For me, if somebody calls me a webmaster, I shudder a bit. I don’t like being called a webmaster.
Yes, I make a living through my websites. I design and build my own websites, and I manage them myself, keeping them up and running efficiently as best I can. And, truth be told, that is pretty much a description of a webmaster. But, I would argue pretty strenuously that I am not a webmaster and never have been.
I am much more than a webmaster
Yes, the reason why I don’t like being called a webmaster is that I am much more than that. Not only do I design and operate websites, I first come up with the concept for the site, operate the business side of the site and such.
To me, a webmaster is somebody who builds the site and may operate the site, but not somebody who really is involved in other aspects of the business. A webmaster is not a person who hires employees to handle marketing or comes up with advertising strategies. Let’s think about car racing, for example, Nascar. The “webmaster” equivalent of a Nascar team is the mechanic. He has a hand in building the car, keep the car at its peak, etc. He does not drive. He is not the guy who analyzes the track and works on strategy with the driver. He is not the promotional guy who goes out and gets sponsorships and advertising, the money that keeps the team going. The mechanic is not the guy who goes on TV a few days before the race to tell people about the coming race and raise viewership. No, the mechanic is an important part of the team, but there are so many other cogs in the wheels, and they all have to work together.
In the end, if the team wins a Nascar race, the people don’t rally around and cheer for the mechanic. They cheer for the driver mostly. They may cheer for the car owner or a few others, but the truth is that they don’t really even know the name of the mechanic in most cases.
Sometimes the mechanic can be the star, but rarely. For example, let’s say that Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins a Nascar race. If he gets up in front of the cameras and says:
I was so happy to win the race, but I could not have done it without my mechanic, James Smith! Halfway through the race we had a serious problem with the fuel injection, but James came up with a super solution that had never been used before! Thanks, James, this win is for you!
Well, after that statement, James Smith the mechanic is going to get some attention, maybe a few media interviews. But, 2 or 3 months down the road, if you ask a guy on the street about James Smith, he will look at you with a baffled look on his face, because he won’t remember who James Smith is. But, if you mention Dale Earnhardt Jr., well, even a non-Nascar fan will know that Dale is a race car driver.
So, I am not a webmaster, and certainly not a Nascar mechanic! No, I am a businessman. Part of my business is a website. But, my job is so much more than just building a website. Tons of people build websites. Kids can build websites, and many do, even pre-teen kids. But, the key to success with that website is how you promote it, how you build traffic, how you monetize that traffic. None of those things are things that a webmaster does. Those are things that a businessman does. It’s really no different than a successful retailer. He builds a brick and mortar store. He promotes the store. He figures out ways to bring foot traffic to his store. He figures out ways to make those store visitors spend money. You would never say that such a man is a janitor who keeps up the building. No, he is a businessman. An entrepreneur. Not a janitor. Nothing wrong with janitors or webmasters, but that businessman is not either.
That is why I am not a webmaster. What about you? Are you a webmaster or do you want to be one? Or, would you rather be an Internet Entrepreneur or an Internet Businessman? I’ve already chosen what I want to be. No, strike that. I have already chosen what I am. Have you?