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8/31/2009
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IBM Patents Facebook Remote Control

Application envisions a system that would allow users to microblog while watching TV.

IBM has filed a patent for a system that would allow couch potatoes to access social media sites like Facebook and Twitter without having to leave the comfort of their easy chairs.

The patent, filed earlier this year but unearthed only last week by bloggers, describes a platform "for automatic blogging of media viewing using an enhanced remote controller, suitable for use while viewing media programming and content," according to documents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent goes on to describe how the system "allows a viewer to autoblog about currently experienced media programming in real-time without having to resort to direct interaction with a computer to perform the autoblogging."

IBM apparently envisions a system that would facilitate two-way blogging while users are watching TV. "One of the joys of watching television is discussing with one's friends the juicy bits of a favorite show or the latest television program," the patent documents note.

"The enhanced remote controller allows the viewer to both communicate with a blogging server, and thus to a blogging service, as well as display responses to and from other bloggers with whom the viewer is communicating," the application states.

"These blog communications may be accomplished without the viewer having to leave the broadcast receiver of the television," according to the documents.

The six-page patent application notes that the remote control would be ideal for use with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Joost.

The patent application may represent and attempt by IBM to play a bigger role in the social media revolution. Big Blue's efforts to date in that sphere have been limited to providing the back-end hardware and related services that support consumer-facing Web 2.0 sites.

The patent documents gave no indication of when, or if, IBM plans to commercially produce the technology.

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Social is a Business Imperative
Social is a Business Imperative
The use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
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