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Everyone is a Critic: VH1′s ‘Drumline 2: A New Beat’ Flops With Fans

If this is another golden age of television, it’s also a golden age of social criticism. Social media means networks can market new shows and pump up the crowd in the hope that everyone will live-tweet it and draw more advertising eyeballs. But it also means that when something flops, it flops hard.

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Let’s all pour one out for everyone over at VH1 this morning. “Drumline 2: A New Beat,” a spinoff of the super successful 2002 film “Drumline,” premiered last night. Yesterday, when #DrumlineANewBeat was circling around social media, fans could hardly contain themselves waiting for showtime. And then the movie started. It wasn’t just that stars Nick Cannon and Alexandra Ship weren’t living up to the beloved movie’s status. Fans were eager to give advice and complain about the technical stuff:

Actually, the idea of a “Drumline” series sounds like a much better idea than a big event-style, made for tv sequel. #Drumlin2 is still trending this morning, and the social response is not getting any nicer though:

Ouch. While the miniseries and TV movies are having their moment, it’s worth noting when the trend hits a saturation point. Some things might be better left alone.

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Friday Link Roundup: What the MLB Knows and Sitcoms’ Social Media Problems

selfie_layeringIf your television and social media feeds are overflowing with Ebola panic, here are some good social television links you may have missed this week for weekend reading pleasure.

1) “Selfie” and “A to Z” have a social media problem. We’ve written about how “Selfie” breaks the fourth wall, but this Guardian piece explores how this “new generation of romcoms” still struggles to depect social media and its use realistically:

Then there’s the problem of depicting tweeting, messaging and instagramming – behaviour that is not in itself exactly visually stunning. “Selfie”, like “You’re the Worst” and “Sherlock” before it, uses onscreen graphics of texts, Vines, and Instagram, floating words that resemble subtitles. The silent reading is similar to the quiet feedback loops of social media, which might just stop the audience looking away from the screen to tweet – for a minute at least. TV is painfully aware that social media is a powerful rival for viewers’ attentions, which perhaps accounts for its disparaging attitude towards it.

2) Ello, the invite only social network, received a new round of funding and announced yesterday that it will be a PBC, so it can stay true to its “no advertising, ever” mission. The social network maintains that it will never treat users like a product, though that doesn’t mean it can’t be a commercial space, as this piece on The Atlantic explains. Television is the most commercial enterprise there can be and Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr have made strategic moves to cater to fans and networks. I’m guessing if you’re on Ello, you’re too cool to live-tweet “The Voice,” right?

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Why Brands and Broadcasters Keep Turning to Tagboard’s Social TV Solutions

unnamedTagboard provides hashtag-based curation solutions to live event producers and digital properties to collect and display on-brand tweets. In March, though, the company acquired TVinteract, and its founder Jenni Hogan joined the company as Chief Media Officer (or, really, Chief Social TV Evangelist).

Hogan, an Emmy Award-winning former local news anchor known for the way she integrated social media into her sgements, has since launched Tagboard’s TV product. The product debuted on July 1 and Fox O&O, Meredith, the New Orleans Saints, and the BBC have already utilized the tool on-air to display tweets.

Hogan’s past experience working with an array of social TV vendors and their technology is a large part of what’s driving the design of Tagboard TV.

“The technology would look great in the sales pitch but then once we had to use it, it was really hard to implement, and by the time corporate had gotten through the sales process the technology seemed like it was already old,” Hogan told Lost Remote. “That’s what we want to help solve for TV stations with Tagboard. I always tell our clients if our product isn’t easy then let us know, we have amazing brains at our company and we’ll come up with a solution to the work flow so it is easy.”

Incorporating client feedback is something that is usually more said than actually done, but Tagboard does it, does it quickly, and then rolls it out for other clients to use.

The New Orleans Saints wanted to show their fans’ thoughts, pictures and feedback as the draft was going live. In most broadcast environments, the lower third of the screen usually features content scrolling across the bottom and is not referred to by hosts. Still, Tagboard created a lower third product for them that could easily and safely show pictures from Instagram along with tweets and Facebook posts, and the Saints later used that same feature for a question and answer segment with their host Jen Hale called #AskJen.

“Tagboard didn’t even have lower third capability in their social offerings when we first started talking, Doug Tatum, the Saints Executive Director for Digital Media, told us, ”but Jenni and her colleagues developed it for us. Who does that?”

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‘The Chew,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ and Other Stars Do Reddit AMAs

redditReddit’s popular Ask Me Anything threads are being taken over by television writers and personalities. Along with national security officials, it seems the reddit community really wants to know about their favorite television shows.

Here are some upcoming tv-centric AMA’s:

Tuesday, October 14, 4pm: Spike Feresten, of “Seinfeld” fame

Wednesday October 15, 12pm: the WWF’s Chris Jericho

Friday October 17, 3:30pm: Bravo’s “Top Chef” judge, Carla Hall

Sunday October 19, 1pm: FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” Drea de Matteo.

Wednesday October 22, 3pm: Norman Lear, who wrote “All in the Family,” and other sitcoms is promoting a new memoir.

You can see a full schedule of upcoming AMAs here.

The 3 Social TV Stories You Missed This Week

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A lot happens in the week and you can’t click through everything. Here’s our pick for top social TV media links you may have missed.

1) Hulu might start running less ads. With the launch of their new mobile apps and growing subscription numbers, rumor has it that there could be less ads during your “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” binge fest. Some rumors need to be stopped: with Apple’s 30% take on in-app subscriptions, it’s not likely too happen anytime soon.

2) The NFL’s Week 5 #NameThePlay has some pretty good winners. If you’re not following the hashtag on game days, you’re missing out. The organization’s social team offers up clips of memorable plays for the week and fan’s can name them. Like the ‘Peytona 500′ for Manning’s 500th career touchdown pass. Who knew football fans could be so punny?

3) We all know that the #Gladiators are good live-tweeters but Darby Stanchfield, who plays Abby, is going for the win. If you aren’t following her on Thursdays, you’re missing out. Not only is she all over the episode before, during, and after it airs, but she does it all in CAPS LOCK and maximum emoji use. While the other actors are good at adding their two cents, Stanchfield is more hardcore than you are. She’s more hardcore than everyone.

America: Land of the Made for TV Movie Online Live in Social Media

usalargeAmerica’s influence in the world derives as much from movies, hamburgers and video games as military might. Entrepreneurs in South African slums rent time to refugees to play EA’s FIFA Sports 2015; the McDonald’s in Tblisi enjoys a brisk business in Big Macs; and Marvel’s The Avengers grosses $18m in Venezuela. These are all small snacks of love American-style.

America’s newfangled cultural vanguard emanates from Cable TV, YouTube, Ebay and Twitter. Like their forebears, these made-in-the-USA inventions were also incubated in Ray Croc’s home state of California. Collectively, they constitute a giant feed with teats into every wired person on the planet.

So, why on earth is America’s cultural influence losing ratings points?

Rather than expanding its once-dominant cultural hegemony, America’s influence is actually flagging. The culprit is social media, and to a lesser extent, television in all its new forms. Social media is the antithesis of the studio system. Individuals – not media outlets, businesses, organizations or governments – now publish 94% of online content. In the face of this exponential proliferation of media, the power of any single message, country, or even medium, is invariably diluted. America created the plumbing to distribute media; the people firmly control the poop.

Of course, America itself is more diverse. In turn, its cultural export is commensurately less homogenous – pockmarked by homemade 6-second Vines and snaps of X-Pro II filtered Instagram photos as well as sat feeds of The Voice and illegal downloads of CSI: Crime Scene. The impact of social media is the self-organization of people everywhere into narrower and narrower affinities. People do not choose between rock and country anymore, because they boast access to every music genre through Spotify and iTunes. People are alternately defined by none of their media, and by all of it. They smoke; they are not smokers. They ride motorcycles; they are not bikers. They watch Star Trek; they are not Trekkies. Read more

Drama Between ‘The Voice’ Judges Boosts Social Engagement

thevoiceYou could watch “The Voice” when it airs or catch it on Hulu. Or you could just read their Twitter feed. The sing-off competition is one of the most popular social television shows during its broadcast but you can get a full recap from the videos posted to their social media accounts.

Live-tweeting is hard to do. If you actually read through the #Scandal hashtags, you don’t get a full picture of everything that’s going on. It’s reaction and emotion based. “The Voice” team doesn’t engage viewers in the competition aside from the “Instant Save” or retweeting who your “judge boo” is, which is all pretty standard Twitter fare. Read more

How ‘Selfie’ is Breaking the Fourth Wall

abc-upfront-selfieThe plot is familiar, and for social TV fans it may be a little too familiar.

ABC’s new fall series ‘Selfie’ is a modern version of ‘My Fair Lady,’ except in this retelling Eliza Dooley (played by Karen Gillan) is a social media fiend – that is until she realizes that “being friended is not the same as having actual friends.” Enter Henry (played by John Cho), an ascetic, no-nonsense marketing executive who takes Eliza on as a project.

Eliza isn’t there quite yet, and in the meantime she continues to tweet and Instagram. The show’s creative team has done an excellent job integrating graphics of Eliza’s social activity into the show, but its social TV work also extends to Eliza’s favorite platforms themselves – Twitter and Instagram.

Eliza’s posts during the show are populated on actual Twitter and Instagram accounts. For example, during last night’s episode, Eliza and her boyfriend Freddy decide to take an “after sex pic,” which we see on screen. Read more

SNL Cold Open: ISIS Hijacks the Social TV Conversation

Saturday-Night-Live-e1397626702352During the cold open of Saturday Night Live this week, President Obama (played by Jay Pharoah) admitted that the U.S. has underestimated how effective ISIS would be at social media, stating: “They really blew us out of the water.”

Because ISIS has nothing to do, they are able to tweet during peak hours – between 11 am and 3pm – where they can “maximize faves and RTs.” Obama proceeds to read off some examples, and it turns out ISIS is capitalizing on the social TV conversation.

One tweet read, “Loving this new show “Selfie” on ABC. P.S. can you believe Israel is still a state?” while another read, “One day the Black Flag of ISIS will fly over the White House #TheVoiceisBack”

Below, the whole clip: Read more

Jesse Redniss, David Beck, and Gary Vaynerchuk Form BRaVe Ventures

brave ventures

So that’s where social TV leaders Jesse Redniss and David Beck went.

Redniss and Beck, along with social marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk have formed BRaVe Ventures, which will advise top TV networks, digital agencies, and social TV companies. At launch, the company already counts as clients one of the major broadcast TV networks, Mashwork/Canvs.TV, Watchwith, Spredfast, Clasp.TV, ListenFirst Media, Contend Co., Vayner Media and GLOW.

“Part of the problem today is the vast amount of choice when it comes to how to develop and execute on a new technology-driven program,” Redniss tells Lost Remote. “We’ve watched companies spend large amounts of money and countless hours on technologies that didn’t work or on social programs that didn’t engage fans. We have the expertise to eliminate waste in order to determine the best solution to help our clients develop targeted programs based on specific business objectives from the start.” Read more

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