September 9, 2010 – Looking to find some longevity beyond radio based programming, NPR recently launched their Argo Network – just inside the project deadline.

The Argo Network recently went live with twelve sites hosted by 14 stations, each zeroing in on a topic of specific interest to that community.  In the article, “NPR’s Argo Launches With Dozen Sites In Search Of Sustainability”, they state their goal is to show that with the right resources, stations can create beats of value to the community and in turn increase their own audience and value by using the Internet as a platform for original content. This detour from radio based content includes dedicated reporter-bloggers who come at the topic from an Internet-first, not radio-first direction. In other words, they are reaching beyond having a companion website and seeking to build a strategy completely around digital.

The sites are more of an alliance than a shared knowledge base. Each site has its own taxonomy with no shared tagging system automatically linking topics. This move emphasizes their focus on the sites, not the network, since each site’s taxonomy is geared to that particular audience. It will be interesting to see how much sustainability they can garner. The pressure is on as another deadline looms; the pilot project is funded only through fiscal year 2011.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.