We were amazed to learn that this month’s edition represents The MagPi’s second anniversary. The MagPi is the Raspberry Pi magazine, produced by the community for the community; it has no association with us at the Foundation (besides the fact that we love it and think it’s the best thing since sliced maltloaf).
Ian McAlpine, one of the group of volunteers who produce the magazine every month, had this to say.
Looking back on Year 2 of The MagPi, the magazine has continued to grow from strength to strength. The MagPi is produced every month by a geographically dispersed group of volunteers and authors whose only motivation is to share their knowledge. By all accounts it shouldn’t work, yet here we are on our second birthday having just released Issue 23.
With an average monthly readership of 150K, The MagPi has had to evolve out of necessity. For our readers the visible change of our evolution came in issues 10 and 11 with the introduction of a more professional layout style, but one which provides a consistent template that allows new volunteers to learn Scribus quickly. With the increasing number of hits, our website at www.themagpi.com also got a significant refresh.
Behind the scenes there have been many changes. We moved from using Dropbox as a document repository to Git, which also has the added benefit of source control. Internally we have a bespoke “Magazine Management System” (MMS) which helps us manage the content of each issue, who is the article author, layouter, tester and proof reader, the state of progress of each article plus it tracks all the tickets for each article. The MMS is also the repository for the final PDFs which it merges automatically and uploads to Issuu.com every hour.
Our second year also saw the introduction of sponsored advertising. This was somewhat controversial. The MagPi is a community driven, peer-reviewed journal and it will always be available to download for free. But we wanted to also make it available as a printed magazine. We have been careful to limit the advertising in each issue, but it is with thanks to those advertisers that we are able to make printed editions of the magazine available each month. Additionally, we averaged 32 pages in each issue in our first year, but this has increased throughout our second year to 48 pages. Some issues of The MagPi have also been translated into Chinese, German, Korean, French and Spanish.
Ignoring our first year, in just this second year alone there have been a staggering 67 different authors who have produced over 100 articles. The MagPi exists because of these authors. There is also a core group of folks across the world who volunteer a huge amount of time every month to deliver The MagPi; William Bell, Bryan Butler, Tim Cox, Colin Deady, Matthew Judge, Ian McAlpine, Claire Price, Aaron Shaw and Ash Stone. There are many other unnamed volunteers and we thank them all for their help every month and for helping The MagPi to grow.
Finally thank you to you, our readers… without your support the efforts of everyone involved would be wasted. We hope you keep enjoying and reading The MagPi every month.
This month being a birthday month, there are a few special items in May’s issue, including a competition to win £2000 of kit. Thanks to all of you at The MagPi from all of us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation: we’re incredibly grateful for your support, and we’re always amazed at what you achieve every month.