Thinking Social

Do you hear that thunder in the distance?

chainsThat’s the sound of ordinary people unshackling themselves from traditional one-way media. And it’s going to get louder.

If you’re a business that relies on traditional advertising models, now would be a good time to figure out where those people are going with their newfound freedom, and maybe even make a buck or two as you make them happy.

What follows are a couple of ideas I offer to the business world, free of charge, after spending a few minutes thinking Social.

TiVo Judo

One of the great lessons a non-martial artist can learn from martial arts is the concept of using opposing energy in your favor. Judo – the codified sport version of Jujitsu – is all about taking your opponent’s momentum and force and redirecting it. Aikido (a beautiful art made famous as the “bits between Steven Seagal’s awful acting) accomplishes this in simple, circular movements. So how can traditional media benefit from the momentum behind TiVo and DVR?

One of the features I wish I had on my DVR is a bookmark. That way when there are touchdowns or key plays in the game I am watching, I can press a button and have a placeholder. Then I can go back and enjoy them faster.

Share the moments

Of course, Thinking Social means understanding how cool it would be to share those bookmarks with other viewers. The first DVR provider (Comcast, Charter, TiVo, DirecTV) to figure this out will have a huge leg up. We’re not talking about an expensive hardware update to make that happen, either.

But I am thinking even bigger. If the disruption of the DVR is a threat to traditional advertising, then why not redirect it? Yes, it would be problematic to share time-codes from DirecTV with Charter, and TiVo with Brighthouse. So let’s find a common platform: YouTube.

Instead of simply bookmarking the index on my DVR hard drive, give me the option to have that :30 clip of the winning touchdown uploaded to YouTube.

Regaining control

(But wait, Ike… that’s insane! In a popular sporting event, you’d have more than a million people uploading the same clip!)

Well, guess what? They’re doing it anyway. But if DirecTV is smart about it, when you click to bookmark and YouTube the clip they’ll handle it another way:

  1. The clip will be uploaded only once
  2. Instead of being tied to each individual user, it will instead be “Favorited” by your account
  3. The Favoriting will trigger any additional pinging, such as notifications sent to Twitter and Facebook and the new flavor of the day
  4. The clip will have a :10 or :15 ad built into the front of it.

DirecTV will only have to upload it once, and will have instant feedback about what is popular. It can also sell the interstitial ad (which is permanently “stitched” into the clip) and share revenues with the original broadcast provider. So, if it’s the SEC game of the week on CBS, CBS get’s 70% of the cut from those ad views. Or maybe CBS chooses to run a promo for its own programming in that slot.

Then, DirecTV (substitute your DVR provider as needed) gets to place ads around the video, and can even offer discounts and premiums to those who refer the most views. If you happen to come to my YouTube page and watch the video, there will be an icon you can click on to find out more about DirecTV’s super-awesome Social-DVR service (and if you buy through my referral I get a free month of programming, or something.)


There is a huge opportunity here, because they would be making it easy for me to share with the people who probably have compatible likes and dislikes. Content creators aren’t left in the lurch, because someone is paying the bills. YouTube will like it because it can make money on a single upload viewed 10,000 times moreso than 100 uploads watched 100 times. Advertisers will like it because it provides a real-time metric of what people will share, a buzz-worthy meter.

And I will like it because the (funniest happiest scariest) moments in (sports news entertainment) get shared as quickly and easily as possible.

So, DVR makers. Get to cracking.

Idea #2 comes tomorrow.

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  1. Ike, you have really out-done yourself, this is brilliant! Exceptionally well thought out. I’m worried you won’t get full credit or even profit from this brainstorm. :>(

    Let me know who ends getting this done first and I’ll switch providers.

    • Thanks Jill!

      Well, at least we will know where it came from…

      To be honest, when you start linking social sites together how do you go about patenting that? It’s really just an idea, and not even much of a recipe.

      If it comes to fruition, that will be payment enough, I suppose. (until my lawyer and my accountant tell me otherwise.)

  2. Twitter Comment

    Ideas for making TiVo more social [link to post]

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  3. Twitter Comment

    Lovin’ this from @ikepigott – [link to post]

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  4. Twitter Comment

    RT@JasonFalls: Lovin’ this from @ikepigott – [link to post]

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  5. Twitter Comment

    Brilliant! DVR / TiVo / YouTube bookmarking. [link to post]

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  6. I really like your blog and i respect your work. I’ll be a frequent visitor.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Hepburn, Jill Bode. Jill Bode said: Great idea! RT @ikepigott: The next big thing to improve the DVR? Thinking Social: (this means @directv & @comcastcares) […]

  2. Cool ideas! Making TiVo/DVR social, from @ikepigott

  3. Jill Bode says:

    Great idea! RT @ikepigott: The next big thing to improve the DVR? Thinking Social: (this means @directv & @comcastcares)

  4. An interesting concept, from @ikepigott. What do you think?

  5. Brilliant! DVR / TiVo / YouTube bookmarking.

  6. Thinking Social – (via @ikepigott) He's a genius! Seriously… I've known him for years… a genius, I tell ya!

  7. RT Thinking Social – (via @ikepigott ) DVR makers… You have your marching orders!

  8. Ike Pigott says:

    Still no reaction from the TV world on my idea to make television Social:

  9. Im experimenting for new film: Still no reaction from the TV world on my idea to make television Social: (via @ikepigott)

  10. […] and media. It is called Occam’s Razr, by Ike Pigott. A recent article by Ike about sharing digital versions of film and TV via sites like YouTube proposed a brilliant […]

  11. Ike Pigott says:

    @Gennefer – Speaking of media future, what do you think of this?

  12. Ike Pigott says:

    Hey @directv, @dishnetwork, @comcast, @charter – You'd think ONE of you would have Social DVRs by now: