Getting Users Excited About Web TV
August 20, 2008 10:00 AM
I’m writing today’s post from Nassau, Bahamas, where I’ve been grounded due to Tropical Storm Fay hitting Florida. I’m confused about what to expect. Is the airport going to close in Miami? Where is the storm going? And more importantly, should I expect to be able to get home? I’ve been tapping televised and Internet media to try to figure things out.
Nearly every Web page I hit in my efforts offered a video clip in addition to an article. Every time, I skipped the video and went straight to the text.
It got me thinking: I almost never watch video online. I’m the right demographic, Internet-savvy, etc. I tend to be an early adopter—I ditched MySpace for Facebook long ago, and have since left both for Twitter. As a digital consultant and blogger/journalist, I spend nearly half my working hours online.
So why is it, then, that I ignore most Internet video?
There’s nothing interesting on. I don’t care for current webisodes. Truthfully, no series has really piqued my interest. The short news clips on CNN.com catch my attention, but somehow they never seem to load. After an attempt or two, I move on.
The idea of sitting in front of my laptop, let alone my handheld, watching “television” doesn’t appeal to me at all. I know that in the future, traditional televisions will pipe in Web TV shows, but that’s far off at the moment. Unlike the iPhone, my BlackBerry isn’t ideal for watching shows. Also, content is hard to find. The Web is very fragmented and disorganized at the moment.
So how could a network or producer sway me to watch their online stuff?
Create what appeals: Nothing in traditional television gets a green light if it doesn’t fit what development executives believe the audience wants. The same should go for Internet TV content.
Expand the viewpoint: Why is most online content webisodic? Why so much comedy? Most importantly, why isn’t anybody trying anything else? If I were creating shows, it’d be much different than what’s seen now.
Stop “freeing” it: The Internet is vast enough without users having to figure out who is hosting your content. Rather than giving us video “where we want it,” focus on how to drive us to you. It’ll make things so much easier for all.