Over the past few years, my boyfriend and I have gotten really into a show on Spike called Ink Master. It’s another one of those competition shows that we’ve all become very familiar with, but this one features tattoo artists.
Full disclosure: I don’t actually have any tattoos. I’m pretty afraid of needles and haven’t yet found a good enough reason to add a permanent image to my body. That being said, I fully respect tattooing as an art, and find the process very interesting. As a designer, I understand the important elements like composition, scale, precision, etc. However, it is truly amazing to me how someone can take those elements and successfully create art on the human body.
About the Show
Ink Master features several tattoo artists that partake in several rounds of competition to demonstrate their skills. Each challenge features a different element (like composition or dimension) or tattoo style (like American traditional or black and gray). At the end of each show an artist is eliminated. The winner of the contest receives $100,000 and is featured in Inked magazine.
Throughout the show, viewers are invited to live-tweet opinions. During every episode, the viewers are asked questions and encouraged to “vote” one way or another using a given hashtag. Thanks to Twitter, viewers can now interact with television shows in ways that have never been possible before. During the season finales (which air live) users are again encouraged to tweet, but this time individual tweets can be selected and shown live on television.
In addition to tweeting, Ink Master viewers are encouraged to vote each week for their favorite tattoo. At the end of the season, these votes are tallied up and play a role in choosing a winner in the finale. Although viewers use the brand’s site rather than a social media site, I would still argue that this is a largely “social” interaction.
Social media is truly all around us. Because of sites like Twitter and Instagram, television users can now interact with their favorite tv stars (or contestants, in this case) with the click of a button.
Photo Credit: Spike
In this series called Social Media Observations, I’ll be blogging about social media observations for the purpose of encouraging discussion as well as fulfilling the requirements Topic 1 for MMIS 0644.