DX Café with Deane Barker

Konabos Inc. - Konabos

3 Oct 2022

Note: The following is the transcription of the video produced by an automated transcription system.

if we are all set glad to have everyone here um welcome everyone to our dx cafe event predicting the future of headless and composable dxp i am matthew mcqueeny from konabose if you have any thoughts as we move along and before our actual chat at the end please put them in the zoom chat it's always nice to see some back and forth i'm sure dean will love seeing that as well as i said joining me today is dean barker global director of content management at optimizely i personally am really drawn to dean because he's a businessman but also kind of a philosopher in this marketplace and beyond once we started speaking with dean in the lead-up to these sever several of us at konabos were inspired to actually create our own content based off of those discussions love the analogy stuff so i think we'll all uh catch that today i saw a tweet from dean's where he he wishes he could just have a job with metaphors i think right so um of course yeah absolutely so dean thanks for being here welcome uh if you wouldn't mind could you introduce yourself and give the audience some background and also how long you've been working in the content management space sure um hi everybody thanks for coming um matthew you're referring to me as a businessman and philosopher which i find hilarious because i am neither a businessman nor a philosopher but my name is dean barker and i'm the global director of content management optimizely optimizely is a digital experience company we used to be apple server and uh we acquired optimizely a couple years ago we took their name so um i manage the content management product here i'm i'm in charge of that from a strategic direction uh i have been working in cms for i don't know it's vague 25 years maybe since the late 90s um i live in sioux falls south dakota been married for 23 years i have three children um i love to read and i love content management like content management books like those that's pretty much like where i am so uh i'm i'm happy to be here so thanks everybody for coming great yeah we can see all the books in the background i know we've spoken about that in the past how many books do you read uh i don't know do you do it by month week do you just start books and then um go to the next i read i read between 8 and 12 a month so i read i calculate my stats okay let me just pause real quick and i'm going to ask everybody to do something and this is not just a plea for attention i swear but i realized when i was putting when i was thinking about this talk there's like a million links i want to send people like i'm going to send you a link to this so here's the thing follow me on twitter and i will start a thread of all the links i mentioned during this talk and so on twitter i'm dean underscore barker there's me on the end of dean if you follow me on twitter one of the links i'll send you is i track all of my reading and goodreads and i review every book i read and i have a page on my website dmbarga.net reading which lists every book i read on goodreads in the last eight years that's reviews for them all and then also i calculate my pace this year i'm running at about a 350 page book every four days probably wow yeah that's really impressive i don't i i'd like to find the time but i guess did you take classes for power reading i know it's not about this but i'm just intrigued no the biggest thing is just you know my my youngest child turned 18 last week so um having adult children gives you a lot of time to read so i read at least an hour a day sometimes too i'll read six seven hours on a weekend wow wow that's that's impressive what's your favorite genre i don't i don't mean to monopolize this on reading or focus on reading genre uh i love history right now i'm reading the covenant by james mitcher in fact um i love history and i love science i read fewer business books than you would think and fewer tech books than your thing most my tech consumption is digital but uh history and science i read quite a bit of faith i do quite a bit of bible reading every day as well so um yeah history you know the the covenant is 900 pages long so this is going to take me a couple weeks wow so dean do you find this will tie into what we're actually speaking about do you find that reading kind of this vast library of books helps you with your metaphor and analogy uh thoughts i hope so i i hope so you know like i don't know um because we're talking about counterfactual like how would i be without that reading i i don't know i did last year start here's another link i'll put in twitter but i did start last year keeping track of all the stuff i looked up in september like when i read these books i just look up a ton of stuff like i see a word that i understand or a concept to understand i look it up and so i started like codifying that research and publishing that so i'll send a link to um a page on my website called stuff i had to look up and right now i think this as of this morning's 402 things that i had to look up like the definitions to and i keep looking at this and thinking i hope i'm smarter because of this but like who knows i maintain i tweeted about this the other day that like right now objectively i'm the smartest i have ever been in my life but information has expanded so fast that i'm also the dumbest i've ever been in my life like i know more than i've ever known but i know less of what's possible to know than i've ever known so i'm getting both smarter and dumber at the same time which is weird there's nothing for you that's great well that's that's the philosopher thing you're always thinking of that but why don't we let's talk a little bit about how the current state of the cms headless you know composable market is much like the past last week in our inaugural event we used the back to the future reference but here i have chosen to go with william shakespeare i hope you're honored um but it is said that the current headless composable market is a lot like it was 20 25 years ago you brought up 25 years ago on queue what do you see kind of in that thread of thought well what's interesting is that when you look at content management one of the big architectural decisions on content management is the separation of management delivery like you manage content in one place and you deliver content another place and i actually thought of another metaphor the other day produced on the shelves at a supermarket everything that happens prior to that produce getting on a shelf is management everything that happens to get that produce off the shelf is delivery and you know that's that's everything we do to get content into a published state in a consumable state is really management and everything we do to get that content actually consumed is delivery and those two relationships between those two sides of the coin i think have really defined content management for a long time um i know i think we have some slides later about the different coupling models right we were decoupled and then we were coupled and now we're sort of weirdly decoupled again so i i think it's funny how we're kind of going full circle um in terms of the way we architect cms and i think a lot of that has been driven by the power that we can do in the browser now because a lot of things that we used to do on the server that we now do in the browser so our server side delivery can be much more static and less active so um it's it's weird i try not to be old i'm 50 years old i turned 50 last year and i try not to like show my age i when i was in my 20s and i got my start at 19 i was convinced i could solve every problem and i was the smartest guy in the room and nothing good had happened before i got there and then i showed up and everything was awesome and and these older guys in i.t that had been doing it since like the 80s i was a popular target for ridicule because i was convinced i could solve every problem and now i've become one of those guys right i've become one of those people that looks at these 20 year old kids who are just like resolving all the problems that we solved in the past and i feel old i try not to feel my age i'm 50 now and that's an eternity in the technical field well that's okay so we hear the term headless all the time now hopefully everyone does how do you define headless and what are the key characteristics that differentiate it from the alternatives i think you talked a bit about on the cms end right of the management delivery is it kind of the similar vein there yeah well a headless cms fundamentally just manages content and doesn't deliver it right i think the analogy i don't know who came up with the term headless but the analogy is that delivery is the head and we chop that off so we just don't do delivery if we talk about management delivery like um a headless cms is literally the one that can lay claim to the term cms because my product could call a cms but it does more than that it both manages content and delivers it but a headless cms like a contentful or a president or an agility or whatever literally just manages the content you have to bring your own delivery so that's how really i'm defining headless but the term can get vague when we talk to people that come in uh to optimizely i'm on a lot of sales calls and people want we want to do headless well what do you want to do with headless there's two major lenses that we're looking at headless right now the first lens is what we're calling um client-side templating so when someone says they want to do headless they may think well we just want to template react or svelte or amber or whatever well that's one type of headless the other type of customer comes in and says i want to do headless because they want to separate content from presentation and i want to deliver my content all these different channels well that's an entirely different value prop and we would probably approach that entirely different way so uh headless is something that just does management if you want to have a cms and just template it and react i'm not really calling that headless that's just templating by a different name really when um on that point when you speak about all the different touch points that a headless cms can deliver to what are the what are the handful that you really think are are critical i mean off the top my head i'm thinking uh web mobile but do you get into to social do you get into the billboards i mean it seems like those use cases are less and less what do you think about that okay this is where i have a tendency to get myself in trouble and being popular but i'm going to state this for the record especially in north america and europe um most organizations primary delivery channel is the web i'm going to say that as a blanket rule there are exceptions i understand you may be thinking no what about so-and-so and i get it there are exceptions but largely most deliberate channels of the web i did make that statement once at a keynote presentation i did and someone came up to me afterwards and said that is not true in asia if you're in china or japan or singapore or something it's much more focused on mobile devices like mobile apps and i get that for north america and europe the primary delivery channel is the web so i feel like most organizations would be more well served by a very very competent web content management system with headless capabilities that they can use to push into other content because when you talk about content that you're delivering you're primarily generating web-based artifacts other artifacts you might power a mobile app with it but honestly a lot of mobile apps today are just webview apps i mean a lot of mobile apps are really just like progressive web apps um you know one of the great dreams is that we would content manage our main content and then push versions of it like into social media channels that very rarely happens too often you see organizations just pushing content with like buffer or hootsuite into social media and they don't actually connect the two could they connect the two maybe would it be worth their while i don't know only if they're pushing a whole lot of volume so i i am a huge believer in the fact that the web is the primary delivery channel and we can have some headless capabilities to connect your web cms to other things but those other things are going to be other things do you find in the in the industry when you're on calls especially in the enterprise that it's it's difficult still for the for the web producers the content producers in a site to give up styling and to just trust that content can go in there and then there will be a layer who will take care of the presentation yeah one of the big problems with pure headless and and these this has been solved in some cases so i don't want to say it's a problem without a solution but you know editors want preview right they want preview and they want page composition they want to drag things around on a page things like that and they're not getting that from a pure headless solution when you divorce the management from delivery well the problem is people want to see what it's going to look like in delivery they want to see what it's going to look like and delivered now if you are a headless cms there are attempts on that side to bridge that gap so i know like contentful has your ability to put preview urls in the admin ui so you can click there and go to a preview url i know that um you know kentico content has some client-side library that you can click to edit on the client side but people want to see how things are going to look in the delivery and so what we've done in optimize the content cloud we actually have multiple delivered channels that you can preview in so you can look at your content as on the web and you can have a different set of templates that we show what it would look like on a phone or whatever it would look like a social media update and so not only do people want to see what it's going to look like they want to see what it's going to look like in every possible delivery environment that can be tricky to do when you disavow or reject any concept of delivery so it can be problematic so you have a really nice deck i'm sure you would share it uh after but the i pulled out a couple of the core principal elements um i will give you credit this is all dean um would you you've spoken to a few of these things but i thought these were really good to to pull out and actually look at versus yesterday today the headless future could you just talk through these two a little bit sure this deck actually came from a sales kickoff we did it optimized about two years ago about two years ago we really started to see a notch up in people looking for headless so i put together kind of a headless 101 course for our sellers and the core principle i maintain is understanding that the management and delivery of content are not the same thing um we have been spoiled and this will be on the next slide but we've been spoiled with the concept of coupled cmss where management delivery are the same thing right they're served out of the same system um like i'm sorry go back just like that sure these these are what are called coupling models um and what i'm going to do is i'm going to talk through kind of the three major coupling models that we've seen that kind of progress throughout history and let me talk through these to make a little bit more sense but if we talk about the difference between management and delivery we used to back in the day we used decoupled cmss like if you used vignettes or interwoven or documentum or red dot or movable type these were systems where the editors worked on one system they worked in one environment and then when they published that content actually generate an artifact and an artifact the difference content is a conceptual ideal a content object is the thing that exists in a pure state an artifact is a thing generated from that content object when you read a web page you may look at that and say well this is content it's not actually it's an artifact that was made from content and so what we used to do back in the day they've got the cms is editors would work in the cms and then they would publish their content the cms would generate a bunch of artifacts and ship it over to some other delivery environment honestly the big heavy old guard cmss of the late 90s were basically massive static site generators what they would do is they would push all these hdmi html files somewhere so this was decoupled meaning the management and the delivery were not bound together the only time they were bound together was at the time of publish so when we say coupled that's what we mean the couple is management delivery and and decoupled means they're kind of separated so if you want to go the next slide what we moved into in the early 2000s wordpress dates from like 2003. um we moved into coupled cms's and with coupled cmss it's one system so visitors are consuming content from the other side that the editors are working on so if a visitor wants to read your content they go to your website and if you want to edit your content you kind of go to slash admin or whatever and log in and this is still today i would maintain clearly the predominant form of content management i mean wordpress uses this and wordpress power's only like 40 on now the benefit of this is since uh we maintain an active relationship with our content we can do more interesting things with it when we were just pushing get artifacts over the wall like they were disconnected and like we couldn't really do anything with them but this has given us the opportunity to uh keep our fingers and our content while it's being consumed and maybe change it and personalize and secure it and things like that additionally we don't have to have two different environments which is very helpful now where we're going where i think the industry is going um and not necessarily where it should go but where it is going is headless cms and headless cms we're decoupling again but essentially instead of the cms pushing artifacts into channels into delivery channels delivery channels are doing all the work and they're just using the cms as a database really they're just pulling data from the cms the cms has no idea how its content content's being used and just really the brains of the operation are in the in the delivery channel so these are the three major coupling environments what's weird is decoupled is sort of coming back too we're seeing decoupled cmss now with these kind of cobbled together static site generation systems um you've had static site generation for a long time where i would be working on my local machine and i would run a command line operation and it would generate a website like on my local machine which i could ftp somewhere but then someone got the bright idea of well let's put a static site generator in the cloud so they put static site generators on servers that really run at the server side and now we've come full circle back to decoupled cms that are generating artifacts and putting them in a delivery environment so it's bizarre how we we go round and round and round but these are the three major coupling environments and everything we're doing sort of fits in one of these things and i like this slide here's why i like this slide um because when you talk about decoupled and headless we're really talking about decoupling our environments right our management environment from our delivery environment i maintain the difference between the two is where the brains are so i found a little brain icon which i was super happy about so look at the top there decoupled the brains are on the cms side right the cms is deciding like how i'm going to turn all this content into artifacts right the cms is making the leap from content to artifact and then it's pushing that over to delivery the delivery channel is dumb it doesn't know the cms is just said here's what you get now if we go down to the to the bottom it's different the brains have moved from the cms to the delivery channel you have some react app or something that is telling the cms this is what i need the cms is the same this is what you get the delivery environment has the brains and it's telling the cms this is what i need and it's forming the artifacts in the delivery channel and this is always why and this can be a contentious statement but i get frustrated with headless vendors and jam stack vendors that claim that it's less development because i don't believe that's true i don't believe that headless cms resolves any complexity it just moves it around it just moves it from the management layer to the delivery layer i absolutely believe that um if you look at some of the delivery frameworks we're using now on the web like the react and all these different things that we're doing they are this is again where i feel old saying those but they are far more complex than server-side cms and and so if someone is thinking well we're gonna go headless and we're gonna do all the stuff in the delivery channel so we'll have less development i don't believe that's true i have not seen anything that makes me believe that that's true it's just as complicated the complication is just somewhere else dean you tweeted very recently i think it was almost a month ago today that there's a blurry line between composable and frankenstein we've used the word internally here i think i think our friend dennis who is on here from barbados he's used frank and duck could you talk a little bit about this it's going to lead us into our future state stuff too but i really thought this one stuck out we had it going a lot in our slack internally when it came out composable it's a new name for an old concept we used to call it best of breed in the 90s right best of breed was that you didn't buy from one vendor you picked and choose solutions from all sorts of different vendors um well the problem is back then none of them worked together right every vendor had their own kind of secret garden now today there's more interoperability and there's web services you get things working a little bit better together but there are still huge interoperability problems and so composable is it's a fun word right it's a fun word to say i think people say it because it's kind of a fun word to say composable it makes you sound smart it's like digital transformation a phrase that meant absolutely nothing but people just love to say it because it was very trendy and it made it feel very smart to talk about it and i think the same string is true of composable we've been composing digital experience solutions for years and years and years so there's nothing new here i just think composable is a marketing term stood up by some vendors and some vendor groups that would like to promote and glamorize their particular way of doing things and in saying that i'm not indicting them i mean their way of doing things may be personally valid perfectly valid but i just think it's a mistake for us to think that composable is new or interesting i don't want to say interesting that sounds pejorative but um new or or particularly innovative it's it's h yeah it's a name for something we've been doing for years yep i just want to uh agree sorry i had to jump in because this is you know it's you know i uh it's a big belief of mine i'm writing an article that you know for all i know dean will bash me for it but i'll make sure he gets it but um i'm just writing an article about these things and you know everything from well i won't i'm not going to throw stones it's just the the marketing concepts create um is just a recreation and you're saying exactly what i was thinking i worked for a company called yantra in 2020 and it was a suite of applications that we like to say was tightly integrated loosely coupled ultimately it was built on apis which meant you could use it or not use it you could still bring in your best piece you know if you didn't want to use the warehouse piece of our let's call it uh composable suite of applications back in 2020 then you plugged in a different one right um it you know it's the same thing as we were doing 20 years ago so that tells you how old i am dean you're in good company i maintain that um okay i'm gonna get into a little psychology here oh i'm gonna philosophize you said i was a philosopher so i maintain that everybody wants to invent something you work in i.t long enough everybody wants to invent something they all want to innovate something and for some reason we have glamorized the idea of inventing new paradigms and i think that some people think it is a surrender or a capitulation to simply use an existing solution now i'm going to say that there's a certain type of people that constantly have to innovate and scott hanselman has done a great talk on this another link called employer um called the one percent developers if you work in professional web development you are very likely looking at a skewed version of your industry you're looking at people that do web development for a living and are really on top of all like the latest technologies and are desperately trying something new and the people that you're hearing from this is a form of survivor bias the people you're hearing from are the people who are doing new things if somebody's using an existing search like if somebody's using server-side rendering to generate their website from their cms you don't read case studies about that right you only read case studies about things that are interesting and new no one writes a case study about something people have been doing for 20 years and so we have the skewed version of our industry that like everybody is doing these innovative amazing things no the innovative amazing things are sometimes the only things you hear about and so we have glamorized this idea that we have to reinvent every paradigm and and we don't and i think everybody wants to innovate something at claim ownership of something and we see it as a failure if we just use the technologies that other people have written and that we've been using for years and so i i think there's a psychological basis for us constantly having to reinvent things that don't need to be reinvented and now i just feel like a billion years old so well thank you for the i like matt coming in from the top rope with some good good info now this i i see that the background are tomatoes and i feel like you're trying to remind me that's right so um i really still think much to what you're talking about here explaining these uh the terminology and the words in as simplified a way as you can so that we can all understand it right that's that's one of the great things we can do and so there's two here that i would like to talk through one is there's a reason i put the tomatoes behind there as you said and then it's also going to lead us into what i really like with the management and delivery piece with a restaurant versus the delivery um so maybe we start with the tomatoes yeah another link i'll put in twitter but i wrote a blog post about tomatoes i don't know why why this analogy had to me this is like my life is one big metaphor which what's funny about that is that in and of itself is a metaphor um so my life being one big metaphor uh if you go to a restaurant you don't order a tomato like if you go to a restaurant you just look up at the waiter and say hey i'll have a tomato he would be like what it's a tomato and he'd be like do you mean the marinara sauce do you mean the caprese salad you'd be like no i'll just have a tomato nobody does that right you don't order a tomato you don't eat a tomato you eat things that are made with tomatoes right you eat a stuff that a tomato was part of the agreement and then it was prepared by somebody and so when we look at headless cms what i struggle with this is that headless cms is like a place where you can put all your tomatoes you still have to get them out once once if you make an ap altu api call to a headless cms all you get back is raw content you just give it raw tomatoes who turns those tomatoes into a dish who turns those tomatoes into like something that somebody can consume i maintain when somebody goes to a website they go to a url like slash products that is a statement of intention they're not saying i want content object 6551 they're saying i want to know about your products what is the logical process that turns slash products into an experience and like what organizes that and some system has to do that now some systems my system in particular optimize the content cloud this is what i call response logic i i came up with that term a few years ago response logic is when you take in a request and you perform some logic to decide how you're going to respond to that request like when someone asks for slash products there's needs to be some decision process some logical rules and processing to figure out how we're going to respond to that where is that response logic well a headless cms very specifically does not do that headless cms will give you back the content you ask for it won't interpret intention so if you're using a headless cms for a website your response logic is where it's in your site builder or it's in your react components or it's somewhere where you're turning content into experience and that's just it when you go to a restaurant you don't need a tomato you like marinara sauce like somebody composes it somebody takes that tomato and does something with it and turns it into an experience and i think that's where we're we're losing this and this goes back to my point that headless vendors who say that they require less development i don't i'm going to say are being a little disingenuous because they are cutting out massive parts of the process to move people from content to experience i maintain that for a headless vendor to say well our systems are so much simpler well okay that's true but they're simple because you just threw a bunch of stuff overboard that's like a car manufacturer saying um our cars are much more reliable and they're more reliable because we threw out all the engines well sure a car without an engine has less things that are going to break but it also is useless like you have to put an engine back into it so um i i just maintain that headless cms has moved us to a very content centric look we're talking about content objects well that matters to us that doesn't matter to our visitors they want to know about our products they want to experience they want us to communicate some idea they don't want a tomato they want marinara sauce and like where does that get done so anyway that's the tomatoes i'll put that link on twitter as well but i wrote a blog post about tomatoes so it's kind of weird so tomatoes would go into this mix this is another metaphor potentially i like this one a lot i need to spend my life just thinking of metaphors and what's funny is that i kind of do like my biggest job is thinking of wings to explain things but um one metaphor i explain um is this is coupled cms is like integrated delivery whereas headless cms oh that's on the next slide we'll get there is like it's like takeout right okay so go back to coupled cmos so when you go for the coupled cms and you order content like you would order food in a restaurant the food is prepared like the management part is done and then there's an integrated dining experience which means the restaurant keeps track of you while you eat it you're sitting in the restaurant and they have a server that comes to check on you and they can bring you a dessert menu and uh if you have a problem with your food you can take it back i mean it's an integrated delivery the whole thing is kind of put together this is a coupled cms that integrated delivery model and then the next one is headless cms is basically takeout right the the management side is the same right the food is prepared but you have to manage the consumption of that meaning you have to provide the silverware and the table and all these other things to consume that and maybe that's what you want maybe you want to eat your food sitting in front of netflix or whatever and that's great but once you've done that you no longer have a relationship with the kitchen so if you want to send food back it's complicated like nobody's going to bring you like a dessert menu nobody's going to come out and check on you it's it's it's different and so i always maintain that take out food at a restaurant should be cheaper and it should be cheaper there's a whole lot of things the restaurant doesn't have to do anymore i don't know if it really is or not but if you think if you eat in a restaurant as opposed to getting takeout you are consuming a whole bunch more of that restaurant's resources than someone who just gets takeout because when someone just gets takeout all that stuff is their problem and so again i feel like headless cms we haven't resolved complexity we've just kind of moved it moved it around i don't know so dean i i think we're going to end up having a really spirited uh discussion when we uh come to the close but there's three elements here that i'd love to tie together you've spoken a lot to what my next slides are but i'm gonna try to put them out there and then if you can if you can be the the api that ties them together well all this all this food metaphors may be hungry is the problem i know it's going to be lunchtime soon right um so we have i've liked this term i've heard from you one we have the race to the middle okay two we have the what we're seeing over the next five years it's crazy that that's going to be 2027 i'm shocked and then i kind of had this question of of what what in your mind is the perfect platform the shangri-la if you will so race to the middle what you see in the next couple years and if you have that uh you know that holy grail of the perfect platform the race to the middle if you look at a couple decoupled headless kind of a spectrum so you have the traditional coupled cmos on one side of the spectrum and then you have pure headless cmss on the other side of the spectrum we are currently in a race to the middle both sides are heading towards the middle and i'll give you some points of of proof for that well in 2015 we built a headless api for optimizing content clouds we are a couple cms with the headless api last year we released a content management api we released the content different definitions api in 2019 we released a react foundation sample site so we are releasing a lot of tools that make us look like a headless cms i maintain and this is a strong statement but i maintain that inside optimizely content cloud is the world's greatest headless ems i mean we have we the management tools that we have are absolutely first-rate and we have enough headless tools that it's really a fantastic cms it just happens to be wrapped in a web content management system now let's go on the other side of the pure headless vendors so they have always sort of crept into delivery we started seeing this a few years ago some headless vendors started offering client-side javascript libraries to enable click to edit so you could go to your website and you could like click and be taken over to the headless ui to edit something so that was them kind of like waltzing into the delivery channel and then i remember a headless vendor created a landing page building system where you could have a canvas and you could move things kind of up or down and it really was just a very low fidelity page builder it was really funny because it was very low fidelity like you were just dealing with things like a form but you were moving them around and i remember thinking well you should make this higher fidelity and then i got to thinking well that's just a that's just a web content management system if you made this higher fidelity um contentful i believe just released or maybe released last year contentful compose which is like a page builder um kentico kentico had their dxp system um and then they released a pure headless cms they called kentico cloud and they renamed kentico content well now they've released kentico web spotlight which is a website building system that sits on top of their headless cms i mean so there's just this rate we keep running and getting closer and closer to the middle to the point where the line is so blurry and so when we look five years from now what i think is going to happen in terms of web content management delivery is that headless is just going to be a templating choice and that's what we've tried to impress upon people when we talk to customers and prospects that want to do like react-based templating like well i'm doing react oh wrote a web page on this web post on this too but it was a very angry web or blog post so we didn't publicize this but i'll put the link on twitter um if you want to build a website with react you need a web content management system you're literally just templating it differently like the last inch of delivery i mean in our system literally the last line of addressable code is where you did the templating you're just doing it a different way you still have menus and you still have urls and you still have a concept of a page you're just templating it differently and so what i think is going to happen is that you're going to see a bunch of traditional coupled web content management systems that are just going to have comprehensive support for client-side templating and when this happens we're going to break this notion that client-side templating javascript dom-based templating like react or whatever you have to have a dedicated headless cms for because i don't think you do and i think it's counterproductive there are a lot of web paradigms that really have very little to do with the actual templating and presentation of content that a web content management has solved i once got to see the conte i'm not picking on contentful because i know a lot of people there's a wonderful cms but i got to see a very large website that ran on contentful once and i got to see the back end of it the web developer let me in and he showed me the whole back end of their website and he was incredibly proud of all of the things that they had done to enable web functionality like they said this is how we're translating urls to content and this is how we're doing our navigation and our menus and this is how we're like doing um you know content areas on the home page and they were very proud of this but all i could think about was every web content management system in the world already does that you just rebuilt a bunch of functionality that already existed i didn't tell them this but that's kind of what i what i felt like and so i think i have built websites on headless cmss and you end up rebuilding a lot of kind of web specific functionality so i'll go back to my point i think the system are we on the next slide the perfect system here's the perfect platform the perfect platform is something that very much separates management delivery and lets you swap out your templating layer very very easily that supports server-side templating it supports blazer and react and svelte and static site generation and progressive web apps and dedicated mobile and all of these different delivery paradigms that we're supporting right now the problem as a vendor that we struggle with i am on the product team at optimizely and here's what you struggle with the vendor is that delivery frameworks have fractured so much it used to be that server side html that's what everybody did and it worked great now there's eight billion different frameworks to render things in the browser additionally each one of those frameworks has this huge idiosyncratic stack of supporting technologies for instance if you are using react are you using redux are you using helmet are using all these different react tools the number of combinations of delivery side technologies is shocking so what i think you're going to see is the perfect sum one is going to be this separates management and delivery and provides a default delivery implementation that you can use out of the box but you can also provide your own and at the risk of sounding very salesly i i believe optimizing content cloud is is that type of system it is a system that carefully separates management from delivery absolutely separates content from presentation you can use it to pure headless cms if you want you can use your delivery tools as you want i think that's where the industry's going that's great and dean i think we have a handful of folks ready to raise their hands and speak so this is the heart right no no trouble we had i had some teaching slides but i think you've proved here why you would be such a good teacher to college kids about this subject maybe some thumbs up from the folks um so i just want to we'll go to the part uh everyone get your questions ready i do just want to show a little bit of a community bulletin board uh before we go there i i this has just been a great conversation tomorrow we will have our inaugural dx cafe toastmasters club meeting and maybe maybe we should say that dean is a member a distinguished member of toastmasters because you can maybe learn to speak as well as as he can speak to subjects at least in your domain so that's tomorrow at 1 30 my friend ken there is going to put the link in the chat and we we have the link out and about as well um five the week of 522 we're going to have a little bit of a konibos takes toronto uh several of our members will be there so if there's anybody in the area or if anybody knows of anyone in the area we'd love to to meet up and we have some activities planned and then of course the last two things if you have topics uh that you'd like to speak with the community um don't don't be intimidated by today's i think this is like a graduate level seminar of this stuff so uh we're you know this is an open conversation and then if you have any nominations for community spotlights we're going to be pushing out the the stories of members of the community so we look for uh nominations there and then let's as i said i'm an espresso guy um dean said that he's into instant instant coffee lately for the to be able to get the single serve uh maybe we should get him into nespresso but uh uh let's take questions i know dennis uh i've you were you had some questions that maybe you were gonna start off with is is that is that okay absolutely so i was uh collecting some questions so kennedy asked a couple uh do you see any different use cases where content is delivered from the cms to the email channel um or what is the percentage of companies that are doing this i think that for that kind of yes talk to spoke to that a little bit actually maybe i'll just let me just speak to that for a second because we just i just had an interesting conversation about this with a prospect is they want to they want a system to manage their email templates and when you talk about html email i mean that's really just another channel for html and so what we had proposed to them which i still think is a great use case is just using a web content management system obviously ours to um build an email like a web page drag elements drag blocks around on the page and format like a web page and then just make that available to your email system your ability to do that depends on what system you're using for email with delivery but many systems have the ability to pull the html for an html email from some url and i think there's a great use case there i haven't seen anybody do it yet but i hope this customer takes the plunge because i think it's a fantastic use case i mean this isn't this is an over generalization but what is an html except a little web page that gets delivered to you it's exactly that uh raheel had an answer question that's r-a-s-r-a-h-e-l i probably butchered the name but i for help right now i would i think i i would i would love them to to ask the question themselves she are you there where are you yeah yeah i'm here i'm here just fumbling for the buttons hold on there we go now there there we go so i had actually made one comment and then one uh one question so one first of all dean thank you hi sweetheart good to see you that distinction hi for making that distinction between management and delivery so i i kind of go like you need a a working environment an authoring environment you need a processing environment you need a delivery environment and i have you and i are gonna have to have a metaphor queen of metaphors i tell my students this all the time um i use the the the bakery it's like you know you're you're you're building a bakery and the content people are making the donuts so in the back they're not making the you know the chocolate donuts over here and the fruit filled over there there's like a huge extruder and it's just like pumping out those donuts and putting it on the so that was that was kind of my comment but and i said that you know i could talk about that for ages but you do it so well but the one thing that frustrates me about cmss is especially like as now that we're getting into headless cmss is that if you look at the way content people work and so i'm going to make this delineation that there's marketing and content marketing and there's that kind of like persuasive content and that works one way but then there's all this like product content technical content uh in-app content and whatever and that works a very different way so we're really good at supporting the marketing folks and the persuasive end but we're not on the informational side and so the headless cms to me is like work environment light right there's like some things that it just doesn't do and i don't know why and because i you know that's where my technical knowledge stops it's like so that you have the the xml systems like the ccms's that do all this stuff and it's can you you can get incredibly sophisticated with it and nobody wants to use that because xml isn't cool anymore so they want to do it like right in the headless cms but the headless cms is don't do it and it's like does no one sit down with these people and say like what do you need to really do this work you know you know exponentially increase your your velocity of production or like why and and are we ever going to get it or do we have to just kind of okay so this is great i very much want to talk to this uh for just so everyone knows rahel and i are dear friends and we go back decades i don't know forever we went from we went from oh oh i get to buy rahul uh a coffee like the famous helicopter and now we're going to my famous from my famous friend dean and i'm a nobody i don't know what that says about the industry but also don't even get me started on xml versus json i'm still salty about that i'll be salty about that forever we did not need to reinvent xml xml was just fine thank you very much json is basically xml under another name but don't get me started i've gone flat for like an hour but here's the point i'm going to make for help the point i'm going to make here is i gave a talk in denmark about distributed cms i'll put a link to that on twitter again i believe that your cms can and should be an aggregated delivery layer from content from multiple different systems and what i would talk to you about is well you should be using a ccms you should be using a technical documentation system and then that should deliver the rendered artifact into a web cms for delivery and i am doing this with an organization now an organization has optimized the content cloud they are building their um documentation in sdl something anyway some some very significant technical writing system and what it does is when they they have a topic and when they like click publish it turns that into a zip file ships it up to optimize the content cloud and we in real time extract it from that zip file and deliver it and so by doing that they get all of the benefits all of the umbrella benefits the cms provides we have security we have templating we have all of that stuff but their editors can still work in their own system so i think that if you look at like a pyramid at the top is the actual delivery point like the actual things taking the inbound request from the from the visitor but there could be a multitude of things supporting that and this is this idea of distributed content delivery which i absolutely love and adore and i gave a great talk on this in denmark i'll put a link on twitter um hopefully you will find that interesting i i think i would and i would love to do something jointly with you to explain it because i don't use the words that you use and they're unfamiliar to me but i know that i know the terms that kind of my audience uses and i would love to kind of join them up well i will be in london at the end of may so we will exercise some of our food metaphors and talk about this you bet we'll go to a food place to exercise them too absolutely and and the other just um one other little thing is you know i've been getting into kind of conversation design to understand it because of some reasons of that i won't bore you with but i discovered i spoke to like a lot of the really uh well-known conversation designers like what are you using and they go google sheets and then and they're mapping it with like the you know the vizio online version of physio and they go oh you know what what's terrible is when you realize you've forgotten something right at the top and then you have to hand renumber all the vizio and i'm thinking like have we not moved ahead as a profession so that's all probably leave you with that thank you hello it's good to see you again that's great that was awesome amazing yeah for sure i mean we have enough time matt for one more hey if we have if we we could go till the top of the hour i'm here this is great i just want to thank dean for creating helping create this just great environment and bringing some great uh guests absolutely absolutely i have one i have one challenge uh for dean's comment on composability so 2019 gartner starts talking about composable business and i think people have misunderstood what um composability was all about so is composable dxp hype is composable business type do you see kind of value in the concept of composability in terms of the business side of things and does that imply anything for the way that the systems and solutions should be designed on the other side if that makes sense and by the way you know i'm just an amen coroner i heard matt interjected his amen i just really love that you're preaching on this topic uh appreciate you appreciate that very much so yeah composability and what's your take on it from uh from a business composability and agility perspective i will also in twitter i will put a link to a search for the word micro services on hacker news if you go out to hacker news which is a very well-known destination for programmers and developers and you search for microservices you will see a stunning overwhelming number of posts of people who saying that they're in microservice hell that they really loved it when they had what they call a beautiful monolith or a magnificent monolith the problem with microservice and composability is now you have multiple different vendors to juggle and you have multiple different services that you have to have interact with each other which can be very very problematic and so people think it makes you more agile well not really because what you have is you have people introducing features that depend on seven different services to work and so any change to a feature you don't have to coordinate across multiple different services additionally there should be nothing composable that is mission critical now that's an overstatement what i see people doing is using composability thinking it makes them more agile but using it for something that is utterly mission critical and their digital experience doesn't work without it if you have done that then i would maintain it's not a micro service you just split out some mission critical functionality that you have to desperately hope stays up i'll give you an example of a very appropriate use of composability we have a product our content recommendations product so what it does is it tracks the content that you consume on a website and it does some and natural language processing on that gets it into a topic analyzes the rest of your content and it provides like at the end of a blog post you can see recommendations for like the next step in your journey that to me great opportunity for composability microservices and why is that because your website doesn't break without it obviously the experience will be a little bit less they won't get recommendations but your website does not break without that and so that is something that could very very easily be composable um headless cms theoretically could be composable as well as long as you're like interstitially caching it if you're using it like statically generator site or something but i don't believe in anything totally composable for something that absolutely has to be running or out of business from a business standpoint i'm just not in love with that idea but again i might just be old both of us one of our oh sorry guys uh dean one of our great workers is our young man here morgan and he tries to put together um simplifying uh things like what is an api what is a dam what is all this so morgan i'd love if if uh if you'd speak your question we'll hear your voice hey aiden great session um my question was what do you think about the interchangeable use of composable dsp and headless cms i think that's it's wrong it's a false equivalence um a headless cms is something that just manages content and when people say headless they mean one of two different things they either meet them what headless cms or they want to do like client-side react templating so when people say headless they kind of jump across the management delivery line all the time a composable dxp is a system that provides both management and delivery functionality and you can pick and choose what you want so like contentful again i don't mean to pick on contentful great system nice people love them but they don't really provide any delivery functionality they're not a composable dxp they've never claimed to be one they would never be one so if somebody wants to say that a headless cms like contentful and a composable dxp are equivalent and interchangeable terms i i would dispute that completely thank you thank you um i'm just looking through our now that i stopped sharing i'm just looking through our questions here yeah now this was uh this was absolutely great i mean if there did anybody else have another uh question that they wanted to put out there because i would i would leave on the one point that i didn't get to to speak to which i think would be very interesting to everybody here how do you teach a college class about this subject how you put together the rubric how do you how do you decide intro advanced right you know how you teach college class in this you get a phone call from your dear friend rahel bailey and she says hey would you please teach a college class on this that's what happened i have always wanted to teach content management at the university levels always dream of mine to do that and rahel is involved she is one of the kind of founding advisors for a master's in constant strategy course at a university in grass austria graz is the second largest city in austria and they are to our knowledge certainly at the time and they might still be the only university that offers a master's degree in content strategy and as part of this master's degree they wanted to have a course on content management and rahel said i know just the guy he's a narcissist he loves to sign up his own voice he'd be a great college instructor so rahel called me up and um uh i put together curriculum i my syllabuses are are creative commons licensed i will put them out on twitter as well if you want to see the syllabus i teach two courses on it uh the introduction to content management course is eight lectures two books and two assignments and the advanced content management course is ten lectures two books and i think seven assignments and i'll put it out there you can see the entire curriculum and how i kind of break it down but what's important to understand about teaching a college course especially about something that's so fast-moving as this industry is that you have to keep changing it every time they say okay we need you to teach this in the fall i have to sit down and figure out what's changed one of the biggest thing that changed is um you know pricing cms you know we moved from like uh pay pay a big chunk of money and fractional subscription to like annual subscription i had to completely redo the acquiring cms course like a year ago so you always have to change it over time so the idea that you're gonna teach this once and never change it is is a pipe dream i constantly have to revisit this course over and over again but i adore teaching this course i i love to teach but i hate evaluating so i love teaching the students i don't want to say kids because a lot of them are in the 30s and 40s um but i hate evaluating them it stresses me out i've never had to fail somebody and i drink fingers crossed i never will have to well that's that's absolutely great and you still have the time to i don't know if we said it while everyone was on you read eight to twelve books a month on top of it right so i do i'm just putting my twitter handle in and to chat and again when i'm putting this in here i'm not begging for twitter followers but there's like a billion different links i want to send you folks i don't think you have to beg and for me for me to send you these links twitter is the most efficient way so now that's great i have a trouble reading to the end of an email so i can't imagine reading eight books right there thank you for this kona bose this has been really great dean i'm i'm sorry i'm jumping in here but yeah i'm sorry i haven't met you like three years ago because uh i really enjoyed it twenty twenty years ago the voice time twenty years ago right when i was at yantra anyway the uh i really enjoyed the content and thank you uh kona bose this was really great great session today thank you i'll just jump in and thank matt and dean and and um you know matt bolland as well i mean this is what the dx cafe is supposed to be about is to connect all of us digital professionals so that we can learn and uh from each other and so uh thanks again matt dean everybody attendance for that thanks for showing up for for each other today yeah look forward to seeing everybody again for sure thank you everybody i enjoyed it

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