Newsnight deputy editor Daniel Pearl has a brilliant piece on the BBC News Editors blog today, which presents the real truth about ‘interactive TV’. Forget the red button, forget the technowaffle… it’s all about the PC keyboard. And the fact is – it’s working.
Blogs are giving him feedback as to what people like and dislike on the programme. Blogs (via Technorati) are telling him what people are talking about, and hence influencing his choice of running order. Oh, and there’s the open secret that BBC staff’s email addresses all follow the same basic format… so if you know someone’s first and second name, and you can put a dot between them, then you’ve got an email address direct to them. This is true interaction between TV and its viewers.
Incidentally, speaking of Technorati… I’m just putting the finishing touches to another blog-based project for a Major Government Department (not my usual one). We’re still shying away from offering full comments or trackbacks, for fear of spammers. But following an idea Ben Hammersley instituted for the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, it’s dead easy to link people directly to a Technorati search, to see what other bloggers are saying. It’s no extra effort for you, and critically, it distances you from anything which might be legally dodgy.