Second screen advertising

The “rise of the second screen” should, in many ways, be a godsend for TV advertisers.

Until recently putting URL, Facebook or Search calls to action at the end of a 30 second spot in the middle of Coronation Street was always a leap of faith when, for most viewers, the computer was turned off in the next room.

Nowadays however, when according to some reports up to 75% of us are using other media while watching TV, there’s a real chance that an advert’s call to action is going to get followed.

What’s vital in this new environment is that the agencies producing these campaigns take into account this change in behaviour and the related routes of access.

And by this I mean “Don’t even think of using Flash

If you’ve persuaded someone to search for your term and click the link you’d better make sure they get more than “you are trying to access this site from a non-Flash enabled device”.  Particularly when your site is at best a poor implementation of the Github 404 page.

More on heroku and Lucid

In my last post on heroku, django and Ubuntu Lucid I went through a fair old rigmarole and a lot of (Ruby illiterate) guesswork to get the Heroku toolchain working on Ubuntu Lucid (10.04 LTS).  Only a few days later Heroku published official Python and Django documentation.

Unfortunately, if you’re new to Ruby even Heroku’s excellent documentation isn’t quite enough… Essentially there’s still an assumption that you know what the hell you’re doing with Ruby.  Obviously for people steeped in Python this is not the case!

The Linux readme says the following:

apt-add-repository 'deb ./'
curl | apt-key add -
apt-get update
apt-get install heroku-toolbelt

That’s all very well, but it isn’t all the steps. To actually get the Heroku toolchain working on a previously Ruby-less Ubuntu Lucid install you’ll need to do the following:

sudo apt-get install ruby libopenssl-ruby libreadline-ruby curl
apt-add-repository 'deb ./'
curl | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install heroku-toolbelt

Note the following:

  • Ruby is not a dependency of heroku-toolbelt, so you can install the toolbelt without Ruby
  • Just installing Ruby isn’t enough – you’ll get “no such file to load — net/https” unless you also install libopenssl-ruby
  • You’ll also get “no such file to load — readline” unless you also install libreadline-ruby
  • Without some faffing (that I’ve not done yet) you can’t install Foreman as Heroku recommends because the Lucid packaged version of RubyGems is too low to meet the dependencies. Personally I don’t see this as necessary for dev environments on smaller projects, but if I were to try a larger one this would need to be resolved

Hopefully this will help others new to Ruby trying to make the most of Heroku’s excellent infrastructure.