The Voice, social media and HME


Let me get this off my chest: I watch The Voice. Every week. (You'll only know how funny this is if you know how little TV I watch.)

Never heard of The Voice? Like American Idol, it's a singing contest. But the judges/coaches—Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton—select their team members/contestants without seeing what they look like. See, for the first few episodes, the judges sit in chairs with their backs to the contestants. If the judges like what they hear, they push a button and their chair turns around.

So what else do you need to know about The Voice? The show's producers are doing a crazy job incorporating social media.

This past week's episode was the start of the live shows. That means the remaining contestants were singing live in front of the judges and a TV audience to get votes to remain on the show. Yes, that part's very much like American Idol. What's not like American Idol at all: The show's host, Carson Daly, kept cutting to Alison Haislip, the backstage correspondent, who would share tweets that people were posting about the performances on twitter. Haislip would also talk with contestants, who were using tablet devices to talk with viewers through social media.

From an entertainment perspective, I'm not sure how I feel about this (do I really need to know that voicelover2 thought Christina Aguilera's performance of Lady Marmalade with her four team members/contestants was...insert adjective used by 13-year-olds here?). But it still made me fall out of my seat. I've never seen social media be such a big part of a TV show before. But then again, I don't watch much TV. Please tell me: Is it just me?

My point in mentioning all of this: I think we all have (or should have) social media on the brain these days. At HME News, we're blogging, we're tweeting, we're Facebook-ing, we're LinkedIn-ing. We have two great sessions dedicated to social media at this year's HME Business Summit. I'm not saying we have it all figured out, but we're definitely throwing ourselves out there.

So should you.

Because I feel like, with The Voice, TV and social media have turned a corner that's representative of a lot of other things to come. And there's no going back.

BTW: I'm totally routing for team Cee Lo.

Liz Beaulieu