twitter + @sbs = Australia’s answer to Interactive TV

Interactive TV.  All the big names are pushing it.  Internet access, social media, movies on demand, all through your TV remote  😦 .  With NBN around the corner, (think multiyear, really big corner) a lot of the “interactive” and “on demand” stuff has yet to see its full potential.  Interactive TV for the most part (in Australia), is Internotveryactive, and let’s face it, free to air TV is boring, doesn’t have enough shows, channels, and is behind most current series.

Enter SBS and Twitter.  From the television station that, in the 90’s, gave you the most Free to Air boobies and the odd unshaven full frontal, (both sexes unfortunately) came this unusual mash up of social media and television.  Go Back To Where You Came From, was a short TV series aired a couple of months ago that followed 6 Australians as they saw first-hand, the plight of refugees trying to gain entry into Australia, always a hot topic.  SBS cleverly marketed this series, always plugging the hashtag #gobacksbs.

I came into this show on the last episode and not having an emotional attachment to any of the characters.  I sat down, started up Tweetdeck, switched the TV over, and waited for it to start.  Introduction, some music, some stills, a recap from the previous episodes, nothing.  I went to make coffee.

And then, it started.  The unmistakable sound of Tweetdeck when a tweet is posted BEEP.  Then, BEEP BEEP.  Then all of a sudden, BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.  It was like a pokie machine in the family room.  My Tweetdeck column went beserk.  It was updating so quickly that trying to read a single tweet before it disappeared was almost impossible.  And nothing was taboo.  From what a person was wearing, to how their hair looked, to what a particular person wanted to do to the host in bed.  It was insanity.  Swear words, calling out politicians, calling out other tweeters, it was on for young and old.  I found I was looking more at the tweets being posted than on the TV show itself (which I was grateful for as the TV show was average at best).  An hour of this intense, watching, reading, posting and watching left me exhausted at the end.  I felt a little better from participating in it, and it no doubt would’ve been a boom hit at the water cooler the next day.

And it was boom hit online too.  Trending number 1 worldwide.  An excellent bit of marketing and PR from SBS.  Whether other networks get into the swing, I don’t know.  In my opinion Twitter, overshadowed the TV show, and I found I recalled more about the interesting Tweets than anything that was shown.  Then I remember an earlier blog I posted  Twitter that evening, was Flinders Street Train Station 5:30pm on a raining Friday night in winter.  It was manic.

And I’m still trying to understand Twitter.  And similarly, I think a lot of people won’t get Interactive TV either.  In a world where one device is trying to be another, the TV should always be, “just a TV”.  Sure, plug a gaming console to it, plug your laptop to it, or plug your computer to it.  But watching YouTube and chatting to your friends from it?  Gimme a break, that’s what my HTPC is for.  I actually own an Interactive TV.  I interact with it by turning it on, and turning it off.

dEx         –              gossip ink. social media



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