1. Sippey talked about the loss of the water cooler effect when watching a TV show on DVD, years after it aired. This week I finally broke down and started watching Lost. The first night I made it to episode 5 and after viewing it, I wondered if there was some way I could combine the wayback machine, technorati, and the google cache to give me a view of the web soon after that episode aired, so I could read about it without knowing what comes next.
Then I realized, someone could build a forum system dedicated to this kind of thing. Think about it: somewhere right now someone is watching the first season Entourage DVD and laughing their asses off. Or maybe they’re finishing up season two of Buffy. Or maybe there’s someone somewhere that never viewed the Simpsons until today. And where can they go to exchange stories and guesses about the plot of the next show? Nowhere, really.
So it goes like this: a big forum site that breaks down every TV series you can get on DVD, then further breaks each one down to seasons and episodes. Let’s say the goal for a user is watch season 1 of Lost, episode 16, then enter the site and leave it without ever hearing spoilers, and during their stay, they can talk to other people that recently viewed that episode (which had a lame story arc, possibly the weakest episode of the season so far and hey, what ever happened to the buried mystery hatch from like four episodes ago, huh? And when on earth is that woman going to have her baby? And are the whispers real or what?).
The rub is keeping the future out — have a system where users are rewarded when someone successfully rats out a troublemaker from the future, popping into the episode 16 thread to mention that in episode 23, that one guy gets killed, and remove those comments to keep the threads clean and clear for the rest of the viewers to enjoy gabbing about.
So someone build The TV Time Capsule for me, I could use it.
update: oh sweet, someone sent me the Lost forum’s episode-specific threads. Now I can see what that whole boar thing was supposed to represent.
2. You know how small towns have little league baseball teams every spring and the teams are sponsored by local merchants that get a bit of advertising out of it in exchange for donating a couple hundred bucks to buy uniforms? Why not build a site that helps match up teams and sponsors from local towns, or sponsors from out of town, or sponsors with business that don’t even have a town. Post scores and results from games so sponsors can monitor the progress of their far off team.
Why build something like this? There are lots of web communities, mailing lists, and bulletin boards with users that like to pitch into various charities. If there is a shortage of funding for little league baseball, let the web fill the gap. I’d love to someday see the Slashdot Penguins of Peoria, IL take on the Craigslist Reds.