Thursday, May 14, 2009

Once It's Live, Leave It Live

About a year ago a highly rated TV show built a fictional company's web site to tie in to real life events at Comic-Con, the convention in San Diego. The finale of the newest season was this week. Just a few minutes ago a friend on Twitter and Facebook changed their status to say he wanted to work for that fictional company, and I wanted to comment/reply to my friend's status with the link to the fictional site. The site is down, offline, 404.

I wanted to share a part of the show with a friend, and they won't let me. I wanted to promote their product for free, and they stopped me. Instead of allowing all the money spent on the site and its very good videos and promotions pay off forever, they took it down. Estimated annual savings in taking down the site: $2000 (which ought to be lower, but for various reasons in this case is not lower). Estimated loss of audience engagement, good-will and ability for the franchise's value to increase over many decades: infinite.

The stock of the parent company that owns the network that carries the show has lost about $20,300,000,000 of market value since mid September (admittedly this may not only result from company wide failure to understand or capitalize on the internet).

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