Squirrel Notes Issue #41

This issue was published on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

More on Gartner's WCM Decision: CMSWire wrote about why Gartner eliminated their web content management Magic Quadrant. I'm quoted in the article, but I'm embarrassed about one thing:

[Gartner] changed “Enterprise Content Management” to “Content Services Platforms” in 2017, defining the technology as “a set of services and microservices, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories [...]”

I opined in the article that Gartner would come up with a content-focused MQ to replace WCM. From the looks of the quote, they've already did: Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms

I literally had no idea. Now the question becomes: will they add a bunch of headless vendors to that? Because there's a blurry line between a headless CMS and an enterprise CMS, in terms of philosophy and direction


Ars Technica's (lack of) Editorial Tools: Ars Technica is doing a series on “the future of work,” and they started by detailing how they work without a central office. The second half of the article reveals that they're on WordPress, which is not a surprise, but I was a little rattled by their rigged-up editorial workflow system:

Actual publication of a piece to the front page is delegated to a group of editors collectively referred to as the “newsdesk.” Staffers in that group rotate places on a dedicated newsdesk hot seat, and when a writer has a story that’s ready to run, the writer pass the story via the #readyforedits Slack channel

While Slack is important, we also lean heavily on a handful of collaborative spreadsheets that we maintain via Google Sheets. In spite of years of discussion about alternatives and a few abortive attempts to move to some other system, the humble spreadsheet remains the easiest way for everyone here to keep track of their stuff.

It's just a cobbling together of tools, which is probably much more common than we like to think ... but weird for a publishing company?


Uniform: I got a demo of Uniform earlier today. It's a publication system that combines content from multiple sources, passes it to a rendering system of some kind (think GatsbyJS or Nuxt), then automatically deploys the result to a hosting platform.

Uniform helps you connect to existing systems, even legacy systems. [...] Your site content may come from multiple sources, even multiple CMSs. Uniforms unifies this content for you.

Uniform is built by Altola, which is a bunch of very smart ex-Sitecore engineers. Not surprisingly, one of the initial supported content sources is Sitecore.

Static sites from CMS is not new, but Uniform manages to preserve all personalization functionality. They serialize the personalization rules and execute them client-side. That part made me do a Keanu-style “whoa”.


History of the RSG Subway Map: Real Story Group has published their “subway map” of content vendors for a decade. Tony Byrne posted a retrospective of the format, where he showed all the prior iterations of it.

There are venerable names in there, and it's interesting to listen to an analyst talk about how the different categories of CMS developed over time.


Boye in Brooklyn: Janus Boye has announced the Brooklyn conference, May 5-8. This is a wonderful event, and I'm honored to be the keynote this year.

I' do something I've long-dreamed of: a talk based entirely around a Saturday Night Live sketch.

(Speaking of SNL and Boye, I happened to run across a picture of Aidy Bryant's real-life wedding. I recognized the room instantly. It's where the last few Boye events have been held in NYC: The Wythe Hotel. Janus responded to my tweet with a picture of himself in the same room.)