Do you like TV? I mean really like TV. If you do, then if you haven’t checked out TV.com already, you really should. In my opinion, it’s one of the best examples of a community web site I’ve ever seen and it’s so chock full of content that if the idea of a “web community” makes you want to change the channel, there’s still no reason NOT to check it out. TV.com has everything there is to know about your favorite shows in a easy to use format that will have you quickly bookmarking it for future reference.
Before TV.com, there was a site called TVTome.com and it was a great resource for finding out everything there is to know about your favorite shows. Well, it seems that C|Net purchased the company behind TVTome awhile back and on June 1st of this year they relaunched the site as TV.com. At first, I was pretty apprehensive given the fact that some “big corporate entity” took over my once beloved site, but after playing with it a few months, I have to say that it’s better than ever.
The IMDB OF TV
TVTome was always the IMDB.com of television to me. Although TV shows are part of IMDB’s content offerings, TVTome seemed to do a better job of it, probably because it’s what the site was all about. 😛 TVTome always had all the scoop regarding just about any TV show you could imagine, both past and present. I could always find episode guides, reviews, cast info even trivia about all of my shows. Well, TV.com has kept all that I loved about TVTome, but simply made it better.
Now I can find my favorite shows faster and the whole site seems to be more streamlined and efficient. Thanks to a pull-down list, I can jump to my favorite show with nary a click. Once there, I can drill down as deep as I want concerning any episode. In addition, there are a ton of new features, such as the ability to rate the show as a whole, as well as rate each individual episode. I can also post reviews, comments to reviews and even blog about it if I want to.
An Online Persona
All of this is made possible once you create your free account. There’s never any charges and it doesn’t seem to be a ploy to lure you into upgrading into some sort of paid membership. Creating an account simply allows you to create a profile whereby you can keep track of your favorite shows and preferences. Of course the entire site is accessible without an account, but having an account just makes it easier.
You’re free to post as much information about yourself and your preferences as you want, so if you prefer to play things “close to your chest”, then you can still do that. But having a site that keeps track of all your favorite TV shows is almost indefensible. For example, if you’re watching one of your regular shows and a character is suddenly written out of the show, you may be left wondering “WTF?”. Well, simply log into TV.com and in one mouse click you can read up on all the behind-the-scenes scuttle butt regarding your show.
Keeping Up-To-Date Thanks To The Community
Because TV.com isn’t only an archive of aired television episodes, it’s a hub for everything that’s happening with the shows that you like to watch. Up in the right hand corner of the screen is a listing of all new updates for all of your favorite shows, so you can easily keep up-to-date.
This is all made possible thanks to the fact that the entire site is community driven. As other fans of a show come across information via the Internet, or other trade publications, they have the ability to share it by posting it online. So any and all information that is relevant to a particular show is posted in one location. This way it’s super easy to keep up to date.
You may only be a passing fan of The Shield, but rest assured there are a legion of rabid fans that are all to happy to share their knowledge of the show. So when you’re left wondering if Glenn Close will be returning to the 5th season, someone will have already answered that question for you.
That’s really what online communities are all about – sharing information and enriching a user’s experience. Believe it or not, it’s not an easy thing to do. I’ve created many online communities, such as NPUG and InterPUG, but never have I seen a site so well integrate a community experience throughout it’s site.
At it’s core, the TV.com web site is designed to be custom tailored to YOU. Once you’ve created an account, your online preferences and persona are weaved throughout the site. Your list of favorite TV shows, your ratings of any TV show and even your comments are all integrated and thus alter how the site is presented to other visitors. Instead of a cryptic Nielsen rating, a show’s popularity is based solely on the thoughts and ratings of it’s viewers. If I were developing a television show, I would leave my browser set on TV.com.
In addition, your “persona” seamlessly flows between all aspects of the site. Want to ask a question in the Forums? No problem. You don’t have to create yet another profile because the forums are integrated into the site and thus uses the profile you’ve already created. Want to post a comment on another user’s blog? No problem – again it’s seamless. Clearly the team behind TV.com didn’t think of users as an afterthought, but instead put them into the forefront of the design of the site. I just wish all community sites could do it this well.
A Little Something For Everyone
In the end, wether you’re a rabid fan of TV, or simply have a passing interest, TV.com has something in store for you. From trivia, to in depth episode guides and reviews, TV.com covers television like no other resource I’ve ever found. So if you’re just interested in when the season premiere of Boston Legal is, or you want to know all there is to know about the cast of Six Feet Under, then TV.com is for you.
One of the things that I forgot to do in this article is to put a link to my TV.com profile, which can be found at this link. I’ve started a blog there as well, so we’ll see how that works.
Oh and if you have a profile on TV.com please let me know so I can add you to my “friends list”.