Octopus 8 Newsroom at NAB Show 2017

The Octopus newsroom computer system is integrating social media with traditional news sources via mobile apps.

Octopus is the newsroom of tomorrow, today,” is the way Gene Sudduth, national sales director, North America, for Octopus Newsroom began our exclusive interview with The Broadcast Bridge with just a bit of humor in his voice.

“Actually, Octopus began in the Czech Republic in 1999 and is well established in Europe and Asia in more than 200 channels,” he said. “But it has never had a North American presence---until now.”

Sudduth told us the company is constantly polling its customer base to find out what they need, and hence they are up to the development of Octopus 8 by now, which is what they will be showing at the 2017 NAB Show.

Octopus 8 is the result of input from over 200 channels around the world.

Octopus 8 is the result of input from over 200 channels around the world.

Octopus 8 is open to a growing number of complementary third-party systems through Octopus Newsroom's technological partners' MOS based products.

“Over the last few years we’ve learned that traditional news production needs to travel with producers and reporters when they are out in the field, and needs to include social media,” Sudduth said. “So one of our responses to this is our Social Media Hub.”

This lets them ingest content generated by agency wires, RSS feeds, and SMS, but also from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and include that content within their news stories.

The Social Media Hub listens to the way people communicate today, and communicates back to them over the same media.

The Social Media Hub listens to the way people communicate today, and communicates back to them over the same media.

“Not only does this let us go beyond just the news wire content, but we can also publish back to these popular social media outlets,” Sudduth said, “and this includes scheduled promos and teases that draw audiences to our site.”

Importantly, the Octopus application works on a server/client basis using any operating system through a graphical interface that makes it very easy for the operator to master. And, it’s a two way street. The Octopus 8 Social Media Hub tracks the feedback from its social media followers and also allows content to be uploaded with a single click from its rundown to a website via an integration with CMS such as Joomla, WordPress and Drupal.

“We’re not simply covering traditional broadcast,” Sudduth said, “but we are covering all the ways a broadcaster would want to reach out to its client base.”

One key function that helps that process is a mobile app Octopus developed for iOS or Android phones or tablets that lets the journalist in the field see everything they would usually see back in the office.

“That lets the reporter stay completely connected to their information environment wherever they might be,” he told us. “We work with both TV and radio broadcasters, and non-traditional communicators, with a scalable and affordable application.”

Based on Unicode, Octopus Newsroom products support all major character sets including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese.

So why the name “Octopus”?

Sudduth ended our interview with the same touch of humor as he began. “We like to say that our newsroom computer system touches everything in the newsroom, just like an octopus would.”

OK, not bad.

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