CBS is looking to take what’s percolating in social media to create appointment TV on the Internet.
Today CBSNews.com will launch What’s Trending, a live weekly series showcasing the top trends from Twitter, Facebook, CBS YouTube and every other corner of the Web. Shira Lazar, a popular blogger and Web personailty, will host. She’s known for everything from conducting red carpet interviews prior to the Grammys to hosting This Week in YouTube for Mahalo.com several years ago. Lazar joined CBSNews.com in 2009 as a video blogger and lead writer for the entertainmnet blog On The Scene.
As part of the new live weekly series, CBS is also introducing a corresponding What’s Trending blog, which will aim to capture all that is going on in online culture in a real time basis. Besides Lazar, contributors to What’s Trending will include former Tech TV host Chris Pirillo (head of the blog network Lockergnome), social media non-profit advocate Beth Kanter, as well as talent from Boxoffice.com, Cheezburger Network, Hollywood.com and others.
What’s Trending will also pull stories from social media publishers like Buzzfeed and What The Trend. Plus, during live episodes, users will be encouraged to submit questions and comment via Twitter, Facebook and Gigya’s social application.
CBS is not the first media company to attempt to mine gold from the best viral videos and Internet memes of the moment. A few years ago Yahoo ran a daily roundup series The 9,
which eventually fizzled.
Interestingly, with What’s Trending, CBS is also once again looking to create a regularly scheduled Web series that might capture a loyal audience. The media giant was very agressive in this arena a few years ago, finding success with the politically themed Washington Unplugged
while testing and apparently abandoning several projects, such as Dot Com Doc
and The Tomorrow Show