Escenic Live Center

The British media group Trinity Mirror uses Escenic Live Center to produce more than 10,000 live blogs a year. The results speak for themselves:

  • 3x increase in traffic
  • 25% of total traffic goes to/comes from live coverage
  • Live users become regular users

Integrated with your CMS

As an Escenic plug-in, Live Center is a fully-integrated component of the Escenic content management system – a CMS specifically designed for newsrooms. That means live blogs are first-class citizens in Escenic publications, completely under your control – not embedded islands from a third-party software vendor's site. All the access rights and controls that apply to ordinary news content also apply to blog content – with no additional work required.

Re-use existing content

Full integration also means that including existing content from your CMS in live blog entries is really easy – pictures, text and videos can just be dragged into a live blog from Content Studio, the Escenic CMS client.

Let freelancers contribute

At the same time, it’s still easy to let a freelancer or blogger write a live blog for you – all you need to do is create an Escenic user account. The blogger can then just log in using his Facebook or Google credentials, and start writing.

Monitor and include social media

Adding content from social media and Youtube is just a drag-and-drop affair. Configurable social media feeds let you monitor relevant activity on all the important social media platforms, and simply drag tweets, videos or images directly into your blogs.

Use any device, anywhere

Live Center is browser-based and optimized for touch, so it can run on any device, and be used anywhere there's a network connection. It offers journalists and bloggers an intuitive, streamlined interface for instant productivity.

Work fast, think big

Live Center is designed from the ground up for speed and scalability. It offers true real-time reporting, with sub-second update times for as many simultaneous subscribers as you want.

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See also video from Escenic Days 2015 with an in depth description of how Trinity Mirror works with live coverage.

Technical description

Live Center is a standard Escenic plug-in that extends the Escenic Content Engine with support for liveblogging.

A live blog (called an event in Live Center) is a sequence or feed of entries describing some news event as it unfolds. Each entry is generally brief and contains an update or comment on the unfolding situation. An entry can contain text, images, audio or video and can also hold embedded content from other web sources such as social media sites (Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and so on).

The entries in an event are usually listed in reverse-chronological order (that is, latest first), and new entries are pushed to readers: whenever a blog is updated by newsroom staff, all browsers displaying that page will be automatically updated to reflect the change.

Live Center entries are rather like standard Escenic content items: they can consist of many different fields of different types, and customers can configure their own entry-types to support different types of live blogs. But entries aren't in fact content items: they have a much simpler internal structure, optimized for speed.

The Live Center plug-in adds the following components to an Escenic installation:

  • A special content type for holding events. Each event is a separate content item, created in Content Studio in the usual way.
  • A new publication resource called event-type. The event-type resource holds entry structure definitions for different types of events, allowing customers to define their own event types.
  • Additional Content Engine database tables for holding entry contents.
  • The Live Center webapp: a modern, browser-based, mobile-friendly app written using modern client-side technologies such as Javascript and Angular. It enables:
    • in-house journalists and external bloggers to contribute to events
    • editors to review and control the publishing of entries
  • An editorial web service. This read/write REST web service is the API through which the Live Center webapp communicates with the Escenic Content Engine. It can, however, also be accessed by customers' own applications and extensions if required.
  • A presentation web service. This read-only REST web service exposes all published event content as JSON data. This technology-agnostic approach leaves site designers and developers free to implement their live blogging presentation layer using whatever languages and technologies they choose.
  • Editorial and presentation change logs: web service endpoints that provide an efficient mechanism for following changes to events. Editorial and presentation layer code provides "push" functionality by polling these endpoints.

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