Oh the Office, such joy and hilarity. Even though the original British version was still funnier, I’ve become accustomed to the American version (FYI, my favorite character by far is Dwight).
In the latest Office episode, the once intern now corporate mogul, Ryan, mentions that Dunder Mifflin’s Web 2.0 website, “Dunder Mifflin Infinity”, had issues with the social networking feature being infiltrated by sexual predators. Much of the staff complains about why this feature is even necessary. See the video below:
(Props to NBC for actually embracing video sharing across the web via Hulu!)
I’ve come to find out that NBC actually launched this social networking site. You can actually go and become apart of the Dunder Mifflin team!!!
This is one of smartest tactics I’ve seen by a corporation (NBC) to aggregate its fan base utilizing web 2.0 technologies (i.e. social networking). Besides the pure kitsch of receiving an official email from Dunder Mifflin saying I’ve been hired by them, NBC has managed to figure out how to sustain engagement within the site, and encourage users to participate over time.
“Employees” can decide what branch office they want to be apart of, they can upload photos, vote on polls, enroll in “tasks”, upload videos, write comments, browse the employee manual, and so much more. Anytime the “employee” does any of these tasks, they are rewarded with funny money (“Schrute Bucks”) that they can redeem to buy items to decorate their desks. Additionally, the more money one acquires the more likely one is to be “promoted.”
Overall, I think NBC did an awesome job of getting their fans to participate with the Office in a way that they couldn’t do so before. What’s even more incredible is that they did it outside Facebook or MySpace, which unto itself seems like a miracle since most companies are seeing that it is incredibly hard to start a community versus leverage and existing one.