Operation: Winchester Phase 2 update

In November, we announced the beginning of the Operation: Winchester Phase Two project. In Phase Two, we teamed with Staten Island Project Homefront, which ships care packages to troops overseas. We had hoped to send half a dozen or so copies of Supernatural Season 1 DVD sets to Project Homefront to be included with their packages, and asked fans for donations to help make that happen. Supernatural fans then surpassed our wildest dreams by donating enough to buy twenty-four DVD sets! Many, many thanks to everyone who donated -- clearly, SPN fans rock. :)

The DVDs were bought (from no fewer than eight different places, since nearly every online store had a purchase limit of three sets, and some of those were on back-order) and sent to Project Homefront. Then, potthead and her contact at Harper-Collins arranged for a box of Supernatural books (nine each of Nevermore, Witch's Canyon and The Supernatural Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons and Ghouls) to be sent to Project Homefront on our behalf. Many thanks to potthead for all of her help -- I'm sure the troops will enjoy those books!

The folks at Project Homefront spent Jan. 3 packing the boxes for this month's shipment. Jack Semich, the Project Homefront Executive Director, was kind enough to take pictures of the DVD sets ready to be packed. Collapse )

The packages have been mailed and are on their way to the troops right now. Again, thank you so much to everyone who helped make this possible. :)

Now, we want to thank Project Homefront for all of their help by making a donation to help defray their postage expenses. Mr. Semich told me that this shipment alone cost $2700 -- and they ship every six weeks. All of those shipping costs have to be met by contributions. So please, consider making a donation to Operation: Winchester's Paypal account so we can help with that. Click the donate button below, or visit the Operation: Winchester website.

Last call for Operation: Winchester donations!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to Operation: Winchester's Phase Two! We're joining with Project Homefront, who will send Supernatural DVD sets in care packages to troops overseas -- for free! All we have to do is buy the DVDs and send them to Project Homefront.

In order for the DVDs to reach Project Homefront in time for their holiday shipment of care packages, we'll need to have the Supernatural DVD sets bought and shipped to Project Homefront no later than tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 17. It's not too late for you to help out! To donate, you can go to the Operation Winchester Paypal account. Any amount is greatly appreciated! Right now, we have enough donations to send five DVD sets -- let's see if we can make that six. :)

[info about MSG Kevin Wise redacted; email me at toastytavesty @ gmail.com if you have any questions.]

To help send Supernatural DVD sets to troops overseas, CLICK HERE. Please help spread the word! Thanks, all. :D

Operation: Winchester -- Phase Two!

From the Supernatural convention in Chicago today, we got this snippet:

* Master Sergeant Kevin Wise, a Special Forces soldier, presented the guys with a letter from General David Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, as well as honorary Special Forces coins from his unit. Supernatural is the most requested DVD among armed forces personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan! The guys were amazed and touched, and presented Wise with a shooting script, signed by the cast and crew. Source.

Today, we're kicking off Phase Two of Operation: Winchester. In Phase One, people put together their own Operation: Winchester packages, got contact names and addresses from Anysoldier.com, and send packages themselves. This first phase of Operation: Winchester is ongoing.

Now, there's another way you can be a part of Operation: Winchester! In Phase Two of the project, Operation: Winchester is teaming up with The Staten Island Project Homefront to send more copies of "Supernatural" DVD sets to troops overseas. The Staten Island Project Homefront is a campaign that mails care packages to troops on a regular basis; please check out their website for more information. The folks at Project Homefront have agreed to include in their packages as many DVD sets as we can send them -- and they'll pay the postage for the care packages! All Operation: Winchester has to do is buy the DVD sets and have them sent to Project Homefront.

Even better, we plan to buy the DVDs via amazon.com (so we can take advantage of their free shipping) and use the Fandom Rocks! Amazon link, which means that Fandom Rocks! will get a portion of the sales price!

How can you help?

1) You can donate towards buying Supernatural DVDs for Phase Two by clicking here:

You can donate the cost of a set of DVDs (currently $39.99) if you like, but any amount will help and will be greatly appreciated. (Apologies for the screwy html -- anyone know how to fix this?)Alternate link: Donate.

2) Please help spread the word about the project!

Project Homefront mails packages roughly every six weeks. In order to be included in their holiday shipment, I'll need to purchase the DVD sets one week from today.

Thanks so much for your help!

We Are Fandom

[Note: this project was supposed to be launched early this week, but was delayed while we were all concentrating on the WGA strike. It's been a pretty huge week for fandom, and there's even more in the works!]

Today, we're kicking off a new project that's like nothing we've done before. In fact, we're not sure it's ever been done before:

Welcome to We Are Fandom.

Eric Kripke -- and pretty much everyone involved with the show -- has commented on how great Supernatural fans are. We're passionate, loyal and eager to promote the show we love. We've got a great fandom...but from a promotion standpoint, it would be great if there were more of us. More fans mean higher ratings, which gives us a better chance to keep our show.

There are lots of different fandoms online, and some of them are in the same boat we're in -- their show is in danger of not coming back, or has already been cancelled. We've all seen 'Save Our Show' campaigns mounted by hopeful fandoms, and some of them seem to be successful. At their core, those fandoms are a lot like us, and they need the same thing we need -- viewers. So we thought, what if we combined our numbers? Why not get fans of a couple of shows working together to support both shows? Both shows will benefit, both fandoms will benefit.

The first fandom we thought of was "Jericho". Last spring, their fans waged a campaign to save their show that was so successful that CBS actually uncancelled the show. The day CBS announced "Jericho" would come back thanks to the fans' efforts, I decided I had to check out the show for myself. Any show that engendered such passion from its fans was a show I wanted to find out about. I watched it, and I liked it. I thought other Supernatural fans would like it as well, and that Jericho fans would probably like Supernatural, and started imagining how both shows could gain from a combined effort. We need to increase our ratings, and Jericho fans need to keep working in hopes that CBS will give them more than the eight episodes they were given.

Eventually, I was referred to Jane, whose influential Jericho Monster blog was recently voted best TV blog over at Hey! Nielsen. She liked the idea, and has already started blogging about Supernatural to the Jericho fans. I'm in contact with Jericho Times newsletter and will soon be starting to write a column about Supernatural for them. We're off and running!

Here's how you can help:

1. To make this successful for everyone, we need to pitch in for Jericho. First of all, I suggest you check out the show; I honestly think you'll like it (bonus -- see how many similarities you spot to Supernatural. There are several.) Season One Jericho is available on DVD, or you can watch streaming episodes on CBS's website. Then, you can post opinions on Hey! Nielsen and respond and rate existing opinions.

2. Learn to use Diggs, and then Digg Jericho-related content. If like me, you're new to Diggs, check out http://digg.com/about. It looks very promising (for Supernatural as well!) For more information about Digg and how to use it, you can attend a Digg chat at Jeritopia tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern. I'm hopefully going to be there and will report back with what I learn, but it'd be great to have a nice showing from Supernatural fans tonight! You'll need to register with the site to take part.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

edit: Please post here and let us know if you check out Jericho or participate in a Jericho-related promotional activity (Hey! Nielsen, Digg, etc.) Thanks!

Update on Hey! Nielsen

There's an exciting opportunity in the works -- a completely new way for us to promote Supernatural. I'll have details on that soon!

In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who's been taking part in Hey! Nielsen. Supernatural has stayed in the overall top ten rankings since Hey! Nielsen's beta site opened over a month ago. The best part is that you're not just there posting about Supernatural -- you're rating and posting opinions about a wide variety of subjects. That's exactly the type of user H!N is looking for -- those who are well-rounded and consistent. We can be proud of the way we're representing the show and our fandom.

We're also starting to get some clarification on the most effective way to use H!N. Blogger Myles over at Culteral Learnings recently heard from H!N representative Steve Ciabattoni on that subject. Collapse )

In other words, the opinion you post today has more of an impact than what you posted a month ago, and consistant buzz about a subject is more important than a few days' activity followed by a long lull. And even better is the fact that we don't have to worry about the few people who are still out there rating opinions about the show as -5 (thankfully, there aren't many still doing that).

So, keep posting your opinions -- and remember that well-thought-out opinions are much less likely to be seen as 'spam'. Our fandom is filled with so many people who notice the show's use of foreshadowing, colors as symbols, hints dropped in innocuous-seeming dialog, and so on -- posting about these things is not only much preferable to a dozen variations of 'Supernatural is the best show ever!' -- it's also a much more effective way of introducing new fans to the show. Post your own, and when you see someone posting thinky thoughts on LJ and elsewhere, encourage them to post them to H!N.

Rate and respond to other people's opinions, too -- and not just for Supernatural. Keep in mind that Hey! Nielsen is paying attention, and that people who take part in other parts of the H!N community may be asked to take part in "sneak previews and other invite-only events". (I've taken part in one survey myself, so far).

Thanks, everyone! :D

Hey! Nielsen

Many thanks to sasha_davidovna for pointing this out to me!

Part opinion engine, part social network, and part buzz tracker, Hey! Nielsen is the place to share opinions on your favorite entertainment.

This could turn out to be such an awesome thing. The folks behind the Nielsen TV ratings system are starting up a website where they'll be actively seeking fan opinions and buzz.

Hey! Nielsen is in beta now; you can sign up for a beta invite at the website, and they're set to open in October. Apparently Hey! Nielsen is opening a MySpace and a Facebook; I suggested a Livejournal, but one way or another, I'll be watching this one.

I'm one of the ones grumbling that the Nielsen ratings are a poor representation of actual TV viewing, and it looks like maybe we fans will finally have a way to make our opinions known.

Be sure to check out the Hey! Nielsen blog, too; they're running a contest to find the best entertainment blogs out there. A lot of my favorites are there (though I have to say I was pretty much aghast to find Oh No They Didn't in the running. I mean, sure, if you want to find wank about how 'fat' Britney is these days, that's your go-to blog. But if you're looking for something a little less worthy of brain bleach, you're gonna need to look elsewhere, you know?)

Anyway, I'd love to see Supernatural well-represented there. :)

Crossposted to supernatural_tv

Help two great causes and promote Supernatural at the same time

Over on supernatural_tv, people are reporting that Supernatural season 1 DVD sets are on massive sale at Target, Best Buy and Amazon.com. So if you've been waiting for a great sale to purchase your DVDs for Operation: Winchester packages, now's the time! It's not likely you'll find the DVD sets any cheaper than this.

But there's more! If you follow the links below and buy your Supernatural DVD set at Amazon.com, 4 percent of your purchase price will be donated to Fandom Rocks, too -- you can support troops overseas with care packages that include SPN DVDs, and join your fellow Supernatural fans raising money to benefit the Lawrence (Kansas) Community Shelter at the same time.

To buy Supernatural DVDs from Amazon.com and help Fandom Rocks, follow these links:

Season 1 at Amazon.com Currently on sale for $19.99!
Season 2 at Amazon.com (pre-order) Currently $39.99 (pre-order)

Other options for season 1 (as of 8/14/07):

$19.99 in-store price at Target (also online.)
$19.99 in-store price at Best Buy (also online.)
$14.99 -- some Best Buys apparently have already-opened copies of season 1 DVD for cheap. These are inspected to be sure they play properly, and are perfectly okay to send in Operation: Winchester packages. :)

An update on Operation: Winchester will be posted soon. Be sure to email me (toastytravesty at gmail.com) to let me know you're sending a package, if you haven't already done so. Thanks!

Welcome to the Underground

Welcome to the Supernatural Underground.

The Underground is a network of Supernatural fans and websites, and is designed to help connect us all and help spread the word about Supernatural. Members of the network will be added to a mailing list (and the SPNU members page) that will send out a group email that lets you know what's going on around the SPN universe. It can be everything from news updates about the show to information about projects, conventions, etc. that SPN fans are planning. And whatever news and events you have can be shared with everyone within the Underground, too, so more people know about what their fellow fans are doing to promote the show!

To join the Underground, just email join@supernaturalunderground.com, link back to the Underground from your website or LJ (ugahill has icons, avas and buttons on the support page that you can use, or just use a hyperlink.) Start sending in your news and ideas, and find out what the rest of fandom is doing when the emails arrive.

I'm so excited about this project! With Supernatural Underground, ugahill has given us what I think will be an invaluable resource. I really encourage everybody to go check it out and join. :D

(cross-posting to my journal)

Email from Operation: Winchester recipient!

I had an email from an Operation: Winchester recipient yesterday, and several people had asked if they could see the email. I asked him and he's given me permission to share his email and pictures with you all. :) I'm going to add them to the website ASAP, too. Meet SGM Benjamin Jones, US Army:

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Reminder: please email me (if you haven't already) with your contact person's name and service branch as soon as you request the full address, so I can add them to the recipients list on the website. Also, if you've heard back from your OpWin recipient, please let us all know!

Brainstorming possible new promotional idea

I have this idea for promotion; I think I've probably mentioned it to a few of you already. There are a couple of problematic areas that need to be resolved/decided before the idea can really go anywhere, though, so I'm wondering...does anyone mind if we brainstorm here, in this comm? I was thinking that a more appopriate place might be in the forum at watchsupernatural.org, but it doesn't appear that anyone has been on those forums in awhile. :/

So, if anyone objects to brainstorming here, please let me know and I'll delete and move this to my journal. I just figured we're all here in the same place, so it might be okay.

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I think I'm going to lock this post to comm members for the time being. I think when/if we do come out with this as a promotional campaign, we need to have already hammered out all the details; it'll carry much more of a punch that way.

So. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Rotten fruit to throw my way? *g*

Edit: Entry is now public.