Link TV Launches – an Open Source Digital Media Platform Powered by the Latest Semantic Search Tools

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded site combines semantic search and the power of video to tell positive stories about progress being made in the developing world

Link TV has announced the launch of, a website that combines high-quality videos, articles, and actions to help spark progress in improving the lives of people living in developing countries. Visitors can create their own customizable collections of content to share with their communities.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and designed by Method (the award-winning brand experience design firm behind innovative media sites such as the BBC iPlayer and, the site was built by Link TV’s long-term development partner Definition.

The resulting digital media and online video hub uses a revolutionary combination of video and semantic search tools to present visitors with opportunities to fully engage with topics that interest them. The semantic search function utilizes APIs from Freebase, Zemanta, Daylife, SocialActions, Truveo, and others to present the latest related links – including videos, news, opinion articles, and opportunities to take action – which update live as visitors watch films and navigate the site.

Topics on within the site are linked to Freebase and DBpedia through semantic RDFa and RDF/XML metadata, while video pages also support Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, confirming Link TV’s commitment to the future of Linked Data. Other major media groups, including The New York Times, CBS/CNET, and The Huffington Post, have also embraced the Linked Data model. takes the model one step further by harnessing the technology explicitly for video and social change.

“We wanted to make it possible for more people to discover – and be inspired by – great stories about global development,” said Kim Spencer, Chief Content Officer at Link TV. “So, just as you might walk through different sections in a bookstore, you can browse for stories on more than 1,200 topics that our semantic tool has discerned. You can narrow your search down by topic and region or you can stumble upon a great story you didn’t even know existed.”

Beyond simply exploring content, members can also collect their favorite videos, articles, and actions into playlists, which can then be shared with their communities via social networkings and email. Sharing your take on topics such as “sustainable agriculture” or “cool gadgets that are saving the world” is simple and easy. The site also offers HTML5 video, adding standards-based support for mobile devices and browsers that do not support Flash. features an open API, allowing third-party sites and developers to create applications and pages fueled by content. The technology behind the semantic video platform will also be made available through an Open Source release at the end of the year.

Internet Archive co-founder, Brewster Kahle commented, “It’s great to see a not-for-profit initiative leading the charge on next-generation Web technology. And Link’s open API will allow others to harness the content for social change.” features the best videos culled from Link TV’s vast library of documentaries and film shorts, as well as new, acquired videos on the people and projects making a positive difference in developing nations around the globe. Earlier this year, the site added to its video library through an online film contest that garnered 137 entries, telling stories based in 49 countries. Judges included actors Gael García Bernal and Danny Glover, director Wim Wenders, and novelist Chimamanda Adichie. The site can also stream videos from sources such as YouTube, presenting it with an enhanced layer of related content.

“Smart investments in global development are helping the poor build healthier, better lives,” said Susan Byrnes, deputy director, Public Affairs and Communications with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “ showcases inspiring stories of individuals and communities in the developing world making real economic and social progress."

Link TV is one of the nation’s largest independent television broadcasters and is devoted to providing diverse global perspectives on news, current events, and world culture not typically available on other U.S. networks. Link TV regularly airs a robust selection of award-winning films and documentaries that explore the human condition from diverse multicultural perspectives. Link TV is available as a free 24/7 service on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410, reaching nearly 33 million U.S. homes. Select Link programs are also shown on more than 170 local cable outlets. For complete background information, program schedule, and internet streaming of more than 4,400 of Link TV’s original programs, music videos, documentary clips, and interviews, visit

Definition is a complete media solution provider, offering design and development of interactive and traditional media. Leveraging the latest technologies, a forward-thinking philosophy, and a high standard of quality, Definition produces superior solutions that exceed expectations.

Method is a brand experience agency with offices based in San Francisco, New York, and London. Method’s clients are best described as owners of progressive, era-defining brands, and include Google, Comcast, Nordstrom, MoMA, Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft, Time Warner Cable, Intel, and BBC. Collaboratively, Method helps them create products, services, and businesses that are smart, beautiful, and extendable. For more information visit To get in touch, email

Zemanta is a revolutionary new platform for accelerating and enhancing online content for Web publishers. Zemanta can be deployed on all major content publishing platforms and Web browsers through a simple plug-in, as well as on Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.

Social Actions maintains an open source database of actions people can take on the causes they care about. The actions include opportunities to donate, volunteer, attend events, sign petitions, join campaigns, and more. The Social Actions API is available at no cost for the purpose of embedding opportunities to take action in the websites, social networks, and mobile applications that millions of people use every day.

Daylife is the leading media utility for the world’s biggest publishers and consumer destinations. Daylife’s API is the backbone of the platform, and serves over 1 billion calls a month to clients including USA Today, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, NPR, Forbes, and Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner. Daylife simplifies life for editors and developers, helping them build beautiful experiences for their audiences.


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Rachelle Lacroix
Link TV
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