Monday, April 6, 2015

Twitter and Television: Blasphemy or a Gold Mine?

I am not one who tweets. Before I continue making my argument involving "Twitter", I must state that Twitter remains as foreign to me as the moon. 

But, after reading articles about the dispute between the growing relationship between "tweeters" and  television, I am stunned that 10-15% percent of our population uses Twitter. I am stunned to learn that the New York Times reports “Facebook and Twitter both see the social conversation around television as a way to increase use of their sites and win a bigger piece of advertisers’ spending.”(1)

This current-day art world is expanding in ways I never took the time to delve into. However, the increasing concern of Twitter's accountability for television viewers interests me the most. How well does the Twitter population account for the other 85-90% of viewers watching the screen? How much should Television and TV actors take in the Twitter feed response? 

Some, like ABC entertainment president Paul Lee, might go as far as to say that it is a "critical tool" for them "to understand how [their] audience is responding to [their] shows."(2) Actors and Television Producers alive have taken account to the responses of the Twitter world, where 140 character feedback helps fill in the cracks of a Pilot's response. Finding a response for Entertainment is important. Relying solely on one kind of response can be equally harmful to a show's outcome. Although Twitter is an incredibly diverse community, any show will have a niche of individuals (i.e. age, gender, maturity level, education, etc.) channeling their opinion into a single show/event.

Ultimately, Twitter is a fantastic example of the intertwining relationship with Technology and Art. It's absolutely amazing that we all have access to artists from, really, all over the world!
 For example, I befriended a fantastic filmmaker from Florida on a plane ride back to school; we talked for 2 hours about his production company and about art in general, and in the end, we were able to keep in contact with one another over facebook and one another's websites. The relationship between different artists and crafts is becoming closer and closer because of the internet and websites, such as Twitter.

 Just a few notes I think are important when engaging with current technology and art: 

1. Hovering over our phones to "Live-Tweet" every show misses massive opportunities to fully engage and witness the story. This activity should be taken with caution because it can be easily over-used and it can take away feeling organic moments of the show's story. Although I have never partaken in a "Live-Tweet" event, I understand that its use is to engage the viewer onto another level with the screen. Until I have partaken in a "Live-Tweet" event, I cannot contain a fully in-depth opinion on the matter. 

2. Using technology to sponsor your art is a wonderful thing. Actors who engage with their audiences, for example, are sponsoring their art in a very involving and intimate way. Discussing and debating one's art will always further your knowledge about yourself! 

3. Spending more time in the virtual Online World, rather than the Physical world isn't the best of options, because you will lose touch with the organic elements of your environment. Especially for artists (any kind, for that matter), I believe physically touching your art creates much more dynamic and interesting work. You can always delete and "Undo" on your laptop. But sometimes, the most magical work comes from a terrible mistake. SO, whenever you believe writing your next big novel on a computer is a brilliant idea, try writing on paper, or different kinds of paper. Touching your art.. conjures up emotions and stimulants in your body that cannot be conjured while typing on a laptop.

 If you are even more interested about Twitter and how it changed Television, I have attached below a wonderful video that further discusses the topic.

Till' Next Time!!! 

- Anna

1. Goel, Vindu, and Brian Stelter. "Social Networks in a Battle for the Second Screen." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Oct. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2015. 

2. Goel, Vindu, and Brian Stelter. "Social Networks in a Battle for the Second Screen." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Oct. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.

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