What is broadcasting anyway?

After this, we probably should amend the Twitter-specific words like tweeting and retweeting with the new mistweeting: posting something on Twitter, which inadvertently turns out to be either completely stupid or wrong or worse. But on GigaomJeff John Roberts starts his reporting with Twitter is a broadcast platform like radio or TV

Not that I would disagree. To the contrary, social media timelines and newsfeeds like Twitter’s and Facebook’s are basically linear streams of media. The main difference to radio and TV is the usage pattern: instead of zapping horizontally, from one station to another, you flip vertically to access the different pieces of media.

This is it makes the whole will TV save Twitter or vice versa discussion so tedious. Facebook and Twitter are already TV. Just without the monetization.

Broadcasting, 21st century style: timelines and newsfeeds.

Broadcasting, 21st century style: timelines and newsfeeds.

For traditional broadcasters, the consequences of this statement are bit more interesting. Twitter et al. offer a very nice proof of concept how a linear discovery mechanism works with time shifted media. Discovery is

You have a flexible access window, defined

  • by your screen size: there are just so many notifications you can fit on any given screen.
  • the willingness of your viewers/users to scroll down
  • … or to wait for new things to pop up.
  • The strongest recommendation mechanism is, if one of your friends decides to share or retweet.

Now please apply this mechanism to TV, and we might get somewhere.


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