Not so very long ago television producers and film-makers were thrilled if their projects had the "water cooler effect" – that is to say the show, the programme or the film became a topic of conversation or chatter among people in offices, bars or the home.
Nowadays the conversations with the most clout are increasingly taking place among social network communities gathering online to take the "water cooler effect" into the twittersphere and on to the many pages of Facebook. A programme that is trending on Twitter is increasingly a currency of success or failure. Do enough people "like" your show on Facebook? Well, if not, then why not? And will your programme be a recommended "must watch" on the growing number of social network-style online television guides, such as the one offered on Freeview.