Dave Taylor: In the beginning was HTML, and while it was rather ugly, it was good overall. It allowed anyone with a modicum of skill to create Web sites, producing both good content and attractive presentation of that content. Toss in a few <A HREF> links and you could even weave pages together into a comprehensive site.
The problem was that it was darn tedious, and to this day, it’s still fairly tedious to create Web sites, to take the skeleton or template of a page and customize it for a specific page of content, to update the navigational subsystem to ensure that the new page is known, and to maintain now-necessary features like a sitemap.
It’s no surprise that more and more sophisticated tools appeared on the scene, starting with FrontPage and self-referential Web-based Web page editors (think homepage builders) and evolving into the powerful Dreamweaver and GoLive expensive commercial solutions for managing Web content.
These tools allow you to create beautiful sites with compelling content, but they don’t allow neophytes or non-technical people to maintain content or add new content. And so even with these sophisticated tools, most Web sites are static creations, and most companies view their Web sites as digital brochures. Sure, it might be more sophisticated with a Flash navigational system, or might feature a discussion board or other community involvement element, but it’s very rare for a traditional Web site to be updated more frequently than once every month or two.
And if I had a dollar for each person who told me that he doesn’t update his Web site because he has to send his requests to a Webmaster, who then queues it up for weeks or months before actually making the change, I’d be a wealthy writer!
In parallel to the development of Web technologies and tools…..