As mentioned earlier, I run the Web Standards Meetup London and really get a kick out of talking the semantics of web-page creation with the excellent people who come to these meetings. I like combining the ease of a digital meet-space like meetup or facebook or LinkedIn with the pleasure of actively listening or truly interacting with real people in meat-space. Some people might find it too geeky, but for me it’s a perfect example of what makes the internet so interesting, the people involved.
Last night for example, we had an hour long conversation about the relative merits of where and what you put in the h1 tag for particular pages in a site. I have seen (OK, read!) some very passionate but polite discussions in mailing lists and the like about issues like these and, personally, it is important to you and your granny that some people ARE passionate about these questions.
Imagine if the people who were responsible for maintaining their websites were not passionate about the lowly h1 tag, and, by extension, all the other tags involved in creating pages. Actually you don’t have to imagine, as it happens all too often and this lack of passion is the reason that visitors have trouble on their site. Badly formatted code or non semantically structured sites can decrease findability, reduce availability in web searching, and break the appearance of the site for people who use assistive technologies, like blind people with screen readers.
So, thankfully, there are some of us who care, and our clients and friends benefit from it. drop me a line if you want to hear more about it.