July 30th, 2014

O’Reilly OSCON 2014: FOSS Nerd Field Report

by Jess Portnoy

OSCON_LOGOThe O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) took place at last week at Portland, OR. Portland is a fun city, with great restaurants and bars, and surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.

If you’re a FOSS nerd or even just getting started with Open Source, you’ll love OSCON. Kaltura has been a proud sponsor of OSCON for the 7th year.

Community Leadership Summit.
The weekend before OSCON, we’ve attended the Community Leadership Summit, or in short CLS. CLS is a 2-day UN-Conference. The goal is to share best practices and discuss the art and science of community building and nurturing.

If you haven’t been to an un-conference before, the idea is for the attendees to come up with the agenda the morning of the event. Making a collaborative, inclusive and creative gathering. Most impressing was how quickly attendees suggested sessions, creating a packed agenda within 20 minutes.

CLS was full of great sessions and I’d like to share a couple with you -

  • The first was lead by Russ Pavlicek from Xen: “Birthing a new community within an exising community”. Community managers shared their experiences expanding their communities to new groups. For example growing a developer community out of your user community. Or fostering discussion oriented communities out of a hard-core developer group. We even discussed growing adoption and participation within a religious community with local chapters.
  • Another notable session was: ‘How to keep your marketing team happy’. The discussions made me reflect on memories of conflict I had with marketing teams of previous companies I worked at. I said I am proud to be working at Kaltura where we foster an open collaboration between the Community and Marketing teams.

Check out the videos section and the forums at the CLS website to learn more and get in touch with other community leaders.

FLOSS Community Metrics Meeting.
Then we attended the first FLOSS Community Metrics Meeting. A meeting of community managers from known FOSS groups including Puppet Labs, Debian, Red Hat and others to discuss analytics and ROI of community and participation. Zohar Babin, Kaltura’s Sr. Director of Community & Ecosystem Partnerships presented the opening talk on communicating the value of participation and community work within commercial organizations, and how to avoid getting side-tracked with the data and instead, focusing on success stories and well defined project goals.

OSCON – O’Reilly Open Source Convention.
I knew OSCON was blessed by the FOSS goddess when the projector immediately connected to my laptop! See, I work with Linux exclusively, and frequently face the “battle of the projector” before presentations.

The OSCON workshop I lead was: “Debugging LAMP Apps on Linux/UNIX Using Open Source Tools“. I’ve completely broken a Linux installation, and then spent 3 hours live debugging and fixing the environment with the attendees – That was FUN! Nothing teaches you more than breaking things.

I got to exchange a lot of Production disaster recovery experiences with my fellow attendees and discuss solutions and means to avoid the fiascos in advance.
If you’d like, check out my slides:

Tweet at @jess_port01 or @kaltura and leave a comment below if you’d like to talk about the slides.

There were a lot of interesting sessions, technical and otherwise. I strongly suggest you review the session materials on http://www.oscon.com. O’reilly also recorded the sessions, so stay tuned for the VOD soon.

One special talk I’d like to highlight was by Chris Launey of Disney. Chris spoke about the challenges of DevOps where everything is always “needed yesterday”. He discussed how people often hear about “this new cool tool” and want to deploy it right away, without expressing a clear need for it. Or whether the current system can already provide the same capabilities.

Chris also gave an example of how people say “Lets install Ubuntu!” and when asked what will it enable that their current RedHat install doesn’t – there’s no concrete answer. See his session details for more.

Michael Dale, Kaltura’s Product Director of Playback and Core delivered a session titled “HTML5 Video Part Deux; New Opportunities and New Challenges”. Michael discussed the recent developments in the HTML5 standard. And explored new video experiences the new features will enable. Review his session details for more, browse the sessions slides online and tweet at @michael_dale or @kaltura for questions and followup.

As with any conference, the ‘water cooler’ conversations are equally interesting and informative. I met many fellow hard core techies. Had conversations on GCC optimizations, low level kernel changes and many other interesting topics. That was lots of fun, long live us CS nerds!

Interesting to observe was that the FOSS ecosystem had significantly grown from the “die-hard hobbyists club” to including the average user and more new business models. Nowadays, for-profit commercial projects and non-profit community driven projects co-exist in the FOSS ecosystem. And more so than ever, feed each other and promotes growth and success. Kaltura is such an example. An open source project used by many. Built and maintained by a commercial company. And in turn both the project and company benefit in more features, faster innovation, support and advocacy.

At the Kaltura booth in the exhibit hall, I came across many interesting developers and projects. Two that I think deserve an honourable mention were:

  • Aaron Wolf’s project Snowdrift.coop. A new fundraising platform in the spirit of Free, Libre and Open.
  • The other was Jim Cupples’s Ballot Path. Jim defines himself as a “social sciences nerd”. Ballot Path is allows Oregonians to learn about their elected representatives. And shows the steps one would need to take to run for office.

Both of these projects involve open source technologies, and licensed as such. Yet both are not technical projects. FOSS is not just for techies anymore. Everyone benefits from the values and practices open source presents.
I recommend reading ‘In the Beginning was the Command Line’ by Neal Stephenson. Where Stephenson discusses the contributions of the open source principles and culture to society.

To conclude, OSCON was an informative and fun conference. And I look forward to meeting you there next year!

July 28th, 2014

Four Reasons to Start Content Marketing

by Joe Fleischmann

Tried and Tested Advice from Four Content Marketing Leaders

“Content Marketing Matters.”  Michal Tsur, Kaltura’s President and CMO said this in her introduction to the Panel Discussion about Content Marketing at Kaltura Connect 2014.  A niche of marketing once overlooked by the masses, content marketing has gradually become a part of many organizations’ marketing mixes.  Still there are organizations everywhere struggling for reason to allocate budget, staff, and time into incorporating it into their own mix.  The reality is, content marketing is something every organization in this decade must start practicing if they want to stay relevant in their user’s eyes—and it’s easier to start than you might think.

1: Content Marketing Creates Brand Loyalty 

All too often, organizations undervalue and neglect to address their customers as what they really are—people.  Scott Salik, VP of Video at Visalus—a direct selling company, illustrates how he was able to connect with his customer base.

My goal is to drive an emotional response so that people will connect with the product.  So that they feel they will have success with weight loss, or so that they feel they will have success in business. 

With this in mind, Scott and his team created a campaign to challenge his customers in achieving their weight loss goals.  If their customers could lose the first ten pounds, they would be more likely to reach their end goal.  With that in mind, Visalus launched Project 10 where customers would submit two videos—an “I want it” and an “I lost it” video showing their results.  Then, every week Visalus would select 10 people who submitted both videos to win $10,000.

 After four months, they’ve received over 100,000 clips, and noticed a 670% increase in the long term value of a customer who submitted both clips.  As Scott says, “Often they become promoters for us and help sell our product because they are true advocates for the success of our product.”

With just a bit of research and a simple internal campaign Visalus was able to increase their overall value, engage their customers, and generate hundreds of hours of user generated content they can freely use however they want.

2: Content Marketing Creates Brand Awareness  

Typically an organization creates brand awareness through advertising.  While it works, potential consumers can sometimes get frustrated and it is almost always an expensive endeavor.  Cornell University has launched a website dedicated to telling its stories called CornellCast.  As Carrie Sanzone, Web Product Manager at Cornell says:

It’s about getting that word of mouth, getting people talking about Cornell.

Carrie illustrates this with an example about 3D printing during her presentation.  Cornell can invest little into producing a story in-house and by keeping it on a central location (CornellCast), media outlets can report on it and increase the videos reach greatly.

“We’re not trying to get people to come necessarily to CornellCast.  But, we want to be where you are.  We’re trying to find the intersection of what people’s questions and problems [are], and where that intersects with our talent and expertise.”  With this methodology, spending what they typically would on advertising, they can create great content that appears to their potential students when they want to see it allowing Cornell to naturally become a part of the conversation.

3: Content Marketing Can be Measured

A struggle organizations often have in beginning content marketing is their belief that it can be difficult to see a clear return on investment.  In reality, too many organizations are focused on the wrong metrics.  Raymond Attipa, CEO of Shandy Media, a Compulsive Digital Media Company, has his own ideas of what make for quality metrics—and it’s not the number of clicks or views a video has.  For Raymond, it’s about how engaged viewers are with his content.

We have videos which are extremely successful because they have an extremely high engagement rate, an extremely high share rate and that’s really what our advertisers are looking for.  

Depending on what your goal is, in the case of Shandy Media—advertisement revenue, if you set the right goals, you can find methods to track it.  Things like duration of video watching and which countries and devices viewers are coming from, can go a long way in deciding which content to produce and promote, and where.

Of course, it’s important to remember that you only ever want at most 2-3 things for the viewer to take away—the basic marketing principles still apply when you want a viewer to act on a call to action.

4: Content Marketing Should be Applied to a B2B Space

Typically, content marketing is only referenced when talking about companies selling directly to a consumer.  The reality is that through refocusing and offering something else, it’s possible to use content marketing to effectively reach businesses.  Linda Crowe, Director of Content Marketing Programs at Oracle faces this challenge head on.  What she’s discovered is that that nature of who Oracle is selling to is changing and it’s not just those in technical positions making purchases.

Audiences don’t want to hear Speeds & Feeds

Like the first point we addressed, you’re always marketing to people.  People are who make up the businesses and it’s crucial to realize that.  Linda says it best: “They don’t want to hear about the technical attributes of our product, initially.  What they want to hear is, what are the business solutions and how are Oracle customers really approaching solving a business problem.”  What Linda is doing is starting this engaged conversation where Oracle can demonstrate solution oriented content in a manner that makes sense to those in a buying position.

If one of these four reasons isn’t enough to at least get you questioning why your organization doesn’t actively apply content marketing into your mix please let us know in the comments!  We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.  Also, be sure to watch the full panel discussion online—it’s full of amazing insights into the world of content marketing.   

July 23rd, 2014

What’s Next for HTML5 Video? Join our Talk at OSCON 2014

by Zohar Babin

Sharing the excitement from floor of OSCON 2014, Kaltura’s Director of Playback Experience and Video Monetization, Michael Dale talks about Kaltura, open source and his OSCON talk about what’s happening with web video standards and html5.
Be sure to visit Michael’s OSCON 2014 talk – HTML5 Video Part Deux; New Opportunities and New Challenges and come by our booth (#P1).

TF2A4144

June 27th, 2014

Test Driven Learning Begets Test Driven Development

by Michael 'Flip' McFadden

Slide1

Like most developers, I was approached by my management to “Make Something Work” without having any prior experience.  The job was to connect our Plone/Zope content management system to Kaltura, so web content editors could seamlessly upload and edit video content and metadata that is managed by the KMC.  It wasn’t hard to find the Kaltura Python API Client Library, but once you have the Client Library, you have to learn how to use it – and at the same time, learn the features that the KMC provides (see:
Kaltura Management Console Training Track).

I can read through the many docs from cover to cover (I usually don’t) and still have the uncomfortable, lost feeling of having no clue what’s going on. And then there’s always the pressure of overcoming the learning curve in a reasonable amount of time.
So I begin by writing “Playground Code”. A directory that will be filled with useless, proof-of-concept code that helps me get the hang of a language, an API, or a new concept. This code will never be used in production, which gives me the permission to write really bad code while I climb up the learning curve.
Being able to become unattached to code, throw it all away and start over, was an important step for me. You learn the ‘right way’ to do things by doing them the ‘wrong way’ first. It also helped me figure out where exactly I should be reading in the docs to get done what needs to be done.

In the past few years, I’ve been working a lot with the concept of Test-Driven-Development. In TDD you write very small, encapsulated tests before you actually code the functionality or patch you are implementing. You are, in fact, intentionally writing failing test cases. I found this method very useful for isolating and fixing bugs, but not so much for new large projects or new enhancement development. The requirement that the tests should be atomic and very specific does not lend itself to complicated projects with many moving parts. Until now.

When I found myself having to learn the Kaltura Python Client Library – having no prior experience, I found the concept of “Playground Code” and Test Driven Development coming together. I simply took my proof of concept, put together some code and threw an assert() statement at the end, and viola – it’s now a test case!

“How do I connect to a Kaltura Server with the Python API”

The answer was “testConnect()” - that was easily incorporated into a test suite using python’s excellent testing framework ‘unittest‘ (Then, assert that something like client.media.list() returns something that looks like a response. Or, at the very least, not an exception).
Viola: test_media.py

I developed the trivial, but important test case at the same time I learned how to connect to the Kaltura server! My code doesn’t have to be thrown away, nor does it have to be perfect. However, it can now serve the purpose of being a proof of concept, a unittest, and a code example for the next developer all at the same time.

When I got confused with something, I could easily take my entire test case, which was an atomic, very specific exercise/problem, and post it to the forums as is – and quickly get a direct answer on what was confusing me – instead of submitting a link to my entire application with the “xxxx not working” title, which would have made it harder for others to review and help.

And then it got even better. The proof of concept code grew as I learned more about the API. A large tests module started forming. I started coming finding small bugs in the Kaltura Python Client Library, nothing critical, but important to my application – And I was able to patch, test and contribute my code upstream to the Kaltura project.

Through my humble experience (from complete newbie state) with Kaltura’s API and Python Client Library, I was able to submit and contribute a more polished and complete Python Test suite for the Kaltura API Client Library!

@flipmcf

Want to join the Kaltura project and become an active contributor? Start Here.

June 24th, 2014

12 Tips to Deliver the Perfect Online Event

by Lisa Bennett

This post is written by Matthew Wainwright, Director of Marketing at Attend.com. Wainwright comes from HubSpot where he was a Principal on the Channel Marketing. Prior to that he worked on their Service team as a Senior Consultant. He has also worked at agency Catalyst Online and interned at Compete.com. He holds an MBA from Boston University.

Putting on the perfect online event can be harder than it initially seems. Here are some tips to make sure that your online events always strike the right note and meet your event objectives.

1.  Define your objectives, refine your target audience

Start by agreeing on your overriding goal for the online event. This could be lead generation, identifying potential new recruits for your business, or establishing a connection with prospective partners.

For lead generation-oriented events, it’s good to extend invitations to existing leads as well as well new prospects. This can help to shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

2.  Choose the right event name

Choose a compelling name for your event that takes into account heavily trafficked keywords that will boost SEO and help to increase the number of relevant people who come across it.

3.  Create a landing page

Create an online registration page, or landing page, for your event where attendees can sign up in advance. Make sure that every promotion ahead of the event links back to the landing page and that everyone who signs up gets an event confirmation.

4.  Post a call to action’ on your website

Place a ‘call to action’ on your website that promotes the event. Go light on the text and instead use images and graphics to entice website visitors to sign up for the event.

The elements of a good promotion email are: a personalized email, an interesting subject line, concise copy describing your online event, and a clear call to action, such as “Register Now,” that links people to your landing page.

5.  Promote via Social Media

Promote the event via social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Create a unique hashtag for your event on Twitter to help with promotion and for use during the online event itself.

6.  Consider paid search

If you don’t have a large enough database of contacts, consider setting up paid advertising on social networks and/or a search engine to promote you online event. If you are not visually inclined, ask a designer to help you create visual ads.

All the major search engines have paid search advertising programs that let you purchase the right to have your listing show up for a given term. Choose a relevant keyword (like “leadership webinar”), use that keyword in your ad and then link that ad to your landing page.

7.  Don’t forget about the content!

It’s easy to focus so much on the promotion and the logistics that there is little time left to work on the content. Plan the content well ahead of time and make sure you do a dress rehearsal before the event to iron out content, technical and delivery issues. The goal is to leave the attendees wanting more.

8.  Choose an engaging presenter

A well-known presenter, such as an industry thought leader, can help to pull in attendees and may not be as expensive as you think. They may also agree to present for free if you are helping them to reach a new audience. A senior executive from your organization who is skilled at presenting online, where real-time audience feedback is limited, is also a good option. You are looking for a radio talk-show host, not a standup comedian!

9.  Build a strong support team

Don’t overlook the value of securing a good team to support the presenter on the day. Choose a host/MC to oversee the event and handle Q&A, have a technical whizz on hand to handle any audio, visual and connectivity issues and consider having a social media expert ready to respond to others using your event hashtag in their discussions.

10.  Find the optimal time

The ideal time for an online event is just before lunch. Of course, this varies with the profile of your ideal attendee and the need to include people from different time zones.

11.  Follow up post-event

The actions you take immediately after your event has ended can impact its overall success. New leads need to know you have more to offer, existing leads need to be pushed into further conversations and existing customers need to know how they can use your product or service to take further action.

Create a ‘thank you’ email and short survey that can be sent out straight after the event, which includes links to the event video/slides and asks for feedback on the content and presenter. Keep the language in this communication broad enough to cover off recipients who may have left the event early, or didn’t actually join.

12.  Repurpose the content post-event

Post an on-demand version of the event on your website and continue to promote the content. Putting this behind a gate such as a landing page means that you can continue to capture residual leads.

June 16th, 2014

Just In Case Your Video Doesn’t Go Viral…

by Rebecca Gross

This post is provided by Jonathan Stefansky – co-founder and CEO of Viewbix, the leading interactive video marketing platform

Viewbix and Kaltura recently partnered to add Viewbix’s interactive engagement tools for Kaltura customers. The new integration enables the Kaltura Player to track video performance and optimize ROI through Viewbix’s actionable analytics platform.

Everyone wants to create the next massively successful viral video campaign, like Old Spice did with the “Smell like a man, man” campaign.

Old Spice generated over 105 MILLION YouTube views and saw a:

  • 2700% increase in Twitter followers
  • 800% Increase in Facebook fan interaction
  • 300% increase in traffic to their website

Most importantly, they became the number one brand of body wash and deodorant (source: pg.com).

However, relying on the one-in-a-million chance that your video will become the next successful viral campaign is not the most effective way to drive ROI from your media. Too often, businesses use video views as the metric of success for their online video campaigns. Take, for example these two scenarios, which would you choose?

  1. In Scenario A, you could get 10,000 people to watch your video.
  2. In Scenario B, you could get 10,000 people to watch your video, and 2,500 of these viewers would take some type of measureable action – joining your mailing list, becoming a social follower or purchasing your product or service.

For most businesses, Scenario B is the obvious choice, but if that’s truly the case, why are we measuring ROI of our videos by only counting views and not engagements?

Here are 4 quick tips to truly start achieving measurable ROI from your videos:

1) Actionable Analytics

Most analytics packages that track videos provide you with the basics – impressions, video views and, if you’re lucky, percentage of video watched. When it comes to effectively tracking ROI, it’s critical to use a platform that allows you to understand what’s working and what’s not. This should include tracking events like engagement activities, point-in-video that action occurred, device type, location and more. Using this data, you can put together effective multivariate tests to truly optimize performance.

Tip: Add a tracking tag to your URLs to report on completed transactions that occur from those clicks.

2) Determine Your Objective: Lead, Follow or Sell

Once you have a system in place to track your performance, it’s time to think about what type of action you want your viewers to take. Is the point of the video purely brand awareness or do you want to capture lead information? Do you want your viewer to become engaged with your brand by becoming a social follower or by downloading other relevant information about your business? Is this a point-of-purchase video, like an app download, where you want the viewer to take immediate action? Your engagement goals will have a big impact on determining the types of calls to action you want to place in your video.

Tip: Strike a balance with the numbers of calls to action in your video, but don’t be shy! People are watching your video because they are interested in your business. If you tell them what you want them to do next, they typically will. On average, our clients are seeing engagement rates of over 25%, meaning 1 in 4 viewers takes measurable action!

3) Find the Most Effective Placement for Your Calls to Action

Once you’ve determined what calls to action you will add to your videos, it’s critical to ascertain the best time and place to have them appear. Should they be present all the time? Do you want them to appear after a certain point in the video or be presented after the video ends? This is where your analytics become indispensible in providing you with the information you need to achieve the maximum ROI from your videos.
For example, one client tested the effectiveness of adding the call to action button directly on upper corner of their Viewbix Player, as compared to the same exact call to action button placed to the right of the video. By placing the button directly in the video window they were able to increase click through rates by 400%!

Tip: Correlate the percentage of video viewed with the placement of your call to action. If most of your viewers are dropping after watching only 50% of the video try adding a call to action before that point.

4) Remember Mobile Viewers

Mobile video viewership is exploding. At Viewbix, our clients saw the percentage of video views coming from mobile devices increase from 10% in 2012 to over 30% in 2013. Where and how you place your calls to action may need to change for the smaller footprint of these devices. Make sure you have a plan in place for these viewers.

Tip: Use a responsive themed player so the video will appear properly when viewed on mobile devices of different sizes.

Remember, you can achieve great value from your videos even if they don’t actually go viral. It’s time to look past video views as your primary metric for success and start using your video analytics data to build a strategy for getting your viewers to engage with your brand. If you need help generating more engagement from your videos, visit Viewbix.com and our video optimization team will develop a plan to help you make the most of your video marketing budget.

Viewbix is one of the proud sponsors of Kaltura Connect 2014 – The Video Experience Conference, June 17-18 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. See how Viewbix can help you drive measurable ROI from your Kaltura videos in less than 5 minutes – visit us at the conference!

June 10th, 2014

Kaltura and Cleeng Crack the Code for Live PPV Success

by Rebecca Gross

This post is provided by Gilles Domartini - founder and CEO of Cleeng. Cleeng, a leading freemium platform for Pay-Per-View and Video-On-Demand, has joined forces with online video platform Kaltura, to change the landscape of the paid online video streaming industry.

Two major events recently demonstrated the enormous consumer appetite for live-streaming worldwide: First, Super Bowl XLVIII became the most-viewed, live-streamed sporting event in US history with record online audience engagement. Second, the Oscars ceremony became the victim of its own success when the live internet broadcast crashed due to “traffic overload”, generating more angry tweets than the famous Ellen DeGeneres selfie. Compared to linear television, online audiences were offered a wider range of viewing and navigation options between the Oscars pre-show, ceremony and backstage events across any electronic device. Although, streaming offers viewers more choice and flexibility, it isn’t always easy, as the end-to-end ingestion and video processing distribution challenges during the show demonstrated.

Paid Streaming Usage is Here

There is a plethora of new opportunities: Take for instance Louis CK grossing $4.5 million in 45 hours for digital downloads of his one-man-show or the World Wrestling Entertainment Network expecting to reach 1 million subscribers to its online service less than two months post-launch. Both cases further prove that buying online entertainment is quickly gaining popularity. The appeal is much broader than just celebrities and sporting events – many prestigious universities, health foundations and B2B conferences are also embracing live streaming as a way to directly connect with their audiences on a global scale. Both Kaltura and Cleeng are committed to easing the existing pain-points of live streaming. Kaltura’s is working toward this with the launch of Kaltura Live Streaming, which provides a unified, affordable and robust Live-to-VOD solution; Cleeng recently launched the new Cleeng Live!, allowing any event organizer to easily setup tickets, pre-booking and payments for online events in just two-minutes.

Challenges Remain to Organize a Successful Pay-Per-View Event

There is great potential for live-streaming opportunities, but it remains complex due to frequent, high profile outages. If you’re planning to organize a pay-per-view event, it’s important to manage six key factors:

  1. Securing video access across devices, while ensuring a smooth user experience. This is no easy task due to the fragmentation of technologies like HTML and Flash and a variety of devices from smartphones to TVs.
  2. Congestion of peak loads is a big deal – typically 10% of transactions are processed in the last 10 minutes before an event starts. Server failure is the most predictable issue, but, in case of sudden transaction growth, the payment gateway may be suspected as fraudulent or your email gateway could be perceived as a potential spammer.
  3. Delivering a seamless login and user experience during the pre-booking phase and at the moment of the event.
  4. Providing immediate support during the show. When people pay, they expect answers, fast! It’s important not to fail in this area, otherwise you may be left to deal with hundreds of complaints from social media channels over the next few hours!
  5. Providing worldwide payment, especially when it comes to handling various payment methods, multiple currencies and tax management along with potential geo-blocking.
  6. Setting up paid or free online events can be a time consuming task especially if you need to enlist consulting agencies and multiple solution providers from live page design, streaming to payment gateway.

Cleeng has powered more than 300 live shows for leading brand names such as Cirque du Soleil, TEDMED and the University of Massachusetts, reaching millions of viewers worldwide. After measuring these interactions, we have uncovered the components that define a successful user experience and the type of business models required to meet user expectations and to further empower social sales. With Cleeng’s experience and expertise in live-streaming and Kaltura’s powerful and flexible video platform, we’ve created a solution that empowers publishers to host premium events and build engaging, revenue-generating online video experiences.

Free trial account for Kaltura users!

See Cleeng, a proud sponsor, at Kaltura Connect 2014 – The Video Experience Conference, which will take place in New York City on June 16-18.

June 5th, 2014

Kaltura and Willow TV Host the Times of India Indian Premier League 2014

by Charlotte.Copeman

PepsiIPL2014TimesIndiaCoolWe’re thrilled to announce today that in partnership with Willow TV and the Times of India, Kaltura will be hosting the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2014.

The Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) is a Twenty20 cricket tournament with different franchise teams participating for the title. The tournament started in 2008 and is the most-watched Twenty20 cricket league in the world.

IPL2The brainchild of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the IPL has developed into the most lucrative and most popular outlet for the game of cricket. Matches generally begin in late afternoon or evening so that at least a portion of them are played under floodlights at night to maximize the television audience for worldwide broadcasts. With the advent of the IPL, almost overnight the world’s best cricketers—who had seldom made the kind of money earned by their counterparts in other professional sports—became millionaires.

IPL3Video and social sharing is key to the success of the IPL. With games being played in multiple geographic locations, online viewing gives fans the opportunity to watch the matches live, catch up after the match and share the highlights with friends and family.

TIPL1he Kaltura platform provides an automated workflow to capture highlights, upload, encode and deliver content quickly to fans.

 

 

Not only does the Kaltura platform support a one-step workflow but also adds advertising and advanced sharing capabilities. All that remains is to wish the cricket teams good luck for the tournament!!!

Visit the Go Cricket website to watch the live action unfold.

 

 

June 4th, 2014

API Inside-Out – Tour of Kaltura’s API Driven Architecture

by Jess Portnoy

Being open source provides users of the Kaltura platform many advantages. Amongst which, the ability to shape and influence the platform and its roadmap by contributing code to the project.

More often, when building a new integration or a publishing workflow, it’s a bit too much to dive into the platform code. That’s why you don’t have to!

Kaltura is a RESTful API driven platform.
This means that all features, user facing or internal, are all based on the same unified API.
From upload to through transcoding to playback, is all controlled via the API.

A RESTful API follows the following concepts:

  • It’s uniform – in Kaltura, every service represents an object, and actions represents its methods . For example: the media service represents the KalturaMediaEntry object. The media.delete action deletes a given KalturaMediaEntry object.
  • It’s stateless – In every API call you must provide a valid session key (dubbed KS). You can also create as many sessions as you need at the same time.
  • It’s cacheable – Scale is a make or break with video applications. We cache more than 95% of API calls in Kaltura, once in memory and then even on the CDN.
  • Layered System – Client have a single end point. This encapsulates whether the client connect to the end server, or to an intermediary along the way. Intermediary servers improve system scalability by enabling load-balancing and shared caches. Layers also enforce security policies and enhance system resilience.

A lot of projects offer a RESTful API. But what I believe makes the Kaltura API special are -

It’s API from the inside out!
The platform’s own components also use the same APIs to get their job done. This means core developers build and test using the same APIs that App developers use. Which in turn test and improves the APIs daily.

Always up-to-date SDKs
Kaltura’s API features a unique automatic generation of SDK. With every release Kaltura generates new client libraries. Which are available in most popular programming languages, including: PHP, Ruby, Python and JavaScript.
See the Kaltura.com client libraries page for complete list and downloads.

It’s Robust, Allowing Complete Control
As an outcome, the API is capable of controlling pretty much any operation the platform’s core components. From ingesting content through management and transcoding, to playback, delivery, distribution and analytics.

To further explain point A, lets dive further in to the Kaltura architecture:

 

The API and Client Libraries, are used across the platform’s components, both in external applications such as Kaltura MediaSpace or various modules to 3rd party systems such as Drupal or WordPress, as well as internally, within core Kaltura components such as transcoding batch servers or the platform Admin Console.

For example, the batch daemon, responsible for performing roles such as: media import, media info extraction, transcoding and server notifications, triggers these APIs the same way any other party, for example, your application, would: using the Kaltura API Client libraries.

Here is a short example of how the APIs (in this particular case, the PHP client libs) can be used to upload a new video entry to the system:

Having an API driven architecture enables complete control and freedom with how you desire your application workflows and UI to be. From creating different publishing workflows to exposing sets of functionalities.
In addition, the API inside-out approach opens up many opportunities for adapting, controlling and extending beyond the simple UI workflows and apps, important examples are with platform automation and monitoring tools.

 

Playing with the API:

As mentioned, Kaltura provides client libs generated for various programming languages. In addition, API calls can be made using a testing tool dubbed the Kaltura TestMe console.
The first thing you would want to do is create a Kaltura Session – KS:

  1. Select ‘session’ as service and ‘start’ as action.
  2. In session type, select ‘USER’.
  3. The secret field corresponds to one of two strings that are saved in Kaltura for each partner and are available in your KMC under the Settings>Integration Settings tab. Note that there are two types of secrets, one that can be used to start an end-USER session and one to start an ADMIN session.

 

testme_session_start

If you look at the screen shot above, you will see that, in the right frame, we have the returned XML which includes:

  • The result tag with the KS ‘N2E1NGE1NGIxOGFlNWI3MDU1NWY4YTNmMTRjM2QwZDg2ZDA1YjM0MHwyNDk7MjQ5OzEzOTkyODc1OTA7MDsxMzk5MjAxMTkwLjM1NDs7Ozs=’ as value
  • The executionTime tag with 3.71932983398 as value

In the bottom of the page, you can see the code our selections in the input form generated.

Notice that while the default displayed code is in PHP, you can click on one of the other languages to see the code generated for any other.

 

Next for a second example using the Test Me Console, we will list the entries our partner owns. Doing so by using the baseEntry service and calling its listAction() function.

testme_baseentry_list

As you can see, the generated code reads:

If you run this code and add:

You will get a result very similar to the XML outputted in the right frame of the page in the screenshot above.

 

The Test Me Console is a useful method of starting to work with the Kaltura API. Simply browse through available services and see what actions can be made.

Then, you can copy the code snippet and shape it into something useful within your scripts.

 

Hopefully this article will help you get started with the Kaltura APIs.

Browse the Kaltura API Documentation Set to learn more and explore more Kaltura APIs.

For any questions, leave a comment below, or start a thread in the forums.

Download, install and take part in the Community.

 

Happy coding :)

Join us for the upcoming Video Experience Hackathon on June 13-5 in NYC. Polish your Kaltura API skills with the mentoring of experts and Kaltura core maintainers, and take a chance at winning the $50,000 prize!
The VideoX Hackathon, June 13-15, NYC

May 18th, 2014

8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Miss The Video Experience Conference!

by Jess Portnoy

If you’re not already going to Kaltura Connect – The Video Experience Conference, read on to find out why we think it’s going to be an epic event, and a productive, empowering gathering that will positively influence ROI.

  1. Invest in your future – Video is now as essential as mobile phones, your organization is most likely using video more and more. No matter what your company does, video is already a part of its daily operations. Learning from others’ experience and practices; embedding video and media into their business, teaching & learning environments or internal collaboration operations, will enable you to make smarter decisions regarding your operations now and in the future.
  2. You’ll learn about exciting new technologies at scale. Kaltura Connect features workshops and sessions by knowledgeable, and experienced thought leaders and experts in the fields of open source and standards, deployment automation, building API driven architectures, cloud scalability and many other interesting tech challenges companies tackle every day.
  3. Check out the brilliant agenda and speakers list! We’ll have thought leaders, executives, developers and authors who will discuss everything video, from how we teach and educate through collaborating at work to drones and wearables.
  4. There are stacks of tutorials, workshops and exciting projects to discover, learn from, and get a hefty dose of video, free software and web technology.
  5. If you’re more into coding and doing – There’s also the Video Experience Weekend Hackathon! There might be $50,000 in it for you, and lot’s of exposure for you and your company when you’ll present your app at the closing keynote. And if a real product will brew in your keyboard from the hackathon – we’ll help you market and sell it!
  6. Connecting and networking – hang around your peers, we’ll have developers, DevOps, Support engineers and, for management, many executives from across industries are attending and presenting the future of video in their strategies, so bring your boss along for bonding.
  7. FUN! Every past attendee will tell you, Kaltura Connect provides ample activities for networking and one of the best night parties! And the conference food, is a special culinary experience you will not want to miss, served by 3 of the best restaurants in NYC!
  8. Its in NYC, and right next to Central Park – Invite your significant other to join you, nothing beats the business and pleasure combo, especially in the Big Apple!

 

 
Watch videos from previous Kaltura Connect conferences.

 

And, finally, just for reading our blog – we’d like to give you a special 50% discount when registering for Kaltura Connect!

Register at: http://goo.gl/Ak5lqQ to get your discount today.

 

See ya there:)