Monday, March 30, 2015


After reading through the links posted up about Twitter and TV please write some thoughts about this phenomenon, especially in relation to our Throughline question:

"How has the relationship between artist and audience evolved due to technology?"

Remember that your blog posts should help to reflect that you've thoroughly explored the content on our Haiku page, which means you should include specific examples along with any thoughts or opinions you have. You may also devote some time to exploring examples you've come across (or been a part of) on your own. Including links or media as appropriate is not required, but a good idea. Post is due Monday, April 6th BEFORE CLASS BEGINS.

If the internet is your audience, TV is quite like a play...Movies are a done deal- there's no give and take-  but in a play you listen to the applause, the missing laughs, the boos. It's the same with the internet. If you ignore that sort of a response, you probably shouldn't be working in TV right now.            - J.J. Abrams 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

SPRING BREAK EXTRA CREDIT - Participatory Culture

Participate in something online (I don’t mean post on your Facebook) – experience must be documented and written about it on your blog. This participation should be PARTICIPATION - meaning you are actually engaging with other users (not playing a game solo).

Possible examples:

Live Tweet a TV showParticipate in a 2 screen experience (TV and online)Engage with an artist you don’t know through social mediaParticipate in some other kind of event/group that is new to you

I decided to try this myself - by participating in the Story Sync online while watching the season finale of The Walking Dead. Check out my experience (though - WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT).

At the start I learned that as I answered questions it would calculate who I was most like as a character...ooooooooo.

A lot of the questions were polls - this one (below) was asking who we thought would have the highest "walker" kill count. I chose Daryl, of course. The music composer of the show Bear McCreary chose Rick. Guess he was the "celebrity participant." A lot of what is appealing to fans about live participation during the show is the interaction with the artists involved in the show. 

This is apparent especially on The Talking Dead - which is a live broadcast show (live for Eastern time only). On this show they had fans skyping in with questions directly with three of the cast members, as well as were taking questions from Twitter, and they had live polls happening in real time. Interesting to check out their rules for "submitting" (ie participating). 

Sometimes the quizzes were for things that happened in last week's episode. Look - I got this one correct (above)! Though, I mean, four leaf clovers are not really real anyway, even in a world with zombies. So it wasn't a very tough quiz.

Sometime the slides were other materials that connects to the scene that is happening - the one above is from the graphic novel series that the show is based upon. These could sometimes be distracting, but they avoid using too much text and they are paced out sparingly. There was a counter at the bottom of the screen (during the real time) that counted down to when the next slide would pop up. And you could always move backwards to see earlier slides. This helped when I had to pause the show for a bit to take the dogs out (thank goodness, still, for DVRs!). 

Here was another question for us to decide based on the plot of what was happening:

I was with Daryl - they should keep looking for poncho man. But they didn't, they checked out the food trucks like Aaron wanted. Not to spoil too much, but later Aaron admits they should have followed poncho man. WWDD - words to live by.

There were several of these gore gauges. I was never on the same page as Bear McCreary. Personally I think having to slam the car door on the zombie head three or four times in order to crush it and get the door closed is major carnage. He thought it was only guts galore. 

But everyone agreed that Carol is a Badass. Even Melissa McBride who plays Carol and was on The Talking Dead that night. This is one big reason why I love TV - seeing her character transform soooo much over the last five seasons (even though sometimes I think she may have changed for the worse).

Here we are at the end (trying not to spoil too much): 

And I was right - Daryl had the most walker kills! Again, WWDD. Oh yeah, kill a zombie!

And my answers show that I am most like Michonne, who is also a badass. I am pretty good with that one. 

I'm not sure I would want to watch every episode this way, I did get distracted and to be honest I sometimes get so tense during this show I have to take a break and pause it, (though I also like waiting a few weeks and watching several episodes at once...if I can take it). But it was interesting and it's obvious that they work hard to think about ways to make their audiences feel like they are participating in the experience across platforms. The Walking Dead has often been high on the most tweeted ratings, according to Nielsens. 

As you can see - in yesterday's top five it was second. Many times it is first, but there was an awards show yesterday as well. But The Walking Dead is a great example of a TV show that shares the philosophy that JJ Abrams states in the quote I shared. Interestingly they also do a lot of face to face interaction with their fans and are huge on the Comic Book Convention circuit, and have had contests where viewers can win zombie cameos in an actual episode. Don't you think I should win?