For me, the digital revolution that has been raging on for quite some years makes perfect sense. I don’t look back at another era of media usage, but I can imagine others do. All those weird Web 2.0 services that fulfill needs people couldn’t think of having ten years ago can make you nostalgic. Right?
I think BBC editor Darren Waters agrees with me. In his dot.life column of May 25, he looks back at those good ol’ water cooler moments. Colleagues used to chit chat about last night’s television show, as they had all watched the same one. But all the new technologies like video-on-demand, DVD boxes, torrents, and YouTube killed that precious daily ritual. Everybody is watching something different.
Yet Waters has now found a new way to discuss the highlights and low points of modern television: Twitter! The microblogging service honors the water cooler as the perfect metaphor. When Waters watched the Eurovision Song Contest a few days ago, he didn’t just turn the tube on. He also browsed to Tweetscan and Summize (Not Summarize, Mr. Waters) to see what others were saying. It’s like putting the TV next to the water cooler. Moreover, people posted links to background stories, which makes watching television and Twitter at the same time “informed viewing”, and that, my dear readers, is “exciting”.
Interesting conclusion by Waters. But it wasn’t the only thing about his article that struck me. Waters is twittering with people not because they’re acquaintances, no, because they’re watching the very same show. Is Twitter moving towards some sort of revamped and improved chat box?