THIS WEEK some friends launched Contents Magazine. Last night other friends threw a party to announce the new (free) Readability. Every day, around the world, hundreds of thousands of web people make magic, working in a digital medium that sometimes perplexes my brilliant engineer father and would have seemed like witchcraft to my grandmother, may she rest in peace.
The web is the most disruptive, empowering invention since, well, I don’t know. It helps ordinary people topple dictators or just comparison shop. We, the people who make websites, are responsible for this shamanistic creation, and we’ve been doing this work for two decades. Yet in all this time, nobody in the mainstream world seems to have noticed. Oh, they notice when Google challenges Facebook for world supremacy. And they noticed when Twitter helped bring about the glorious Arab Spring. But they don’t know jack about us, the people who do this work, and they don’t care.
If anyone is going to compile data about us and sift meaningful analysis from that data, it’s going to be we ourselves. The boot-strappers, the self-taught HTML wonder kids. You and me.
And that is why, as I have every year since 2007, I once more ask you to take ten minutes and complete the survey for people who make websites. Do it now.
I thank you, and you’ll thank yourself later.
For the curious, here are the ALA survey findings from 2007–2010: