Thursday, May 17, 2012

The future of TV is more than social, it’s a multi-screen experience that needs design.

A segment of a social network
A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

he future of television is much more than social; much in the same way that the future of media is too, more than social. Social is a fabric; it connects the individual nodes that make up the human network. But, social however, is not a means to an end. And, as such, the same is true about the working theories driving Social TV. Understanding the role social plays in how viewers connect with programs and other people is essential to defining the future of television.
Over the years, I’ve written much about my vision for the long overdue convergence of not only web and TV, but also how the three screens (TV, mobile, and PC) and human relationships impact adoption and engagement between people and also between programming. So when I hear the term Social TV, I get it. I’ve certainly used it in the past. At the same time, I’ve also said however that the future of television is more than integrating Tweets or #hashtags into the programming to start a “global conversation” around the world’s largest digital water cooler.
This is a time when bringing to life what’s possible takes imagination, design, scripting, and innovation. We need to raise the bar. The future of TV won’t be driven by a social media strategy. Instead, the future of TV will be driven by innovation and a vision for more meaningful entertainment and engagement (no it won’t be called entergagement). This innovation will in turn inspire new programming, revenue opportunities and ultimately social media strategies.
The future of Social TV is not yet written nor has it been broadcast. It takes vision. It takes creativity and imagination. It takes innovation. Most importantly, it takes the architecture of experiences to engage, enchant and activate viewers across multiple screens. A hashtag is not a second or third screen experience. Right now, viewers are taking to multiple screens without any cues or direction. What it is you want them to do or say requires explicit design for each screen. Doing so will inspire more informed and creative ideas through the entire broadcast ecosystem, including the original programming on the main screen.

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