Saturday, November 3, 2007

Veronica Mars: Power of Fans

"Fans of Veronica Mars, the critically acclaimed teen drama/mystery neo-noir series starring Kristen Bell, demonstrate that they are not to be underestimated in their efforts to encourage Warner Bros. to syndicate the show and prove the power of this fan base is strong enough to support a movie despite the cancellation of the series. In their efforts as consumer marketers, they have developed action points that are reminiscent of a communication plan while remaining courteous and supportive of Bell and series creator Rob Thomas. Unencumbered by the rules of communication, Veronica Mars fans are working to prove consumer marketing works."

I'm a great admirer of these fans, their hard work, and their ability to pull everyone together in their team efforts. Here's how they explain the passion that is Veronica Mars.

1. Why did you get involved in the campaign to save Veronica Mars?

"I really love the show, and I simply found myself involved because I wanted more :) Then I met these beautiful people, these "fighters" and their enthusiasm was contagious," says Sara P.

Sarah V. adds,"I've been involved in campaigning for Veronica Mars since the day I first discovered the show. I quickly became beyond passionate about it, however noticed it seemed that nobody else had ever heard of it. When I looked in to how the show was doing; not surprisingly, it wasn't doing well. Since then I've joined and participated in every campaign/project there has been to help Save Veronica Mars.

After VM was canceled however, my objective changed. I wasn't just campaigning for a really great show like Veronica Mars anymore. I was campaigning for there to be good, positive, intelligent television on the air, for networks to listen to their viewers, for rating systems to be changed, and to make a point about the power of fans. It seemed however like all campaign efforts had ended; so I was thrilled when I found Neptune Rising. A group of dedicated fans, who like myself, refused to give up campaigning!! I like that NR has specific goals, and everyone is working together to accomplish them. No matter what we achieve I know we'll be successful; because just standing up for what we feel is success enough."

"Because it is an unusual show, it is great and empowers women to stand up for themselves," says Rachel.

Finally, Tami says,"No other show has captivated my interest or been worth trying to campaign to save."

2. What makes this show special?

"The passion fans have for Veronica Mars, shows just how special it truly is. I think what's most special about Veronica Mars, is that it has an unremarkable power to reach within it's viewers; and make them care deeply about it's story and it's characters," says Sarah V.

According to Tami,"The chemistry the lead actors have is phenomenal, add to that an amazingly witty , razor sharp intelligent script and you get a fireball of a show."

"Veronica Mars is a young and strong woman. She can represent a model young girls can look at (instead of the pussycat dolls!!). The relation between her and her dad is so special too, i think the scenes they have together are one of the best part of the show.

And then there's the mystery and the chemistry between Veronica and Logan... This show is special in so many ways!", says Sara P.

3. How did the campaign start?

"It started by sending movie posters and/or movie tickets to Warner Bros. then DVD pre-order promoting. to the creation of Neptune Rising. we have weekly Veronica Mars Days (every Tuesday) and we work on different tasks each week," says Rachel.

"Our campaign, as Neptune Rising, started on the CW boards, after the Bars for mars campaign. People were so upset about cancellation, we thought we had to find a way to fight, united, to get our show back and to let the networks know they couldn't treat viewers like that," says Sara P.

4. How do you keep morale high?

"A lot of encouragement and patts on the back," says Tami. "We are lucky enough to have on the campaign the most optimistic, enthusiastic campaigners, who do a fantastic job of building up momentum again if morale starts to falter."

"As a group",says Sarah V.., we realize the importance of keeping morale high. We do this by concentrating on all the things we've achieved, no matter how little. As well as by just having fun with our campaign! My pure love for the show motivates, excites, and keeps me positive. I try my best to impart these feelings onto other fans/members. While each member also does their part in keeping things positive and up beat!"

"Sometimes", says Sara P.," it's not easy but everyday we find a joke (see on our forum :) ), a new video about the show (on our NR youtube profile) or a new fanart that reminds us how cool our show is and how we want it back. It's a good way to keep morale up."

5. Are you promoting DVD sales? How's that going?

"We have been promoting dvd sales all along, but have started to pick up pace now that the Season 3 DVD's are out. We are updating fans daily on what the DVD's are ranked at Amazon, and when we are ranked at no 1, we all rejoice", says Tami.

Sarah V. says, "We've just begin our major promotion for the DVD Sales. Season 3 has just come out today (Oct 23rd) and we're excited to see how DVD Sales are this week. The sales being high are really important to us! We'll be really promoting buying boxsets through 'til christmas. We can only hope fans get out there and buy their copies!"

Sara P. says. "Yes we are! Especially on our myspace page. We'll see how it's going this week when the dvd will be out."

More from the fans tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2007

CBS: Helping Jericho ?

My friend, Myles, of Cultural Learning posted an excellent article the other day and I'd like to see word spread so everyone can read it.

"Guiding Principles for the Return of CBS’ “Jericho”

In part, he says:

*"CBS should be in close contact with fan communities in order to recapture the grassroots elements of the initial campaign to save Jericho.
• The DVD set should be advertised through traditional and new media in a way that reflects its importance to the campaign.
• Fans should attempt to overcome the rifts growing between certain populations in order to present a united front.
• CBS should be responsible for keeping the series in the public eye, not just the fans; however, fans should continue to digg, read and comment on stories to keep their momentum alive.

• CBS should choose a fair timeslot which avoids major competition while reflecting the themes and values within the series.
• CBS should immediately begin advertising the show’s return during their most successful programs (CSIs, NCIS, etc.)
• CBS will ideally have established connections with fans that they can use in order to get the word out quickly to the fans who have abandoned the cause since the summer.
• Fans should mobilize behind this date quickly: while CBS is expected to hold part of the burden, fans have access to numerous tools they don’t, so use them!
•Bloggers like myself will be sure to promote this date and make sure that people are aware it is finally happening.

• CBS should continue advertising the series.
• CBS will ideally ensure that the show’s stars are out and about on Late Night and Daytime talk shows.
• Fans should reconnect with the principles that won the show’s return: its quality, its values and of course the nuts.
•However, fans should also be willing to move into any new innovative territories in order to broaden the show’s horizons.

• CBS should maintain realistic expectations of the show’s ratings, understanding the challenges it has faced, and will not pass judgment until Live 7 DVR Ratings are released.
• Fans will watch the premiere (I don’t think this one is even in question, eh?)
• That I will put my money where my mouth is and watch and review said premiere."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Monster Nielsen Interview: Steve Ciabattoni

Steve Ciabattoni is Sr. Content Mgr. for Hey Nielsen. He's the person who writes the blog and answers emails so quickly. I'm sure he does much more than that but I'm not privy to his job description.

I continue to see questions about Hey!Nielsen so I asked Steve if he could answer them and he graciously agreed.

1.What makes Hey! Nielsen different from online polls?

We want to know more from members than Yes/No or Like/Dislike. That's why we also include the ability to comment (by video or text), link up with other members, agree/disagree with opinions, and then reflect all that in a score that captures the sentiment of the community. Also, as a hub of information for the media industry, Nielsen provides a unique platform and access to its members, many of whom feel their voices aren’t being heard.

2. Are Hey! Nielsen stats reported to the networks?

Hey! Nielsen is still in Beta, and examining the data. Right now we're concentrating on making the site meaningful for the user. When that happens, we think executives in the entertainment industry -- not just television -- will be interested in the data.

3. Was Hey! Nielsen developed to placate critics of Nielsen ratings?

The site was designed for a number of reasons. We receive so many requests to be a Nielsen TV family and we want to have a way for people to give us input. Our TV panel is chosen using strict statistical sampling techniques, which prevents us from simply saying “yes” to everyone. Hey! Nielsen is a way for us to at least welcome people interested in the process to be a part of the conversation. Also, it’s a way for us to look at all media (TV, Movies, Music, etc.) together in an interesting way.

4. Does Rank really matter? Aren't all points of view important?

The Rankings and the Hey! Nielsen Score are really just a fun index for the users. And of course, all points of view are valuable.

5. What do you think is the most misunderstood part of Hey!Nielsen?

That a high Ranking will get your favorite show back on the air. We are interested in capturing the buzz and the power of community here, but we could never promise that use of Hey! Nielsen = success for a show. If that were the case, I’d have my own show!

6. How do you manage to answer emails so quickly?

We learn a lot from reading the emails from happy members and the angry ones. Answering them quickly helps spread info about the site, and helps keep misinformation about the site to a minimum. We believe that people don’t want to “feel” like they are being heard... they actually want proof that they “are” being heard. As the site grows, it will become harder and harder to answer everyone right away, (or directly) but we know that we can answer their questions either in our blog or in a newsletter or even by messaging out to specific members, entertainment blogs, or fan sites. The back and forth with the members of the site is actually one of the most fun aspects of the job for us. No matter what business you're in, if you have poor communication with your customers, you'll fail.

7. Are there any new features coming soon?

We’ll be adding a tab on the site for Video Games. As you can see by our five existing categories, we already know that people don’t just watch TV. They watch TV and listen to music and surf the web, and play games online (sometimes at the same time!). So that’s interesting to us. We’re curious... do the people that are fans of one particular show share the same passions for games or music or websites? We’ll also be having more contests for the different genres of entertainment, and we’ll be highlighting a few members in our blog. We are also working on having some quick polls and surveys on the site, as well as some invite-only features for certain members. Also, we’ll be adding levels for members as well and some tweaks to the profile pages that will help members keep track of their conversations better.

8. Can we expect the Entertainment Calendar soon?

We're working on it, but it looks like the site's users might find other features more exciting or necessary, so we are working on those as a greater priority.

9. Is there anything you'd like to say to entertainment fans?

Well, who isn’t a fan of entertainment? We can’t thank you enough for showing up and voicing your opinions. We love to see people who come to the site to cheer for their favorite show, but then actually spend some time chiming in on their favorite movies, or band… that’s what will really keep the site interesting and complex. As the community grows and the members deepen their entertainment profiles, it will really help Nielsen offer a broader scope of insights to our clients on what’s going on out there. We think that benefits everyone. Our job is really to stay out of the way and let the community bubble up naturally and then analyze the data and refine the site to make it fun for the fans, and valuable for the folks that call the shots. So, the short answer is, thanks. Actually, thanks, and refer the site to a friend.

Steve Ciabattoni
The Nielsen Company

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hey Nielsen TV Blogger Winners

Thank you to all who voted, Myles at Cultural Learnings, and Hey Nielsen.

Hey Nielsen Blog Contest Winners:

Jericho Monster

Second Place
Cultural Learnings

Honorable Mention
Televisionary (televisionary.blogspot.com)

TV Squad Blog (tvsquad.com)

TV Over Easy (tvovereasy.com)

"What's great about all of these sites is that they display an amazing passion and knowledge for their subject. It's exciting to witness the power of, what we call GCM (consumer generated media) and how it's reshaping the way the web works and the way people interact with entertainment. As our maestro of CGM Pete Blackshaw says "Blogs are the epicenter of online passion, and these TV blogs are taking passion to an entirely new level.The common thread across the winners is deep, in-depth, spirited--and sometimes controversial--rants and raves about shows, including those which got cancelled."

Not only do these shows know their stuff, they also have played a huge part of spreading the word about Hey! Nielsen (and correcting the word when necessary). We have see the community grow and learn and debate together, and it has resulted in a stronger, smarter site.

There are other sites we'll be calling out in the next few weeks as well that didn't make the top five (or the original list) because we want to get their names and voices in here as well. So thanks again to all.

Coming up tomorrow... a quick interview with Jericho Monster."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Veronica Mars: A Friendly Fandom

In the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, California, the rich and powerful make the rules. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars, a smart, fearless 17-year-old apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving the town's toughest mysteries. Veronica used to be one of the popular girls, but it all came crumbling down around her after her best friend, Lilly, was murdered.

On May 9, 2006, the group hired a plane to fly between the UPN offices in Los Angeles and the future site of The CW headquarters in Burbank, pulling a banner that read "RENEW VERONICA MARS! CW 2006!" to get the attention of network executives, the press, and anyone else in the Los Angeles area. They had previously sent future CW executives, those in charge at the new network's parent companies, and influential people in the entertainment media care packages including binoculars, information regarding the plane's flight plan, and Veronica Mars-inspired gifts.

On June 11, 2007 Michael Ausiello broke the news that Veronica Mars had been officially cancelled by the CW.

Veronica Mars has attracted a loyal and devoted fanbase that includes internet communities.

What do fans want? Why are they still working so hard?

"So what do we want to do???? It's simple. We want the conclusion that Rob Thomas intended. Maybe he does want Veronica to be left slinking off into the rain with nothing in her life certain and everything in the world against her - that would be very noir. BUT - we all know that The Bitch is Back was not the ending that RT or the fans wanted. So, the new webmasters want to provide unflagging persistence in the fight to get The Veronica Mars Movie made and released on the very appropriate date of 9.09.09."

I became more interested in the fandom when Rich of Copywrite Ink wrote:

"Collectively, while the outcome is anybody’s guess, Veronica Mars fans have a lot working in their favor. Here is a hot list of things they are doing right:

• They have established a centralized group that remains largely positive.
• They have designated smaller groups, each focusing on slightly different promotional efforts or social networks with informal leaders to provide direction.
• They welcome new Web masters and encourage them to promote specific goals.
• They have established clearly defined primary goals: engage existing fans (some who have become active supporters) and find new fans (loaning personal DVD sets when they have to) with the focus on supporting a movie.
• They have established secondary goals such as encouraging Warner Brothers to put the show into syndication and promoting DVD sales.
• They have a consistent message. Each participant responded separately, but they all had very similar answers. Their message sticks.
• They have remained courteous and supportive of the cast and crew, even going so far as to promote other ventures.
• They have remained courteous and supportive of each other and have fun."

More about Veronica soon when the fans speak.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Jericho: Still Digging

Many, many thanks to Terocious!!!!!!!!

Jericho Digg Day Articles!!!!!

It's not too late to Digg all these.

Here's the easy link:


Here are the articles:

LisiBee video- "Do You Want To Watch Season 2 of Jericho?"

From Rich at Copywrite: Digging In: Jericho Rangers

"Will Work For Jericho, Will CBS?"

"Terocious at Jericho Junction was kind enough to organize this, and I wanted to provide something with real value for Jericho fans to think about. As a result, I have decided to craft a series of guiding principles that CBS and fans should follow when Jericho finally returns to television at some point in the next number of months. I believe that, if these guidelines are followed, the show has a great chance of success, and that the fans have the potential to get the 3rd season they deserve."

Jericho: A Sentimental Journey

Randomness Blog
Thank you!!!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007