Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I've been avoiding my blog...or have I just been tweeting?

I knew it was a while since I posted, but really, since March is kind of embarrassing.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about it, and also reflecting on the use of micro-blogging and communally watching television via Twitter.

For those in Australia, this has been particularly evident in Masterchef. This show was a creeper for me. I watched some of the earlier episodes, and then maybe twice a week, then all of a sudden, I couldn't stop. Then I discovered that others were likewise addicted to watching - and sharing their experiences via Twitter. The show finished last Sunday, and the conversation continues.

I find fascinating this expression of getting together and in actuality, talking (and sometimes yelling) at the TV together. I joined in myself - and quickly found that I had to manage my twittering to be only in ad breaks, so I could concentrate on the show itself.

People tweeted about their favourite (and non-favourite) contestants, what they cooked on the show, shared photos of their own food creations, kept others up-to-date about progress and just generally revelled in the shared experience of what good food (and a competition around it) means to us.

So to what end, and what function? Well, community around shared experience springs to mind. Also, similar to conference/event tweeting, I found the updates very useful one night of the finals when I couldn't watch the show. I did get a sense of the atmosphere, activity and progress through the collective thoughts of a diverse group of people. And it was fun.

It's interesting to note too the spread of Twitter - more and more it's a mainstream activity - every day I see another established organisation promoting their Twitter handle and see increased use of it in general. And particularly for television shows. It's a great 'low barriers to entry' conversational tool.

For me, it's taken the place in many cases over my blogging....hence the long hiatus here!