Every couple of days it seems like I run across one of those stupid "i work on the web" thingies. This trend may not have begun with the Webtamer, but that's where I first saw it. Not content with obsessively posting his own photo online every day, he encourages many others to post photos of themselves online and say "I Work on the Web!" I guess this is supposed to inspire all of us unhip librarians to think that hey we're really cool because we don't work in libraries anymore. No, dammit, we work on the Web! We're cool! We're supposed to see this, I suppose, and go IWOW! This seems to be another attempt to fight the stereotypes. I choose to embrace the stereotypes.
I'm not cool. I don't work on the Web. I work in a library. Sometimes I work in my apartment. Occasionally I've been known to work at the little coffeehouse down the street, the one that doesn't have wifi. More than once I've worked on a train. The Web is a tool. I don't work on a tool. I use tools.
I mean really, what are we supposed to get out of this mini-movement? Let's think about this for a moment. What might it mean to "work on the web"? What it means in practice is that you sit and stare at a computer screen all day, occasionally moving the mouse or fingering your touchpad, occasionally typing a few keys. That's all it means. Is this supposed to impress anyone? From the outside, your work is indistinguishable from that of a data entry clerk.
But naturally I'd like to add my perspective to this movement. We're supposed to post pictures of this, right? So here's you "working on the web":
Me, I work in a library.