I can understand your crying foul at Spoiltchild, as they are a design house, but why Blacknight? I'm sure they couldn't give a toss about design [as a company, not as individuals] as they only host sites. If anything, they would be better qualified to judge [in some respects] as they know the business but have no vested interest. Unless of course they only like sites that they host
Sorry, let me clarify. I'm not having a go at either company. I'm simply using them as an arbitrary example of how, hypothetically, any vested interests might benefit from such an organisation if they were involved in setting it up.
My point is that if you want peers to buy into an organisation that represents them, then I don't think it's fair to try and skim benefits for yourself and to declare yourself as some kind of superior authority (unless, literally, everyone in the industry thinks you are!) At the most, a figurehead(s) could be appointed but in no way could they be tied vociferously to their own company.
I completely agree. And there is no way that you are going to find an unbiased authority. It would have to be a panel [say] of teachers in design and development who have no vested interests. And who is to say they are the qualifying authority?
One establishment that should have held the respect of the community at large is Eircom, but look at the total shambles they created. And do you remember Doras - the self appointed authority that wouldn't know a good website if it bit them?
The bottom line is that, sadly there is no answer that I can see anyway..
No, me neither. Client education is about the only way forward. Each to their own and let the client decide for themselves. That's really all we can do to separate the cowboys from the professionals. It's a tough balance and it'll take time.
Some of their former staff are members here
just curious, is there such a thing as an Irish equivalent to the HTML Writers Guild or the International Webmasters Ass.?
Or is the plan for webdesign.ie to end up with something similar?
Really good discussion going on here I think and I think this idea has some real promise. I haven't had a chance to reply sooner and my apologies for that.
Well, I want to move this forward from a discussion and into action. First things first... I'll get things sorted with the domain.
Secondly, I'd like to get a list of people who want to be involved in this project in whatever form they can contribute and move this discussion over to a private blog and expand it. So, if you are interested, can you PM me with your full name, email and a little about what you do that's related to the web and maybe your expertise, e.g. web designer for a company, you own a company, etc.
I'll get things moving from there and hopefully hear from everyone soon.
p.s. oh, and happy new year all!
Well, as I said before, I don't think this can work. Not on an industry-wide scale anyway; unless all the industry principals in the country buy into it and that's a very, very difficult thing to achieve. The more credible the member, the bigger the ego and all that.
If you're going to go ahead with this David, then I would suggest a few things so that you don't fall at the first hurdle:
1) Transparency - a clear mission statement that guarantees that this is for the good of the industry at large and does not act as a tool for vested interests.
2) Guardianship - there needs to be a 'moral guardian' appointed. Someone who cannot really benefit as a vested interest... i.e. someone that doesn't work for or own a Web design agency, hosting company, somebody selling SEO services, etc. Rules would need to be drawn up regarding founding members/administrators in such an organisation taking advantage of it for personal/commercial gain.
3) Ownership - if membership is by invitation only, then membership would need to be vetted by existing members and not an elite panel. Essentially, the organisation would need to be 'owned' by its members with, possibly, a spokesman appointed to carry out any PR tasks - the spokesman being unaffiliated with any other company or interest when representing such an organisation.
Building trust is the most important step IMO.
Alternatively, you can run by committee; no real need for a single 'guardian'.
Yes, a committee would work better. Provided it's not an old boys club, of course.
Any movement on this so far? I was browsing this forum for tips about setting up a web directory when I saw this thread! It was much the same idea as I had about setting up a nationwide web directory for web design. There's hardly any point in me setting up my site when you guys are doing much the same - is there?
This is going to become one of the most engaging questions of the next century, it seems. If one is paid, one is a professional I suppose. Getting paid enough seems to be the problem facing graduates. A perennial problem.
Separate names with a comma.