The Weekly SPI Debrief - July 8, 2011

by Mike Smith, SPI Intern

Welcome to the Weekly PBS Interactive Station Products & Innovation Debrief, designed to give PBS stations a rundown of product updates and opportunities announced this week on our blog.

As of this week, more than 80 stations are now promoting local content to their audience on If you’re interested in being part of Merlin send an email to and let us know you want in. We’ll send directions on signing up for an account and set up a call to give you the basic training you need to get started.

On Tuesday, we took an in-depth look into the the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) historic decision to introduce new top-level domain names, such as .movies, .music, or .world, to supplement already existing domains like .com, .net and .org. Though these .custom domain names carry a hefty .price-tag, they could ultimately reshape the way we think about the .net.

Also this week, we spoke with Michael Keefe-Feldman, Online Managing Editor for WMHT, and asked him to weigh in on the topic of social media as a news 'destination.' What we got was an extremely valuable account of how his station boosted COVE video traffic. Check out the link below for a detailed timeline describing how his station tripled the amount of views on a single video using COVE and timely news correlation.

We also looked into largely untapped resources in social media such as social news aggregates, where user-submitted sites, links, images or videos are compiled and ranked. A few examples around the web include Reddit, Digg or StumbleUpon. Each site offers a community-based model in which users can vote for, “digg” or “like” user-submitted content, and many sites group the submissions under relevant topics for easy access.

Follow the links below to continue reading... Have a wonderful weekend!

As always, the SPI team appreciates all of your valuable comments and participation on our site this week and every week.

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