Friday, April 05, 2002

Interactive TV
Emily Nussbaum covers participatory television in a story for Slate. Her use of the internet is exactly right, in that the article is peppered with links to other sites that illustrate her points. And, of course, every mention of a specific site is a link, as Tim Berners-Lee intended.

The series she has chosen to illustrate the close contact that viewers sometimes have with each other, and occasionally have with the creative team behind the series as well, is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, of course, she has my attention.

I have no criticism to make of this article. It is thoughtful and well-researched, and Ms Nussbaum is funny and self-depreciating.

There's just one more nudge I might have suggested to make a good article into a definitive one, since we are descending into the depths of geekdom. No mention is made of the unprecedented availability of writer/creator J. Michael Straczynski to fans during the run of Babylon 5, most of which is chronicled at the newly-restored Lurker's Guide. That, I believe, was the first time a show's creator had extensive contact with the show's viewers while the show was in production. As the Web was not ubiquitous as it is now, the medium was the show's Usenet newsgroup.

But I guess Babylon 5 is ancient history now...
(The show premiered Feb 22, 1993, and its final first-run regular episode aired November 25, 1998.)

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