My Own City

Combining a Local Directory with a Hyper Local Community
HS.fi / Finland

Lassi Kurkijärvi, Business Developme...
My Own City –
Everyday Answers

• We provide the Greater Helsinki
  Area with solutions to everyday
  needs and problems:
...
The Newspaper
in Finland

• Circulation 420 000 copies


• 995 000 readers


• Over a million online users


• Part of San...
Launched in
August 2007

• Part of HS.fi Online Service


   • HS.fi 1 000 000+
     unique visitors /week


   • Oma kaupun...
Greater Helsinki Area is full of interesting places –
Use the Map to Discover them
Combination of
Data Sources

• Restaurant and Event data
  from Nyt weekly supplement


• Public data from various official...
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 ...
Search        Find a
                Place
  Browse



Editorial       Events
content:
celebrity
faves & best
places
     ...
Map always
                                           Rate it!
Events                      browsable




                 ...
What do the
Users Do?

• Users are happy to
  rate: it’s easy!


• They write reviews...




• And ask questions!
...but We Want More!

• Analytics development
  centered on social behaviour
  and user needs


• Co-operation with Finnis...
Building a Community
is never easy

• How to build a culture of
  participation and sharing?


• Positive word of mouth?

...
Improve the UI:
Use of Heatmaps; Virtual Earth licensed for use
A Look Under
The Hood

• How was it all possible?


• A combination of different techs


• Making it all work:
  Jeremias ...
April 2008:
                                          1.5 release       December 2008:
            November 2007:         ...
Technical Architecture                                              Search
                                               ...
Front
Current Application Setup                               Load
                                                      b...
Why Did We
Use Portal Tech?

• SOA: Easy to combine several
  background services together and
  use of legacy services


...
Some Challenges
Using Portal and SOA

• Response times and latency


• Complexity of
  architecture (SOA)


   • Problem s...
Making Money

• The Directory is journalistic
  content so all Places get
  equal regular visibility


• Sponsored search,...
Commercial
development

• Google is an important source
  of visitors due to excellent SEO


• The more places we have in ...
Proving the Concept

• Going from Local to...

 Globally Local!

• My Own World launching in
  January, building on what w...
What’s Next?

• 50 000 places


• 250 000 visitors from
  Greater Helsinki Area


• Vibrant community


• New source of in...
Thank you!

lassi.kurkijarvi@sanoma.fi &
jeremias.koskela@sanoma.fi
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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

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