The Web Project Guide Podcast
This page is, in a way, a media kit. That makes this entire thing feel very corporate and market-y, but we promise that’s not who we are: we are two web professionals who like to talk to each other about how websites get made in a way that makes things more clear and relatable.
The Web Project Guide helps provide context and understanding to the different phases of a web project — from planning and hiring a team to strategy, design, and development. Join Corey Vilhauer and Deane Barker, authors of The Web Project Guide, for a phase-by-phase trip through the web process.
Our goal is to help people understand the complexities of building a website so they can ask the right questions when they tackle their own new website — and we want to introduce them to the voices of those who are already doing great work in that field.
Past and upcoming guests include:
The audience for The Web Project Guide is those who are tasked with making decisions on upcoming or current web projects. Because The Web Project Guide focuses on helping people understand the overall scope of a web project, rather than wading through the nitty-gritty details, it’s perfect for:
- Sales and marketing leadership
- Small business owners and entrepreneurs
- New and growing web professionals
Additionally, we believe strongly in the power of being a generalist — that even those deeply entrenched in a specific part of the web industry should know and learn a little about everyone else. A web developer will learn about what happens during web discovery sessions. A content writer will better understand the development process.
The Web Project Guide is a self-produced product of Blend Interactive. Corey Vilhauer scripts, edits, and uploads all episodes. Deane Barker provides the bulk of the discussion.
Contact Corey Vilhauer with questions, offers, and other communication at email@example.com.
The Entire Long Story
In 2021, two authors — Corey Vilhauer (a content strategist/information architect) and Deane Barker (an enterprise-level developer) published a book: The Web Project Guide.
The initial spark of The Web Project Guide was a single common question: “Why are we doing what we’re doing?”
The different steps and phases of building a website are well understood and followed by those who are a part of the web industry … but beyond that, the things we do can sound like a lot of complicated words and processes. For nearly every web project (at the time, both Corey and Deane worked as directors at Blend Interactive, a web shop in South Dakota) there was a need to outline, break down, and provide context as to what the project might entail.
Looking for a resource to pass along, Corey and Deane found none. Web industry books are written for web industry professionals. They dive deep into a specific topic. In order to capture the entire process, a director of marketing might need to read 15–20 different books.
So Corey and Deane decided to write their own.
Each chapter of The Web Project Guide focuses on one of 24 stages of the web project process. It can be read in chunks, in any order. It is designed and written to be a resource. And, in the spirit of standing on the shoulders of experts, The Web Project Guide seeks to reveal “further reading” when prompted.
The Web Project Guide podcast continues in this spirit, tackling a single chapter each month through interviews with one of that chapter’s leading experts.
Corey Vilhauer is director of strategy at Blend Interactive, and has gone on at length about documenting procedures, determining audiences and outcomes, and the crossroads between content strategy and information architecture. He is a recovering advertising copywriter and a closeted fan of professional wrestling.
Corey was first published in Smashing Magazine's Smashing Book #4 — New Perspectives on Web Design, in a chapter called "The Two Faces of Content Strategy." He writes about methodology, writing for accessibility, and shoestring content strategy at Eating Elephant, and writes about other things at Corey Vilhauer dot com. You can subscribe to his monthly mixtapes at Black Marks on Wood Pulp.
Deane Barker is the Global Director of Content Management at Optimizely, a digital experience software company. Before that, he was a co-founder of Blend Interactive, and has been working in web content management since the mid-90s — before the discipline even had a name.
Deane is a leading voice in content management — to the point that he wrote the book about it: Web Content Management: Systems, Features, and Best Practices — as well as two additional books: Real World Content Modeling: A Field Guide to CMS Features and Architecture and Things You Should Know: 25 Lessons I’ve Learned About Selecting Content Technology and Services.
From here, it’s on to the future: breaking ground in distributed content management; teaching the practice; reading — always reading.