Squirrel Notes Issue #34

This issue was published on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

I Have Joined Episerver: This issue was delayed for a very big reason: I recently took a new position at Episerver. I have assumed the role of Senior Director of Content Management Strategy.

Episerver Hires Well-Known Content Management Veteran

I co-founded Blend Interactive in 2005. Shortly after, Blend became Episerver's first North American partner and has done Episerver implementation work for 11 years. It's no exaggeration to say Blend evolved around Episerver's push into North America.

My role at Episerver is going to be thought leadership for CMS, and contributing to the strategic development of the CMS product.

I still own about a third of Blend. For the time being, I'll continue to work from a Blend office.

Finally, Episerver understands that Squirrel Notes is an independent publication. I talk about other vendors from various perspectives, and I will continue to do so.


Sitecore Layoffs: Sitecore laid off about 70 people last week, which constituted about 5% of their workforce. There's a tendency to assume the worst, but I talked to a friend who offered two other explanations:

  1. Sitecore might be slimming down for an acquisition or an IPO. They got new majority owners in the spring of 2016. Three-and-a-half years is a quicker turn than I would expect, but it could happen.
  2. Sitecore might be shedding some employees from their two recent acquisitions. In the last year, they acquired StyleLabs and Hedgehog, picking up a few hundred employees. Undoubtedly, there was some overlap.

Time will tell which model this fits.

(Vendors: one of the employees who accepted an exit package was a personal friend working in high-level strategic product management. If you have a need in this space, contact me and I'll connect you.)


Aprimo Chrome Extension: I've had some exposure to Aprimo lately, which offers systems for Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Marketing Resource Management (MRM).

I like that they're one of the few vendors that make a Chrome browser extension for some advanced functionality of their system. You can use Aprimo just fine without it, but there's a browser plugin that gives you instant access to your tasks and work items without you having to visit an interface.

This is an example of an idea I love: Owning the Container (that post is 14 years old – be gentle). We spend so much time with our CMSs, wouldn't it be helpful to selectively enable enhanced functionality via a sandboxed browser extension? This is an idea that needs to catch on more.


Netgen Layouts Is Final: Netgen Layouts has gone both 1.0 and open-core. This is a “layout management system” (my phrase) that injects content from multiple providers into a single system to manage layout and presentation.

I talked about this a bit in my “The Future Might Be Distributed” talk at the Umbraco conference in May. I think there's a space for systems that work on distributed models – systems that do nothing but aggregate content that doesn't live inside their repository.


WordPress Auto Upgrade: WordPress is working on a plan to focibly upgrade all sites to the latest version. This will either make the entire Internet safer or go over like the Cloverfield monster.

This will be done in multiple stages, as follows:

  1. 2% of all 3.7 sites will be auto-updated to 3.8
  2. After a week, another 18% will be auto-updated to 3.8
  3. After two weeks, 80% of 3.7 sites will be auto-updated to WP 3.8.
  4. Repeat the same steps as above, but migrating sites from 3.8 to 3.9…

...wow. That's audacious. Godspeed folks.