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[The HTML Writers Guild -

HTML Writers Guild Member Newsletter
April 1998

Volume 4 Number 4

Table of Contents:

  1. April is Accessibility Month
  2. AGI Project: Updating Your Site for Universal Accessibility
  3. T-Shirts Are Here!
  4. Introducing the Requests For Proposals Program
  5. Upgrade Your Membership Today
  6. Governing Board and Officer Updates
  7. Volunteer Opportunities in the Guild
  8. New List: HWG-Announce
  9. Frequently Asked Questions about the HWG-News Newsletter

1. April is Accessibility Month

(Kynn Bartlett, Governing Board Member, site contacts)

The entire month of April, 1998, has been designated "Accessibility Month" at the HTML Writers Guild. The purpose of this special month-long event is to highlight the value and importance of designing all web sites with complete accessibility in mind -- meaning, the pages you write should be equally useable in the latest versions of major browsers as in a voice-reader for the blind, or anyone else with a non-"standard" means of accessing the web.

One primary focus of Accessibility Month at the HWG will be on the World Wide Web Consortium's guidelines for page authors, developed by the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). This set of recommendations provides web designers with valuable rules to keep in mind when designing a page with accessibility in mind. The WAI guidelines can be found at:


Throughout the month of April, we'll be planning special events and projects tying into the Accessibility theme, including:

  • Announcement of the special month-long focus on accessibility on the Guild's monthly newsletter, and the HWG homepage
  • Interactive member chats on accessibility-related topics, with recognized authorities in the field as guest speakers and panelists (schedule to be announced soon)
  • A complete retrofitting of the Guild's web site to ensure that the HWG complies with recognized accessibility standards
  • The creation of a special Accessibility Guidelines Implementation project, as members of the Guild tackle the issue head-on while crafting accessible web sites (more details below)

The overall goal of Accessibility Month is to create a greater awareness, both within and outside of the Guild, of the need for and importance of accessibility considerations in web design. Questions regarding Accessibility Month can be directed to Kynn Bartlett, site contacts.

2. AGI Project: Updating Your Site for Universal Accessibility

(Kynn Bartlett & Fred Barnett, AGI Project Contacts, agi-contact@hwg.org)

The Accessibility Guidelines Implementation (AGI) project is designed as a way of "beta testing" -- in actual use on the "front lines" of web design -- the WAI page author recommendations from the W3C.

Any member of the HTML Writers Guild is welcome to participate in the AGI project, by signing up via email to agi-contact@hwg.org and stating a desire to implement the page author guidelines on a new or existing web site.

Web sites that take place in the AGI project will be linked to from the HWG's web site, as examples of effective web design that account for accessibility concerns.

Participants in the project will be assisted in developing a comprehensive plan for designing a new site, or retrofitting an existing one, with universal accessibility as a goal. Each AGI participant will complete several short questionnaires about the W3C's accessibility guidelines at various phases in the project, giving valuable feedback on the recommendations. Site critiques will also be available to AGI project members.

Complete details on the AGI project can be found on the Guild's website at:


3. T-Shirts Are Here!

(Ann Navarro, Treasurer, site contacts)

You've asked for 'em -- we've got 'em: official Guild t-shirts! Display your Guild colors with these distinctive tees printed in full color on high-quality white cotton. Each t-shirt features the world-famous HTML Writers Guild logo on the front; you, too, can look like a web page!

These shirts debuted at Spring Internet World '98 in Los Angeles and were a big hit; now we're making them available as fundraiser for only $24 (shipping and handling included) within the U.S. or Canada, $28 overseas. Available in XL and XXL sizes.

A copy of the order form is available at:


4. Introducing the Requests for Proposals Program

(Matthew Wickline, RFP Manager, matthew.wickline@usa.net)

The Guild's Jobs and Contracts Area is pleased to introduce the first of four new services. The RFP Service is proudly dedicated to the memory of J. Coquette Owen:


The Jobs and Contracts Area extends the Guild's tradition of providing means for members to help other members:


Companies or individuals who need ideas translated into results or members who wish to sub-contract portions of larger projects may post Requests for Proposals (RFPs) through a web-based interface. These RFPs will be distributed through e-mail to interested parties and entered into a database of RFPs searchable via the web.

For more information, please review the RFP Service's extensive documentation and user-support pages. In these pages we have attempted to anticipate your needs, but should we have over-looked anything, or if you wish to share a note of appreciation, you may contact us at:


The documentation and user-support pages are linked from:


Posting an RFP can be done by all membership levels. If you are not a Plus or Value member, use the 'Guest Login' feature to post your RFP. Viewing and responding to RFPs can only be done by Plus and Associate members of the Guild.

If you could benefit from this service, or are currently benefiting from other Guild Services, I encourage you to show your financial support for the Guild's mission by becoming a paid member. (See article 5, below.)

Like other Guild services, this service is operated by an entirely volunteer staff, and was developed entirely by volunteers. If you would like to join the Jobs and Contracts Area, we are currently seeking volunteers in two areas. For more information, please see


For additional volunteering opportunities, please see


I would like to thank the many volunteers who put in long hours of hard work to make this Service possible, and those who continue to dedicate time and energy to keep the RFP Service a reality. Thanks so much everyone! Keep up the great work! :) I'd also like to thank all of our loved ones for putting up with those long hours!

5. Upgrade Your Membership Today

(Kynn Bartlett, Governing Board Member, site contacts)

The Guild provides three levels of membership -- Basic, Value, and Plus. Basic membership is free, Value is $20 (U.S.) per year, and Plus dues are $35 (U.S.) annually. With your Basic membership, you get access to a number of Guild resources and services, including our popular logo program to identify yourself as a member of the Guild, and the content-rich discussion mailings we offer.

So why would you want to upgrade your membership and become a dues- paying member of the Guild? One simple reason stands out above the rest -- because you want to show your support for the Guild and your gratitude for the things you've learned, or will learn. Joining the Guild as a Value or Plus member lets you make a contribution to operation of the HTML Writers Guild -- and your dues are tax deductible as a non-profit donation. (Check with your tax authority for details.)

Becoming a paid member is a great way to recognize the value in the Guild, and help us to expand our activities and projects. A book on HTML can cost between $20 and $35 -- have you gotten that much value from the Guild yet? (If not -- try some of our FAQs and resources links on the website, or join a mailing list or three!)

As an added bonus of paying dues, Value and Plus members are given access to additional Guild projects -- including the Mentor/Apprentice program at the Value (or higher) level. The RFP program and Plus lists are only open to Guild members at the Plus level.

If you would like to become a paid member of the Guild, it's simple, and you can pay online via a secure transaction; use the following URL to edit the details of your membership:

Support the Guild -- become a Plus or Value member today!

6. Governing Board and Officer Updates

(Joe Cline, President, site contacts)

The Governing Board currently consists of:

We are looking to fill several vacant positions on the Board. If you are interested, please send a note to gb-search@hwg.org that includes your resume (text version please, no attachments) and a vision statement of how you see the Guild and your role within it.

Board members should have the following qualities:

  • Familiarity with the way the Guild is managed
  • Member of the HWG for at least one year
  • Any of the following desired types of experience:
    • Business/Corporate
    • Marketing/Public Relations
    • Non-profit Organizations
    • Virtual (Internet) Organizations

As part of the Board, you will be expected to:

  • Serve a term of up to three years on the Governing Board
  • Invest a minimum of 10 hours per week in Board-related activities, and possibly more if asked to serve as an officer on the Executive Committee
  • Contribute to setting the direction of the Guild through participation on the Governing Board's private discussion list, and effectively articulate your vision for the HWG
  • Reach decisions based on the best interests of the HWG Inc. corporation as a whole, in cooperation with other members of the Board
  • Be willing to travel (if necessary) on behalf of the Guild

Being on the Governing Board is a major responsibility and commitment, but it can also be very rewarding to shape the future of this organization. If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to gb-search@hwg.org.

7. Volunteer Opportunities in the Guild

The Guild is entirely volunteer-run; as such, that means there are many opportunities for active members to become involved and help contribute back some of what you may have gained from your Guild membership! Volunteering with the Guild is also a great way to gain valuable experience, learn new skills, and make friends.

Some of the open positions with the Guild include:

POSITION: List Guides (Contact: Recruiting Committee, lg-recruiting@hwg.org)

This job entails reading the assigned mailing list, participating as a list member, keeping an eye out for netiquette and rule violations, and assisting on the list and in private wherever possible. This job is worked in shifts, averaging 2 "shifts" per week, so connection to the net 2 days per week is a must. This position will require approximately 7-10 hours per week, and will require undergoing a short training period. In addition to having experience in the area of your list choice, applicants should be flame-resistant and have good judgment and understanding of the netiquette guidelines. Note that a suspension from the lists in the last 3 months disqualifies you from this position. A good history of helpful posts to the lists is a plus.

An introduction to the program and what we do can be found at:


Information for applying (information required by the recruiting committee, items considered in evaluating applications, etc.) can be found at:


POSITION: List Owner (Contact: Aaron Choate, List Owner Manager, site contacts)

This job entails reading the list-owner email for the assigned mailing list, removing problem email addresses, and helping members subscribe and remove themselves from hwg lists. This position will require approximately 7-10 hours per week (actual time commitment will vary with the number of addresses subscribed to the list and the mail load for that list), and will include training in basic majordomo list maintenance if necessary. This position requires that you check your email daily and for the more active lists will require that you can handle large amounts of email. Experience with filters and internet email is suggested.

POSITION: Bookstore Manager (Contact: Ann Navarro, Treasurer, site contacts)

The Guild is seeking a volunteer to manage our future online Guild bookstore. This position currently reports to the Treasurer but may be subject to later reassignment under Business Services.

Will participate in:

  • Locating books appropriate for a high-quality web-related online bookstore
  • Convert article-length reviews of books into appropriate store HTML format
  • Creation and maintenance of a distinctive and attractive graphical style for the HWG bookstore website
  • Assist with special events (author interviews, feature of the month projects, etc)
  • Production and review of retailer affiliate statements
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills required:

  • Familiarity with spreadsheets and other business software
  • Well-organized and reliable with steady net access
  • Must be able to produce valid 4.0 (transitional) HTML
  • Familiarity with accessibility issues
  • 5-10 hours per week of time.

Interested? Volunteer by writing to site contacts, and include a text resume. (No attachments please.)

8. New List: HWG-Announce

(Kynn Bartlett, Governing Board Member, site contacts)

The Guild has created a new one-way mailing list, HWG-Announce, for distribution of official HWG announcements and notices. Unlike the HWG-News mailing list, HWG-Announce is optional, and open to anyone with an interest in the day-to-day business of the Guild. Starting with the next issue of HWG-News, the newsletter will no longer carry most requests for volunteers, as these will be posted to the HWG-Announce list instead.

Pending motions, meetings, agendas, requests for member comment, and new services will be announced on HWG-Announce as the information is available, and will be summarized in the monthly HWG-News newsletter -- so you hear it first on HWG-Announce.

For information, including how to subscribe, please see:


9. Frequently Asked Questions about the HWG-News Newsletter

(Kynn Bartlett, HWG-News Newsletter Editor, editor@hwg.org)

Some questions you may be asking:

Q: Why did I get this mail?

A: You received this newsletter because you are a member of the HTML Writers Guild. This message came from hwg-news, the Guild's mandatory mailing list for all members. If you need more information about hwg-news, please see the List Charter at:


Q: Why doesn't this newsletter talk about web design or HTML?

A: The newsletter is the Guild's administrative bulletin to the membership. If you are interested in the topics of Web design and HTML, then you might want to subscribe to some of our discussion lists devoted to those topics. More information on the Guild's offering of discussion lists can be found at:


Q: How can I find out more about Guild activities?

A: The Guild has set up a one-way announcement list, HWG-Announce, that carries bulletins of day-to-day Guild business. For details on how to subscribe, please see:


Q: How do I unsubscribe from hwg-news?

A: Since this is a required list in order to maintain your Guild membership, unsubscribing is the same as resigning from the HTML Writers Guild.

If you have your Member ID and password, to resign your membership in the Guild and to unsubscribe to hwg-news, visit:


Fill in the pertinent information, and submit it.

If you don't have a Member ID, or have forgotten your password, send mail to:

site contacts

with a Subject of: Resign membership

In the body of the message, provide the following information:

  • Your email address(es)
  • Your member ID if you have one.
  • The list of discussion lists you are on.

Please remember that unsubscribing to hwg-news automatically resigns you from the Guild. If you have problems with unsubscribing, please contact the Database Manager (site contacts) for help.

Q: What if I want to comment on this newsletter?

A: The HWG-News Mailing List is a "Read-Only" list -- please do not try to reply to this message directly.

If you wish to contact the editor of this newsletter, you may do so by sending email to editor@hwg.org. Each article begins with the contact information for the author as well.

HTML markup by Ryan Fischer.

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