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Tech Blog – CBS Tweet Week April 12, 2011

Posted by acusumano in : Assignments , trackback

As I mentioned in a previous post, “Survivor” host Jeff Probst recently began to tweet along with the show. As a hardcore fan, I appreciate the gesture but remain unsatisfied with the lack of real details Probst provides. However, that didn’t stop CBS from declaring last week “Tweet Week” and enlisting more of its stars to take to the social networking site.

Jeff Probst, © CBS

The stunt is obviously designed to get viewers to tune in during the live broadcast (i.e. when the commercials air) rather than just DVRing their favorite shows. The ratings don’t indicate that it accomplished that goal, but CBS should still be commended for utilizing new technology to its advantage. (Besides, “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan’s tweets were much more informative than Probst’s.)

The real question though is how networks can utilize other social media tools to engage fans. Twitter is neat, but let’s face it–most of these celebrities were already tweeting; they just didn’t happen to be doing so during the half-hour or hour time slot alloted to their show (and even that might not be the case for everyone). The major network websites are a mixed bag of Flash monstrosities and meager message boards. While the descent may not be as rapid, TV, like newspapers, is competing for an audience against many other forms of news and entertainment. Television websites need to follow newspaper sites’ leads by incorporating more social media.

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