[thelist] Web Development Sites (and a meaty tip)

Ben Henick persist1 at io.com
Thu Nov 15 17:00:12 CST 2001

On Thu, 15 Nov 2001, Joel Konkle-Parker wrote:

> I'm impressed with the amount and relevence of the articles featured on
> sites such as webdevelopersjournal.com, webtechniques.com, and
> webreview.com. Does anyone else out there know of a favorite web
> development e-zine-type site?

Oh, hi.  That would be in the right column of my .sig.

<tip type="Content Development" author="Ben Henick">

No matter how much time you think you've got, it never seems to be enough
when it comes to meeting your content development schedule.  It's one
thing when you're the designer and producer, working with a single client
contact; the matter is practically out of your hands if you wish it to be,
and any delivery slips are ultimately the client's fault (unless project
management is explicitly listed in your meme/contract as one of the
services you're providing).

...But When the deadline is your responsibiilty, you've just entered a new
set of circumstances.  So:

1.  Plan without mercy.  Create a timeline that's got some "wiggle room"
in case somebody gets sick (or whatever).  More importantly, use this
planning to ascertain ALL of your content needs.  What do you know about
the thesis of the article or the art direction of the presentation that's
to be sent in (etc.)?  The more you know in advance, the better.

2.  Bother your content developers regularly.  However. passive "where's
{x}" e-mails don't cut the mustard - play the supportive parent, and be as
positive and proactive as you reasonably can about addressing the factors
that are holding up the deliverable.

[2a.  When dealing with Type-A clients who are themselves responsible for
delivering content (as you will if you do a lot of small-biz work) talk to
them in their own language.  This is harder for some than others, but I've
learned from painful experience that those who use fire-and-brimstone to
motivate do so because it's the only motivation that works for them.
*frown*  You can't threaten them with YOUR actions, but you can point out
to them as directly as possible the consequences they will have to deal
with if they slip on their own deadlines.  These are many in number, if
you've acquainted yourself with the client's short-term goals.]

3.  When planning breaks and you can't play Mom, look at your other
options.  Do you having something in a file cabinet or a folder on your
workstation that might meet the bill without violating copyright?  Is
someone else chomping at the bit because they have no other work?  If so,
consider how it would change things if you made use of that resource.
Look into licensing other content, if that works for your circumstance.
If the person whose work is to be replaced is doing the work on an hourly
freelance basis, make sure to tell them that their gig is on the line if
they don't come through on a milestone soon.

4.  When all else fails, endeavor to develop the content yourself, unless
you are explicitly told not to.  Whether or not you should take this step
will vary from project to project, but... it may become necessary in order
for the site to go live in a reasonable amount of time.


Ben Henick
Web Author At-Large              Managing Editor
http://www.io.com/persist1/      http://www.digital-web.com/
persist1 at io.com                  bmh at digital-web.com
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?"
"I think so, Brain, but... (snort) no, no, it's too stupid."
"We will disguise ourselves as a cow."
"Oh!" (giggles) "That was it exactly!"

More information about the thelist mailing list