I don't know about you but I must say that I enjoy watching programmes like the BBC's Question time. It's probably one of my favourite current affairs programmes and gives the audience (both studio and TV) a great chance to ask questions and listen to the thoughts of the "panel of experts". Until recent years the only real way of voicing your opinion was by shouting at the TV or getting into heated argument with friends and family at home! Today, with the advent of social networks you can now discuss topics online with friends or strangers.
Recently, I have been watching Question Time (and sports' games) whilst holding an iPhone in hand or iPad on my lap to access Twitter. On Thursday evenings you can follow the Question Time programme on Twitter through the hashtag #bbcqt. For those unfamiliar with hashtags, they is how they work:
When I tweet about a certain subject, in this case Question Time, I use a word preceded by a hashtag to let people (both those who follow me and those who don't) about the subject I am talking about.
To find out who is talking about this subject, I simply type in the hashtag query into a Twitter Search and it pulls in ALL tweets related to that word.
If I want I can then reply or retweet what people have said.
You can use Twitter itself to locate these tweets or you can use a third party app, like Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Tweetie or Hootsuite to set up these searches and have them updated whenever you wish. Here is an example of people tweeting when Simon Schama was speaking last night (the image is not a real-time image).
This weekend, if you wish to check it out, there will be a flurry of activity on Twitter when progammes like Strictly Come Dancing, X-Factor or any rugby or football games you will find that there is a common hashtag for each that will allow you to interact with people like yourself online. I must say that watching programmes like Question Time and following conversations through Twitter does add another dimension to the viewing and does make for a richer experience. The ability to learn new things you didn't know before, to be pointed to articles/documents that support or contradicts arguments and even to engage in conversation is quite a big draw. So, go ahead and give it a go this weekend.