SXSWi: How to Convince Your Company to Embrace Web Standards

This is a panel of folks from AOL and Time, Inc. (except Kimberly Blessing) This always surprises people because AOL has adopted standards. The panelist are Kimberly Blessing, are Kevin Lawver, Steve Chipman, Alla Gringaus, Arun Ranganathan.

Kevin said that often the people trying to bring change from a large organization feel like pirates who are operating in rebellion. He said that finding a manager to support your efforts and keeping things positive rather than negatively is important.

Arun explained how AOL worked with people like banks and Firefox and other outside groups to help spread the message about standards. He said that the job is not finished yet, and he continues to work on W3C initiatives and AOL’s operation on all browsers.

Kimberly worked previously with AOL on the ecommerce segment. She quickly realized that using standards to create templates for the site would help make the site useable to everyone. Changes were made in small increments. Later she began a training program because it was so hard to find people who were trained in using standards. She brought industry experts in to do training.

Alla advises finding out what matters to your target. Listen to people and only talk to them about the parts of the process that don’t pertain to their particular goals. She mentioned a site they just launched called Office Pirates.

Steve talked about helping introduce people to the standards community and connecting them with the blogs to read. It also helps to give people examples of how sites built with standards compare with sites that don’t in terms of bandwidth, accessibility and appearance.

Leave a Reply