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What are Feeds?

Last updated on December 11, 2008

Feeds are categories for content in Concerto, each of which contains messages of a similar type. Feeds are the virtual bins into which users insert graphical and text-based flyers, announcements, bulletins, or other content. Each feed is moderated by a group of privileged users (students, staff, faculty members, or some mix), who approve and deny messages submitted to the feed.

Let's Clear Up Some Common Misconceptions...

  1. Feeds are not always tied to specific locations. For example, the Alumni House (Campus-wide) feed is not just featured on screens within the Heffner Alumni House; rather, it is shared between some of the screens within the Concerto network. There are a couple feeds specifically designed to only belong in a particular building. These feeds are usually marked with the word "Internal." An example is the Lally School (Internal) feed, which is only intended to be shown in the Pittsburgh Building.
  2. Not all feeds are meant for the same types of content. The Lally School (Campus-wide) feed is for management-related workshops, lectures, class bulletins, and other graphical and text-based messages, while the Mueller Center Schedule feed only contains the HTML schedule for the Mueller Center's building hours.
  3. Some content may belong in more than one feed at a time, but only in rare cases. A multidisciplinary program between the Lally School of Management & Technology and the School of Humanities could belong in the Lally School feeds, the Entrepreneurship and the Service & Community feed. In this case, that message could be submitted to all of those feeds and approved by each individual group of moderators for each feed. But we encourage Concerto users to only submit to one or two feeds tops for most cases.
  4. Each feed is moderated by a different group of users. If you submit a message to three feeds, it's possible that it may get approved for one, two, three, or none of those feeds. It's up to each individual group of moderators to determine if your message belongs in their feed.
  5. Some feeds are special. There are also a couple special feeds, including Mueller Center Schedule, that are only meant for HTML content from external sources and not for user-submitted messages.

How Do Feeds Get on Concerto Screens?

Good question! Concerto screens are each independent of one another, which means that every single screen could be showing a different feed if the people who own the screens prefer for that arrangement. However, the beauty of the way Concerto works is that multiple screens can mesh content from multiple feeds together into a unique concoction.

Assigning weights to multiple content feeds, each of which contain different forms of messages.

Assigning weights to multiple content feeds, each of which contain different forms of messages.

The first thing to remember, as stated above, is that each feed represents a unique type of message, not necessarily a location on campus. But the system is designed to promote the sharing of content feeds between the audiences most likely to care about those types of messages. Like each feed, each physical Concerto display on campus is controlled by a group of privileged users. These users could be building coordinators, students, or anyone else directly involved with the operation of that hardware.

Screen moderators will pick and choose the feeds they wish to display on their screens and then assign weights to each feed based on which content categories they want to highlight more than others. Because many feeds can contain graphics and text messages, screen moderators can select screen layouts that contain one or both kinds of content, and then choose to pull only graphics, only text, or both graphics and text from each individual feed.

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