Squirrel Notes Issue #27

This issue was published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

COMING: The Web Project Guide: We announced a new book this week --

The Web Project Guide: From Spark to Launch and Beyond

This is an examination of 26 distinct "phases" we've identified in the delivery of a successful web project, from figuring out the reasons why you're doing it at all, to transitioning from a project to a product mentality after launch.

The book is going to be freely available and released on the web, two chapters a month, for the next year. After that, it will get published to print.

Two other cool things here:

  • I'm writing the book with my friend Corey Vilhauer. Corey has been doing content strategy and UX for Blend for almost 10 years.
  • The writing of the book is being generously sponsored by my friends at Magnolia. I pitched the idea to Rasmus over beers in Berlin (at this exact spot). He saw the value, pushed for the project, and here we are.

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Pandoc: I had never heard of Pandoc before, but it bills itself as "a universal document converter," which is a handy thing to have.

The emphasis is clearly on getting things from Lightweight Markup Languages into more presentation-ready formats, like HTML and PDF.

In addition to the tool itself, a collaborative Github project has a list of integrations that work with it (including a Docker image for running it as a service).


CDP Article: Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are coming. This is the recent productization of a technology that a lot of organizations have been doing in-house for a while. There are all sorts of vendors fighting it out in this market right now, and this CMSWire article is one the best primers I've seen so far.

Clearing Up CDP Misconceptions

It's written by a CDP vendor (Evergage), but still quite neutral.

(Note: I have a large blog post coming on CDPs in the next week or so. I'll link to that in the next issue.)


Michael Andrews on Content Modeling: Michael Andrews published a great post a few months back on content modeling:

Redefining the Role of Content Models

I've read this once, and I've set it aside to read it again, probably multiple times. There's just so much there. I could likely dissect this post for weeks.

Michael has also written two books:


Webmentions: Back in the heady days of the blogopshere, we had "pingbacks," which were a way to write a blog post about someone else's post, and have that second post be notified about your post.

These were effectively remote comments. Your reactionary post was a comment of sorts, and, true to that definition, blogging platforms would list pingbacks in the list of comments on a post.

Well, pingbacks live on, but now they're called WebMentions, and there's an evolving standards effort at IndieWeb. It's in line with the goal of that organization to liberate us from proprietary platforms, including the social media networks that we've come to depend on for content marketing.

I like it. I'll probably implement it on Gadgetopia at some point (though, with the demise of Gadgetopia comments, perhaps I'm symptomatic of the problem)