When we had our first project kickoff meeting for NoTube, back in the spring, I made this list of quick sketches of TV-related characters and scenarios. They’re not very carefully modelled or the formal basis for specific project work, but they do touch on a variety of issues around the collision of ‘Web’ and ‘Television’, and I thought it worth posting them somewhere in public. Don’t read too much into the detail (eg. most of the names are quite English-y, I was aware of this but offline while writing them and stuck for naming inspiration). The basic idea was to sketch something of the present-day environment in which our project exists, and to think about how to get systems interoperating across a changing and varied landscape.
- Alice is a facebook user
- her friend Bob is on her Facebook buddylist
- when she watches a TV show about one of their shared interests, Bob gets a notification
- Charlie uses the YouTube site a lot, and often ‘favourites’ funny videos, as well as US politics
- when he visits TV.example.com and fills out a profile that includes his public YouTube profile, he receives recommendations for comedy and US politics content
- Dave listens to a lot of music via last.fm
- He would like to know when there are concerts by his favourite artists, either at home or when travelling on business (eg. dopplr)
- Eva bookmarks interesting articles every day on delicious.com or magnol.ia
- She would like these auto-classified because adding tags is boring
- and to have work-related video suggestions when in the office, recreation-related suggestions when watching IPTV at home
- Fred hates TV. There is never anything on.
- But he is taking a distance learning course, studying History of Art at weekends.
- He would like free (CC-licensed) videos for his video iPodophone and to have relevant wikipedia pages automatically when he visits Paris.
- And he would love to have comments on these from other History of Art students, and to follow their blogs or on Facebook.
- Georgina loves TV, but is too busy to watch a lot except during daily 2h commute by train.
- She prefers news and current affairs, and to argue about politics with colleagues, friends and family.
- She spends at least 1/2 hour a day using podcast audio or video content. Most days she re-posts something in her blog, with short (and funny) comments.
- Hannah is a nuclear scientist, a graduate of http://rocketscience.example.edu/
- She secretly wishes she could comment on TV stories and news articles about nuclear issues, and have her comments appear at the top because she knows what she’s talking about.
- …but feels this is somehow elitist, so does not mention it.
- Ian just wants some background music videos to play while doing the housework.
- He’d be happy if the computer picked the music for him, mixing stuff he likes with stuff he might like.
- But if it accidentally plays any Jazz… Ugh! Game over!
- Joyce is a bit uncomfortable with the Internet, of hackers, viruses and chain letters.
- One time she saw an advert that mentioned the small town she lived in, and some of her hobbies.
- She didn’t like this.
- Kristian is a family history enthusiast. He built a database of 8 generations of his family, on a popular geneology site.
- He says he’s no good with computers, but has recently built a map that includes free historical video material of life in the cities his great- grandparents grew up in.
- He loves showing this to the kids, to remind them of where they came from. He wonders if the Web site will exist in 10 years.
- Luis prefers to sit back and just watch TV “on the TV”, no fancy stuff.
- When he’s tired, he wishes more of his favourite shows had subtitles in Spanish.
- His sister mentioned you can “get those on the Internet” but he has no idea where to begin.
- Martina is planning a holiday, is thinking of south-east Asia somewhere, and is looking for TV travel shows online to inspire her to save & plan.
- She does some Web searches for travel videos, but doesn’t find anything much.
- She hasn’t really picked a country and wonders what search terms to use.
- Once she even clicked on an advert.
- Nigel is a sports fan. Well, football fan.
- If anything is on TV or radio about his favourite team, he wants to be emailed or IM’d, immediately.
- But if you spoil an unwatched match by telling him the final score, he will be very very upset and angry.
- Olivia is travelling to London for the Olympics.
- She knows she can watch videos on her phone, and that is kind of cool, but she’d rather have a schedule for events on her phone, and also reminders about highlights to watch on her friend’s giant flat-screen TV
- Pat is convinced that 9/11 was a sinister plot by the illuminati and space-reptiles from Mars.
- Given any opportunity to comment in online fora, he will share these observations with any audience; the bigger the better. After a few beers he is a bit racist too.
- He wonders why nobody seems to read the comments he leaves on Facebook, YouTube, BBC etc. videos. Suspects a plot.
- Rachel is a big fan of BlahBlah, a popular sci-fi series.
- She mentions this in her public Hi5 and Orkut.com profiles.
- Sometimes when she visits online TV sites and logs in using her Orkut OpenID, she is pleasantly suprised when it recommends similar TV shows without asking.
- Sam loves books, and often writes reviews on Amazon.com; also has a length wishlist.
- After writing a 5-star review of a great book, she wonders why the Internet can’t
- remind her when this writer is about to be on TV. Or even at a book signing nearby.
- She wonders if this might also be a bit creepy, but expects it will happen someday anyhow. Would people who bookmarked her reviews also get notified?
- Tom is pretty open-minded, but worried about what his young kids might find in the huge catalogue of his new IPTV service
- He doesn’t want to let “a bunch of religious nutters who set the ratings” decide what his kids watch.
- He thinks out loud “if my friends reckon something is OK for their kids”, it’s probably fine. “…but there are 1000s of shows… Hmm!”
- Uncle Jim filmed a major train accident on his phone just now.
- He wants to send it on to news agencies, and dreams he will get rich from syndication profits.
- …but he is happy for it to be re-used non- commercially, and included in Wikipedia. He wants to be emailed if anyone comments on it, or re-publishes it, anywhere.
- V. prefers radio to TV, but uses her laptop for both lately. She never reads listing magazines, and vaguely suspects she is missing out on the good stuff that’s on.
- She is open to suggestions from friends, about what to watch or listen to.
- They all use different Web sites for this kind of thing, or only use email. A couple of friends use MySpace obsessively.
- Will is a fictional developer at the BBC
- He’s been asked to see if comments on pieces of BBC content around the Web can be re-aggregated to provide a unified view
- But to bear in mind legal and policy issues
- Zelda doesn’t have a TV, phone, video, PC, or Blackberry. Her radio is broken too.
- Every week she prints out 7 days TV listings the community at the community centre, and visits a friend when something good is on TV.
- She would like to save paper and print full info only the things that are interesting to her – movies, soaps, news, but not sport or reality shows.
- Anna is has obsessive knowledge of the popular soap series called Blahblah.
- She knows 20 years history of the characters, families and plot.
- She notices some inconsistencies in the Web site for the show, but never got a reply to her email about it.