Friday, March 28

Demonstrating High Touch: Veronica Mars Fans


Social media continues to prove high tech communication is an effective means to communicate, organize, and establish a presence. However, one can never underestimate the impact of high touch over high tech. It’s tangible. It’s memorable. And it’s effective long after any online communication has faded from memory.

John Sumser, The Recruiting Roadshow, and Doug Geinzer, Recruiting Nevada, demonstrated they understand the value of high touch communication as well, sending handwritten notes shortly after The Recruiting Roadshow was hosted in Las Vegas. The notes were polite, personal, and remain top of mind.

Fans Add High Touch To Online Campaign.

Yesterday, I received a package from the fans of Veronica Mars. It was somewhat unexpected, and appreciated. The reason I say “somewhat” was because Veronica Mars fans sent me a note last year asking if they could send me a gift for writing about them here and there. While I was flattered, I declined. It was my pleasure. And, old journalist habits die hard.

A couple of days ago, however, Rachel Gerke, one of my original contacts with the Veronica Mars fans, asked if they could send me a “thank you.” Sure, I said.

What I didn’t know was they were sending me the Veronica Mars First Season DVD. It is not a gift. It’s part of their “Loan It Forward” program.

“We are asking you to try watching three or four episodes to see if you like it and decide if you want to watch the rest of the season,” explained Mark Thompson from Neptune Rising. “After you are done with the set, we are asking you to loan it forward to somebody else and give them an opportunity to see if they might like our show.”

Veronica Mars fans convinced me several months ago to give their show a chance. I have, relying on Season 3 episodes that are easily downloaded from iTunes. It's a good show, no question.

However, they sent Season 1 because they felt it better represents their passion. Season 1 and Season 2 are the primary reasons that fans, which saw their show cancelled last year, are campaigning for a movie.

Perhaps even more than a movie, they are campaigning for community. The Neptune Rising forum remains a positive, well-organized fan-generated project with clear objectives. I’m not surprised; some ideas are inspired by Browncoats, fans of the series Firefly.

One of several ideas the Veronica Mars fans have recently adopted is a cruise, which will depart from San Diego on Nov. 28. It includes stops in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada. Tour sites may include Mars Investigations, The Neptune Grand, Camelot Motel, Dog Beach, and much more.

In Europe, fans are also getting ready for a joint Veronica Mars — Prison Break convention this June 13-15 at the Thistle Hotel, Heathrow, London. It is there they hope to present fan scrapbooks to Kristen Bell and Jason Dhoring. Convention information can be found here.

"We knew about the convention two months ago; they organize events for the fans of TV Series," says Sara Pillitu, who helps with the European Chapter of Neptune Rising. "This is a great chance to meet up with other fans, and maybe have them campaigning with us."

The fans have also remained in contact with Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas, who is currently working hard to become the busiest man in television. Thomas even has a downloadable original pilot script on this personal site.

The “Loan It Forward” program and joint fan collaborations demonstrate a high touch element to online efforts. Enough so that if a well-read blogger hasn’t been introduced to Veronica Mars, I invite them to drop me an e-mail. I’ll be happy to send along the “Loan It Forward” set, er, as soon as I’m finished.

The two Josh Whedon-inspired comics, Serenity 1 by Dark Horse and Angel #1 by IDW, on the other hand ... well, those will stay here. It was a very thoughtful gesture and they will always remind me of Veronica Mars fans at Neptune Rising.

Thank you, though the pleasure has always been mine. I've already thought of a pay them forward too. I'll donate the value (but not the books, since I am both a Firefly and comic fan) to a non-profit, under the name "Veronica Mars." Be cool, Soda Pop.

Digg!

24 comments:

Tami from Neptune Rising said...

Hey Rich, thanks so much for the great comments about us a Neptune Rising. I have met some of the most awesome people ever by working on the Veronica Mars campaign.
I hope you enjoy season 1, in fact, I am sure you will love it!
I always enjoy reading your blog.
Thanks for your support.

Balabanto on 3/29/08, 1:38 AM said...

Thank you for supporting us at Neptune Rising. We hope that you will spread the word and get this show back on the air where it belongs.

stubbornone on 3/29/08, 7:57 AM said...

Hi Rich,
It was our pleasure to send them to you and I think the show speaks for itself about how great it is.
It's awesome that your going to pay it forward the price of the comics to a charity.
Neptune Rising has become a second family to me personally and we have some really good people there that just amaze me at times.
I don't know what I would do if I lost power for a few days. :)
Thanks for the mention again and be sure to check out the web addresses inside the DVD case.

Mark Thompson

Jericho Returns on 3/29/08, 8:56 AM said...

Great post, Rich. May I say I have had contact with many VM fans and I admire their dedication. They are nice, friendly, welcoming folks and I love VM just because of them.
You guys are great!

Kim on 3/29/08, 2:07 PM said...

I'd only seen one VM episode when it was on the air, liked it, but for some reason lost track of the show. Now I'm going to check it out as well. With fans this dedicated, it's got to be good!

Ichthus said...

I am glad to see the Veronica Mars' fan continuing on their campaign. Also, I have to say I am impressed by the lengths they are willing to go to maintain their community. Such determination will take them far. I won't be surprise if one day I read about a Veronica Mars movie being produced.

Rich on 3/29/08, 6:02 PM said...

@Tami It was my pleasure. I enjoy writing about what works and you are certainly working it. :)

@Balabanto You are very welcome. I love the Loan It Forward campaign idea.

@Mark Thank you. I agree with you 100 percent. There are some amazing people working on this. Please keep me posted.

@Jane You have proven to me once again that there isn't a fan group you do not know. :)

@Kim I know you will.

@ichthus Thank you so much for the comment. You know, I think you might be right.

Robert on 3/29/08, 7:12 PM said...

Hey Rich I am also from Neptune Rising and would like to thank you for supporting us and I hope you enjoy the show. I wasn't much into Veronica Mars(I was one of the people who thought it was a girly show) when it first came but saw it on DVD after watching Kristen Bell on Heroes. After I saw the first episode I was hooked. Now I am obbessed with Veronica Mars. After I found the neptune Rising site it made me love it mopre because of how much work they are putting into it and I am trying to help them as much as I can as well. I hope other people who where like me will give Veronica Mars a try.

Sarah said...

Thanks Rich, as always for your wonderful articles!
Can't wait to hear what you think about Season 1 & 2.

Enjoy, and big thanks for all the support!

ILOVEVM said...

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!! This article was great! I am so glad you took the time to watch the show. It means so much to all of us. I know we have all put in sooo much time and effort and sooo much of ourselves into this show and into getting it back. Veronica Mars just becomes part of you! Everyone I have met through Neptune Rising has been wonderful and so positive and upbeat and make me want to try as hard as I can as long as I can.
Every single person that I have loaned my seasons too has loved Veronica. It's really hard not to.
Enjoy!
xoxo

Rich on 3/30/08, 10:34 AM said...

@Robert Your story is great. It really demonstrates that fans are much more willing to track celebrities and producers beyond the show where they are introduced. The Internet makes it easier than ever.

@Sarah Thank you for being on the stop with answer to a few questions. You helped make the post possible. :)

@ILVM Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. I think that is clearly to your advantage.

All my best,
Rich

SandyBeaches said...

Thanks Rich for the Suppost and another Awesome Article. Like Mark said Neptune Rising is my second home and enjoy working and talking to such wonderful people. Never a dull moment ;P

I could say enjoy season 1 but I'm sure you will enjoy it and much more---become a VM fanatic :) It's what all the cool people are.

Thanks So much again for the kind words and we hope to hear more from you.

terocious on 3/30/08, 3:58 PM said...

It is such a pleasure to see how creative thinking and community spirit combine to keep Veronica Mars vibrant and alive. Thanks Rich and all.

stubbornone on 3/30/08, 5:39 PM said...

I wanted to thank all the Jericho campaigners who commented and have been so nice and I hope to see Kim join us at Neptune Rising someday soon.

Rich on 3/31/08, 12:12 PM said...

@Sandy I've always wanted to be cool. Hmmm... ;)

@B! I agree 100 percent. Fan groups and other online communities are much like companies in that they all develop their own cultures over time.

@Mark You never know. She might at that.

Best, Rich

Kim on 3/31/08, 12:56 PM said...

I haven't watched the first season yet, but I plan on starting this week. But I've got what might seem like a silly question: where does the term Neptune Rising come from? Must be a reference from the show?

shannie cakes on 3/31/08, 9:21 PM said...

i hope you enjoy season 1. though it really took until the episode "weapons of class destruction" for me to fall in love with veronica mars!

stubbornone on 3/31/08, 10:22 PM said...

Kim,
The name Neptune Rising was chosen because Veronica and friends lived in the city of Neptune California and Rising was chosen because we are campaigning and plan on keeping VM alive in everyones minds and also as a reference to let everyone know that we won't go quietly into the night or fade away.

Sorry for interupting your comments Rich.

Rich on 4/2/08, 4:11 PM said...

@Shannie Something tells me I will. Maybe it was an episode or two. :)

@stubbornone No need to apologize. As a matter of fact, I'm thrilled you took the time to answer.

Best,
Rich

Thera said...

Rich,

Thank you so much for your kind words and continued support. It means so much to us at Neptune Rising. We will continue our fight to get Veronica Mars back on screen, and we truly appreciate you and what you have to say!

Thera

iimerylii on 4/4/08, 2:02 PM said...

Thank you so much for the support of this article... spreading the word is so important and I'm proud to be a VM fan along with all of these great people!

El_Tor0 on 8/9/08, 6:35 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El_Tor0 on 8/9/08, 6:37 PM said...

Great article, Rich. Be sure that VM fans are everywhere, and ever growing stronger in numbers. Greetings from Portugal.

(previous comment delete because of typo)

James said...

It's a pretty nice post. I am huge fan of the show and really liked your take on importance of social media. I really appreciate work done by Kirsten Bell in all the veronica mars episodes. She has kept the good work going in "Couples Retreat" as well.

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