First, in case you didn't see it, Kim posted a really interesting comment on my first blog post that fills in some of the detail behind the scenes on the genesis of the show and it's transformation from sitcom pilot to web series (along with lots of other stuff such as my original tweet that got her thinking of hiring me).
One of the really striking things about coming on board with The Guild is the sense of community that surrounds it. The photo here is one of my favorite pictures from Comic-Con, featuring a bunch of the fans I met there (there are 4 countries and 3 continents represented in that pic, btw). This community vibe comes from combination of factors, in my estimation... first, the show is good and people like to support it. It's independent, and it was really built by Felicia spending hours upon hours on various fan websites (Buffy and other Whedon-related sites) asking for support. The fact that most of Season One was fan-funded made scores of people invested (literally) in the show. Working on the social media part of The Guild's marketing has been an interesting ride. Where most companies big and small are playing catchup with the social media world, The Guild has been out in front for two key reasons - social media is affordable (and thus the only marketing that the show can really afford), and Felicia herself is an early adopter of such technologies. And while the companies playing catchup are entering social media to engage their customers and audiences, The Guild is doing that but also using it to keep the dialogue open with the already engaged fanbase.
There are so many great examples of how The Guild has emerged as community, but I'm going to highlight two that I really love. First, there is the Knights of the Guild podcast, hosted by Kenny and Jenni (pictured right with Felicia during their recent one year anniversary podcast). The show is produced from the rare and unique perspective of hosts who are both fans of the show and insiders, as both have worked on The Guild. Kenny is one of the most passionate geeks I've met and does clever things that make me grin, like using the conceit of broadcasting each episode from a location in the fictitious world of The Guild, complete with background sound effects. Kenny's personality is also very organized and thorough, which plays in hilarious opposition to Jenni who has boundless energy and is constantly ad libbing little quips and jokes. On the podcast she reminds me of a little kid who gets to goof off into a mic unfiltered, and doesn't care who's listening.
The second example is what I'll call Guild Chat, which is technically the "forums" or "community" built in to the Guild's website and powered by Ning (a platform for creating your own social network). People can create their own profiles, blog, create forums and more on the Guild's site. And there's a live chat room too which has it's regulars. One of my personal favorite memories of the rollout of Season 3 was that I often hung out in Guild Chat with other fans as we awaited the new episodes to be posted Monday nights just after midnight. There are tons of examples of impressive community goodwill from Guild Chat, such as a group of fans who scrambled to post transcripts of each episode that came out for deaf fans. And the cast and crew of this show interact with the fans quite a bit - I remember for the finale of Season 3 there were several cast and crew in Guild chat and everyone was tweeting about it, there were 100 people in the chat room, if I remember right. Check out Guild Chat yourself - see my badge below.