Airport Discussion Lands Big

February 4, 2008

The World Airport Discussion

PRI’s “The World” recently launched a Public Action discussion asking their listeners the question “What was your worst experience at an international airport?” The discussion attracted significant participation with over 300 listener-submitted stories and was featured as part of an innovative Yahoo! audio slide show. This was The World‘s largest and most successful discussion to date.

What’s the recipe for getting so many submissions, you ask? It was likely due to three factors, working in tandem:

  1. Start with a compelling question that encourages everyone to be an expert
  2. Incorporate a direct link into relevant and meaningful content – extra points if your content doubles as an external promotional vehicle (slideshow used audio content from the program)
  3. Get visibility (the slideshow yielded nearly 500,000 views)

Visit the airport discussion.
Take a look at the Yahoo! Audio slideshow.

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Enhancements to User Registration

January 11, 2008

We recently launched a series of enhancements to the Public Action registration process.

Based on your feedback, we’ve made a number of updates to the user registration form to increase the form usability and ease the validation process to make for a more seamless user experience overall.
Improvements include:

  • Stronger validation on the submitted email to ensure it’s a valid email address.
  • Added a compare password field to decrease subsequent login issues.
  • Captcha image: We have increased and size and improved the readability of the validation image.
  • Revised and added instructional text, error text, and tooltip help throughout the registration process.
  • Removed case sensitivity on the ‘Forgot password’ fields.
  • Removed the reset button.
  • Adjusted the profanity filter to be less strict.
  • Rolled the agreement questions into a single question.

As usual, we welcome any feedback on the change.

Public Action Registration

New Discussion Management Features

December 28, 2007

Earlier this month, Public Interactive launched a set of new features to support advanced handling of discussions. As the number of Public Action discussions have increased in each account, so has the need for new capabilities to better locate and manage these discussions. Admins can now view and apply batch changes to customized lists of discussions. Additional features include the ability to archive and close older or less frequented discussions. Read more and see details here.

TV Naming Contest Uses Public Action

November 8, 2007

Car Talk Home Page

Car Talk recently launched a preview of their new PBS cartoon and is using Public Action to invite listeners to suggest names for the new TV show. The best idea wins a cameo on the show.

Car Talk is promoting this feature strategically. They launched it on November 3rd on air as part of their show opener and will continue to promote it on air (Listen to the promotion). They are featuring it prominently on their home page and they are linking to the launch page from many other places on their site. They have incorporated it into their regular fan emails and have negotiated with their distributors to feature the promotion on their sites as well.

Car Talk fans use Public Action to submit and discuss ideas for show names and can even use the rating feature to weigh in on the best and worst suggestions.

Within just a few days, Car Talk has received:

  • Over 1,300 name suggestions
  • Over 1,000 new Public Action registrations
  • Over 15,000 visitors to view the submissions

New Public Action Features!

October 11, 2007

If you aren’t already aware, we recently added two new interface enhancements to Public Action. Try them out!

The first is a replacement of the old “pop-up” style lightbox with a much cooler, simpler, and more functional in-line reply box. No leaving the screen, you can see others’ posts, and attachments work the way people expect. Cool!

Inline editing

Of equal or greater importance is the addition of a edit-your-comment feature. Simply click on the pencil icon found at the base of just your comments to enter into ‘edit mode’. Upon update, “edit” timestamp goes on your comment to let others know you’ve changed your original post. Account admins have the ability to turn this off if they’re worried about abuse in a fully moderated environment.

From PRPD: Benefits for Programs

October 5, 2007

Last week was the annual Public Radio Program Director’s conference where I was fortunate enough to meet with the full team of PRI’s show producers and present the Public Action tool set. We’re having success launching Public Action around show content, so it was a real treat to show off some of our program discussions. Click on the video below to see a screencast of the presentation with specific examples of how shows are using the tool, and learn about some of the key reasons why shows are interested in Public Action (12 minutes).

[download video]

Car Talk Success

September 19, 2007

We’re beside ourselves with the nice words from Car Talk about their experiences with Public Action. And we didn’t even pay them to say it! The following are some quotes from Doug Mayer’s (Sr. Car Talk Lackey) interview with PRI’s Barb Eisinger. You can read the full story in all its photographic glory here (warning: faces made for radio)

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“Public Action is by far the best thing that’s come along for community engagement. It’s intuitive and very easy to use. We work hard to build a sense of community around the ‘Car Talk’ experience, and Public Action provides an easy way for fans to interact with one another, with Tom and Ray and with people who are new to the show.”

“We’re really excited that Public Action gives listeners the ability to post photos, audio, video streaming and more. That opens up several options. For example, listeners could record the scary sound their VW Golf is making and ask the guys what it is. Or we might hold a Dirtiest Car Interior Contest. We might record different car sounds and have people guess what they are or what they mean in term of diagnosing a problem.”

“It’s not too often that I get excited by something online. I see a lot of stuff that’s touted as the next great thing, but Public Action is very, very cool. Public Interactive has done a really good job of implementing it. They obviously have some very skilled people there who are incredibly conscientious, and that gives me great confidence.”

Public Action Press Release

September 19, 2007

PRI has announced the nationwide availability of our Community Engagement product, Public Action today in a Press Release (shhhhh… don’t tell anyone that we’ve been out of Beta since July).

The uptake has surpassed my expectations. Over the the initial weeks of product availability, Public Interactive secured ten new customers, including WVIA, KIOS, PBS 45 & 49, WCBE, KUAR, WABE, WIUM, WBFO, WOSU, and the Public Radio News Directors organization, PRNDI. They join seven other organizations as well as the programs Car Talk, PRI’s The World and Fair Game in choosing Public Action.

This rapid adoption suggests to me a growing need for Community Engagement tools across the industry. Our shared Public Action Network has grown to 20 user organizations, added thousands of registered users, and now totals over 25,000 comments.

Keep an eye on this spot for more updates, including impending new product improvements, featured customer discussions, and info on my visit to PRPD next week.

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