Dandalin VOA

The Project

Voice of America audiences in Nigeria can now get their news on the go with DandalinVOA, a dynamic 24/7 mobile phone stream featuring a fresh mix of Nigerian and American music, the latest news, sports and entertainment updates. The Nigerian mobile market represents one of Africa’s largest and most vibrant mobile markets, with approximately 60 million adults using their phones to access the news each week. the DandalinVOA site specifically serves the 25-and-under crowd providing young people a way to catch up on the news, enjoy music and listen to a lineup of relevant programming.

The Solution

Based on the success VOA experienced with the 2014 World Cup application built by Fig Leaf Software, the agency engaged Fig Leaf Software supplemental staffing resources to replace the agency’s www.dandalinvoa.com public site with a new fully responsive mobile site built using the MEAN Javascript Framework.  MEAN provides a fullstack framework for:

  • MongoDB – the leading NoSQL database, empowering businesses to be more agile and scalable
  • Express – is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework, providing a robust set of features for building single and multi-page, and hybrid web applications
  • AngularJS – AngularJS lets you extend HTML vocabulary for your application. The resulting environment is extraordinarily expressive, readable, and quick to develop
  • NodeJS – Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications

DandalinVOA news is published using a Faye messaging server to push new news as it is updated real time. The Faye Server, a publish-subscribe messaging system based on the Bayeux protocol.  Faye provides message servers for Node.js and Ruby, and clients for use on the server in all major web browsers.

The AngularJS code talks to the backend NodeJS code and is integrated with Pangea, VOA’s homegrown CMS.  The new site is hosted on the Amazon AWS platform with a full staging and production stack and media server.  The Varnish Cache server handles millions of hits per second and the entire application integrates with Adobe Site Catalyst to provide robust web analytics to capture how long each song is listened to, what content users are viewing, and how users navigate through the site, etc. Online streams are provided via an integration with VOA’s Dalet radio server.

The Results

The new site has been soft launched at http://www.dandalinvoa.com/ and will replace the existing public site during the winter of 2015.  The new site features live streaming of music and news published from the legacy content management system and also includes:
  • News with Integrated Audio Streaming – users can now share a stories via Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • Sports – with links to English Premiere League schedule charts and team rosters as well as real-time game highlights
  • Living & Entertainment – updates and news related to key interest areas
  • Music – a library of about 10,000 songs
  • Breaking News – loads as a large red banner at top with links to real-time breaking news
  • Administrative Console – for managing the promos, page layouts, question of the day, etc.

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