The Social Content Component (SCC) publishes, gathers, analyses, manages and monitors data generated on social networks during an experiment. It provides access to different social networks in terms of authentication, reading and publishing content. The SCC can offer significant added value both for the Experimenter / Venue and the Experiment Participant / End-user:
- provides access to social networks and monitoring of participant engagement (via communication with the ECC),
- helps draw useful conclusions from gathered social networking and QoE information during the experiment,
- enhances experience by providing access to relevant extra content available in the social networks
- allows interaction with other participants.
Furthermore, it allows software developers to easily develop Social Networking applications for multiple Social Networks by providing functionality for authenticating, retrieving and processing feeds and posting content.
The SCC consists of two sub-components:
- Social Integrator (SI)
- Social Analytics Dashboard (SAD)
The SocialIntegrator comprises four main parts. Its main element targeted at experimenters in general terms is the API, along with the Monitoring Client. The Android App and the Expert App have been developed mainly as bespoke applications to support needs of the Foundation of the Hellenic World embedded experiment, and have also served as a basis for further application development by 1st open call experimenters (mainly those involved in experiments located in the Foundation of the Hellenic World).
The SocialIntegrator API is a Java library for accessing different social networks transparently in terms of:
- content retrieval (posts, photos, comments, likes, etc) and
- publishing and modifying capabilities.
It extends SocialAuth and SocialAuth Android Java API, currently supports Facebook and Twitter (being extended to cover more social networks), supports monitoring of multiple QoE metrics (fully integrated with ECC EM module).
SocialIntegrator Android App
The SocialIntegrator Android App builds on top the SocialIntegrator API and is inspired by and currently used in the context of the FHW embedded experiment but can be easily adapted to other scenarios. It enhances the audience experience using social networks and enables them to interact with remote experts:
- users can sign in using their Facebook account and automatically join a specific event
- photos related to the FHW show are dynamically retrieved from Facebook event
- users can swipe through the photos, like them, ask questions, make comments, like comments and questions by others
- view answers to their questions (from experts) and like them.
SocialIntegrator Expert App
The SocialIntegrator Expert App is a web-based application that builds on top the Social Integrator API, inspired and currently used in the context of the FHW experiment but can be easily adapted to other scenarios. It facilitates the remote Expert’s interaction with the audience via Facebook and Twitter and supports multiple remote experts accessing the same SN content. The App retrieves content from social activity (photos, comments, questions, likes) and presents the expert with an easy to use environment:
- questions and answers grouped under content
- origin of SN content becomes transparent
- easy process of viewing and answering questions.
The SocialIntegrator Expert App is integrated in the Expert web site for the purposes of the FHW scenario (including AVCC streaming screen).
This module is used for retrieving monitoring information from the supported social networks. The fact that the SocialIntegrator helps in the development of applications makes it impossible to monitor the application directly. The monitoring part of the SocialIntegrator is thus a Java application that can run stand-alone on any server with Internet access. The monitoring information that is retrieved is then communicated to the ECC using a pulling mechanism.
SocialIntegrator Monitoring measurements taken include, but are not limited to:
- number of people attending Facebook event,
- average age of attendants,
- number of “likes” per event snapshot, comment, question, and answer,
- top comment, question, and answer.
Social Analytics Dashboard
The Social Analytics Dashboard (SAD) is a configurable, extensible web service primarily for gathering and analysing data from social networks. It provides a plugin framework with supporting database and scheduling services along with a connection to the Experiment Content Component for reporting metrics.
Plugins consist of a JSON configuration file and a Java executable with its dependencies. A simple plugin might take some keyword arguments and use the Social Integrator API to search Twitter for relevant posts, storing these in the local database and also providing them via an endpoint. The plugin would be scheduled to execute, for instance starting at a certain time, repeating every 10 minutes and ending a day later. Other plugins can be used to analyse the collected social network data and extract key topics, sentiment (positive or negative) and controversy as well as identify the different types of social network users.
The service is built using the Java Spring framework and provides a REST / JSON API and also can return data using RSS (in XML format). As such, it can be used directly by other software via REST but it can also serve web pages to display the data should this be necessary, using a combination of the Foundation CSS and jQuery systems.