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January 30, 2015

January 2015 Newsletter

Table of Contents

  1. What You Need to Know about the Ektron–EPiServer Merger
  2. A TED Talk Template

What You Need to Know about the Ektron–EPiServer Merger

By Brendan Magee
As you know, Hodgson is a partner with both Ektron and EPiServer, and we are very familiar with the unique benefits of each content management system. Ever since Accel-KKR announced the purchase of the two companies, Hodgson has been monitoring developments closely. On Tuesday, January 27th, Ektron and EPiServer announced that they would be combining to form a single company.

The newly merged companies (operating under the EPiServer brand) will hold a partner meeting on Wednesday, February 4th at 3:00 PM EST. Hodgson will certainly be in attendance at that meeting, which will cover the benefits of the new combination of Ektron and EPiServer, the direction of both software platforms in the future, and short-term plans going forward. Hodgson will participate in the question and answer session to ensure that we can provide you all of our clients with insights that will inform their CMS-related decisions in the coming months.

Regardless of the plan for the Ektron and EPiServer systems, Hodgson will continue to provide the same level of support we have always provided. We expect that our clients will need to rely on us even more than usual in this time of transition at Ektron and EPiServer, and we are ready and willing to assist with maintenance, updates, and—most importantly—strategic planning for the future.

Bob Egner, VP of Product Management at EPiServer, has offered some useful insights about the commonalities between the two companies and how they might merge into an efficient organization that leverages the respective strengths of its component parts. For another insider perspective, you may also want to review some thoughts from John Kee, Account Executive at Ektron.

As always, if you have additional concerns or would like clarification, do not hesitate to contact your project manager or Garry Sittig (gsittig@hodgsonconsult.com). As soon as we've learned more, we'll be in touch with all our existing Ektron and EPiServer clients.
 

A TED Talk Template

By Brendan Magee
Even if you’ve never actually watched a full TED Talk, you’re probably familiar with the format: a lone speaker stands on stage with a headset microphone and declaims at length about some subject, presumably something that TED, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, thinks is a “great idea.” I’ve watched at least a handful of these myself, and even with my limited experience, I’ve discerned a recognizable pattern in the way in which speakers present their ideas. Apparently, I am not alone in this realization.

Professional comedian and writer Will Stephen, whose Twitter feed highlights his work with CollegeHumor and the Upright Citizens Brigade, recently gave a TEDx talk in New York in which he spoke about absolutely nothing. Not “nothing” in that he moved his mouth to form a series of incomprehensible sounds that could in no way be confused for English words (though there was at least a little bit of that), but “nothing” in the best kind of meta-oratorical sense. When you watch the video, you’ll see that the title of the talk encapsulates its subject matter quite succinctly: “How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk.”

Essentially, Stephen offers a step-by-step, descriptive narration of each of the parts of his oration, commenting here and there on which parts are engaging, which parts sound intelligent, and so forth. The intended consequence of this approach is laughter (and there are certainly a few chuckle-worthy bits in there), but Stephen is also providing a nice template for anyone who wants to put together a strong, compelling speech of his or her own—assuming that person can come up with a subject worth discussing, that is.

Stephen’s TEDx Talk also reminded me of a couple other things in the hyper-specific category of “humorous meta-presentations.” I’m guessing most people who read this newsletter have sat through at least one sales presentation, so I will begin with a scene from 30 Rock in which Liz Lemon and Pete Hornberger pitch a new TV show to their boss, Jack Donaghy. They’ve got all the key words in there—cross-promotional, revenue streams, synergy—everything you’d need to make your own sales pitch a success. Just make sure your audience includes people who appreciate some good corporate gobbledygook.

The other humorous meta-presentation that springs to mind is an article I recently read on McSweeney’s entitled “A Generic College Paper.” I have to doff my cap to author Jon Wu for capturing so well the agony of reading undergraduate essays that are cobbled together from typo-ridden Wikipedia adaptations and block quotations. If I could, I’d quote the entire piece here, but I will instead offer up just a taste of teh lulz: “Hence, statement violating every principle of syllogism followed by unnecessary semi-colon; forgettable punch line. Open-ended question undoing what little intellectual progress has been made?”

If there’s something to be learned from this article (and I’m not sure that there is), it’s that TED Talks are convincing and engaging because of style and substance. If you want to be an effective public speaker, throw on that headset mic, and start practicing! Also, watch lots of 30 Rock reruns—that show’s awesome.