Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

Wear the Blue Beanie with Pride

By Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis | November 23rd, 2007 | Filed in General, Outreach, Web Standards (general)

In honor of Jeffrey Zeldman’s blue beanie on the cover of his classic book, Monday, November 26th is blue beanie day. You can participate and share the Web standards benefits with everyone!

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It’s not uncommon for those of us involved in WaSP to have people ask, “What can I do to advance other’s knowledge and use of Web standards?” WaSP members do a good bit of writing, speaking, and working with vendors of the products used to produce or display our collective work on the web. But as individuals, even working as a group, we can only go so far. That’s where you come in. Each of you has a realm of influence. You may work in an office with co-workers, or online from a home office, but you come into contact with other web workers in some way every day. These people are in your sphere and you’re the best one to evangelize them. You’re the best one to explain to them the benefits of using Web standards.

Yes, as tired as the comparison may be, evangelism reaches more people than any single person can. Think of the way religions are forwarded, multi-level companies are built, and large corporations get information about their products to the masses. Think of the way things go viral on the Web. It’s not by a few people talking about it a lot. It’s by people getting excited where they are, and then telling everyone they can about it.

On Monday, November 26th, you have a chance to loudly proclaim your support of Web standards. You have a chance to have people look at you oddly and ask, “What the heck were you thinking when you got dressed this morning?” It’s the day that you can proudly wear the blue beanie on your head no matter what else you’re wearing! It’s likely most of you reading Buzz have seen, if not read, Jeffrey Zeldman’s classic book, “Designing with Web Standards.” In honor of the blue beanie Jeffrey wears on the cover, web workers all over the globe will don their own blue beanies to proclaim their support.

It doesn’t matter whether you work from a home office or in a corporate environment where you can actually wear the blue beanie to work, there are a myriad of ways you can wear the blue beanie. You can put your picture on Flickr wearing a blue beanie. Change your avatar at all your social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Dopplr, Pownce,, iLike or others you may belong to. And as long as it’s online fun you’re having, you can get creative with a graphics program and put someone else’s blue beanie on your head or paint your black beanie blue. The possibilities are endless.

If you have a Facebook account, you can join the blue beanie day group there. For the Flickr members, there’s a Flickr pool to add photos of you, or you and your friends, all in blue beanies.

Whatever your situation, wear the blue beanie with pride on Monday, November 26th and tell everyone you know about the benefits of using Web standards!

(This article translated into Polish by Sebastian Snopek.)

Your Replies

#1 On November 24th, 2007 11:17 am Darius Jahandarie replied:

One would think there would be better ways to promote web standards than wearing a blue beanie and looking like a complete loser, eh?

Perhaps we should conduct something like Operation Firefox and leave around giant 3.5-feet fathead stickers everywhere.

#2 On November 24th, 2007 1:21 pm Vectorpedia replied:

Being a long time supporter of Jeffrey Zeldman, I will be wearing my blue beanie with pride to advance the benefits of Web standards. A group blue beanie photo will be forthcoming to the Facebook account.

#3 On November 24th, 2007 3:11 pm Blue Beanie Day - Monday 26th - supporting web standards and accessibility « iheni replied:

[...] November 24, 2007 by iheni In honor of Jeffrey Zeldman’s blue beanie on the cover of his classic book, Monday, November 26th is blue beanie day Blue Beanie Day. [...]

#4 On November 24th, 2007 10:24 pm Matt Robin replied:

“You can put your picture on Flickr wearing a blue beanie.”

Oh dear no! I’m all for Web Standards evangelism – I really am (in a big way!) I’m also not for beanies of any kind though. There must be a better thing to wear than that!!

I agree there should be more of a rallying cry for Web Standards, but this is just dorky. Web Designers/Web Standards should get some respectful attention – that won’t happen if we wear blue beanies on our heads!

#5 On November 25th, 2007 2:44 pm Gérard Talbot replied:

Hello all,

Wearing a blue beanie is not the kind of idea that I find best, useful for concretely promoting web standards. There is so many other things WASP can do.

1- Contact Microsoft and have them fix the email address [email protected] which has not been working for over 2 years. That email is listed in ( WASP’s Report Browser Bugs webpage as a way to get involved and to help promote web standards. Otherwise, please someone remove that email address and update accordingly that WASP webpage.

2- Create a document like W3C QA “Think globally, Act locally”.

3- Create a list of 100 websites (selling web authoring products or services) which have lots of validation markup errors, CSS errors, lack of semantic, poor accessibility. In many ways, David Ross created such type of list . Quick examples: , IEEE , etc. WASP could create a campain to pressure them to upgrade their website.

4- Create a document with the top 10 most frequently encountered validation markup errors that explains why it’s important to fix them (benefits of valid markup code) and how to fix them; targeted mostly for newbies. Same thing with the top 5 most frequently encountered CSS validation errors.

5- Evaluate WYSIWYG HTML editors according to ( ATAG 1recommendations.

6- I’d say that 50% of all questions posted in web authoring forum discussion newsgroups involve the same problems, the same coding issues, the same layout problems involving IE6 or IE7 versus the other+better compliant browsers (Firefox 2, Opera 9, Safari 3, Konqueror 3.5+). So, creating a document which would cover those very frequently encountered and asked questions would help. We could link to it, we could pass it on, we could mention it, etc.

etc, etc.

There are many many better things possible to do to promote web standards adherence.

Gérard Talbot

#6 On November 26th, 2007 5:49 am Blue Beanie Day 2007 — Aja Lapus: Blogging with Standards replied:

[...] Today is a day for Web standards. As irrelevant as it may seem, blue beanies are related to Web standards advocacy. This so-called connection could be attributed to Jeffrey Zeldman on his book Designing with Web Standards whose cover features the author wearing a blue beanie. The idea of having a blue beanie day came from Douglas Voz, founder of Facebook’s Designing With Web Standards Group. [...]

#7 On November 26th, 2007 11:38 am WaSP Member ccasciano replied:

I’m all dressed up in my finest blue hat, are you?

#8 On November 26th, 2007 1:25 pm Alexander Mannewitz replied:

The “Operation Firefox” is grandious, but wearing a blue beanie says nothing about anything. But, by the way a blue beanie makes a better-looking person out of you. I like to be an agent, not a guy wearing a blue hat.

#9 On November 27th, 2007 9:58 am wendy replied:

as much as i respect mr Zeldman I feel that this kind of thing is more about who Talks about web standards than who actually cares – give out blue beanies once some of the cretins still using tables have passed a basic css course and maybe wearing one on a particular day will have some weight (other than trying desperately to fit into yet another community).

#10 On November 27th, 2007 9:58 am wendy replied:

btw im not saying he didnt look sexy in the blue beanie….

#11 On November 27th, 2007 11:15 am Bob Jonkman replied:

Is not beanie, is toque (pronounced “t OOH k”)

Toques are Canajun, eh?

This is beanie:


#12 On November 27th, 2007 2:54 pm Moodomatik replied:

Happy blue beanie day!
Check delicious blue beanie moods @ my moodomatik website…

#13 On December 2nd, 2007 6:54 am mazury replied:

It was a really happy blue beanie Day! However, no one knew, what going on with blue beanie on my head! I believe this idea is not popular in Poland… as much as I thought.

#14 On December 6th, 2007 10:04 am Forum On Web Design and Internet » Blog Archive » WEB DESIGN IN QUOTES: November replied:

[...] Stephanie Sullivan, Web Standards Project, Wear The Blue Beanie With Pride [...]

#15 On December 7th, 2007 1:05 pm db replied:

In those 250 plus photos on flickr most of those things are not beanies (to any real Canuck). Those are toques!!! We need a beanie standard for next year.

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