James Bateson Personal Site: Post

I wrote a thing!

One of my goals this year was to try and write 3 articles for public blogs. I've been trying to improve my confidence through public speaking, and wanted to also try with my writing.

Back when Twitter was a more welcoming and inclusive space for people, Manuel Matuzovic Tweeted about an advent calendar he was planning for the HtmHell website. An article about HTML each day in December. They were looking for submissions via a title and brief summary of what the article would be about.

I'd had an idea for an article for a while that fit this brief perfectly, and even thought of a Christmas based pun for its title. So I submitted my idea, and to be honest, didn't expect to get accepted.

The idea permalink

  • Title: 5 HTML elements. And a partridge in a despair tree. (this is the pun btw 😉)
  • Summary: Talk about 5 native HTML elements that are often ignored in place of more complex, often ARIA-laden, solutions.

The 5 elements were:

  • <button>
  • <select>
  • <nav>
  • <fieldset> & <legend>
  • <ul>, <ol>

So did it get published? permalink

It did, yesterday (day 16)!

So rather than explain more about the article and each element, here's a link to the article to (please) read it for yourself!

How was it received? permalink

I had pre-publish jitters all up until the day to be honest, they got worse each day as I saw the caliber of every article, and the amazing ability of the authors. Imposter syndrome is bad at the moment.

Going off pure Twitter engagement (likes etc), it performed poorly, which I kind of expected.

But I'm trying to remind myself, that even if one person takes something from it, and thinks about using more semantic, accessible HTML it will be a massive win.

Thanks! permalink

However unpopular it might have been. I wanted to say a massive thank you to Manuel for accepting the article idea, and giving me a chance to write my first post that people might actually read, for a site/blog that I have long admired.

Also to a couple of people that proofed the article for me. Stef Lis, a brilliant front end engineer at Code Computerlove, and Todd Libby, an accessibility expert that I have followed for many years and a learnt a lot from.

Was it worth it? permalink

Overall, I'm super proud and chuffed of myself. First work isn't always going to be the best, but I feel it was a great starting point and experience for me that I can learn from and build upon.

I've got another article in the amends phase for the The A11y Project on how to create an accessible <nav> with dropdowns. So hopefully I can try and make time to get those done before the year is out and get some more expereince with the pre-publish jitters!