Thursday, September 27, 2012

Earlier today I presented a social media and TV research paper with @EricaCTaylor at HU in DC #smtechconfwork @SMTechConfWork [Abstract]

Social Media Use While Watching Prime-Time TV
by William Hart and Erica Taylor
Norfolk State University


“2012 Is the Year of Must-Tweet TV” proclaimed a recent Reuters news article (Shaw, 2012). In the past year, dozens of articles about social media and television viewing have appeared in TV trade publications such as Broadcasting & Cable and MediaWeek. Also, most prime-time TV dramas now include Twitter hashtags at the bottom of the screen (e.g., #thementalist), encouraging viewers to tweet about the episode. However, while social media is playing an increasing role in television viewing, there is very little research on the topic. There are two limited studies of linking social media and reality television and only one study specifically analyzes what viewers tweet while watching a TV program. This previous study analyzed about one thousand tweets each from only two programs (a live political event during and a dance competition program). The research shared here is an analysis of thousands of more tweets posted during the showing of several TV dramas. In addition, the present research answers several more key research questions. Answers to these key questions would be of benefit to television scriptwriters and producers as well as advertisers and public relations specialists who seek to understand the viewing behaviors and the mindset of TV viewers.

Keywords: social media, Twitter, television, social TV, prime-time, dramas

A paper presented at the Social Media Technology Conference & Workshop 2012, Howard University, Washington, D.C., September 27-28, 2012.

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