Cooking, dancing and live tweeting

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Last night, like a million other Australians, I tucked into Masterchef (1.611 million viewers) and washed it down with the finale of So You Think You Can Dance (1.041 million).

These TV shows would have traditionally flown under my radar had it not been for the crazy amount of live tweeting surrounding them.

Live tweeting provides an instant community for you to engage with during your favourite TV show. And it certainly provides a reprieve from the repetitive advertisements for Coles during Masterchef. While advertisers may not be over the moon about this latest distraction, it’s important they pay attention. And it’s not all bad news, while I may not be watching the advertisements, I’m certainly hearing about them … the compliments and the complaints!

I am a huge fan of live tweeting about TV shows and events. Take the Oscars for example. How does one make it through a long awards show without nodding off?? The answer is simple – watch what the Twitterverse has to say about who should win, what they’re wearing, the quality of the speeches and who was ‘robbed’! Now I wonder if we’ll see the same live tweeting from Australians during this year’s TV Week Logie Awards? But without Susan Boyle what will we tweet about?

Back to live tweeting, I love seeing the comments of my fellow tweeting TV watchers. The proclamations of love, the rants, the jokes, the predictions, the sarcasm, and the highs and lows when a favourite contestant gets booted off. All of this compliments the TV viewing experience so well, especially as the single person household becomes more common.

Live tweeting is also becoming a larger part of social networking strategies. It’s the perfect way to build awareness of major events and also raise the profile of major sponsors. If you’re a tweeter, who hasn’t followed the tweets from a major event such as a launch or conference?

But sticking with television, how do television shows, advertisers and networks capitalise on this activity?

Firstly, I’d love to see live tweets incorporated into my TV screen, than I wouldn’t have to constantly look away. Perhaps one day soon we’ll be able to opt-in to see tweets for live sports, reality shows and even panel shows like ABC’s Q & A.

Not only do they extend engagement with the show, the Twitter updates provide instant access to a pool of research. Networks get an instant reaction to what works, what doesn’t, and who viewers love or hate.

It’s like having a hundred thousand people in a test screening. Gone are the one-way mirrors and facilitators, replaced with 140 characters and a smart phone.

What do you think? What else can television networks do to capitalise on this popular trend of live tweeting?

Have a lovely long weekend,

the c word

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