Chirp Guide sets to create TV style structure for live tweeted events

By Natan Edelsburg 

Chirp Guide recently launched an interesting new startup that’s actually taking best practices from TV programming and scheduling and bringing them to the confusing world of hashtags and live tweeted events. As volume for tweets about TV continues to grow tremendously, it’s harder and hard for consumers to actually find content. We complain about thousands of TV channels that are impossible to find. Chirp Guide is trying to make sense of hundreds of thousands if not more of live tweeted events by bringing an organized infrastructure to a fragmented medium.

New York City-based Chirp Guide as a clear mission in mind. They’re “relying on the community to find, register and recommend live-tweeting that matters most to its users, Chirp Guide is the solution for making live-tweeters and tweeted events discoverable, sortable and searchable.” Instead of trying to match linear TV with tweets the startup is actually recognizing that live tweeted events are a lot more complex and diverse. We spoke with founder and user acquisition expert Rob Schutz about the new venture.

Lost Remote: Why did you launch Chirp Guide?
Rob Schutz: I launched Chirp Guide to fill a very obvious need in the “Twitter as the second screen” ecosystem. With live-tweeting becoming more and more popular, it was clear that there was no good way for live-tweeters to promote their own events. And from the consumer side, finding a highly qualified live-tweeter for an event you’re interested in is almost impossible. It’s easy to search on Twitter by keyword, but the majority of the results that come up are random people and 13-year old kids live-tweeting from their parents basement. Consumers want quality content, not an overwhelming quantity.

LR: How is it different than the other social TV guides that exist?
Schutz: One of the main differences between Chirp Guide and other social TV guides is that we’re simply creating a central resource for content that’s already being produced. Chirp Guide isn’t a content creator. We are creating the ‘hub’ where live-tweeters can register their events and consumers can find people they’re interested in hearing from. Chirp Guide is much more focused on the consumption aspect (finding live-tweeters) than full on engagement across the community.

LR: What’s your background and thoughts on problems facing the TV industry?
Schutz: There are definitely some battles that the TV industry will be fighting in the near future. One is the coming fight between Netflix (and Hulu, etc) and traditional cable TV. With Netflix getting into the original content business (ie: Arrested Development, Hemlock Grove, etc) there is a fight that’s brewing. Consumers like the concept of being able to cherry pick shows, too. Can cable keep up the evolving space?

Another issue that’s already coming to forefront is the social TV/second screen complement to viewing. While it looks like second screen viewing is actually helping TV ratings (I think I just read an article saying that), how the two continue to grow and evolve will likely determine shifts in the vertical. Live-tweeting and/or social engagement on-screen while the show is also airing seems like it’s inevitable.

LR: What are your hopes to grow Chirp Guide?
Schutz: The hope is that Chirp Guide will continue to grow and become the go-to resource when someone wants to know about live-tweeting that’s happening right now. As the community grows, more and more local and off-the-beaten-path live-tweeting will get noticed and registered so that it can be promoted to the wider community. The plan is for the site to really be driven by the community, not CG manually registering all live events.

LR: Anything else?
Schutz: Think it’s probably worthwhile to point out that we are in no way trying to replicate what Twitter is doing. We’re simply a complement and help drive even more people to their site.

Users that register their live-tweeting on Chirp Guide literally can do so in 10 seconds. If you’re already live-tweeting, there’s no downside to getting on CG and gaining more exposure.