Friday, October 13, 2006

True Interactive TV

My previous posts have underscored how uniquely impactful video is and can be for communications and social networking/community -- adding the previously missing "human" or personal element into online interactions (and making the online experience more "active" overall).

Yet another compelling -- but wholly different -- use of live video via web cams is now happening over at MTV. Specifically, MTV's "Total Request Live" (TRL) show is using video and web cams to democratize its show, enabling viewers from around the country to be a part of the action and interact directly ... and live ... with the host, with musical artists, and with the audience.

When you think about it, this is quite revolutionary.

Now, a TRL fan in Minnesota gets his or her shot to be part of the action with one of the most compelling shows for young people on TV. MTV, in effect, has broken down the walls that previously have separated the broadcaster from its audience and has transformed a previously passive experience into an extremely active and interactive one.

This is both fun ... and smart. It is great for viewers -- they get their chance to truly immerse themselves in the experience and interact directly with folks who previously were off limits. And, it is great for MTV -- viewers will be even more hooked to TRL and will watch more and more of it as they seek to have their chance to participate and interact on the air ... and then tell THEIR friends about it!

MTV, once again, is trail-blazing here, and I will bet that other shows will follow its lead.