Greg Gannicott’s Blog


Sharing what you watch on TV

Posted in Technology by Greg Gannicott on November 15, 2008
Tags: , , , , , ,

The last couple years has seen the way my brain thinks about things slightly differently. This has been down to two reasons:

  1. The iPod
  2. Google Reader & Friendfeed

The difference is, I now want to rate and share everything.

With the iPod I find that when I’m listening to a track my brain now naturally comes up with a rating (which I then apply via the iPod). This extends beyond the iPod though and happens when I’m listening to the radio. Of course, my brain soon clocks on to the fact that I can’t rate it and moves on.

Google Reader and Friendfeed has caused my brain to naturally want to share things. In Google Reader, I find that if I enjoy an article, I click the Share button and it then appears on my Friendfeed stream. It doesn’t really matter if anyone actually reads it or not. The cost to share is so minimal (one click) that there’s no reason for me not to do it. To an extent its my way of showing my appreciation for the work.

As with the ratings, the need to share items also goes beyond Google Reader.

I read a good letter sent into Teletext and I want to (but cant) share it. Or – and this is kind of the point of this post – I’m watching something good on TV and I want to share that.

It happened the other night. I was watching a Neil Young performance and thought “Jesus this is amazing! Must share so other people know about it and can enjoy it.”. Of course, the option wasn’t there (apart from a few choice text messages). But I really hope that’s where we’re heading in the future.

In an ideal world, the following would have been possible when watching that Neil Young performance:

I’m watching the Neil Young performance and think “Jesus this is amazing!”. I hit the share button on the remote and the following occurs…

It first of all prompts me to ask which group of friends I’d like to notify. I have a group setup for those who I consider to have a similar taste for music as me. I choose it.

My brother is watching the TV and a little icon appears in the corner of his screen. Its to highlight the fact someone in his social graph (haven’t heard that term in a little while – it was all the rage a year ago) has shared something. He presses the ‘view shared items’ button on his remote (or something to that affect) and it points out I’ve shared the Neil Young show.

With this being the future and all, we’re watching video on demand rather than Sky. So he can either tune in from the start right there and then, or perhaps flag it as one to watch/stream later – maybe after he’s finished what he’s watching.

A friend, Mark, is visiting family in Cardiff. His mobile chirps and he checks it. A tweet has just come through on Google Talk stating that one of his friends has shared a tv show. He clicks the link which offers him the chance to flag it up for viewing later. He’s not a big Neil Young fan so he passes on it.

A few days later, Dan (another friend) is browsing his Google Reader feeds and notices I’ve shared this show. He clicks the link and starts viewing. He likes what he hears and in turn shares it by clicking his Google Reader share button. As he’s a Friendfeed user this shows up in his Friendfeed stream. And from there? All sorts of folks pay attention, share and discuss it. I see it on my Friendfeed and join the discussion.

I don’t think my brain will be happy until I can share everything I enjoy. The infrastructure is starting to take shape in the form of Google Reader, Friendfeed, Twitter, BBC iPlayer etc, we just need everyone to tap into it.

I’ll save the ‘rating’ part for another day.

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One Response to 'Sharing what you watch on TV'

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  1. Dan Lawrence said,

    So very very true Greg. I’m definately in the same area of wanting to rate music thats not necessarily playing from my iPod. Did it in the car on the way home from work this evening!

    Interesting thoughts about the media sharing aswell. I see this post is a fair few months old now so you hadn’t discovered Boxee by this point?


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