PBS Digital's Markham Evans has been working with the Public Media Platform (PMP) and Brian Gevik at South Dakota Public Broadcasting to alpha test a tool that would allow stations to browse for PMP content metadata and add it to their sites via the Explorer Custom Promo smart snippet. With the official launch now approaching, the SPI team wanted to give Brian and Markham a chance to share their thoughts.
Markham, tell us a bit about how did you integrate the PMP into Bento?
We modeled this first integration on PBS Digital's Merlin metadata system. Stations have the ability to browse the PMP API for content and retrieve the title, short description, image, article link, and content partner name for PMP API stories. The admin users can add this metadata to the most widely used promotional module, Explorer Custom Promo.
Brian, when did you begin testing the PMP API Integration in Bento?
We began testing Bento’s PMP integration in mid-December. Here’s how it looks on the main blog page. Scroll down to the health insurance entry. You'll notice an NPR story along side a PBS NewsHour story.
Brian, how is South Dakota Public Broadcasting using the PMP to add content to its website?
We've integrated PMP content into SDPB blog posts as related content. They serve to enhance the story and give the visitor more information. We currently have four active blogs: Art & Culture, Children & Education, News & Information, and Sports & Leisure. We look for PMP content that augments what we’re already doing. If, for example, we have a South Dakota post on the Keystone XL pipeline, we’ll seek out NPR and other posts on the same topic. We talked about having curated pages or blogs featuring either water-cooler (right now, today) topics or longer-view coverage of continuing issues. We’re not ready to go down that road just yet.
Markham, what kind of content can stations find through the PMP Bento integration?
Stations may access story metadata from their existing content partners, ones with which they have contractual rights to.
Brian, which providers are you drawing content from through the PMP API?
SDPB has rights to post from NPR, PRI’s “The World,” “Marketplace,” and other organizations contributing to the PMP. Content and posting are fairly easy to retrieve and deploy via the Bento interface into either blog posts or full pages.
Brian, in your opinion, how do you see the PMP evolving?
Since SDPB is a public broadcasting dual licensee, we’re very pleased that sharing content between our local TV and radio operations and our national partners is getting easier. Our hope is that we’ll soon be able to add SDPB content to the PMP for distribution to a wider audience. With regards to national content, we’ve just recently placed PMP content onto Bentomatic pages like the recent In-Depth: Vaccines Bentomatic. Notice the content in the right rail. The PMP tools have worked extremely well for this. We can pick and choose what we want very easily, without having to set up an API calls or RSS feeds, which (we think) could potentially deliver content we don’t want. The PMP integration in Bento allows us the ability to handpick the content pieces that we want displayed on our site.
Markham, how do you see the PMP evolving?
SDPB has suggested some improvements to our PMP browsing tool that we will be introduced shortly. These include better data visibility in the PMP browser, including image thumbnails and better content partner identification. We’ve already begun working on the next phase of PMP integration with Bento: auto-publishing full-article/story content from the PMP API to Bento’s blogging tool. Our next project will be getting station content from Bento blogs into the PMP API, so other stations can consume it.
Editor's Note: If you would like access to the PMP in Bento, please request API keys via this form: https://support.pmp.io/register. Once you have keys you'll need to contact your Digital representative to complete the implementation process.