With the explosive growth of mobile phone usage and user generated content (UGC), the ability to publish mobile phone content such as SMS and MMS messages to broadcast systems is increasingly important -- particularly in Live TV and event situations.
Most often, the purpose of the interaction between mobile and broadcast systems is to obtain some UGC in order to publish it on a broadcast system in the form of an overlay (e.g. a ticker on the bottom of the screen) on a TV show or a Jumbotron screen at a live event. This UGC is a compelling way of driving user interaction. It deepens the brand relationship of the primary sponsor, and provides a fun experience for the viewer or event participant.
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Figure 1: This diagram demonstrates the integration points and flow of messages for an activity with multiple input formats and multiple output formats.
A rules-based messaging engine serves to accept input from various sources (SMS, MMS, IVR, iTV, Web etc.) and apply a set of data driven rules to the inbound "message". The first stage of the process is to receive the content from the user. This is usually in the form of an SMS message, although it may be delivered in one of the other formats listed above.
Once the messages have been received from the user, they are placed in a database table, waiting in a queue for approval from a moderator prior to distribution on the screen.
The moderation process is critical to success when publishing user-generated mobile content on a broadcast network for a few key reasons:
- Most broadcast networks require a sufficient number of approved messages in order to broadcast.
- Timely content moderation ensures that messages are displayed in the quickest time that is technically possible.
- It's important to be sure the guidelines for appropriate content are followed.
- It's necessary to check that all seeded messages are relevant.
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Figure 2: A screenshot of an online moderation interface
Most production studios face tight space limitations, which can sometimes make it difficult to conduct on-site moderation, particularly at live events where there is limited space at the side of the stage, the moderation can be performed offsite using a Web browser, which accesses the moderation user interface within the messaging system.
Once the messages are approved, the following are some of the methods to publish the content to a broadcast system:
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