So I am learning the joys of being a Webmonarch. Google has no definition for this term, though I know I’ve heard it somewhere. Mebmonarch is my non-gendered or gender-neutral term for being what used to be called a webmaster or webmistress. The trouble with finding non-gendered terms is that they can’t be too different from the gendered terms (anyone ever tried to use some invented pronouns? Co, Ey, E, Sie, Xe, Ve, Ze, Tey…Thon) or they will not easily slip into common usage.
I don’t really like gendered terms (I’m a Sensei in karate. I’m a singer and an actor. I see no need for gender specification). I think they give away too much information which is not needed. Why should it matter that I am a girl when all anyone (in this context) needs to know is that I design and maintain webpages? It seems a waste of information.
Maybe some webmistresses take that term as a symbol of uniqueness and pride, which is perfectly reasonable. But in my geeky school no one really needs to associate my gender with my technical skills.
And the other neat thing is–isn’t monarch an even better term that “mistress” and “master”? In this Web 2.0 world, the content on my website is much more analogous to a series of relatively autonomous fiefdoms and relationships than to obedient slaves. I have YouTube embedded links (I have a treaty with a neighboring kingdom), I have connections to pages who send me readers and who I send readers (trade relations with a nearby fiefdom) and I have a court of websites I use as advisers (wikipedia is my library, google is my traveling gossip and gmail is my messenger). In contrast, a master in Ancient Rome had absolute dominion over every aspect of his holdings–outside of Rome, he would eat the crops grown on his land, tell slaves who to marry and build every aspect of his house to his liking within few parameters. This kind of thinking is very last century because it is so proprietary–who today could make a webpage that is totally self-contained? Could a webpage ever be self-contained? There were always WebRings and other forms of information sharing–it’s sort of what the Internet has optimized for.
So maybe webmonarch has always been the right term and it just took us a while to find it. Here’s hoping for adoption!
Anyhoo, off to practice being a singer(ess?)
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. – Walter Bagehot