Although some say television has become redundant – co-editor Boris doesn’t even have a TV subscription anymore -, I do believe that television series are here to stay. Why? They fascinate people. Because of the long time spans, extra complexities and layers are added to the series – persuading us to follow six plot lines at the same time. Apparently, most people are fond of that – as new monster hits keep popping up. And you know what? It even makes us smarter – says Steven Johnson in his book Everything Bad is Good for You. London-based Paul Cleghorn has built a social media experience around these series with Tape it off the Internet (TIOTI).
UGC can be enlightening, if there is any
This social media aggregator for television allows users to browse through almost all successful TV series – each with a page containing wiki-like content, a link to a torrent, and loads of UGC. Spoofs, bloopers, alternative endings, mash-ups, and commentary from lovers and haters dominate the series’ profiles. At least, that was the idea when the service launched in October 2007. So far, there isn’t much going on.
When I’ve seen a movie that leaves me questioning “What the hell just happened?”, I browse to IMDB to see what other film freaks have to say about it. That’s always great fun – sometimes even enlightening -, and I’m glad to have found a potential similar experience for TV series. If only more users would leave their blunt comments.
The torrents might be responsible
The torrent links are a nice side-effect, making it possible to track down the episode you’ve missed. Or all of them, if you’re like me and refuse to stay at home for an episode. But I do think that the torrents are partly responsible for the lack of activity on TIOTI. Users just click through, eager to see the episode, and forget about the whole social aspect.
An aggregator after all
Although TIOTI has hardly any social activity on its site, it does link to other sources where discussion take place – like TV.com. Combined with the torrent links, YouTube clips, Flickr pictures, and official links, this makes TIOTI a good aggregator after all – handy for people who want to quickly see a show or learn more about it. But I guess Cleghorn isn’t satisfied with that. I’m sure he wants an active community. Of course he wants that, since it will give his social media aggregator for television soul.