i was not one of the first to join twitter, i actually joined after attending 4C’s because the tweets feeding facebook about the conference and panels was interesting to me.  gauging popularity based on hashtag use is something we’re seeing a lot of with the current presidential debates and the election cycle.  now that i’ve been on it for a while, following different people for different reasons i’m seeing trends in use.  what i am finding very interesting (today) about twitter, is the misuse of it.  gauging reactions to the presidential debate based on hashtag use with an algorithm that can’t recognize sarcasm is a huge misuse of the space.  even more obvious, but less thought of is a show like The Voice.  the blind audition portion of the voice is pre-recorded.  the judges wear the same outfits week after week, episode after episode, but it’s broken out to the audience like multiple days.  in addition, it’s very likely the events being shown on TV do not match reality in sequential order.  post production can cut up different segments into episodes, add drama and interviews to garner more attention, and generally change the entire atmosphere for television.  so . . what does this have to do with twitter.  as i was watching the drama unfold the other week i began considering how out of sequence the show possibly or probably is compared with the true order of artists who sang for the judges.  then i realized that interviews were being given, and a ‘host’ of sorts discusses trending in the twitterverse, all while judges are tweeting (#thevoice) about the artists they are stealing from each other.  the show is trending in the twitterverse, and ‘judges’ (or a representative for them more likely) are tweeting while the episode is airing, days, weeks or possibly months after it was actually filmed.  however, the hashtag, and emphasis on trending make us the audience feel the drama of the show, feel the excitement.  we never stop and consider the play being put on for us.  the judges are probably not actually tweeting at the moment the episode is airing, some network lackey is signed in to their account, posting pre-determined tweets at opportune moments to add flare to the social media discussions of the show.  and we the audience eat it up.  but is this a misuse of twitter, or is this acceptable to us twitter users?  while i’d like to consider this a misuse, since it is so pre-planned and orchestrated to cause an audience reaction, isn’t all of our social media usage the same?  so should i fault a network for (very wisely) planning their social media usage to increase popularity, for making the tv show interactive with the audience?


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