Help us build a web industry body for you

I’ve been a bit remiss in my policy blogging lately. This tends to happen when you’ve been pushing a rock up a hill for years and one day, out of nowhere, a team of great people join you to get it over the top.

In February I spoke at a Highland Fling session (see my rough speaking notes) about professionalism within the web industry, and all of the social, technical, legal, and political issues that are making that step ever more necessary. Three of the attendees there – Orde Saunders, Alan White, and Charlie Wood – committed to taking that discussion forward.

We’ve been in regular contact since then and have been holding weekly meetings for a few weeks now where we are doing the work to take an industry body forward.

In the interest of transparency, we have made all of our meeting minutes public. We also started a Slack channel which is open to everyone. We have a rough holding web site and we’re on Twitter.

There’s boring background stuff too – getting a lawyer to check over our draft constitution, looking into the requirements for setting up an organisational bank account, etc – that we are happily taking care of. Volunteers are pitching in on branding and the code of conduct too. We want to get that stuff out of the way so we can focus on the real matters at hand.

Let’s be clear: this is not our show, and we are not making jobs for ourselves. We are getting the ball rolling. What this organisation will aspire to, and achieve, is up to you. In fact, we are setting up this idea on a distributed model inspired by the WordPress community. We give you the guidelines, the toolkit, and the central support, and you start your own local community.

So how do you help us to make that happen?

We would love for you to come to our launch event on 11 May at Fanduel HQ on the Quartermile in Edinburgh. It’s free and open to all but please RSVP for headcount purposes. We’re going to talk about what we’ve been up to, and then ask you what you would like to contribute, what you need us to do, and where you see us going.

We are looking into live streaming arrangements for those who can’t make it. No promises, but we’re doing our best.

If you can’t make it, hop into our Slack channel and have your say.

We are also willing to travel around the UK to talk about this idea, provided that our travel, hotel, and libations are covered.

In the meantime I’m going to be adding some policy content to the holding page, so do bookmark it.

Thanks to all who have expressed interest and supported us so far. This is our chance to really make a difference to our profession. Let’s do it.

About the author

Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. She researches, writes, publishes, consults, and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies which affect the crafts of web design and development. She has been designing and developing web sites since 1997 and has been a professional web site designer since 2007. She holds a postgraduate certification in internet law and policy from the University of Strathclyde. Learn about hiring Heather to write, speak, or consult.