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February 2, 2012 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Social TV is coming and the Super Bowl is its debutante ball. Will 2012 be the year that Social TV goes mainstream? Lost Remote has you covered, for all the latest news about Social TV and the otherwise decline of Western civilization.
posted by I've wasted my life (20 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
[I personally hope before TV meets its ultimate demise that it works something like a televised version of the default front page of Reddit and becomes known for causing media induced PTSD.]
posted by I've wasted my life at 2:57 PM on February 2, 2012


Do you have a short description of Social TV handy? Are tweets and discussions integrated into the content of the actual program, or do you have to follow along on your laptop?
posted by KokuRyu at 3:01 PM on February 2, 2012


Watching TV in the same room as other people while your attention is dominated by a laptop, tablet and/or smartphone. More like Antisocial TV, amirite?
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:04 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh I can fix that problem. You see the end of Poltergeist where he shoves the TV out on the balcony? Yeah. That can so happen here.
posted by PuppyCat at 3:04 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this the new thing now that 3D TV died on its ass?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:06 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is Social TV something I need to have a TV to know about?
posted by notmydesk at 3:07 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


> When you land on YouNow, you can instantly see the implications for the future of the casting couch. You’re instantly taken into someone’s live broadcast and users can vote with points they earn as to whether that person should earn another minute of broadcasting or not.

So it's kind of like how girls earn beads at Mardi Gras?
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:09 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


KokoRyu: I don't, it seems to be evolving as the interfaces are created. For example, the second to last link has some information about ConnecTV which appears to be an application for the iPad that is one of the more involved interfaces so far.

In the case of the Super Bowl, the big deal is that the tweets are going to impact which commercials are played during the back half of the game. Despite the prosaic event, it appears to be a growing industry and has all the buzzwords and technology behind it to get the kind of financing necessary to go mainstream no matter what its ultimate form may be.

I would imagine both networks and advertisers have been having wet dreams about this kind of thing for years. One possible bright spot: It could kill Nielsen.
posted by I've wasted my life at 3:15 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lost Remote is talking about various versions of "Social TV" - from Shazaam being tied into everything (which sounds like there will be a lot of pop songs involved in everything), to apps that get you to twat more comments about what you're watching (while showing you ads for soda and cars on your second screen, AKA your smart phone, tablet, or computer). Then there's some weird way in which you can upload clips of yourself that will get embedded into TV, which sounds like the only way you really could interact with TV. The rest is to get you to think more about the ads.

Social TV is just a cute phrase to talk about ways to get people to do more with/for ads. I don't really see how this is any more "social" than news shows who query Twitter for clips. "Susan from Chicago says 'This debate is really intense.' " Now we'll have low-resolution clips of people saying "Like, whoa, that debate was really intense."

Bleh.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:18 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


> When you land on YouNow, you can instantly see the implications for the future of the casting couch. You’re instantly taken into someone’s live broadcast and users can vote with points they earn as to whether that person should earn another minute of broadcasting or not.

The Card Cheat: So it's kind of like how girls earn beads at Mardi Gras?

Chat Roulette, The TV Show.


I've wasted my life: In the case of the Super Bowl, the big deal is that the tweets are going to impact which commercials are played during the back half of the game

You choose: Pepsi or Coke!
posted by filthy light thief at 3:20 PM on February 2, 2012


Watching TV in the same room as other people while your attention is dominated by a laptop, tablet and/or smartphone. More like Antisocial TV, amirite?

TV is already anti-social. Why is it less social to stare at screen across the room then one in your lap? I've had plenty of social experiences where everyone was working at a computer, i.e. LAN parties.
posted by delmoi at 3:24 PM on February 2, 2012


When I was with Disney, we did similar efforts. This kind of product would be called a "two screen" solution, since the TV isn't interactive at all, your laptop or iPad is.

We ran a couple years of Monday Night Football as interactive events where you could do must of what's show in the articles, except the social media streams, mainly because those didn't exist at the time.

The audience was usually between 50-100,000 people that played with it at some point, but hardly anyone stayed with it the entire 3+ hour event.

Other events tested were the awards shows, like the Emmys. Similar results in audience there.

The main lessons learned were that games are a two edged sword, people like them, but if you start late, you can't ever catch up and be competitive. An issue for MNF since the game often starts while people are still at work on the West Coast.

Another issue that came up was the varied delays in getting the signal from the event to the viewer's home. Off the air broadcast was usually fastest, with satellite the slowest. This made many of the 'choose quickly' or rapid decision types of questions not work well because we would never know exactly what a viewer was seeing on the screen in terms of timing.

It never brought in a ton of revenue, and got killed after a few years. We couldn't find an elegant way to broadcast a timing signal to auto-coordinate events. We played with encoded audio bursts over the air, but it require a laptop's mic to be open and ended up killed by complexity.

Twitter and Facebook bring a new dynamic to the situation and it will be interesting to see how they might resolve some of the issues that we saw. The iPad is definitely a hugely improved platform compared to a browser running on a laptop.

I can't imagine the debate and fights on over how to present the social media streams. Without tight controls and moderation, you're going to see a ton of spam and goat.se like griefing that will sour people on the whole thing. For the MNF tests, every comment that aired was approved by two people to ensure that nothing was going to be shown that was in any way inappropriate. Showing the content on the second screen avoids some possible FCC trouble, but could still end up causing some sort of backlash. Heaven help them if the 4chan folks start thinking about playing with this stuff.

The biggest overall problem for "social TV" the fact that it only works for live or timely events. The very people that are saavy enough to use social TV products are the same ones that prefer everything on the DVR and watch the majority of television post-air date.
posted by Argyle at 3:28 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


either that or they're just watching TV and have a laptop open at the same time, and hence have no reason to "play along" with anything. they're already watching Twitter blow up and seeing what their friends are saying on Facebook and whatnot as things are happening live.
posted by radiosilents at 4:23 PM on February 2, 2012


I've got my CueCat ready, I can't wait!
posted by usonian at 4:33 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Jeez. Some us just want to watch the game. GO GIANTS!
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on February 2, 2012


Watching the republican debates concurrently with twitter snark was *great.* I would tune in JUST to follow along the twitter, the debates were secondary to twitter. But this worked because I have a ready-made lists of people who I already follow, know are funny / know a enough about politics to make it enjoyable, and b) because frankly the TV was a value-add to twitter and NOT the other way around. If I try to do the same thing for say an episode of Community where I know no one, its a completely horrible miserable experience of follow a hashtag and scroll-scroll-scroll-throw phone in frustration.

How are they going to turn that experience into something for everyone? You would need to teach someones mom (and all of her friends), how to use twitter, how to find that guy she maybe would find funny on that topic, and make sure it doesn't turn into a huge flood. Ugh what a nightmare. Good luck commodotizing those ungraspable straws.
posted by stratastar at 5:55 PM on February 2, 2012


We're already a nation of YouTube commenters. Why would we want to expand this on any scale?
posted by Spatch at 6:01 PM on February 2, 2012


I don't really remember a time where 'Interactive TV' (and fusion) were NOT soon to revolutionize the world.

No really, why is it such a huge, dare I say obsession, with media and network executives? If you think about what people do at a theater (living room, lecture hall, campfire) they sit back and enjoy. Perhaps clap or cheer but that's hardly conversationally interactive. Folks have tried interactive movies where every one votes, just like the choose your own plot books where you get to the end of a short chapter and turn to a different page depending on if you want the boy detective to climb into the loft or climb down into the basement. That really influenced modern literature.

We have interactive tee vee, it's just called World of Warcraft.
posted by sammyo at 6:28 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


As much as I hate advertising, at least targetted advertising has the potential to have a redeeming feature. But based on fucking Twitter and Facebook comments? No thanks…

The only good thing about this is that it didn't happen 6 or 7 years earlier. Because that would've meant targetted advertising based on YouTube comments…
posted by Pinback at 6:37 PM on February 2, 2012


I had never heard of Lost Remote, and the first sentence of the first article I opened read:

If you don’t watch reality television, you’re probably lying.

It's hard to know where to begin with that. I am guessing that an editor would have change that to, "If you say you don't watch..." but even so it represents a confusion of ideas that do not make a good first impression.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:50 AM on February 3, 2012


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