House News

The Future of Hong Kong Media

thehousenews.com  →

The founders of The House News had a new vision to transform Hong Kong’s media. Dominated by a few large companies, Hong Kong has traditionally followed a more conservative approach to how news is published online, having evolved from a print oriented model. Inspired by the success of The Huffington Post, The House News fought to push this envelope forward using dynamically changing content, real time analytics, and engaging social media.

Our mission was to create a highly scalable and versatile system with robust features to manage rapidly changing editorial content while plugging into popular social media like Facebook. Flowloop provided design, strategy, and engineering for the site while working closely with the Founders and Executive Editor to make the vision into a reality.

Project Goals  →

Dynamic Content

Dynamic Content

Unlike traditional news media, the House News relies on rapidly reacting to changing news stories. The House News content management system was designed to allow category, menu, and other navigation changes on the fly, and even being able to insert whole new sections of news and related content quickly and dynamically.

Rapid Growth

Rapid Growth

As a regional hub, Hong Kong’s news is relevant to the greater Southeast Asia region as well China. Within months of launch, House News had already grown into the millions of monthly visitors, and increasing rapidly. Flowloop helped to design the foundation for a highly scalable system architecture that would be able to handle monthly growth as well as sudden traffic spikes.

Mobile Browsing

Mobile Browsing

With a large proportion of readers accessing content on mobile devices, House News needed to be mobile ready from the get go, integrating touch and swipe actions into the user interface.

Community & Social Media

Community & Social Media

The House News was one of the first major news sites in Hong Kong to leverage the local blogging community and have a heavy presence in social media. From the get go, affiliated blogs and social media were incorporated into the very structure of the website to spur discussion and distribution.

Our Strategy  →

The project strategy was divided along the lines of design and editorial management. We sat down with the House News editorial team to discuss their strategy during the content creation process. Based on their editorial workflow, we designed the content management system to enable the team to follow a flexible editorial and approval process for rapidly reviewing and publishing new stories onto the site.

Strategy

The Design  →

With a huge variety of content with hot stories popping up constantly, we took a clean, no-nonsense approach to the House News user interface. Large scrolling feature stories, columns dedicated to targeted content, and color coded categories enable readers to get an overview of top stories at a glance as well as to pick out specific types of news they want to see.

No nonsense news

Design
Design

Social Media  →

Clear and convenient positioning of social media plugins mean quick sharing and encouraged discussion, a cornerstone of House News’ strategy.

Design

Mobile Ready  →

Custom designed mobile templates were made to create the best reading experience in a variety of devices.

Mobile Devices

Community Content Providers  →

Over 500 community contributors and counting...

To tap into the pulse of Hong Kong media, House News connected with bloggers from all over the local blogosphere, featuring their content on the website. With the flexible architecture we designed, House News was able to aggregate and dynamically create a personal page for each and every contributor and columnist, fully optimized for search and browsing.

List of Contributors

Technology  →

One of the starting requirements was to design a system architecture that would be able to grow rapidly as traffic increased, as well as handle traffic spikes without slowing down:

Django Framework

Django Python Backend

A high performance framework that is versatile enough to serve almost any type of system today. We chose Django to be the backbone of the House News site because it has proven performance in heavy traffic websites such as Instagram, Disqus, Mozilla and Pinterest.

Amazon EC2

Amazon EC2

We chose to deploy the website on Amazon’s elastic cloud service because of the flexible, fast responding scalability it provides as well as the ability to easily expand the architecture for growth.

Conclusion  →

Since it’s official launch, in less than a year The House News has transformed the Hong Kong media landscape. From their innovations in social media, to their community involvement, to their varied and dynamic content, it has managed to change the way that online media is used. Their outstanding commentary and opinion pieces are driving the discussions in Hong Kong and have attracted a large and rapidly growing following.

By designing a site built with their philosophy as a foundation and creating a reliable and powerful system architecture, we were able to provide House News with the ultimate platform from which to broadcast their message.