my teddy bear wearing a blue beanie

Do you remember when you first became a web standards believer? (or do you want to know why web standards are important?) Whether it was last week, last year or last decade, it forever changes the way you create for the web. But, when was the last time you helped someone else understand the value of web standards? Until web standards have completely permeated our industry, it is important for us to continue to spread the word while producing content that illustrates the point.

If you haven’t heard, Monday, November 30th is “Blue Beanie Day”. What in the world is “Blue Beanie Day”? It is a great idea dreamed up by Douglas Vos of Detroit, Michigan to show support for web standards and accessibility. Here is an excerpt from the 3rd Annual Blue Beanie Day Event Page:

The third annual Blue Beanie Day will be celebrated on Monday, November 30, 2009. On this day thousands of Standardistas (people who support web standards) will wear a Blue Beanie to show their support for accessible, semantic web content.

It’s easy to show your support for web design done right. Beg, borrow, or buy a Blue Beanie (or Blue Toque in Canada) and snap a photo of your mug wearing the blue. (Or get creative with Photoshop). Then on November 30, switch your profile picture in Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, (and any other social network) and post your photo to the Flickr Blue Beanie Day 2009 group.

Next Steps

  1. Make a personal commitment to fight Web Standards apathy. Show solidarity with the Standardistas on Monday, November 30th, 2009.
  2. Buy, beg, or borrow a Blue Beanie (blue hat or cap, even a black or grey one will do in a pinch.)
  3. Take a photo of yourself wearing the Blue Beanie. Or take a cool group photo of you and your friends wearing Blue Beanies.
  4. Post your photo, or photos to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and other social networks on Monday, November 30th, 2009. Remember to switch your Facebook profile photo that day, too!.
  5. Start by inviting all your friends to the Facebook Event for Blue Beanie Day 2009.
  6. Promote Blue Beanie Day on your blog, wiki, facebook page, twitter tweets — telling all your friends to get ready for Blue Beanie Day.

Want to help with planning the 3rd Annual Blue Beanie Day? Organize a group photo in your city? You might qualify to win a free copy of Zeldman and Marcotte’s (brand new) Designing With Web Standards 3rd edition. Contact Douglas Vos (mailto:doug.vos@gmail.com?Subject=BlueBeanieDay2009)

So, what are you waiting for? Go find, make, or photoshop your Blue Beanie. Tell your friends and see how many new people you can introduce to the way the web should will be.

Why are web standards important?

For a quick introduction, I recommend starting with the W3C goals. I swear, every time I read them I get goosebumps. Once you have “web for everyone. web on everything.” as your personal goal, you could head to the W3C’s Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case or read the difinitive text by Jefferey Zeldman, Designing with Web Standards.