26 Feb 2011, 11:49

How we'll watch election counts from now on? #ge11


#“How we’ll watch election counts from now on? #ge11”

Traditional TV is playing a very small part in my watching of the Irish General Election 2011 outcome. But the TV is. This is a rough version of the sort of setup that will be the default in General Election 2015:


So a lot less of the “experts” repeating themsleves ad-nauseam for the next 72 hours:

And a lot more crowd-sourced reporting, analysis and opinion:


And self-curation of information based on the groups that you or your trusted contacts create which are then filtered down to the subjects of interest:

To be fair to RTE they have embraced Twitter wholeheartedly for the election. They have obviously learned quickly from the catastrophe of their recent IMF “bailout” coverage when they decided that the RTE Evening News reporting on an historic event was more important than just showing the event itself.

Now if only they’d consider Qik/Ustream to get video from every location, not just tweets. @lexia and others have shown in the past how powerful this can be, no matter how crappy the 3G or wifi.

I think the next steps for this type of coverage are split in two. On the one side you have news media who still have an important part to play in distilling down the firehose to manageable chunks for a large part of the population. There must be an opportunity there to build powerful curation tools for those guys. I could see Storyful being a key player here with providing not just the curated stories and curation service but the curation platform too.

On the other side you have us punters and I have to say I’m worried. New Twitter is an awful unusable mess. Seesmic is now off doing the Yammer thing inside big biz and Tweetdeck has just been bought and no-one knows what will happen next there. Does this mean innovation on the desktop is dead? My hopes for powerful filtering, mixing, re-mixing and curation tools for the end user are dead? Whilst mobile is perfect for day to day use and for tweeting, it is completely unusable for managing an information torrent like today.

Perhaps the next phase for end-users is the TV or what the TV will become. I still remember working in Philips Eindhoven as a student in the 80s when they were building the first PIP (Picture in Picture) TV sets. Two tuners, huge cost, major complexity. And it turns out no-one wanted it. Well that was then and this is now. We need PIP for 2011. The geek in me wants that to be Boxee. I’d love to be able to create my sets of home pages in Boxee. This is a rough approximation:


I think that’s what Google were thinking of with Google TV except they forgot to hire a UI person before releasing it. Also, a remote control with 4000 buttons belongs in 1994. On Boxee I use up/down/left/right/enter/back. 

Some believe that we’ll all go multi-device whilst watching TV. Phone or laptop or Android tablet doing the web thing whilst the TV remains single-tasking single-programme. Where that does work is when you have multiple people watching the same show. As Twitter themselves have pointed out, they are helping to bring back the days of watching TV live instead of DVR’ed so that we can all bitch comment at the same time.

But for events like today, gimme Minority Report. Imagine General Election 2015 powered by Microsoft Kinect!


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