Pushing a Community around Jericho

Over the last few days I’ve been working my way through all the back episodes of Jericho from CBS. As I usually do, I turn to Wikipedia to see if there any additional pieces of information to add to my enjoyment of the show (I’m a trivai freak at times). The show has a loyal base of online fans, as the wiki episode guides are pretty complete, which is not always the case; if you take a look at the CSI listings there’s very little info there which I find surprising for one of the biggest programmes on TV.

BUT CBS are obviously aware of the fans need to add to the show experience; they have created their own wiki for people to update. You don’t have to sign in to edit and they’ve even created a very nice editing tool so you do not have to know the arcane mark-up language.

Jericho Wiki

But you are not getting the same contributions as wikipedia are getting. It’s easier, there are a lot more show assets that can be used, there’s a reasonably active message board on the site that demonstrates that fans are involved, but little action to document the show. So some thoughts about why not:

  • Wikipedia is a known place to put the information so anyone who wants to document the show goes there, despite it being slightly easier to add images to the CBS wiki
  • The fans who connect on the message board are not fans who want to document the show in a wiki – they want to discuss, not record.
  • There is a fear that the work that would be put into documenting the show would disappear from the CBS site; the effort is better being put into something that will last longer.

Whatever the reason for the reduced participation in documenting the episodes they are doign a lot of other things to gain interest in the show, with online chats, Q&A for the producers and just a lot of extra content.

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