Creating social TV: lessons along the way


I recently wrote about social and participative TV, as one of the important aspects of how TV as we currently know it will evolve.

Of course, this is not to say that all TV will become social. A key characteristic of the TV format is that it is passive, and that is what many people are looking for. Part of what we need to learn is not just what the mechanisms of effective social TV are, but in what situations it works well. While the term ‘social TV’ is becoming commonly used to refer to a variety of initiatives, I distinguish between social TV as focused on a shared viewing experience, and participative TV which is about viewers contributing to the program itself.

In this context, local TV station KOMU in Columbia, Missouri has recently created an hour-long participative TV show hosted by Sarah Hill. Here is the program preview:

TVNewsCheck has a detailed review of this and similar initiatives, saying:
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Detailed stats: Social networks dominate Internet usage, Australia still #1


Research company Nielsen has just released detailed statistics on online activity, focusing on social networks and blogging, which at 22.5% of time spent online dominate Internet usage, with more than twice the next category games, at 9.8% of time spent. Below are a few highlights and comments from the full report.

Facebook completely dominates the social networking and blogging space, with over 70 times the next most prominent social networking site. Interestingly Tumblr’s dramatic rise (+183% over the last year) has taken it to overtake Twitter in time spent online. However Nielsen’s methodologies look only at website visits and don’t the majority of time spent on Twitter, which is on web and mobile clients. Facebook also dramatically surpasses the amount of time spent on Google, however Google is still mostly not a destination site. Over time initiatives such as Google+ may change that.
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Research: The acceleration of Australian banks’ use of social media


Financial services is one of the most industries in which the use of social media is the most relevant, not least because customer service is a critical differentiator between highly commoditized offerings. While financial services and banking were traditionally highly relationship-based, the shift to online has significantly eroded those relationships. Social media, used well, provides an opportunity to build relationships in a world in which most financial services are executed online.

In a global context, Australian banks were fairly slow to adopt the use of social media, however more recently a number have become a lot more active as they recognize its fundamental importance to their future.

Vindaya Senadheera, Prof. Matthew Warren, and Dr. Shona Leitch from Deakin University have done some interesting research in their paper A study on how Australian banks use social media.

To analyze the banks’ activity they use the Honeycomb framework of social media which was presented by Kietzmann et al in their paper Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media, which points to the key elements of social media engagement as Identity, Groups, Relationships, Presence, Sharing, Conversations, and Reputation.

Here are a few key points from the research


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Futurist conversations: Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard on the future of Twitter


Continuing our series of conversations on the future with Gerd Leonhard of The Futures Agency and myself, here we discuss the future of Twitter.

Some of the topics we discuss include:
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Where Google+ needs to go: Why we need to be able to follow parts of people’s personas


The centrality and ease of use of the Circles feature means Google+ is a significant step forward in social networking. It has been a key platform in its initial success.

The Circles feature enables people to selectively share content. Someone can send work-related discussions to their public stream, photos of their children to their family, and information about a boating event to their yacht club friends.

This effectively addresses privacy issues in allowing us to share both public and private information on the one platform, and not have to divide ourselves across different profiles.

However even our public personas have many facets. One person can be a leading software developer, music enthusiast, food lover, skier, and overall a lovable person. All of that is public – there are no constraints on sharing in any of those spaces.

Some people will want to follow everything that person shares. Many may be only interested in their thoughts on software development, and not care about the rest. Yet they have no choice – either they follow everything that person shares or nothing.

Gartner analyst and VP Brian Prentice brought this into focus in a recent Google+ post:
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On my 3rd Twitter birthday: 7 reasons Twitter is central to my life


Earlier today I noticed it’s three years since my life on Twitter began. At the time I wrote about my belated entry to Twitterland.

It now seems strange to me that I was such a late starter compared to many other connected folk, given that Twitter is now so central to my life.

The primary reason I held off getting started on Twitter was that I felt that my blog was my primary space for content sharing, and I didn’t want to divide my limited spare attention across platforms. I now know that blogs and Twitter are highly complementary. Yes Twitter can be time-consuming. But the rewards are absolutely worthwhile.

Here are 7 reasons why Twitter has become central to my life.
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Keynote: Social Media in Fashion Retailing


Tomorrow morning I am giving a keynote to the managers of a national shopping center group about the power of social media in retail, focused on fashion.

Here are the slides for my keynote. As always, the slides are not intended to stand alone, but to provide visual support for my presentation.

The presentation covers three domains:
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List of the top 100 Twitter cities in the world


While Twitter started in the US, it is now a global activity. Below, courtesy of Twitter Grader’s Top Cities, is the list of the current top 100 cities in the world on Twitter, based on the total number of users who put that city in their location setting.

We have color-coded it to make it easier to see the distribution:
North America: 52 (of which 5 in Canada)
Europe: 20 (of which 9 in UK)
Asia: 16
Latin America: 7
Oceania: 5

See below for the full list. How does your city rank? Is it higher or lower than you would expect?
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6 critical issues: Why the super injunction story represents a major social turning point


Much ink and many pixels had already been shed on Britain’s super injunction laws before the last week, but the Ryan Giggs case has pushed this into the stratosphere.

In case you’ve been hiding in a closet, Manchester United star Ryan Giggs was awarded a “super injunction” from British courts, forbidding the press to report that he was alleged to have had an affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas, or even that they had been forbidden to report on it. Some 75,000 tweets and 1 use of parliamentary privilege later, everyone knows anyway.

This is one of those seemingly small incidents on which major social turning points hinge. So many fundamental issues of society, media, and our future are tied into this that it is difficult to disentangle. Here are a few compact thoughts and critical issues on what is at the heart of this extraordinary situation.

– The current super injunction law was created to respond to excesses of the press
The British tabloids have a tradition as world-leaders in muck-racking and invasion of privacy. Their excesses led to what were probably at the time reasonable laws to limit negative social impact from their activities. However the media landscape of today is barely recognizable from when these laws were enacted in 1990.
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Keynote slides: Building Success in a Connected World


Tomorrow morning I give the breakfast keynote at Think Business 2011, making it my third keynote this week.

For those attending the breakfast, here are my slides, which go through and flesh out our recent Success in a Connected World framework and also touch on related issues such as personal branding. The usual disclaimers apply: these slides are designed to accompany my presentation and not to stand alone. However you may still find them useful!