Throw television content provider WNET.org and New York digital developer Tierra together and you get a new content management system that will provide web-based support for TV programs, particularly for the public broadcasting sector.

Built on the open source blog platform WordPress Multi User (WordPress MU) and some custom themes and plugins such as WPDB Profiling, project leaders claim that the new platform has made it considerably easier and cheaper for WNET.ORG to roll out multiple user-friendly sites.

According to the company, they were only able to launch one or two websites sites per month until the new web content management system was developed. Now, they say, they can develop five to ten sites per month and at a fraction of the cost.

What is even better is that they have published a very interesting white-paper called How a Non-Profit Media Company Profits from Building Open Source Online Publishing Platform detailing how this project came about and how they ultimately decided on WordPress as their platform.

CMS On Limited Resources

The biggest challenge for all media companies at the moment is to reach as wide an audience as possible and -- given the times we live in -- as cheaply as possible.

Public media has never been overly endowed financially speaking, but produces a large range of programming, much of which requires online interaction to keep their audience away from the remote control.

And as the parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group in New York, WNET.ORG said it had found itself in a situation where it had to build and develop dozens of websites every month to serve their growing program portfolio.

Adopting WordPress MU

The new CMS, they say, does just that, cheaply and with few training costs.

WordPress MU is a multi user version of WordPress for people who are uncomfortable editing PHP code, or taking care of a Complex 7 web server and database system.

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The WNET.org WYSIWYG editor for novice users
 

The multi-user version of WordPress offers the following:

  • The same functionality as WordPress
  • Scaling to tens of millions of page views per day
  • Unlimited users and blogs
  • Different permissions on different blogs
  • Ambiguity about how to pronounce its name

The new CMS also allowed WNET.org migrate years of content into the single, open source system that is technically uncomplicated for content producers.

tierra_UI_2009.jpg

The user-friendly interface
 

“We collaborated with WNET.ORG on both design and technology to create unified, extensible website templates and a new publishing system based on the WordPress platform. Since implementing the new CMS, WNET.ORG has launched dozens of websites that required significantly less production time and resources but delivered more web traffic than previous WNET.ORG sites,” Jamie Trowbridge, President of Tierra Innovation said.

Increased Launch Capacity

According to WNET, implementing the new system has enabled them to increase their website launch capacity by up to 700% with time-to-market reduced from 6–12 weeks, to 1–3 weeks.
Additionally, site traffic has increased by as much as 100% in some instances.

The CMS also provides for increased audience engagement through social media features that allow users to dialogue and build communities.

And what's even better again is that WNET.org has said it is going to make the open-source CMS publicly available and is inviting not-for-profit organizations with similar content management needs to adopt and use it for themselves.

Don’t ya’ just love Public Broadcasting!