Ever since Steve Jobs showed a clip of the web show Tiki Bar TV (Tilzy.TV page) – while strutting the capabilities of Apple’s newly launched video i-Pod in October 2005 – the series featuring a talented group of Vancouver-based misfits in a bachelor-pad-turned-tribute to 1950s Polynesian kitsch transformed from a cultish internet meme to an almost mainstream sensation.
Episodes of the illustrious dancing Lala, barkeep Johnny Johnny, and mixologist Dr. Tiki’s alcoholic remedies for a variety of troubled characters took an unaccounted five-month production hiatus at the beginning of this year. But, thankfully, the show’s been releasing regular installments since April and now offers a new kind of interactivity that goes far beyond your average piece of Tiki Mail. ###
Jeff Macpherson, the creator and star of Tiki Bar TV, just announced a partnership with Me.dium, “a web browser add-on that enables users to surf with their friends, discover relevant sites and link-up with other users visiting similar sites, [and] turns the internet into a social experience.”
On Wednesday, August 22, at 3PM EST, fans viewing the latest episode at Tiki Bar TV through Me.dium will have a “live”, movie-theater-like experience and be able to interact with Dr. Tiki himself.
“We’re extremely excited about the possibilities that stem from incorporating the live collaboration element into our broadcasts,” said Macpherson. “Real-time interaction definitely adds a level of excitement for the fans that’s not available otherwise. The social aspect completely changes the dynamics of online TV, enabling us to really create a common experience with our viewers.”
The event doesn’t seem like it will be the interactive equal to Justin TV (Tilzy.TV page), uStream, or BlogTV, but it marks one of the first moves by a major web tv series to try out a shared, community-oriented, viewing experience. People like to enjoy entertainment with other people, and scheduling a viewing where fans can converse with one another is a something that all shows could eventually have in addition to wikis, forums, and other “social” features.
One of the advantages of web is it’s ability for on-demand viewing, but there’s no reason it can’t incorporate scheduled programming of pre-recorded shows as well. There’s certainly room for both. Imagine watching ZeFrank (Tilzy.TV page) and sharing comments and reactions real-time with thousands of other Sports Racers. Very cool.
For a dry but informative look at Med.ium, check out Robert Scoble’s tutorial with the company’s CEO, Kimbal Musk below.