I must admit, I drew inspiration for this blog from Bradley Howard, and his discussion on the televisual web. This got me thinking—what does that even mean?
We already know that user-generated content is making a name for itself, as we see it used more and more every single day in television newscasts across the country. But here’s something I’ve never thought of before (until today!): television itself is becoming more personalized, from the moment you turn it on. Two months ago while I was in Dallas, I stayed at the Omni Hotel, and when I turned my TV on in my room, it said “Welcome Eva Buchman!” I remember being completely blown away by this—my TV knows who I am! This is becoming a very popular practice, however. People want exclusivity and convenience.
This personalization, however, as writer Ryan Lawler discusses, could pose a very serious problem for television networks. Through the use of DVR machines alone, people are able to watch what they want, when they want. No longer are the days of just watching one program because it was the only thing on. Thanks to DVR’s, and many other services and programs, content is constantly new and fresh. It’s hardly a worry anymore that you might have to watch re-runs (unless you want to!) How does this relate to citizen journalism, though? Good question.
Personalization certainly levels the playing field quite a bit, wouldn’t you think? If there’s a blog you really enjoy reading in the morning, more than CNN or CBS news, you can set that as your default homepage and never think twice about it. The same is true with TV. Say, for example, you’ve become a big fan of a show that is produced and just posted online (a new show, that hasn’t gotten its footing yet); consumers still have the ability to link YouTube up to their television sets to watch it! It’s getting easier and easier to not be a big name television network, news station, or media figure to make your media presence known—a good thing for citizen journalists.
This personalization takes away control from media companies and television networks, as they cannot control what people DVR or if anyone even still pays attention to what’s in the prime time slot on any given night.