Self service with Fluid Templating for editors in Optimizely CMS
A classic need in many websites - especially self-service sites - is a placeholder mechanism, so editors can use placeholders in their text to be replaced with user specific data. Recently, working with a client, we ran into this problem and tried out a new approach to empower the content creators to solve this themselves.
Anti-Pattern: Don't modify Optimizely CMS (Episerver) content objects in the Controller
Using your content object (CurrentPage / CurrentBlock) as a makeshift viewmodel where you change settings or extend it with user data in the controller before passing it to the view, is unfortunately (and to my surprise) a pretty wide-spread practice among developers implementing Optimizely (Episerver) web sites. But it really needs to stop.
Optimizely (Episerver): Split folder structure for blocks and media
Since version 7 or 8 of Episerver (now Optimizely CMS), the shared Blocks and Media have been sharing the same folder structure. Some people see a benefit with the shared structure, and some absolutely hate it. Personally, I have gotten used to it - but I was recently asked if it's possible to split it up. Here's the hack I came up with.
Named Entity Recognition Demo
When working with a content heavy site, it can be very practical to use AI for identifying named entities in the text. Last summer I made a prototype service using Named Entity Recognition in danish, english and swedish to tag content - but not until now did I find time to describe it in a blog post.
Thoughts on the Episerver/Optimizely Acquisition
When one of the market leaders in digital experience / content management / e-commerce acquires the market leader in Optimization and Experimentation - great things can be expected. But how will it differ from the optimization techniques used by Episerver customers today? Here are my thoughts.
Episerver Forms: Avoiding spam with a honeypot
Spam comes in many forms and can be really annoying. Often, when you put a form on your website it will be found by spam bots that will post lots of spam in the form. A common defense is CAPTCHA's, but they are annoying the real users and typically not WCAG compliant. Here, I'm showing a simple Episerver implementation of another approach that works wonders for me - the honeypot.
Experimenting with Wikipedia topics for Content
Automatically tagging your content with topics from a known, well described topic base like Wikipedia can have many cool uses. You can organize your content, suggesting keywords and outbound links, not to mention that you can build up interest profiles of your visitors. These interest profiles can the be used to suggest appropriate content and keep your visitors engaged. Inspired by Episerver Content Intelligence and a couple of earlier projects I've done in the past, I decided to perform an experiment to see how far I could get with a DIY approach as opposed to the traditional cloud-based NLP/AI.
Using Episerver Forms to book meetings in Outlook with Microsoft Power Automate
It's not as hard as you might think - and doesn't require any code - to connect your Episerver Forms with hundreds of other systems, using services like Microsoft Power Automate (formerly Flow), Azure Logic Apps, IFTTT or Zapier. I made a 5 minute video, showing how you can let your visitors request a meeting on a given date from a form on your website, and then having it being automatically booked in your Outlook 365 calendar.