Concerto Support

Control Panel

Introducing Concerto

Last updated on March 30, 2009

There's a new way to share events and information with others throughout your organization. You're about to discover the simplicity, innovation, and effectiveness of Concerto, an Internet-based alternative to the high costs and limited appeal of traditional paper signs and banners that often flank thoroughfares. If you're responsible for promoting talks, conferences, or other events to your community, this guide will introduce you to how Concerto will make your life easier. If you're interested in improving the effectiveness of communication between the various groups in your organization, here you'll learn how Concerto brings benefits to your entire organization through tighter information integration. Welcome to effective, open-source digital signage for the 21st century.

Problem and Approach

Different groups in an organization generally suffer from a lack of effective means of communicating with each other. Paper signage - banners and printed fliers - clutters up high-traffic corridors. For maximum yield, event promoters often need to print hundreds of signs and spend time attaching them to walls and bulletin boards using tape, staples, and thumb tacks. With the wind, weather, and cost of materials of traditional signage, the costs of these methods far outweigh the overall benefits. Your organization may also be interested in using mass emails for notices. Mass emails are like banging in a nail with a sledgehammer - overkill that is unavailable to most people without special permission. Concerto addresses all of these aforementioned problems using an innovative, thoughtful approach.

The purpose of Concerto is to communicate events, announcements, and other information submitted by select people in your organization to the community through a variety of digital means. This is primarily accomplished by presenting the events and announcements in a dynamic bulletin-board format on a large LCD screen. Integration with existing services, such as dining hall menus and event calendars is also dead simple - Concerto simply retrieves content from them. The content submission system, accessible to all members of your community with unique user accounts, is simply a web interface for uploading announcements and graphical materials to the system. Content on each screen can be controlled by the people who are most directly connected to that display. For instance, a display sponsored by the Lally School of Management and Technology can be moderated by Lally staff directly.

In recognition of the fact that different groups on different areas of campus have diverse interests, Concerto is designed to allow location-specific content. Information tailored for a specific location is over other content for an individual screen. Concerto on a display controlled by food service provider, for example, could show genera;l announcements and relevant events and also prominently feature food service-branded content, such as dining hall menus. A display in the student center would likely focus on the communication of club- and student-related fliers and announcements. And there are always other applications of location specificity for the system. Imagine showing an estimated time of arrival for nearby shuttle buses only screens close to shuttle stops.

Feeds: Your Own Little Content Buffet

Feeds are the groups of content that you can choose from for your screen. Think of each feed as a different food bar at your favorite buffet. You've got huge helpings of information about clubs, an assortment of management and business colloquia, select notices from on-campus hospitality services, and a set of campus news updates to top it all off. Sure, you could cram your plate full of lecture announcements, but you'll get more out of the meal if you choose from a variety of different offerings.

Each feed is formed to contain pieces of content that share a similar theme. For example, events, meeting notices, and other advertisements from student clubs affiliated will belong to a different feed from lectures and academic colloquia. Those who control each hardware screen within the Concerto system will be able to subscribe their displays to as many feeds as they wish. They can also choose to display content from each of those feeds more or less frequently than content on other feeds; this is called weighting. The system will automatically figure out how frequently to pull content out of particular feeds based on the weights set by the people who control each hardware display through the control panel.

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