A Blog Not Limited

to web design, standards & semantics

Returning to My Editing Roots

Oct 25, 2012

Published in

Web Standards Sherpa

I've been an editor longer than anything else I've done in my entire career. It began when I was 15 and was appointed a Section Editor of my high school yearbook. That year, I fell in love with writing and developed a passion for helping other writers communicate. I also discovered I was pretty good at organization, deadlines and details.

The following year, I became Editor–in–Chief of that high school yearbook and helped the publication earn a coveted, highly-competitive Silver Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (I'm still ridiculously proud of that). I continued with my newly-discovered passion in college, also serving as yearbook Editor–in–Chief during my Freshman year.

Once graduated, I took a job as a news writer and was promoted to editor soon after. Then I discovered how to write HTML and CSS, and a new passion took my focus.

But writing and editing have always been a part of my days. Having opportunities to write about HTML, CSS and other web topics is the perfect marriage of my two passions. And I'm thrilled to be able to take it to a new level as Managing Editor of Web Standards Sherpa!

A Bit About Sherpa

Web Standards Sherpa launched in early 2011, providing reviews of reader-submitted sites. Sherpa authors offer feedback, advice and best practices to help our readers tackle their site challenges, from content to accessibility to design to pretty much anything web-related.

Earlier this year, publication slowed on Sherpa due to organizational changes, as Editor–in–Chief Steph Troeth (probably one of the best editors I've worked with as a writer) stepped down to focus on other opportunities.

When Steph left, I threw my hat in the ring to move from Sherpa author into an editorial role. I was no longer actively managing Webuquerque, and I wanted to explore new ways of contributing to the community. Also, as a writer, I felt I had a unique perspective that (at least in my experience) few editors have: understanding the sometimes-challenging process of writing; that it isn't just about deadlines, but ensuring writers have the support and critical feedback necessary to write well and maybe even enjoy writing.

A month or so later, I got the job. And since then, I've been working with the Sherpa editorial team to begin publishing again.

My Role

As Managing Editor, my job is diverse. I work with the Sherpa editorial staff to make sure they have what they need to do their jobs. I work with Sherpa authors to pair them with site reviews and topics. I edit articles to ensure they are not only stylistically and grammatically correct, but are also in keeping with the Sherpa voice and mission.

But that's just the job description. As Managing Editor, I get to work with a great editorial staff and authors who have been my web heroes since I wrote my first <h1>Hello World!</h1>. I get to read and learn about techniques, best practices and real world challenges. And, most of all, I get a chance to be the kind of editor I always wanted to work with as a writer.

Changes at Sherpa

Aside from my new role at Sherpa, we are also making a few other changes. While we will remain a review site, we are expanding beyond strictly reader-submitted site reviews to educational articles that will help our readers learn best practices and meet real-world challenges. Our goal is to have a healthy mix of reviews and educational articles, but all of our content will continue to provide information that helps our readers improve their work.

We also launched the Ask the Sherpas program on our Facebook page to address the emails (and Tweets and Facebook comments) we get from readers that aren't requests for site reviews, but questions about the challenges they face.

Feed Shirley: Submit a site for review

Get Involved with Sherpa!

Like any publication, Sherpa's success depends on our readers and whether we can meet their needs. So let us know how we can help and what you want!

Content Coming Soon!

While the process has been (necessarily) slow, Sherpa is gearing back up for publication as I write this! We have four authors currently working on articles/reviews for the site, and we are already producing content for Ask the Sherpas.

Stay tuned! Great content is coming your way!

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The Coolest Person I Know

Emily Lewis

Yeah, that would be me: .

I'm a freelance web designer of the standardista variety, which means I get excited about things like valid POSH, microformats and accessibility. I ply my trade from my one-person design studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 USA.

A Blog Not Limited is my personal blog where I pontificate about web design, web standards, semantics and whatever else strikes my fancy. Head on over to Emily Lewis Design if you'd like to see my work or, even better, hire me.


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