Application Deadline: Friday, April 10, 2009
Instructions and Application Materials located HERE.

This year, PBS Interactive has announced a new award to recognize stations that have demonstrated excellence and innovative web development efforts. The Innovation of the Year award is an opportunity to be recognized for all the hard work you and your team do online.

When I started working in public media about ten years ago, it seemed like everything that happened on the Internet could be thought of as an "innovation." A dynamic menu, an animated gif, a rollover button were all, at one time, flashy and amazing.

One of the incredible aspects of the Internet is its capacity for growth, development and revolution. The Internet is nothing more than a vehicle for the transfer of data, which means all of its innovations throughout the years are the reflection of the people who use it. We develop ways to make it faster, more immersive and more capable.   

In fact much of what we do today is simply a vast improvement of process. Blogs provide simple ways to update web pages and add comments. Flash players are a more streamlimed, efficient way to present video. And still revolution and innovation abounds -- e-commerce, video sharing, mobile content experience.

I think that is why it is important to have an award like this, to specifically recognize the work of Public Television Stations. Beyond just the acknowledgment, it's important to encourage and promote innovation in our industry. Our audiences have unique needs, and how we use the technology of today defines how we as a system continue to serve them.

So, I encourage every station to look back and find an online project, process, redesign, module, etc. that they are particularly proud to call their own, and submit it, but don't forget the deadline is this Friday (April 10). There is no application fee, and what you did for your community might just be the answer another station is looking for to help their community.


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