eContent FTW!

A bit of Jerk info: Whenever a website is mentioned on a show, I immediately pause the ep and run off to see if it exists. See, one time Conan O’Brien randomly said ‘hornymanatee.com’ on Late Night, which meant NBC had to buy the URL (and Conan decided to do something with it). It turns out this is a legal issue, so someone can’t buy the URL mentioned in a show and stick up anything the Network wouldn’timoscarcom like to be connected to. Now, sometimes the sites will be lame, either just a static image placeholder, or even worse merely a redirect to the Network’s homepage. Sometimes though, this is used as a chance to put up some awesome extra content for the fans.

Arrested Development was known for building the sites, and then actually featuring the webpages on the show, such as imoscar.com, imnoscar.com, and tonywonder.com Unfortunately the sites are long gone by this point.

As far as current shows go, easily the best show-related websites are being done by the How I Met Your Mother crew. Here’s Barney’s online video resume from last night’s episode. The HIMYM sites are great because they’re more than just a single page, they actually build sites and stickhimym-barney up some really cool content, often managing to link together various bits that they’ve done. My favourite is the Ted Mosby is a Jerk site, which features such great easter eggs for fans as the covers for some of the other Ted Mosby’s porn films, and a drawing of Barney being raped by a dragon.

I think that making good use of these sites is indicative of both the level of connection the creators have with their fans, and of their creativity. It’s categorically different from something such as the web content produced for Lost, which while really in-depth and cool, really has very little connection to the show itself while these sites are directly connected to the series in a very significant way. Something about these sites tweaks my geek in just the right way, I love this stuff and I wish more shows would use these sites as an opportunity to really push their work into metafiction territory (I’m a huge meta fan).

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on February 3, 2009.

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