If you have been following my What The Tweet blog recently, you would have noticed a few posts I put up regarding watching ”entertainment” shows online.

Just last week, I blogged about the Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, which included an embeded live streaming video — via Ustream — of the red carpet arrivals. I also shared the link to Collecta’s site which collated relevant (and updated) tweets, blog posts and images available on the Net as the event was going on.

This was also similar to the Victoria’s Secret Pink Carpet event that I blogged about late last year which was streamed live via Livestream.

On Saturday morning (Friday night in the United States), George Clooney’s telethon called Hope For Haiti Now was also streamed live on the Net. While this was not an awards show, it focused on a lot of entertainment — Hollywood bigwigs took turns to appeal for donations to help Haiti in the aftermath of the tragic earthquakes, and performers like Coldplay, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder took to the stage.

MTV Networks had collaborated with Facebook to stream the whole show live on the Net, even though it was also aired on MTV channels around the world and on CNN. The Facebook element allowed viewers to communicate with each other, and aggregated status updates which were relevant to the show.

This article is not about the debate on whether the Internet and social media will take over television. However, it is evident that even television networks are recognising the power of the web, and are using it to complement their productions.

In the case of award shows, one of the biggest complains in the past is the length of the shows. It’s all good and well that the winners make their long speeches, and thank everyone necessary.

However, not all viewers are interested in what each start has to say. This is more so in countries out of the US, like ours, where many of the shows up for nomination haven’t even been screened yet.

In cases like these, social media is the perfect tool. With Facebook and Twitter, for example, we are able to get results live as the event is unfolding without having to sit in front of the television for three hours.

This is also ideal for situations like in Malaysia where due to the time difference, we are often unable to catch the show live as we are either in class or at work.

Of course, there are many more reason why television networks need to embrace social media. Mashable, an online social media guide, recently ran a story about how the annual Grammy Awards in 2010 will change to address this.

The 52nd Grammy Awards will be held on Jan 31 (the morning of Feb 1 in Malaysia), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) who are behind the awards show, is taking active steps to engage their viewers using social media.

Its website has been rehauled to reflect this, and it also registered for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

Understanding the community-building strength of social media and the importance of user-generated content, the RIAA also created a website, We’re All Fans, that aggregates information related to nominated bands.

By visiting the website and clicking on the name of an artistes gives you access to hundreds of information available about that said performer whether in the form of pictures, videos or tweets.

What else these TV networks come up after this, I’m not sure. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s exciting to see the creative minds behind television take on social media and bring out the best in it.

Tell us what you think!

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