Keepin’ It Sticky: Tips for Engaging Fans Online & Mun2’s DIY Episodes

Posted on June 13, 2007. Filed under: continuing the conversation, DIY, engaging fans online, Mun2, stickiness factor |

I love Mun2’s DIY episodes

A girl, a robot. Problems, solutions. How-to, doo doo. Airs weekly on The mun2 Shift.

Keepin’ It Sticky!

This franchise is a perfect example of a network capturing the audience with interesting content and nurturing that interest online. I hate using the phrase “continuing the conversation” but it definitely applies here. Emotional engagement is cool and everything but that devotion only extends so far if once your audience visits your website, they are limited to only watching the same content over again.

A Skit Called: Why Your Network’s Website is So Un-2.0 that it’s Embarrassing

Me: I just saw this cool piece on air. I think I will go to the website to see if there’s more info.

*goes to website*

Me: Wow, I get to watch the same package all over again. Nothing else? Additional exclusive content? No. A related written piece? No. Can I comment on the video? No. Can I find fans of the same episode and chat with them? No. Is there a way to get to related videos? No. Can I share my video/photos from the event? No. Can I download the episode/share it with friends on my ipod/mobile device? No. Wow, can I at least get an embed code or at least a screengrab to blog about this? No. … Um…. Can I digg it? No? Well eff this site!

FIN

If your audience bothered to go online after watching an aired piece, give them something to talk about! Let’s break down Mun2’s Stickiness Factor a little and raise some questions while we are at it:

Stickiness Factor Test for Mun2’s DIY Franchise

Synchronization

Step 1- Episode airs and package appears online

The DIY episode online includes a “Robot Breaks It Down” feature that provides more in depth information to supplement the easy-to-follow web/tech tips that are served up in each aired DIY episode. Hmm! Sticky? Yes!*

Q: Is this process synchronized? i.e, When each DIY episode airs is the extended content online by the time the package is over?

A: I don’t know. But, I hope so. It would make sense to assume that if I am really psyched about getting free ring tones, after the episode is over I may just hop on my computer and try to find the package. It would be nice if it was already there with the supplemental content. I got thangs to do, and if the site doesn’t have what I am looking for at that moment, I’m going to Google it which takes me away from your site, which is bad.

Search ability

Step 2 – I go to the site to find related content.

Q: How easy is it for me to get to DIY episodes on the Mun2 website?

A: Unless I’m a regular fan, it’s a little tricky. All “original” episodes are included in the Candy area. Within Candy, there are 4 areas: Looks, Original, Pix, and IDs. DIY falls within the “Original” category, but unless I’m a regular visitor to the site I am not going to know that. Once you are in Original, the different franchises are not broken up into categories. All the episodes seem to be listed chronologically, which is no use to me if I am searching specifically for all DIY episodes.

Suggestion: Their “Originals” hub should have the franchises displayed individually, with the option to “view/search all” but the original page should be broken up by franchise. You should be able to visit the main page of each franchise, and see all episodes listed. Within, the “all originals” search result you should be able have different options for search (franchise name, tags, date, etc).

NOTE: When you are watching a specific DIY episode, it does include an area for “More Episodes of DIY”. The “originals” area would just be more user friendly if there was a way to view all DIY episodes on the same page (the same for all the franchises for that matter)

Audience Interaction

Step 3 – Fan has watched the segment on air/online and read the featured/supplemental content. Cool! Now I want to say something about it. Let me get my interactivity on!
Can I? Hmm! Yes, I can!*

Commenting – Yes. Viewers can comment on all videos.

Site/Audience Interaction – Mun2 moderators often/regularly reply to viewer comments. This leads to more commenting, more information shared, more emotional engagement. Score! Mighty Sticky.

Mobility – Yes. Viewers can email to friends, download the episode, subscribe to the RSS feed, and embed. All of this mobility information is provided within one inch of the border of the video frame, which is my personal test of how user friendly you are about sharing your content.

By providing a Mun2 flickr stream, Mun2 allows viewers to check out behind the scenes photos from the DIY shoots, and comment on those as well. Sheeit! This site is so sticky I need to wash my hands 😉

NOTE: My only suggestions would be to make the flickr stream/feed a little more accessible. When you are within a DIY episode, there is currently no visible way on that page to the flickr stream link and related images. Also, each franchise should have their own set within the flickr account for easier accessibility.

The “It has a certain je ne sais qua” Factor aka Keeps Them Wanting More

Step 4 – Ok, I’ve done everything I possibly can with this segment. I’ve watched it, commented on it, downloaded it, embedded it on my MySpace page, emailed it to my mama, checked out the behind the scenes photos. Now what? How could my user experience possibly get any better?

Mun2’s je ne sais qua Factor for DIY:

What the hell are you talking about Daniela? Je Ne Sais Qua Factor? Are you high? No, I am not. I don’t use drugs (not since my teens, anyway).

What I mean is that you shouldn’t put a lot of energy into developing a catch-all guaranteed increase-your-stickiness technique that you can throw at all your content. You should individually assess each piece of content and ask yourself, how can I (with this) increase the level of audience participation? Sometimes the answer works for a lot of content, sometimes it works for one thing in particular. That is ok. In fact, it’s a good thing.

Often, you will not be able to fully anticipate all the results of this newly introduced functionality. It’s like a pandora’s box portal to… who knows what? Scared? Don’t be. Just because you can’t predict everything that will happen when you introduce something on a site, should not prevent you from doing it. Go with it, see what happens. Modify it as needed, and trust that your audience will definitely let you know what they like and do not like — if you let them do it. Embrace criticism, it is your friend.

In this case, the Je Ne Sais Qua Factor turns out to be: “ASK THE ROBOT FOR HELP”

Ok, I know that a question form seems really simple and not that exciting, but it’s actually smart on several levels. DIY is a franchise about providing the audience with cool tech/web tricks that increase their quality of life. So…

1 – It only makes sense to allow viewers to submit their questions, and to use selected ones for future episodes.

2 – The data provided can be used for future DIY related poll results (if they choose to do this), which allows the audience to see what other viewers are interested in learning about in an organized/aggregated display.

3 – An open portal of communication between audience and content entity is essential to the successful structure of not only future DIY episodes, but also for measuring the tastes and interests of your audience. It’s free market research yo.

Summary

In conclusion — synchronization, search ability, user interaction, Je Ne Sais Qua Factor– All essential elements to successfully engage your fans online and to Keepin’ It Sticky, demonstrated through Mun2’s DIY franchise.

Questions? Comments? Hit me.

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