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    How the Internet Turned TV Watching into a Spectator Sport

    Written by

    Lex Berko


    The internet is a playground for fandom. Everywhere you look, you can find Tumblrs dedicated to Doctor Who, live-tweeting parties organized around the newest episode of True Blood, or entire forums dissecting the nuances of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Kenyatta Cheese and Kevin Slavin find this fascinating. According to Cheese, who is one of the folks behind the encyclopedic website Know Your Meme, there is something special about the way people not just consume, but love television and gravitate together based on that love.

    Cheese and Slavin, the founder of Playful Systems at the MIT Media Lab, have co-founded a consultancy called Everybody at Once to capitalize on this unique type of community-making. Their objective is to create social strategies for the media and entertainment world based upon the very human need to feel part of something.

    “We’re humans,” says Slavin in the video above. “We take our meaning of the world from other humans. We need to feel the audience around us.” He and Cheese suggest that is exactly what is happening on the various internet platforms that have coalesced around particular shows. The audience can chat with one another. The audience is aware of each other. In other words, the audience has an audience.

    Both Cheese and Slavin will be speaking about this and other theories of storytelling at the Future of StoryTelling Summit in New York on October 3.