Oct
12
2007

Television Needs Its Web 2.0 Equivalent

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The technology for televised media hasn’t changed in comparison to web development and web marketing over the past several years. I’ve been developing a few new sites and I want to explain a decision I’ve made time and time again opposed to what broadcasts on TV provide.

After seeing a commercial that was so incredibly linear in its pitch, you’re left wondering how much research goes into the words you hear from companies with enough dollars in their pockets to put it on the air. If you’re telling us your product is the best, do we really know its the best? Were there any tests done? How many people tested it? What was their result and input? And would you state these things honestly?

Commercials, TV shows, and movies don’t have things like PageRank and Alexia when they’re live on the air (though wouldn’t it be cool). When is the day going to come where I put on my favorite TV show and can see how many other people are watching? Or pull up a live listing and sort them by popularity and see public reviews by real people. Since they’re not doing this you can check out reviews online by visiting Todds Recommendations (Movie/TV/Music review blogger).

What’s wrong with most televised commercials is they provide no proof up front. They give nothing away for a presale. If I was creating a commercial for magic shop, I’d show you a card trick for free and then say come in to our stores followed by a picture or video of a crowded store. If you can integrate a clever spoof or mascot into this in a professional way I’d be sold!

A lot of web development I’ve been doing these days (content or otherwise) focuses on inner page rankings. It counts how many hits to each page there is and tracks it in a database. This allows me to do a query on the most popular pages on the site to direct visitors more efficiently. I use this data directly by providing a widget on the site. This along with other similar widgets are incredibly easy to create and enhance a visitors experience ten fold. I would argue the success of your site depends on thoughtful integrations such as this.

When you design sites and implement widgets like this it gives you an opportunity to find and profit from these popular pages as well. What I like to do is setup the logged data in the database to expire after 3-7 days. This allows the table to remain tidy without stressing your resources out on massive queries. Its also helpful if you learn how to cache results to a file and only allow it to be updated once every X hours.

Live in house stats are extremely helpful and engage users where they otherwise might not go. The most relevant and interesting content you can direct at them the bigger the impression a visitor will walk away with. Someday TV networks might start understanding this concept, but probably not before TV goes completely online in which case this will become very simple to implement. Its equally as helpful to provide a “users online” counter, or even show off an article count in a stats bar. If you cant code one yourself you can still find several free scripts online that will do this.

Since I happened to stumble upon this today I thought I’d also point out that WidgetBucks is using this concept better then I have ever seen in online advertising. They have a comparison and ranking based on things that matters to people – like pricing! Not a flimsy fact line backed by a TV media marketer. If you have a website check them out. They claim their CPC is better then $2 CPM and flat out give you $25 credit just for joining. Cant hurt to try it. What they’re doing is using the shopping.com API to create an ad widget and making a portion of the profits through anyone that signs up for them. Chitika is doing something similar with their own mashup. If you coded your own widget you’d make ALL the affiliate profits ;) .

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2 Responses to Television Needs Its Web 2.0 Equivalent

  1. wow, those were exactly my thoughts! but it is very hard to implement, may be when the television turns to internet, this will start happening!

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