‘judging by the speaker line up not everyone is purely here for the post panel drinks’ – @romneywhitehead
On Wednesday 19th October we hosted our third annual Pugpig Customer Day, bringing together customers, guests and friends of Kaldor for a series of talks, good quality beer and a bundle of excited chatter. The Seven Dials Club on Earlham St provided an ideal space for the occasion: after checking in (and checking out the bar), we all eagerly took our seats.
Jonny kicked off the day with a company update: customer announcements were made in relation to world-class brands, including Metro, IBM, Independent and Arsenal. That’s not to mention the fact that Hearst and Conde Nast both have new titles moving to Pugpig. Oh, and The Economist will be rolled out globally on our platform! As if things couldn’t get more exciting, guests were treated to a sneak peek of our brand new Pugpig product – to be revealed at our launch-stroke-Christmas party in December. (Watch this space).
Next up, Liam Keating from Conde Nast took to the floor to discuss the company’s transition to Pugpig. Conde Nast selected Pugpig Connect as one framework for all of its brands, providing a solution to out-of-control creative challenges and a lack of in-house editorial resources. Pugpig is easy for Conde Nast to maintain, allowing the company to react to the industry quicker whilst relieving worries related to new devices and screen sizes. As well as this, Conde Nast can seamlessly share content and retain creative control. We think that’s pretty important.
Appboy’s Gareth Ballard shared some handy app engagement pointers, including the essentialism of onboarding in order to create a positive first impression, as well as the importance of maximising channels to increase conversions. Our very own CTO, Jon, contributed a bit of beer-in-hand light relief in the form of a Dylan-themed presentation. ‘Blood on the streets’ gave us a tech-focused year in review and explored some of the threats facing publishers and tech providers beneath the unpredictable sky of changing consumer behaviour.
Moving on from 60s songwriters and after a short break we returned to possibly the coolest event of the day (sorry Jon!): a Q&A panel in the form of speakers from LADbible, The Economist, Motorsport and The Independent. We had the pleasure of delving into their thoughts on the greatest industry challenges and threats, revenue predictions, digital journeys and more. Keep your eyes peeled for further Customer Day posts to find out what they had to say…
After a peek into the world of app monetisation from Trinity Mirror’s Matt Colebourne, and a Pugpig product update from Zoe, visions of exploiting the open bar were close to becoming a reality. However, as with every Customer Day line-up, we had one last trick up our sleeve in the form of Alex Watson (Head of Product at none other than BBC News), discussing the Future of Journalism and Journalism as a ‘Product’. What a finale! Alex ended the day on a high in the form of intelligent, unguarded opinion served with a large pinch of dry wit. He had us laughing ourselves off our seats and heading for the end-of-day drinks in the best possible spirits.
Overall, the Customer Day was a huge success and we’d like to thank everyone who attended – we hope you had as much fun as we did!
PugpigPointers is a series of weekly tips, tricks and tutorials on how to get the most value from your apps, delivered straight to your inbox and to the Pugpig Post.
Last week we covered how to add interactive elements to your apps with puzzle integrations. In this final week of our Discovery and Engagement series, we are covering the ways you can make the most of your app’s publishing model to engage readers with your new content through background download and push.
Different modes of publishing:
Depending on your publishing frequency and style, you can decide to post periodic editions, have a continuous feed to keep readers up to date with news as it breaks or bring the two together through a mixed-mode app. You can read more about our mixed publishing mode here. Whatever publishing model you follow, there are plenty of ways to ensure that users know when you’ve posted new and exciting content and can access it seamlessly. You can start by enabling background downloads to ensure that all your new content (editions and articles) have loaded by the time users receive a push notification driving them to your material.
What are background downloads and how do you use them?
By sending a silent push notification, which contains no message or sound, you can deliver new content to the app without users having to manually update your feed or download new editions. You can schedule these pushes to happen at optimum times for background downloads to carry through, for example in the early hours of the morning and when a phone is connected to Wifi, to ensure that your app carries out background updates without disturbing your users. You might then post a local notification when you’ve finished downloading or processing the new content. This means that all your new data will have refreshed by the time the app is opened, creating a seamless journey for your users straight into your new content, meaning that it can be ready to enjoy for offline reading on a morning commute.
As a content owner, you have the ability to schedule your background push directly through push providers, but we’ve made sure to enable scheduling directly through Pugpig Distribution Service too for Urban Airship users, and customers using Firebase can send message or background pushes straight from our dashboard. If you want more information, feel free to email us.
First step is to ensure your users are aware of their Background App Refresh settings and this additional benefit of opting-in to push notifications. Consider adding it to your welcome screens or your push permissions pop-up.
You should also let your readers know that they don’t have to compromise available memory on their devices by enabling the automatic downloads. With the new 1.9.0/1.10.0 update, users have the ability archive an edition directly from the store front by long holding on the cover. Another piece of information you might want to include in your welcome screens.
They should also know about the new automatic archive settings we have added in Settings > General where users can choose for editions to be auto deleted if they have not been read for certain amount of time and the time periods are configurable. We have also given users the option to receive background downloads only when connected to WiFi through their Automatic Download settings.
Do you want to know more?
To learn more about deep links, and all other topics covered within our Distribution and Engagement Series, register for our PugpigPointers Workshop taking place in London from 2 – 5pm on Thursday 10th November.
If you want to stay ahead of the game, download the Pugpig Post app to access all of our weekly top tips throughout the series.
From the very beginning, we’ve always believed that using structured content and responsive design is the only efficient way to power really great mobile apps. And while that will never change, we are always looking for ways to make your lives easier.
So today we’re really excited to announce a whole new way to get your content into Pugpig Express – using your PDFs!
Yes, you heard right – and no, we haven’t gone and done a massive u-turn. We still believe PDFs make a terrible reading experience for mobile, but they are a great source of content. And now we’ve found a partner who has deep expertise in extracting that content from your PDFs. Using this service you’ll be able to reduce the effort in creating a fully responsive Pugpig edition down to just minutes.
All you have to do is send us your PDFs and we’ll take them, rip them, pull out all the content and use it to pre-populate your editions in Pugpig. Then you just log in, have a quick look and make any adjustments or additions you’d like to make before publishing. It’s that simple!
If you’re using Pugpig Express this service is totally plug and play – nothing else about your workflow or your apps will change, only the way in which your content feeds into Pugpig.
After today’s big announcement at the Mobile World Congress by Adobe, you may be left wondering what’s going to change and what it means for publishers. Here’s our (very brief) take on it…
What did they announce?
In a nutshell, Adobe announced two major changes that will affect DPS customers:
The launch of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Mobile, that will (amongst many other things) subsume what was previously marketed as Adobe DPS 2015
The inevitable (but not immediate) end of life for Adobe DPS Classic
What does the launch of AEM Mobile signify?
In essence, Adobe have switched their emphasis from publishing to enterprise app development. This represents a significant shift in both industry focus and scale. Until today, DPS was a product that was almost uniquely aimed at building digital editions of print products. The target market was publishers large and small, who wanted to create mobile versions of their traditional brands. Now Adobe are focusing on enterprise clients who want to benefit from a larger suite of products aimed at automating app development in general rather than just publishing.
What exactly is AEM Mobile?
From a publishing perspective it’s a rebadging of the DPS 2015 platform with a bunch of extra stuff behind it. In fact if you are already on DPS 2015, then you’ll log into the same portal, but it will now be branded AEM Mobile. But it’s also a lot more than DPS used to be, because it also includes the AEM CMS – an enterprise CMS used traditionally for asset and content management to drive digital marketing. Along with that, you get Adobe Analytics and the Cordova (Phonegap) framework that will give your developers the ability to extend the base native app container to create all sorts of new features and functions. So it’s significantly bigger.
How much will AEM Mobile cost?
We don’t know as there is no public price list. Prices are based on “a number of factors including numbers of apps in the license and scope of the organization.” That said, our guess is that prices will be higher than for DPS given it’s being sold as an enterprise solution and there is significantly more stuff bundled with the service.
What does all this mean for DPS customers?
What this means in practical terms is that classic DPS will only be available to existing customers and probably only for as long as their existing DPS classic contracts run (the second bit is a guess on our part). The official statement is that Adobe have “no near-term plans to end-of-life the DPS Classic product”. One thing is clear however – the only way to buy DPS functionality in the future will be by purchasing AEM Mobile.
Ok then, what do I need to do if I want to switch from DPS to Pugpig?
It’s pretty easy to do – we’ve been working with our partners to provide a service to help you move from your existing DPS apps onto Pugpig. They will be there every step of the way to ensure your move is as quick and pain free as possible. Follow this link for more info…
Five years ago to the day, four freshly departed Newscorp employees sat around a table in the corner of an empty 4,000 square foot office on the second floor of the old Times building at 222 Grays Inn Road and pondered what they were going to do with the next few years of their lives…
We knew we could work together. We knew we had just enough cash to tide us through a lean period. And we knew we’d amassed a load of knowledge thanks to our then recently aborted attempt at bringing project Alesia to life. Feel free to google it. Or look at Apple News. The problem was that we didn’t really know exactly what to do. We wanted to become a sort of app incubator, helping people with great ideas to bring them to life, take them to market and reap the rewards. Only we were dry on ideas. We tinkered with a mix of loosely defined concepts from cycling utilities to wine guides, TV companion apps, interactive ad platforms (Addled!) and games, but none of them really grabbed us. And yet always in the back of our minds there was one simple idea. It wasn’t a huge stretch to be honest – content management and publishing was pretty much all we had cared about for years. And so it was that we decided to put all our focus into building our own little publishing platform, and doing it properly this time…
Within a few weeks we had this little fellow plastered across an otherwise blank website and we were ready to go.
Just a couple of months later we launched Jasmina’s Giraffe on the iPad – Pugpig’s first little offspring. But it’s thanks to our friends Kerin O’Connor, Alex Watson and Paul Lomax at Dennis Publishing who asked us to launch an app for The Week, that Pugpig put itself firmly on the map in the first week of November, 2011.
Back then we were still just a handful of people perched on desks at CHI’s office in Fitzrovia, with pizza nights every Wednesday and Christmas lunch round a table for four at Nando’s on Goodge Street. And here we are, five years later, thirty three people in London, New York and Madrid, powering over 250 beautiful apps for publishers, retailers and corporates all through our shiny new set of cloud services.
Who would have thought our little hybrid pigdog (and a brilliant team) could have achieved so much?
Some years ago, Jon Marks (our CTO) predicted that 2014 would be the year to mark the ‘death of the app.’ Fast-forward to the present-day and we can’t deny that apps remain ever-prominent in our engagement with content and brands. In fact, statistics show that 2014 was actually the year that mobile interaction with digital media overtook that of desktop and laptop devices.
Having naturally embraced the power of the app, here at Pugpig we’re pondering what the future holds for digital publishing. 2015 predictions foresaw Android growth and a move towards continuous publishing models. Questions arose around Facebook’s potential jump onto the publishing bandwagon through article-based consumption – which turned out to be a taster for the release of Facebook Instant Articles. 2015 also saw the release of Apple News, Google Amp and Snapchat Discover.
At our recent Pugpig Customer Day, we took the opportunity to ask our clients and partners their predictions for the new year in the fast-paced world of online publishing. We’ve summarised the findings here in these 5 digital publishing predictions for 2016.
1. The growth of third-party publishing channels
The first big trend we’re betting on is all about content distribution – and with the big tech players all vying for consumer attention, publishing channels such as Apple News, LinkedIn, and Snapchat Discover are going to be at the forefront of their battle for that attention, offering exciting new opportunities to publishers and consumers alike.
With built-in audiences, all of these channels provide a crucial platform for getting your content seen by people who may not even know you exist. Once you’re seen, the trick is then to corral them into your own properties (such as your website or apps) through the use of deep links and smart banners. If you’re clever, in one step you can send new readers from someone else’s service right into pages deep inside your app. The undeniable growth of these channels was also noted by our customer day attendees, who voted Apple News as the as the most significant third-party publishing platform to have emerged in 2015.
2. Mixed publishing models
Deciding what publishing model is most appropriate for you content may be tricky. To go for an edition-based model means you can mimic your print process by creating beautiful digital flip-page content that can be posted periodically, however, it could be at the cost of frequent engagement from your audience. On the other hand, a continuous publishing model offers a sense of immediacy with a continuous feed that will undoubtedly bring readers back into your app regularly to check out new content.
Who says you can’t have both? We predict that the mixed publishing model will be popular in 2016.
Our CEO Jonny Kaldor advises that ‘a healthy mix of edition-based content and continuously published articles will give you the ability to keep readers coming back to your apps more often for timely updates, while giving them the finishability of the editions they know and love. And with the intelligent use of segmented push notifications, you can let your readers know when content that is relevant to them has just been published and get them back in your app with one tap.’
3. App Streaming
Google are testing a new app streaming service that is perhaps one of the most exciting developments to have emerged so far in the last year. Imagine being able to move between between apps as seamlessly as you can between web pages. Well, Google (and soon Apple, we believe) want to offer a way to to do this and also give consumers the option to access apps even before downloading them.
How will it work? Well, they’ll do all the processing on the server and send the user screens from the app to their device through ‘app links’. They then give them the option to download the app on their own terms whilst being able to preview the content offered.
This will undoubtedly create a more open platform of discoverability, and make accessibility much easier. All of which means that if the consumer is engaged and excited by the content streamed through ‘app links’, they will be far more enticed to download the app to gain full features such as offline access. We are keen to see what app streaming will do for digital publishers in 2016.
4. Consumerism of corporate communications
There is a developing sophistication in how we consume content and it seems that businesses will start to do a better job of delivering high quality content to their internal and external audiences. Let’s be honest, how enthralling are your monthly company newsletters and weekly email bulletins? This could all change if we start seeing employees as consumers and encourage those within the corporate comms profession to develop content that is not only relevant but also looks great.
Throughout 2015 we saw an increased interest in corporate communications and sales force enablement apps, and we can see this trend continuing in 2016. Kat Elliott, a senior digital consultant at NDP agrees. She believes ‘big consumer companies have lots of different arms and they want to share information more efficiently. So what are people doing every day? They’re on their phones and checking their emails on their tablets. They will use those formats to enhance the structure of their organisational comms rather than monthly company meetings, for example.’
As we notice this cultural shift of content consumption and a rise in mobile engagement, we believe this could be the year for corporate communities to evolve their standard HR and Internal Comms practices.
5. Increased interest in wearable technology
There has been speculation that 2016 will see an increasing number of vendors that will consider app development, device management, and content delivery that is wrist-ready. Wearable technology such as the iWatch offer the potential to expand the publishing experience beyond the smartphone and tablet. With a device that is arguably more intimate than your smartphone, how can digital publishers use this to actively engage smartwatch users with their content?
The iWatch and many other smartwatches can offer concise previews to your new content and notify the user with the potential of increasing engagement once new content has been published. Creating apps for the watch means creating a simple and practical way to consume digital content through brief synopses, headlines and images which offer a handoff that can load the full story on your phone.
Gilles Raymond, Founder and CEO of News Republic, recently stated his interest regarding wearable technology. ‘On the wrist, news alerts become more immediate, closer to the reader, and more intimate. This increased intimacy puts additional pressure on making sure the user gets the alerts they find most important, to them.’
This could mean that digital publishers have to consider catering to a new device, but is creating content that is wrist-ready a worthwhile investment? Only 2016 will tell.
At our recent Kaldor Customer Day, we took the opportunity to speak to NDP’s Senior Digital Consultant Kat Elliott and the Product Manager for Apps at the Telegraph, Mark Channon, about their digital publishing predictions for this year. After an exciting year seeing the launch of platforms such as Apple News, Snapchat Discover, Facebook Instant Articles and the launch of a bunch of new devices, how exactly will these (and further developments) affect how content owners publish their content?
Check out the video interview above, where Kat and Mark use their expertise in their fields to discuss this and share with us what they think will be the ‘next big thing’ in digital publishing!
Apps are all around us and given the fact that both Apple and Google are doubling down on app technology, you need to make sure yours are performing as well as they possibly can. It’s not good enough to throw together an app, chuck it into a store and hope they’ll all come running. You need to put some real effort in. So here are five handy tips to make sure your apps are singing in the new year.
1. Tell people about it
If your readers don’t know your app exists then they’re not going to go looking for it. Spend real money on marketing your app – whether that’s house ads in your print edition, or digital marketing on your web properties. Or, god forbid, actually spend money on AdWords and other paid digital marketing channels. Your app is like any other product, you have to invest in telling people about it if they’re going to use it.
2. Get your content out there
There’s a proliferating array of distribution channels emerging for your content, from your website, mobile web and your app, as well as an ever growing set of platform-based content apps such as Apple News, Google News, Facebook Instant articles, Snapchat Discover and on and on. The trick is to use these third party channels to get your content seen, and then drive your readers into your own properties where you can properly control how you engage with them. If you’re clever, in one step you can send new readers from someone else’s service right into pages deep your app.
3. Allow people to search inside your app
Thanks to recent advances, both Apple and Google now allow the content in your apps to be indexed and searched. No longer are your apps searchable only by name and a few keywords. In fact, it’s now possible to have your app content surfaced in a Spotlight or Google search and then drive your potential audience either to the appropriate content in a web page with a smart banner pushing people to your app, or better still, to deep link right into the app if they already have it installed. And with Google currently testing out app streaming, this is going to get even easier, as readers won’t even have to download your app to use it.
4. Keep people coming back
Just because you’re a periodical, it doesn’t mean you have to publish content to your app in the same frequency that you publish to print. In fact, a healthy mix of edition-based content and continuously published articles will give you the ability to keep readers coming back to your apps more often for timely updates, while giving them the ‘finishability’ of the editions they know and love. And with the intelligent use of segmented push notifications, you can let your readers know when content that is relevant to them has just been published and get them back in your app with one tap.
5. Give it some love
Your app should not be some unloved byproduct of your printed publication. If that’s all it is then don’t expect people to come and read it. Your app should be created with your mobile audience in mind and also with the devices they have in their hands in mind. Deliver content that is relevant to them. Add services that they might need. And most importantly, design pages that are beautifully legible not just on tablets, but more importantly on phones (which massively outnumber tablets). The only way to do this efficiently is with responsive design – using layouts that arrange themselves according to the screen that they are displayed in.
The Pugpig Customer Day made its return again this year, with over one hundred attendees and a great range of speakers from the likes of The Telegraph, Google, DigitasLBi, Urban Airship and Dennis Publishing.
2015 has seen big changes for the world of digital publishing and we here at Kaldor took the opportunity to engage with our Pugpig clients and friends about their opinions on some of the technologies and platforms that continue to mould the way they publish their content. Distribution, discoverability and engagement were central to the discussion between audience members and presenters alike.
We’d like to thank all of our attendees and speakers for making this the most successful Kaldor Customer Day to date, and we will hopefully see you again at next year’s event!