Agility CMS

A Review of the Agility Magazine Publishing Suite

Last week, Agility officially announced the release of their new Agility Magazine Publishing Suite. After ten years of creating digital content management solutions for top brands like Subaru, Doritos, Uncle Ben's, Campbell's, Oprah Network, W Network, Cineplex, Shoppers Drug Mart, and CTV, Agility is moving further into the media and publishing industry. The Magazine Suite is a cloud-based website publishing solution that is designed for online magazines and blogs. 

Agility CMS updated with May 2012 Release

Agility recently announced an update to their Agility CMS which they've labeled under the "May 2012 Release" header. The Agility May 2012 Release offers a complete revamp of their digital asset management system, a whole new system for generating image galleries and thumbnails, and the ability to store and retrieve file and image assets in Agility's new Azure-based content delivery network.

In discussing the redesigned digital asset management system, Agility's Joey Varty blogged about the new features in this release and he highlighted what impressed him most.

You now have sections for Media (which matches the old "Documents" section), a new Image Galleries tab, and a Recycle Bin.

One of my favorite things is the new "Show As Grid" option, giving you thumbnails of all files and images in a folder.  Take a look at the new media selection dialog:

Agility's new Media Selection Dialog

You'll notice that the selection dialog looks almost exactly like the Media page.  That's on purpose, of course, and your most recent folder and viewing styles are remembered by the system.
There is a  lot of passion behind the development of this release of Agility CMS due to the new features that should be welcomed by authors and site administrators. For example, Agility CMS now includes an image editor that gives authors and administrators the ability to crop, resize, flip, rotate, add text. It's the little things like the automatic generation of thumbnails, drag and drop uploads, and movement of items in content that while minor on the feature list are of subtle importance to a good content management experience. This new release of Agility CMS brings all these features to the user.

Web Publishing Interviews by Michael Assad

Michael Assad, the CEO and a co-founder of Agility, must have been one busy man with a video camera during this year's SXSW. Michael was able to interview a number of leaders in the Web publishing industry including people working for such groups as Time Inc., Hearst, BBC, the New York Times, and Al Jazeera.

My two favorite interviews includes Michael's interview with Perry Solomon from Time Inc and his interview with Bill Adair from PolitiFact. One of my long standing criticisms of traditional media has been their lack of enthusiasm in embracing digital media. As a blogger, I tend to think that perhaps they "just don't get it" but such an argument would not be honest nor truthful. There are major players in the publishing industry that have known for decades that digital publishing needed to be a part of their business model. That iPad you're using wouldn't have been possible without the amount of brain storming provided years prior by these publishers.

Given one reason or another though, publishers until recently have been slow to deliver their content in the multiple formats and the mediums we prefer. As skilled as the publishing industry may be for delivering digital content their achilles heel has been unwillingness to take necessary risks. That's why this is great video footage from Michael as they show the print industry is now ready to fullly evolve and allow the digital publishing business take to be fully integrated with traditional print. At least that's what I take away from these videos.

Building A Website: I Am The Client

I've mentioned on this blog a few times that was never really meant to be a business or publication. It just happened. Six years ago, I started this journey I'm on with just my fascination for information systems and the little knowledge I had obtained on my own about content management systems. I was hungry to learn more and I started this site simply as a place to store my personal notes, bookmarks, and possibly share ideas with a few others.