I saw a couple interesting blog posts today. The first was Liz Strauss’ The W List: Gathering a List of Outstanding Women Bloggers. The second was a new tech blog I discovered on that list of women bloggers called Tech Kitten, which is a gently humorous, cat-themed tech blog. In various ways, these two blogs got me thinking about why I blog. It isn’t making me famous or getting me on any W lists or winning me any awards. So what am I doing here?
When I started out in 2001 with this blog, I reviewed books that might be used to teach basic web design classes. I’m still doing that and I still think it’s important to do. My point then, back in ’01, was that the books were terrible. There was nothing to help a teacher who wanted to get away from tables-based design or use web-standards and teach CSS.
The books are much better now. I know it was a natural evolution with everyone including Zeldman, the King of Web Standards and The Web Standards Project pushing for change. But I like to think my criticisms were heard and made a difference, too.
Writing this blog enabled me to write two books of my own about how web design should be taught. When the first one came out, in 2004, it took the innovative approach that HTML and CSS should be taught together from the start, that CSS layouts should be taught instead of tables-based layouts, and that standards and accessibility should be the underpinnings of the curriculum. Now many books take that approach. Many very good books. The second of my books takes the same approach and carries the subject matter to more advanced levels. I have made no secret of the fact that I evaluate every book I review on the basis of whether or not it measures up to the innovative and integrated approach using standards and accessibility that I promote. If a book I review would work as a teaching text according to my criteria, I recommend it. To me, it isn’t about whether or not I can sell more copies of my own book. It’s about whether or not teachers can find a great book to teach web design with.
I met a very bright woman named Nelly Yusupova at the recent BlogHer conference, who told me that I could sell a lot more books if I just packaged and branded them differently. Her ideas were excellent, but I haven’t done anything about them. Not because I don’t want to sell more books. But because that’s not why I’m blogging here.
I started blogging because I wanted to make a difference, add to change. I think I have. And I want to keep on doing that. That’s why I blog.