PBS Arts Online has been an experiment since day one. Some things have worked better than others.  

We have tried a unique design look and feel for PBS. We’ve mixed national broadcast content with local content (even some from the archive!). We have collected video stories and imagery from users. Our content ranges from ballet to street art, symphonies to rock and roll. It is easy to say that it feels a bit schizophrenic at times, but we have learned one important lesson: PBS Arts seems to be very popular in the social space. This has remained consistent since our launch one year ago.

Because of our success in the space (on Facebook in particular), PBS Arts is toying with the idea of largely moving to the social space for content distribution.

On July 20th, PBS Arts launched another experiment: a web-only series called Off Book that explores experimental and cutting edge art. The 13-episode series includes episodes on light painting, collective imagery, and steampunk, among others. We will release a new episode every other week.

If you clicked on the Off Book link above, you may have noticed another experiment in the works. The premiere episode appears on YouTube. The episode also appears on Tumblr and Vimeo (and the PBS Arts site, powered by COVE). We will be promoting the series on Facebook, Twitter and interested blogs, using a combination of the PBS Arts site link and the YouTube link, to test the success rates using different platforms and their sharing capabilities.

In a few weeks, I’ll provide a case study of the dual linking trial, to see how the PBS audience (and a new audience that we are hoping to build on Tumblr and Vimeo) reacts to the video in different places.

Please leave any comments or questions in the thread below or feel free to reach out to me directly at lssaks@pbs.org.