Squirrel Notes Issue #29

This issue was published on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Sitecore Buys a Service Firm: Sitecore purchased one of their partner integration firms last week – Hedgehog – and this headline from a CMSWire article by my friend Ian Trustcott sums up the reaction.

Sitecore Acquires an 80-Person Services Company and the WCM World Loses Its Mind

And some did lose their minds. A friend who is a large Sitecore partner told me:

The Sitecore slack channel is fun today

Ian is less concerned:

[...] based on my 20 years of experience in this industry, working for Sitecore's competitors, working as an analyst and taking competing products to market as a consultant, I think we need to take this news at face value: Sitecore is buying skills, not revenue.

Lots of people are bringing up Ektron's foray into services, back in 2009. In some cases, we watched Ektron compete with their own partners for business. After that expansion was announced, the comments of this CMSWire article exploded and are worth reading.

Partners that have invested time into a vendor don't like it when that vendor dips into services work. Time will tell what happens with the Hedgehog acquisition.


Customer Data Platform Post: I wrote a bit about Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), and the idea of maintaining context over time with your content consumers.

Content, Campaigns, and Context: Why CDPs Are Having a Moment

I feel like there's a Third Wave of Content Marketing coming, driven by a technology shift called Customer Data Platforms, or CDPs. This is where content and campaigns become subordinate to context.

Thanks for Joey Moore from Episerver, Mark Demeny from Sitecore, Tony Byrne from Real Story Group, an anonymous hero from Vendor X, and Rob Rose from The Content Advisory for quotes and perspective.


Have Sitebuilders Taken the Low-End CMS Market?: Someone asked Hacker News: Is freelance web development still a viable path in 2019?.

Several of the answers claim that the sitebuilders have chewed up the lower end of the market, where one-person shops used to be able to thrive.

[...] Not really. Wix and GoDaddy clobbered it, and now there are others.

[...] You have to compete with website builders like Squarespace and pre-made templates for Wordpress.

[...] For small businesses, not really. The site generators have won there.

One guy even drew a graph to explain what he thinks. Read their comment to understand it, but to the left of the green line means sites that a sitebuilder can handle.

[...] over time that green line moves along the x-axis complexity scale. But the green line will only go so far, because you can't justify handling increasing complexity with a decreasing demand indefinitely.


Typemill's Markdown Editor: A Notes subscriber sent me a link to a CMS they built, called Typemill, and I'm just smitten with the Markdown editor they've put together.

Look at the animations on the homepage (scroll a little) to get a feel for it. I realize other, similar editors might exist, but the clarity of its demonstration of on this page is just lovely.


Content Book Recommendations: Michael Andrews has put together a great list of books about content strategy, architecture, and management.

There is a glaring, massive omission from this list (ahem), but I saw a lot of titles there I hadn't seen before, and placed a large order from Amazon after scrolling through the page.