October 18, 1999 13:35

-ABACUS SOFTWARE: Oldest continuously published magazine goes on the web with Abacus Software

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M2 PRESSWIRE-18 October 1999-ABACUS SOFTWARE: Oldest continuously published magazine goes on the web with Abacus Software (C)1994-99 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

* Timothy Benn publishing launches five new insurance sites simultaneously

* UK's leading insurance weekly magazine goes on line at www.postmag.co.uk

First published one hundred and fifty nine years ago, and the first magazine to be sent to readers using the mail, Post Magazine has now reached another landmark in its history as it (together with four other insurance-related sites from Timothy Benn Publishing) goes live on the Web. All five sites have been designed and developed by London-based Abacus Software.

Joanna Hicks, Development Director at Timothy Benn: "Although Punch magazine is older, Post Magazine has been published continuously for the last one hundred and fifty years. It currently has a readership of 60,000 and is regarded as the leading weekly insurance magazine."

Timothy Benn Publishing took the decision to put Post Magazine on the Web, together with four sister publications some six months ago, encouraged by, according to Joanna Hicks "a significant increase in use of the Internet in the financial services sector, and the opportunity to exploit the strong Post Magazine brand among a wider audience via this new deliver channel."

She continued: "We selected Abacus Software to develop the sites because of their strong pedigree in Web developments for the publishing industry. In terms of our own Web presence, we were keen that the design and the content should complement the printed magazines and present a clean 'business information' image, whilst taking advantage of all the additional facilities provided by an interactive environment."

A key requirement for Timothy Benn was that the 'content rich, database-driven' sites could be managed and updated in-house by the editorial team of each magazine, rather than having to subcontract this work.

Steve Feigen is managing director of Abacus Software: "Our aim in developing these sites was to make them fast and easy to navigate, as well as being virtually 'self-maintaining'. The sites were written in ASP, using SQL server 7.0 database, with an on-line editing system in perl and asp. We have also provided a two-tier access system, one being for registered users and one for subscribers."

The Post Magazine site includes all the content of the published magazines, as well as a full archive service, jobs database, special features and a bulletin board. Breaking news is provided on-line on a daily basis and on a weekly basis to subscribers via email. There are links to relevant insurance industry sites and updates on parliamentary lobbying activities.

Joanna Hicks: "One of our aims in launching the Web sites was as a means of generating additional revenues through advertising an sponsorship opportunities, and enhancing hard copy subscription generation. We are also planning to launch a classified advertising section later in the year, and looking to develop on-line subscription revenue.

"Development of the site went without a hitch. Reaction both internally and from the insurance industry has been extremely positive. They find the sites very clear, easy to use and packed full of content."

Notes for editors:

Involved in on-line services since 1983, Abacus Software offers design, networking, database and systems integration and electronic publishing services to many leading UK companies, including British Telecom, IPC and over twenty local authorities. Specialist skills include web site development and hosting, Intranet implementation and multimedia kiosk network design. Abacus is a member of Wilmington Group PLC.

CONTACT: Steve Feigen, Abacus Software Limited Tel: +44 (0)171 549 2500 Fax: +44 (0)171 549 2501 e-mail: [email protected] Maggie Templeman Tel: +44 (0)1494 483674 Fax: +44 (0)1494 485445 e-mail: [email protected]


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