Last night was a lot of fun. Liz says it was like back-in-the-day when you used to watch TV while on the phone with your friend. Only now you were on a conference call with 2 million friends.
Having a twitter stream going while watching TV isn’t new. But up until last night I hadn’t ever experienced it’s full enjoyment. Sure, firing off the random Smoke Monster quip during Lost yielded a few funny responses. Complaining about the Mets in real time always offers a misery-loves-company support group that gets me through one more game. But last night was different.
From the assault charges against Big Ben, to the Black Eyed Peas’ epic halftime fail, to some commercials of questionable taste, to the fact that last night’s game made for genuinely good football – there was a lot to talk about. And joke about. And laugh about.
I’d like to see more of this. It’s not every day that an event captures the attention of so many people that a large portion of your social circle will be going on about the exact thing you are, which is why last night was special. The way I see it, there are two variables that strike a balance (kind of like a supply-demand curve). If you have a sufficiently large enough circle of digital friends, almost anything you do someone else will be doing in real-time. Or if you have a sufficiently large enough event, no matter how small your circle of friends is (maybe one lone friend – Tom from MySpace) they’ll be experiencing it as well.
It’s food for thought as we try to replicate the fun-ness of chatting on the phone while watching Saved By the Bell. How can we increase friend-circles to cast a large enough net to catch someone meaningful to you doing something meaningful to you? Invoke smaller but many social circles? That’s kind of what Path is doing. Certainly MetaMirror is banking on creating the forum for something like that to happen. I think in the end adding social tools/APIs to our experiences isn’t enough in and of itself. It has to be at the sweet spot of that curve. Where social size meets event popularity.