CASE STUDYNeurowebcast.com Presented By 5755 North Point Pkwy – 60 Alpharetta, GA 30022 P 678.580.1690 F 770.360.5776 www.mediacurrent.com
ABSTRACTMediacurrent collaborated with Turner Studios and Shaw Science Partners on an engagement to createa cutting-edge, Drupal v6 based microsite. The intranet requires login credentials, but is located atwww.neurowebcast.com. This project needed to facilitate real-time information and interaction betweena host doctor and invited medical industry personnel. The result was a highly successful, ongoingwebcast series that is helping a pharmaceutical company launch a new product.COMPANY PROFILEOur customer, Shaw Science Partners is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical-marketing agencies.The physicians, scientists, educators, and writers on their staff work closely with prominent scientists andthought leaders in the medical community. Shaw Science Partners has produced landmark educationalprogramming and set innovative standards of pharmaceutical communications.In addition, we teamed up with Turner Studios, a division of Atlanta based kingpin Turner EntertainmentGroup (TEG). Turner Studios provides resources and turnkey services for film, video, and audioproduction. They were the ideal partner and are well-known for their high quality of work in the mediaindustry.WHY DRUPALThe decision to use Drupal came after several other external options were discussed. However, for amicrosite like this, open-source, and more specifically Drupal, was an easy choice. The cost of ownershipwas significantly lower than any other solutions being offered. In addition, Drupal’s ease of deploymenttime enabled us to meet a sensitive deadline, required no licensing fees, and modules that were ready togo or could be extended to meet any custom functionality that was required. Plus, Drupal’s highlycustomizable administration would allow webcast producers and directors to publish and administer sitecontent during a webcast in real-time.SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONSThe primarily obstacle was thinking with simplicity and usability in mind – our administrators (and users) inthis case were almost exclusively doctors, who needed easily navigable commands. To overcome this,we designed an attractive, but user-friendly interface with limited options.
The user interface had to be legible from a short distance as the host of the webcast needed the ability tosimultaneously monitor activity and read questions from a computer screen that had been submitted byviewers and vetted by the webcast producer.In addition, all of the webcasts were done live and offered no margin for error (nothing quite like livevideo!). With this in mind, we needed a reliable hosting architecture set-up. The good folks at Turnerutilized Akamai for their video feeds and we set up the site’s hosting account on a virtual private server(VPS). We did a few dry runs and training tutorials before the first live webcast. Mediacurrent is alsoavailable to provide technical support via a 1-800 number or instant messaging during the live webcasts.MODULES LISTMediacurrent researched a variety of module options before deciding on what we felt was the most viableapproach. Here is a cross-section of the more noteworthy modules:Poll, Comment and Profile (core) were heavily themed to add site context and site specific usabilityfeatures.Admin Theme Used in a creative way to allow a simplified theme to be used on certain administrativepages as well as some key content areas of the site which shaved time on both coding and themingtasks.Ajax Comments Comments needed to be submitted to the host without a page refresh so ajaxcomments was essential.Better Formats Needed to enhance the input formats for content.Secursite Allows the site to be secured against any anonymous access.Single Login Used to ensure two or more users can’t login to a site under the same account at the sametime.User Import Users for each webcast session are imported into the site by an outside physician marketingagency using a standardized CSV file.Views Export Using the views_export module, from the Views Bonus module package, a view wascreated to export each webcast’s viewer set to a CSV file for use by the physician marketing agency.Views Bulk Operations VBO was used to create a simple dashboard for admin tasks such as publishingpolls and forwarding queued user submitted questions to the host.We discovered numerous bugs and conflicts between modules, but fortunately there were severalpatches discovered in the issues queues and we contributed a few back ourselves along the way.FINAL THOUGHTSThis project was neat because it really showcases the changing face of web based marketing and therole Drupal can play. This use case exemplifies how Drupal can help organizations reach a targetedaudience, and educate them on a major medical breakthrough like a new pharmaceutical product launch.The time to deploy was fast and efficient.
From a technology standpoint there was one takeaway that we would have done differently in hindsight –we would have liked to debug the poll feature, so that it better leverages the ajax refresh features. Thiswould have resulted in hogging less memory when refreshing a poll node page in an iframe.CLIENT FEEDBACK“Mediacurrent has been great to work with. They moved quickly to put together an interactive page to host a live Flash stream for a series of webcasts, and worked with us and our clients to fine‐tune the administrative details to everyone’s satisfaction. We look forward to doing a lot more work with these guys in the future.”David KennerlyTurner StudiosManager, New Media Production and DevelopmentABOUT USMediacurrent is an Atlanta, Georgia based interactive firm that has developed a specialization and consulting verticalwithin the free, open-source content management system (CMS) called Drupal. Mediacurrent offers strategicdirection and tactical implementation of an array of creative and technical solutions. For more information regardingMediacurrent’s services and portfolio please visit www.mediacurrent.com.