Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Watching People Watching TV

Good article from the Economist about the realities of TV consumption:

In surveys [people] almost always underestimate how much television they watch, and greatly overstate the extent to which they watch video in any other form. In particular, they underestimate their consumption of live television. One of Ms Pearson’s subjects, a 27-year-old man, claimed to watch recorded television 90% of the time. In fact he watched live TV 69% of the time. He was probably not so much fibbing as misinterpreting the question. When asked how he watched television, he gave an answer that described his behaviour when he was alone, and thus did not have to compromise. But most of the time he watched with other people.

The article also points out how many “disruptive” TV ideas have missed a basic premise of how we consume: With other people. I can’t help but feel like the current wave of “social TV” applications that aim to allow me to connect with my friends while watching shows will suffer the same fate. The reality of the situation is that the vast majority of my TV time is already spent consuming it socially with the person sitting next to me on the couch.

May 16, 2010