MIT Tech Review has published its 2010 list of ten technologies that will change the world, and one of them is social television. Wonder why now; I first posted on the subject five years ago, and the research goes a lot further back. It seemed like a pretty cool idea back at the time -- imagine connecting with those other wonderful people watching The Steve Wilkos Show! -- but the more I keep thinking about it, the more it seems like a solution in search of a problem. Besides, with a combination of Twitter on a smartphone, hashtags and a TV, this isn't even the only solution.
That TV remote on the picture above looks pretty much like a new Dell smartphone with Twitter on it.
Anyway, the article highlights work by a Media Lab's research group: "Marie-José Montpetit, an invited scientist at MIT's Research Lab for Electronics, has been working for several years on social TV--a way to seamlessly combine the social networks that are boosting TV ratings with the more passive experience of traditional TV viewing. Her goal is to make watching television something that viewers in different places can share and discuss--and to make it easier to find something to watch."
A few years ago, John Batelle had a pretty cool idea of using online conversations around TV programs to rank shows in importance, the idea that has later materialized as Twielsen.
Sometimes, it feels like the TR suffers from the availability bias: two other technologies on the list are real-time search and 3D (mobile) displays.
Last year, they put Siri on the list, the same company Apple just bought.