Is it me or have some media executives taken too many “eager” pills when it comes to trying to herd audiences from one medium to the next? Or maybe they’re just gung-ho and throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Heck, aren’t we all doing that a bit? But one television network in particular (if I could remember which one, I would tell you) is teetering on the edge of multimedia lunacy. After every show, there is some on-screen teaser (visual and voice) saying, “Visit our Web site now to register your opinions on this week’s episode,” or “to see 30 seconds of bonus footage,” or “to see a trailer for next week’s episode” or whatever else they can come up with.
Maybe the rest of the American public has far more time on their hands than I do, but to me, these attempts just make me think, “Who’s the person coming up with this stuff?” I understand Web 2.0 and the development of audience communities, but is this really fodder for developing a community?
Yes, it probably is.
And then I think, “You know what? Wouldn’t it just be the way of the world if these tactics actually work?” Today’s world is a different place than many of us think we live in. And while I would never run to my computer to type in my thoughts on a TV show, it’s very likely others will.
More than a year ago, a study by Ball State University researchers showed that Americans spent more time using media, such as TV and the Internet, than they do sleeping! I would imagine that in the past year, those results would have only become more extreme. So, while I might rather head up to bed after my favorite TV show, it’s likely that other non-sleep-deprived watchers would rather head online to chat with strangers about their shared interest in a television show. I’m not putting them down; my point is that people’s priorities are different—and as a media provider, you never know what your audiences are going to latch on to.