The strongest nationwide local media in Denmark
It may sound nice, but when we really look into the numbers, TV2 Regionerne has more unique visitors each month than there are inhabitants in each region. Yes, there is of course a lot of noise in these kinds of numbers. There are visits from a citizen from different devices and again visits across all regions. But overall, the numbers show that the TV2 Regionerne has succeeded in creating strong local media with strong local relations to the citizens. And so far, so good.
If you read the region's individual visions, it is clear that all media has plenty of ideas as to how their own media contributes to the development in exactly their region. They have just started – and luckily not all are alike.
TV2 Regionerne had a clear wish when they placed their ‘new digital platform’ in competition for agencies to pitch their solutions, their wish was to create a ‘shared platform’ that could be developed together and separately.
A joined core, but with the freedom for further development and local style and tone for each region. The task was offered in three parts: A data platform, a CMS, and a citizen-faced frontend solution – and luckily, we can write about all three.
The data platform is built in Laravel and connected to the outside world through private APIs to the editorial processes and public APIs tailored to different citizen experiences.
It is an ‘open structure’. The data platform can support all user experiences, no matter if the content will be presented on desktop or mobile, in their own apps, as content in extern apps, or on a big screen. There is data in the cloud - visible everywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
But behind every news, there is a full work process and a journalistic mind behind. And it is of course easier to deliver solid craftmanship if you have the right tools.
Each day there are 350 editorial employers, and together they produce about 100 news daily across the seven participating regions. It provides a noticeable yearly news production – where a part of the work takes place on the platform, developed by Dwarf. There is a system for content management – but with a central placement in the news production, and this must be seen as a sharp tool.
We are not saying that we created the Worlds’ best publishing platform, but we believe that the framework that we chose as ‘building clocks’, a headless CMS in Vue.js and Quasar, provide some completely different opportunities to build and create a tool that is not tied up by any existing CMS logic or structure.
It can be adapted 100% for the production process. Instead of starting with a standard CMS, and then waist valuable time by “turning off unnecessary things” and try to match the CMS structure to the processes of reality, you can also do it the other way around.
The answer is to build a user interface, that is updated to the news production, but of course, there is a small catch, and that is that everyone doesn’t have the same preferences. If you want to hear more about Quasar, then we will call in our CTO and a couple of developers. In short, Quasar is a kind of Bootstrap on speed…
The third and last part of the delivery is a white label frontend solution built-in Vue.js + Nuxt.js. The preferred speed is possible because the “server sites render” the first page when the users hit the platform.
Hereafter, when the users move around and explore the webpage, the frontend must pick up data while the code, which is about to draw the website, is already with the user. This provides a fantastic response time, and it is a very ‘snappy’ UI, where the feeling reminds you more of an application than a traditional website.
In the new solution, all the regions have access to common components and can therefore build a website without any help from Dwarf (or other developers). But they can also just pass on. All components on the website can be expanded, where the core and the extension remain separate.
In this way, each region can choose to develop new, or modify existing components, without destroying the underlying structure, and the core can be (safety)updated and maintained centrale – without destroying the regional developed variations.
A bit like Shopify, where the SAAS-core will be maintained centrally, but where the individual shop, that uses the solution, can add functionalities by plugins to the unique features they want – and at the same time they can build, buy or create a design theme, that matches their wishes.
It is still possible to develop a core functionality jointly, but the regions don’t have to always agree, and they can develop their online presence in the direction they want, and at the same time, they can share the costs to maintain the core in the system.
The new publishing system is embraced by all editorial employees. No matter how sneaky you try to be to solve a problem, then it is always a headache to shift systems. And to stay a little in ‘the editorial corner’, you can compare it to changing to a well-functioning and fast homemade four-finger system – to Braille. Slooowly and top frustrating in the beginning, but still a good idea in the long run.
"In Dwarf, we found a partner who not only understood our vision but also helped build on the vision. As a project owner at a huge migration, like the one we at TV 2 Regions faced, the biggest fear is that you end up in an eternity project. Dwarf managed to kill these fears in the best way possible, as they quickly got the first versions of the new systems up and running so that we could reach the finish line as quickly and as best as possible", says Claus Ladefoged, Head of Digital Development at TV2 Regionerne.
Claus Ladefoged elaborates, "Dwarf was very efficient and thorough, and delivered a really good job on all the projects, both on the backend and front end. It has been a pleasure to feel the sincere interest Dwarf has had in the projects, and as they still have in our continued cooperation at the back of the projects. For us, it has also been important not only to have a supplier who can develop, but to have a partner who manages to challenge our solution proposals, as well as provide our own employees with support and sparring, and on those fronts, Dwarf is also really good. My warmest recommendations go Dwarf's way, which has delivered an effort out of the ordinary for TV 2 Regionerne".