December 14, 2009

The Two Screen Social Back-Channel In Action?

This video shows the Twitter trends over the course of yesterday’s X-Factor Final and would seem to support the Two-Screen theory, except that most of the trends picked up after the show. Apparently, people tweeted more about the final after it had finished than during it. As this article suggests, maybe people aren’t as into multitasking on a Sunday night. But still, this series of the X-Factor has marked a new era of interaction between broadcast and social e-media and, as Gary Hayes argues, this is something that all broadcasters are now keen to develop and capitalise on. Whatever next?

11:43am  |   URL:
Filed under: Twitter theory xfactor tv 
November 30, 2009
The Two Screen Social Back-Channel

Okay, I admit that the title of this theory sounds a little bit dubious, but bear with me. Robert Andrews has invented or applied this term to the insane Twitter response to the outpouring of tweets, Facebook updates and blog posts that accompany each episode of the X Factor on ITV1. He lists the following statistics related to the Jedward/Lucie Sunday night show on 15th November:

• X-Factor occupied half of Twitter’s top “trending” global topics list during Sunday’s show.

• Leading The X Factor keywords comprised at least 4.6% of all worldwide tweets during the controversial Jedward-vs-Lucie deadlock.

@TheXFactor has 51,000+ Twitter followers and a total 1.65 million Facebook fans.

13,000-14,000 live comments come in via CoverItLive chat during a typical Sunday night. Together with text messages, emails and tweets, they are filtered by an editor for panelists on Holly Willoughby’s Xtra Factor show.

11,000 The X Factor twibbons are being worn by tweeters’ avatars; and they have been exposed to a further 850,000 users.

All these statistics (provided by the social media editor of, Ben Ayres) point to a new media phenomenon, argues Andrews - The Two Screen Social Back-Channel.

The theory goes that you have one screen (the TV) with your primary text on it. In the old media world you would go to work or school the next day and talk to your friends about it - the so-called “water-cooler” effect. Now, you have your second screen (laptop or mobile) visible at the same time and use this second screen to interact with others, chat and comment on the show while it is happening via social networks or forums. And this is the social back-channel.

It’s like having a very, very big living room with all your online friends in it. And Popjustice, Charlie Brooker, and Caitlin Moran.  

3:42pm  |   URL:
Filed under: theory new media Twitter 
November 17, 2009
Twitter Theory (it was only a matter of time)

Today there has been a conference held in London called The 140 Characters Conference (or #140Con) all about how to use Twitter. Seriously. And the following bit of theory was proposed by Tony Mattson, the group business director of UM London. He presented a talk about how social media can drive communications strategies and summarised his advice in five rules:

1. Evolve. Listen to what consumers are saying.
2. Maintain. Social media are as well as and not instead of.
3. Refresh. Content is quick online. People go online more.
4. It is all about the conversation. Brands need topics that people want to talk about.
5. Leverage. Social media are now mass media. But you need to consider the whole communication space.

So there we go - our first bit of Twitter Theory. See the Guardian Blog for a fuller report, including a discussion of how Twitter helped Daren Forsyth to know his onions. Seriously.

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