Daily DigVid Review: Interactive TV. Finally a reality?
A company called Backchannel Media in Boston making yet another attempt to bring about interactive TV, reports the New York Times. Backchannel is conducted a trial with Hearst-Argyle-owned WCVB in Boston in which a viewer clicks an icon on his or her TV screen and is immediately transported to a “personal portal,” otherwise known as an online place where all of a person’s personal viewing habits and consumer preferences are tracked (great for those who love to be marketed to, horrifying for those who feel that the existence of their phone number on any marketing list is grounds to sue). The trial is now expanding to Hearst-Argyle’s WMUR Manchester, N.H., and Media General’s WJAR Providence, R.I. While interactivity has become completely common on the Internet, the TV remains static as far as interactivity goes. Still, industry efforts to change this have been ongoing since at least the turn of this century, when Time Warner conducted a very expensive and ultimately unsuccessful interactive video trial. And we’ve even thought “Eureka! we’ve got it,” several times: this Business Week article from Sept. 2000 heralds the technology’s arrival. Eight years later, we’re still noodling around with it. So, let’s see what you got, Backchannel, because many have gone before you and not lived to fight another day.
According to this article on LostRemote.com, Tim Russert’s untimely death was posted on Wikipedia last Friday at 3:01 pm ET, almost 40 minutes before any other major news outlet. This poster says the IP address was traced back to someone at Internet Broadcasting, which is the company that runs NBC’s owned-and-operated stations’ Websites. It’s true that stuff ends up on Wiki almost at preternatural speed. I remember when Tribune’s head of programming, Marc Schacher, departed the company. I got a tip that Sean Compton would be taking Schacher’s place and when I did an Internet search on Compton, voila, there it was on Wiki. I guess it goes to show you that Jungian collective reporting beats individual reporting almost every time.