The editors’ network - a balance between guidelines and artistic freedom
The web editors at ITM lacked colleagues to discuss with and had varying knowledge of web publishing. Ulrika Georgsson, webmaster at the ITM School, started an editors’ network with the intention to change this.
A diverse mix of people gather over Zoom for a first meeting in April. With different colors, the participants are asked to describe their web knowledge: from white, via green to black belt in web editing. Some are doctoral students who are completely new to the field, but the majority have worked with the web for many years alongside other assignments. A few are full-fledged webmasters. All of them have one task in common – to administer web pages at the ITM School.
“It's one of the difficulties in coordinating the school's editors”, says Ulrika Georgsson. “The level of knowledge varies a lot – and so is the time they have for working with the web. Many editors are expected to manage the websites with their left hand and still produce professional content.”
The need for an editorial organization consisting of fewer users with higher competence had been on the agenda for a few years, but became extra clear when the departments' websites needed a redesign to fit into "One KTH". In addition, new legislation is approaching which puts higher demands on the editors' knowledge of accessibility. These were two strong reasons to start the network.
At the first session, accessibility is on the agenda. A guest from Metamatrix is there to present and the 20 or so editors gather at their computers. Among other things, they learn how to use images so that visually impaired can perceive them, and how to structure texts so that dyslexics get a better chance to read. After some questions and a short break, it is time to use the new knowledge practically.
“The workshop is important. During it, the group has the chance to discuss issues together and to work on their web pages while I and other editors are there to support. Most people work with the web sporadically, perhaps every few months, and of course forget some bits and pieces.”
“This first meeting obviously filled an unmet need”, says Ulrika. “At the next session in May, web layout will be discussed.”
“It will be an exciting get-together. Everyone has an opinion on what is nice or ugly. It is a constant balancing act between guidelines and artistic freedom.”