Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fox debuts interactive Special Report segment

After today's Fox News Special Report, the network debuted an Internet-only feature. The panel stuck around for an extra twenty minutes and answered chat messages and tweets.

Special Report Live will be a Wednesday-only feature. During the segment, the page displayed two panes. The left side represented a live feed of the panel answering questions based upon the chat and the tweets. The right side was a live chat window.

The effect was neat, but could definitely use some fine-tuning.

* The rules were unclear. Some of my chat messages were "promoted" to the chat window, others disappeared into the bit bucket forever. There was no explanation for why certain messages (e.g., someone shrieked "Charles for President!!!!!!!") were promoted while others were not.

* Some stats would be nice. How many folks were connected simultaneously?

* Use of crowdsourcing to drive the chat would help. Let the users vote on which chat messages are "promoted" to Brett's chat window.

Bottom line, the segment was entertaining and enlightening. The interactive features appear to be a window into the future: the confluence of IP and television.

It's been a long time coming.

Update: When will Keith Olbermann try his hand at this new medium?

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