I had a first-year teacher stop by my office yesterday, and he used the term "webmaster" to refer to some work he was doing. As I listened to him, I realized that I had also stated that I was the webmaster for the Greenville Chorale on my most recent resume that I sent to Fourth Presbyterian. I got to thinking about that term, and it occurred to me that it is dreadfully outdated.
The term "webmaster" harkens back to an age when static web information was funneled to one individual for coding in HTML then posting it. Soooo 1990’s. At least in the corporate world, one individual may be responsible for managing an overall site, or for putting together a design team, but rarely is a single individual responsible for doing it all. Content is now a collaborative effort, streaming from those that have content rather than being bottle-necked by an individual.
Even with websites where one individual is responsible for everthing, from design to coding to updating, I’m not sure that the term is applicable. The vast majority of these sites are hosted on someone else’s servers. I think the more appropriate terms would be "web designer", "web administrator", or "web manager".
Perhaps in the situation I find myself in it could be argued that I am a "webmaster." I directly controll at least four servers with web content, and I am responsible for making sure that the servers are running, and I have created the webspace and designed much of the content on those servers. Even so, I don’t like the term’s implications that all must flow through me. Perhaps "Webmaster" should be put out to pasture. At least, I’m going to make sure that I change it on my resume to reflect something more accurate and up-to-date.