The Channel Panel: A Tale In Five Tweets

This looked promising—a National Geographic Channel Panel that appeared to be a new attempt to engage The Audience. Some dialogue about programming, a little back-and-forth about content. A virtual gathering where people could help envision the future of National Geographic. In effect, the Channel looked like they were trying a bit of crowdsourcing.

Wonderful, we thought.

Welcome.
Thank you for helping us make National Geographic the channel you want to watch.
Want to decide what’s on National Geographic Channel?
Join our online viewer panel.

NGChannelPanel

Well, it wasn’t so wonderful after all. Here’s my summary via Twitter:

TweetsREngchannel

A quota system? Really? Can anyone at NGS explain the logic of this arrangement? Of holding this discussion behind a security wall? Or of the lack of open engagement?

If so, we welcome your explanations in our quota-free comment section, below.

  • Sorry you didn’t have a good experience with the panel, but we’re still working out some kinks. However, its important to note its just a viewer panel where we periodically survey viewers on their insights. Its not a forum or open discussion, its a place where we can ask specific questions.

    We have an active blog, forum on our website, we reach out on our twitter feed, facebook, as well as our many distribution outlets like youtube, hulu, tidaltv and others. You can always email, if you want to go slightly older school – but he love hearing opinions!

    Thanks,

    Brad Dancer
    Guy who is responsible for quotas

    • Hi Brad,

      First of all, thanks very much for your comment and your explanation. Not many people at National Geographic have stepped forward to publicly engage us here at Society Matters (though I must say the backchannel is active). So you get a major thank you, huzzah, hat tip, props, etc. for stepping up to the plate.

      Second, I now understand what the “viewer panel” is all about. It’s a survey: you ask questions, and people answer; and no one can see anyone else’s replies (right?). As you say, it’s not a forum or discussion. And it’s really not a “panel” either. When I envision a panel, I see a group of people behind a table on a stage; they engage each other & the audience in a free & open back-and-forth. Clearly that’s not what your “panel” is all about. To avoid confusion, you might want to change the name to “viewer survey.”

      Third, we checked out the NGC blog, Twitter stream, Facebook page, and “distribution outlets” (YouTube, Hulu, et al). Which one of these platforms is an example of the “open discussion” you mention? Mostly, I see posts & tweets about NGC programming, but it doesn’t look like any conversation is taking place. No one is engaging the audience in a conversation the way… well, the way you & I have begun right here. (If I’m wrong — and there IS a conversation underway somewhere on the NGC site — please be sure to post the links here.)

      Actually, I should point to one place where I actually hear the voices of real people: the Channel’s blog called NGC Interns Talk Back. You should find a way to give those folks a bigger stage. It would help humanize your site.

      Finally, email IS old school — at least when you’re trying to engage a community in a conversation. Email goes from me to you, then back to me. But public forums like this — well, everyone can see what we’re talking about, and that’s better than running an organization behind password-protected walls. If you want to encourage community participation in what the Channel is doing, try UserVoice. We use it here at Society Matters, and it’s a great platform for sharing ideas out in the open where everyone can be part of the conversation.

      To sum up: You “love hearing opinions.” But we’re hoping you can do more than just listen or pump more content at us. Also, you don’t have to conduct your surveys behind closed doors. You can engage us out here, in public. And we know you can because you just did.

      Thanks again for writing.

      best,
      Alan

  • Sorry you didn’t have a good experience with the panel, but we’re still working out some kinks. However, its important to note its just a viewer panel where we periodically survey viewers on their insights. Its not a forum or open discussion, its a place where we can ask specific questions.

    We have an active blog, forum on our website, we reach out on our twitter feed, facebook, as well as our many distribution outlets like youtube, hulu, tidaltv and others. You can always email, if you want to go slightly older school – but he love hearing opinions!

    Thanks,

    Brad Dancer
    Guy who is responsible for quotas

    • Hi Brad,

      First of all, thanks very much for your comment and your explanation. Not many people at National Geographic have stepped forward to publicly engage us here at Society Matters (though I must say the backchannel is active). So you get a major thank you, huzzah, hat tip, props, etc. for stepping up to the plate.

      Second, I now understand what the “viewer panel” is all about. It’s a survey: you ask questions, and people answer; and no one can see anyone else’s replies (right?). As you say, it’s not a forum or discussion. And it’s really not a “panel” either. When I envision a panel, I see a group of people behind a table on a stage; they engage each other & the audience in a free & open back-and-forth. Clearly that’s not what your “panel” is all about. To avoid confusion, you might want to change the name to “viewer survey.”

      Third, we checked out the NGC blog, Twitter stream, Facebook page, and “distribution outlets” (YouTube, Hulu, et al). Which one of these platforms is an example of the “open discussion” you mention? Mostly, I see posts & tweets about NGC programming, but it doesn’t look like any conversation is taking place. No one is engaging the audience in a conversation the way… well, the way you & I have begun right here. (If I’m wrong — and there IS a conversation underway somewhere on the NGC site — please be sure to post the links here.)

      Actually, I should point to one place where I actually hear the voices of real people: the Channel’s blog called NGC Interns Talk Back. You should find a way to give those folks a bigger stage. It would help humanize your site.

      Finally, email IS old school — at least when you’re trying to engage a community in a conversation. Email goes from me to you, then back to me. But public forums like this — well, everyone can see what we’re talking about, and that’s better than running an organization behind password-protected walls. If you want to encourage community participation in what the Channel is doing, try UserVoice. We use it here at Society Matters, and it’s a great platform for sharing ideas out in the open where everyone can be part of the conversation.

      To sum up: You “love hearing opinions.” But we’re hoping you can do more than just listen or pump more content at us. Also, you don’t have to conduct your surveys behind closed doors. You can engage us out here, in public. And we know you can because you just did.

      Thanks again for writing.

      best,
      Alan

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