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Christopher Guess presents Push

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Mobile apps and push notifications are often touted as the golden ticket to engage news consumers with timely and relevant content. For cash-strapped small and medium-sized news organizations a custom-built mobile app is a pipe dream, at best. In response to this problem, RJI Residential Fellow Christopher Guess presented about his ongoing project “Push” on Thursday, Aug. 31, at noon in Fred W. Smith Forum.

Push is an open-source, natively built, mobile news app for iOS and Android that any publication can take for free and easily customize for their own organization. With this tool push notifications, detailed analytics, offline-caching and many other features are available to local newsrooms in ways that only the big names could play with before.

Published in: News & Politics
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Christopher Guess presents Push

  1. 1. MOBILE FOR MEDIA Christopher Guess RJI Residential Fellow - University of Missouri University of Missouri RJI -August 31, 2017
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION
  3. 3. CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS OF MOBILE NEWS
  4. 4. CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS ➤ Mobile optimized site/ Google AMP (at best) ➤ Social Media ➤ Facebook / Twitter / Snapchat / Instagram ➤ Dependent on clicks and shares ➤ Pay-to-play / pay-for-view ➤ Difficult to retain readers day-to-day ➤ Attention difficult to grab ➤ Crowdfunding needed and attempted, but difficult
  5. 5. MOBILE APPS A.k.a. the holy grail
  6. 6. EXPENSIVE AND CONFUSING
  7. 7. MOBILE APP PROBLEMS ➤ Expensive ➤ €15,000 - €50,000 / platform ➤ Time commitment ➤ 4 - 6 months ➤ Custom ➤ If you change your CMS potentially weeks worth of work ➤ Developers are a pain in the ass
  8. 8. WHAT’S OUT THERE?
  9. 9. THEY ALL DO THE SAME THING
  10. 10. PUSH *Logo subject to massive change
  11. 11. WHAT THE PUSH APP CAN PUSH DO (SO FAR) ➤ View current headlines ➤ Read most recent stories ➤ Sorts stories by categories ➤ Video integration ➤ Search through entire CMS history ➤ Share articles on social media ➤ Supports multiple languages ➤ Built in proxy features to prevent site blocking (iOS only so far) ➤ Cache articles for offline reading ➤ Receive push notifications ➤ Direct user to stories ➤ Solicit (semi) in-app donations ➤ Analytic tracking
  12. 12. CMS Backend Push Server iPhone/ iPad Android PUSH ECOSYSTEM
  13. 13. WHAT THE PUSH SERVER CAN DO (SO FAR) ➤ Integrate with multiple types of CMS’s ➤ Wordpress ➤ Joomla ➤ SourceFabric’s Newscoop ➤ Deploy on any standard cloud provider (Dockerized) ➤ Heroku ➤ Amazon ➤ Google ➤ Azure ➤ Fully encrypted communications using HTTPS (on by default) ➤ Tons of scripts to make managing the system easy ➤ Full user management ➤ Analytics viewing ➤ Push notification management
  14. 14. WHY USE PUSH? ➤ Fast setup time ➤ One week instead of 6+ months ➤ Open Source ➤ All code is available for you to take, modify and improve ➤ Constant updates and features improvements ➤ Much more stable and faster than just a web site. ➤ Push notifications ➤ Incentivizes users to read your work ➤ Solicit donations and crowd funding
  15. 15. WHO’S USING IT?
  16. 16. WHO’S USING IT? ➤ OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) ➤ Meydan TV (Azerbaijan) ➤ Bivol (Bulgaria) ➤ Rise Project (Romania) ➤ Rise Moldova (Moldova) ➤ KRIK (Serbia) ➤ CINS (Serbia) ➤ Kyiv Post (Ukraine) ➤ Many more coming up
  17. 17. WHAT’S NEXT ➤ Comments via Facebook ➤ Integrated donation support ➤ More CMS’s, deeper support for current ones (Wordpress especially) ➤ Easier setup ➤ Full Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment ➤ Built in proxy features to prevent site blocking ➤ Tell me the features you would like to see
  18. 18. TECHNICAL DETAILS ➤ All apps written in native code ➤ Android - Java ➤ iOS - Objective-C (not Swift, though moving towards it) ➤ Not Phone Gap etc. ➤ Caches stored offline in persistent memory ➤ Push server written in Ruby on Rails ➤ RESTful JSON interface ➤ User administration ➤ Analytics ➤ Push notification support ➤ Dockerized ➤ AWS deployment automated ➤ HTTPS via LetsEncrypt (managed via scripts) ➤ Minimizes and proxies all requests ➤ CMS plugins custom written ➤ Not dependent on 3rd party plugins ➤ JSON output for non-REST API CMS’s ➤ https://www.github.com/PushOCCRP
  19. 19. HOW CAN YOU HELP?
  20. 20. HOW CAN YOU HELP? ➤ Are you, or do you have students that would be interested in contributing? ➤ Do you have or work with a newsroom that wants an app? ➤ Feature ideas? ➤ Experience in business models and how to integrate them with this project? ➤ Mobile app/push notification/ donation success stories? ➤ Translations? ➤ Development skills? Know anyone that has them? ➤ Experience running open source projects?
  21. 21. WHAT ELSE I’M WORKING ON
  22. 22. WHAT ELSE I’M WORKING ON ➤ Research on better best practices for mobile distribution ➤ Developing an open source facsimile of state-sponsored censorship for circumvention research. ➤ Fact checking, digital structuring of news content, and machine learning to better assist journalists. ➤ Offline and mesh networked digital logistics and communications for disaster and aid workers. ➤ Photojournalism
  23. 23. THANK YOU CHRISTOPHER GUESS @CGUESS RJI BUILDING #205 GUESSC@MISSOURI.EDU HTTPS://WWW.GITHUB.COM/PUSHOCCRP
  24. 24. QUESTIONS?

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