Some key themes quickly emerged from the discussion:
DATA - This is a big, hairy, problem. PBS relies on data from TV Guide to populate our schedules online. Most of the time, the process is OK. However, those stations that don't use our online schedules typically cite the fact they don't have direct control over the data as a primary reason, and if there's a last minute update or correction, it can be painful waiting for the data to wind it's way to our products. Having more direct access to update or correct schedule info is greatly desired.
Be More Social - There needs to be better ways to share programs, and let family and friends know what you're watching, and when. Many station reps were eager to see the ability to share recommended programs on Twitter and Facebook as well as simply adding the ability to email a friend with a program schedule recommendation.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile - Many are eager to see better ways to access schedule information from mobile devices. Ideas include a version of the schedule specifically designed for mobile browsers, local schedule iPhone apps, and text reminders.
Video - wouldn't it be great if you could click on a program name and immediately access a promo or trailer to get a better sense of what the program is about? Yeah. We think so too.
Smarter Search - The current search only returns results from program titles and descriptions. Search should be able to do things like offering alternate results for common typos and misspellings.
We're still working on synthesizing all the feedback. The goal is to start piecing together a plan for what can be done in the short and long term to improve this vital service. Once we have a draft roadmap in place, we'll be sharing it with the system and revisiting it on a regular basis to make sure we continually focus on the most needed updates and improvements.
If you didn't get to participate in the meeting, you can have a brief taste now. In the comments, please share the first 2-3 things that come to mind in each of these categories:
- Things you like about the existing TV Schedule products
- Things missing from the existing TV Schedule products
- Things you don't like about the existing TV Schedule products
And finally, is there anything else you want us to know? Something you wish you could do with TV Schedules and currently can't? Let us know. We'll be reporting back soon.