Innovation @ BBG » Awards http://www.innovation-series.com Fri, 20 Nov 2015 18:47:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Radio Sawa selected as a finalist for the 2015 Appy Awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/05/26/radio-sawa-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2015-appy-awards/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=radio-sawa-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2015-appy-awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/05/26/radio-sawa-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2015-appy-awards/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:36:56 +0000 Will Sullivan http://www.innovation-series.com/?p=6522 Sawa ChatRadio Sawa, the all-Arabic streaming music and news application we created with the team from MBN Digital was selected as a finalist in the 2015 Appy Awards for “Radio/Audio Apps” and it’s competing against Disney’s Frozen Karaoke app and HuMX: Human Mixtape app that uses iBeacons to customize audio experiences.

Radio Sawa just launched version 1.1 a couple months ago and is getting close to it’s one-year anniversary since launching last June. The new version added another live stream, so now there’s 8 total, added push notifications, performance improvements and more audio on-demand podcasts.

Radio Sawa was also selected as a finalist for the GSMA Global Mobile Awards earlier in the year for “Best Mobile Music App.”

Download all the BBG’s award-winning mobile apps at: http://apps.bbg.gov

]]>
http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/05/26/radio-sawa-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2015-appy-awards/feed/ 0
Alhurra app redesign wins international recognition from Society for News Design http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/03/27/alhurra-app-redesign-wins-international-recognition-from-society-for-news-design/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=alhurra-app-redesign-wins-international-recognition-from-society-for-news-design http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/03/27/alhurra-app-redesign-wins-international-recognition-from-society-for-news-design/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:42:38 +0000 Will Sullivan http://www.innovation-series.com/?p=6424 The Alhurra Android and IOS mobile and tablet apps were recently recognized by the Society for News Design’s Best of Digital competition with an Award of Excellence in the “Redesign” category.

The Alhurra app redesign, executed by the ODDI Mobile Team in partnership with MBN Digital, featured revamped branding and an interface featuring larger, bolder images and typography, a new tablet-optimized interface, a live video streaming channel, enhanced push notifications and redesigned user-generated content offering audiences tools for submitting video, photos, audio and text directly to the news organization in breaking news situations.

“This award is the result of an organization filled with amazing content partners, a team of fantastic designers and developers and a QA and support team that executes excellence and focuses on every detail to create a great experience for Alhurra audiences,” said Will Sullivan, Director of Mobile for the BBG. “SND is the big dog in news design and we are so excited for all of our hard work to be recognized in the industry alongside pioneers like NPR and The New York Times.”

“We are extremely proud of this recognition of the SND Awards. We always strive for excellence when it comes to generating content and delivering it to our audience,” stated the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) President Brian Conniff. MBN manages and operates Alhurra Television.

The Society for News Design (SND) is an international organization for news media professionals and visual communicators who create print, web, mobile publications and products. The Best of Digital Design is an annual competition that rewards skill, innovation and high-quality digital journalism. The competition was launched in 2002 and invites entries from all news sites published anywhere in the world.

  • Download the Alhurra apps and learn more about all the other ODDI mobile products at:
    http://apps.bbg.gov/
]]>
http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/03/27/alhurra-app-redesign-wins-international-recognition-from-society-for-news-design/feed/ 0
Radio Sawa & VOA News Apps honored by GSMA Global Mobile Awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/03/27/radio-sawa-voa-news-apps-honored-by-gsma-global-mobile-awards/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=radio-sawa-voa-news-apps-honored-by-gsma-global-mobile-awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/03/27/radio-sawa-voa-news-apps-honored-by-gsma-global-mobile-awards/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:44:36 +0000 Will Sullivan http://www.innovation-series.com/?p=6412

Two of ODDI’s flagship mobile products launched in the past year were selected as finalists for the prestigious GSMA Global Mobile Awards: the VOA News relaunch was selected for “Best Mobile Media & Publishing App” and Radio Sawa was selected for “Best Music App.”

The GSMA is the largest global mobile industry group and they operate Mobile World Congress,  Mobile World Congress, the largest mobile event in the world with more than 93,000 attendees from 200 countries.

VOA News serves users in more than 200 countries and is available for Android and Apple IOS mobile and tablet devices in 44 languages and for Symbian mobile phones in 4 languages. The industry-leading application has also been recognized as a finalist in the Appy Awards for “Best Multicultural App” and in the Mobile Ecosystem Forum’s Meffy Awards for “Best Mobile Service.”

“It is amazing that ODDI has created apps for over 87 language services on different operating systems,” said Bo Kostro from the ODDI Mobile Team, “We could not have done it without the support of all the BBG language services”

Radio Sawa is a youth-oriented mobile streaming app for Android and Apple IOS devices offering more than a half dozen music streams, podcasts, news and user-generated chat feedback through an beautifully designed application.

“We are very proud of the Radio Sawa app and were honored to have been recognized by the Global Mobile awards,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff. “The app encourages user participation through the network’s popular Sawa Chat feature, as well as making Radio Sawa available to cities and countries where there are no Radio Sawa transmitters.”

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
http://www.innovation-series.com/2015/03/27/radio-sawa-voa-news-apps-honored-by-gsma-global-mobile-awards/feed/ 0
The new digital storytelling: BBG’ e-books on immigration, human Rights, freedom, and love http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/11/25/the-new-digital-storytelling-bbg-e-books-on-immigration-human-rights-freedom-and-love/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-new-digital-storytelling-bbg-e-books-on-immigration-human-rights-freedom-and-love http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/11/25/the-new-digital-storytelling-bbg-e-books-on-immigration-human-rights-freedom-and-love/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:35:59 +0000 Xi Rotmil http://www.innovation-series.com/?p=6383 E-books offer new channels to engage with an audience and tell great stories, whether it is with a serialized collection of text-based stories for small e-readers or an interactive audio/video/photo magazine for tablet devices.

With access to RFA and VOA’s websites restricted in mainland China and some other Asian countries, short-wave broadcasts jammed and other filters hampering access to the broadcaster’s output, e-books also has the potential to circumvent the firewall – once it has been downloaded on to a tablet device, it can be shared easily among friends, relations and colleagues.

To test the feasibility of using e-books for BBG, the Office of Digital Design and Innovation collaborated with RFA and VOA on the creation of four e-books using different tools.

The four ebooks in the pilot project featured topics ranging from immigration, Asian women fighting for human rights, China’s pro-democracy movement that ended in tragedy, to a  jailed Uyghur writer’s tale of longing for lost freedom.

Remembering Tiananmen

“Remembering Tiananmen” represents the first foray for BBG into the iBook world of interactive storytelling. The Chinese edition is

aimed at an audience that was not even born when these events happened, and because of censorship, may not have any idea that the turmoil of 1989 ever took place.

The publication leverages previously published audio eyewitness accounts, historic “RFA exclusive” photography and video, archive photos, along with newly created custom maps and diagrams. The heart of the book is an interactive timeline that allows the reader to navigate events chronologically, in addition to traditional chapter-based browsing. Through the multimedia interface the viewer not only reads the narrative facts of events, but also experiences the sights and sounds of Beijing in the spring of 1989.

View RemberingTiananmen in the iTunes Store

 

Caged, The Illustrated Writings of Nurmuhemmet Yasin

In 2013, Radio Free Asia released Caged: The writings of Nurmuhemmet Yasin in the iBook store. The project represents another successful collaboration between RFA and ODDI, following on the success of Remembering Tiananmen.

This e-book features the now banned tale and an essay about love. Nurmuhemmet Yasin was a successful Uyghur author living in western China when he published “Wild Pigeon”. The short fable tells the story of a wild pigeon prince who is captured and caged by men. He ultimately decides that suicide is preferable to a life spent in captivity. After it was published, the Chinese government recognized that the story was an allegory for the Uyghur people living under Chinese rule. The court sentenced Yasin to 10 years in prison for inciting Uyghur separatism.

View Caged in the iTunes store

Unsettled: A Story of U.S. Immigration

Unsettled, a story of U.S. Immigration, produced in partnership with VOA, gives insight into the economic forces, social pressures, and policies that have shaped American immigration and explores where the nation may go in the future.

“Unsettled” presents the triumph, tragedy and contradictions of the immigrant experience through a multimedia exploration of history and economics. It includes interactive charts, maps, info graphics, audio clips, archival films, audio, stills, a U.S. naturalization quiz, and over a dozen video clips totaling more than 20 minutes.

View Unsettled in the iTunes Store

 

“It’s not OK.” Women struggling for human rights

“It’s not Ok” is a collection of portraits of Asian women caught in the struggle for human rights in their communities, some willingly, others forced by circumstances.

This e-book is based on reporting and interviews conducted by the RFA language services in Burmese, Lao, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Vietnamese.

Each story is a testimony to the courage and determination of these women. The title, “it’s not OK,” comes from the public cry by one of them, in court, as she heard that her husband’s sentence had been extended by eight years.

These women urge us to look closer and peer into the reflection of their world. Only when we open our eyes to their struggle can we realize it is a shared, universal struggle for justice, fairness, and compassion. Their lives are made even more beautiful by the weight of their tireless convictions. When the light of the world’s attention shines on them, these women like hidden gems brighten, dazzle, and amaze,” president of RFAS Libby Liu wrote in the foreword.

View “It’s not OK” in the iTunes Store

One e-book in the pilot program, Tiananmen Square Remembered, won the International Media Excellence Award, held by the Association of International Broadcasters last year.

In addition, VOA News mobile application “Unsettled” has been selected as a winner for the 2014 W3 “Silver Award.”

 

 

]]>
http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/11/25/the-new-digital-storytelling-bbg-e-books-on-immigration-human-rights-freedom-and-love/feed/ 0
“Unsettled” wins the W3 Silver Award for Mobile Applications http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/11/17/unsettled-wins-the-w3-silver-award-for-mobile-applications/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unsettled-wins-the-w3-silver-award-for-mobile-applications http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/11/17/unsettled-wins-the-w3-silver-award-for-mobile-applications/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:27:39 +0000 Xi Rotmil http://www.innovation-series.com/?p=6344 The VOA News mobile application “Unsettled” has been selected as a winner for the 2014 W3 “Silver Award.”w3winner_silver_wht

W3 Awards honor creative excellence on the Web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning websites, web video and online marketing programs. The W3 is judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts — an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, interactive, advertising and marketing firms. The awards this year attracted more than 4,000 entries across the five award categories.

The application “Unsettled” presents the triumph, tragedy and contradictions of the immigrant experience through a multimedia exploration of history and economics. The app features interactive charts, maps, info graphics, audio clips, stills, and a U.S. naturalization quiz.

It also includes over a dozen exclusive video clips featuring intriguing interviews with: Mae Ngai, author of The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America, and the Lung Family professor of Asian American Studies and professor of History at Columbia University; Bryan Caplan, professor of economics at George Mason University and blogger for EconLog. The New York Times named his first book, The Myth of the Rational Voter, “the best political book of the year” in 2007; William F. McDonald, sociology professor at Georgetown University and co-director of the Institute of Criminal and Procedure at the Law Center.

A co-production of VOA English and ODDI, the publication is VOA’s first long-form storytelling app and leverages the interactive opportunities offered by the iPad. The book is available on the iTunes store, Barnes and Noble, and Google.

“It’s gratifying to be recognized for the effort that went into “Unsettled”. We worked very hard to present a fair, accurate picture of the history of immigration in the U.S. in the hope it would provide context and understanding to the present-day debate,” said Mark Young, managing editor of VOA News English. “I’m grateful to the journalists, designers and developers who created an interesting and engaging ebook, and would also like to thank Mae Ngai, Bryan Caplan and William F. McDonald for contributing their time and expertise to the project.”

“We are exploring storytelling tools for BBG, and looking for new formats to engage our audience. The storytelling app allows for an immersive experience, and could be an important long-form Journalism format in the future,” ODDI UX Studio Manager Steve Fuchs said.

“Unsettled” is part of the ODDI Book Pilot, which aims to explore different epub formats and author tools.  Another book in the pilot program, Tiananmen Square Remembered, won the International Media Excellence Award, held by the Association of International Broadcasters last year.

 

Check out our innovative app “Unsettled” at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unsettled/id845321200?mt=8

Also in epub3 format:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Voice_of_America_News_Unsettled?id=r2xOBAAAQBAJ

]]>
http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/11/17/unsettled-wins-the-w3-silver-award-for-mobile-applications/feed/ 0
VOA News selected as a finalist for “Best Mobile Service” in the 2014 Meffy Awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/09/23/voa-news-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2014-meffy-awards/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=voa-news-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2014-meffy-awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/09/23/voa-news-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2014-meffy-awards/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:45:37 +0000 Will Sullivan http://www.innovation-series.com/?p=6306 We’re pleased to announce that the VOA News mobile and tablet application suite for Google Android, Apple IOS and Symbian has been selected as a finalist for “Best Mobile Service” the 2014 Meffy Awards!

VOA News KhmerThe Meffys are held by the MEF mobile trade association which is focused on cutting-edge mobile and entertainment companies. The awards this year attracted more than 250 entries from 30 countries across the 13 award categories, and was judged by an independent panel of 40 journalists, academics, analysts and VCs from around the globe.

The ground-breaking VOA News application offers original journalism in more languages than any media organization in the world (44 total) and has previously been honored this year as a finalist for the 2014 GSMA Global Mobile Awards for “Best Mobile Publishing Platform or Service” and the Appy Awards for “Best Multicultural App.”

“Hundreds of hardworking journalists, producers, designers and developers helps us create this amazing, unrivaled application,” Will Sullivan, Director of Mobile for the BBG said. “We owe all our thanks and share this honor with them.”

The new version 3.0 of the VOA News apps are launching within the next month on both Android and Apple IOS mobile and tablet devices with a big new design and enhanced features including customizable Android Widget support and Google Chromecast streaming.

The winners of the 2014 Meffys will be unveiled in San Francisco at the MEF Global Forum 2014 in November.

 

 

 

 

]]>
http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/09/23/voa-news-selected-as-a-finalist-for-the-2014-meffy-awards/feed/ 0
VOA mobile app named finalist for “Best Mobile Publishing Product” in GSMA awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/02/06/voa-mobile-tablet-app-named-a-finalist-for-best-mobile-publishing-product-in-gsma-awards/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=voa-mobile-tablet-app-named-a-finalist-for-best-mobile-publishing-product-in-gsma-awards http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/02/06/voa-mobile-tablet-app-named-a-finalist-for-best-mobile-publishing-product-in-gsma-awards/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:59:00 +0000 Will Sullivan http://www.innovation-series.com/?p=5828 VOA’s mobile apps launched this year, and we’re pleased to announce that the Voice of America mobile and tablet apps for Android, Apple IOS and Symbian have been named as finalists for the “Best Mobile Publishing Product or Service” in the GSM Association (GSMA) 2014 Global Mobile Awards!

Here’s the rest of our press release about the exciting news:

The BBG’s Office of Digital and Design Innovation, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Voice of America partnered to create a mobile app that provides news and information for people in more than 100 countries, in 43 languages on the world’s two largest smartphone and tablet platforms.

“It’s a huge honor for to be recognized by the GSMA for the immense amount of hard work and innovation that went into this application,” said Will Sullivan, Director of Mobile at the BBG. “It took more than a year of blood, sweat and translations for the indomitable ODDI Mobile team of Borana Kostro, Danish Ahmed and Son Tran, working with Kim Conger and the RFE/RL Pangea Content Management System team along with VOA language service experts to make this happen. It’s truly an amazing cross-organization product that we are proud to share with under-served audiences around the world.”

The Voice of America app is available on Android and Apple iOS which account for more than 90% of worldwide smartphone and tablet shipments. The app lets audiences get push notifications of breaking news, stream radio podcasts on demand, as well as download content for offline viewing. Individuals can easily consume and share content in languages ranging from Afan Oromo to Vietnamese. The VOA News app has been ranked in the top news apps in the Google Play and Apple App stores in most of Africa, Asia and the Eastern Europe, with rating of four stars and above from users.voa app settings

“VOA receives millions of visits from mobile and tablet devices around the world. By offering a best-in-class experience for users of iOS and Droid, we can extend the reach of our journalism into new markets,” said VOA Director of Digital Strategy Matthew Baise. “This nomination is testament to the fine work of our colleagues across U.S. international media.”

ODDI collaborated with RFE/RL and software developer EEA to significantly expand the BBG’s mobile offerings. RFE/RL pioneered this work, building out the framework and CMS upon which the mobile offerings are built. ODDI continues to work with them to add features and upgrade the user experience.

“As collaborators on the design and development of VOA’s mobile app, we congratulate our great partners for such distinguished recognition of this shared achievement,” said Kim Conger, RFE/RL Design Director / Deputy Director, Internet Technology and Strategy.

The GSMA’s 2014 Global Mobile Awards will be presented as part of the Mobile World Congress program on February 25, 2014 in Barcelona.

The GSMA is the largest mobile trade association in the world, representing the interests of mobile operators around the globe. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem. The Mobile World Congress is an industry-leading event, drawing more than 70,000 attendees in 2013.

]]>
http://www.innovation-series.com/2014/02/06/voa-mobile-tablet-app-named-a-finalist-for-best-mobile-publishing-product-in-gsma-awards/feed/ 0