Media can be Social!

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As a television producer, my job is to help create content for audiences worldwide. The projects I work on require enormous amounts of resources to generate and distribute. Each television season we produce requires the collective efforts of hundreds of people, months of production lead-time, with additional months, if not years, before deficit costs are recovered in the form of sales on iTunes, DVDs and broadcast syndication. It would be virtually impossible for any of us as individuals to privately produce programming in this way, let alone get it to a broad audience, but Social Media has now created a completely different paradigm.

With Social Media everyone can now create and distribute content, and we can get an instantaneous response from our audience in the form of comments. We’ve just become potential filmmakers, studios, networks and Nielsen families all rolled into one! Of course, not everyone has something to say, but notice that didn’t stop me from agreeing to do a blog!

This trend has not only democratized media creation and distribution, giving rise to talent that might not have been discovered otherwise, but it has also affected how traditional media outlets perform as well. This season on “Nurse Jackie,” Dr. Cooper joins Twitter and starts sending Tweets at work. Showtime set up a live followers list for the character so that viewers watching the show live could receive Dr. Cooper’s tweets in real time.

Not only does this encourage audiences to tune in for live broadcasts, making those initial ratings pop, but it gives the viewer another way to feel like they’re participating in a collective social event. Afterwards they can go onto the Facebook site and share their thoughts with others in the Nurse Jackie viewing community.

In the end, aren’t we all just looking for a way to connect, to participate in something bigger than ourselves? Maybe some of that has just gotten a little easier with Social Media, so long as it becomes a means to that end, rather than a substitute for interacting with the actual world around us.

So, Blog on, my friends! The cyber water’s fine.

http://www.sho.com/site/nursejackie/special-features.do

About The Author

I was raised in the Des Moines, Iowa, and had the good fortune to come out during my early days at Stanford University, which meant that I came of age in the San Francisco Bay Area, circa 1978! (That deserves two - !! ) I was thrilled to finally understand that piece of myself, and found many inspiring members within the gay community that helped me feel great about who I was. After college I moved out to New York to pursue a career as an actor. My 20's were fairly eventful (it was the 80's in New York, mind you) but by the end of that period in my life, I was looking for a more satisfying way to work and live. When my agent and manager both started moving clients to LA, I went, happily. Eventually I found my way into Renaissance Pictures, the production company run by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, where I worked on "Hercules" and "Xena." After several very cool years with them, I headed back to New York, motivated by a possible position on a gay cable network (that never happened) and a new love (that most definitely did!). 13 years later I find myself happily married to my husband Chris, working on two cool shows ("Nurse Jackie" and "Bored To Death"), and living in Chelsea with our golden retriever Jezebel. During the summer we're lucky enough to balance our time between the Pines on Fire Island, and Ptown on Cape Cod. During those visits, Jezebel loves nothing more than to jump the waves after a ball, or chase seagulls along the beach. She's a good role model on how best to enjoy the simple pleasures, and as easy a child to raise and love as ever there was! (She is a golden, after all!) You can reach Brad at carpenterbrad@me.com.

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