What's in a name – Web mastery?

In a thread at Cre8asite entitled, “How well do companies do web marketing?“, DianeV took me to task for creating the word “webmastering“. She was quite right. It isn’t in the dictionary, although you may be able to guess what meaning was intended if I substitute the phrase “Web mastery“. Clearly it’s the ability to use the Web (Internet) to achieve your goals.

Of course one of the most celebrated Forums on the web is the Webmaster World Forum. So is this skill practiced only by the type of people who visit such a Forum? I think not. The Internet is now the principal method of communication for a good slice of business activity. So, many people should be ‘Web masters’. It’s not just that guy in IT who looks after the website. It’s intriguing how that Cre8asite thread has developed. It today is in a discussion about why more marketing people don’t get involved in Web marketing.

Certainly marketing people need to be involved, but I think there is a much wider and more important group of people who need to be involved. I’ll take the population of business people involved in Manufacturing and Wholesale Products in the Province of Quebec in Canada as an example. Luckily there is an excellent database of such companies maintained by iCRIQ, an agency of the Quebec Government. Here’s a profile of the companies involved with respect to size.

Number of Companies

Note that only 6% of companies have more than 100 employees. Presumably most of these companies are large enough to have marketing departments. 22% have between 21 and 100 employees. Perhaps say a quarter of these might have a marketing department. 72% of companies have 20 or less employees. Summarising, probably 7 out of 8 companies do not have a marketing department.

For these 7 out of 8 companies, it falls to the owner or a partner to be the masters of the Web. That’s the new reality and the new challenge. Interestingly the various Forums involved in Usability, SEM Web Design and related fields quite often get highly technical. However the biggest group needing help to become effective Web masters are all these company owners and senior managers.

Related: Webmaster, an obsolete concept

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