A good year at work

I’ve been working at PBS (the US public television network) since March 2012, as head of product management for PBS LearningMedia, an on-demand streaming media service for elementary and secondary educators. I led the effort to rebuild the site and content repository from the ground up in 2012, which we completed in time to launch the new version in January 2013.

To celebrate a year of the new LearningMedia, here’s a quick summary of what we’ve accomplished (thanks to Rachel and Michael from our station relations team for most of the data):

  • The new PBS LearningMedia site serves 500,000 registered users and attracts over 2 million page views per month, nearly 5 times the traffic of the old site
  • 134 PBS member stations in 51 states and territories are now offering a localized PBS LearningMedia Service to educators in their communities.
  • 35,000+ digital resources make up the PBS LearningMedia content library, with over 66% contributed by local stations. 
  • 10 states have school districts that are implementing the Custom Service, offered in partnership by local PBS stations, including WGVU, KET, WNET, SCETV, WTJX, WGBH and WHRO. The PBS LearningMedia Custom Service launched last spring and offers access to state educational standards, additional content and account management features, and enhanced reporting and analytics
  • Two CODiE Awards for excellence in education where bestowed on PBS LearningMedia in 2013. This is one of the highest accolades available in the digital education space – Best K-12 Solution.

2013 was a very productive and successful year for our team and for PBS in general, and I’m looking forward to a new round of activity and achievements in 2014.

Best wishes for a happy and successful 2014!


Mobile Diary: Facebook? SMH

What’s interesting about this Engaget report is not really the news about the free limited data access for T-Mobile customers, but the negative, sarcastic tone the writer uses to describe Facebook.
Is this a weak signal that Facebook is starting a slide towards irrelevance? Or perhaps just ordinary tech writer snarkiness.

Not so mobile diary: Vinyl is back!

WP_20131109_001This is not a mobile story as such, but worth noting anyway. According to Digital Music News, vinyl records seem to be back, at least among a small section of the music buying public. What’s more, it’s not the older folks (like me) buying those big plastic disks:

Michael Kurtz, [Record Store Day]’s co-founder, told USA Today that RSD vinyl sales are trending younger. In 2007, the average customer age was 49, now it is 23.  Kurtz also estimates that customers under 25 are buying 70 percent of the vinyl, saying: “It’s the young generation’s thing. They’ve adopted it“.

I remember hearing from the user experience team at Vodafone that their goal for any mobile app or service was something like “5 seconds to enjoyment.” Our assumption in the mobile world was always that customers want more stuff, more quickly and conveniently. It’s interesting to see this evidence of at least some desire for slower, and perhaps higher-quality, experiences. Slow food, meet “slow music”?