Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Twitter, TV and social consumption

Over the last few weeks, my television viewing has become much more social.

Rather than being due to an influx of visitors, it's because I’ve been watching with one eye on Twitter and the other on the remote.

Monday night I was just getting into Dexter (and discussing the merits of the opening credits with Stan, and series bingeing with Zac) when MadeinMelbourne started her inimitable Twitter ‘ticker’ commentary on ABC series The Howard Years.

After a fleeting moment of indecision, I stayed with Dexter, and continued checking on MadeinMelbourne’s suitably outraged observations. I felt genuinely connected to both series at the same time, but in very different ways.

 Twitter is influencing the way we involve ourselves in entertainment. For recent discussions on this, check out Ben's conversion to Mad Men and  Fallon's work with the Sci Fi Channel and Eureka.

Importantly, Twitter is also changing the way we physically consume entertainment, as my Monday night experience showed.

MTV recently took this a little further when they launched The Hills Back Channel, where fans can simultaneously watch the show and comment in realtime. 

All this has got me thinking about the potential of the Twitter TV combo. About how it will help redefine the concept of the attention span. 

From mass consumption to multiple consumption.


dirkthecow said...

An interesting post, and it begs the question when the director's commentary on DVDs, or the post programme online chat will be supplemented by a live twitter feed.

It's one that's just waiting for a channel to run as a first - screen a documentary or current affairs programme, and have the journalist, director etc, running a live twitter feed while it's on-air.

Simon Burgess said...

Thanks for the post Kate.

I competely agree that twitter, for those who have realised its potential and are using it regularly - is really establishing itself in their lives, even when not online.

I now use twitter to help me with everything from researching camera lenses (with @fXE20170 and @gtvone)and holidays to finding people to interview on my blog.

As a fellow serial dvd series watcher (having just watched desperate houswives 2 and about to start Mad Men, as well as having watched all 7 seasons of The Sopranos and West Wing in the las year!)I fully understand the multi-tasking to enrich your watching experience. Watching on DVD is especially cool as you can stop the episode whilst you try and find out what some actor was in before X show, which was something I used to do on google and idmb.

I know which of my tweeple will help me and watch the same shows as me etc.

I think @dirkthecow's point is an interesting and compelling one...can't wait to be follow the first live twitter feed from a director. Thanks for sharing this post on twitter Dirk :)


P.S If you are interested in being interviewed re social media in Oz for my blog just @ me.

Gavin Heaton said...

When the Gruen Transfer was on, a few of my friends would get together either on Twitter or Plurk and give realtime commentary on the discussions etc. It was a lot of fun.

Broadcasters should think seriously about how to capture and enhance the viewing experience in this way!

Kate Richardson said...

I agree with you Simon. Dirk's suggestion is sterling.

Who will take it up first?

Stan Lee said...

Interesting post Kate.

I was exchanging tweets with madeinmlbourne during the course of her 'live commentary'.

I said at the time it would be great if we could see these comments appear on-screen during the show.

This will be commonplace before we know it.