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Robert G. Style

Minnesota Video Vault

Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) secured grant funding from a number of sources for an effort to digitize its archive of locally produced programs and make that content available online. The MN Video Vault site was intended to allow users to search and browse the station's growing archive of Flash video copies of old programs and features a section designed to help teachers access and use the archive.

Link to a copy of the Minnesota Video Vault site from the Wayback Machine dated 8/19/2009.

Pic of MN Video Vault home page


  • Manage the project, including budgets, timelines and interface usability.
  • Organize and catalog content for inclusion in the archive.
  • Segment and metatag content.
  • Maintain and update standards for metatagging and segmenting of content.
  • Work with contractor to bring together focus groups designed to solicit input on usability and monetization.


My role as tpt's Interactive Content Producer was focused primarily on the MN Video Vault project. The technical infrastructure, visual identity and navigation approach of the site had been established by the time I became involved. In addition to managing the grants, most of my work involved identifying content for inclusion in the site and fine-tuning the metatagging scheme to optimize the site's search and browsing functions.

A good deal of my work on the site focused on assessing the needs of teachers and the way online video is being used in the classroom to inform the design of the Educators section of the site. I explored approaches used by other sites providing online educational video looking for best practices and assembled a group of K-12 and post-secondary educators to help test our navigation and functionality. I also wrote and deployed two online surveys on the site to collect input from users.

Unfortunately, the grants funding the project expired before we were able to act on any of the new ideas formed by the input we collected. Changes in leadership combined with the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis to lead the station to shut down the Video Vault project.