In a massive story released today, Wired magazine looks at social media and its impact on the TV business. While some of the analysis leaves a bit to be desired (i.e. duplicitous Twitter followers), the bulk of the content is smart, explaining why shows that may be ratings dogs can actually be quite lucrative. There is also a solid description at what exactly Nielsen is and does.
And that’s why, some day in the near future, a show’s tweetability may be just as crucial as the sheer size of its audience. It’s something that advertisers and networks already realize, albeit in a vague and unquantified way. But as Nielsen—and other analytics companies—race to capture a show’s true impact across all platforms, it will change the way those shows are valued. That’s good news for television that is worth talking about, watching again, chewing on, Tumbling over. It’s good news for all of us.
Wired also had a pair of social media-savvy stars give advice to network honchos.
But here’s the part that matters perhaps most of all: Understand that TV isn’t being watched the same way anymore. Engage your shows’ fans; go to conventions and cultivate a huge and devoted Twitter following. Keep one foot planted firmly in the world of online comedy via Funny or Die videos; indulge your burgeoning nerd-crush status by going on Attack of the Show (though you’re under no obligation to peruse the subreddit devoted to GIFs of you in tight clothing). If you’re in a band, be in a fun band—and don’t be afraid to freestyle rap at a concert.