Television and Social media? How did my recommendation engine miss this connection?


November has been a great month for this blog. For the first time in history, I managed to get more than 1.000 unique users on two different blog posts in a single month. Which is awesome, thanks! The first post was about the TV show Dexter and its Facebook game Slice of life. The other was about Slovenian TV show Soočenje and its buzz on Twitter. Just two posts, nothing special, right? Wrong. It's really obvious, but I missed it somehow. Both posts are talking about combining television and social media, silly me! I can't believe I failed to see it, but I did, and so did my blog. Not that it really matters anymore. You know those fantastic coincidences that happen sometimes and put everything into place? This story is full of them.


Some of you may know this blog has an internal recommendation engine that calculates the correlation between different posts based on shared tags and their frequency, offering related reading in the bottom. It missed the connection. Others may know I'm a bit obsessed with cross-referencing my posts, which I do manually. I missed it too. Perhaps Facebook and Twitter aren't as similar as I would like to believe, but I'm putting my bet mostly on the different concepts of combining television and social media. The Dexter case was about entertainment, gaming and story-telling. Pop TV's case was about politics, news and ordinary people co-creating content. Different problem, different tags, but still, the strong relation between the two is very much there.


The first funny coincidence was a blog post by @anejmehadzic written a few days after mine, discussing the general possibilities of a symbiosis between television and social media (in Slovene). The post provided enough insight to make me see what I missed. TV shows using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to provide additional content to viewers was really something in between the two cases of mine. Revelation. At this point I knew I missed the connection myself, but how did my very smart algorithm also miss it?


The next lucky coincidence was a lecture on wwwh happening yet a few days later. @zbrchka was talking about transmedia, a term I haven't heard about before. I thought multi-platform or cross-platform could be concept that connected these two blog posts, but transmedia feels so much better. Transmedia is a technique for creating integrated content for different mediums, just the thing what I was looking for. Something that's becoming so important it deserves exposure on this blog too.


With the new gathered knowledge, I made a new tag Transmedia, putting it on both posts, besides the one about Šport TV tweeting about the basketball championship. It worked like a charm. Since this tag is used so rarely, it dominated the recommendation engine, and to my great relief, all three posts gained the correlation they require to be listed as related content one to another.

The blogosphere kicks ass, since bloggers are mutually inspiring each other and moving things forward. Wwwh is a great place to hang out and share knowledge and experience. My recommendation algorithm is awesome, fully working as expected. And those lucky coincidences are a thing that make this existence an interesting place to be visiting. Everything is just the way it should be.

* try-catch-finally is a an exception handling syntax used in some programming languages.

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written 27.11.2011 15:58 CET on chronolog
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