By Dru Sefton
Originally published on Current.org
Web engagement tool provides platform for virtual dialogue
An infusion of CPB funding is allowing the Independent Television Service to add more features to OVEE, the online engagement tool that ITVS calls “the world’s first fully functional social screening platform.”
The latest version of OVEE features a customizable strip with a “Donate” button for stations. “Imagine a Downton Abbey screening with [creator] Julian Fellowes online,” said Dennis Palmieri of ITVS. “OVEE can do that.”
“No other media outlet has this,” said Dennis Palmieri, director of innovation and media strategy for San Francisco–based ITVS. The Online Video Engagement Experience platform, a freestanding web application that synchs up multiple streams on the PBS COVE website, allows online viewers to interact in real time around content by signing on through the platform or via Facebook.
Pilot tests of OVEE by five pubTV stations and producers at Frontline and PBS NewsHour received positive responses. For the next pilot round, five pubradio stations will be among the beta group of 25 test sites.
“There’s an enormous amount of interest” from the radio side, Palmieri said. In markets with separate PBS and NPR member stations, “OVEE offers real opportunities for joint engagement.”
ITVS is considering both pubTV and radio stations as well as groups such as the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for the beta tests, Palmieri said. Each participant will receive grants of $5,000, and testing will commence in January 2013. OVEE’s official release is set for next spring.
A $575,000 grant approved in June boosted CPB’s aid to a total of $1.5 million. The latest grant backs more work by OVEE’s developer to fix bugs in the system and install snazzy new features. Continue reading