What's the news with Google? Besides their recent acquisitions, there's apparently some in-depth innovation going on behind closed doors. A WebmasterWorld thread calls into attention a recent patent filing by Google for a "Social and Interactive Application for Mass Media."
Here's a bit of information about the filing:
Another social and interactive television application that is lacking with conventional interactive television systems is the ability to dynamically link a viewer with an ad hoc social peer community (e.g., a discussion group, chat room, etc.) in real-time. Imagine that you are watching the latest episode of "Friends" on television and discover that the character "Monica" is pregnant. You want to chat, comment or read other viewers' responses to the scene in real-time. One option would be to log on your computer, type in the name of "Friends" or other related terms into a search engine, and perform a search to find a discussion group on "Friends." Such required action by the viewer, however, would diminish the passive experience offered by mass media and would not enable the viewer to dynamically interact (e.g., comment, chat, etc.) with other viewers who are watching the program at the same time.
The filing is huge and would be an interesting read for people who are interesting in search-related patents. Bill Slawski blogged about this last week, emphasizing that this tool can be used for "mass personalization," which would gather information about the particular viewer and then target additional personalized information to the user.
Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.