The opposite use of Facebook

I’m now on the other side of media. After spending so many years working in PBS and in publicmedia I just began a new gig in commercial television. Consolidation, concentration and economies of scale are what has and is going on. I guess the thought is that with overall viewership down, combining operations to reduce inefficiencies and cross promote programs through other outlets (transmedia) the cost per viewer will be acceptable. Social technologies are used on the commercial and non-commercial sides to support “audience engagement” or promote “the conversation” and to harvest sources. In one instance, Facebook “Likes” and Twitter “Follows” further qualify traditional ratings. In another, to drive clicks to web properties.  To what end?  Beats me – could the rationale be to keep increasing the pennies generated by “other media”?

All this “why” aside, broadcasters are driving viewers to their Facebook pages and twitter streams. That’s the goal. Up the likes. Up the followers. Pour the bread in to the webpage and hope for a better tomorrow. I kinda understand this and have learned a good many techniques and underlying principles to help reach this goal. The idea is that development on the net will pay off eventually and benefit core viewers the most for now and the brand later. But here is a different objective. Use this stuff to increase the ratings. To drive more viewers to the show. Huh? Right?

OK. Let’s give it a shot. Why tune in? How to make appointment TV more relevant? It’s asking a lot these days to have a viewer stop what they’re doing – and tune in to your show at a specific time. This is further complicated when the show isn’t live. Two thoughts here. “Hey friends, look at me, I’m on TV!”, but you have to watch at a specific time and day because it’s fleeting and has little value beyond now. And two; host a conversation during the airing to gossip with me about it! This plus a less throw back goal, let’s build a network of sources and develop a citizen corps.