Squirrel Notes: The End?
So, what happened to Squirrel Notes?
The last issue of Squirrel Notes was sent about this time last year – Issue No. 61. A year later, I’m here to explain why there was never an Issue No. 62.
Primarily, it’s because I went to work for a CMS vendor, and this made things…weirder.
I’m currently the Global Director of Content Management for Optimizely, which is a position and a company I enjoy very much. To be fair, I had this same position all the way through 2020 as well, so it wasn’t a new or sudden thing.
However, a few situations increasingly came up that caused me to rethink my ability to run a neutral industry newsletter while simultaneously holding a high-level position at one of the biggest vendors in that industry.
First, any negative information about another vendor felt like FUD, and I didn’t like it. I’m a “big tent” guy. I love the vendor I work for, but I love all content technology, and I didn’t like being put in a position where it sounded like any critique of another vendor was a marketing tactic. In particular, I remember a note about Kentico Web Spotlight where I wrote my honest assessment, but given my position and the competitive environment, it felt like an attack.
Second, on the exact opposite side, I felt like there was a natural tendency towards promoting my employer’s products. To be clear, at no time did Optimizely exercise any influence over Squirrel Notes. However, they’re an influential vendor in the industry, and clearly I have a front-row seat to what they do (in fact, I initiate many things that they do…). That left me in a position where it was very easy to promote Optimizely over everything else, and that’s not why Squirrel Notes was started. In fact, I remember rushing to get the last issue out so I could promote an Optimizely webinar I was doing, and that made me feel a little gross.
Those two things kinda ganged up on me, and I found myself letting more and more time lapse between issues.
One year later, here we are.
Lee Kelleher asked about the status of Squirrel Notes on Twitter a few weeks back. I got to thinking that it wasn’t fair to just fade away. So here I am, in your inbox, explaining what happened.
My ask is this: don’t unsubscribe from the list. It will remain dormant for the time being, but being on the list means you’re interested in content technology, and someday, Squirrel Notes might rise again.
But for now, the squirrel is hibernating (do they even do that?).
Every issue and note is archived on my website:
Squirrel Notes Archive
(For the record, there’s a ton of other CMS-related content out there too…)
Thanks for riding along for 61 issues. I’m proud of what I produced, and it was so much fun putting together every issue over three years.
Until next time.