Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Tereza Wagner said "Zapping is a way to escape from real live, which is always good but not sufficient to escape from being bored." And: "Don't you think that at the end all these hundred of channels are much of the same?"

Another strategy that big broadcasting corporations draw on to deal with zapping is to replicate traditional marketing strategies. Zapping is compared to an individual shopping in a souk. The shopper can pass from a store to another in order to seek better quality and better prices. But whether or not this person knows that all these stores belong to the same trader/owner does not matter as long as the product being sought can be finally found. Similarly, whether or not it is the same broadcasting company that is running all these channels is not really an irksome question; a company can easily announce that it runs many channels, each dedicated for a specific genre: movies, songs, cartoons, etc. Consequently, the fragments viewed by zappers will be shown by the same company, albeit on different channels.
So for broadcasters, zapping is not considered anymore a means for 'escaping', and this is because of a major motivating element: money. While it is certain that ads will generate material benefits for the broadcasting companies, the more profitable source of money is the viewer himself, such as the woman who wants to communicate with her daughter living abroad. Now, with SMS technology, she can send a message to her daughter in the United States to tell her how much she loves her. The feature which constitutes the essence of this type of communication is the fact that the SMS message can be sent through the TV channel in the form of a scrolling marquee at the bottom of the screen when sent to a specific 4-digit number.
The mother is now waiting for the message to appear… she is waiting for a new meaning to appear. Suddenly, her message is on TV! She is famous! She is also someone who did something. She simply exists now, in this tiny but nonetheless precise moment of media power. She is no longer waiting on her sofa for her death. From now on, life means a lot to her. From now on, these SMS messages become the oxygen she breathes to carry on and to stay alive longer. They replace the children with whom she cannot play and the children for whom she cannot make sandwiches. They now replace anyone who might ever have been close to this woman. The SMS concept thus operates as a nerve that has one of its roots in the strength of love. In addition, this creates a relation between SMS users and zappers.
Philippe Baudelot said: "They know what will happen in a TV show (or serie por anything else) after seeing only a few seconds of it."

SMS users shape the style and identity of channels: zappers know also what each channel is about by reading some ("few seconds") of the SMS messages that are scrolling at the bottom of the screen.
Philippe Baudelot said: "They do not like TV, they like unconsciously to be more clever than it".
Since the viewer enjoys looking at the screen now much more than before because of the SMS messages he is viewing, these messages have been inserted in all kinds of TV programs. Being more active and less passive, viewers want to express their power on TV by affecting stories, results, and realities via SMS technology.
A major reason why this option of expressing one's wishes is enabled for viewers is to generate more money for broadcasting companies. The cost of each SMS message is divided on all those who are part of the working mechanism in the technology network industry.
This directly link to this question: Do artworks emerge from a specific Intention or from media models constrained by business requirements?

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