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Saving live tv


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Saving live tv

  1. 1. ‘Saving Live TV’?Watching television with Twitter<br />Ruth A. Deller, Sheffield Hallam University, UK<br />, @ruthdeller @RadShef<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Twitter as ‘second screen’ for talking TV <br />The importance of being ‘live’<br />Not really about fandom!<br />What is Twitter?<br />140 character remarks<br />‘Following’<br />#hashtags: labels for following topics<br />Trending topics: Top ten<br />@mentions: references to other accounts<br />RTs/retweets: recirculated messages / ‘quotes’<br />
  3. 3. Introduction<br />From ‘micro-blogging’ to ‘real-time’; from ‘what are you doing?’ to ‘what’s happening?’<br />Media and Twitter ‘integration’<br />Use of Twitter by media organisations, professionals and ‘celebrities’<br />Twitter’s raised profile due to ‘newsworthiness’ (Deller 2011)<br />
  4. 4. Tweeting along<br />
  5. 5. ‘Liveness’<br />‘Liveness– that is, live transmission – guarantees a potential connection to our shared social realities as they are happening…'Liveness' naturalises the idea that, through the media, we achieve a shared attention to the realities that matter for us as a society. This is the idea of the media as social frame, the myth of the mediated centre. It is because of this underlying idea (suggesting society as a common space focused around a ‘shared’ ritual centre) that watching something ‘live’ makes the difference it does: otherwise why should we care that others are watching the same image as us, and (more or less) when we are?’ (Couldry, 2003: 97-99)<br />
  6. 6. ‘Liveness’<br />‘Maximum Liveness’= 'we are watching at the same time as the event, at the same time as everyone else, and, what is more, with an event taking place in different locations connected by television, as is typically the case with major media events' (Bourdon 2000: 534-535).<br />Peak traffic around ‘events’ (news, sport, reality finals, telethons etc)<br />
  7. 7. ‘Liveness’<br />‘The invention of real-time social networking sites (this means Twitter) has added a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of Big Brother... now you can hold a conversation with anyone you want while it’s on and enjoy real-time tweeted commentary from celebs, pundits and randoms. Or, indeed, be one such commentator’. (Longridge 2010: 146).<br />
  8. 8. A sense of presence<br />Twitter ‘exaggerates “presentism”… a continued imagined consciousness of a shared temporal dimension’ (Gruzd, Wellman and Takhteyev, forthcoming:9). <br />‘Too tired for Newswipe. Have to iPlayer it. Off to bed with a hot water bottle’.<br />‘Band practice means late home. Going to miss the start of #TBOC’<br />
  9. 9. What’s the appeal?<br />
  10. 10. What kinds of programmes?<br />Everything!<br />Not always the obvious ‘trend’<br />Smaller channels<br />News and sport big hitters<br />Factual genres<br />Media ‘events’<br />
  11. 11. What kinds of programmes?<br />
  12. 12. ‘Here it is and here we are’<br /><ul><li>‘Ok folks...what are we watching tonight?? If you provide a solid argument, I could be persuaded to DVR ‘LOST’ & watch it later...’
  13. 13. ‘#tboc or #glee?’</li></li></ul><li>What does TV talk look like?<br />Commentary<br />Opinion<br />Speculation<br />Quiz answers<br />Routine/personal info<br />Personal connection with content<br />Interaction with producers, celebrities etc<br />Speculation on what America etc thinks<br />Links to related material<br />Role of celebrities in audience<br />‘Fan’ talk<br />
  14. 14. ‘Perils’ of liveness<br />Spoilers<br />Which channel to watch<br />Regulating hashtags (is it #strictly #scd #bbcstrictly or #strictlycomedancing ?)<br />Global confusion (e.g. Big Brother, Masterchef)<br />
  15. 15. Conclusion<br />Twitter as ‘second screen’ viewing<br />Enhanced ‘liveness’ and ‘presence’<br />Performing as a ‘commentator’<br />Role of ‘industry’<br />Style of ‘official’ accounts: humour/formal<br />RTs and recirculation via ‘official’ accounts<br />Connection to other media/individual accounts<br />‘Official’ hashtags<br />New modes of interaction or simply the new ‘phone-in’?<br />
  16. 16. References<br />Bourdon, Jérôme(2000), 'Live television is still alive: on television as an unfulfilled promise', Media, Culture and Society, 22 (5): 531-556<br />Couldry, Nick (2004), ‘Liveness, “Reality”, and the Mediated Habitus from Television to the Mobile Phone’, The Communication Review, 7: 353-361.<br />Deller, Ruth (2011), ‘Twittering on: audience research and participation using Twitter’, Participations, 8 (1),<br />Digital Clarity (2011), ‘Under 25s swap remote controls for iPhones as ‘Social TV’ trend takes over’, Digital Clarity<br />Goldman, David (2011), ‘Twitter CEO: We’re saving live TV’,, URL: [visited 28/03/2011]<br />
  17. 17. References<br />Gruzd, Anatoliy, Wellman, Barry and Takhteyev, Yuri (forthcoming), ‘Imagining Twitter as an Imagined Community’, to appear in the American Behavioral Scientist.<br />Jenkins, Henry (2009), ‘The message of Twitter: “Here is is” and “Here I am”, Confessions of an Aca-Fan,<br />Mapping Online Publics,<br />Wakefield, Jane (2011), ‘Tweeting with the telly on’ BBC News, 23 March,<br />