This is very interesting. Just few days back I was talking about what Media Networks should do in order to catch up to the online social media phenomenon. While channel surfing last night I landed on ABC (Channel 7) and caught the later half of a new show called i-CAUGHT. Turns out that this was not just another TV show on ABC milking the online videos. This is a big initiative from ABC News. They launched this service yesterday and it was their first show at 10/9 Central.

iCaught Tuesday
I was pleasantly surprised to see a major network like ABC foray into this space, in order to bring the TV and Online Social Media experience together. I must say it was real weird at first, as I am not used to watching YouTube style videos on my TV (yeah, I know I need to buy the Apple TV). Also they had some seriously insane graphics on the show. It reminded me of minority report as the host flipped through the video. Here is the introductory video from i-CAUGHT.

Upon browsing the rest of the site one will notice that it is built to encourage users to participate in their ecosystem. They do a decent job in creating an ecosystem for users to start using them as the default video service. On the downside, there is nothing special about their service. They are pretty much at parity with an average video site. Only thing working for them is that they have a primetime show with costly graphics.I feel happy that these guys are realizing the value and experimenting with it. Here are couple areas they should address in order to be remotely successful.
Money, Money, Money
I must have mentioned in all my media related posts. Services leveraging user generated content must have a scheme to pay their best publishers. Going forward the service which effectively taps into this model will be able to succeed in this space.
Make it Interactive
Now social media on the TV is by nature non-interactive. On the PC there are many ways to take care of this problem. However on the TV there is almost nothing.TV networks have to learn from shows like “American Idol” or “Deal or No Deal”. They should let viewers interact via cell phones using text messaging. That is the best way to get user participation. Not only this method is easier, it also generates extra revenue by charging premium for these messages.So it remains to be seen as how successful they will be. However I am glad to see someone jump in, which essentially is pushing the envelope in its own way.Let me know what you all think. Would love to hear your views. I leave you with this really cool video on I came across on i-CAUGHT (this was featured on their show last night as well).