Twitter and as a digital sitting room?

So you heard about that election thing the other day yeah? Disney won. Happily ever after.

From American Hell:
Twittering the election

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:

Twitter and holograms

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:

Feedback from those on Twitter

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 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?

13 Responses to “Twitter and as a digital sitting room?”

  1. Sinéad says:

    I hate it when people talk during TV, that’s what the ad breaks are for.

    I have, however used liveblogging to READ commentary when I haven’t been able to watch/listen myself. During the budget I kept abreast of things because of the livebloggers, as I had no radio/tv/streaming access.

  2. william says:

    This is very interesting…. I think that and Twitter have changed everything. We no longer and never will consume content in the old media way. We want and expect our media/content to be real time, and we are just begging to come to the mind set that each and everyone of us is a content producer as well as a content consumer…..”Follow” me 🙂

  3. Eoin says:

    “Should you shut up and just enjoy the moment?” Yup, pretty much.

    Do events matter less when they are not twittered / facebook mooded / blogged? we’ll have twitter for funerals next.

  4. TUG says:

    I think you know the answer to this one, Mulley!

  5. MJ says:

    I think it’s nice when you get to share big moments with others – the more the merrier. I do however think your question is warranted…I can’t remember who blogged about this before but they were up at the highest pub in Ireland having a mighty fine time when a couple of tourists caught their attention – they were blogging about their experience in Jonnie Fox’s, rather than experiencing it, and it confuddled the blogger. Apologies for not remembering who it was – Darren? Andrew? Sorry…anyway, your question reminded me of that, and I think raw experience trumps the snapshot of experience. I had to make myself stop taking photos on a ski trip once, and just stand there and take in the vista for the SD Card in my brain istead. Breathtaking views just don’t transfer…

  6. Micheál says:

    A lot of die hard F1 fans log onto during Grand Prix and watch the Official Live Timing Screens on their PC and the TV footage simultaneously. It really adds to the experience as with access to all 22 drivers realtime sector times you can anticipate events such as Glock slowing to allow Hamilton sneak the World Championship before the TV commentators.

    People have been discussing TV programmes “live” on message boards for years; see for some British examples.

  7. adam says:

    I watched it on telly. If I’d had to be “updated” by the saddos on twitter along the way I wouldn’t have made it as far as the speech, what with the blood streaming from my wrists an’ all.

  8. Alexia Golez says:

    @adam: You’re completely missing the point, Adam. It was less about reportage more about observation and synthesis. Nice to see you use mature language too. 🙂 Speaks for itself really.

  9. adam says:

    Addressing me as @adam in the comments of someone’s blog just confirms the opinion I already have of most Twats. Seriously, get a life.

  10. Fergal says:

    Ho ho. Dude gets all snippy about the shocking breach of web etiquette involved in using @ in comments, then follows up with “get a life”.

  11. Alexia Golez says:

    I have a twat, thanks for noticing.

  12. Eoin says:

    Fight fight fight!

  13. Tim says:

    “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?”

    You can choose yourself what level of participation you wish to engage on, or you can be like @adam who wants to slit his wrists,…….