Social Media Column: Twitter plays huge role in television viewing

Published in the September 25, 2012 issue of The Edmonton Sun.

Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.

Twitter plays huge role in television viewing

Times are changing and nowadays, most people are on their phones, tablets, laptops, or computers while they’re watching TV.

Producers are creating web-exclusive content, networks are pushing viewers to tweet while they watch their shows, and digital and social media has never been more important in that industry.

“With the success of YouTube, Vimeo, web series, video on demand, smartphones, apps, Netflix, all the things that are happening right now, it’s where it’s at,” says the Edmonton International Film Festival’s Art Proctor.

“Anyone that’s in film and TV right now who are not using social media, digital media or web-based stuff is literally a dinosaur.”

Proctor (@ajproc) is behind Edmonton’s first Digital Media Mini Summit, taking place at NAIT on Friday.

The summit is a one-day event coinciding with the first day of the Edmonton International Film Festival and will feature a number of sessions designed to help students and those already in the film industry — get a better understanding of how digital and social media is being used in the industry today.

Speakers include local professionals as well as experts from the U.S. including Mike Proulx, co-author of a book called ‘Social TV,’ and host of a bi-weekly web series about TV and social trends.

Proulx (@McProulx) will be virtually attending the summit (fitting, as it is a digital media event), and will be talking about social television and how TV is converging on multiple platforms.

“You have to think across screens. It’s not just thinking of about programming for the TV set. People are accessing content across multiple devices and hence across multiple screens,” Proulx tells me over the phone from Boston.

Industry leaders are producing web-exclusive content, social media campaigns to complement their products, and more video or bonus material for the web to keep people interested in between episodes.

Twitter has never played a more important role in TV these days — and the amount of people engaging on social networks while they’re watching shows has never been higher (I lump myself in that group).

You’d be hard-pressed to find a reality show these days that doesn’t include a Twitter hashtag to encourage viewers to discuss what they’re viewing online.

“Actually including content in real-time or being able to affect in that same episode which is what Big Brother is doing – it’s huge. There’s this intrigue for people to want to participate above and beyond,” Proulx says.

And it’s those concepts that people entering or already in the business need to embrace.

“If you do not do this – you will not succeed,” Proctor says.

You can get tickets for the Digital Media Mini Summit at the door or online.

Follow @EIFF_DMMS or @edmfilmfest for more information.

Some Tweets of the Week

@iambic_court: Not that I’m an expert, but I have never sat in a more comfortable airport chair than in the new #FLYEIA #yeg expansion. Thanks!

@TrevorBoller: I finally went to Terwillegar Dog Park. Not bad, not bad. #YEG

@mommalikes: Oh, I just love listening to construction on the Henday on MY morning to sleep in. #yeg

@RorschachDesign: I love fall. When the leaves turn the tree-lined streets are incredibly beautiful. #yeg

@DebraWard: First Belgravia Books now Greenwoods indie bookstores are a dying breed in #yeg – ppl shop local, it matters! Only @AudreysBooks left.

Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!

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