World Cup fever, everyone’s got it—even the Broadcasting Board of Governors‘ (BBG) Voice of America has reporters covering the event.
For this year’s World Cup, VOA has teamed up with the Office of Digital and Design Innovation (a digital team inside the BBG) to create two new sites: one in English and one in French. These mobile-firsts sites are light-weight, responsive and built to meet the needs of the network’s African audiences, which are increasingly turning to mobile for news and information. Posts on the sites are shorter and designed to be shared on social media outlets. The VOA editorial teams chose not to write lengthy text articles, but instead create highly visual graphics, interactives, illustrations and multimedia stories that show what is happening at the World Cup in an engaging way.
The sites are developed using popular open source software, WordPress and AngularJS while newer technologies like D3JS, NodeJS and websockets are being used to deliver live match scores and statistics in real-time to users on mobile devices, often in low-bandwidth areas of the world.
DigitalGov innovators should also know VOA journalists on the ground in Brazil have a new tool to help them report on World Cup events. “Relay,” was created by the Office of Digital and Design Innovation using the Drupal open content management framework to allow individual journalists to publish text, photos and video through email via a mobile device without the need to login to a complex CMS or rely on teams of editors and producers.
As agencies look to reach their audiences on mobile device while still delivering detailed data and rich media experiences, technologies like Node, designed for fast, responsive, mobile experiences, will be critical to developing succesfull applications. The BBG is making its World Cup work and many of its other projects available to government agencies and the open source community through its GitHub page, BBGInnovate.
Don’t forget: You can download cool mobile government apps with just a few clicks from our USA.gov Apps Gallery.
Randy Abramson is the Director of Audio/Video Products and Strategy and Adam Martin is the Director of Technology and Innovation at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). They are both members of the Mobile COP. This article is part of this month’s editorial theme on Social Media. Check out more articles related to this theme.