Sunday, June 14, 2009

Twitter TV: Twitter and Facebook Users to Star on New MTV Show

Yo! MTV Twitters with Alexa Chung:
On Monday “It’s On With Alexa Chung” will replace the recently canceled “TRL” as MTV’s live daytime show, one that producers say will integrate Twitter and Facebook to an extraordinary degree, taking viewer interaction “to a new level, making them the stars of the program.”

Any television show, of course, can promote its Twitter account and ask viewers to sign up for Facebook updates. And many networks, like CNN and E!, have incorporated social networking into their programming. But MTV wants — and perhaps needs — to wrap itself in the social Web more organically. To this end Twitter commentary will be featured regularly on the screen, home viewers will be able to submit video questions for celebrities on the show, and stars of viral videos will be shown in regular segments. MTV and Facebook are joining together to sell ads on the show and the Web.
This sounds like a step in the right direction for including people formerly known as the audience in a TV show. TRL used to have a wall of screens with viewers who could go live on the show. CNN is bringing in viewers in their Blogger Bunch segments.

I'll be anxious to see how interactive this is. Are the twitter users on this show actually going to be the stars, or just pieces of content?

It's a challenge to produce an entertaining TV show and allow for the inclusion of the audience as presenters. I think a level of trust has to be built up for this to work on TV, but there's an opportunity for a more free flowing twitter-like live environment to exist on the web.

Video twitter.

We haven't seen this on TV.

The idea of video twitter means that the broadcaster will have to give away some level of control.

I've been testing this out recently with a number of video twitter web chat solutions.

Image courtesy: TinyChat

In my tests on TinyChat I've recognized that the people participating in the video chat are all equal. It's not a democracy either because there's no voting and no one is in charge. Much like twitter the video twitter sessions I've started have been free flowing.

In a recent test, I had the video chat up in a window and started paying partial attention. The chat kept going, and I read some email and visited some web sites. I was listening to the chat stream but not fully focusing on it, being able to jump back in when I wanted.

Mashable has been experimenting with TinyChat too and is going live with it's version next week called The Mashable Lounge. In thier version, an early look indicates that each chat will be based on a topic and hosted by selected Mashable staff members with a text chat area for viewers to particpate.

I think that the idea of video twitter is something that is going to evolve over time. Right now it's fun to experiemnt with it and it will be interesting to see how web and tv shows incorporate the idea of video twitter.

Follow me and Get Seen on twitter to be alerted to future video twitter chats, or chat amongst yourselves.

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