"Stuff's gettin' better ... stuff's gettin' better all the time"

When I was in college, I worked on the student newspaper with a guy named Zac. Zac was the Entertainment section editor, so he was the one that generally handled the movie reviews. One day, he asked me to go see Spice World with him (yes, the Spice Girls movie). After fighting back my laugh reflex, I realized he was serious. I also realized how incredibly creepy it would be for him to see that movie by himself, so I agreed to go on one condition. He would have to go see the Razzie award-winning 177-minute masterpiece that is Kevin Costner's The Postman with me.


I bring this event up not to humiliate myself (reminder: I have seen Spice World), but because this was the occasion that I first heard the titular line of this post, "Stuffs gettin' better ... stuffs gettin' better all the time." This line serves as the campaign quote of a fictional US President created by Costner's post-apocalyptic conman to convince a town that he is a representative of the restored government and should be given a warm meal and cozy bed (see, pure genius!).


I often find this quote serving me in unusual ways. Sometimes after a particularly stressful day, following the long slog home sandwiched between commuters on a train with no circulation, I sink into the sofa and just repeat its comforting message. Other times, such as now, I find it to be a celebration of things past and those yet to come.


In this case the quotes comes to mind as I've been reflecting on the past 6 months of COVE and the incredible changes that have occurred as we've rolled the product out to stations. So let's take a trip down memory lane and take a look the new features recently released for and at how, with your incredible help, stuff really is getting' better all the time.


Based on your feedback, we've been able to take leaps forward with the COVE experience. This started all the way back in the COVE Pilot when little things, such as the wording of a support link or the ability to add a custom URL to the header, were diligently pointed out by the original 14 COVE stations. There were also some more major improvements, such as better opportunities for branding in the footer, more CSS customization opportunities and a better Admin Tool experience.


Now, with the initial COVE product rollout winding down, I have been so impressed that the same communication and collaboration that proved so successful in the pilot has continued over the last four months. This open dialogue is crucial to developing COVE as a product that truly serves station needs. And the results have led to some truly great enhancements.


Here are just some of the new features released since we began system rollout:

-          Ability to add Google Analytics code to entire portal

-          Better control over available/expire dates of content

-          Geo-targeting

-          Single episode player with excerpt functionality

-          Better SEO of local content

-          Better validation to limit workflow errors

-          Improved portal load time through caching (my personal fav)


It is your help (and at times, patience) that allow us to make these improvements. We base the direction of the product on your feedback. To that end, we will be sending a survey around in a few weeks that features a number of potential new features for the video portal. These features are based on what we have heard is important to you, and now we would like your help in identifying what items are a higher priority for you. Look for a link and instructions in an upcoming Station Products & Services weekly newsletter.


With that, I bring an end to this quick trip down memory lane. Thank you very much for making this great product and for showing that "stuff's getting' better ... stuff's getting better all the time."


And by the way, it turns out that two grown men going to see Spice World together turned out to be slightly creepier than one.

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