Role of Synchronicity in Education, Entertainment... MOOCs
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"Streaming Sites and the Rise of Shared Accounts" - NYTimes.com April 6, 2013 "No TV? No Subscription? No Problem," by JENNA WORTHAM
See, especially, last half of article about "social viewing" (i.e., synchronous participation)! HIGHLY RELEVANT TO OUR DISCUSSION OF MOOCS!
"We live in a world of on-demand entertainment, where people can consume programming in many formats at any time. That makes shared, cultural experiences more important than ever. Although we can plow through “House of Cards” at our leisure, all in one sitting, do we want to? Or would we rather tune in to Twitter and follow along to see our friends reacting in real time? There’s room for both approaches, but whatever company figures out how to put them together may very well emerge as the dominant force in television.
"“The best content is watched live or near-live,” said Alex Iskold, the founder and chief executive of GetGlue, a social TV application that lets users check in and inform their friends about the programs and movies they’re watching. People have become accustomed to chatting along to big television events while on Twitter and Facebook, so that social component “has to be real time,” he said.
"“It’s critical to let people do their own curation and share that with friends.”"
...'On Amazon Prime, for example, if two people try to watch the same episode of “Pretty Little Liars” using the same account, both streams will be frozen and a warning message will flash. But one user can simply watch something else until the first person is done trying to figure out who “A” is.
'This feels like a missed opportunity for all these services. It’s the failure to grasp the future of television as a shared social experience online. ...
'Nor does social viewing have to be around a big event. For example, I watched “Friday Night Lights” all winter on Netflix, along with someone I don’t know who also shares the account. Every time I log in, I can see the last episode that this mystery viewer watched — and yet there’s currently no way for us to chat about our reactions to it. That would be much more fun than bugging my other friends about plot twists and turns they saw ages ago, when the show was first broadcast.
'That is partly why Twitter and Facebook are so eager to partner with television networks around large-scale sports and awards events like the Olympics and the Oscars.
'In general, live television is receding as people time-shift its content, but the notion of “linear television” is here to stay, he said.
'Mr. Iskold has a point. When I tried to log onto HBO Go last Sunday to see what was happening with the Starks and the mother of dragons, the site was buckling under the load of many others who, just like me, were tuning in at 10 p.m., when the network said it would release the episode online. It would have been fun to share theories about that episode’s plot with friends stymied by the same delay, instead of checking out new shows on Hulu until the demand lightened.
'Last week, Rdio introduced Vdio, a video version of its site that will let people stream movies and TV shows and tell friends what they are watching while they are watching it.
It’s not much, but it’s a start. And many more new paths are likely if the entertainment companies’ business models evolve in tandem with users’ habits.
IMAGE selected by Steve Gilbert 20130509
"Description The Riverside Aquettes perform a synchronized swimming routine at the 27th annual 'Swim with Mike' Saturday at USC McDonald's Swim Stadium. The event was inspired by the 1981 injury of former USC swimmer Mike Nyeholt. Date 14 April 2007, 12:38 Source Swim With Mike... Author Sam and Jeff and Leigh! from Los Angeles & Madison, United States
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