Web has evolved beyond masters

Over the years, management of web work has evolved away from what some once called a “web master.” Now, web responsibilities are really split among several roles.

  • There are web communicators, who handle the content.
  • There are web designers, who handle graphic design and sometimes the structure or navigation of the site.
  • There are web developers, who are not designers, but work closely with content people and designers to build or adapt software — like Drupal — to support the communications effort.
  • And finally, there are systems administrators who maintain the web servers on which sites exist.

Although the University of Oregon Office of Web Communications boasts talented content people, designers and developers, the team’s emphasis is on strategic communications. The office doesn’t provide  or maintain an application on an enterprise-wide level — for everybody. That role, called enterprise application support, traditionally falls into the realm of information technology.

In many IT departments on campus that application is Drupal. Web Communications can, once you secure development and hosting resources, help you with site design and strategic messaging.

With the added emphasis on the web, comes added complexity. And with it, the demise of the web master.