In the past, TV could be quite a lonely experience, if no one shared your preference for the passive home entertainment. With the internet, TV has also changed. Fanpages, chat programs, and social networks gave people a way to express themselves, to share, and to connect. The internet brought individuals together that otherwise would never have met.
With TIOTI, short for Tape It Off The Internet, a community for TV lovers has entered the scene. TIOTI is a social media platform for television shows, with a touch of Wiki-ness, providing information, links and ways to mingle with like-minded individuals. If you have a Facebook account, you won’t need to set up a separate account with TIOTI.
It all starts with finding a specific show. Just enter its name into the search field, then pick the right show from the list of results. Alternatively, you can navigate to the Find Shows page in the top menu and browse shows by genre, A to Z or by popularity. Currently, 892 shows have made it onto TIOTI.
Each TV show has its own little page, containing essential information and links to internet sources.
The main page (Show Central) gives an overview of the show, while the subpages, About, Discuss, Seasons & Episodes, and Watch, go into detail. Links to streaming videos or downloads seem like a major part of the site. However they are not always working, for example since YouTube took the video down or because you’re connecting to media from outside the US.
The gray bar on the left contains the show logo, buttons to quickly add/remove that show to/from your favorites, see who else likes it or recommend it to friends, and bits of information about the show.
Users can contribute to all parts of the site by changing information in the About section, adding links, comments, photos, and clips.
Now the fun part is to join groups, build a network of friends, chat about episodes, and recommend shows to each other. Using the search field you can not only find shows or episodes, you can also query for tags found in people’s profiles or group descriptions. To make it easy for others to discover your profile, add tags to it through the my page section.
Become instantly involved by participating in groups. Navigate to Groups and either create your own or find an existing group matching your interests. It’s unfortunate that the Groups section is organized so poorly. There could be a list of the biggest, most popular or most active groups or at least a good categorization.
To stay up to date, you can receive eMail updates or subscribe to RSS feeds for your favorite shows. TIOTI also provides some widgets for your blog, homepage or profile.
What is TV to you? Do you chat about TV online? What’s your favorite show?