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W2E NY 2010 NPR Everywhere


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As the media leader who first brought a public content API to the market in 2008, NPR continues to innovate and learn about what it means to have flexible content. Our philosophy assumes that to maintain relevancy in an online world media companies need to be adroit at delivering content to multiple channels and disparate platforms. This in turn has lead us to keep a strategic focus on our API development. This positions us not just to meet our distribution needs, but has also helped drive business opportunity and allows for effective design and user experience whether in a browser or on a mobile device. This presentation will share our lessons learned and key metrics around successful creation and use of flexible content – from technology needs to business, editorial and design opportunities in an increasingly fragmented online product landscape.

Published in: Technology
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W2E NY 2010 NPR Everywhere

  1. 1. NPR Everywhere <ul><li>The power of <flexible> content </li></ul><ul><li>Zach Brand : @zbrand </li></ul><ul><li>Sr. Director Technology & Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>NPR, Digital Media </li></ul>
  2. 2. “ From NPR News in Washington..” –Jack Speer et al
  3. 3. “ From NPR News in Washington..” –Jack Speer et al X 35M / Week X 784
  4. 4. “ Please give generously” –Your local station <ul><li>!= </li></ul>
  5. 5. NPR Digital Media API
  6. 6. So Why Should YOU Care about Flexible Content?
  7. 7. A) Staying Relevant Is Getting Much Harder Step 1 Step 2 You
  8. 8. 0 - 50 > 1,000,000,000 > 800,000
  9. 9. B) It’s Worked Well For Us… NPR News iPhone app NPR News Android app Relaunched NPR mobile site NPR iPad app NPR Music iPhone app API launched in 2008, at OSCON NPR Music Remix NPR Blogs Made API Friendly Facebook Integration Player 2.0 Homepage Improvements Story Page Improvements
  10. 10. Architectural Philosophies <ul><li>Avoid LOTR Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Content & Technology Are Inextricably Linked </li></ul><ul><li>COPE (Create Once Publish Everywhere) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>COPE drives all other architectural decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content Management Tools & Presentation Layers </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the Atom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Story is the Atom for NPR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories contain ‘Assets’ (i.e. text, audio, video, images, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories belong to ‘Lists’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It Is Better To Be Incomplete Than Inaccurate </li></ul>
  11. 11. Good Tools Good People Good Content
  12. 12. <ul><li>1997 </li></ul><ul><li>(No CMS) </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>2003 </li></ul><ul><li>(CMS) </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>2005 </li></ul><ul><li>(CMS) </li></ul>
  15. 18. <ul><li>2008 </li></ul><ul><li>(API) </li></ul>
  16. 19. NPR’s Target Audiences for the API <ul><li>Ourselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports the entire infrastructure of our new site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvements to CMS to enable custom feeds by Editorial and Design </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables us to serve content to our member stations more easily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables our stations to serve their communities better </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates new opportunities because - easy to implement with very little integration cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes existing opportunities easier to maintain and grow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engages the community – part of NPR’s Public Service Mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of great widgets, tools, sites built using the API </li></ul></ul>Launch Expectations: Improve development efficiencies for Some sophisticated stations will use the API Partner integration will be easier The public will do amazing things with the API
  17. 21. “ Learning a slew of technical skills isn't the answer, it's just part of the journalism equation.” -
  18. 23. “ From Washington DC… this is NPR”
  19. 26. NPR Addict iPhone App
  20. 29. System Architecture Supporting COPE
  21. 30. System Architecture Supporting COPE
  22. 31. System Architecture Supporting COPE Java JSP Struts
  23. 32. System Architecture Supporting COPE R / W MySQL
  24. 33. System Architecture Supporting COPE R / O MySQL Cluster NoSQL-like XML Repository
  25. 34. System Architecture Supporting COPE PHP5 SimpleXML PHP5
  26. 35. Inside the API’s “Black Box”
  27. 36. Life and Times of Flexible Content
  28. 37. NPR CMS
  29. 38. NPR API
  30. 39.
  31. 40. HTML5 / Tablet Site
  32. 41. Audio Player
  33. 42. iPhone App Android App Mobile Site
  34. 43. Google Chrome Extension
  35. 44. iGoogle Gadget
  36. 45.
  37. 46.
  38. 47. Connecticut Public Broadcasting Photos Courtesy Derik Elis, CBTV NPR API CPTV’s Drupal Based CMS Website
  39. 48. What We Learned
  40. 49. “ I had to actually purchase a book to learn the API and write the client.” Shawn Fanning of Napster Fame
  41. 50. Yeah, About That Chart…. Figuring it out… Election Related Traffic Bumps
  42. 51. Station Content in the NPR API (today)
  43. 52. KLCC Displaying N3 Stories from NPR API
  44. 53. WBUR Displaying N3 Story from NPR API
  45. 58. A thousand words of COPE
  46. 61. Make it ALL reusable
  47. 63. API Keys and Consumption by Audience
  48. 64. Output Format Distribution This distribution chart is from June 2009 and does not include NPR consumption. We believe the distribution still applies today.
  49. 65. Page Views to NPR Tech Center
  50. 66. NPR Story API : Requests per Month > 20 requests to the Story API every second
  51. 67. Launch Expectations: Improvements to development efficiencies for Some sophisticated stations will use the API Partner integration will be easier The public will do amazing things with the API <ul><li>Actual Results: </li></ul><ul><li>NPR dramatically improved development efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>NPR’s mobile strategy took off </li></ul><ul><li>Some sophisticated stations have used the API </li></ul><ul><li>Partner integration has been easier </li></ul><ul><li>API has facilitated business development opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>The public has done some interesting things </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source NPR projects have been possible </li></ul>
  52. 68. NPR Android App
  53. 69. What’s Next (or at least still causing us problems)
  54. 70. Station Content in the NPR API (today)
  55. 71. Public Media API (future)
  56. 72. Challenges Ahead <ul><li>Extending to Network Use </li></ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Caching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rights Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pagination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which Presentation Layers to Focus On </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laser or Shotgun? </li></ul></ul>
  57. 73. Questions? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>API: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @zbrand </li></ul><ul><li>Email [email_address] </li></ul>