A report from The Nielsen Company's new TV/Internet Convergence Panel said TV watching and Internet use are complementary activities (ie people are using the Internet while watching television).

This is interesting. Personally, I rarely watch – as in devote my full attention to – TV. I do things with the TV on, such as iron, clean, sort mail (physical and electronic) etc. Often, I will surf the web and read blogs while “watching” a show. If something on the show piques my interest, I will Google it there and then. I am sure many others do the same.

This could be a new opportunity to tie in the two media. Show me something that piques my interest on TV, then let me interact with that interest in greater via the Internet, there and then.

In other words, knowing that I switch between passing watching to active discovery and engagement, create services to support that.

I am not referring to that ancient yet-to-take-off concept of Interactive TV. In this instance, the TV show continues along its linear trajectory. I merely branch off and engage with whatever it was that piqued my interest.

The TV then becomes a series of short vignettes, highlights, summaries, indices… to interesting content that I can get to via the Internet. If we think of traditional TV as a book, where the whole story is told to some depth in a linear sitting, this alternative TV is a magazine. Each story is told as a short piece with enough hooks to enable me to find out more (via the Internet) if I wanted to.