So you heard about that election thing the other day yeah? Disney won. Happily ever after.
I participated in Blogging the election at the Irish General Election with Suzy and Cian where we monitored the Interwebs and used Twitter to fire out results as they came in. Back then (last year) those on twitter listened more than they interacted but for the American Election last week, it was totally different. It ws a massive information stream, it was a source and it was a shared experience.
When CNN unveiled their holograms, Twitter exploded with commentary. Most of it hilarious and referencing Star Wars and Star Trek. People in so many corners of the world, not just Ireland were exchanging banter with each other about it. This is what some of the Irish said:
The banter and back and forth and “retweeting” kept the momentum going. By retweeting, I mean people who were subbed to a few people would do chinese whispers style “pass it on” messages but because it is digital, the core message remained 100% intact. Here was one retweet for example:
Around 2:57 AM I asked:
How many here would be in bed were it not for the interactions about this election on Twitter? *raises hand*
And I got a load of people confirming my suspicions. I would probably have headed back to my hotel or at least have gone earlier if it wasn’t for so many people being there, sharing their experience of their moment:
And it isn’t just for the election either. People who still watch TV are sharing their experiences of it. Most notably people are watching The Apprentice on TV3 and commenting on it live on Twitter. The peer pressure from all the twittering about it got me to start watching it and shouting at the TV in the sitting room and on Twitter. The Times on Twitter and the election.
Of late too there’s been movement away or in-step with live-twittering with Simon McGarr championing live-blogging (using a special webapp) of TV shows such as The Apprentice (again), Questions and Answers and there was a massive crowd live-blogging the election. Cleverly Simon also snapped up LiveBlog.ie where the live-blogging is now happening.
You may have heard of the term “social object” before but what seems to have happened without any influence at all from anywhere else is us Irish that were on Twitter or that blog have now started using technology applications to socialise events that may have been private due to geographic restraints. Tv watching is one of them. I actually think it also has gotten those who now live online to watch a bit more TV too. From a sociological perspective, this is fascinating. From a promotional/marketing/business perspective it is equally so. You have to wonder if one of the futures of successful TV is making TV watching into even more of a shared experience not just with those who are in the room with you but with those you are digitally connected to. People are already having boxset marathon weekends but this is something different and maybe more.
Maybe TV stations should allow people to create “chat rooms” where you can invite your friends or the world into and you can watch various TV programmes together. Actually I think some already do this. Google has previously mentioned search as a shared experience. Facebook is making our lives slightly shared too with the way we stream our lives there.
But with all of this chatter around events, is it like someone giving a running commentary as you kiss them? Should you shut up and just enjoy the moment?