I wrote about LonelyGirl15 two years ago when the story first came out (see The whole story about Lonelygirl15 as revealed by the New York Times, Pluto’s fate according to Lonelygirl15) but lost track of what was happening with that story until tonight when I saw a post in TechCrunch -EQAL Shares Details On LonelyGirl15 Followup – which said that not only was the original tactic successful, but it had now spawned a new Social Network.
As part of the new series, LG15.com will be relaunching as a hybrid blog/social network designed to further the level of viewer immersion. Equal’s founders say that they’ve built the social network themselves because it gives them greater freedom during the course of the shows (for example, they could modify the look and feel of the site depending on recent events in each story), but that the network isn’t designed to compete with the likes of Facebook or MySpace.
Having thought about, especially in light of my earlier post today, I think building hybrid Social Networks is a mistake – more of an overall waste of time and money.
I’m sure this venture will be successful in the short term – people want to create reality around characters, even if the character is fictional, as is LonelyGirl15; according to TechCrunch:
There have been a number of attempts to create “distorted realities” online through online shows and games, but few of these have managed to take off - users generally find it hard to suspend their disbelief enough to enjoy themselves. EQAL’s approach may be able to skirt this issue by catering to hardcore and casual fans alike, allowing users to consume as much content as they’re comfortable with.
I guess you can have as much of LonelyGirl15 as you want - the creators of this yawn are not going to remind us that it’s not a real story … and use Social Media as a means to captivate people.
What really needs to happen is using the Social Graph as a service – which FaceBook has begun to do, except I’m thinking way beyond Facebook – that’s just the beginning.
By the way, I haven’t looked at any of the recent LonelyGirl15 videos, but I’m sure TechCrunch is tracking it all – I saw it as just another way to get attention, and it worked.