There are a number of interesting two way communications situations happening in media today. It represents the integration of the social media such as Facebook and Twitter into the "mainstream" web edit sites. This is facilitated by these and other social networks having open APIs combined with critical mass from a consumer standpoint. Facebook is now the largest social network and Twitter, while much smaller, has a reported 11% penetration of internet users in the U.S. and is growing at 700% a year.
My first experience with this new integration was at the inaguration of President Obama. I logged onto CNN early that morning from home to find Facebook Connect in a column alongside the CNN video feed. Facebook Connect is an instant messaging service that automatically connects you with all of your Facebook friends (connections) seamlessly. The open API facilitated CNN putting Facebook Connect onto their site for the day. As a result, I was looking at people from all over the world and what they were saying about the historic day. It was easy for me to log in to Facebook from CNN and parse the dialogue for my Facebook friends which number over 800. These are mostly business contacts with a personal friends and relatives added in. In moments, I was communicating with my own friends around the world. South Korean, the UK, Australia, India etc. This was amazing.
I kept this up as I went into work where we left my friend list up alongside the video as we watched in the conference room. The result was a personal connection to this momentous event.
Fast forward to last Sunday night where a number of sites put Facebook Connect feeds along side their Academy Award news. The best implementation of this was by Glam, the women's fashion site. They took in a Twitter feed, parsed for Oscar news and then edited by their editors for "appropriateness" The result was elegant.
This sets the bar for all future events. From now on, we can expect major sites to include consumer comments and facilitate two way communication with people in general or with your specific friends while reading or viewing an event. This is a game changer in the media world.