WARNING: Reading the whole thing is important, but reading the last half is most important. :)
I have been meaning to detail for people how Chuck Me Mondays came about and why I thought it was important and how I think it will best work. I think some people are not sure of the overall intent, though I have explained it on both ChuckTV, Twitter, and NBC.com. The problem is that forums are moderated and controlled by other people and Twitter has a character limit, so I can't really express myself completely (and some people thank the gods for that).
First, as I detailed in a Chuck You Tuesday podcast episode (see sidebar) a fellow Skype user and ChuckTV forum poster named Richard had the idea to watch all of seasons 1 and 2 of Chuck while waiting for season 3. I took that idea and expanded it to include the entire Chuck fan base. But that was only the beginning. I had been studying trending topics on Twitter and realized a few hundred people could trend a specific topic. I suggested that we watch each episode of Chuck with as many fans as possible while tweeting a phrase or hashtag that we could then trend. By trending a Chuck related topic we would get people who had no idea what Chuck was to check it out.
ChuckTV was on board with it (Wendy Farrington had suggested the name Chuck Me Mondays in a thread I created on the ChuckTV board) and we partnered in an effort to bring new fans along. This worked great during the first couple of weeks. Our first attempt had us trending in 4th place and our next in 6th. This was followed by 7th, 9th, and 10th place trendings. However, I could see we were receiving less and less participation each week and in discussions with Chuck fans on Skype, we predicted a trending loss the week it happened.
This was followed by several Twitter users suggesting that our trending topic was being suppressed or deleted by Twitter. I began extensive testing and discovered that despite some conspiracy theories, we were simply not trending because we were receiving less and less participation, OR we were going up against stiffer competition. And it is as simple as that. Twitter is getting more popular and other topics are trending above the hashtag we have been using: #chuckmemondays
Now, here is a mistake some people have made in researching their claims about Twitter blocking or deleting trending topics:
1) Twitter deletes trending topics, and it can block them. While it is possible our attempts are being blocked, why would Twitter wait 6 weeks to start? It makes more logical sense that we have simply stopped trending because we do not have enough people tweeting each week.
2) Most people are watching sites that count hashtags, but at least half the trending topics do not use hashtags. These non-hashtag trending topics are not counted on sites like hashtag.org and therefor our hashtag appears to be higher on the list than it actually is. In other words, if the top 10 trending topics include 5 non-hashtag topics, then #chuckmemondays would need to be in the top 5 of hashtag.org to even have the POTENTIAL of trending on Twitter.
So is there a solution other than convincing more people to participate each week? Actually, there may be another solution, though I cannot begin to predict how successful it might be. We could simply stop using the hashtag #chuckmemondays and instead type out the word as Chuck Me Mondays (or chuck me mondays). What is the advantage of doing it this way? Well, I will tell you:
1) If Twitter is actually blocking our current hashtag (and like I said, I do not believe they are), then this avoids that issue.
2) By using spaces in between and not using the hashtag, we have the potential of trending just the word Chuck or the entire phrase Chuck Me Mondays. Since Chuck is a common name and has been a trending topic for other reasons, we could essentially trend based on multiple attempts to trend the name Chuck, and still achieve our aims at targeting potentially new viewers to the program. Twitter would be unlikely to block a common name.
So, my suggestion is that this coming Monday, we either abandon the use of #chuckmemondays in our tweets, OR we use both #chuckmemondays and chuck me mondays in an attempt to trend one, or the other, or both.
What say you? Please comment.