How can end users create a variety of compelling content for private networks without breaking the bank?”
APIs, APIs, APIs. (Application Program Interface) Here at Metro, we are big on dynamic content. We routinely access our bus arrival predictions via an API into our provider’s site and update the displays once per minute. We also set up twitter and Facebook accounts for free. We then use the APIs to access public comments and display.
Another option is to start your own company blog and post your own articles and questions for comments. This way, you can control the content (to some degree) to better target what you’re looking for. Use a web service API to access and continuously update.
Note on APIs: The most popular is the REST service or RESTful service commonly used for most web applications. REST is an acronym for REpresentational State Transfer. This may all sound complicated, but in actuality, everyone uses REST almost every time you access a page on the web. It is how 90 percent of dynamic web pages are created on the web. Every application programmer knows what it is, and how to make use of it to create web content. Deploying the technique for digital display content is a no-brainer.