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WATCHMIKE: A TV Control Experiment

Update

The WATCHMIKE remote control experiment is now live at weejee.io/watchmike

Background

On September 13th 2020 I posted a question to weejee about updating my rule on not watching superhero fare. In the original proposal from 2017 I had included a clause that allowed me to go back and watch any movie that won a non-technical academy award. With HBO’s Watchmen getting a slew of Emmy nominations I wanted to update the rule to include Emmy wins.

Because weejee allows for multiple choice I posted four options about updating the policy and the wildcard option was the clear winner.

2% Yes, update the policy to allow for TV shows that win an Emmy Award
10% No, television is a brain rotting medium, and not even an Emmy can fix that
34% No, don't change the policy, but make an exception for the Watchmen, it's amazing
55% Hold on, why don't we just throw away the policy and use weejee to vote on all the shows you watch?

So now to implement this new rule! But wait, won’t the voting on ALL the shows I watch flood weejee with trivial votes about television? This means only the television people will want to pay attention to K5M.B and I’ll lose my ability to ask questions about other trivial matters like what to do with my beard, how much to drink, what color to paint my nails, and who to endorse for President!?

A Television Control Experiment

I read a short blog post from Mike Crittenden called Stop changing, start experimenting that really stuck with me:

I bet right now, if you thought about it, you could come up with some change that would be great for your team or your project. And I bet you’ve been subconsciously dismissing it because “it’ll never fly” or “management won’t go for it” or “people will think it’s crazy.” And they probably will think it’s crazy, if you just suggest it as a “change”.

Mike Crittenden

He frames the idea of an experiment as a way to convince people to implement a permanent change by testing it out in a defined amount of time. This hit me hard as I have a history of implementing wide ranging policies that end up either having little impact on my life and share price and sometimes being far too difficult to implement. For example, offering to allow my shareholder direct control over my television watching!

Mike “Critter” Crittenden says,

The crucial ingredients [of an experiment] are:
1. It needs a defined start and end date
2. It needs to be measurable
3. It needs clear success and failure criteria

Hypothesis: Direct control of my television watching will be fun for a subset of shareholders if I can keep up with getting their input on each show I watch and giving feedback about a show when I am finished with it.

Start Date: September 20th, 2020
End Date: October 31st, 2020

KPI: Involvement by shareholders as measured by number of votes cast (not shares).

Success: The number of shareholder votes increases during the experiment.
Failure: The number of shareholder votes decreases during the experiment.

Implementation

In order to not overwhelm K5M.B we* will create a new weejee project called WATCHMIKE. All shareholders will be added to the WATCHMIKE project, but notifications will be turned off.

Shareholders will have to choose if they want realtime updates via text or email about my television watching habits. Realtime responses will be essential as votes will have very short time frames as I sit and peruse options about what to watch.

A separate project for WATCHMIKE will allow for further experimentation about how to design votes. Episodic votes, season votes, whole shows, or even an entire network allowance? Shareholder feedback will be essential in determining the best methods.

An example vote.

I believe the more time I spend thinking about the shows I want to watch, writing up descriptions of them, how I feel about them, and what I like and don’t like about them will not only help the shareholders better understand what television is right for me but also help me understand more about television.

*when “we” is used to discuss anything technical that means Aaron is doing it.