Harry Potter Poked You Back

8 Oct

Or, SocialSamba brings characters to (digital) life

Last Action HeroRecently, a new social network launched.  SocialSamba gives you a social media space to interact with your favorite characters.  (Social media, characters, fanfic overtones … obviously I am way excited about this.)

The Social Times article that introduced me to SocialSamba started off with:

“Have you ever wished that you could be friends with the characters from your favorite movies and TV shows in real life?  Until recently this was impossible—after all, these characters don’t actually exist outside of the TV shows and movies you love.”

Wait what?  You’re saying that they’re not real?!  Must I introduce you to Six Characters in Search of an Author?

Copyright CharacterOf course, SocialSamba has to make money somehow, and it’s working with TV shows and movies to bring their universes to (digital) life.  So, the only characters that you’ll get to connect with on SocialSamba are branded characters.  The ones under copyright and with active (read: money making) brands.  (No, you can’t be Juliet’s sassy gay friend and tell her that he’s totally not worth it.)

Here’s what SocialSamba’s co-founder, Andy Williams has to say about it:

“SocialSamba’s technology revolutionizes social media marketing.  We give fans a deep and personalized connection to the characters and stories they love, and open proven social revenue streams to those brands.  The tremendous interest we have received, even before officially launching, affirms our belief that our technology establishes an entirely new industry standard for how consumers engage with characters and brands, and with social networking itself.”

Mary SueAlthough SocialSamba’s still working itself out (currently there are only three stories involved), it seems that each of the character interaction universes will be completely separate and that SocialSamba will remain a unique set, separate from mainstream social media outlets.  SocialSamba is a place of scripted social interactions; it’s a very limited choose your own adventure – in which we’re all Mary Sues.

SocialSamba’s a really a great idea, but there’s no way that it can live up to what I want.

Willow computerBecause I want all my characters to be my friends of Facebook and my followers on Twitter.  I want Hermione to congratulate me when I post that I got 100% on my exam.  I want Willow to retweet my uberdorky internet culture links.  I want to be able to congratulate Kara and Lee when they post to say that they shot down six cylons today.  I want to join Scout’s “Free Tom Robinson” Facebook group.  I want to compulsively stalk Daenerys’s profile pictures (come on – you know they’d be ridiculous).

Questions of the day: Who are your favorite characters?  Who would you follow and Facebook stalk?  And who would be your top friends?


MaggieCakes is a blog about social media, marketing, culture, and what’s new on the internet written by me, Maggie O’Toole.  Every day (okay, I try for every day) I comb blogs and news outlets for the news about internet culture and social media to bring them to you (with my commentary, of course) here on MaggieCakes. Find anything interesting in the worlds of culture or social media that you’d like to see a post on? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at 2maggieotoole@gmail.com.

4 Responses to “Harry Potter Poked You Back”

  1. Paul Leroux October 10, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    No doubt about it. I’d love to be able to interact with Soames Forsyte, created by British author John Galsworthy. Over the course of six novels, Soames grows from villain to hero, and comes to embody a high standard of moral and ethical probity. I identify with him more and more as I get older, and mourn the passing of a secure, rooted world and society.

  2. Rahaf October 11, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Great post! I see this as the fledgling beginning of a new way to interact with characters and creative content. So interested to see how authors can use this to perhaps generate new revenue in an age of free e publishing.

    Also: willow plus HP references= we will get along great!

  3. matthewhyde October 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    It would be very cool to have Superman as a Facebook friend. I mean, it would be cool to have Batman on there too, but there’s no way he’s going to go on there, what with their privacy issues and everything….

    • Maggie O'Toole October 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      But wouldn’t Superman have trouble, too? What with the “real name” rules and all. I’m guessing both of them wouldn’t be welcome on Google+…

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