1. Please describe the KLRN Kids Club for our readers (http://www.klrn.org/Kids/).
Our new KLRN Kids site is part of a freshening of our entire KLRN Kids brand and complements the KLRN Kids club activities of our membership department. The site provides an exciting and energetic environment to showcase local events, member birthdays and partnerships while directing kids to games, online video and program sites from PBS. We wanted to create a place that is "sticky," where children (and maybe even their parents) will want to come back and visit.
Traffic to web sites to view video is continually increasing. By making the GO! player easily accessible to our younger viewers, we feel that we're providing a product that is in demand.
Also the calendar portion of the site isn't finished yet; our goal is to implement code to allow third-parties to submit their calendar of events.
3. Generally, describe the resources it took to create KLRN Kids Club, and the resources required to maintain it. Did you receive any outside funding to complete this project? How many staff members worked on this and will work on this to keep it updated?
The idea for this web site started with receiving a Module Grant from NCO. We had three staff members that consulted with the web developer and incorporated feedback from our member and education departments.
At first we wanted to refresh our birthday, calendar, book club and pictures pages; however we found a terrific partner with a local web developer, Blonde Creative, who took our ideas and agreed to create a new skin for the site for a fraction of the cost. Blonde is a small creative shop with three employees, and once they jumped into the project and started understanding the different PBS Kids brands, they started having a lot of fun and created an environment that exceeded our expectations.
The web site is created in Flash with many text updates (birthdays, books, calendar events) made with the help a user-friendly CMS system.
We do not have a dedicated web master and our web site is maintained in DreamWeaver by our public relations department of two. At this point, we'll have to return to Blonde Creative for more extensive updates, but plan to send David Rice in public relations to a Flash training course.
For the text updates, anyone with the password can make changes directly from their internet browser. The KLRN Kids event coordinator and the education assistant will both make changes to the site through Internet Explorer when birthdays, book titles and events need to be updated.
4. You have done an amazing job incorporating local content with national content into the Kids Club. Can this project be adopted by other stations?
You bet. We wanted to tap into the strength of the PBS Kids brand and programming while showcasing local partnerships and our own events. One such partnership is with the San Antonio Public Library who provides us with a monthly reading list around a common theme.
Since this project was funded by NCO we plan to provide the code to PBS for other stations to implement.
5. What sage words or wisdom do you have for other stations who may want to put something similar in motion (for example, using modules, localization links, automatically updating tools, CMS, etc)? What would your top three suggestions be? Also, what is the most important thing you learned NOT to do?
Use resources that PBS is already providing - from graphics to modules. This will help keep your OawvInRaf4 costs down.
Plan more time than you think you'll need.
One challenge we've acknowledged is that our site brings all KLRN KIDS under one website versus a site specific for older and younger kids. We wanted to create an exciting and engaging home for KLRN Kids without reinventing the great work of the PBS KIDS and KIDS GO! sites.
6. Do you have successes to share?
No successes yet (other than a great looking site!). Our site has just gone live and we are ramping up our promotion machine.
We haven't had time to run it through any focus groups; nor have we received any direct feedback.
We are optimistic that this new site will prove to be an invaluable tool for recruiting additional sponsors of our Kids Club.
Ellen, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and sharing the KLRN KIDS Club project with us. If you have questions for Ellen, please post them below.
If your station has an interesting project you'd like to share with the system in an upcoming post, or you've stumbled on something on another station's site that you'd like to know more about, shoot us an email! We hope to make the station spotlight a regular feature on the SP&S blog.