You email PBS Digital people on a regular basis, but know little about them beyond their pithy email signatures. Well, here's your chance to learn more about the people who make up PBS digital, in our series called, Behind the Screens.
Meg Albus joined PBS in October 2011 and brought with her a great deal of digital expertise. Having worked as both a web developer and webmaster in the past, she is knowledgeable on all aspects of websites, from content creation to the coding itself.
I’m a technical writer and create all of the documentation for the tools that PBS Digital creates. Since Digital is always enhancing their products, I also spend a great deal of time updating documentation.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned working in public media?
The speed at which things change and how flexible our tools have to be to meet the spectrum of requirements. Users have such diverse needs and are typically on such tight deadlines that meeting the demand often involves tailoring our tools. That, in turn, requires quickly updated documentation and support.
Based on what you know now, if you could go back to your first day at PBS and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Add more fun graphics to our documentation. After talking with users, I have found that many people prefer pictures instead of slogging through a bunch of text, so I am working on implementing more videos and graphics.
What’s the one website you can’t live without?
At work, the AP Stylebook website has been a lifesaver. At home, Facebook is great because I can keep up with family and friends that I don’t get to see very often.
What’s one newsletter you think everyone should subscribe to?
I like the PBS Daily News Report because it offers glimpses into what publications from around the country are saying about our company and content. Outside of PBS, if you want to know what’s going on with real estate, restaurants, and the social scene in DC, MD, and VA, I highly recommend the Bisnow newsletters.
What is your favorite mobile app?
Google Calendar! If I didn’t put all of my plans and appointments in the calendar, I would be lost.
Describe your perfect weekend.
A perfect weekend would involve camping way out in the woods with my friends and some tasty IPA.
What do you think are the upcoming trends in the digital world?
Clearly wearable devices are becoming more prevalent. Whether it’s Google Glass or a wristband that breaks down your sleep patterns, it looks like maybe someday we won’t have to panic and ask “where’s my phone???” (yes, this has happened to me more than once).
If you could have a Google Hangout with any three people, who would you choose and why?
My grandmother, because besides being the best person I’ve ever known, even at an advanced age she was able to tell detailed stories from over 60 years ago. I miss hearing her stories.
Elizabeth Gilbert, because she is hilarious and so entertaining. I saw her speak a few years ago, and she had the audience completely captivated.
Sir Edmund Hillary, so I could ask him how they survived the cold and altitude without the technology we have today. That’s hardcore.
Describe the Internet in a word.