Cashing In on Couch Potatoes

"You know, you should play with Dr. Beeper and myself. I mean, he's been club champion for three years running and I'm no slouch myself."
"Don't sell yourself short, Judge. You're a tremendous slouch."
 -- Ted Knight and Chevy Chase in 1980's Caddyshack

Slouches, slackers, couch potatoes, rejoice: IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) wants to make your TV remote so smart that you won't have to use your smartphone or computer to blog and tweet.

That's according to a patent request Big Blue filed earlier this year, but which the Baltimore Sun's BaltTech blog found only recently. Interestingly, the filing describes a process whereby viewed content could be tagged, then sent over a network:

Upon the viewer wishing to send a blog posting to a blog, the viewer determines whether a tag to be included in the blog posting is to be a pre-existing tag or a custom tag, wherein the blog posting comprises program information about the media program useful to identify the media program. [Emphasis added.]

In short: Your remote would allow you to tell your digital friends what you're watching, whether they're on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or some other social networking service.

I'll admit to geeking out over this idea, but as an investor, there's far more than geekery at work here. Principally, it's further evidence that we're crashing headlong into a fully networked world, a vast and growing collection of lifestreams to be aggregated and analyzed.

Billions are at stake. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) has plenty to gain, certainly, but so do Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) , Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) , and other tailored-for-you services, such as CBS's (NYSE: CBS  ) Last.fm and the Genius Sidebar in Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iTunes. Personal data can help them to make better pitches for products and services.

The question, then, is exactly where they'll belly flop into our streams. Increasingly, marketers seem keen to dive into Twitter and Facebook -- even for those of us planted on the couch, watching the tube.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and Google and a stock position in IBM at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is tweeting tired. Twime for bed.


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