Sparkeo is a new e-learning platform that has made a big splash in LaWeb (One of the largest french web conferences) and on techcrunch.
The cool thing about our relationship with Sparkeo is that as it evolved it covered many of the sales pitches I give to other customers of why they should choose drupal.
This in a way is a great Drupal showcase because it walks through all of these issues sequentially.
Instead of the normal case studies we're used to write I'd like to build this one a bit differently .
The bottom line
This is how the player looks when it's embedded... (and it can be embedded anywhere in any cms or even static html)
"No Vendor Lockin"
Sparkeo approached us after a shift in focus, from building a generic social network using Drupal 5 they understood that they need to focus on the content creators (which will embed their custom player) and they needed some more power on the Design and Drupal.
They had a great drupal consultant that built the original site but could not scale his services to support the next level of complexity and requirements and by looking for Drupal talent the found us.
By using Drupal and switching between consultants and shops that can communicate and co-operate Sparkeo saved alot of time and money using existing infrastructure to build upon and simplifying our ability to dive in the project.
The way the Sparkeo solution works is that Once the video is uploaded to Kaltura it gets converted to a streamable format.
From this point the blogger can market and try to monetize the uploaded video by marking it as a "commerical" video and pricing it accordingly.
Sparkeo helps tease the bloggers crowd by showcasing the first 2 minutes of the video but then prompting to purchase the video.
"Lego like integration using reusable components"
One of the emphasizes in Sparkeo's solution was not to become a destination site at first but instead to give independent content creators a powerful platform to monetize the video content they create.
They could not do this while embedding the video from an external network like youtube or blip because they had to control (and brand) the user experience.
They designed a beautiful Kaltura powered player using Inkod-Hypera's services and built all kind of goodies in to it which needed to be supported by services we custom built on the Drupal side using the services module.
The services consisted of -
- Authentication: Enabling you to login in and register through the player independently
- Flagging of the content as inappropriate
- Displaying content creators biographies
- Displaying additional metadata concerning the Video's themeselfs
A video marked as commercial will show the first (configurable) 2 minutes for free and will then prompt the user to purchase the video.
This is where the fun stuff starts, The Flash (which has allready used multiple services to authenticate, display the videos, display the bio's and more) get a commerce link powered by the awesome cartlink module.
The cart link is preconfigured (using the service) to route the purchaser to a pre-populated cart which contains the purchased video.
Once checking out the transaction get processed through the ubercart paypal integration and a drupal user is created for the purchaser based on his submitted email address.
The new use receives the usual welcome mails and purchase authorizations which where customized and themed based on Sparkeo's brand.
An important stage that happens once the video is purchased is the use of the flag module to change the state of the movie purchased to grant the purchaser access to the now available full course.
Once the purchaser reaches a customized thank you page the content creator receives a credit of virtual currency and updates his "wallet".
The content creator can free the money earned once he arrives to a configurable threshold and (yet again) uses flag to signal that he would like to withdraw his earned credit and to recieve a paypal transfer from Sparkeo.
The whole process orchestrates Ubercart, Services, Userpoints, Flags and views with Rules as a logical backend (alongside several modules we've developed for the glue).
The dashboard is used to provide the first level of statistics for the content creator providing him with statistical data regarding how his created content is performing, this is intended to evolve further in to a Video monetizing analytics as we wll integrate with Kaltura's statistical modules.
"You'll Love it!"
The sparkeo team has really grown into loving Drupal. We where been able to piece together a very complex workflow using existing components and they understand the value of the integration and reuse of exisitng elements.They have even decided to sponser the bandwidth used for Drupal based commercial content uploaded to their infrastructure.
If you enroll to their system using the coupom code "Drupal" they have comitted to sponser the bandwidth involved and let the community use the platform to publish and monetize Drupal oriented Video.
- [content-profile](http://www.drupal.org/project/Content Profile)
- [Inkod-Hypera](http://www.inkod-hypera.com) - Inkod is one of Israel's leading design studios and the company that is behind the Design and UI of the website and Player. They have a great balance between Usability/ Marketing / Business and Design skills and we love working with them.
- [Kaltura](http://www.kaltura.com) - Although we've known the kaltura team for quite a while this project gave us a chance to work closely with their services division and together take their platform to new heights.
Ninja Flash artists + a strong passion for web technology = great fun.