Our Digital Media Advisory Council (or DMAC) is one of those ”dull but important” groups. It’s a group of station leaders – webheads, general managers and development leaders – whose brains we pick for several hours a month to help us understand the needs and challenges of the people who use our tools.
We rotate members after a maximum of three years to make sure we hear fresh voices. OK, and after three years, most members are so tired of having their brains picked that they're looking for an escape tunnel.
This year, we have three members rotating off – so we're seeking applications and nominations for a new class. To help you decide if you're interested (and to help get your boss’ permission as needed), here are some FAQs:
What is the Role of a Digital Media Advisory Council member?
Council members actively participate in gathering and exchanging station feedback and assist with general outreach within the system. That means more than asking “How will this affect my station?” In many cases, our council members reach out to friends and peers throughout the system to ensure we're
getting the fullest view of station needs.
Besides our monthly meetings, we often call on DMAC members between sessions with specific questions – and we often use their stations as beta testers for new products or functionality. (Sometimes that’s a perk. Sometimes it’s a pain.) And we frequently pull them into participating in PBS Digital events, conferences, webinars, or ask them to write blog posts.
In addition, we ask our members to attend our annual in-person meeting here in Arlington (we pick up travel costs). This year, we’re holding that summit a little early – November. (Our usual summit time, mid-December, coincides with the rollout of the PBS.org redesign – so we’re a little overbooked then.)
How Much Time is Involved?
Our monthly meetings are usually 90 minutes (and generally via conference calls). But we actively seek opinions and feedback on a Basecamp discussion board, and sometimes in smaller email conversations. Add in that and the prep work? Call it five to 10 hours a month.
Members serve two-year terms, and can volunteer for a third year.
Who is Currently on the Council ?
The current list of DMAC members can be found on the SPI blog. We strive to choose members who represent a cross section of stations - different licensees types, station sizes, regions – and also roles within the station – GMs to coders. As PBS Digital’s product process has shifted – our foundational products like COVE has been built, so we’re now focusing on enhancements like Passport – our mix has shifted slightly too. We have fewer hard-core techies at the moment, and more GMs and VPs who can help us understand how our tools can improve station sustainability..