Discussion Group 6: Trials and Tribulations of a Web Editor

Jeremy Speller and Damon Querry facilitated a discussion group on “Trials and Tribulations of a Web Editor” at the IWMW 1997 event.

This discussion group was chaired by Damon Querry, University of Newcastle. The reporter was Jeremy Speller, UCL. Fourteen participants attended this discussion group.

What is a web editor? There were many different definitions from participants. Only 3 people involved fulltime with web. Most do it in their spare time. This is a (senior) management problem: “the web is a waste of time” The web needs to be treated as integral part of the institution information service.


  • Need national briefing session for the CVCP – on current state of the web in UK HE. Carefully pitched – don’t mention “caching”, mention money!
  • Web editors also act as trainers. Need to raise profile of training. Need training for the trainer.
  • Need nationally recommended tools (see Web Tools group).
  • Most Mailbase lists are too technical. Use of website-info-mgt list should be encouraged.
  • Web editors have problems in getting material for use on the web. They need to collaborate with a wide range of groups throughout their institute.
  • Web editors make lots of assumptions about websites – but shouldn’t we be speaking to the users (e.g. departments).
  • Legal, copyright issues. are important. CWIS editors might not have expertise to formulate a copyright statement. Should Web Editors receive training in legal issues?
  • Design. In contrast to the Design Discussion Group, it was pointed out that bland design makes it easier to get information on the web.

The following URLs were provided as useful sources of further information

  • http://www.man.ac.uk/MVC/SIMA/Isaacs/title.html Guide to Good Practices For WWW Authors, Margaret Isaacs, Glasgow University, Department of Computing Science, February 1996
  • http://www.man.ac.uk/MVC/SIMA/legal/title.html A Comprehensive Survey Of The Legal Issues Relating To The Development And Use Of World Wide Web Technology At Educational Sites, Andrew Charlesworth, Information Law And Technology Unit, University Of Hull Law School, June 1996
  • A full list of SIMA reports is available at http://www.man.ac.uk/MVC/SIMA/simapj.html
  • “How to Set Up and Maintain a Web Site”, Lincoln D. Stein, 1997, 0-201-63462-7, US$39.76