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

This issue was published on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

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Non-sequiturs from the world of content management.

Next issue: Just a note that next issue, we're going to experiment with an email subject that describes what's in the issue.

Arc Publishing progress. We've talked about Arc Publishing before — this is the CMS used by the Washington Post that Jeff Bezos has spun off into it's own product. According this this lengthy article by the Nieman Lab, it's doing quite well among its core audience of newspaper publishers.

Arc is now used by more than 30 clients operating more than 100 sites on four continents. It's not the industry standard, but it's not too early to call it an industry standard.

[...] the typical savings a single metro paper might derive from switching to Arc is typically around 15 to 20 percent, but that "there are other places that they've worked on where we believe the savings are even closer to 60, 70 percent, simply because they have so many vendors."

This might be becoming a trend, because in addition to Arc, we now have Vox productizing their CMS, called Chorus.

Movable Type is still around. Movable Type was one of the original blogging platforms. It was a Perl/CGI-based, decoupled blogging system. It's still around and still used by a bunch of media companies. They just released version 7.0 (!).

MT was even one of the early companies to the SaaS market with TypePad, which launched in 2003. The company behind MT was sold to a Japanese concern in 2011, and split from TypePad. MT is still insanely popular in Japan, and much of the online support appears to be Japanese now.

My own blog ran on MT for 11 years (though, towards the end, I was actually using it to write out PHP include files). I was reminded of MT the other day and tweeted this:

I still get nostalgic — almost misty-eyed — when I find an old Movable Type or Typepad blog in the default theme. It takes me back to those heady, nascent days of self-publishing, circa 2002 or so. I loved those days. I mean, remember the first blog comment you got?

Here's a great article about the heady early days of blogging. Scroll down for screencaps of the original Movable Type interface.

Points of Differentiation in Headless CMS. After a long drought, I've published a new blog post — here are 4,000 words on how headless CMS companies are differentiating themselves from their competition. My argument is that with reduced functionality comes reduced opportunities to stand apart, so how are headless vendors demonstrating their value?

Scott Hanselman on Headless .NET Core. Scott Hanselman recently put together a blog post on headless options for .NET core.

Lately I've been noticing a lot of "Headless" CMSs (Content Management System). A ton, in fact. I wanted to explore this concept and see if it's a fad or if it's really something useful.

He lists about a half-dozen, which is just scratching the surface in general, but remember he was limiting his search to .NET Core (still, I've only heard of two of the systems he mentions, which shows how fast the market is moving right now).

CMS Questions. I made a public Google Doc the other day of 50+ questions I've written for various RFPs and RFIs. They run the spectrum of CMS functionality for things like modeling, editorial experience, licensing, integrations, extensibility, and ecosystem.

You're welcome to comment in the doc. I'd rather you didn't "weaponize" this list by just dropping it onto vendors en masse, but if you need examples of things you could ask about, it might be helpful.