TITLE: "Either Take Control, or Cede it to the Software" AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 12, 2013 3:08 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Mandy Brown tells editors and "content creators" to take control of their work:
It's time content people of all stripes recognized the WYSIWYG editor for what it really is: not a convenient shortcut, but a dangerous obstacle placed between you and the actual content. Because content on the web is going to be marked up one way or another: you either take control of it or you cede it to the software, but you can't avoid it. WYSIWYG editors are fine for amateurs, but if you are an editor, or copywriter, or journalist, or any number of the kinds of people who work with content on the web, you cannot afford to be an amateur.
Pros can sling a little code, too. Brown's essay reminded me of a blog entry I was discussing with a colleague recently, Andrew Hayes's Why Learn Syntax? Hayes tells statisticians that they, too, should take control of their data, by learning the scripting language of the statistical packages they use. Code is a record of an analysis, which allows it to be re-run and shared with others. Learning to write code also hones one's analytical skills and opens the door to features not available through the GUI. These articles speak to two very different audiences, but the message is the same. Don't just be a user of someone else's tools and be limited to their vision. Learn to write a little code and take back the power to create. -----