Blue Beanie Day

On Monday, November 26, 2007, don your blue beanie to show your support for web standards and accessibility. So goes the pitch by Douglas Vos, founder of Facebook’s Designing With Web Standards Group:

Monday, November 26, 2007 is the day thousands of Standardistas (people who support web standards) will wear a Blue Beanie to show their support for accessible, semantic web content. … Don a Blue Beanie and snap a photo. Then on November 26, switch your profile picture in Facebook and post your photo to the Blue Beanie Day group at Flickr.

Is this silly or serious? Seems to me, it’s a bit of both. If enough people do it on enough social networks, it might even raise web standards awareness in a small but positive way. (As opposed to, say, busting people for a validation error, which, surprisingly, doesn’t win you their love.)

Participation is easy. Here are the instructions, from Facebook’s Blue Beanie Day Event Page:

  1. Make a personal commitment to fight Web Standards Apathy. Show solidarity with the Standardistas on November 26th, 2007.
  2. Buy, beg, or borrow a Blue Beanie (blue hat or cap, even a black or grey one will do in a pinch.)
  3. Take a photo of yourself wearing the Blue Beanie. Or take a cool group photo of you and your friends wearing Blue Beanies.
  4. Post your photo, or photos to Facebook, the Flickr pool, and other social networks on November 26th, 2007. Remember to switch your profile photos that day on all your social networks, like Flickr, Twitter, Last.fm, iLike, Pownce, Dopplr… you name it.
  5. Promote Blue Beanie Day in your blog or wiki starting today, and tell all your friends to get ready for Blue Beanie Day. Start by inviting all your Facebook friends to this event.

Related Links

[tags]webstandards, webdesign, accessibility, bluebeanieday, blue beanie day,facebook, twitter[/tags]

53 thoughts on “Blue Beanie Day

  1. I thought about wearing a blue sombrero with “ASK ME ABOUT WEB STANDARDS” written on it. Sadly, I don’t think I can find a sombrero on such short notice.

  2. @John Lascurettes: See I just found out it isn’t a yarmulke. Go know.

    And actually, it probably is more Took than Beanie (‘cuz I think Tooks roll up?). To me, Beanie also sounds propeller-headish. But I think the extreme past uncoolness of “Beanie” may be why it came back all cool.

  3. While we’re on the topic of orange, how about some Daily Report shwag Man? ALA is cool and all but it’s the “Daily Report” that keeps us coming back ; )

  4. We call them toboggans here in the south, and until I saw the picture Samanatha Warren posted, I though you were talking about the propeller hats. I’ve also heard people call the hats that rabbis wear beanies, though now that I think about it, that’s probably 1) not what they are really called, 2) not very nice, and 3) not related to web standards.

  5. Oh! I get it. Like on the front of DWWS. Seems like an in-joke more than a campaign but I suppose (going back to a previous post on active vs passive groups) it’s a thing to “do”, a conversation starter, a bit of social glue. As well as being silly, kinda fun and ever-so-slightly scary in a quasi-religious sense.

  6. @phil: Doug, who came up with the idea of Blue Beanie Day, was probably assuming that members of the DWWS Facebook group were familiar with the cover art—and for the most part that would be a safe assumption.

    But I can see how “Blue Beanie Day” could be confusing when taken out of the context of the DWWS Facebook group.

  7. Participation is easy.

    It would have been, had I found out about this before the fact. Who’s idea was it to stage an event the first day that the vast majority of the US is back to work?

  8. Seems rather pointless. Do these “shave your head/wear something crazy” events ever raise awareness of anything?

    Even if they do raise awareness, then what good does that do if the powerful companies in the industry continue to ignore standards? Awareness isn’t going to do anything by itself – and those with the power to change things on a large scale are unlikely to be swayed by some blue beanies.

    People who create websites are already aware of web standards – the problem is that they don’t care.

  9. It would have been, had I found out about this before the fact. Who’s idea was it to stage an event the first day that the vast majority of the US is back to work?

    As mentioned in the post, Blue Beanie Day was Douglas Vos’s idea. Doug announced it over a week ago on Facebook. I posted about it exactly a week ago here. Sorry you didn’t see these announcements, @Grover!

    Seems rather pointless. Do these “shave your head/wear something crazy” events ever raise awareness of anything?

    Even if they do raise awareness, then what good does that do if the powerful companies in the industry continue to ignore standards? Awareness isn’t going to do anything by itself – and those with the power to change things on a large scale are unlikely to be swayed by some blue beanies.

    People who create websites are already aware of web standards – the problem is that they don’t care.

    Let me know when you’re done with that razor. I need a shave.

  10. Then Tuesday, Nov. 27th 2007 will be the day that thousands of Standardistas will stay home from work, nursing the intensely painful wedgies they received from bullies who saw the blue beanies as more representative of “intense dorkiness” than “web standards”.

    I spent today on the sidelines. I’m not a bully, but no way am I putting on a beanie for any cause less overwhelmingly worthy than, say, famine relief. =)

  11. Now that Blue Beanie Day 2007 is about to wind down (on the East coast anyway), it seems as if it was a success, even though some didn’t get it, it was harmless, effervescent goodness for those who did. If one person learned of web standards today and joins the voices, it was worth it.

  12. Why even bother?

    The guys who have got together for the WHATWG HTML5 and the W3C HTML 5, don’t really care about standards, so we are doomed.

    The browser vendors on those lists have, on many occasions, said that if standards force them too far from their desired path, they will ignore them and wander off. “We are here out of good grace”.

    While the web implementations are run by browser vendors with vested interests (see Canvas and VML) we won’t get true standards implementation – and don’t even mention the fact they all want backwards compatability, so we are all going to have access to the elements that gave us tag soup – forever!!

  13. The guys who have got together for the WHATWG HTML5 and the W3C HTML 5, don’t really care about standards, so we are doomed.

    @Gareth: You sound a tad pessimistic. Even if HTML 5 goes wrong, we are hardly doomed.

    If you feel that HTML 5 is moving away from good, semantic web standards, despair is certainly an option. But don’t you also have the opportunity to show leadership?

    After all, we were “doomed” when Netscape 4 and IE 4 came out with incompatible DOMs and scripting languages—not to mention incompatible, incomplete and incorrect CSS support. But instead of succumbing to nihilism, some designers and developers got together to try to change things. That group effort succeeded.

    Have you made an effort to be heard? Have you tried to change things?

  14. The guys who have got together for the WHATWG HTML5 and the W3C HTML 5, don’t really care about standards, so we are doomed.

    I’m the editor of the HTML5 spec and have done most of the heavy lifting behind the WHATWG for the past few years. Given my history (in the WaSP, taking part in and later leading the CSS Samurai; in the W3C as a member of half a dozen working groups over the years; as someone working on standards as a job for all of my employers so far and even while unemployed, when I paid flights and hotel fees out of my own pocket to attend standards conferences), I think it’s a little silly to say that I “don’t really care about standards”.

    I assure you that most of the browser vendors (certainly Opera, Apple, and most of the Mozilla community) do care about standards.

    The browser vendors on those lists have, on many occasions, said that if standards force them too far from their desired path, they will ignore them and wander off. “We are here out of good grace”.

    Standards aren’t some sort of magical word from the heavens that proclaim the New Path and will lead us all to salvation. Standards are a way of ensuring interoperability while encouraging innovation. Of course browser vendors are going to ignore standards that ignore their needs. Standards have to be written with all the needs of the community taken into account.

    While the web implementations are run by browser vendors with vested interests (see Canvas and VML) we won’t get true standards implementation

    When could we ever get implementors that don’t have vested interests? What would that even mean? Everyone has vested interests, even if it’s just to get a bigger share of the market, or to get paid more.

    and don’t even mention the fact they all want backwards compatability, so we are all going to have access to the elements that gave us tag soup – forever!!

    The authors want backwards compatibility at least as much as the Web browser vendors do — just look at the complaints that people heaped on Microsoft at the release of IE7, which broke a number of sites that were relying on IE6 bugs.

    “Tag soup” has never been standards-compliant — if you feel somehow that tag soup was ever legitimate, then you have as little respect for the standards as you claim the browsers vendors have.

    The browser vendors are as important a part of this process as everyone else, and suggesting that they should not have their own constraints is naive.

    If you want to contribute to HTML5, to put your point of view across, and to help build HTML5 in a way that you don’t think is biased towards browser vendors, then please do continue to take part.

  15. What I found a tad ironic is that with web standards and accessibility often being mentioned in the same breath you cannot access further information without signing up for a facebook account .(note to self: get account, join the DWWS group, upload beanie picture)

    This seems to against the core of what accessibility in a broader sense and the arguments against e.g. plug in only content on websites are about.

    I would therefore second the opinion that it is more of an insider gag as opposed to a campaign raising awareness amongst the general browsing public.

    Nevertheless worthwhile, a fresh idea and a good cause; doing SOMETHING is always better than doing nothing but lamenting the world’s ignorance.

  16. It is shocking how many big design agencies have invalid websites that do not fully comply to accessibility standards, and once more are selling websites to their clients that do not comply. Awareness of this needs to be made very obvious to everybody so anyone commissioning a company to design their website knows that it is an absolute must!

  17. It was a really happy blue beanie Day! However, no one knew, what going on with blue beanie on my head! I believe this idea is not popular in Poland… as much as I thought.

  18. Website standards must be met to ensure that the Internet stays a free and open place. There are many companies both large and small, that violate these terms. In Prague on the 26th I saw many blue beanies. I would like to think that these people knew that they were supporting a worthy cause. We must fight for these standards and regulations that help ensure free speech and information exchange.

  19. Can anyone fire up a remote calendar that I can subscribe to that will warn me in advance about all these national holidays like Naked Day, Blue Beanie day, and whatever else we have? A web standards calendar so to say? Lets form a working group…

  20. Once again hunting for a blue beanie. Thought it was also important to let folks know about this simple twitter petition that they can be involved in to encourage Google to be more standards compliant – http://act.ly/nh

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