Posts tagged Thrones
Since HBO took the Game of Thrones books and created a fantastic show the books and the series have taken off. The show is great and the books are fantastic! I have collected some funny Game of Thrones items for fans everywhere. Oh and remember, Winter is Coming! Are you ready? Disclaimer – If you [...]
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In the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, a fairly significant supporting character dies. Even if you hadn’t seen it, simply watching the stream of tweets that flowed on Sunday night could easily have revealed this fact, like it or not.
This is the reality in which we now live. When just about any popular television show airs, there’s a social media-fueled conversation to go along with it in real-time. In some cases, the chatter can include spoilers. Either way, this is the new water cooler.
To observe the social activity that unfolds during a new episode of a show is to watch a phenomenon that is still in its early stages, even if it is growing fast.
From Check-ins to Social TV, Second-Screen Apps Catch On Slowly
We hear a lot about second-screen apps these days – that is, smartphone and tablet applications designed to supplement the TV-watching experience with some kind of related content or viewer interaction.
One category of these second-screen apps is the check-in service. Much as one checks in to the local coffee shop on Foursquare, one can now use Miso or GetGlue check in to Community or, in this case, Game of Thrones.
This past Sunday night, about 13,000 GetGlue users checked in to Game of Thrones. It’s a far cry from the season’s debut episode, which succeeded in crashing the service. It’s also a small fraction of the show’s overall viewership, but this type of service is still mostly dominated by early adopters, as GetGlue COO Fraser Kelton told us in a recent interview. Similarly, Miso saw a constant flow of new check-ins during Sunday’s episode.
In both apps, we found that the amount of user engagement after checking in was minimal. In GetGlue’s iPad app, the opportunity exists to comment on other users’ check-ins. We tried, but didn’t get a response. This is a somewhat disjointed way to have a conversation, anyway.
Likewise, the opportunity to engage with others after check-in is limited on Miso’s app, unless you push updates out to Facebook or Twitter. However, the experience offered by Miso’s iPhone app is much more engaging, thanks to the inclusion of SideShows, a feature that lets users build out a crowdsourced collection of quotes, facts and commentary about a given episode.
Twitter Is Still Where All the Action Is
As hot as these second-screen apps are becoming, it’s hard to compete with good old-fashioned Twitter. Of all the services and apps we observed Sunday night, that’s where most of the discussion was happening, by far. Halfway through the episode, the flow of tweets containing the phrase “Game of Thrones” was practically bottomless. A good number of those tweets were simply updates pushed out from apps like GetGlue, but the vast majority were genuine commentary, ranging from thoughtful observations to bitter complaints about forgetting to DVR the new episode.
Among the second-screen apps with a social bent, the best of them are the ones that effectively integrate with services like Twitter and Facebook. The ones with their own native live-chat features have a tendency to be relatively quiet. One solid example of how an app can do social TV right is Yap.tv, which we previously reviewed in detail.
The second-screen category of apps is young and evolving. That much is obvious when one takes a high-level glance at the activity happening across a number of them during a popular show.
What’s also apparent is that social TV and related trends aren’t going anywhere. Studies have shown a correlation between social media chatter and TV ratings, and Twitter is already a breeding ground for television-related discussion. As smartphones and tablets continue to proliferate, it’s hard to imagine this type of TV-augmenting behavior won’t grow as well.
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I want to thank @GidgetTheGeek for pointing this out to me because I was gone on Monday, April 16th. Celebrities on Twitter can be a lot of fun to watch and today I get to show you one of my favorite celebs on Twitter. @NathanFillion – A.K.A “Castle”, “Mal (Firefly)”, “Joey Buchanan (OLTL) and Game [...]
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News surfaced yesterday that Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu, will bring its Linux-based platform to mobile devices sometime within the next several years. The popular desktop browser alternative has long been thought to be a good candidate for tablet devices but ZDNet reports that the company would like to take it to smartphones and smart TVs as well.
Canonical is entering a complex ecosystem. Creating a new platform for mobile devices is more than just rallying developers to the cause (that certainly does not hurt). Commercial uptake has a lot to do with what the original equipment manufacturers and mobile carriers want and how they can implement a platform. As we have seen with Android, that is a tangled web to weave.
Ubuntu For Smart Devices Not Coming Soon
Ubuntu Linux is not coming to the commercial landscape in the near future. ZDNet points out in its interview with Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth that the timeline for devices is not until 2014. That is more than two years from now and an eternity in the mobile realm. The article also notes that there is no alpha code for Ubuntu for smart devices, so there is nothing to throw towards the developer community and have them run with it.
What could happen in two years? Will users become disenchanted with Android and run in droves to whatever else is new and sexy? Will the passing of Steve Jobs leave an innovation hole in Apple and users become tired of the incessant upgrade process where Apple does not make leaps in its products but systematically produces nominal updates? Does Nokia and Windows Phone create a niche for itself, say 15% of the mobile market, that takes market and mind share from Android and BlackBerry? What about BBX and its future? Hey, even Tizen (or MeeGo, Maemo, Moblin … whatever it is actually called these days) pull itself together and create a dynamic and different UI that OEMs and consumers shell out money for.
The danger is that the longer it takes for Ubuntu to make its way to mobile, the higher the barrier for entry for a successful platform. Yet, if we take a look at the rise of Android, a good mobile platform with a polished UI and cool devices backed by both the OEMs and the carriers has a chance to create significant waves in a short amount of time. Android has Google and the Open Handset Alliance pushing it towards greater heights. Canonical will need to create that same type of support infrastructure because commercial viability will be more than just releasing the source code into the open ecosystem.
The Modern Day Game Of Thrones
If people are familiar with the HBO series Game of Thrones (or the original Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin that it is based on), think of the mobile platform wars as a battle between kings with subplots galore. In Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time it would be called Daes Dae’mar – the game of houses. The ruling kingdoms are now Apple and Google with various niche plots broken between Microsoft, Samsung (Bada), WebOS, Nokia (S40 Symbian), and Research In Motion (BlackBerry). Other kingdoms exist for the carriers and OEMs. Developers serve these kingdoms one way or another, depending on loyalty or how lucrative it is to do so.
Google subsumed the kingdom of Motorola and put its alliance with the kingdoms of HTC, Samsung, LG and others at jeopardy. Those ecosystem players are now looking for potential partners from other kingdoms or the community. In perspective, what happens if HTC ditches Android and Windows Phone and decides to build with Tizen or Ubuntu? How do the carriers react to that? In the end, UI and the application ecosystem are deciding factors.
Is 2014 too long to wait for Ubuntu to hit the commercial market? Or does letting the market adjust itself and then jumping in provide a better opportunity. Is Ubuntu for mobile destined for “by the geeks, for the geeks” status, as Ubuntu desktop is? Let us know in the comments.
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