Squirrel Notes is an email newsletter about CMS and other content technologies. It publishes twice each month.

This issue was published on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

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Non-sequiturs from the world of content management.

This is issue #10, which means — just like that — we're in double-digits. :-)

Node CMSs. I saw a demo of Apostrophe last week, which is one of the very few CMSs on Node.js.

I'm always interested how a CMS market develops in a new architecture. I talked about this six years back: Why Django and Rails CMS Are So Rare. Long story short: newer web frameworks were so efficient to develop with that there was no huge need for a packaged CMS.

But, back then, CMS was still largely about CRUD, and CMSs have become so much more, even since then. I'm curious to see what happens in the Node CMS market. Apostrophe was impressive, but what types of companies need a CMS on that stack, and what types of sites will they build?

One suspicion: Node specializes in IO throughput, and it appeals to developers who are likely more front-end focused than average . Will this drive thattoward more visual composition tools with complex front-end interfaces, rather than heavy, back-end infrastructural systems?

Content Operations. When we talk of firms that "work with" a particular CMS, it's usually always in the context of integrating them. Very few firms specialize in simply operating a CMS. This is the seemingly boring world of "content operations," which is woefully under-valued.

I wrote about this a while back: The Need for Content Operations. It explains multiple sub-disciplines under the content operations umbrella. "Boring" things like:

  • Content entry

  • Localization management

  • Content reorganization

  • Content QA

  • Metadata and tagging

These things are the never-ending, day-to-day management of content that get lost amidst the excitement of building something new. A friend from GatherContent told me that their marketing focus is turning towards these content operations requirements — how can they ease that burden for teams using a typical CMS?

Finally, my friend Hilary Marsh just published a Content Staffing Calculator (link goes to blog post; calculator link at the bottom) which helps you figure out just how big an operational team needs to be.

Codegarden Video. The video for my CodeGarden talk is online: 6 Things We Know About Headless, and 3 Things We Don't. Unfortunately, the deck inset is a little screwed up — it has no animations. Hopefully that won't get too confusing.

I've already given the talk three more times since this event, and it's changed based on feedback. Given the speed of the market and the level of interest, I'll likely be giving variations of this talk all year.

IBM Web Content Manager. I just got around to reading the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CMS. I was struck by the existence of IBM — "For what system?," I kept wondering.

Turns out, IBM has a CMS, cleverly hidden behind a unique name: IBM Web Content Manager.

Joking aside, I was surprised at what I saw. It looks competent and some of their videos are compelling. Consider this one on layout. IBM is just not a vendor name I have ever associated with this market, though I'm sure they sell to quite a different segment than the one I work in.

Metadata and Tagging at the NY Times. My friend Jeff sent me this article about categorization at the New York Times. I'm a sucker for anything about CMS at scale. It was fascinating.