Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Syfy Twitter account

I follow @Syfy on Twitter and the guy running it, Craig Engler, posted an interesting link to a discussion of Reddit. It reads:
It's pretty obvious from his posts that he's either completely prohibited from admitting that Syfy might not actually serve the fanbase it purports to, or he actually believes that the network does a good job of it. Every response he's given so far has had the tone of "No, Syfy isn't wrong. Your perception of our programming is wrong." Syfy will not hear your words, and when they acknowledge that you've spoken, they'll try to change your mind rather than changing their programming.

His appearance here is not a gesture of goodwill, or an olive branch to the geek community: It's just another shameless attempt for a corporate mindset to leverage the social media paradigm.

Having followed the account for some time now, I'd have to agree. While he does write in more personal manner than those running other corporate accounts, he's clearly towing the company line. It's a clever way to engage followers, but deceptive at the same time.

Each statement is crafted in a manner to put a humanizing factor behind the normal corporate drone, i.e. links with a simple headline. He speaks in the first-person and seems to be plugged into the internet and television world. And it's good to see Syfy attempting to do more than simple self-promoting tweets; they aren't just links from an automatic RSS feed.

That said, when fans ask him questions, the responses are always in veiled corporate speak. Most of the time the answers entail at least one of the following. 1) You're wrong because... 2) The decision was very difficult (never admission of mistake) 3) Self-promotional links (usually good information, although Scifi Wire is pretty pathetic sometimes) 4) Explanation of the decision making process (my favorite tweets).

Basically, I know what to expect from Craig, and I could probably emulate his style very well. I'll keep following him, because there is good information. I don't except the unvarnished truth, nor should anyone else. The execs will do what they have always done. People who except real fan involvement with Twitter and being naive. It is what it is. Anyway, those are my two cents.

If anyone from Syfy reads this, I have one question. You guys keep claiming that Warehouse 13 was the network's highest rated show ever and it aired on a Tuesday, justifying moving other shows to Tuesday. Fair enough. However, how do explain the differences between summer programming and fall programming when broadcast networks air their normal shows. Both Burn Notice and The Closer had huge numbers during the summer and smaller numbers for the second part of their seasons.
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