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Blog from Nov 29, 2011

COVE 2.0 post-launch report

It has been almost 3 weeks now since COVE 2.0 has launched and we are excited to be moving forward and iterating on the new tool.

We have appreciated your patience and collaboration as we've worked to address the inevitable issues that occur with the launch of such a complex tool.

Now that things are settling down a bit we wanted to give you a quick update about where things are at and what will be happening in the coming weeks and months.

Keep those tickets coming

First off we want to encourage you to keep up the great work reporting issues through JIRA. Please continue to spot-check your videos in the PBS Video portal and on your producer website and report any problems you notice. The more reports we get of an issue the more data we have to help diagnose the problem and identify a solution. So keep up the great work! We couldn't do it without you.

Google Analytics outage

Unfortunately when COVE 2.0 was rolled out on November 10th two parts of the Google Analytics system used to track COVE metrics were not working properly.

The first part was the Video Event Tracking. This is the special event tracking used to track video views and other events in the COVE video players (duration events, sharing events, Viral Player instances). This issue was fixed on November 16th. So producers will not see any video event-tracking data in their Google Analytics account for November 10th through November 16th. 

The second part of our Google Analytics implementation that was not working properly was the reporting of portal video-page metrics in to Producer Google Analytics accounts. This is the method where pageviews for videos in the PBS Video portal get reported in to Producer accounts so they can get credit for that traffic. This issue was fixed on November 28th. This means you will likely notice a slight dip in your total pageviews from November 10th to November 28th. 

Publishing Tips

In the last few weeks we have gathered a few tips you can use to help ensure that publishing from the Legacy COVE Admin Tool to the new COVE 2.0 portal goes smoothly.

  1. We have had a few reports of producers being unable to ingest their videos in the Legacy COVE Admin Tool. They report that the "Publish" button does not appear for them after they click the "Submit" button. In these rare instances we have noticed that the problem appears to occur while the video file is being ingested after you click the "Submit" button. Because the video file never gets ingested into COVE then there is nothing to publish and that is why the "Publish" button does not appear. If the "Publish" button does not appear after 15 minutes or so we recommend you go back in to the metadata form and re-submit the video file URL. This will kick off the ingestion process again and the video file should get into COVE no problem the 2nd time which will in turn cause the Publish button to appear.
  1. COVE 2.0 does not accept incorrectly formatted NOLA codes. We had an issue with several videos not working and it turned out that it was because COVE 2.0 is not as forgiving about imprecise data as the old system was. In this case the NOLA Root and NOLA Episode fields had been filled out incorrectly and that was preventing the videos from working. The NOLA Root field should be a 4 letter code (e.g. NOVA, MLNH, FRON, AMEX, AMDO). The NOLA) that identifies your program. The NOLA Episode field should be the 6 digit numerical code (e.g. 000001, 003914, 001131) that identifies your particular episode. If you do not format the text in these fields correctly (4 letters for NOLA Root, 6 numbers for NOLA episode) it will prevent your video from working. At the very least you should always have the NOLA Root field filled out.

New SEO-friendly URL's

COVE 2.0 launched with an exciting new feature in the PBS Video portal. Now all program pages have SEO-friendly URL's. So instead of the NOVA program page appearing as, http://video.pbs.org/program/979359664/ it now appears as http://video.pbs.org/program/nova. This new vanity-URL signals to search engines (Google, Bing, ect.) and search users what the page is about. Its a small improvement but one we think will have a positive effect on SEO.

The Admin Tool is on its way

We are currently working on putting the finishing touches on the New COVE Admin Tool. A few months ago we put a Beta version of this tool in front of some producers and conducted user-testing. That user-testing showed us where there were weaknesses in the workflow and interface of the new tool. As a result we recommended a series of small label and button changes to improve the usability. These changes are being implemented now and we believe that they will help make the New COVE Admin Tool much more intuitive. As soon as this work is complete we will begin contacting producers to schedule their on-boarding. We are very close to being ready for that next step.



Those are the big points we'd like you to keep in mind right now.

We are excited about the progress that has happened in recent weeks and even though there have been some inevitable growing pains we're confident that we're moving in the right direction. The near future of COVE is very bright indeed.

We are committed to making sure you get the information you need about this product launch.

As always please don't hesitate to contact your Program Manager or Dan Haggerty (ddhaggerty@pbs.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

Also please feel free to leave any questions in the Comments section below and we'll respond to them there for everybody's benefit.