Like many of you in the Seattle region, I stayed up past bedtime last night (well, it was past my bedtime, at least) to watch Jenni Hogan’s experiment in social television on KIRO-TV — a show blending live television and online streaming with real-time interaction on Facebook and Twitter.
I should say that we here at GeekWire are big fans of Jenni Hogan, the KIRO traffic reporter and online personality, so my thoughts on the topic aren’t entirely unbiased. The level of energy that she and the KIRO team brought to the show was great — enthusiastically highlighting interesting people and topics in social media and technology.
The hash tag #KIROConnect was trending on Twitter at one point, and as tech investor Geoff Entress noted, it was a galvanizing event for the Seattle tech community, another demonstration of what happens when the community comes together and rallies behind something important.
Most of all, it showed that there’s a simple power in mixing live video with social media — as I learned when Jenni called out one of my tweets on the show, after I teased Banyan Branch’s Blake Cahill about trying to take the mic from her a couple times.
If KIRO were to send me a survey asking for my thoughts as a viewer, my one big piece of feedback would be that it felt too energetic at times, with too many people in the physical space, and too much going on there.
In my mind, it would have been better to have Jenni behind a late-night talk show desk, with maybe a couple guests and a sidekick, cracking jokes and just riffing on what people were saying on Twitter and Facebook.
The sheer variety of content and action in the studio made it feel a little too frenetic, especially for that time of night. (At times it was also too promotional for the companies of the featured guests.)
In hindsight, I wanted it to seem like sitting down with Jenni and a couple of her friends, having fun and maybe learning something. I would tune in for something like that every week.
Social media isn’t just more fluid, it’s more casual, and I was hoping for more of that in the show. It felt too much like an earnest TV news channel trying to put on a late-night, live social media show — which is what it was, after all … but I guess I wanted less of that.
But that’s exactly the type of thing we learn from experiments like this, and KIRO deserves a ton of credit for putting on the show. Even the sheer logistics of the thing were impressive, and it’s good to see a traditional media outlet doing so much to explore the integration of traditional and new media.
This was one-time special, not the beginning of a regular series, so its future would depend on the reaction from the audience, online and on television.
So if you tuned in, what did you think?
Also see our previous Q&A with Jenni about her goals and reasons for doing the show.