Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recent Project: "Aldo's Let's Dance" Fall Campaign

By the lack of blog posts this month, you might have guessed that I've been busy. You're right! I even failed to blog about a launch early this month. But here it is...

I had a great time working with Dynamo, located in the old port of Montreal, on Aldo's fall campaign, "Let's Dance". The concept is simple: upload a video of yourself dancing to Think About Life's Sweet Sixteen and let Internet groupies vote via Twitter, Facebook and/or YouTube. The entries have been fantastic, the traffic through the roof, and voter participate off the charts. It's definitely the most fun I have had all year. Check out the screen shots below and some technical details for those inclined, but better yet visit the site before 6th December to get the full experience before voting ends.

Thanks to Alex (Interactive Director), Jenna (Senior Designer) and Marie (Front-end Integrator) from Dynamo who made this such an enjoyable project to work on.

Home Page

Aldo Let's Dance Home


Aldo Let's Dance Gallery


Aldo Let's Dance Video


Aldo Let's Dance Registration

Technical Details

"Let's Dance" is built using Ruby on Rails, tested with Cucumber and RSpec and deployed on Heroku. The application integrates several different services via Oauth: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. By using Oauth we are able to track unique votes, as each vote is captured with the voters Oauth ID, but still allow visitors to share videos as many time as they wish.

Video uploads and approvals are managed using YouTube Direct and deployed on Google App Engine. While this saved development time, the open source application does not currently support Internationalization. It was possible to "hack" this in, but it was more time consuming than it should have been. Having said that, it was great to be able to off load all video processing and management to YouTube.

Deploying on Heroku is a huge help with the sudden influx of traffic. With campaign sites, there's no ramp up with traffic, so the application has to handle large amounts from day one. We monitor performance using NewRelic (on-demand application management), to ensure the application has the resources it needs for fast response times.

Need help with you Ruby on Rails application?

Please contact Nicholas Henry at Firsthand Web Design.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

jQuery toggle issue on Safari, toggle shows, hides, but does not re-show

I was toggling a collection of nested HTML elements which was working fine in Firefox, but not in Safari. Even manipulating the display attribute using the console produced the same result. Even stranger, clicking outside of the element after a toggle made the element appear. After an hour or so trying to identify the issue, I left it to return later with a fresh mind. Before returning I had restarted my Mac. Yes, you guessed it. It was working. Have you come across this issue? Please let me know in the comments.

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