IFRA Local Media Presentation: My Own City


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Presentation of My Own City service from IFRA Local Media conference.

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IFRA Local Media Presentation: My Own City

  1. 1. My Own City Combining a Local Directory with a Hyper Local Community HS.fi / Finland Lassi Kurkijärvi, Business Development Manager / Helsingin Sanomat Jeremias Koskela, Project Manager / Sanoma Data
  2. 2. My Own City – Everyday Answers • We provide the Greater Helsinki Area with solutions to everyday needs and problems: What to do? Where to go? • It’s a... ...local Directory, ...local Community, ...place for local Experts • I need a great tailor! Where is a good restaurant, which hairdresser is the best, who can fix my car? Photo by David Dennis
  3. 3. The Newspaper in Finland • Circulation 420 000 copies • 995 000 readers • Over a million online users • Part of Sanoma Corporation
  4. 4. Launched in August 2007 • Part of HS.fi Online Service • HS.fi 1 000 000+ unique visitors /week • Oma kaupunki 80 000+ unique visitors /week (hs.fi/omakaupunki) • Massive database of places – currently over 12 000 • Around 10 percent of places contributed by users
  5. 5. Greater Helsinki Area is full of interesting places – Use the Map to Discover them
  6. 6. Combination of Data Sources • Restaurant and Event data from Nyt weekly supplement • Public data from various official sources, such as municipal and state authorities • Local news produced by journalists; geotagged and keyworded • Users can add their own reviews, photos, places, events and questions/answers
  7. 7. Building it Block by Block • Today we’ll tell you about what we’ve learned: one year on there is still a long way to go • Building a community • Understanding our users • Designing a good UI • Getting the tech together • Return on investment Photo by Holger Zschegye
  8. 8. Search Find a Place Browse Editorial Events content: celebrity faves & best places User photos Review and Groups Q&A
  9. 9. Map always Rate it! Events browsable Who is attending? Sponsors MMS and mobile News
  10. 10. What do the Users Do? • Users are happy to rate: it’s easy! • They write reviews... • And ask questions!
  11. 11. ...but We Want More! • Analytics development centered on social behaviour and user needs • Co-operation with Finnish technical universities on the psychology of social media • Persistent user profiles • Development of social reward systems (”the King of the Town”), user relationship analytics and a recommendation engine to find places Photo by Peyri
  12. 12. Building a Community is never easy • How to build a culture of participation and sharing? • Positive word of mouth? • Do incentives such as user ranking based on activity work? • How should you rate users: for inviting your friends, for providing content which gets positive reviews...
  13. 13. Improve the UI: Use of Heatmaps; Virtual Earth licensed for use
  14. 14. A Look Under The Hood • How was it all possible? • A combination of different techs • Making it all work: Jeremias tells it now Photo by Ralph Bijker
  15. 15. April 2008: 1.5 release December 2008: November 2007: - First big update 1.8 release 1.1 release - Community - Virtual Earth - Bug fixes features: implementation - Add Outscoped features * Groups * Questions * New frontpage August 2007: October 2008: 1.0 release February 2008: 1.7 release 1.2 release - Admin tools - Feature development - Event search - History logging for future use improved
  16. 16. Technical Architecture Search Engine •! J2EE Portal-technology (Liferay portal server) W •! SOA-centered architecture E Discussion/ B •! Duplicated nodes and load- S forum balancing service E •! Connections through J2EE R integration platform (broker) Application V in the future Server I User data C service E S Event service Database Integration Editorial platform service
  17. 17. Front Current Application Setup Load balancing •! All nodes duplicated •! Load balancing (router VIP) in Http-server node 1 Http-server node 2 every layer (Apache) (Apache) •! Basic PC/Linux nodes running with •! Apache 2.2 Application •! Tomcat 6.x Load •! Active/Passive node with balancing database •! Oracle 10g App-server node 1 App-server node 2 (Tomcat) (Tomcat) Active database Passive database node node
  18. 18. Why Did We Use Portal Tech? • SOA: Easy to combine several background services together and use of legacy services • Standard J2EE portlets (jsr-168) means sharing codebase & portlets with other services • User interface (in Liferay portal) enables drag-and-drop portlets, allowing change of themes and column structure • Content is WYSIWYG with a Simple CMS (Liferay journal); separates pure CMS operations and presentation logic Photo by Ronnie Garcia
  19. 19. Some Challenges Using Portal and SOA • Response times and latency • Complexity of architecture (SOA) • Problem solving – hard to figure where the problem is • Performance in very big services Photo by Jurvetson
  20. 20. Making Money • The Directory is journalistic content so all Places get equal regular visibility • Sponsored search, contextual ad banners, expanded place descriptions and map POI – is this too complex? • Customers are happy: we are driving a good amount of traffic to their restaurants and homepages! • Package it better! Photo by Tao Zhyn
  21. 21. Commercial development • Google is an important source of visitors due to excellent SEO • The more places we have in the service, the more visitors we attract via search • Expansion of service using Wiki-style methods? • Key of media business model: attention and appreciation Photo by Positv
  22. 22. Proving the Concept • Going from Local to... Globally Local! • My Own World launching in January, building on what we learned with My Own City • “From Finns – For Finns” • Is this an easier concept?
  23. 23. What’s Next? • 50 000 places • 250 000 visitors from Greater Helsinki Area • Vibrant community • New source of income for a newspaper • Patience Photo by Amir Fathi
  24. 24. Thank you! lassi.kurkijarvi@sanoma.fi & jeremias.koskela@sanoma.fi