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UK freelance journalist and author Sean McManus

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10th birthday update: accessibility, affiliate marketing and more

11 February 2007

This site celebrates its tenth birthday round about now and to mark the occasion I've given it a spring clean. Some content has been removed, but nothing you're likely to miss (do tell me if I'm wrong - perhaps I'll bring it back again). I've improved the design, particularly the navigation. It should be easier to explore and find what you're looking for now.

I've also added lots of new/old stuff from my archives.

I wrote, I think, the first big story in a UK web design magazine about accessibility, published in Internet Magazine in 2000. Today any decent website designer is aware of accessibility, but back then few people were interested. The editor at another magazine turned down a pitch on the subject, saying it was a minority issue of no interest to businesses.

Over the years, awareness of accessibility has increased. But I know many people still struggle to understand why they should and how they can create a more inclusive website. And I know a lot of designers can't be arsed, and their clients, who are ultimately responsible for the accessibility of the sites they buy, let them get away with it.

I've now added some of my later articles explaining accessibility to my webmaster tutorials. I hope that they will inspire more people to consider users with disabilities in their website designs, and will provide some helpful guidance on eliminating the biggest barriers.

The accessibility stories (new and old) are:Internet Works magazine commissioned some monster stories from me in 2004 about affiliate marketing and web analytics. Some of the interviewees might have moved jobs, and some of the minor sites have disappeared, but the advice is still valid. For that reason I've uploaded those stories too.

In the journalism resources section, there's a new article about writing for the web.

The quality of the scans of rock and pop photos has been dramatically improved, and this is now reflected where they are used in the music articles too. My list of places where you can promote your music has also been refreshed.

Finally, there's a new gallery of photos of Sydney, Australia. One of my pictures of the Opera House was part of an architecture exhibition in Paris last year. There's a much cleaner scan of that too.

If you want to see what the first version of this site looked like, there's a screenshot of this site from 1997 here. It would have looked right at home on geocities.

Here's to the next ten years. Cheers!

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