Click here to watch 2014 State of the Union Address: A peek behind the curtain
This is the story of the 2014 State of the Union Address, from the technical side. It the story of how reusability triumphs over one-off solutions even under the tightest timelines and highest expectations of performance.
The White House’s web-based “enhanced broadcast” of the 2014 State of the Union Address drove a nearly 40% increase in live stream views and one of our highest traffic days on record (despite a decrease in overall television viewership). Our strategy was to increase viewership by improving both the mobile and “second screen” experiences, to amplify the President's message through robust social networking features, and to grow our email engagement with relevant opt-in opportunities throughout the pre-, live- and post-event content.
But what you saw online was only half the story.
The other half of the story was about the code that powered the site and the development process that produced it. Each new feature came with its own tale of technical success and open-sourcery. Our “SOTU long page” won over new converts to the philosophy of coding for reuse leading to major time savings and successfully preempting risky last-minute releases. Our “formsite” install profile leveraged queuing functionality we’d originally developed for a totally different website, again for major time savings and further demonstrating the value of making functionality reusable across multiple government websites. And our