Now, I know there is much debate about 1) whether the American version of The Office is good and 2) whether the British version is better.
That’s not what this is about.
If you watch the U.S. version, you know that last week’s episode involved a trip to “Schrute Farms,” a farm B&B owned by one of the characters, Dwight. During the episode, he discusses his listing on Trip Advisor.
So, today I get an email from a friend that leads me to Schrute Farms on Trip Advisor. There are already 182 comments from people who have “visited” Schrute Farms.
Now, I don’t know if NBC set this up or if a dedicated fan went to the trouble because there’s not much there that couldn’t be pulled from the story line of the show. A fan that watched closely could have put this up.
Either way, I think it’s great. NBC has done a lot to promote involvement with The Office outside of the show. They set up a “recruiting” site called Dunder Mifflin Infinity where you can “apply” to work at a branch. The branch is made up of other viewers in your geographic area and is essentially a social networking site built around the common interest of The Office.
Like I said, I don’t know if NBC set this up or if a fan did, but if NBC is NOT behind it…they need to get involved quick. Why not create “Schrute Farms” and actually link to it on the Trip Advisor site? Make a tourist attraction out of it? Sure, it would be difficult to put it together, but I have a feeling they have some bucks for it.
I think these types of extensions of various shows is the future of television. Heck, it’s the future of nearly every media. That driving people to the web to interact with other people like them will become even more common than it is today.
With the upcoming episode involving Second Life, I’ll be interested to see what they do to involve their audience.
I think NBC is doing some things right to engage their audience beyond simply putting more ads out there to watch the show.