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Types of webmaster

Which are you?

     
10:31 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Webmaster is a catch-all term that covers many different sets of skills. A lot of us can do all of it, but very few people are actually good at everything.

  1. Designer: HTML and/or graphic design skills. I would argue on site SEO is part of this
  2. Back end developer: this one can be split further into coding, database design, etc.
  3. Front end developer: Javascript!
  4. SEO: off-site link building.
  5. Content creation: most commonly a writer, but you might be an editor, artist, photographer, video director....
  6. Community manager: the reason a forum or similar works
  7. Entrepreneur: organising other people to do all of the above, finding funding, etc.


Have I missed anything out?

MY strong point is writing, I am a competent (not great) back end developer, but struggle a bit with getting front ends done. I can cope with the rest. What about you?
11:12 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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8. all of the above
2:39 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Bill is definitely correct with adding #8.

I would also suggest that #1 be split up. Just because you have good/great graphic design skills doesn't mean you even know HTML. I know plenty of designers that are some of the best artists I ever met, and can bang out a phenomenal layout in Photoshop/Illustrator but wouldn't know an HTML tag if it hit them in the face. Granted, this scenario is most common when print designers come over to the web.

As for #3, I also know some great JavaScript people that suck at HTML. Sure, they "know" it, but it might only work in IE or it would take them 40 hours to fix it after they ran their code through a validator.
3:04 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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9. Data and economic analysis

Someone needs to examine the goals of the website owner and their relationship with the audience of the website.

I have not seen this discussed, but the web has turned into a money pit. I can spend all of your money and come back and ask for more. Easy.

At the same time, new technology can save serious money or provide better customer service--online meetings or videos can save serious money and offer a new channel, for example.
3:26 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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2. Back end developer: this one can be split further into coding, database design, etc.

My graphical skills would shame a 3 year old. Though I do like the "less is more" ideal..

Cheers,
MRb
3:29 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Have I missed anything out?

Yeah, a BIG one- 10. Monetizer: figuring out ways for the site to make money.
4:00 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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10. Monetizer: figuring out ways for the site to make money.
I would assume that would be under #7. But, yeah. At the same time, if everyone did this, we wouldn't have Twitter.
4:34 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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9. Data and economic analysis

Thats me
4:35 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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if everyone did this, we wouldn't have Twitter.

Heh.
But if everyone did this, I'd also lose my competitive advantage over a lot of sites in my niche! :)
5:35 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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11. Online marketer: using organic and paid search, product feeds, email, social media, banner ads, remarketing, and more to drive traffic to a site.
7:16 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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my main interests are:

1. database development and design
2. blocking unwanted bots and scrapers
3. researching and writing articles

like others here i fall into the do all these things category, however if i could i would split my time with these 3 topics only, they are certainly what i feel strongest in.
8:22 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Webmasters are the new renaissance men ;) That's why I love it. I'm a jack of all trades, I can do it all, just not a genius in either categories (master of none I guess). Biggest weakness is the business part, it doesn't come naturally.
2:32 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The kind who avidly dashes to the "Fetch as Googlebot" link to see what arcane information will be revealed... and then cries "I don't get it-- that's exactly what I do see, except that they've turned off Syntax Highlighting."

The kind who takes ages to figure out that DNSstuff is showing me their generic geographic-center-of-the-country map-- in this case, an area where the predominant wildlife outnumbers humans by at least one order of magnitude-- because that is exactly where my bona fide human visitors would come from. (I am not in e-commerce.)

The kind who dutifully includes {background-color: inherit;} purely to make The Validator happy, even though I know perfectly well this is one of the 99 out of 100 times when "inherit" means "do exactly what you would have done if I hadn't said anything".
5:01 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@koan, I find that trying to be a renaissance man sucks me into trying to do too much and failing to complete projects. It happened to Leonardo da Vinci too.

I like the term "full stack web developer"

@Matthew, "less is more" is my solution too.
9:56 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have at one time or another been all of the above but my true strength isn't listed.

I'm an opportunist and I've taken that stance in just about every aspect of my life.

This is about webmastering...

Back when I was a kid I was riding my bike by a job site one day and one of guys yelled at me, "Hey kid! where's the lemonade at?"

The next day, with help from my Mom, I had a lemonade stand set up right next to their gate. I cleaned up. It's hot out and these guys are working their asses off. They're rubbing my head and thanking me, all the while throwing coins at me and filling up their paper cups.

My philosophy on the web has been much the same. Try everything I can. I'm a master of nothing but I've found you don't have to be. Find something that works and stick with it, expand it, promote it. And don't back off until your "common sense meter" tells you otherwise.

And always keep your eyes open. You never know which direction the next one will be coming from.
12:10 pm on Apr 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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12 Administrator (that's the techie version of course.)

That's one of my weaker skills on the list but it still needs to be on the list.