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Church Of The
Swimming Elephant

Interactive TV; NBCi
Do they have what it takes?
An Editorial


By John Holstein, Cotse Help Desk Coordinator

So I am sitting at home, doing some write-ups for publication on Cotse when I decide to take part in the new NBCi Interactive Broadcast of "Crimson Tide" on NBC. Well, I am a HUGE fan of military movies, especially naval/submarine flicks and not to mention that I own "Crimson Tide" on VHS. Well, the interactive portion of this broadcast was centered on a trivia game and the potential to win $1000.00 per question instantly and be entered for the grand prize drawing that I believe was for $50,000.00. You see folks, I am somewhat of a trivia-nut, play it all the time online at Cotse Games, History I.Q., and many other trivia sites. After considering all this, you would think that something like this would very much interest me and I should have a pretty good chance of winning some money, right? Well, I thought so too. Until:

Until their servers kept screwing up. The first question went off without a hitch, the host Ryan Seacrest asks the question, I clicked to play, answered and the results (I was correct) were given. At this point I found out that I "needed to enter a code in order to find out if I had won the instant prize." Oh boy, here we go.. run around time... I answered the question, correctly, and as fast as humanly possible without hesitation of personal effort or computer efficiency. So why didn't I just "win or lose"??? Why complicate the matter further??? Ok. So I enter in the "special code", click to submit and away we go. I lost. No instant money, but I was entered to win the grand prize. Woo Hoo!

Ok, round two. No dice, tried but failed. The question was asked, I checked off the box of the answer of my choosing, clicked to submit... and waited.... and waited.... ok, finally some movement, here it goes... "page not found"... oops. They lost it. I click "refresh", no chance. What comes up? Oh. Page has expired. So I tried (knowing I could only submit it once) to go back and resubmit my answer again... "Page not found". Done the same thing again, went back and resubmitted, this time the page came up stating that I could only submit one answer. This in itself proved that my first submission made it to them and their return was somehow screwed up. This also prevented me from receiving my "code" and the opportunity to submit it and the chance to win $1000.00 was lost. Whether or not I was entered that time for the grand prize is unknown.

This happened one more time during the course of my interactive experience with NBCi. I have since written them an email stating my feelings concerning this matter and I am giving them time to react before I go off on a Holy War against the newly formed Website What I have stated here is the facts as they were presented to me, a standard NBCi participant (with above average knowledge of the Internet).

Problems? Questions? Bugs? Email me.

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