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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is social entertainment making us more passive?

Here I was thinking that the Internet and social media were making us all more active consumers of entertainment. Seems I might have been wrong. From Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb

A new report from GlobalWebIndex has some thought-provoking data about “social entertainment,” a term for when entertainment is augmented by social media technologies. For example, the real-time discussion happening around TV shows on Twitter. In the GlobalWebindex report, entitled GlobalWebIndex Wave 1-3 2010, author Tom Smith notes three main trends. The first two are well known: the rise of ‘real-time’ in consumer entertainment and the growth of what he terms “packaged platforms.” By the latter, he means services that live outside of the browser – smartphone and tablet apps, gaming consoles, eReaders and Internet-connected TV sets.

The third trend is more contentious. The report states that in the new era of social entertainment, traditional media holds the power – a change from the ‘web 2.0’ era, when the user ruled. The report argues that this will lead to a return to passive experiences by consumers.

The report explains that social entertainment is far more about content sharing, than creation. It goes on to suggest that this “light nature of interaction” is moving the consumer back to the passive state they were in before the Internet came along. Further, that services like Facebook and Twitter turn consumers into “distributors.”

MacManus goes on to rebut the report, insisting that entertainment consumers are indeed more active than we used to be, what with arguing about episodes of Jesery Shore online and whatnot.

What do you think? Is social entertainment making us more passive?

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