API NewsNew publication submission process
We have removed the approval step in adding a publication to BERG Cloud. Go to the publications tab to add yours today.
Limited tag support
We've added support for the following tags to the description field of meta.json:
Robots & Clouds
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How is Little Printer controlled? Little Printer holds a compact, inkless, thermal printer which prints in black on white thermochromic paper. Little Printer is controlled via Remote a mobile application on BERG Cloud for smart phones. Remote acts as a ‘shop front’ for all Little Printer content, and is the place for subscribing to publications, and scheduling or managing deliveries. Users will be able to subscribe to your publication via Remote.
Delivery times When a user subscribes to a publication, they will choose a delivery time. Deliveries only happen on the hour. Though publishers control the days on which publications are delivered, the user is in control of what time of day their subscriptions arrive. This means that a publication is delivered at most once per day.
Publications, subscriptions, deliveries. Individual publications are short, designed pieces of content. They could be personalised or generic. They could be delivered to a regular schedule or only when certain conditions are met. Everything printed by Little Printer begins with a short imprint, listing the number of the delivery, the date and time it was delivered, and the name and location of the printer itself. Individual publications are often scheduled for delivery at the same time, to create a ‘mini newspaper,’ printed as a continuous strip. The whole strip can then be torn and used in various ways or kept as a complete edition.
What makes a good publication?
Publications fall into two broad themes:
- Regular tools that help with your every day life. Small snippets of dense, useful information, or tools to use and write on
- Surprise and delight. Beautiful images or engaging text
Publications can be generic, or personal to the subscriber
- Personal publications:
- content tailored to a specific user created from predefined data sources, such as location data, relationship data, etc.
eg: ‘Popular locations near you this week’ - based on Foursquare friend and location data or ‘Friends with birthdays this week’ based on Facebook friends.
- Generic publications:
- the same information sent to every subscriber. eg: daily puzzle, word of the day.
Publications can be time specific or time agnostic
- Time specific:
- Users schedule publication deliveries to a specific hour of the day, and the content is gathered just before the chosen hour of delivery. If a user has subscribed to news at 8am, then the delivery they receive would be different to a user subscribing to the news at 10am, as the headlines are updated throughout the day.
- Time agnostic:
- Some content is the same regardless of the time of day it is delivered. Users subscribing to a ‘daily puzzle’, or ‘recipe of the week’ will receive the same publication whether they schedule delivery for the morning or the evening.
Publications can be occasional or regular
- Occasional publications are only delivered when certain conditions are met. For example ‘train delays on the rail network’ is only useful on the time and day where a delay has been registered. Should the criteria be met, the publication will print.
- Most publications will be regular, for example, daily news, weekly horoscope, monthly cinema listings. These will be always be published on the same day of the week which is selected at set up by the content creator. Subscribers will choose only the time of day they would like this content delivered (not the day itself ). This content will continue to be delivered on the same day each week / month.
Publications can be continuous or finite
- Continuous publications are delivered at the scheduled time / when conditions are met until the user unsubscribes. Eg, daily news.
- Finite publications (also referred to as ‘partworks’) are a set pool of content which will be delivered on schedule until the content runs out. For example, ‘Ten British Butterflies’ is content available year round. A user subscribes and receives content beginning at week one, and finishing at week ten. After this, there is no more content available, and so the delivery ceases.Some ‘partworks’ will be time specific, eg, advent calendar. If a user waits until day two to subscribe, they will not receive the content published on day one. When the final piece of content is delivered, the subscription will cease.
How are publications made?
For complete documentation of the API see the Reference section
For a publication to exist on BERG Cloud, it must exist online. All publications are essentially small websites, and must be hosted by the person, or the organisation that creates the content.
Every publication must have some predefined endpoints with which BERG Cloud will interact. You should provide the endpoint url of your publication. BERG Cloud will also need some information about the publication itself, such as its name, a description, identifying icon, schedule for delivery, and any details for user configuration (for example, their postcode in order to personalise particular content). All of this meta data about your publication will be json encoded and placed at the location /meta.json
When BERG Cloud compiles a delivery that includes your publication, it will make an HTTP GET request to your application for content for that delivery. You will return some HTML/CSS and an ETag representing this content. BERG Cloud will then take this HTML/CSS, render it to a PNG and send it to Little Printer as part of that scheduled delivery. If your publication has any configuration options—for example, maybe you include the subscriber’s name or location in your output—this data will be passed in with the GET.
For a complete list of endpoints required by BERG Cloud see the Reference section