Thoughts from Blend Interactive
One of Blend’s core values is a dedication to advocacy and progress — to expand upon and give back to the community that fuels us. This is where those thoughts live.
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Corey and Deane talk about the idea of a web operations framework. Then, Meghan Casey, content strategist and author of The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right, joins to talk about content governance and ongoing maintenance — how humans are nearly always the problem (but not the humans you might think), the things you can do to plan for post-launch content, and how to deromanticize the bit launch in favor of content maintenance.
Episode 22: Test and Launch the Site (w/ Bob Davidson) Off-site link
Corey and Deane talk about the concept of the “Nails List.” Then, Bob Davidson, Director of Development at Blend Interactive, joins to talk about how to get your site ready for launch, what makes a good QA practitioner, the role of quality assurance and testing in the development process, and how to prep the site so it doesn’t fall over when exposed to the real world. We also spend a lot of time talking up Jenna Bonn, Blend’s QA Practice Manager.
Corey and Deane discuss an old migration project. Then, Carrie Hane, Principal Digital Strategist at Sanity and co-author of Designing Connected Content, joins to talk about preparing content for site migration — how good content modeling helps set up a site for future success, the psychological side of migrations, and a few horror stories from Carrie and Deane. Carrie graciously insists this is not the most depressing episode yet.
Corey and Deane discuss a high-level philosophy of back-end development. Then, David Knipe, Vice President of Product at Optimizely, joins to discuss back-end development — how developers and project stakeholders work together to make decisions, the difference (and balance) between technical perfection and audience needs, and the reasons why AI will help, but not take over, back-end development. Deane also equates developers to lumberjacks.
Episode 19: Implement the Design (w/ Ethan Marcotte) Off-site link
Corey and Deane talk about how front-end development has evolved past the early days. Then, Ethan Marcotte, author of Responsive Web Design and Partner at Autogram, joins to discuss front-end development and how the world has impacted how front-end design is treated and approached. We also joke about whether Deane actually “invented” responsive web design. (He didn’t.)
Corey and Deane discuss what clients should look for when selecting an implementation partner. Then, Tony Byrne, co-author of The Right Way to Select Technology and President of Real Story Group, joins to talk through the implementation partner selection process, including common mistakes, the value of domain knowledge, and how most projects should focus on technology first.
Episode 17: Plan for Hosting (w/ Elias Lundmark) Off-site link
Corey asks Deane a brutally honest question: as non-developers, why should we care about hosting at all? Then, Elias Lundmark, product manager for cloud hosting at Optimizely, joins us to talk about website hosting in common terms — cloud versus on-premises, the reality (and politics) of “five 9s,” and the things you need to understand before choosing a hosting provider or vendor offering.
Corey and Deane talk about a Donald Rumsfeld quote, and about the concept of “unknown unknowns.” Then, Cathy McKnight, Chief Problem Solver and lead analyst for The Content Advisory, joins us to talk about selecting a content management system — the process for choosing a system, how a CMS selection analyst can help keep vendors honest, and what to do if you’re selecting on your own.
Corey and Deane discuss the three parts of selecting a CMS: requirements, tool, and development team. Then, Joe Kepley, chief technical officer at Blend Interactive, joins us to discuss the world of translating design and IA into code within a content management system — including balancing groundbreaking design with realistic engineering — and the need to tie high-level project goals into the real nuts and bolts of code.
Episode 14: Know Your Integrations (w/ Greg Dunlap) Off-site link
Corey and Deane discuss the four major parts of a content model. Then, Greg Dunlap, Director of Strategy at Lullabot, joins us to define a web integration, discuss the finer details of development risks and runtime risks — as well as real-time vs scheduled data — and praise the efficiency of using Google Docs as a workflow tool. Corey and Greg give Deane a music lesson, too.