Exercise 1 – Conaco!

Conaco logo

I have been watching Conan O’Brien for a long time, and therefore followed his media fiasco. My husband and I, both avid fans of his humor, were sorely disappointed with the outcome from NBC/Universal. However, since then I have watched how he and his company, Conaco, has turned the situation into something outstanding. Conaco is the television production firm that is owned by Conan O’Brien, and has primarily been involved in producing his Late Night and Tonight Shows, and more recently his new Conan show on TBS. Conaco officially owns full rights to Conan.

After the Tonight Show debacle, an interesting turn of events came about. “Team Coco” and “I’m with Coco” became popular slogans with fans of the debunked Conan O’Brien. This was great for Conan O’Brien, something to boost his morale. However, what he and his company did from here is the real genius. Conan caters to a demographics of 18-49, with the average age around 30. Understanding the ‘newfangled’ Web 2.0, he opened his first Twitter account right around the time he was fired from NBC. Within one hour he had 30,000 subscribers, surpassing the amount of subscribers Jay Leno ever had. Within 24 hours, his numbers rose to three hundred thousand followers. As of today, about a year after Conan signed up, his numbers have reached to 2,331,236. I find that number extraordinary! Though, when reading his humorous tweets, it’s no wonder so many people subscribe. In fact, his Twitter account is so popular that when he tweeted his live tour he would be doing before his new talk show deal began with TBS, tickets were sold out almost immediately:

Thursday, March 11, 2010 7:21:04 AM via web- Hey Internet: I’m headed to your town on a half-assed comedy & music tour. Go to http://TeamCoco.com for tix. I repeat: It’s half-assed. ***30 min later:

Thursday, March 11, 2010 7:52:17 AM via web- Alert! Teamcoco.com is jammed with too much traffic. If you can’t get on, go to http://ticketmaster.com to buy your tickets. See you soon. *** An hour & a half later:

Thursday, March 11, 2010 9:39:54 AM via web- Hey everybody! We just added a second night in Boston. I did this so my parents could come. And one of my brothers.

TeamCoco.com was born, and I explored this website to discover what kind of social media Conaco utilizes to incorporate their audience. I was astounded at the number of social software presented on TeamCoco.com and the accessibility one has as a fan of Conan. Firstly, the top of the ‘Home’ webpage has Conan’s most recent Twitter post. On the top of every other page, there is a “Hot Tags” line, with three linked, popular tags such as “Conan Podcast”. Tagging is a unique and useful method to find interests via the internet social media system. Additionally, Conaco has signed up to many of the popular social media sites, which can be easily accessed by clicking their associated icons located on the right of webpage. Underneath those icons is a Facebook box, with a ‘Like’ button and Team Coco’s Facebook followers icons shown. Then, below that is a thread of three recent tweets.

I decided to investigate the seven social media icons on the webpage. Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare, GetGlue, Facebook and YouTube. Twitter was actually linked to the TeamCoco twitter account, which varies from the Conan O’Brien account because users can contribute to this page. Whereas, Conan’s twitter page is updated only by him. Though I’m not yet familiar with Tumblr, the pages were remarkably cool, with all sorts of interesting pictures, applets, and videos related to Conan. Each post had a ‘notes’ section which related if the user ‘liked’ the post or ‘reblogged’ it, with at least a couple hundred posts each. On Flickr, it seems that they employed a photographer by the name of Meghan Sinclair to take interesting photographs of the show and post them every one or two days when the show airs. Although users are allowed to comment on them, there are not many. Foursquare, another social software that I am unfamiliar with, was created on January 10th, with many pages of popular locations inserted with witty lines and check-marked if liked by the followers. However it seems static since then, and though there are over 23,000 followers, I wonder how long that will last. Possibly, the entire website will go the way of the once shortly popular Friendster. GetGlue appears to be slowly up and coming, as people are tweeting how they’ve received stickers from GetGlue, and the show is ranked 28th most popular this week. Facebook was being followed by 520,613 followers, an enormous number, and users were busy ‘liking’ and commenting on the wall posts. Here’s one recent post and comment that illustrates firstly that suggestions are taken from users in real-time, and the opinion of a follower regarding the Live Coco Cam:

Conan O’Brien Presents: Team Coco Thanks for tuning in to the Live Coco Cam today! You all made it a thousand times more fun. I particularly appreciated the “Running Man” dance suggestions. See you all next week at 2pm ET/11am PT! –Jess

Dylan Hutton ‎:) Awesome show. Mayor debate was awesome. Friday at 12:13pm

YouTube is also included in the social software section, and TeamCoco has a special dedicated channel. For the most part, the page is littered with outtakes, teasers, and behind the scenes videos. Conan even announced the name of his new show on YouTube. See the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ojsIAZDXQY . However, the social media possibilities have reigned supreme, and a new ‘post your own video to win a contest’ bit has been announced. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the couple with the best posted video will be picked to go on the Conan show to eat dinner during taping. The fans are loving it, and here is one YouTube post to prove this:

phraedusthamusicdigr (1 day ago)   keep it up bro u are original

The TeamCoco website also includes an open thread column once a week, and a section of podcasts created by the Conaco employees. The page I was most impressed with is the FanWall, in which 25 Twitter comments with corresponding backgrounds, are posted in a collage type format. Additionally, there is a Live Coco Cam that is set up every Friday in the offices of Conan, and Fan Fridays where one fan is picked to answer questions at random to “pay tribute to our fans”. Newly added is a “TeamCoco” app, which incorporates all the social media options. In essence, the ideas people have of Conan O’Brien and his show are available throughout the website and through social media links, and are addressed by Conaco. Of course there are your naysayer comments, as blogs are ever abundant in this day and age, especially about famous people and companies. However, all in all, what Conan O’Brien is doing must be right, as he was picked by the people as the 2011 People’s Choice Award: Favorite TV Talk Show Host. (He even beat Oprah Winfrey in her last year as a talk show host!)
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