At cwtv.com, we’re all VIPs!

27 03 2009

thecwAs much as I love The CW, I have to admit that I’m sometimes a little overwhelmed by their website.  I feel like everything I click on leads to social media, social media, and yes, more social media.  Now, I’m not saying that their use of social media is bad – I actually think it’s pretty great – it’s just that there’s so much of it!

Every show on the network has its own “VIP Lounge” filled with blogs, message boards and community member profiles related to that particular show.  Fans of The CW can join the website and post blogs, skim through tag clouds, discuss their favourite shows, take quizzes, meet other fans, and browse through countless photo galleries of the ridiculously attractive CW actors.  As America’s fifth broadcast network, targeting women ages 18 to 34, The CW is definitely taking advantage of the social media trend.  You hardly even need to watch the network, considering the amount of the supplementary material they provide on their website through social media.  Blogs with plot summaries, streaming video of full episodes, previews for upcoming episodes… why bother even turning on the TV?  They’ve definitely recognized that those in their key demographic group are big users of social media.  In fact, according to an analysis done on quantcast.com, 61% of the 893,000 Americans who visit The CW’s website each month are female, and 50% are within the 18-34 age group.

In addition to filling their website with different forms of social media, The CW has also extended their online presence to external sites like Facebook.  Upon clicking the “Lounge” link on The CW’s homepage, users are taken to a page where they can go to the VIP Lounges for various shows, or link to the network’s fan page on Facebook, where they’re told they can “make friends”.  With more than 52,000 Facebook fans, it’s pretty easy to see that The CW has a considerably large online following.

What I find funny though, is that The CW’s Facebook page is, in some ways, easier to navigate than its official website.  While there’s a lot more information and ways for fans to interact on cwtv.com, the Facebook page is much more streamlined and much less chaotic.  The website is bright, flashy and fun to look at, but a little overwhelming at times because there’s so much going on – and I bet it would not be too fun with a dial-up connection…  The Facebook page, on the other hand, is simple and makes it easy to find information like the nightly show lineups, photos, videos and even where to buy CW shows on DVD.

Clearly, The CW is not afraid of using social media – they’ve embraced it really well, but the fact that as a member of their key demographic, I sometimes find the website too overwhelming to even bother with, makes me wonder if they’ve gotten a little too ambitious.  Or maybe I’m just picky and too lazy to dig through all that extra stuff when I want to know about the latest One Tree Hill drama or Gossip Girl hijinks?  Is it just me, or is it just a bit too much?

Advertisements




TV is my drug. Social media websites are my new dealers.

22 01 2009

So, as I write this, my very first blog entry, I’m also catching up on season two of Private Practice. But, my TV is off. Since ABC inconsiderately decided to air Private Practice at the same time as two other shows I faithfully watch, I’ve fallen behind in this show that I got hooked on last season. But, thanks to the miracle of streaming video, I have not had to give up on my show.

Now, you may be saying to yourself “Miracle? I really doubt that streaming video should be classified as a miracle.” Clearly you are not a TV addict like me. Social media websites like YouTube and my personal favourite, alluc.org, are a blessing to people like me who have to create schedules and timetables in order to keep track of which shows need to be watched and/or taped every night. Try as I might, even with timeshifting, I can’t catch all of my favourite shows. Or sometimes, I just miss them – it happens. But, it doesn’t upset me like it used to because now I have streaming video to feed my addiction. I mean, I missed a new episode of House this week because I forgot to set my trusty VCR to tape it, but it’s no big deal, I’ll just watch it online when I get a chance.

Social media is huge and its influence on TV is just as huge. Not only are there sites like the ones I mentioned that make shows easily available to anyone at anytime, but there are also countless other ways that people are connecting over TV. There are fan forums, blogs, Facebook “favourite” lists, TV databases, and tons of others that are impacting the wonderful world of television, and which I plan to explore as I get more into this whole blogging thing. So stay tuned! (Wow, did I really just say that…?)