Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Are You Watching TV While You Read This?

More fuel for the “everybody’s watching TV and the Web at the same time” meme: Data from Nielsen showing that lots of people are watching TV and the Web at the same time, at least during big live events.

Nielsen says 13.3 percent of Americans who watched the Oscars also used the Web during this month’s telecast and that 14.5 percent of those watching last month’s Super Bowl did the same thing (see table below; click to enlarge).

These numbers are both up from last year, and the only surprise here is that they’re so low. But remember: Not everyone spends as much time on the Web as you do–a third of the country still doesn’t have broadband.

Nielsen says that online/offline viewers spent the majority of their Web time at Facebook, Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO), which isn’t surprising. It’s a little bit interesting that Twitter.com doesn’t crack Nielsen’s list of Top 10 domains for simultaneous viewing. But perhaps most people who Twitter during TV time are doing so from their phones.

Speaking of which, many thanks to all of you who have refrained from Twittering during and immediately after “Lost” this season–my stream has been nice and quiet so far. Or perhaps no one’s watching “Lost” anymore. I wouldn’t blame them; this season has been frustrating even by the show’s frustrating standards.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus