Whosay

Overview

WhoSay is a social media platform that allows celebrities to post pictures, videos and other content for fans. Celebrities use WhoSay to make their photos and videos available to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, while maintaining ownership of that content. Fans can engage with their favorite celebrities through dedicated landing pages and share content amongst their friends.

Gavant helped WhoSay from the beginning to identify functional requirements and establish a development plan. Following several initial prototypes, Gavant continued providing iterations of new functionality, adding new features and responding to customer feedback along the way.

Architecture

WhoSay is a SaaS web application, built from the ground up with an MVC-style architecture using the Java Struts framework. Extensive use of YUI and AJAX provide for a modern and responsive user experience. The system relies heavily on multithreading and caching for rich media ingestion, social media integration and public fan interaction. A web service layer is built on top to support BlackBerry, iOS and Android mobile app clients.

The solution was deployed in Amazon's AWS cloud platform to provide a reliable and scalable infrastructure. The MySQL database runs in a master-slave configuration on dedicated servers. The application runs on Linux servers configured with Apache and Tomcat, sitting behind Amazon's elastic load balancer (ELB). The infrastructure as configured provides for horizontal scalability to grow and shrink dynamically based on user load and other configurable metrics.

Integration

ImageMagick is used under the hood to transcode images to a variety of sizes and formats for different uses throughout the application. To achieve the same goal for videos and audio clips, the system integrates with Encoding.com, which provides an asynchronous transcoding service via a REST interface. Using this REST API, internal processes can submit raw video and audio clips to the service as well as status requests for their completion.

WhoSay relies on Amazon S3 for cloud-based storage and Amazon CloudFront as the content delivery network. Communication with these systems is achieved via a REST-based library provided directly by Amazon. Given high profile clients like A-list celebrities, sports figures and music artists, the Amazon AWS platform technologies overall provide the dynamic scalability needed to support millions of pageviews a day.

WhoSay integrates extensively with all major social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. REST APIs made available by these outlets allow the application to post new content and issue follow-up status requests for follow-up comments, likes, shares, etc. This follow-up information is imported back into the system so that analytical information can be made available to the celebrity posting the content. The application also imports realtime Google Analytics data for the public site to provide a comprehensive overview of fan outreach and content popularity.

To facilitate growing the WhoSay user base, a Facebook application allows fans to discover the content within the WhoSay network and share it with their friends. This allows for a seamless experience where Facebook users can be notified of new posts by celebrities, sign up as a WhoSay fan, and take advantage of social features, all without leaving the Facebook environment. Building this application using the Facebook API allows for exponential growth and access to a wealth of social data.

Testimonial

“I would highly recommend Gavant to others in need of a reliable technology partner that can add great value with a focus on high quality.”

Steve Ellis
CEO & Co-Founder

Highlights

  • Social media platform with content management capabilities
  • Extensive social media integration, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and Tumblr.
  • Comprehensive analytics for realtime feedback of content popularity and fan engagement
  • Mobile web interface for full user experience across all platforms

Technologies

  • Java, JSP/Servlet, JSTL
  • AJAX, HTML, JavaScript, CSS
  • MySQL
  • REST, JSON
  • Memcached · Distributed data caching
  • Apache Struts · MVC web framework
  • YUI Library · JavaScript framework
  • Jersey · REST web services
  • JMeter · Automated testing
  • JUnit · Unit testing

Integrations

  • Amazon S3 · Cloud data storage
  • Amazon CloudFront · Content delivery
  • ImageMagick · Image processing
  • Encoding.com · Video processing
  • Facebook · Social media integration
  • Twitter · Social media integration
  • YouTube · Social media integration
  • MySpace · Social media integration
  • Tumblr · Social media integration
  • Google Analytics · Site analytics