Next Avenue, a PBS entity

During my time at the Newhouse School, I took many classes that focused on content creation. However one of my most important classes focused on content management, or CMS, and the economic value of that content. The course taught us how to:

  • Conduct a survey of a communication businesses content creation, business logic and audience analysis systems.
  • Use software tools to analyze consumption and discern audience characteristics.
  • Use knowledge of html and xml data structure to analyze information quality.
  • Use knowledge of specific data augmentation technologies to optimize content for internet search.
  • State and address the ethical challenges of data capture and audience tracking.

During the second half of the semester, we worked with Next Avenue to address a specific issue. I worked with three other students to define a set of personas to drive editorial content and design decisions. We split our study into two phases: the first looked at how Next Avenue employees viewed their audience. The second examined the target audience’s attitudes to see if they aligned with what Next Avenue believed them to be. We used a Q Sort to measure subjective attitudinal statements, which helped us to define three “personas”, as well as consensus items for all.  The project concluded with recommendations for site design, customizable user profiles, and a clean homepage navigation.


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