Of twitter and Mad Men

ImageGiven the reasonable success twitter has had since listing on Wall Street I thought I’d mull over one of the more interesting stories around twitter I’ve come across.

While twitter is used for posting thoughts on breakfast and other daily occurrences, it’s also clearly become where news happens (as Mark Jones from Reuters said “The audience isn’t on twitter, but the news is”). Big events like the death of Osama Bin Laden have been scooped via twitter. But also there’s a lot of writers, comedians and authors posting to twitter (or budding versions of these).

One of favourite happenings around twitter is the in-character posting of well known pop-culture characters. Where people will set up an account for Darth Vader and post appropriate in-character statements.

ImageThe twitter situation with the popular TV show Mad Men and twitter revealed an interesting debate around the opportunities and limitations for fans and companies posting tweets as characters from commercial properties. As discussed over at Henry Jenkins’ Aca-Fan blog the characters from Mad Men such as Don Draper, and even new characters developed by fans, began tweeting. While many thought these were from AMC it turned out they were all fans who had set up twitter accounts in the names of these characters and were producing mini fanfic type thoughts within the Mad Man world. When AMC found out about it they clamped down on it and booted all the fans off of these accounts. This led to a fan-outcry and the original fan tweeters banding together to protest this move. AMC relented and allowed the fans back to post as the characters. But it did set up a cautionary tone to the fan-advocacy occurring on the net around popular TV shows.

While twitter isn’t something I regularly keep contact with, when I do use it it is often to quickly take me into a compressed different insight into a thought, a moment, a happening. What better way to be distracted than by checking up on the Death Star PR twitter, or my current favourite the career ending tweets.

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