What may be the biggest business change of all is finally on the verge of becoming real. Interactive Television, an idea we’ve all known was “big” since way before the Internet destroyed the Yellow Pages and called the model that television stations and newspapers live on into question is coming to a place that actually makes sense.
In a way I haven’t quite figured out.
The Bravo TV channel has announced a deal with Foursquare.com, a web site that tracks where you go, what you do, and who else is there. It’s at least a little stalker-esque, but the idea is fascinating and potentially a way to make new friends in an increasingly disconnected time.
If you followed me on Foursquare, you would have known, for example, that I was with Mick Jagger at the Gagosian Gallery’s opening for Damien Hirst a few days ago. Live. And maybe we could have met.
I’m not going to try and explain Foursquare or similar ideas like Gowalla any further; to be honest they leave me mostly scratching my head. But as the New York Times tells us, the deal between Foursquare and Bravo TV will encourage television viewers to get up, go out, and collect points by making their way from one Bravo-endorsed location to another. Interactive television, Re-imagined.
Think that’s a lot of business change? Me, too. Here’s what I find most amazing, though: since the deal was announced and the Times’ story was posted three days ago, there’s been not one single comment on it. Not One.
Maybe nobody cares. Maybe none of the usual people who read The Times are using Foursquare. Maybe they are but think it’s such an unimportant idea that they couldn’t be bothered to post a comment. Maybe the staff at The New York Times is asleep and not releasing comments on that page Nope, I posted a comment and it was released almost immediately.
Or maybe the Bravo/Foursquare deal is an example of a new kind of business change: one nobody cares about.