Nokia Lumia 920 vs iPhone5. #color
Tonight over 60 million Americans will watch the first Presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. A very large percent of those people will, in addition to watching their television screen (or listening to their radio) be staring a a second screen on their mobile or tablet device.
Second screen behavior is the next big thing in media consumption. Pew Research released a report in the summer of 2012 heralding the rise of the “Connected Viewer” revealing that 50% of adult mobile phone owners use their cell phones while watching TV. Not surprisingly, people used their cell phones to:
- Keep themselves occupied during commercial breaks
- Find out more information about something they were watching
- Communicate with someone watching the same program
- Verify if something that was said on TV is true
- Vote on something (i.e. American Idol)
During tonight’s presidential debate 2nd screening will be in full force as viewers debate what the candidates are saying, fact check, argue, scream, yell, applaud, cry etc. The political climate in the country is feverish, especially among those most engaged with the election. It’s no surprise that people will turn to the most important device in their lives, their cell phones, to get their voice out.
The candidates themselves have been trying to “downplay” expectations of the debate. Campaigns frequently do that so as not to feed the media frenzy and hype given how unpredictable the debate can be. A simple slip of the tongue can lead to endless hours of punditry and gotcha headlines. The hyper-interactivity the public can now share with the candidates only adds fuel to the fire.
We’ve put together a brief summary of some of the 2nd screen apps that may be worth logging into tonight during the debate.
Peel makes apps specifically for 2nd screening. The Peel Smart Remote TV app is getting an update for the debates and users of the supported devices, including the Samsung GALAXY Tab, Tab 2 and Samsung Note 10.1, can access the updated functionality. Viewers can choose who they’re voting for (Romney, Obama or undecided), viewers can offer feedback during the live broadcast, giving candidates a “cheer” or “boo” based on their responses. After the debate is over they can weigh in on on who they think won the debate, with the option to share demographic information. Peel will collect and release data on viewer sentiment following the debate and provide visualizations of the data they have collected. For more on Peel check out coverage at Betakit.
IntoNow is giving some American Idol love to the Presidential debate. In collaboration with Yahoo! IntoNow will let viewers answer poll questions, give live feedback and interact with news content during commercial breaks. Looks like head to head combat between old media and new media for viewer attention during peak ad time. Said Yahoo! product manager Adam Cahan, “Along with live social-polling, IntoNow users will be able to get better informed with bios on the candidates, articles of related content on the topics being discussed and seamless access to communication and connections like Facebook and Twitter.”
Politifact is a staple in the political 2nd screen genre. If you ever need a place to go to find out how much excrement is being slung around by politicians Politifact is likely to have answers for you. Politifact editors, though frequently criticized for being partisan, are very good about covering the major items in the news to separate fact from fiction and establish levels of Pinnochio-ness. While their apps might not be as slick as some of the others in this category, they score high points on content and value.
A new entrant into this market, Ponderoo, is offering iOS users a new way to make the watching experience more social. We’re going to download the app today and update you a bit later on how well we think it works.
In addition if you’re in need of a cable-less place to watch the debates for free online, here is a list of sites you can turn to (thanks to GigaOm for pulling this together):
- ABC News will be streaming the debate live on its YouTube channel as well as its iPad app.
- CBS News will stream the debate live on Ustream.
- CNN will stream the debate on its website. The news network will also allow viewers to create clips of their favorite answers and share them with their friends.
- Fox News will be streaming the debate on its site starting at 4:45pm PT, and also feature some insights into the most popular topics of the evening through an exclusive collaboration with Twitter.
- The Wall Street Journal is providing a live feed of the debate on it site as well as through its WSJ Live apps on the iPad, on Android devices and various Smart TV platforms.
- Politico’s website streams the debate as well as some pre- and post-debate coverage, starting at 5pm PT.
- Univision’s live stream of the presidential debate will be translated into Spanish in real-time.
- C-SPAN is going to stream the debate on it site as part of its C-SPAN2 live feed.
California governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have placed restrictions on the ability of local law enforcement officials in California to interrupt cellular service. The legislation was proposed by Senator Alex Padilla in the aftermath of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Agency (BART) decision to take its mobile service offline during public protests in August 2011. The Governor’s argued that legislators needs to come back with a better bill that balances protection of speech with the ability of law enforcement to use mobile service shut down as a tool to protect the public. Free speech advocates included the Electronic Freedom Foundation lambasted BART and the local authorities for shutting down cell phone services as a means to quell dissent and the public’s right to express their views. Read more about the case here.
The shutdown of cell phone networks is deeply troubling for a number of reasons. Cell phones and text messaging are essential to every day life for millions and millions of people around the world. A legitimate outage caused by a natural disaster or power outage is one thing. But when the government has the authority to shut down networks without due process when it deems necessary, the possibility for abuse is immense. You can’t help but recall the case of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak shutting down Egyptian cell phone networks as the uprisings in Tahrir Square gained momentum. (The largest Egyptian telco is owned in large part by UK-based Vodafone). So while the abuse of power is seldom imminent, successive administrations may or may not have the public interest as their primary concern, and the private sector cannot be relied upon to act other than in its own self-interest, regardless of the public good they are serving or facilitating. Furthermore, in case of emergencies such as injuries, contacting family or contacting law enforcement itself, the idea that shutting down networks during crises will make people safer is a dubious argument.
As we become ever-more reliant on personal communication technology to express ourselves, the course that governments take in balancing free speech with national security concern will be extremely important.
This infographic suggests that most people are not using their social networks to their full potential. It’s probably true. Social networking behavior is relatively new and requires a fairly intensive level of investment to manage multiple networks, monitor content and conversations and identify opportunities. People generally do a bad job of keeping up with people in real life - often because people are simply too busy and preoccupied with other things.
The study that came out showing how instrumental social connections and conversations were in increasing voter turnout in 2008 is a great example of how easily people can make use of their social networks to motivate people to take action. What could be easier than clicking an “I Voted” button on your news feed to motivate people to action.
We’re expecting some interesting experimentation on election behavior from all the social networks over the next four weeks as the nation heads into the home stretch of the 2012 election.
By Ian Rosoff
This week, President Obama was at the United Nations urging the countries who won democracy during the Arab spring to protect the right to free speech at all costs. His strong stance on freedom of speech was partly in response to the attacks and protests across the Muslim world over a video uploaded to YouTube degrading the Prophet Muhammad.
The power of the Internet to spread social media helped spur the initial revolutions from Tunisia to Egypt, to Libya, and now a viral video that was partly circulated through social media has caused violent instability across many of those same countries. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have the capability to cause rapid change, but they can be double-edged swords.
So we took notice earlier this week when Facebook tested what people are referring to as the “Snitching App”.
Facebook strictly bans the use of accounts under pseudonyms. It spells this out in its terms and conditions, has said repeatedly that it wants a “real identity” culture on its site. Every social network has had to make a decision about whether to allow people to hide behind the veil of anonymity and Facebook and Google+ have notably taken a position on authenticating user identities.
On Saturday we asked Votifites on Saturday what they thought about Gagnam Style. Shockingly over 67% of respondents had no clue what Gagnam Style is even though it is currently among the top 20 videos watched on YouTube at over 264 million views (and that’s just the official version).
That may pale in comparison to the more popular “Charlie Bit My Finger” at 482 million views but not if you think that South Korean artist PSY’s video has only been online since July 15th! The Guinness Book of World Records also just declared Gagnam Style the “Most Liked” video ever on Youtube. So stop reading and start watching, and then if you’re completely confused you can read about the meaning here.