Somebody asked me recently: when asked about my job, I tend to say I "do the web". And what does that mean?
Well, the web is lots of things. There’s the act of surfing around it and finding funny stuff and cool videos. I do that. And there’s using it for social networking and jobfinding. I do that. And there’s using it for communicating with friends and strangers, via blogs and comments on other blogs. I do that. And there’s using it as a research tool, for learning about trivia and self-training in your job. And I do that too. There’s also the act of creating it: not just writing a blog, but writing blog software, writing content management systems, e-commerce websites, neat little web-based tools that let people get their jobs or their life done easier and faster. I like doing that part a lot. And finally there’s the theory of the web: its current form and technical architecture, the technologies that make it up and how they fit together and how to use them to meet the future needs of the ever-changing web. And that bit consumes me utterly, though I’ve yet to produce anything really tangible around it, tending to get stuck in the everyday mess of implementation.
So it’s easiest to just say I “do the web”. It’s sort of my whole life, but I like it so much that that doesn’t even seem sad to me anymore.