Release Notes - UGC Contest v3 - February 21, 2012

We are very excited about the latest release of our most popular product - the UGC Contest application! While very familiar on the surface, the underlying code has been changed considerably to boost performance, integrate more deeply with Facebook and greatly improve the experience of both developers and end-users.

Improved Voting Experience

Voting user flow is very important to reduce friction to participation. In this latest version of the contest, we've implemented a separate registration user flow for voting and commenting. No longer must a user arrive at an entry page and then be redirected to registration / login page and then back to the entry page. In fact, if the user chooses Facebook Login, they don't go anywhere!. They only need to connect their Facebook account and they can vote. If they wish to enter the contest at a later time, they are prompted for additional information.

Using Facebook's frictionless sharing, their friends are automatically notified about the vote. We've seen this drive huge referrals!

Seeing is believing: log a vote in our demo contest!

Facebook Updates

The UGC Contest application has been updated to support the latest developments of the Facebook Platform. Some highlights include:

  • Meeting the requirement to use OAuth 2.0 for Facebook authentication and authorization for added security and better support for older browsers
  • Re-write of all Facebook interactions with the JS SDK for consistency, efficiency and better session management
  • Enable frictionless sharing for uploading, commenting and voting

This project creates a solid foundation for us to build out new social features that make use of the Facebook Timeline in 2012.

Google Maps API

Maps are a big part of the UGC Contest and we now use Google Maps API V3.

  • We are using Google maps v3 plugin for jQuery with great example code, allows us (and you) to much more easily create custom mapping features
  • The Google Maps API key is no longer required


All JavaScript in the UGC Contest has been rewritten to make use of the jQuery JS library. Here are the main benefits of using jQuery, among many others:

  • Fewer conflicts with other libraries that our clients may wish to use
  • Much more lightweight than other libraries, leading to faster load times
  • Broad adoption means lots of plugins, tutorials and support available

This project allowed us to move away from our Prototype-based and Scriptaculous libraries to a library that will enable our clients to further customize and extend the UGC Contest application.

Updated Entry Media Page

We've given the contest entry page a new look that is cleaner and easier to read. The media description, sharing options and entrant details have been consolidated below the media. This makes room for a cleaner sidebar that focuses the website user on voting and browsing. As always, the contest can be very quickly customized with a new design using the sprite pack.

Other Improvements

  • You can now turn on voting during the entry phase simply by setting the vote start date in the phases section of the translator
  • Implemented <fm:MediaNext /> and <fm:MediaPrevious /> on entry page for added flexibility i.e., multiple channels
  • Implemented sub_rightrail sub-template to simplify sidebar content options
  • Improved Facebook action messages for 'commented on' and 'uploaded an entry'
  • A user can now continue to browse the site without completing their Facebook profile
  • Facebook registration and normal registration now use the same common form fields (sub_inputfields) - sub_form and sub_fbform have been removed
  • Removed deprecated Facebook tab templates
  • Removed the option to specify AJAX or non-AJAX comment pagination on media items in favor of only offering AJAX comments
  • Cleanup up the cases for anonymous / text only and multimedia comments - you can now easy specify your preference in the translator vars
  • Removed superfluous CSS code for optional displays of media and comment lists in the name of simplification
  • Upgraded to JW video player v5.8
  • Now using JW related-videos plugin - populated by relatedvideos.xml template
  • Added translator code to rules page
  • Added in some missing French translations
  • Added upload file size limit to translator vars
  • Vote messaging updates automatically based on business rules selected (i.e. "you can only vote once per day")
  • Added the ability to display text entries on a google map
  • Added reCaptcha to the tell a friend lightbox on the entry page
  • Added audio commenting (i.e. mp3 uploads)
  • Text and audio uploads now support geo-tagging
  • Added LinkedIn and Google+ share buttons
  • Removed "Confirm Password" field by default on registration field
  • Removed comment liking and sorting for simplification
  • Modified map on entry page to only show location of that entry

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue when validator checking a previously unchecked required checkbox does not remove the 'red' error style of its label
  • Fixed issue with validator where page did not always scroll up to missing element in the form field, i.e., "map is required"
  • Fixed gallery tabs active states
  • Correct wrong image getting posted to Facebook
  • Fixed an issue in IE7 where the Cancel all uploads button didn't work
  • Fixed example meta on upload form
  • Fixed an issue where a Facebook user could not log out
  • Fixed IE7 bug in where file name displayed in the wrong place after selecting a file for commenting
  • Fixed issue where upload redirects do not happen in IE7 and 8 when logged in with Facebook
  • Fixed minor layout issues with Email to friend lightbox
  • Fixed an issue when checking unique email always returns as "already taken" even when the email is not used
  • Cleanup up the cases for anonymous / text only and multimedia comments - you can now easy specify your preference in the translator vars
  • Enter link in footer now disappears when contest is closed
  • Comment count now correctly references proper count based on moderation status
  • Fixed issue where text comments would fail when multimedia commenting is disabled
  • Fixed postal and ZIP code validation
  • Fixed Twitter sharing
  • Fixed an issue where captcha was not working on comment form
  • Fixed a few cases where the redirectUrl was incorrect after login / register
  • Removed all FBML Facebook code
  • Facebook users no longer have access to change password
  • Fixed issue where translator vars allowedFiletypesComment and allowedFiletypesEnter did not affect file types allowed
  • Squashed a bunch of IE7 bugs