Year in review: 2018

With 2019 just around the corner, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on the past year, and do a bit of in-the-moment analysis as I write to fully digest the many aspects of the last 12 months that I’ve really not properly thought about.

It’s been a busy one! Between the work I’ve done here, the contributions to external sources, events attended and more, I’m not sure I’ll even scratch the surface, but I’m going to give it a try regardless…

1. 170k visitors

Just as last year, I’ll start off with a few metrics! In 2018, bayton.org was visited almost bang on 170 thousand times.

Again, compared to mainstream sites which quite easily get that amount of traffic in a week, it’s really not a massive number. To me though, that’s 170K times someone, somewhere has stopped by to read something (or multiple things) I’ve written, and that’s pretty darn nice.

It also continues an upward (mostly) trend since I began collecting stats in 2012, and reflects the time and effort I’ve continued to invest in my website and social presence (chiefly LinkedIn) since late 2016.

After surpassing 100K in 2017, my goal was to hit 150K this year – this was seemingly not a problem, so I’ll have to be more ambitious for 2019!

Of all visitors, it is once again USA in first, followed by UK, Germany and France. Exactly like 2017:

While US and UK leaned more towards enterprise documentation, Germany and France seemed to focus more on my posts surrounding open source and Linux, and in that, the three most visited articles (docs/posts combined) this year are:

As social referrers go, LinkedIn jumped from 5th to 1st this year, followed by Twitter in 2nd and Reddit in 3rd.

Given the continued focus on LinkedIn throughout 2018 this isn’t a surprise. Last year I quipped:

I used LinkedIn only really for the occasional post, job search or profile update and got very little out of the platform (despite landing my last 3 roles through it!). Using it as a primary platform for enterprise topics (with Twitter in 2nd place) has been very rewarding despite the lower referral rate.

Everything in 2017 was clearly only laying the groundwork for a very successful 2018 on the platform! Twitter has equally benefited from almost default cross-posting from LinkedIn also. Reddit despite making top 3 isn’t really a platform I’ve invested in, it’s mostly from others sharing my content so that’s nice to see!

2. Android Enterprise

I’ve had a massive year with Android Enterprise, working with a number of partners, vendors and Google directly in order to continue advocating the platform and modern Android management. Here are a few highlights:

2.1. Documentation

Last year I created /docs as previously announced on this introductory post. While there are areas for an array of topics, in 2018 I focused almost entirely on Android Enterprise with respect to new content, with a 170% increase in Android Enterprise content YoY.

One of the goals of documentation was to maintain rather than just create new, and I’ve kept myself busy continuously iterating on docs throughout 2018 also!

What is Android Enterprise and why is it used? for example was published in 2017, however was last updated in November, taking the number of revisions up to 55 over 20 months. The same applies to Android Enterprise device support which I last updated this month, marking its 132nd revision.

Over the year I’ve also created some pretty nifty infographics:

I didn’t ultimately create the one per month I was planning, but what lacks in quantity is made up for in quality!

I’ve also updated resources, like my Android version evolution graphic (complete with PPTx, so please feel free to modify and redistribute at will!)

There’s still plenty more to do here in 2019, including making use of the new WordPress editor, Gutenberg, to once again redesign the Android landing page (and likely others!), adding more docs, possibly an ebook/whitepaper or two.. who knows. On the subject of ebooks…

2.2. External contributions

If you’ve read MobileIron’s Android is ready for the enterprise whitepaper, you’ve been reading my content. That was a super interesting collaboration which I hope to be able to do again next year with a UEM, OEM or other vendor in the space (really, get in touch if you’re interested)

Beyond this I’ve contributed a few articles to BrianMadden.com over the year, continuing what I started in 2017:

And in 2019 may be contributing to other outlets in the TechTarget ecosystem also!

Finally, as a founding member of MobilePros it’s been an incredible year for growth! The community, boasting a huge number of enterprise mobility experts in vendors, partners and administrators alike, has increased to over 400 members and continues to flourish.

If you’re working in the EMM space, feel free to stop by any time for help & advice across a range of solutions and products, or just for a friendly chat!

2.3. Device testing

I’ve mentioned in the past I try to avoid buying devices as I’d go bankrupt, so I’m truly grateful for the OEMs who’ve seen value in loaning devices for testing, whether one or ten, for a week or six months!

In particular HMD Global and Sony have been incredible to work with this year, they truly value the feedback I provide and promptly investigate any issues/niggles I’ve brought up and kept me up to date with progress.

Huawei have also been fab, and though you won’t see them on the validation page right now, CAT came out of the blue with a handful of rugged devices for testing, so it’s been super interesting tinkering with those also!

I finished out this year testing the new Nokia 8.1, which has passed my validation with flying colours. The Nokia is one of over 30 devices tested this year, and I’ve fed back well over 120 issues where things don’t work as expected, or could be improved, bettering the Android Enterprise experience for organisations the world over!

2018 also marks the first year I began publishing public reports for OEMs who show little or no interest in Android Enterprise support, for these devices I have made some exceptions through the year and purchased them due to their increasing popularity:

There’s an Honor Play to come also.

With the Android Enterprise Recommended program I wondered if there was value in continuing to test devices this year, but based on the number of issues raised against one or more EMMs/the AE experience in general (even on some AER devices), I believe so! I’ll therefore carry on doing so next year.

I’ll also work to update and improve on the transparency of my testing results, likely redesign the layout and will potentially publish the exported EMM profiles I use so others can perform the same level of testing on their own devices.

If you’re an OEM looking for feedback on your implementation, either generally with AE or against any particular EMM, get in touch! I’m particularly interested in testing LG, Motorola/Lenovo and Honor next year, as well as some country-specific OEMs like the BQ I tested earlier this year. Smartphones, tablets, rugged, or anything else (fixed phones, point of sale, anything GMS certified running Android 6.0+) is all welcome! I don’t charge for testing or the reports generated after.

If you’re a reseller/distributor interested in helping me with loan devices in return for a mention on the page, let me know! We can work something out.

2.4. Events

I managed to get about a fair bit in 2018, starting with Mobile World Congress which I wrote about in March, where I got to meet the AE team face to face for the first time, to doing my first ever liveblog on the site at the Android Enterprise Summit, the first to ever do so that I know of!

After that came MobileIron Live and more recently, I attended my first ever launch event as a member of the press for Huawei’s Mate 20 series launch.

There’s a bit of refinement to do on the liveblogging side of things; as I do more I’ll likely write less and hone in on the important updates, which will make it far easier to do. Look out for my next liveblog at the 2019 Android Enterprise Partner Summit (if Google allow it!).

I also attended and presented at Wandera’s Level event:

Here’s the presentation

And of course I attended a number of vendor events, sat on the committee of the first DroidCon Android Enterprise Summit and did a good few sessions through the year with Google, too!

It’ll be tough to beat next year, but I’m going to try anyway!

5. Industry mentions

I’ve had a pretty good year when it comes to mentions around my industry, besides being a regular in Jack Madden’s posts, here’s where else I’ve popped up:

And a few of my favourite tweets:

3. Still blogging

Despite the focus on docs this year, I’ve still published 22 posts covering everything from new releases to events, device reviews and more. My top posts were:

There are indeed posts there still from 2011 ranking high for views to this day, which is pretty incredible.

4. Discuss comment/forum system

After Disqus started injecting ads into my website despite my opting out, I felt it was time for a change. Contemplating a few options, I ultimately wanted to try something a little different: Discourse.

Discourse is forum software, or the modern equivalent of it, but with tight integration with WordPress it offered an opportunity to both replace my existing comment system, and offer something of a discussion board for both my topics and anything related I hadn’t covered on the site.

Today it’s handling comments well, and acts as the foundation of my liveblogging. Next year my hope is more folks stop by for a chat, or use it as a support hub and hopefully I’ll see it grow! Time will tell.

5. Another redesign

In the quest to put content front and centre before anything else, my site themes visually have gradually gotten simpler and simpler. This year I designed a theme that properly works with my documentation, and ported it across to the normal blog-type articles I write also, bringing consistency across the website that previously lacked.

I’ll no doubt continue iterating in 2019, though I’m always open to feedback!

Until next year!

I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by the site to have a read or say hello this year, to all the ecosystem vendors and partners I’ve worked with and all the folks I’ve met along the way.

Happy new year and all the best in 2019!

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