The ‘Digital Revolution’ is changing the way we watch TV.

Vicky of cyber-soul writes…. We rarely watch without (what people are calling) ‘second screens’. These second screens could be a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop etc.

Using two or more screens like this is getting referred to as ‘circular TV’.

We watch the TV, then engage with a second screen and the community there, then watch the TV, then engage with the second screen. It’s not necessarily ‘circular’ as it’s more complex/erratic than a simple circular motion, but ‘circular TV’ is a useful concept and gives the basic idea.

Obviously we’ve always watched ‘circular TV’ in some senses, if anyone else is in the room with us we’re engaging with them as we watch.

But with the internet, we engage with those outside the room.

Granted this could’ve been possible by talking on a phone while watching TV, before the rise of ‘net. But the introduction of online second screens means our engagement is with multiple people, crossing timezones and oceans, and potentially visible to countless multitudes.

I love web 2.0! Social media is made to be social and this is a great way we can interact and share experiences.

It’s a great redistribution of power. Now it’s not just the TV producers who can produce and transmit media. We are co-broadcasters and co-producers via social media. If someone’s tweet gets RT’d a great deal, it could reach the same audience as the TV show itself.

Social media is all about giving everyone a voice and I enjoyed experiencing some of that last night with the opening ceremony. We shared jokes, emotional moments and discussions on the content of the show.

Circular TV and second screens make it all SO much more fun. It’s even greater when TV shows themselves enter directly into the ‘circular’ process by inviting and responding to tweets and emails in real time. Hopefully that’ll be more common in future.

Hooray for Web 2.0 and the re-distribution of broadcasting power. It’s an exciting time.

Over to you:

Do you use a ‘second screen’ and engage in ‘circular TV’?

How has it changed your experience of TV – has it made it better?

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