Posted by Jayson Ambrose on 11.09.11
September 12th, 2011, Toronto - With the addition of the groups feature, community management has become even more powerful in Media Factory 3. In order to appreciate how groups can work for your project, it makes sense to understand some of the basics of the system first.
Collections, Channels and Groups
Collections (saved search and manual) are basic playlist objects that can contain media. Saved searches are dynamic based on parameters (ex. 10 highest rated) and manual collections are completely editorial. Collections are playlists meant for the presentation of media.
Channels are used to organize types of media such as uploads, comments, avatars and check-ins. Channels can have rules such as geo-fencing, visibility and moderation email templates. A media file can only exist in one channel at a time. Nesting is generally used for subsets such as separating language-based uploads.
Groups are used to organize media and members into flexible, customized containers. They are searchable, support custom meta-data and can be manually ordered for display. Media and members can be placed in multiple groups. Groups can also be owned and modified by end-user members, enabling social features such as discussion groups. Groups and events are very similar, with the only difference being that events have start and end dates.
All three of these objects can be used to filter calls to the Media Factory API.
Ways You Can Use Groups Today
Groups are the newest way to manage users and media in Media Factory. By way of several examples, I'll show you how you can use groups to engage your audience in different ways and enabled advanced workflows.
Customer Support Community
A community of questions and answers is a good example of using groups in the most basic way. In this example, a user could choose to create a new question and have other community members answer it. Joining a group is analogous to "following" the discussion or becoming a "fan" of the group. If a user registers and posts an answer to the question, that user becomes a member of the group and will receive email updates when other answers are posted. Since each answer is a media file, it can be voted up or down or commented on, creating deeper discussions and the best answers rising to the top.
Since group membership, uploads (answers) and comments are recorded, a user's profile page can list all Q&A threads they are following and how many questions they have answered. Developers can quickly produce a list of questions with the most answers, most recently posted questions, users with the most answers posted and more.
Multiple Round Competition
We've powered some very complex contests and competitions over the years and groups has proved to be a major innovation in contest management. Consider the Maxim Hometown Hotties campaign by the numbers:
- First round: Public voting on 100 contestants per week for ten weeks
- Second round: Public voting on top 100 semifinalists with semifinalists also adding a video to their profile
- Third round: The top 10 finalists are chosen based upon judging and voting with additional profile layouts done by Maxim magazine
- Final round: A 'Hometown Hotties 2011' winner is chosen
- Contestants create a profile and can upload up to 5 pictures and 1 video
- There were two types of users: contestants and voters
We created groups which allowed Maxim editors to organize contestants into each round of the competition, some into multiple rounds. Each group also contained the images and videos for that round.
Our product development team is continuing to innovate in the user-generated content management space. The Media Factory platform is a flexible and powerful solution for your unique and complex environment.