Ever caught yourself watching the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica shouting “What the frak?!”. What about the shock when the two characters flirting all season finally get together in Grey’s? Now there’s a to share these emotions with your social network instead of just your television. And it uses Twitter.
Enter Yell at the TV (@theTV). Not your typical social site, Yell @theTV supports spontaneous bursts and exclamations concerning your favorite show. No fancy subscriptions, hardware, or technical support needed, @theTV uses our neighborhood Twitter service to capture your shouts. For those of you without a Twitter account, you can still follow the exploits of tv viewers, though I highly suggest you sign up and join the conversation.
The method is simple, tweet starts with @theTV, #tv show name, and then your shout.
It is no mistake the developer launched this application minutes before this season’s premiere of LOST. An interesting view of what people are watching, the developer has made it clear he plans to provide options to vote for popular shows, sort by episode or show title, and add more features. Even without these added features, the application proves to be a great way to see who else is watching your shows and if anyone else is angry at the show jumping the shark.
In its limited scope, @theTV offers a unique social interaction. Where Facebook and instant messenger limit us to semi-synchronous communication with people we are at least familiar with, @theTV allows us to share interests with complete strangers from the safety of our home. It’s odd at first but something I have fully embraced. Looking beyond the rants of telivision viewers, I can see Yell@thetv expanding to corporate blogs, political campaigns and more. CNN asked its viewers to send in pictures of President Obama’s innaguration to make a photo collage of the moment. Now imagine being able to tweet @innaguration for the same, if not more personal piece of history. If corporations had such a feed, then individuals could tweet: @Apple, when will the iPhone battery last longer. Not only will this offer an interesting point of view for the company but it allows the consumer to vent, review other thoughts, and network. Just think about how many people you follow on Twitter based on your friends networks and how much it could grow from social interactions such as these.
In its early stages @theTV has gained a small but true following. Scale is everything and as the community grows, it will be interesting to see how the site expands to match different genres, shouts, and so on. Similarly, it will be interesting to see what else the developer does with this concept and how others take this idea and expand on it.