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Enhancing TV Platforms with Digg &

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First things first, the credit for this post in some way should go to GigaOm’s Om Malik (reading his articles and posts from the days of Red Herring) and his tweet for the post on Digg vs.

A bit of context before I outline my idea on what Digg should do –

In the last 18 to 24 months, my role involved working with Service Providers to provide them with TV/Video Solutions (primarily for Telcos with IPTV on DSL Networks) all over the world and a common theme in many of these conversations & projects were the request/requirements for the following features:

  • Voting Systems (Mechanism to use the Remote Control to vote in shows e.g. selecting or scoring the couple in “Dancing with the Stars”)
  • Sharing (Mechanism to share opinions/thoughts/likes on shows in real-time with Friends & Family)
  • Rating (Mechanism to collect consumer watching stats)
  • Recommendation (Using meta-data collected and pushing recommendations back to the consumer)

Today’s (i.e. released in the last 12 months or so) TV-connected devices  especially Set Top Boxes (STBs) support Web 2.0 frameworks built into them allowing Video to converge the Web Services & Applications.

It is then natural to gravitate towards using de-facto and popular Web 2.0 services rather than inventing proprietary methods to address the above features. It makes business sense to use Digg or similar services for implementing the value-added services listed above.  Simply speaking use the Digg API and applications on the devices –  a Poll or Score widget can be overlaid on the video.  The remote is then used to “Digg” shows.

This certainly do-able,  I have personally implemented Twitter & Flickr Apps on couple of the platforms. The Twitter app was used to showcase how can consumers share what they are watching with their followers!  A further and more important point of evidence  is to look at the services being introduced by Verizon FiOS  – they recently announced widgets and a developer program. AT&T U-Verse powered by Microsoft Mediaroom is another example of making Digg and other web services available on the TV.

To the point being made by Om in his post – services such as Digg have to innovate by spreading to other platforms, and getting onto the TV platform may make sense!


Written by Ashu Joshi

April 1, 2009 at 2:08 am