Monthly Archives: October 2012

Week of 10/28 – 11/3: If Sandy leaves you with power, it’s a good week for TV…

 

Okay, practically the whole Northeast is pre-occupied with Hurricane Sandy – and rightly so.  The Presidential Debates are over, the World Series might be a short one, and fall TV – for those with power – is getting back to normal.

Sidecastr’s week to week fall coverage schedule continues to rank highly in Social TV metrics as tracked by SoicialGuide:  for last week, The Presidential Debates ranked #1 overall, The Walking Dead was last week’s #1 ranked series.  Steelers vs. Bengals, The Voice, Saturday Night Live, The Big Bang Theory, and How I Met Your Mother all ranked among the top 25 shows for last week.

For those who are planning to catch up or watch repeats of Sidecastr’s covered shows, open up Sidecastr while you watch and let us bring live captured social stream conversation to you.  This might help on Thursday night in the 9 – 10 slot, where Glee repeat is a likely filler if the World Series has ended by then

Here’s our full schedule for the week of 10/28

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Sidecastr v1.1 – The “Facebook” Release – Submitted to App Store

Since our initial 1.0 release of Sidecastr for iPad back on June 28th of this year, our product team has been working hard to bring out our first major iPad app update.  So today, we are incredibly excited to be able to announce to the Sidecastr community that Sidecastr for iPad 1.1 should be available shortly, most likely in the next 5 – 7 days, as soon as it emerges from the app store approval process!

Internally we call this version our “Facebook” release.  That’s because, you guessed it, in addition to our initial deep 2-way Twitter integration for sharing tweets with the show fan community, we now offer a carefully thought-out Facebook integration that facilitates group conversations between Facebook friends who watch the same shows – and this is huge – even if they’re not all watching at the same time!

As you probably know, there are other second screen apps that integrate with Facebook.   In theory, it’s wonderful to be able to chat with friends who are watching the same show at the same time in the same timezone as you are.  In practice, because of time-shifting, device shifting, and time zone differences, most people find that they’re solo or, if they’re lucky, able to find only one or two other friends online concurrently.  How sad :(.

Sidecastr’s new ‘My Friends’ feature fixes all that.  As a DVR for social TV related comments, we capture and play back friends’ sidecasts in sync to each person’s own unique viewing time frame. So if I’m watching The Voice live on air in NYC and make a comment, my friend in Boston who adds a 10 min lag to skip commercials, my friend in San Francisco who can’t watch for 3 hours, and my 3rd friend who watches episodes the next day on Hulu will all see my comment appear in the app at the exact moment in the show I posted about.  You and your Facebook friends’ sidecasts and replies all just filter into the new ‘My Friends’ smart-category once you each make the one time link to Facebook from Sidecastr’s settings.  Of course if you’re all watching live at the same time it all just works too.  It’s easy.  And it’s amazing.

Here’s the complete list of What’s New points as submitted to the app store:

Facebook Integration:
● Sidecast with Facebook friends – regardless of whether you’re all watching at the same time – via ‘My Friends’ smart-category
● Automatically check-in the show you are watching to your Facebook timeline
● Post your sidecast and thumbnail image capture of the scene to Facebook
● Use your Facebook account to sign in

More:
● Optimized for iOS6
● Memory improvements: storage consumed per episode now over 50% less!
● Resolved issue where deleting show didn’t free up memory
● Many other enhancements, usability improvements, performance improvements, and bugfixes

Week of 10/14 – 10/20: The Walking Dead Season 3 Premiere + #3 Presidential Debate

There is perhaps a no more perfect of show for Sidecastr’s brand of social TV than The Walking Dead.  It’s highly requested by our users, ranks consistently high on various social TV leaderboards, has a large set of interesting and intelligent real-time tweets to choose from, and it’s is watched repeatedly and highly time-shifted on various streaming sites and devices as well as on traditional TV.  So we can’t wait to start social stream coverage tonight (Sun 10/14 @ 9p ET) on AMC.  The 3rd Presidential Debate is up this week from Hofstra University, this time on Tuesday 10/16 (@9p ET on various networks).

Last week’s Sunday Night Football selections by social DJ and NFL superfan Lauren Antos  were excellent and so well received by our users that we are excited to announce that Lauren has been signed as a free agent 😉 to DJ the remainder of the SNF 2012/13 schedule!  She covers tonights Sunday night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the undefeated Houston Texans.

Here’s our full schedule for the week of 10/14 + timeline of upcoming special events:

Lauren Antos, NFL superfan and Sidecastr’s social stream DJ for tonight’s Sunday Night Football (NBC)

As our users are most likely aware, Sidecastr recruits ‘superfans’ – at least one for every show and episode we cover – to ‘DJ’ the social stream while watching live TV.  How and why we’ve made this a core piece of the Sidecastr experience is briefly overviewed in an FAQ on our website, and will be covered in more depth in an upcoming blog post right here.

But we have heard from users that they’d like to learn a little bit more about who these DJ’s are.

Tonight’s Sunday Night Football (San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints @8:20p ET NBC) social stream is being DJ’d by @laurenantos.  Here’s Lauren’s twitter pic:

By day, Lauren is co-founder and head designer for a hot, up and coming women’s fashion and clothing company, Lilly and Migs.  What are the chances, you’re wondering, that an attractive and talented woman from the fashion industry is also a hard core NFL superfan…

The seeming contradiction is what makes her story that much more compelling.  Make no mistake about it, Lauren’s passion, which stretches back to her childhood (hometown: Endicott, NY) has been about all things pro football.  Not coincidentally (and perhaps in part due to her interests), she was married to high school sweetheart Isaiah Kacyvenski (linebacker Seattle Seahawks 2000 – 2006 + St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders, retired 2008), with whom she has two children.  Besides having an amazing recall of stats and figures and NFL history, she has met many of the players personally. And to top it off, Lauren is a social media maven, with active Twitter and Facebook accounts for both her business and personal lives.  So yes, you might say she knows pro football inside and out!

To experience Lauren’s selection of tweets during tonight’s game, tune your Sidecastr for iPad to Sunday Night Football while you’re watching live starting at 8:20p ET on NBC, or time-shifted.  Good luck Lauren!

Week of 9/30 – 10/6: Presidential Debate #1(CNN + all major networks)

Sidecastr’s 2nd screen coverage of the top social TV shows kicked off with a bang last week.  Because we take many of our cues on which shows to cover based on published metrics of social tv comment volume, we can’t tell you how pleased we are to be covering all the Presidential Debates, beginning with debate #1 this Wed 10/3.  These debates will no doubt not only rocket past our social volume criteria, but will also give Sidecastr the opportunity help pioneer social TV’s role in the promotion of an informed citizenry.

Those of you who experienced Sidecastr for iPad’s curated live social stream during the political conventions last month know how our process of needing to fill all categories with a well-paced selection of the best, most insightful tweets rolling by helps insure that our subject matter experts – our social DJs – select a balanced distillation of comments.  Let us know if you agree.  We’ve chosen to use CNN’s broadcast of the debates, but our syncing capabilities should allow you to watch most of the time on any channel, except during the network commentary, which will of course be different from network to network.

Here’s our full schedule for the week of 9/30 + timeline of upcoming special events: