Okay, file this item in the “There are only two kinds of people in the world” folder. Either you will think that this is a great idea, or a terrible one.
Last year, I reported on Samsung’s plans to provide Yahoo! widgets on their Series 6 and 7 LCD TVs to provide feeds of information from the Internet, such as headlines, weather, stock data, and sports scores. I think it’s great to be able to get data from the Web — I’m watching a lot of Hulu on my living room screen these days — but I’m ambivalent at best about the whole widget idea. My knickers get knotted bad enough with the now-permanent network bugs that are displayed all the time on some broadcast channels, and I’m really tired of the animated program promos that pop up when I’m trying to watch a program.
So what has Samsung done now? They are going to release a free upgrade that will provide a Twitter widget. I’m not clear on how you control it or what you’ll get, but apparently the idea is that all your tweets will scroll by while you watch your TV. Hmmm… I find it hard enough to notice the league score updates at the bottom of the screen when I’m concentrating on watching a professional sports event, so I don’t think I’d be very good at noticing the tweets if they get added to the clutter. The Twitter widget sounds like an excellent way to provide a constant distraction while you try to watch TV.
On the other hand, I do understand how much some people — like my buddy Bruce Brown — love Twitter and want to stay in touch with others at all times. And I really get what this might do for hit shows like “Lost” or “American Idol” where you’ll get twitstorms of real-time responses to what’s happening on the screen. It is probably going to be huge. It’s just not for me.
In addition to the Series 6 and 7 sets with Internet connectivity, the feature will also be available in the 6000, 7000, and 8000 lines of LCD TVs with LED backlights. If you think this is a good feature, don’t try to tweet me because I’m not there, but do send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.