Squirrel Notes is an email newsletter about CMS and other content technologies. It publishes twice each month.
This issue was published on Friday, April 27, 2018.
Non-sequiturs from the world of content management.
The World's Simplest CMS? Rob Beschizza of Boing Boing made a publishing tool called txt.fyi some time ago. It's as simple as you can get — you type something in a box, and it publishes at a private URL. Wired recently did a piece on it: This Stripped Down Blogging Tool Exemplifies Anti-Social Media.
It's tough to call this a "CMS," since it has basically no features that we associate with a CMS, but it's neat in that it is — quite literally — the absolute simplest publishing tool you could possibly come up with. Take away everything in a CMS, this is what would be left. The evolution into a "real" CMS would be layer on layer of additional functionality, until you crossed a "line of definition" somewhere (I talk about this LOD concept at the end of this post about IaaS/PaaS/SaaS).
The Washington Post Spins Off a CMS. As a possible side-effect of the Bezos acquisition, The Washington Post has productized their in-house CMS called Arc Publishing. It's heavily-optimized for high-velocity newsroom operations with teams publishing dozens of times a day. (You know, like the Washington Post, for example...)
What I found interesting was their products page which lists upwards of a dozen different add-ons related to the core CMS, which must have taken a shocking amount of effort to productize. I'm curious what the customer base looks like, and how "stage-ready" all these extra products really are.
Structured Data Testing Tool. Google has a neat tool for testing structured data. Give it a URL and it will find all the structured elements inside the HTML and give you a handy interface for browsing them. It will validate all the elements and show you where you have problems.
I'm still waiting for structured content to have its moment. We know what it is, and we know the value, but I still don't feel like it's "tipped," like headless has done in the last couple years, for example.
Intranet Product Directory. Intranet legend Martin White maintains a directory of intranet tools. There are over 100 tools in here, many of which (most?) I've never heard of. Fully one-third of the tools appear to be Meta CMS build on top of SharePoint.
I spent some time browsing these, and it's amazing how saturated the intranet product market is. Also how niche — you would think you'd see mainstream WCMS here more often, but there are so many players in this space that do nothing but intranets or "digital workplaces."
Codegarden 2018. I'm speaking at Codegarden 2018, May 23-25 in Odense, Denmark. This is the annual Umbraco developers conference. I spoke there last year (my Why Content Projects Fail talk), and it's just a wonderful event, tucked into a smaller town in Denmark that I would never normally have a chance to visit. If you're in the area, it's full great people and great content in a great venue.
My talk: "7 Things We Know About Headless, and 3 Things We Don't"