I must confess. I’ve been leading a double life. On Twitter, I’ve been masquerading as Bud Melman, a mailroom clerk at Sterling Cooper Advertising in 1962. I also built WeAreSterlingCooper.org. And for a short period of time, I ran a wiki where I tried to get many of the other Mad Men characters to play along and create story arcs between episodes.
I’ve written a full report about my other life, along with what it could mean for the future of entertainment. Download Becoming a Mad Man.
So why did I do it? Because I’m a fan of the show; maybe even the biggest fan. Sunday nights were a solemn ritual of tuning in (ask Vanessa). I’d even buy the episode off iTunes the next day to watch on the train. I didn’t let anyone out of my sight without going on and on about what a great show it was. That’s what fans do, turn on new people to your show, product, etc. The more creative we get (like Mad Men twittering), the more effective we can be.
I wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of bringing a Mad Men character to life on Twitter, though. I just thought the idea was insanely brilliant and I wanted to play along, too. It didn’t work out quite how I had hoped, but I’m incredibly thankful for all the new people I’ve met and the support they’ve given me.
In a bit of “holy shit that’s awesome” news, I see that my report, Becoming a Mad Man, is part of Henry Jenkin’s syllabus for the fall course he’s teaching on Transmedia Storytelling at USC. It’s sure to be poked, prodded, and maybe even dismissed, but I’m incredibly honored for its inclusion in the course.
In addition, the report and my activities were recently cited in Grant McCracken’s latest book, Chief Culture Officer (p. 91)