The Passive v Interactive Debate

Business consultant Luke Johnson stated in the April edition of Management Today that the old-fashioned ‘linear’ and ‘one directional’, PowerPoint-based, presentation is now dead. People now expect discussion and interaction. What’s more he then expanded that to say that it is the way of the future for all communication – whether film, TV, advertising, documentary, debate and so on.

Anyone who has watched Match of the Day or Question Time on the BBC will be aware of the fact that random Tweets are shown on-screen from equally random people. The question this interactive proliferation raises, however, is “Who wants this?”

It is true that when watching a film or reading a book one can be moved to the extent of wanting to share ones thoughts with others or with the authors. But that does not mean everyone on the planet – and certainly not on an unsolicited or unassociated basis.

Surely there is a right ‘not to be forced to interact’ as well as a right to offer interaction.

Certainly I would not wish to see inane Tweets on MOTD even when viewing on the HD channel. Viewing on that channel does not mean I have also given permission to receive unsolicited Tweets by dint of the fact that I have paid a TV Licence fee.

If Luke Johnson is correct and interactivity is something that is going to grow in pervasiveness then it suggests that there will be a growing debate about “Passive v Interactive” opt-ins, as there was when direct marketing vis telephone, fax, and email came onto the scene.

It would be good to know what others think about this topic.