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“Nothing is real until it’s on television”

Image by Wells Baum

“It’s such an American thing that nothing is real until it’s on television.”

Tom Nichols

As Charlie Brown says after looking into the dark sky: “Let’s go inside and watch television. I’m beginning to feel insignificant.”

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Social Media

Online Is the New TV

I cut the cable years ago. But now TV is more pervasive because online is TV and Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook Live are the channels.

But this new type of TV is different. It’s real, raw, and mostly unedited. For that reason, it can be more entertaining (re: distracting) than traditional TV.

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It’s no surprise that social media has overtaken traditional TV as a place where people find and consume the news.

The new TV is right in front of us on your computer screen, laptop or mobile. TV is ubiquitous, pervasive. And it’s just going to get stickier.

The newsfeed will be all video over the next 5 years. This means we’ll need to be wary of over-consumption.

Our attention is already scarce. TV is TV regardless of where the majority of people view video. Time spent watching TV can either be time-wasted or time well spent. Keep your eyeballs intact.

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Television is just another appliance. It’s a toaster with pictures.

Mark Fowler, 1981
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The Young Turks And The Future Of News On YouTube

So if you and people like Jon Klein of Tapp are right, what does the future of TV look like? Is it just a set-top box with stations I subscribe to like podcasts?

I think that’s exactly what it is. Everything will become one giant ocean of content. And the people with the best branding will win. You will have to have advantages in search, in sorting, and in branding. If you’ve built a loyal audience, you have a tremendous advantage. Right now, I’d rather be us than them.

Who needs TV when your tribe is online?

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Cord cutters.
Cord cutters.
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Ai Wewei designs Time Magazine’s new issue.
Ai Wewei designs Time Magazine’s new issue.
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Screen Hopping, The Endless Itch For Attention

The remote control and mobile phone have turned us into bored content hunters. We flip channels and websites hoping to find something that excites us.

Such rapid hopping makes another person crazy. Indecision creates frustration.

There’s simply too much choice on TV and the Web. Without a plan we scan content until we stumble upon something that grabs our attention. The final destination may be sports, music, movies, or the news.

The TV and second screen can compete for attention or be complimentary. Just last night I watched US play Brazil while keeping an eye on game sentiment on Twitter. Other times I’ll use the TV simply as background noise and the mobile or desktop screen as my primary focus.

Whether it’s one screen or two, browsing the TV or the Internet from our coach is an inescapable process. There’s too much content clutter that to our advantage/disadvantage can be viewed quickly.

Sometimes turning everything off to be happy is the only choice.

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Weekend Reader

These are the most interesting articles I read through this week.

http://readlists.com/611e9b1c/embed

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Eugene Polley, Wireless Remote Inventor

Eugene Polley enabled us to watch TV from the couch and bed, flipping channels, muting sound and turning the TV off with a push of a button.

What’s most interesting about his invention is that It was promoted as an ad canceling device.

You can even shut off annoying commercials while the picture remains on the screen. (link)

Today, we set the DVR using the remote control to skip through ads.

The remote is powerful because it gives people the ability to customize their TV viewing experience without interruption. As I wrote yesterday, right now we’re still seeing a manually operated social world.

While the iPhone remote is naturally in our hands it makes it even more difficult to silence the noise. Status posts can be just as annoying to the experience as irrelevant commercials.

Instead of editing, how about one button that turns all social channels off so we don’t get bombarded by push notifications, nor will we have tendency to check our feeds.

We need a wireless social remote like we did the TV remote where all broadcasts can silenced with a touch of a button.

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Facebook Fortitude

Word on the street says that mobile threatens Facebook’s future. The mobile screen is way smaller and difficult to insert ads without disrupting the whole user experience.

The Facebook app is janky as it stands with bugs and slow response. That needs to get fixed first. One thing that Instagram taught all app developers is that speed is key to growth. No one wants to wait to see content. Instagram starts uploading user images even before the filter gets selected.

But have no fear, Facebook will figure it out. Zuckerberg feels the heat and is fiercely persistent. He’ll keep adding companies to his portfolio until he figures out how to create the ultimate mobile experience that keeps advertisers on board.

Every time we doubt Facebook it proves itself again. It could disappear one day like MySpace but we should remember that it still has Instagram just like Microsoft has the Xbox. It also knows more about us than our parents.

Facebook has enough manpower to come up with innovative solutions for its users and advertisers. There’s no quit.

People love to hate Facebook and use it at the same time. That part won’t change.