A quick note about an opportunity for PBS local stations: Our friends on the PBS Station Products and Innovation Team (the SPIes) have announced an open call for stations to participate in a Project Merlin pilot group.

PBS Interactive is working hard to complete phased work on Project Merlin, which is slated for release later this year. As one of the primary goals of Merlin is to drive traffic to local station content, we need to recruit a pilot group of stations to test the processes for sharing information about your content with the Merlin database.

As a pilot participant, you will be able to work closely with the PBS Interactive team to identify the best local content to be fed into Merlin, and get a head start in preparing any of your local content feeds to work well with the Merlin system. We will be choosing 15 stations representative of the system as a whole, including size, location, and the types of local content available to feed through Merlin.

To apply to be part of this pilot group, please visit the link below and complete the brief survey by 6:00PM EDT, April 30, 2010.

Added bonus – One station that applies to be part of the Merlin pilot will be chosen at random to have their site given a full SEO evaluation by PBS Interactive's resident SEO expert, Scott Cummings.

Link to survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HQPB2TG

PBS Interactive is developing 3 different mechanisms for surfacing local content on pbs.org:

  • through RSS feeds
  • through metadata entered manually through a central CMS
  • through local metadata previously entered into COVE

Creation of the tools necessary to manage this “metadata layer” is the heart of this project, nicknamed “Project Merlin.”

It may be helpful to visit the Merlin Resource Center on Station Remote Control for a complete overview of the project.

Webinar - April 21st at 3:00pm ET

Pilot participation is the first step towards leveraging Merlin to surface your local content at a national level, and is designed to touch on a number of online related projects. A more in-depth and detailed Webinar will take place on Wednesday, April 21st that will give your staff and the Station Products & Innovation team an opportunity to identify the best use of Merlin for your station.

Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/396929787

See the original post on the Station Remote Control site: http://www.pbs.org/remote.control/news/update_archive/2010_04_20_Merlin_Webinar/index.html