“Whatever you do, don’t tell me the result, I don’t want to know”.
Thus goes the refrain.
The refrain of people with a new problem, a problem that was nascent for maybe thirty years, but one that’s been maturing for nearly a decade, and is full-blown now.
A problem caused by time-shifting.
More and more people record things for viewing later; many of the things recorded are contests based around elimination: knockout tournaments, Cup finals, boxing matches, Come Dancing, X Factor, Who’s Going to be <Pick One from : Maria, Joseph, Oliver, Nancy,> the list goes on.
And once they’ve done the time-shifting, they’re trapped. They don’t want to know what happened. Not until they get the time to watch what they recorded.
They don’t want to know what happened.
Now there’s a real challenge for news personalisation. Letting me pick the things I specifically don’t want to know about. So when I get my paper online, I should be able to pick the things I want to hear about (my preferences), the things that my community’s doing (my news feed, as it were), the things my community recommends for me (actively and onymously as well as through profiling and collaborative filtering).
Filtered, of course. By my choice of filter. Shaken, not stirred.
And explicitly not containing things I didn’t want to read about.
Possible? Likely? It’s happening now.
So what next? I can just see it. In ten years time they’re going to be saying: Don’t tell me who won the election. Don’t tell me who won the war. I might want to go back and watch it.