Apprentice Live Predictor

For the next hour I’ll mainly be watching the Apprentice.

Except I won’t. Not just watching anyway. A few weeks ago, I talked about the Apprentice and Twitter and if you’re anything like me, you generally watch TV with a laptop open. This is sometimes known as a ‘second screen’ experience (I even recently heard it called, heaven help us, ‘double dipping’).

There are quite a few examples of social telly projects out there, and that list is far from comprehensive. Mac Morrison has been thinking about the web and live TV as an event and reminds us of Tom Coates’ thoughts on social set top boxes from way back in 2005.

Well, now there’s this. You might like it. The Apprentice live predictor is quite simple really. You predict who you think will get fired, can change your mind at any time, and score points based on how long you were backing (um, what’s the opposite of backing?) the person who finally gets the finger.

It’s not a competition (really), it doesn’t influence the show (it couldn’t possibly, since the show is pre-recorded) and it’s not (really) chat-around-content as some of the social telly examples were, because the messages are pre approved and hand picked by the site editor. That means that a secondary game, which I found myself playing last week, becomes trying to leave a comment witty enough, quickly enough, to get picked by the host/edtior.

The predictor is a nice example of participation around live television which isn’t just about adding open chat around a video stream. Fun, game-like elements interest me a lot more really. I think the best bit is watching how the fickle public prediction changes in response to the candidates doing and saying stupid things.

It’s been running for the last three weeks. In case you’ve missed it until now, here’s what it looked like during the closing minutes of boardroom scene last week. I waited for a week before posting this, to reduce the spoiler risk.

3 Comments

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  1. Really like this, and we’d be interested in mocking this up on an internet connected set top box (like Virgin Media or Freesat), maybe at the next hack day?
    Si, (Red Button Team)

    Comment by Simon Lumb — April 17, 2009 #

  2. This idea is truly good food for thought. With the entire world growing more reality TV oriented by the hour, why not have a couple or so people sitting in front of a big screen literally panning a show.

    They could Tweet about how much the entire show, or at least some of the actors, stink or shine during the presentation. Such an idea, with the right cast, would generate a lot more Twitter traffic than that dog of a show called Talk Soup!

    Comment by Alex — May 9, 2009 #

  3. Whilst greatly enjoying the latest series of the Apprentice I have to record it so can rarely take part in the online predictor, shame it looks like fun.

    RE the last episode on 13th May – I really think the candiates missed a chance in Margate. Did anyone not think that ‘Nick & Margaret’ could possibly also sound like ‘Nick & Margate’. I think I might have been tempted to make use of Mr Hewer’s looks in a marketing poster or two!

    Comment by London Wedding Photographer — May 14, 2009 #

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