It’s unfair to judge a product before it has launched, and whilst I’m raising some issues about Tellylinks I’m still going to be tuning in this evening and trying the service out. The full coverage can be seen over at The Guardian if you want the background of all involved, but the below video amply conveys what the service is aiming to do.
My first thoughts were that if Jeff Henry had not been involved this would not have the coverage it seems to be getting. But that was a knee jerk reaction – that they have negotiated with Five to allow for the service to be effectively Beta tested during primetime, means that someone somewhere is impressed.
But talk is cheap and PR inspired lines like “it’s like an app for your television” are doing Henry no favours at all – it’s not, it’s a website I’ll surf on my laptop whilst staring at my TV…nothing like an iphone App. I also have concerns about the minimal information on the site at the moment, no example videos, no twitter streams, no real explanation. The lowly twitter follower figures also leads me to think that marketing the service is not a priority at the moment. Is tonight just a live proof of concept to get the VC’s interested?
The main problem is going to be how they offer something that google/twitter dont already? I know Henry talks about “editorial search”…but that’s just PR talk again. When I type something into google that’s relevant to a program I’m watching….that’s editorial search as well! My wife is a twitter fiend but uses it as a fun devise whilst watching TV, her and her followers share links, jokes, comments about TV programs all the time. What is Tellylinks going to offer to these people – and why has more not been done to reach out and them to use the service tonight?
Working for a TV station and running their online presence I have a great interest in online properties that try and link up with the TV. I was involved as a consultant with Tioti a couple of years ago, and know the guys at TVPixie well as well. I want sites like these to succeed, and I think that as we move towards converged TV where apps will be able to run, that there is a place in the market for them.
As I said at the start you can’t judge something you have not tried, but apart from some great PR for Henry the signs dont look that great. However I will be watching Five at 10pm this evening and using the service.
Just can’t help thinking that a quick Twitter App, some crowdsourcing could do the same thing for a fraction of the cost!