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Who Killed the Webmaster?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the smoking-guns dept.

The Internet 334

XorNand writes "With the explosive growth of the Web in the previous decade, many predicted the birth of a new, well-paying, and in-demand profession: the Webmaster. Yet in 2007, this person has somehow vanished; even the term is scarcely mentioned. What happened? A decade later I'm left wondering: Who killed the Webmaster?"

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334 comments

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Time. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17796734)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Monkeyfilter community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Time. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17796894)

That's not correct... he was sent to the hospital this morning, after having some heart pains. The eventual diagnosis was gas, not a heart attack. He's not dead, though he has a new topic for his next novel.

First post? (-1, Offtopic)

b166er_zeroone (814319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796736)

I guess no one cares! RIP...

All I know is (3, Funny)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796742)

.... It wasn't me.

Re:All I know is (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17796818)

You're right... because it was I who killed the Webmaster!

(Posting anonymously, on the grounds that the contents of this post might tend to incriminate me...)

Re:All I know is (5, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796842)

...but I didn't kill the deputy [webmaster]

Re:All I know is (1)

The Crooked Elf (1042996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796906)

Personally, I expect his Webapprentice turned on him and killed him in his sleep. -Elf-

Re:All I know is (4, Funny)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797014)

Actually, it was Colonel Mustard in the study with the candlestick. :-)

No, it was me. (5, Funny)

kale77in (703316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796972)

> ... it wasn't me.

No, I was there, and... it was me.

Well, there were a few of us involved. But my personal confession reads as follows:

I wrote scripts that let end users change their own pages. I integrated Wysiwyg editors into CMS systems. I coded some wiki-markup processors. I made design changes friendly for non-techies. I wrote image thumbnailers, and CSS-generators that used customer preferences.

I didn't know it was wrong! I was just following orders! Everyone was doing it! Lots of others killed him more than I did!

*Moves to Brazil*

I'm here (0)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796746)

The rumors for my death are greatly exaggerated.

So are the rumors that this article has any substance at all. But, hey, let's all make up random shit and run around panicked because of it!

I did (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796752)

I wanted a website too complex for a single person.

Re:I did (5, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796924)

I wanted a website too complex for a single person.

Some kind of self-defeating dating site then?

The CMS (5, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796754)

The cheap/free content management system killed him. And replaced him with the blogger, who now generates the vast majority of content on teh interwebs (for better or worse).

Next question.

Re:The CMS (4, Interesting)

Peganthyrus (713645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796960)

Yes.

I have a friend who's had the odd "webmaster" job. The bosses expect, I think, someone who will laboriously hand-edit every page, because they don't know any better. Instead, she ponders their needs, grabs a CMS... and automates herself out of a job. She's gone through at least two "webmaster" jobs by doing this, I think.

One of these days she'll figure out how to lie to her bosses about how long it takes, I suppose.

Re:The CMS (4, Insightful)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797190)

One of these days she'll figure out how to lie to her bosses about how long it takes, I suppose.
Or set up a consultancy specializing in the installation, configuration and training on CMS systems.

Seems to me, if you are automating yourself out of a job, reorientate so that automation IS your job.

Re:The CMS (2, Funny)

CdXiminez (807199) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797022)

Microsoft CMS has been introduced, the job of filling it with content moves from tech to administration, adn the design is handled by the latest update from MS.

Re:The CMS (2, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797234)

I'm sure there's a joke here somewhere but just I can't find it.

Re:The CMS (2, Interesting)

CdXiminez (807199) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797262)

I had the same feeling when I wrote it. It's what happened at my workplace. It's not bad, it's not good, it just leaves me feeling kind of awkward with our websites.

Re:The CMS (3, Insightful)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797028)

The cheap/free content management system killed him. And replaced him with the cheap/free blogger, who now generates the vast majority of content on teh interwebs (for better or worse).

Fixed.

Sadly, the average blogger/forum member is a better source of information than the manufacturer. That's not saying much, most corporate web sites are about as useful as tits on a boar. Curiously, this is one area that our beleaguered vendor Microsoft actually has right. Documenting flaws and workarounds where customers can find them.

On a personal note, I fought with a broken driver for my USB wireless adapter for an hour before breaking it open to find out who made the chipset. Did a little bit of research and got it working with the MFR's driver. In the process I also learned that the shipping driver was composed of about 30 meg of re-branding cruft built around a ~280k driver. The manufacturers website doesn't even acknowledge the device exists, and their "support" area amounts to links to the drivers that came on the CD's.

Colonel Mustard (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17796756)

Colonel Mustard with Web 2.0 in the kitchen.

Re:Colonel Mustard (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797046)

And her I was, sure that it was Colonel Panic...

Ok, I'll sit in the corner and wait for the game to be over.

Automation (4, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796760)

Same thing that killed the guy who used to drive around bringing ice so your grandparents could keep the food in their icebox cold.
 

Re:oh no (5, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796934)

Same thing that killed the guy who used to drive around bringing ice so your grandparents could keep the food in their icebox cold.

Syphilis?

They got promoted? (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796766)

I don't think the job is gone, but perhaps the title is. "Webmaster" has been rolled into other jobs, because management of a public-facing web site is increasingly just one facade of a far more important job, management of a company's entire systems, which falls generally to the CIO, and then gets delegated from there down to a particular person or group.

I can think of a lot of web sites where 90+% of the content isn't part of the "site" per se, but part of databases that are somehow interfaced into the site (CRM systems, accounting, etc.). The "webmaster"'s job can be a lot more like a circus ringleader, trying to keep everyone happy and plugged in.

In line with the increasing managerial responsibilities, the title of "webmaster" may have disappeared into various "Information Systems" titles. The job is still there, somewhere, but it's called something different.

Re:They got promoted? (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797038)

...management of a public-facing web site is increasingly just one facade of a far more important job...

I think you meant "facet" instead of "facade", but it also makes a sort of perverse sense as originally written.

- Greg

Ugh, s/facade/facet/g (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797180)

Mea culpa. Although you're right, 'facade' almost makes sense there, since what I was suggesting is that the actual frontend seen by the public -- the facade -- is only a small part of what might be a much bigger system, generating and storing all the data that's delivered in various forms to viewers. E.g., depending on how you define 'content,' the person responsible for the largest part of a big site's content might actually be the DBA of an interfaced system, rather than the 'webmaster' of the frontend.

It's really late ... I don't even know what I'm doing awake at this point. :)

The webmaster is dead. Long live the webmaster. (5, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796770)

The answer is simple. What killed the webmaster? Specialization!

The old time "webmaster" was a jack of all trades, doing design, HTML, managing your hosting account, submitting your site to search engines, and coding or subcontracting interactive scripts.

But the web and the number of ways to create content and interactivity have expanded faster than any person's skillset can. Furthermore, people started seeing really slick, professional sites, and the "Geocities Home Page On Steroids" junk that a lot of webmasters were churning our just wasn't acceptable anymore.

There are still "webmasters" where the web operation for a company or organization is kept in-house and limited to a single person. But when you get into concepts like economy of scale... if you don't need a full-time person (i.e. your site doesn't need that much active management), it's just cheaper to contract it out. And in most cases, the big, slick operations are getting those contracts.

For the big slicks, it doesn't make sense to have a bunch of jacks of all trades, mastering none, doing merely acceptable jobs. It's better to have a team of specialists and parcel out different parts to the people who excel in those parts. You get slicker, better product, faster turnaround, and the employees are plug-and-play making a single point of failure less likely.

As web sites needed to have more and varied pieces, demanded more expertise in more areas, the "webmaster" started to be replaced by the Graphic Designer, the Web Dev, the Server Jockey, the DBA, the SEO person, etc. It's sort of like math or science. A long, long time ago, it was possible for a single person to obtain the sum total of human knowledge in these disciplines. Now, you can't. You have to pick a specialty. People entering the world of web site construction and maintenance are finding that they have to pick a speciality too.

There are webmasters out there, but they're being killed off by an environment that is growing ever more complex.

I say common knowledge killed the webmaster (5, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796938)

Some say specialization killed the Webmaster. I say common knowledge killed him. It just isn't cool to be a Webmaster anymore, pretty much anyone can do the job or knows a kid who can do the job.

And while I agree that some people have chosen to specialize even more, I've seen people go in the other direction as well. There are still Jacks-of-All-Trades, except those new Jacks may know a scripting language or two, a bit of database, a bit of graphic design, a bit of apache, etc. And those new Jacks-of-all-Trades just couldn't market themselves under the old label Webmaster, since that label doesn't really describe what they do now, nor does that old label describe something that's very special anymore.

Re:I say common knowledge killed the webmaster (2, Interesting)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797148)

It just isn't cool to be a Webmaster anymore, pretty much anyone can do the job or knows a kid who can do the job.

Yeah, but not everyone wants to work on their own small-business website, get the layout right, make sure it's compatible with IE 5,6,7, FF, and Safari... It's easier to hire a kid/freelancer/jack-of-all-trades. It's just "site designer" or something now.

-b.

Re:I say common knowledge killed the webmaster (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797204)

There are still Jacks-of-All-Trades, except those new Jacks may know a scripting language or two, a bit of database, a bit of graphic design, a bit of apache, etc. And those new Jacks-of-all-Trades just couldn't market themselves under the old label Webmaster
I propose a new label then: "disaster"

(j/k)

Re:I say common knowledge killed the webmaster (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797218)

Oh I see everybody can do it. It is the same as my boss told me that our cleaning lady can do the system design, coding and test (deployment left for guys wearing suits) and used that as an argument for not paying more. At end he did pay more and did employ outsourced the cleaning. He is a rich SOB now.

I know about many others that tried the trick with the cleaning lady but failed. Some are still out there and their web sites are miserable useless bunch.
Mainly because the line of thaught: if everybody can do it then anybody can do it is simply a fallacy. At the end you either pay and have somthing usefull or not. Whether the job can be done by a single person is a matter of how complex the job is and how big the project is.

Re:The webmaster is dead. Long live the webmaster. (2, Interesting)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796970)

No mod points today but you're at 5 already. There are still webmasters doing college sites and sites with resources too low to hire more than one person. But for the major business sites, you're right...there's 10 jobs for any one website, so there is no "master" anymore...maybe just a Web Middle-Manager to keep the live team in-line with Accounting.

Ouch (3, Funny)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796772)

>an image of C.S. Lewis's Alice tumbling down a hole

Both the author attribution, and the content of the article, belong to the wrong century.

Re:Ouch (2, Informative)

fat32 (620360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796820)

That might be true, but to get modded up on this site you're going to need a Simpsons reference.

Webmasters are NOT dead! (1)

incubuz1980 (450713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796774)

They were just renamed to flash monkey.

I hate flash sites.

Re:Webmasters are NOT dead! (2, Insightful)

Annoymous Cowherd (1036734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797090)

A few years ago I would have agreed with you, but now I find that people bear unjustified grudges against what is essentially a marriage between visual creativity and ingenuous coding.

Here are a few excellent points I've borrowed from a close friend of mine who works for FlashMagazine [flashmagazine.com] .

- Flash is everywhere. For the web version of a game, 96% of the audience won't need to download anything except the game. More importantly, many people won't be able to install arbitrary ActiveX controls, or use a Java plugin, whereas Flash is preinstalled with Windows on corporate machines.

- Cost is essentially free - there is a small cost for the Flash IDE, but it's nearly free to distribute (just some minor licensing things to worry about that don't cost anything). Royalty-free licenses for decoders such as MP3 and Sorensen Spark are included.

- Ease of finding artists. There is a huge talent pool to draw from for creating art or animations for Flash, either on staff or contract.

- A gigantic community and secondary market. There are thousands of Flash related web sites with tutorials, articles, discussions. There are hundreds of Flash add-ons or components for sale.

- Easy copy-paste to test things out. Flash permits drag-and-drop or copy-paste from one FLA to another, and it automatically brings along any dependent objects into the new library. This can make it incredibly easy to try out quick ideas outside of the main game, and is the one case where it's worth using the debugger.

This makes it very attractive to most open source developers (my cousin being a very active member of the community).

Hope my little sermon converts a few disbelievers :)

You're kidding, right? (4, Funny)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796776)

From TFA:

Yet, as anyone who's ever visited MySpace can attest, today content is king. With all of us simultaneously contributing and consuming on blogs, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, and SecondLife, who needs a Webmaster anymore?


Saying "Content is King" in the same sentence as Myspace et. al. is like saying an overflowing ashtray is a sign of productivity.

Re:You're kidding, right? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797076)

Saying "Content is King" in the same sentence as Myspace et. al. is like saying an overflowing ashtray is a sign of productivity.

If the goatse guy was a webmaster, Myspace would be one of his; its the biggest pile of steaming crap on the internet.

it ain't a 1 man job anymore (1)

pddo (969282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796780)

The positioned has diversified into many others. simple

You obviously don't have a clue. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17796784)

I suggest it was Mrs. White, in the Library, with the Rope.

-o-o-o- (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797064)

I suggest it was Mrs. White, in the Library, with the Rope.
Close but no cigar, it was Mrs. Ballmer, in the office, with a chair.

Killed? Probably just natural selection. (4, Insightful)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796792)

If there were so many webmasters back then, in the world of "flaming skulls, scrolling marquees, and rainbow divider lines", as the article states it, perhaps the world has just come to its senses and the clueless "webmasters" have died off, leaving the sites to competent programmers and designers.

Re:Killed? Probably just natural selection. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17797176)

nah, they were all replaced with or turned into webmistresses!

they are still out there... just got rarer (5, Interesting)

InfoHighwayRoadkill (454730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796794)

This time last year my wife and I were eating in our favourite restaurant and got chatting to the couple on the table next to ours. Sooner or later the subject of work came up. I said I was a web developer. "we are web developers too" they said. It turns out they work from home just down the road from us. He does the backend asp coding and she does the front end and photography. They still churn their way through local SME businesses that want a 4 page brochure website. The thing is they make a good living out of it. Just as much as I can make in a large but specialised web development company.

Yes "webmasters" are rare but they are not extinct.

became specialized (2, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796798)

the job still exists, it's just called different things. since nowadays most sites of any significance are dynamic you are either an administrator or developer.

if you just to page designs you are a 'wed developer' if you maintain the backend you are an administrator

in summary, the job specialized into different fields because web sites are too diverse in nature for one job description to cover maintaining all the different types

VOD (3, Funny)

Ibag (101144) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796806)

Is there any chance that Video (on Demand) killed the webmaster? He wouldn't be the first victim...

Re:VOD (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796956)

Video killed the radio star, I wouldn't put this past it.

Video did (1)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796808)

Or maybe that was the radio star - I always get those mixed up.

Re:Video did (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797150)

Ahhh, Whispering Bob. Nice.

Nobody (3, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796814)

Webmasters are still around.

The entire web isn't made up of Web 2.0 community-generated content sites.
And even if you've got the latest greatest custom CMS -- someone's got to maintain it.
Newspapers and magazines still have webmasters -- those are publications with
dozens of writers, editors, photo editors and community features.

Most of the web is still (and will always be) about content, and not all content
exists on blogs and news aggregators. (Although, TFA is correct in its observation that
an increasing amount of it is). Enterprise level publishing still requires webmasters
to manage increasingly complex sites with multiple integrated systems, databases
servers, ad networks and a distributed team of editors, writers and programmers.

If you're the New York times, WebMD, iVillage, MSN, etc. a WordPress install isn't
going to replace your webmaster.

I think a better question might be: who killed the low level webmaster?

Re:Nobody (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797108)

thats not really a webmaster then is it. thats more of a sys admin/progamming role.

I think... (3, Insightful)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796822)

...that, as technology moved on, there just weren't enough webmasters around who were good at their job. In the early days of the web, just having a website was enough to be taken reasonably seriously as a professional. Back in those days, all you needed to know was a little HTML (and not even HTML 4, depending how early on, never mind CSS, JavaScript, Flash or cross-browser compatibility) and you needed a few writing skills. Nowadays, the bar is a little higher. Nowadays, a "webmaster" would have to be a competent designer, competent developer *and* a fairly skilled writer, not to mention a pretty good moderator, since so many websites nowadays have a community.

People who are good at all of that are far and few between, so instead of having one mythical webmaster who does everything, it makes more sense to have the tasks split up into different jobs: Web designer, web developer and content provider (which may be any sort of professional, for example marketing or journalism, or the website user himself).

Hey, (2, Funny)

WhatDoIKnow (962719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796826)

What about the gophermaster?

:wq

Re:Hey, (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796978)

Gophermaster is away on operation Zesterhouse.

Re:Hey, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17797130)

> What about the gophermaster?

Is that some kind of weird, gay shit?

The webmaster never responded to email (2, Funny)

hopeyj (942671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796828)

Those of us who work in libraries and in other settings in which one spends a great deal of time trying to track down documentation of various kinds have found over the years that email to webmasters is very, very rarely answered. It is though your inquiry is sucked into oblivion as soon as you hit, "Enter." Or else the webmaster refers you to someone else who doesn't respond. It just isn't worth the trouble to try to get the info you need through webmasters, however nice they may be as evidenced by the courtesy they show in the rare instances you actually get an answer from one.

Re:The webmaster never responded to email (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796882)

It is though your inquiry is sucked into oblivion as soon as you hit, "Enter."

Did you try going in to get the sigil stone?

Re:The webmaster never responded to email (1)

hopeyj (942671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796986)

Don't get the reference there.

Re:The webmaster never responded to email (1)

Drgnkght (449916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797208)

He's referring to a computer game. I think one of the Ultima series. (But it's been a while since I played those so I might be mistaken.)

Re:The webmaster never responded to email (1)

Drgnkght (449916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797224)

(Note to self: Never post on Slashdot when dead tired.)

Forget Ultima, he's referring to Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

Obvious (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796832)

The butler, they're always guilty.

Who did it? (2, Funny)

Der Huhn Teufel (688813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796840)

It was the head of HR, in the server room, with the ethernet cable.

Chuck (1)

TheSexican (796334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796844)

Twas Chuck Norris killed the Webmasters.

I killed the... (1)

Burning Plastic (153446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796846)

I shot the BOFH, but I didn't kill the Webmaster... Oh no, no...

The webmaster is alive and well (4, Funny)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796854)

I did a rather quick search on monster.com (results: http://jobsearch.monster.com/Search.aspx?q=webmast er&fn=&lid=&re=130&cy=us&JSNONREG=1 [monster.com] ), and as of 1/29/2007 2:30 (GMT-6), there are 189 listings for "webmaster"

I also did a quick search on moster.com (results: http://jobsearch.monster.com/Search.aspx?q=radio%2 0star&fn=&lid=&re=0&cy=us&JSNONREG=1&pg=1 [monster.com] ) , and as of 1/29/2007 2:30 (GMT-6), there are 24 listings for "radio star", thus proving that Video didn't kill the radio star.

Of course, you can take these results for what they are worth. After all, I got 371 results when I searched for "nose picker" on monster.com ( http://jobsearch.monster.com/Search.aspx?q=nose%20 picker&fn=&lid=&re=0&cy=us&JSNONREG=1&pg=1 [monster.com] )

Re:The webmaster is alive and well (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797034)

I wonder why theese guys are in such high demand.
38,077 results for "drug smuggler" [monster.com]

Re:The webmaster is alive and well (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797050)

I wonder why theese guys are in such high demand.
38,077 results for "drug smuggler"
It might be that "drug smuggler" looks better than "child pornographer" (5039 results) [monster.com]

Re:The webmaster is alive and well (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797112)

Man, this is right up my alley too !
127,076 results for "professional asshole" [monster.com]

Re:The webmaster is alive and well (2, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797128)

I have to add, that almost the entire first page of thoose results is for ".NET Devoloper".

Re:The webmaster is alive and well (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797154)

Just like the 17,054 results for "total asshole" [monster.com] .

Or maybe the 74 results for "supreme asshole" [monster.com] .

Re:The webmaster is alive and well (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797220)

How do you explain 14 results for "cum smuggler" [monster.com] , or 4,172 results for "white supremacist" [monster.com] ?

It was Professor Plum ... (0, Redundant)

Ixitar (153040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796862)

... in the library with the lead pipe.

Not gone, just changed (1)

retro128 (318602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796870)

My thoughts, FWIW -

People who might have called themselves webmasters before now call themselves bloggers. These days it is quite trivial to make a web page, especially with all the on-line tools around. Maybe back in the day you had to know a little HTML to put up your own personal web page, and you might have felt special enough about it that you gave yourself a title. Not so anymore. When your average 12 year old can churn out a Myspace page (albeit a blinding, noisy, tooth grinding affront to all that is holy) being a "Webmaster" just doesn't give you the street cred it did back in the 90s.

On the flip side, large Web sites these days are not one man shows anymore. Network engineers, graphic artists, db admins, and scripters are all involved. On sites like that, there's no one who can take the title of "Webmaster" since the whole thing is pretty much a team effort.

Re:Not gone, just changed (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797138)

When your average 12 year old can churn out a Myspace page (albeit a blinding, noisy, tooth grinding affront to all that is holy) being a "Webmaster" just doesn't give you the street cred it did back in the 90s.

Meh, in the 90s there were AOHell profiles that were just as (if not more!) painful to look at and annoying. Filling out a questionnaire and uploading some pics and music does not a web page make, not if you want your organization or yourself to have some credibility online. The best-looking and cleanest web pages are still often old-school plain HTML and pictures with animation and active controls only added in where really necessary.

-b.

Webmaster was the gayest title ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17796874)

I hate it when people call me a webmaster. What am I, fucking spiderman?

Better tools, different methods (5, Interesting)

rabiddeity (941737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796878)

Your previous generation of self-appointed "webmasters" were the first folks on the scene. This was before most people even knew what a hyperlink was, let alone HTML. Therefore, being able to hack together a page that would render properly was a rare ability. It was a new form of media, with its own rules, and it was trying to borrow aesthetically from print media. So you had a bunch of "pages" that, honestly, looked like crap (partly because the people with skills were focusing more on functionality than form, and partly because nobody knew what a good "web page" was supposed to look like).

Gradually, programmers started making better tools so that less technically-inclined people could jump in and try things. Some of these folks were artists, and some rather beautiful and elegant layouts were developed. At about the same time, tools started popping up that allowed people to type content into a text box and have it appear with the proper formatting applied, or have the data be automatically imported and formatted from a database. With this, the amount of content on the web increased dramatically. A webmaster's focus was on editing and uploading individual HTML files (a comparatively laborious task compared to entering something into a blog post form), and at the same time he had to compete directly with the better designs and layouts from the art pool.

So what happened? The more technically oriented webmasters became LAMP specialists or coders (and the bottom of the barrel started making IE-only pages). The more artistically inclined ones discovered CSS and Dreamweaver and went on to contribute to a prettier and easier to use web. A very small minority with talents in both areas got fantastic jobs and made lots of money making tools for artists or better interfaces (dynamic HTML, slide-out widgets, WYSIWYG in forms). And the rest? Well, you don't get very far if you can't adapt.

Obligatory South Park Style Statement (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796898)

Ok, it had to be said...

Oh My God, They Killed Kenny The Webmaster. You Bastards!!!

No one killed him (2, Funny)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796908)

The job is taken by a female, so the title is now "WebMistress"

Re:No one killed him (3, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797068)

I speculate that obligatory uniform for the Webmistress is black mesh stockings, a corset, hornrimmed glasses, and a pocket protector. Oh yeah, I forgot - a whip and a slide rule, too.

Re:No one killed him (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797132)

Oh yeah, I forgot - a whip and a slide rule, too.

Not to mention a coil of stout rope to tie u^W^W form the web.

-b.

Let's see how Wordpress holds up. (2, Interesting)

XorNand (517466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796910)

::Wince:: A WordPress blog making the frontpage of Slashdot (my blog nonetheless). FYI, I'm using the WP-Cache [mnm.uib.es] Wordpress plugin to help keep the thing online. If it stays up, it's almost certainly because of that functionality. The software itself is running on a pretty much idle, dedicated Xeon box in a datacenter.

I did. (0, Redundant)

Mantrid42 (972953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796936)

But I did not shoot the deputy.

This is FUD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17796944)

NIGGER RAPES DOG

(Newark - WABC, January 17, 2007) - The Associated Humane Societies and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have each offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a person who apparently sodomized a dog in Newark.
Officials say the Associated Humane Societies rescued a 10-month-old female dog who had been sodomized by a local resident.

Eyewitness News reporter Anthony Johnson has more.

The peaceful 10-month old puppy is walking gingerly, but is making progress following an act of animal cruelty that is almost unthinkable.

The staff at the Garden State Veterinary Specialists has given this young pit bull the name Kate, and workers have filled her cage in the intensive care unit with comfortable pillows. Doctors are keeping a close eye on Kate's progress. She's being treated with antibiotics and for internal bleeding, but her prognosis appears to be improving.

"She's not out of the woods yet, but she's marketedly better than she was," Doctor Tom Scavelli said.

The Associated Humane Societies admits the traumatized animal was close to death when she first arrived at their Newark location on Tuesday afternoon.

They say Kate was discovered almost lifeless inside the Seth Boyden housing complex. Residents of the apartments are stunned to hear about this awful act of brutality.

"People have no heart," an area resident said.

The shelter is now being swamped with calls of concern, and they've even received a E-mail from a soldier in Iraq who offered to pay for the Kate's medical bills.

Witnesses to this awful, cruel, unthinkable attack have refused to say who is behind the crime. Now, a $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.

"We have two people who saw this terrible act, but no information on the perpetrator," said Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of the Associated Humane Societies. "This is a horrendous crime of bestiality and it cannot go unpunished."

"The dog was terrified and...totally traumatized," Trezza added. "Her body temperature had dropped, she was bleeding and efforts were made to stabilize her and warm her up before she was taken to Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls."

If the perpetrator is found guilty, penalties range from up to $7,500 in fines and 18 months behind bars.

Simple (1)

fulgan (116418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796976)

The webmasters killed themselves....

When a profession is made by 95% of incompetent, overpriced and ego-inflated people, even if the demand is high, survival is quite unlikely. Too bad for the few good ones around.

Nowadays, "webmasters" who are still in business have mutated into "web developers" or "system administrators".

the tools maybe.. (1)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 7 years ago | (#17796996)

Managed hosting and the bunch of tools for a CMS, database access over the web, a control panel like PLESK, cpanel etc. Who needs a webmaster anymore when you can do much more sitting with a notebook on ur beanbag?

Re:the tools maybe.. (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797114)

Managed hosting and the bunch of tools for a CMS, database access over the web, a control panel like PLESK, cpanel etc. Who needs a webmaster anymore when you can do much more sitting with a notebook on ur beanbag?

Businesses that do other things than web design still might want an employee/group/outside person to handle those things. Why? Because they have some idea of what the site should look like and what info it should contain, but they don't want to be bothered with the exact layout and workings. It's easier now, but there was still specialists that handle that stuff for all but the smallest and poorest of organizations.

-b.

Spam ... (1)

MSojka (83577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797062)

It was spam. I mean, I still have all those webmaster@(whatever) accounts for all the domains I actually administer, but in the last 5 years or so, I've never seen anything but spam in there. So, spam killed the webmaster for me.

Re:Spam ... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797122)

So, spam killed the webmaster for me.

So true. A client set up a mailing list named "service@.com" going to all of the main players' addresses in the company. Spam volume to all of the list users increased several times before I ended up suggesting renaming the list to a less common name!

-b.

Content management killed him (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797074)

...with its tools, in the server room.

Ok, ok, the Clue jokes are getting old and have been repeated like a billion times by now. So I won't make (another) one.

But seriously. Webpage design is outsourced to designing companies, a content management system is slapped onto the page's back and from then on, anyone with at least half a clue can add and manipulate content rather easily, without even knowing the first thing about HTML.

The webmaster isn't dead. He's just working for another company now, or he is unemployed because instead of 100 companies needing 100 webmasters, there's now one company that needs 10 of them to write the CMS for their 100 customers.

any schmuck can do it thats why. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797082)

webmaster is one of those late 90's terms when the internet seemed like this magic place you needed skills to navigate. then reality hit and no one was going to pay someone to edit documents when shirley in accounting can do the same thing in her lunch break.

Did it ever exist? (2, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797096)

The premise of this article is just dumb. "Webmaster" was never a profession - the term is just dumb and that's why it's no longer used. There are a lot of well paid, in-demand web developers, designers and administrators out there, but I expect most of them would object if you called them "webmaster".

PLUS 1, tROLL) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17797126)

But I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17797144)

But I did not kill the sys admin

Who Killed the Webmaster? (1)

professorfalcon (713985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797160)

The Webmistress. She caught him foolin' around with Ruby.

It was ... (1)

j3tt (859525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797202)

... Kaiser Sose

Websites have changed. Webmasters mutated. (1)

themoneyish (971138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797212)

So the web has changed. Static pages are mixed with dynamic pages. Making a simple website is a kids job (for eg. bloggers). Making a large website requires DB admins, graphic designers, system admins, scripters, etc., and none of these can be given the title of a webmaster.

And then of course there're Wikis. With the arrival of wiki, everyone and anyone is a webmaster. Anyone can edit pages on wiki (some require registration or login).

So where did the webmasters go? They have mutated and forked into wiki admins, web developers (for dynamic content from databases), and so on. Yup, all the old webmasters beware: there's a war coming, WebMen - The Last Stand!

the cheap idiots took over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17797214)

They have been replaced by a bunch of cunts with a $TOPIC for Dummies book and some software collection CD from a cornflakes box. Those cunts now whine at their hosting company when they fucked up their webserver. Deserves them right. Stupid cunts.

I'm not dead, just sleeping (3, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797216)

I was a webmaster. The first thing I did was build a Content Management System so the people who were actually going to use the website could update it themselves. Once I'd added all the initial content, trained up the users and fixed some bugs there was nothing for me to do any longer so I went and did something else.

I'm sure this is a typical experience.

I did (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17797260)

Then I ate his website with a nice chiantti.
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