The Importance of Definitions

Does everyone know what I mean by interactive television? If you do, email me at klopfens@uga.edu. For those of you who missed out (so far) of the joys of graduate school (and for those of you who've already had 3rd grade science), definitions are needed to include and exclude entities. When does someone crossover the threshold between being a social drinker and an alcoholic? That threshold is a definition that is probably arbitrary. For more reading about definitions, you can go way bak to The Function of Definitions in Social Science
Richard Popkin, Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 40, No. 18 (Sep. 2, 1943), pp. 491-495.

Defining interactive television is an especially tricky thing to do. Does using a remote control to turn a TV on or off constitute "interactivity"? Some might say yes, but a definition that broad may not help in the on-going research about interactivity. Should some measure of the audience's involvement in a television program be included? It seems logical to suggest, for example, that an immersed audience member might be more prone to engage interactive functions of a television show. But this is subject to debate and (funded!) research.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos? Don't smite me, let me know!


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