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Standing At a Crossroads

There has been more detailed information written about yesterday’s events, so it’s worth reading if you still care.  Personally, I thought Dave Shea’s summary was quite amusing.

I indicated yesterday that DevEdge would likely not be updated.  That’s because the standards evangelism team has been disbanded.  Two team members were among those let go, and the rest of us went to different places within AOL.  I’m really not sure what made the difference between those who were axed and those who were not. 

As much as I’m unhappy that we’ve come to this pass, I don’t regret for one second having taken the position of Standards Evangelist.  While it lasted, Netscape funded close to ten full-time and part-time positions whose job was to promote standards, not proprietary technology, and to spread that message as far and wide as possible.  They may well have been doing it for selfish reasons, but that hardly matters.  We were able to inform, educate, and proactively help a lot of sites get better cross-browser behavior by using standards.  In our own way, we helped make things better, and we made a difference.

So here’s to Bob Clary, Marcio Galli, Katsuhiko Momoi, Chris Nalls, Tristan Nitot, Arun Ranganathan, Doron Rosenberg, and Susie Wyshak.  We fought the good fight and created a lot of great material, including information about the redesign of DevEdge itself.

Moving forward, I have to decide what I will do: accept the position into which I was reassigned, turn down the reassignment and look for another position within AOL, or decide to take the severance package and leave AOL altogether.  This isn’t exactly an easy call, partly due to the economy, but also because the importance of standards to AOL is not, at present, clear to me.  Perhaps the message has sunk in and there will be a place for someone like me, and perhaps not.  I hope to find out which over the next week or so.  No matter what, I face some tough choices, but at least I have choices.  I can’t say the same about 50 former co-workers.

Meanwhile, DMX Zone just this morning (my time) published an interview with me, so those interested in such things can click away.  Love that Dark Jedi groove thang!  [insert lightsaber sound effects here]

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