As Project Merlin and the PBS.org redesign ramp up, the Producer Exchange blog will feature regular updates. For more information, visit the Merlin/PBS Redesign resource page .
Project Merlin has made a number of strides forward and we are getting very close to rolling out the backend – the Merlin Admin tool – to the producer community.
As such, we wanted to start getting everyone thinking about what content is best suited for Merlin. You should consider Merlin as a collection of editorial content to consolidate the best web media to make it available through many applications in addition to the redesigned PBS.org. The redesign will provide web users with a unique “PBS” experience.
Not everything on your site should go into Merlin, so this introduction will hopefully give you a better idea what types of content should be included in Merlin and what are the best ways to present that content.
Project Merlin will allow us to create links to your content in real-time and surface it almost immediately on the redesigned pbs.org.
To make Merlin a true success, the system will need well-written headlines and high-quality images as much as possible. Promos need to be concise and overtly obvious as to the subject matter, so that a user knows exactly what they'll get if they click. We want our users have consistent and engaging experiences every time they return.
Here are examples of content that SHOULD be put into Merlin include unique editorial works, such as:
- Behind the scenes: Features about creating films, content
- Pages with video: Context should be provided on the page; no stand alone videos
- Other rich web content: Articles, essays, biographies, etc.
- Photo galleries and essays
- Interactives: Flash games and diagrams, timelines, etc.
- Note: COVE powered video will automatically be added when published
For more guidance, see the Merlin Content Guide.
This should give you a general starting point to consider your own content. Some blogs may be appropriate for Merlin but consult PBS with specific questions.
We want to emphasize the value of content and use the modules from the new PBS.org homepage to drive traffic to your content, so the modules need to be clear, yet interesting. See the style guide to promote consistency for the Merlin modules across programs.
In the coming weeks, we will also be following up with everyone with more specific information about using Merlin as well as manual training for some programs.
In the meantime, here are some links to the Merlin/PBS.org Redesign Resources .