But I'm the Webmaster !

“I stay up past midnight!”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…

A webmaster (from web and master), also called a web architect, web developer, site author, website administrator, website coordinator, or website publisher is a person responsible for maintaining one or many websites.  The duties of the webmaster may include: ensuring that the web servers, hardware and software are operating correctly, designing the website, generating and revising web pages, A/B testing, replying to user comments, and examining traffic through the site.  As a general rule, professional webmasters “must also be well-versed in Web transaction software, payment-processing software, and security software.”  Due to the RFC 822 requirement for establishing a “postmaster” email address for the single point of contact for the email administrator of a domain, the “webmaster” address and title were unofficially adopted by analogy for the website administrator. Webmasters may be generalists with HTML expertise who manage most or all aspects of Web operations.  Depending on the nature of the websites they manage, webmasters typically know scripting languages such as ColdFusion, JavaScriptJSP, .NET, Perl, PHP and Ruby.  They may also be required to know how to configure web servers such as Apache HTTP Server (Apache) or Internet Information Services (IIS) and be a server administrator.  Most server roles would however be overseen by the IT Administrator.  Core responsibilities of the webmaster may include the regulation and management of access rights of different users of a website or content management system, the appearance and setting up website navigation.  Content placement can be part of a webmaster’s numerous duties, though content creation may not be.

These phantoms of the web go “site” unseen!

OK, that’s all fine and dandy, having a place to begin serves a purpose.  I believe the term “generalist”, as it is implied above is very well suited to describe “webmastering“.  As a webmaster the expectation is that you know-it-all and can do-it-all -perhaps unrealistic but still expected.  So how does anyone, a webmaster, become proficient in one specific area (i.e. web design) when their skills are watered-down by the sheer number of areas (as described above in the definition) it requires to keep site technology current and secure.  I was asked this question a few years ago by a CEO of  very large company and my answer to him was simple: “I stay up past midnight!“.  I mean, how else can you fit in the time required to keep pace with not only the changes but the changing demands?

So hats off to all those burdened with the misunderstood and under-appreciated title “webmaster“.