Case Studies » Fans meet stars

The client is an admirable interactive agency that has won Webby People’s Choice Award. Specializing in the field of web marketing, the client has successfully launched a popular interactive promotion platform that helps people to organize photo voting contests. The website has given away more than $200,000 worth of cash and prizes.

The client wants to leverage its fan-style community of the photo voting contest website to develop a social network connecting stars in the entertainment and sport industries with their fan base.

However, given that social network is an oligopolistic market which favors only some big players due to its networking effect, client wants to differentiate itself by employing the offline interaction between celebrities and their followers and developing the offline connections into online activities.

Essentially, the system provides fans with an iPhone application so that whenever they meet their idols they can handover the iPhone to him/her and have him/her sign or record audio messages. Such data will then be synchronized into the website server and displayed on the social network site where fans can share their memorable moments with their idols with their friends or connect to the stars online to get updates on tours and promotions.

When designing this project, we kept in mind that we were not simply building a website but an application platform on which other modules can be plugged in or built. Those plugins may come from us or other vendors. Therefore, we decided that the most important features that the platform should have are extensibility and interoperability. For extensibility, we would choose Codelgniter with HMVC as the de factor standard. For interoperability, the project requires the web component to expose an API to interface with the iPhone app. It is also at the project sponsor’s vision to have an open API so other vendors can extend the project in the future. Therefore, we would employ the Codelgniter REST server.

Five months after the development of the platform, the social network is now ready to support big names in the entertainment industry such as the American Idol, the Olympics.