Webmaster & Other Flora & Fauna
The depth and breath of the internet landscape is enormous. The roles and tasks needed to interact within it, discrete, specific. For those who know all this, the following is redundant, but fun. For those who don't, welcome to the jungle. The following are a few flora and fauna you will find there. Just keep this handy if you need to interact with the natives.
A Webmaster is the Queen/King of the jungle and can do everything. Code, Database management, Design websites/software/apps/social media, Hardware, Security. Or they can Manage others who do all of the same. The whole ball of wax. They have overview, breath and depth. When they are great, you never hear them roar, you just take your 24/7/365 life of a machine world manifestation completely for granted. People fall into different areas of knowledge and expertise. Here are some of the species you may find.
- Coders: using machine language they like to build and map. They are the brick-makers and architects of the internet. The bricks they use are language. Machine language. They love detail, which can create worlds. They love maps which can expand worlds. They know what it actually takes to make something on the internet. Be kind to them. Don’t force them to build a cathedral to the immortals one day, because you had a wild hare, when all you really wanted was a local pub to show off your saxaphone playing. Think of the makers of the Silk Road. It brought ideas, services, culture and change where ever it went. It went to the capitals but also small hamlets. To make the road you needed lots of people. Every coder in the world is making these roads. They have to be practical and goal oriented to learn the language. But if they are a virtuoso they can make the map sing. The best can make almost anything happen anywhere. Hopefully. Or have associates who will. Just like the Persian Way became the road of Alexander, became the road to China, became the road to the West. A lot of brick making, (machine language); a lot of roads, (maps of the machine world).
- Data base managers: these people like to collect, communicate and manipulate all the names, emails, addresses and contact info and put it into a useful order, so it becomes a mailing list for sending out…what ever you want. And a feedback list when people opt in with their emails for…what ever you want. They should always be making your list more exact, verifying who is opting in, or buying, or taking an interest. You didn’t know women 35 to 50 in Iceland like your blog, or men with beards, under 21 and over 60 in Australia, buy on page 2 of your site immediately? Well, now you do. I remember how exciting it was to receive product orders from every continent but Antartica. Give me time. I’m still working on way way down under. Paraphrasing Frued’s most ridiculous question, “just what does a penquin want”? Or, what would make a sleepy researcher hanging out at the bottom, top, side of the world, you know…there, opt in with an email?
- Designers/Software/Apps/Social Media: these people like to create worlds using relationship. Not just a visual fields that are beautiful, but a structure that creates interaction. They demonstrate your “identity” or your “brand” in marketing lingo. They create your relationships to your group or market, using design. They also create or update all sorts of interesting and valuable options using web-designs/software/apps/social media, as internet exchanges. These people need the freedom to create and the limitation of the goals you have. Good people in this field will help you define your goals. So you know what you are getting, instead of just leaping on the bandwagon of what everyone else is doing. A local coffee shop and an international bank, may both have the same number of web pages, social links and apps associated with it, but completely different goals, clientele and relationships. They help you clarify your difference, and express it using words, pictures, media. Maybe you only want to use one social media and nothing else. Great. Trying everything out just to get the hang of it. Ok. No problem but do you really need to be like anyone else? What feels natural to you as soon as you see it? Start by using that, then explore more.
- Hardware: These people are micro-mechanics using their heads and hands. They make machines. They also make sure your machine is actually working. They have computers, to read computers, to diagnose what is happening. In the best of all possible worlds they also design hardware usually based on seeing an actual need. Look at all of the machine doodads that attach to your computer or smartphone. Thank a hardware person. They made that thing up, because they spilled coffee on their laptop one day, so now we have an underwater designer keyboard which can also be run by dolphins. They like actual things you can see and touch, which can do “what ever you want”. The very best of them tinker for hours or years to perfect something. Sometimes what they design will not make sense to everyone. There was a man who did not invest in Xerox because he could not imagine why anyone would ever need a copy of anything. Never underestimate the hardware nerd. Their minds live in the future, but they like to get their hands, not dirty… “machiney”. A new word I just made up meaning: thought materialized as a machine. Ok.
- Security: these people are the cutting edge watchdogs of a worldwide landscape that is changing every single day. They like to outthink the bad guys. They have to understand all the above jobs simultaneously. At their best, they are the defenders of freedom and safety. To be an expert though, they have to think like a criminal to get there first, before the bad guy does. Sometimes they start out as the very people they are now defending us all from. They think like a double agent. They spend time “cleaning” the system. Sometimes they create shields against all out attack. In the future they may need to use all of the above to create something we don’t even know about yet. They always want to know the worst case scenario, but are paid to create the best case scenario. They are proactive, not just reactive. If you want to know where your next movie/tv scenario is coming from, look here. The rest of the people are considered decoration, crazy artist types, or inscrutable nerds by dramatists. Even though they’re so much more.
Take a Webmaster(S) or one of these people out to lunch, even if they are half way across the world. When things go wrong, thank them for all the times things went right. Then you will understand their world. Remember they do all this, while every day 4.57(when I first wrote this,) now 5 billion people use the internet every day; as every second eight new people join the jungle.
And they do this most of the time without even roaring.