It’s always a good sign, I think, when you log in to write an “End of 2018” update and realise that the 2017 version is the last, unpublished item in your online CMS. But, when I look back at what we’ve been doing over the past twelve months, I think I can see why that might have been bumped down our list of priorities a few times – 2018 has been a very busy year for the three of us at MN Digital Media. Here’s why.
We’re still publishing apps..
Apps, and app content, may no longer be the majority of our business – but it’s still keeping us very busy. From newspapers to financial materials to magazines and supplements, we published an average of three items each week since January – which could go some way to explaining how full our design fileserver is looking right now.
.. and running services for them.
Speaking of apps, our Appthenticate service continues to thrive, with clients across the world using it to manage access to in-app content for around a quarter of a million users. This year we saw more business users of the service – although consumer magazines still make up an important part of our client-base – and we added several new custom features for our clients, including more personalised email messaging, data exports and more advanced e-commerce connectors.
Photo awards are big business..
A very large proportion of our work this year, however, relates to our Kyoso system for managing photography awards and competitions. This year Kyoso provided the backend for eight major awards, handling well over 50,000 entries across the year to date (so one every ten minutes, on average – and we’re not done yet). We’re particularly proud of seeing our software used by the Association of Photographers for its awards, of powering another hugely successful Portrait of Britain, and of running our first multilingual iteration – also supporting Alipay – for Portrait of Humanity.
.. as are Subscription Services
Alongside Kyoso, the majority of activity among our >2,000 Github commits since January relate to us iterating and improving the print subscription management system we deployed for 1854 Media at the end of 2017. This system – comprising an online subscription shop, a backend management tool and a central financial controller component – handles every aspect of print subscription delivery, from sale via Credit Card or Direct Debit, through customer account management and preparation of lists for postage each month all the way through to renewal processing, and has managed the delivery of in excess of 50,000 copies of British Journal of Photography magazine. We plan to start offering this service, which we believe is truly one of a kind, to other independent publishers in 2019 – in the meantime, it was recently profiled here.
.. but yes, we still love WordPress!
And, finally, of course we spent a large chunk of the year with our noses glued to /wp-admin/. We’re currently managing 15 WordPress sites for our clients, ranging from smaller promotional sites through WooCommerce systems selling personalised products and up to the huge library of photographic journalism on BJP Online. This year we spent a lot of time working on Plugin-based integrations to provide for GDPR compliance while supporting Google Analytics, Facebook and Hubspot analytics, and with the Gutenberg editor finally arriving we expect it will keep us just as busy through the next twelve months, too.
So, finally, we’re taking a break
Of course, there’s more – but with Christmas and New Year approaching, our whole team will be taking a well earned break from 21st December, reopening our office on 2nd January 2019. In the meantime we thank all our friends and customers for their support in 2018, and wish you all a very peaceful holiday season.