Wallis, J. (2004), "Managing Your Internet and Intranet Services: The Information Professional's Guide to Strategy (2nd edition)", Library Review, Vol. 53 No. 7, pp. 379-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242530410552322
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Considering the pace at which technology continues to advance, those with strategic and managerial responsibility for the online delivery of information services need to be at least familiar with developments if they are to be in a position to guide such operations. The information professional's skills in content management and information retrieval can be vital contributions to the creation of Web sites where users can find what they are looking for. Information professionals at managerial level may not actually be coding HTML pages (although they may be) but they do have to have enough of a grasp on the principles, products and terminology involved in the process to allow them to make informed and competent decisions relating to the creation and delivery of electronic information.
Peter Griffiths, Assistant Director of the Communications Directorate at the UK Government Home Office, has produced a number of books for Facet Publishing, a few of which get plugs in this one. Griffiths aims his text at those making managerial decisions about the delivery of online information and, on this level, offers a great deal of useful advice. The strengths of the text are in its discussion of the presentation of the business case for a Web site, the legal issues that relate to online information (domain name registration, intellectual property, copyright, cybersquatting, acceptable use policies), the staffing issues surrounding the development of a Web team (getting the right skills mix, the use of incentives to acquire and retain appropriately technically skilled staff, outsourcing) and, both technology and content management.
It is in dealing with the issues surrounding content creation that the text is a little less sure; in relation to the actual creation of digital information, the relevant techniques and standards. Accessibility is crucial in developing Web sites, particularly in the UK where the relevant legislation (the Disability Discrimination Act) applies to public, educational and commercial online services. In most countries at least 10 per cent of the population is disabled (W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, 2003), a significant proportion of any target audience. Some mention of the legal requirements in this area might have been helpful for the reader. In his section entitled “Making your site accessible to all your users” (chapter 8) Griffith focuses on ways in which online access can be improved for users with visual impairments. However the concept of accessibility covers a broader spectrum of disabilities and technical barriers than this. The World Wide Web Consortium promotes an approach based on universal design using appropriate Web content standards.
The back cover promotes a companion Web site for the book. However the content on the site does not appear to have been updated for this second edition and is therefore three or four years out of date. Griffiths' advice on the currency of Web page content, “keep it fresh and keep them coming back”, would apply here.
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (2003), available at: www.w3.org/Talks/WAI‐Intro/slide7‐0.html (accessed 31 March 2004).