Syfy's Haven & Social TV 2.0: Social Not Just Contextual But Embedded In Content

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Syfy is going beyond the usual cable network level of Twitter integration by expanding the plotline of its supernatural show, Haven, directly on the microblogging site. Mashable about the concept and format:

Starting Friday, Syfy will begin airing seven episodes of the show — which follows an FBI agent named Audrey Parker who lives in the secret-ridden town of Haven, Maine — that tie into Twitter.

Two characters on the show, newspapermen Vince (@VinceHaven) and Dave (@DaveHaven), join Twitter and begin interacting with an unknown Twitter user, @ColdInHaven, who has an extremely wide knowledge of the town.

Viewers can follow the action on Twitter, and will be able to catch mentions of the tweet-based storyline on the show itself. The story will resolve on second season finale September 30.

That said, the show has been written so that viewers don’t need to use Twitter to follow the story.

Craig Engler, general manager and senior vice president, Syfy Digital said:

“Although there have been simple integrations before, no one has fully and organically integrated Twitter into the fabric of the show in the way Haven is doing."

Have a look at Haven's website.

FilmGuru reports on the "troubles" of the introduction and launch:

While @DaveHaven and @VinceHaven tweeted back and forth a few hours before the show, the micro-blogging story stopped there.

As the August 12th episode of Haven, “Roots,” began, fans expected live interaction from the show on Twittter.

Instead, viewers were merely introduced to the concept with a couple of amusing Twitter references in the show, as Dave and Vince both posted flyers in the sheriff’s office to entice viewers to follow them on their respective Twitter accounts.

As Twitter-savvy fans of the show turned up on the #HavenNews feed, they made amusing, sometimes snarky comments about the characters and storyline. But none of the characters tweeted during the episode.

One Twitter follower, @OmegaGreenbean summed up fans’ concerns, “They should have tweeted something at the beginning of the show, just to show it’s working. #HavenNews”

I agree with the opinion of the following blogger:

This integration of social media and television will likely continue to grow and come to a “show near you” in the near future if not already present.  In any case, I hope you give Haven an opportunity to entertain you…on as few or as many platforms as you like.

It might not be executed optimally but there's a learning curve that has to be taken. It's great to see these next steps in Social TV, where it's not a contextual addition to the TV experience, but it's about the actual content and experience.

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