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More on the user group: responding to your development questions

By December 14, 2012 No Comments

Last week we wrote to round-up all the fantastic ideas for boosting webcast viewing figures that were shared at the user group in November. We mentioned that we’d be writing this week to tell people about some of the technical points that were also made at the same meeting.

At that user group, Lewis Broad-Ashman and I were able to respond to some of the queries and suggestions, but by no means all. There were some really great points made and we knew we’d have to take these back and think a little bit more about them!

Obviously that’s what the user group is all about: a process that allows us to see the product with a different pair of eyes, can challenge us a bit and hopefully give us the information we need to really push Connect and Connect Social forward.

So with that in mind I’ve set out in the list below the development-related issues that we collected. I’ve also included our responses: what we’re planning (or were already planning) to do and what expectations we have. As ever, the principle is to ensure that we’re keeping you up to date on how these developments are going – and to work with you to find out how they sit in your priorities – so any feedback is very welcome.

I should add – this is list isn’t in any particular  order!

  1. The Hyperwave and CMIS Document Management Systems were tabled as possible alternatives to Modern.Gov – which is used by many councils to manage their meeting agendas. We will investigate both of these systems and research their use within our client base in order to determine whether and when we should implement support for them.
  2. The Nirvana notification system was suggested as an alternative/addition to Gov Delivery, the text-messaging alert system we have talked about integrating with. As above, we will investigate and research usage of both of these systems with a view to determining their popularity within our client base and then implementing support based on those results.
  3. There were a couple of suggestions regarding Twitter – (a) Auto-tweet when archive is available, and (b) adding an option to the CMS to change the time when live meeting tweets are sent out. Both of these are on the timetable for development.
  4. There were also a couple of ideas around the admin system: (a) Add an auto-sync option to Modern.Gov; (b) re-think the ‘Miscellaneous’ section. We are currently gathering requirements for a planned upgrade of the webcast administration system and these will be included.
  5. The issue that the player timeline is misleading has been passed on to our usability designer for review. Any changes will be rolled out into an update in the near future.
  6. The noted problems managing slides control in Webcaster have been taken on board and resolutions will be implemented in the next major Webcaster release.
  7. The issue with test webcasts appearing on the live URL is currently being tested. We hope to have an update to the live servers very soon.
  8. Finally, there was a request to provide more information on support for Windows media. The most comprehensive information is available in a previous blog post – “Video formats: Open video – what exactly do we mean?” but in a nutshell, clients who continue to stream Windows Media, rather than switching to Flash will have limited mobile viewership. Only Windows mobile phones are capable of viewing Windows Media video. By switching to Flash/H264, Apple and Android mobile devices are supported and Windows mobiles are supported for archived webcasts.

There were a number of other issues that have been assigned to my colleague Lewis and we’ve left aside for the moment. They would include a query over how we might make the kit scalable and a number of other important questions we’ll be looking to answer soon.

If you have any queries about this – or want to suggest any other things you’d like us to look at then please either comment below or contact us – details here.

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