I've been so frustrated lately that every journalism job called for ridiculous knowledge of various digital journalism techniques, that I thought, well darnit, I'm just going to have to learn this newfangled thing called the interweb. So I enrolled myself in a kind of online knowledge center (lynda.com if you're interested) and just spent the last hour and a half on my first tutorial (XHTML and HTML Essential Training).
And you know what.
HTML or XHTML or whatever you want to call it is really, freaking hard, like mind-boggingly hard. It is literally a different language, one apparently invented by aliens and crazy people. Learning it is going to be, to put it mildly, challenging. I go on the interweb quite a lot, used to think of myself has some what of an internet afficianado with my g-mailing and my facebooking and all those things the kids use these days. But I had literally no idea of even a fraction of what goes into building a web page from scratch.
By the end of this tutorial I'll be proud if I can create a blank, white page with two lines of text on it. I'll be ecstatic if these two lines of text are in English and not in all caps. I can only dream that one day, I'll be able to create a web page, with, wait for it.....differing font sizes!!!
Never again will I go on a website as complex as Amazon.com or the NYTimes online or People.com for Lord's sake and think it's anything less than a dizzying display of technical wizardry.
People who created the interweb, I salute you.