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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Mad Men on Twitter

Kaileen Connelly, a BU grad student taking Writing for Media Professionals, interviewed me for a class assignment on the transition of television characters into the micro-blogging world of Twitter, specifically the Mad Men characters.

Here's the interview and my answers:
1) I see you are leader in video blogging. Why did you choose that medium for communicating to your audience? What is your purpose?

I have been producing videos for a long time. It started as a technological challenge to get video on a blog. The main purpose is to connect with people by sharing stories.

2) As I mentioned, I follow you on Twitter. Have you enjoyed your time while being on Twitter? What is the biggest benefit of using Twitter for you? Any downfalls?

I love being on twitter. I use it on the computer and iPhone. With the iPhone I feel that I always have my friends along with me. When I was in the doctor's office today, my twitter friends helped me pass the time, showed concern and some even offered advice.

3) Are you following any TV shows or characters on Twitter? If so, which ones?

I'm following many of the Mad Men characters.

I think the people behind that are doing a great job. It's fun.

Mad Men's Sally Draper on twitter

4) In one of my tweets I mentioned Mad Men and then with in 12 hours I had a majority of the characters following me. I then followed them to see what they were tweeting. It looks as though they carry the show into the digital world by allowing these characters to continue to exist and live between episodes/seasons. Do you see this as a trend that will soon follow for many shows? As a viewer, would you like to follow your favorites shows/characters on Twitter?

I think Mad Men is one of the first shows to have the characters on twitter. RIght now it's a novelty. It's a fun novelty. Especially when they respond in character.

Not sure what it would be like for other shows to try it. Crusoe did it for a while prior to the show launch.

I'd love to see the actors behind the characters interact with us on twitter, especially Larry David.

Mad Men's Betty Draper on twitter

5) Do you think there is a better medium for this sort of relationship to exist i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.?

I think twitter is the best place for these characters to live online. It's easy for them to post, and it's easy for us to follow within the twitter space.

If they started posting elsewhere, it'd be harder in practice for me to keep up.

This way I happen to see what they post right long with the stream of my friends and acquaintances.

6) I know it is not the actors writing the posts, but someone at AMC is writing them. What department do you think would control this? The script writers, the PR folks, etc.?

I actually do not think that is correct. You'll need to check on that. I'm pretty sure it's fan based. The Mad Men people initially contacted twitter to have all the accounts removed, but then allowed them to be reinstated although they did not have control over them...

Mad Men's Don Draper on twitter

Last question ...

7) Do you think Twitter is here to stay? Is it going to dissolve, continue to grow, or transform into a different tool?

Twitter is here to stay, just like blogs and blogger is still around.

It's a ground breaking method of communication and seems to be stable now. All my friends are here so I don't see any reason to leave.

After the interview I asked where it was going to be posted.

She said:

Since this is only a class assignment, it won't be posted anywhere. However, if you would like to see my final paper, I would be happen to send it to you.

Your answers are very helpful. I didn't know that it was fans doing the characters. I will certainly check it out to verify. Again, thank you!

Happy tweeting.

I wrote her back suggesting that she start up a blog now, that highlights her writing. That way she'll start to get her name out there, let others see her work, and be able to continue the discussion with readers. Probably the most valuable thing.

Please comment and show her how posting in a public space enhances the process of writing.

From the web: Mad Men and Twitter:

We Are Sterling Cooper:
Fan fiction. Brand hijacking. Copyright misuse. Sheer devotion. Call it what you will, but we call it the blurred line between content creators and content consumers, and it's not going away. We're your biggest fans, your die-hard proponents, and when your show gets cancelled we'll be among the first to pass around the petition. Talk to us. Befriend us. Engage us. But please, don't treat us like criminals.

This site exists to catalogue the conversation around AMC's Mad Men and its fanbase across the social web. But it's just the beginning. 'We are Sterling Cooper' is a rallying cry to brands and fans alike to come together and create together.

AMC moves to close 'Mad Men' Twitterings

AMC Upset That Fans Are Making Mad Men More Fun; Sends DMCA Notices To Twitter

Deep Focus Saves AMC From Killing Free Marketing for Mad Men:
Normally, this would seem like exactly the type of viral marketing put out by AMC, but in this case it can be safely assumed AMC isn’t behind it. Why? Because the network sent Twitter a DMCA request to shut the accounts down, according to Venture Beat. It took, according to Silicon Alley Insider, some “gentle prodding” by AMC’s Web advertising agency Deep Focus to allow the Twitter sites to remain active. After all, if fans are crazed enough to microblog about the characters for the show, then why not let them? As of yet, none of the people involved have used the Twitter accounts in anyway that AMC could interpret as harmful to their property.
Mad Men at AMC.

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