Impetus for Social (media) Evolution

I like web apps, and phone apps, and desktop widgets. Really, I do.

For example, I like Facebook. It has provided me a way to stay in touch, or at least know I can, with friends from my childhood. And I like that. It also gives me a way to express my thoughts to a relatively large group of people with a slight chance of garnering at least a few responses to my status update.

But it hit me the other day, that as soon as I had a PURPOSE for Facebook, the application proved inept. I distributed a link through my status update and wanted to know how many of my friends viewed it, so that I might determine who was generally interested in the topic I was discussing. Or, I wanted to embed a basic survey in my status update, not using a separate app, but directly in my status update, to maximize the response rate. Why? Because the conversation I was starting was political, and I wanted to gauge interest level in the subject matter and measure support for my viewpoint. Facebook does not contain features for promoting conversation or generating data from our status updates. Not everyone wants this, but as I was trying to be political and proactive, I did want it at that time.

So, the complaint is…we have apps and they enable us to do basic things like express ourselves publicly to our friends, but they don’t enable us to generate value, build empires, or create careers.

They just let us share and chat. The managers and developers at Facebook have demonstrated themselves to be generalists.

And so the comment is this: what is the future of TV apps? The TV is engaging. My favorite shows have been known to get me riled up. They identify me. They cause me to have opinions and reactions that can connect me to others or separate me from them, and both are desirable. I want to feel unique in my TV interests, and I want that to bring me closer to people who are similar. Will TV apps only let me consume? Or will they enable me to immerse myself in an experience derived from my entertainment preferences?

Will I be able to view ratings, or also rate programs? Will I be able to search for programs, or also search for people who like the same programs and communicate with them through my TV? Will TV apps create the next generation of TV producers? We who are developing the first apps for TV can see and taste the potential of this amazing venue for consumption and interaction. But we code for our clients. It is up to them to envision a more meaningful interaction that will leverage THEIR content. Will we as users be satiated?

Cheers, Ariel