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May 20 2008

DollhouseForums propose guerilla fan-marketing for Dollhouse. "Dolls Unite" campaign proposed to build buzz about the show before it airs, in an effort to prevent cancellation WAY in advance.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-05-21 01:36 ]

Oh, that's going to be confusing: Dollverse vs. For a minute I thought it meant gossi and jackal were proposing the fan marketing, which would make sense except I hadn't seen anything on the site.

And you forgot a period.
There is a fine line to walk so that this won't be another obnoxious whedon fan campaign that will piss people off and make them talk negatively about the show in advance. Please be careful.

Can the title of this post be changed to not imply that it is coming from the Dollverse site?

[ edited by TamaraC on 2008-05-20 23:36 ]

Um... no.
There is a fine line to walk ... Please be careful.

Amen, sister.

Signed, the Enthusiasm Crusher

(That said, they do at least suggest not making this a "prevent its cancellation", but something more positive.)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-05-20 23:49 ]
This has nothing to do with, me or Jackal. I'm looking at all sorts of ways to support the show, but in a kinda different way.
Good idea. Otherwise, I can see people buying up Barbie doll knockoffs at 99-cent stores, and putting "Dolls United! Save Dollhouse!" stickers on them. At this point, the only thing we have to fear is a 101-day actors strike. THAT is scarier than uncertain Fox execs. Let's just support the show in an understated way, then ramp it up once we get closer to the first airing.
I agree that too much "in your face" promotion could backfire.

My hokey example of an effective way to promote:

You meet someone who tells you that their favorite movie is the Matrix, and you talk about some of the themes with them. Then, you mention that there is this really interesting sounding new show that is coming out that explores a lot of similar themes, etc.
The best way to promote the show and not irritate people is to suggest the show only to people that you truly think will be into it. The show will have a great chance to succeed with Kevin Reilly in charge of Fox now and with a midseason start with commercial breaks cut in half. Its a little too early to get all aggro about pre-emptively saving it. No offense intended.
Let's not use real barbie-esque dolls whomever gets behind this -kay. Thanks for bringing the creepy impalergeneral. ;) Can't say that I'm surprised to see this though - there are some truly committed people out there. I've got to agree with the chorus of not being annoying and aggressive; and not jumping the gun too terribly much because face it the public has a seemingly short attention span.
December would be a good time to promote the show. Now? Not so much.
Here's what I think: let's watch the show first and see if we like it. I know, crazy idea.
There's a fan project to build or renovate a house to soundness. It's called Mission Echo, to promote Dollhouse, but also 'cause it's such a pretty name.
OMG, Caroline. You revolutionary, you! :)
First off, sorry for the creepy suggestion. I wouldn't do it, personally.
But what dreamlogic suggested is a good idea.
Caroline has the best idea, though. I guess we can't wait to see Joss and Eliza back on TV. Let's just hope we don't have to wait too long, since the fears of another Hollywood strike is starting to loom.
Let's just hope we don't have to wait too long, since the fears of another Hollywood strike is starting to loom.

Yeah. Unbelievable. Apparently the bosses are replaying the same strategy they used with the writers. Only the actors won't shut down mostly just television and only incrementally, they'll shut down all production overnight if they strike. What are the moguls getting at?
I don't why you think anyone might be disappointed, Caroline. It's not like expectations are high. :)
There's a fan project to build or renovate a house to soundness. It's called Mission Echo, to promote Dollhouse, but also 'cause it's such a pretty name.
dreamlogic | May 21, 01:11 CET


dreamlogic, you know not what you speak! Speech gives essence. Soon... soon... *evil chuckles*

Back to topic: I don't think it's a bad idea to plan & organize. Then when December rolls around, the fans would have a promotion campaign ready. *not speaking from experience ;)*
Too much exposure can backfire, it's happening to the Apple iPhone, people are getting sick of it. Suppport for a show is good but this is too early in the year. Perhaps 2 months before it airs is a good time.
This looks like something that may hurt a lot more than it helps.
I have to admit that while I'm very excited to see Dollhouse and I know it'll be masterfully crafted with Joss at the helm, I can't say for sure that I will absolutely LOVE it. I haven't seen it, how can I know? And it's getting to the point where it seems blasphemous in some circles to even SUGGEST that it might not click with the general audience that does not know of Joss's fantastic abilities. It is very, very possible that it might not be all that we ever hoped and dreamed for, AKA The Fourth Coming of Joss.
I think this is more of an effort to get people to join that particular site than anything else i.e. lets make a name for ourselves in the quickest time possible. There's several places trying to do this sort of thing at the moment.

During the next few months we'll see many sites battling for fans' attention. It'll be quite interesting to observe. Though I am looking forward to the niche sites, I've always been a fan of those. Good times ahead.
I would say this is jumping the gun a bit, except we haven't even BOUGHT the damn gun yet, so how can we jump it? I mean, we haven't even seen the freakin' show yet! I gotta admit, I love the trailer, but it's not the same thing as liking the whole series.
Isn't it Fox's job to do the marketing? Don't they hire a lot of people and spend a lot of money to do that?
This looks like something that may hurt a lot more than it helps.

It reminds me of the fan campaigns that led up to the release of Serenity in the cinema.
I'm a little scared. Yes, I'm obsessed, yes, I'm a big nerd, and yes, my friends are tired of me talking about Whedon and his awesomeness... but this is a little ridiculous.
Would buying the products advertised really make a difference? "Oh, 1000 people bought Dyson vacuums today: that must be because we sold commercials during Dollhouse!" More to the point: I'm not just going to buy things because I saw a commercial for them in-between scenes of Dollhouse... that's what the man wants you to do.
If you like the show, support it. Holding viewing parties would be fun and I'd probably do that anyways, but other than that, I don't know.
It's this kinda thing that makes me want to back out of fandoms altogether. Maybe that's harsh, but this over-enthusiasim tends to blind people to reality. It also blinds them to how obnoxious and off-putting they can be to the very people they are trying to reach.

Did we learn nothing from the Browncoat backlash? For one, all the preaching on all websites in the world still only got the movie to #2 here in the States, and in the end, the average person on the street STILL had no idea about Serenity. The people preaching only managed to piss off a lot of other geeks and give the fandom a bad name in Geek World. (And just to defend how fans acted in the weeks before Serenity opened: Universal were encouraging the fans to do what they could to spread the word. They relied on fans to carry the buzz... some people took spreading the word as their duty and carried it too far. Universal created a monster--a tiny, annoying monster, but still.)
Would buying the products advertised really make a difference? "Oh, 1000 people bought Dyson vacuums today: that must be because we sold commercials during Dollhouse!"

Well in fairness it does say "contact brands that advertise during Dollhouse" then "organize bulk purchases of said brands' product" i.e. they'll know because the fans tell them. And advertising and corresponding sales blips are part of the fine web of information we're all caught in everyday (shops collate information at the point of purchase which they then either use for re-stocking - giving manufacturers indirect information about sales - or actually sell back to analysis companies, giving manufacturers more direct information, even down to the sort of people buying their products. At a price obviously ;).

And viewing parties are great fun but they're utterly meaningless regarding the show's survival unless the host or the attendees have Nielsen boxes. Can't hurt to spread the word though, if you're understated and sane about it.

Here's what I think: let's watch the show first and see if we like it. I know, crazy idea.

Very sensible. And I must admit, the whole "doing nothing" aspect also appeals quite a bit ;).
The problem with ideas like this is that the fans greatly over-estimate their numbers and effects. Are there enough devoted fans willing to plunk down $500 for a vacuum that doesn't lose suction to make Dyson say, ooo, that Dollhouse show is tanking in the ratings, but we're going to pay more for our ads because those nutty fans just keep buying our vacuums! Um, I doubt it. Even if 500 fans regularly purchased Bounty paper towels and boxes of Lean Pockets each week, I doubt that would make much of a blip. I don't think there is a demo for "small number of fans who buy products to keep show on air".
Would buying the products advertised really make a difference?

Judging from previous fan campaigns, I don't think that's a tactic that has ever worked.

Most fan campaigns tend to run along the following 10 steps:

1) Hype about an amazing idea i.e. "guys wait till you see what I have come up with".
2) Launch of amazing idea.
3) Much talk about amazing idea.
4) Someone suggests doing an internet petition as well.
5) Much talk about amazing idea.
6) Someone suggests sending food items as well.
7) Much talk about amazing idea.
8) Someone suggests emailing too.
9) Amazing idea now talked to death without anyone actually doing anything.
10) Two months later, someone else comes along with same amazing idea.
I've got a great idea! When Dollhouse gets cancelled (it's on FOX, after all, and we all know they cancelled the Serenity sequel), why don't we raise money to give to Joss to make the show without The Man? Or maybe if we all bought enough Dollhouse DVDs, they'd let Joss make a movie! The time to start working on saving Dollhouse is NOW--after all, the show begins airing in a mere 8 months!

How did I get this cynical? :)

[ edited by Dizzy on 2008-05-21 11:40 ]
Let's put the show on in the cafeteria ! And hang what the principal says !

I like all your ideas too Simon. "Doing nothing" is kind of the common thread that binds all the options i'm interested in together. It surrounds me, penetrates me. Yes, "doing nothing" is my The Force.

"Lazy beings are we, not this crude matter [... that can actually be arsed to do stuff]".
Unfortunately, enthusiasm is often seen as hype by those who don't share said enthusiasm. Cloverfield viral campaign annoyed people so much that they turned up in big numbers on just to rate it zero. Something similar is already happening to Dollhouse -- just check the Dollhouse page and see how many people have already rated it 'abysmal'. One may suspect this is a resentment carried over from the Serenity campaign.

Besides, a preliminary 'save Dollhouse' campaign will only reinforce the public expectation of a short life span of the series. And the public will be wondering whether a show is worth tuning into if its own fans don't believe in its longevity.

And, Simon, great ten steps. I nearly choked on my coffee.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2008-05-21 12:38 ]
'Doing Nothing'... sounds like my kind of campaign. I'm in.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2008-05-21 11:46 ]
Whedonesque: We'd Love to Join Your Misguided Fan Campaign, But What a Bother. Now Let Us Sleep!

You know what we need to do? A Variety ad. ;)
I dunno, that sounds pretty ... active.

Fan campaigns like this (supporting an unseen show) just dilutes the power of fan campaigns with more substance. Count me out.
Someone better tell those guys what we're thinking. They'll probably feel a bit bad for it, since I have no doubt their intentions are good, but it's just not a good idea. Also, Whedonesque is one hell of an intelligent place, I must say. I'm with "let's watch teh show first and until that I've got sleep to do". I know it's Whedon, but even Whedon can make a mistake (wait...he can, can't he?), so we DON'T actually know that we'll love it ourselves. I say don't start any marketing until you have seen the pilot, or it'll be fake marketing.
Dizzy and Simon are making me laugh out loud. Simon is bang on about the whole fan site fight thing going on by the way. Aside from anything else, my site keeps getting spammed by other sites. Which is fine, I don't care, but it is a bit odd.

For anybody wondering my stance on this (yes, yes, I know you all are) (I'm being sarcastic btw) - I really don't think there's any point having fan campaigns to save shows before they air. In fact, I think they actually hurt the shows chances in some way. Seriously. Why? Because the last thing you want is people at a network/studio/whatever looking at and talking about cancellation before the thing has even aired.

If you like the look of the show, be positive. Join sites, get excited if you want. Be fannish, in short.

I wasn't going to put this one out there for many reasons into the public eye, but I will 'cos of this one - the amount of people and reaction the Dollhouse preview trailer got was significant in size (more people watched the Dollhouse trailer in an hour than watched the Drive trailers the entire time they were out there), caused a lot of buzz online and... You know, I think the reaction was pretty good. That got noticed by the network. Trust me, it did. That kind of thing is better than any pre-show fan campaign (and most post-show fan campaigns, frankly) is ever going to be, as it has a positive impact in perception. And nobody did anything other than click links and watch stuff and type stuff. Well, except me. I didn't sleep for 4 days. But I did get a thank you note.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-05-21 12:56 ]
They're reading here as the first post there has been edited to say so.

I've no doubt they have good intentions, but fadalow brings up an excellent point: how much weight can promotion have if you've never seen what you're promoting? If someone isn't a Whedon fan already, saying, "it's gonna be great 'cause it's Whedon! He did BtVS, Angel, and Firefly!" is more likely to come off as evangelism than promotion.

Also, a poster in the thread talks about how they do fan marketing for The Dark Knight. He/she mentions they have dozens of people dressed as the Joker mill about in a public place. If I saw that, it would freak me out, and not in a "I need to figure out what this is and make a purchase/watch the show/join the cause!" It would catch my attention, but not in a productive way. I think these fan campaigns run the risk losing touch of what effective marketing is and turning off the average person.

[ edited by Dizzy on 2008-05-21 17:17 ]
I say Joss dresses as Eliza and goes to Comic-Con. He's done it before, he can do it again. Take one for the team, slacker!

[ edited by gossi on 2008-05-21 13:03 ]
And good for you, gossi.

I'm thrilled by the number of sensible comments appearing here. As other people have said, one of the things that most breeds resentment is 'fannier than thou' types taking premature ownership of something meant for a far wider audience.
Hah, "fannier than thou" - that about sums it up (on every level ;).
It would be hard to dress up as Echo. Which outfit would you wear?
The shower outfit!
jcs - have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Joey puts on all of Chandler's clothes?

And wow, "Except me" makes me sound such a knobhead. I'm not really. Well, much.
Nothing brings in the mundanes like cosplay! I've dressed as Iron Man for the last 3 weeks, and look what that did.
Ah so it's down to you Dizzy ? Kinda wish I hadn't dressed as 'Pepper' Potts for the last 3 weeks now.

The shower outfit!

Did anyone else flash back to 'The Karate Kid' after reading this ? 'K, just me then.
Sign me up for Caroline's crazy plan mixed with a bit of gossi's. Starting campaigns to save the show before it even airs feels morbid. It's a new show-- cynicism I get, but not a "save the show" mentality. It's not in danger. It will find an audience, or it won't. I'm all for spreading the word here and there in advance, but not so aggressively. I don't even know if I like the show yet. None of us do. And being overly assertive about its awesomeness ahead of time might lead to disappointment. Or hostility. Sometimes this stuff gets creepily zealous.

My approach is: There's a new show starting in January. I expect it'll be really good. It's created by the guy who made Buffy and Firefly. I'm gonna watch it.
Why on earth would anyone seriously believe that starting a campaign to save a show from cancellation, when said show has yet to air a single episode, would send any message other than "we fully expect this show to be canceled"?
Call me strange, but that doesn't seem to me to be a message we'd want to send.

I will be shocked if I personally don't totally love this show (especially after seeing the trailer), but hey .... no good will come of appearing to be raving maniacs, to the uninitiated.
Someone better tell those guys what we're thinking.

That never works, and generally gets a response of the "what, aren't we fans anymore" or "I guess you're not a real fan" or "why are you crushing our enthusiasm" variety. (Or, at least, that's what happens with most fly-by-night Firefly campaigns, anyway.)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-05-21 16:49 ]
Dude, you totally crushed our idea to crush their idea. What are you, a non-non-fan ?
I love all of you. Thank you for being sane. It's a lot.
theonetruebix, agreed. I remember when I didn't fall in love with Serenity right away, I took a lot of flack after mentioning it here. Maybe it's best to just let them do their thing--I would hate to ever get in the way of someone expressing their love for something, after all--but not join them at it. I don't mind their being vocal, as long as they're still small.

If we're going to do any marketing of the show, let's keep it at the level of picking a few friends and sending them a link to the trailer with a comment like "Hey, saw this, think it looks cool, watch it and tell me what you think." And let's save the marketing for December at the earliest. It's still May. Nobody cares but us.

Oh, and possibly Joss, Eliza, et. al. They might care too, I suppose.
I don't mind their being vocal, as long as they're still small.

But see, the problem with that is that the most vocal fans are the ones that get the attention. The most vocal are also often to be the most annoying, most pushy, and most detached from reality. Im not saying that about this group, because this effort just seems misguided. But the problem with efforts like this is that it encourages those who are most likely to go overboard and turn people off.

There were actually very few truly obnoxious Browncoats, but the fandom got a bad rep because those few were making so much noise. I'm pretty much a live-and-let-live, do what makes you happy person, but I've lost patients with over-enthusiastic fan campaigns because the most vocal, most evangelistic people wind up misrepresenting the entire fandom.
but I've lost patients with over-enthusiastic fan campaigns

Gregory House may have been able to help you save those patients!
...the amount of people and reaction the Dollhouse preview trailer got was significant in size (more people watched the Dollhouse trailer in an hour than watched the Drive trailers the entire time they were out there), caused a lot of buzz online...

This is the kind of thing that would raise a show's profile with the media buying agencies I work with, and that would matter to my clients, who consider which programs to advertise on sometimes months in advance. Their considerable interest would no doubt, in turn, be of interest to FOX.

On the other hand, one of these media agencies recently held a high-profile summit for industry insiders and clients with big name presenters, panels and guests. The send-twenty-tons-of-peanuts campaign to save Jericho was discussed as an example of the success of viral fan/community marketing and what's going on online in the world of superfandom. Yay, some might say? /shakes head. Nay. The moral of the story was the silly execs who took note, bought into the hype, and revived a poorly-rated show that did even worse the second time around. Clients, network-y folk and media buyers alike were left with the cautionary tale of what can happen when your eyes stray from the data.
Gregory House may have been able to help you save those patients!

Don't make fun of my Word spell check. It's vary sensiteve to critisism. Now loook whut yu maid it doo!
If groups like that are small enough, Dizzy, no one may notice them--or at least, not enough to impact the show. Again, let's save the problem of "what to do in that event" for later, if it ever becomes a problem. Which it very well might, but not until the fall.

Besides, there's not a lot you can do to stop the more vocal fans anyway. I mean, what are you gonna do, send them "cease and desist" memos? They won't heed the warning. Organize counter-rallies and counter-events? That would just make us look ridiculous. No, better to concentrate on spreading the word in a way that might best be described as "quiet" and "dignified"--show the trailer to a few select people; if they like it, tell 'em to pay it forward; and so forth.

And if that fails, we can always try this famous tactic: "Hey, guys, look! Eliza Dushku's gonna be back on TV! Man, she is friggin' HOT! Wonder what she's doing? Let's watch!"
Buying the products advertised during the show to show support? Oh dear. I can't think of anything more depressingly misguided. And I wonder if Joss himself would like that idea? I can't imagine it. As someone said above, that is what 'The Man' wants you to do.
No, no and thrice no!

The clue is in the name - "buzz"

That's cos it's annoying.

These inter-website fan-gasms are counter-productive. As soon as people realise it's a bandwagon (or band-whedon) is the moment they want to get the hell off.

Buffy managed to survive almost not getting picked up after half-Season 1 without the internet and a fanbase of several.

For the sake of Dollhouse, let's pretend we don't exist. It'll be fun / borderline normal.

Imagine Dollhouse is a surprise birthday party. Normal people don't bore others in advance about what a great party it's going to be and who's going to be there and why they should get an invite etc etc.

No. We turn up. "We dance, we kiss, we schmooze, we carry on, we go home happy.....What do you say?"
barest_smidgen has a good cautionary tale for us all. These sorts of fan campaigns used to work when first tried, but execs are starting to distrust them--because they now have enough experience to realize that 100,000 vocal fans doesn't necessarily translate into 10,000,000 potential unreached viewers. Instead of pre-emptively starting "save Dollhouse" campaigns, let's do something that actually WILL save Dollhouse: build a huge audience for it.
Literally. Yes people, I do mean robot viewers !

As someone said above, that is what 'The Man' wants you to do.

Err, yeah, but surely that's kind of their point ? It's The Man that decides whether the show continues, right ? So you wanna please The Man and The Man is pleased by The Bottom line increasing.

It's not something i'd ever do but since the sole reason ratings matter is because of advertisers and their influence on the studio, the rationale seems sound to me (provided the effect is significant and the advertisers know it's from 'Dollhouse' viewers). It's why shows that aren't necessarily huge in the ratings BUT do well in key demographics are more likely to be left on the air.
I love you all so much. Such humor and wit and intelligence.

Peeps need to chillax a bit on the campaigns. Let's just enjoy the show, and trust if Joss can finally trust TV again, that he's placing that trust in it for good, viable reasons. Buffy got itself off the ground, and Dollhouse can, too.
I'll plump firmly for the side of inaction. That's my kind of fan campaign!

Also, if Joss is going to wear the shower costume to Comic Con, can we get him to wear a beer hat too?
We need an inaction fansite -- you know, one where we can fail to sign up for the things that we will then not do. It could be the biggest call to inaction since another large call to inaction that I am too lazy to Google! Everyone; now is the time to fail to prepare for something that may or may not be coming. To prepare for this I am putting off working on the website as we speak. Plans for postcards and posters and t-shirts are wandering aimlessly in my brain as I fail to design or implement any of them.
I already put off registering an appropriate domain and if I can find the time tonight I probably won't bother to set up an email address which would let us coordinate inaction across the globe, instantaneously. Let's make this one of the least active fan-campaigns in recent memory !

Also, failing to prepare is preparing to fail so I think we should not do that too, just in case.
z -- if I hadn't already crushed hugely on the things you write in this place and started my own irrational, deluded, mass-texting-emailing-phone-calling-cross-continental(but, it should be said, successful) fan campaign to ensnare you for infinite seasons, I would be doing it right this very moment after that last post.

[ edited by barest_smidgen on 2008-05-21 19:02 ]
If I were a casual tv viewer and heard about a "Save Dollhouse!" campaign without knowing anything else about the show (or even if I'd seen the trailers and thought it looked intriguing), I'd hardly be inspired to waste my valuable time getting hooked on a show that was seemingly already on shaky ground.

Every tv viewer has had shows that they enjoyed suddenly cancelled (without resolution to the story arcs), leaving them feeling that their investment in the show/characters was a waste of time or at the very least they come away highly dissatisfied. So why bother watching a show that apparently already has one foot in the grave?

Oh, and where do I sign up to be a non-non-fan?, a.k.a. crusher of idea crushers?
What's the url for that website so that I can not take a look at it ;)
Let's disconnect from the Hive Mind...

Less buzz. More zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......
Sorry, I just spit water out on my monitor.

gossi, I like what you write. It's good to know that Dollhouse was "click-able". I'll leave it to you to keep us in the "know".

barest_smidgen, excellent points on the Jericho nuts. I never knew the outcome of that. So I guess fandoms can "talk the talk", but can't "walk the walk"... just "talk about walking", I guess.

BAFfler, "cease and desist" memos? LOL! That gave me images of having a Whedon police force issue out tickets to crazy fans to keep their voice down. :) It's good to smile in the morning.
We need an inaction fansite -- you know, one where we can fail to sign up for the things that we will then not do.

I would go set one up on blogger or something, but it's so much easier to just read here.
If there's anything I'm passionate about it's doing nothing so don't count me not in. And in the meantime I think we just need to erase the word cancelled from our minds. It doesn't exist, we've never heard of it. I agree that any hoopla over cancellization simply means turning off potential viewers. All we know right now is there's a show coming out in January that I think we're all going to watch, because from what we've seen and heard it has a high probability of being awesome. So we'll watch. The end. We have no worries otherwise, our panties are bunchless.
our panties are bunchless.

We have a slogan!
"We have a slogan!"

Great! I'll go print out a bunch of t-shirts, hang up some fliers, distribute some...oh, wait...nevermind. I'll just sit here and follow our creed.
"Apathy on the Rise, No One Cares".
I'll check the website out later. Right now I can't even be bothered to finish this posting this comm

[ edited by Dizzy on 2008-05-21 22:33 ]
Been there, done that, sooo over it.

Besides if Fox doesn't kill it, Joss will probably kill of the characters.
I question anyone's lack of interest if they've actually made a slogan for us.
I would've questioned that interest, but I was napping due to intense boredom at the idea of carrying out any of the ideas I was having.
BAFfler: "Besides, there's not a lot you can do to stop the more vocal fans anyway. I mean, what are you gonna do, send them "cease and desist" memos?"

'Zackly. I think one is either in or out. And I'm out. The whole "conversion" thing makes me shudder, anyhoo, and this smacks of it. I did notice that that site was trying to get a logo contest going by posting comments at Dollverse, which I thought was a bid for members and traffic, so I assumed this campaign was, too.

Also, I have a tendency to want to save any stray organizing and graphics juice for Whedon-fan-campaigns with a charitable or political purpose (coughMissionEchocough). Of course, if Joss himself asked us to mention something specific to folks at some point, like "please go to youtube and watch Dr. Horrible, you'll like it" or "check out the cool Dollhouse trailer" - and I agreed with it - I'd do it. I'd assume that Joss would know whether some action like that would be helpful... but until that day, not so much. (Though as b!X has suggested, if they did post Dollhouse video assets, I would try my fumbling best to make an interesting or possible dull trailer.)

b!X: "I question anyone's lack of interest if they've actually made a slogan for us."

The interest in being amusing or snarky must not be mistaken for interest in being all Dollhouse-recruity.

zeitgeist: "We need an inaction fansite -- you know, one where we can fail to sign up for the things that we will then not do."

I think maybe I've already achieved the ultimate inaction fansite. When Dollhouse was announced, I bought and I've done exactly nothing with it.

My panties are so bunchless, I can't tell you.
That website's awesome. Screw a logo, the stock photos say it all.
Thanks, Sunfire (if you are, in fact, referring to my "site.")

My first major inaction was to fail to buy a hosting package for it, and I've managed to not do that for about seven months. It's not easy, but I'm just the gal to not do it. Of course, the real test will come when the domain is up for renewal - if I manage to fail to renew it, then I think I'll really be showing the kind of apathy we're aiming for.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2008-05-22 00:17 ]
Well done, QG, I definitely want to do something to show my appreciation for your devotion to our cause. This is what I've come up with:

You're welcome!
Which is worse: ignorance or apathy?

Who knows? Who cares?

I applaud y'all on your sound thinking in terms of Dollvangelism, your inactivity, and (why not?) any existential musings one can extract from the above thread. Plus, at one point Dr. Pepper came out my nose. Painful, but funny.
[empty message]
Heh. I never knew whedonesque had a standard '[empty message]' for an empty message. Guess I learned something. Which sucks, because it wasn't the kind of apathy I was looking for. Then again: working too hard on apathy seems kind-of beside the point.
Sat an exam in Apathy once. I got an 'A' for effort.
Wow, Saje, that's impressive! The best I ever did was fall asleep, which doesn't technically count, as I was actively dreaming. True apathy takes years of impassive honing: you have obviously not applied yourself to the craft with the utmost lack of dedication.

Doesn't everyone just love the fact that we can have almost 100 posts based on apathy and inaction? That's dedication (or disloyalty, however you take it) to the cause. I'd applaud, if I cared enough.

...Does this feel Python-esque to anyone else? No? Just me and the dead parrot, then. Well, off to go shopping and have buttered scones for tea! 'Tis Wednesday, after all.
Well at least the 'call to apathy' is easy! I've read this entire thread, and now I don't know why... But I'm ready for a nap, which I guess is the whole point?
I guess buying pencils was a much better idea. :)
Well, it had the benefit of actually making sense and having a purpose, so there's that.
Personally, I've found the best way to turn people on to a show is to simply give them a recap of the previous episode. Which, is obviously difficult to do for a show that's not even on yet.

I didn't bother tuning into Btvs while it was on because...well I couldn't because I didn't get the channel. But when I did get the channel, I still didn't bother because all anyone ever said was how it was better than the shows I watched instead of just saying what it was about in enough detail that I would be interested.

My tip? Stop not telling people what a show is about, the plot, details you think would be of interest and/or the storyline so far because you don't want to "spoil" them. Let the spoilers flow.

I've noticed spoilerphobia with Dollhouse already, and it's on basic information that anyone who isn't already a Whedon fan would need to know to spark their interest.
So true. Talk to people you know who dig good tv ad tell them about it. Telling them that the shows they watch suck just makes them defensive and predisposed to disagree with whatever you say.
Sorry. I spit water onto my monitor again. *note to self: trade water for something more viscous; harder to spit out*

BandofBuggered, thanks for sharing the love. It was your comment that caused the wetness on my screen:

Which is worse: ignorance or apathy?

Who knows? Who cares?

Truly funny. This is the best thread I've ever read, and it's all based on our committal non-committals to take an innaction on a subject that hasn't come to birth yet. Kudos. :)

GrrrlRomeo, I totally agree with you on telling people specifics about a topic you're interested in. I'll use myself as an example:

My friend, Sandra, kept asking me if I've read Harry Potter 1-5 (as 6 was closing in on a release date). Every time I'd tell her no, and every time she would proceed to tell me every.single.plot.device for books 1-5 as she re-read them. By the time book 6 came out, I went to Borders and purchased all 6, and read them back-to-back. It had gotten to the point where I'd ask her what was happening in the story. When that occurred, I caved in and declared myself a fan of the big H.P. Not that's good advertisement (& good storytelling).
I got only good vibes reading that thread. They've got the Joss love and their excitement and passion is great to see. I hope they have a lot of fun spreading the word about Dollhouse.
There's no doubt that they are fans, excited, etc. The doubt is about the strong belief by many that putting the words Dollhouse and cancelled into people's head before it even starts is a bad idea. Its on a network headed by people who love it and will give it a shot, its an early critical pick for top new show of the season, the buzz among folks in the know and not in the know is pretty huge, considering what little has been shown. Let's worry about what to do to save it IF it a) turns out awesome and b) fails to find an audience. a) is very likely and b) I believe is less likely. There is a love for arc-y narrative again and I believe that this show will have every chance to show us what its got.

I hope they have fun spreading the word, too. In ways like "I saw this brilliant trailer for a new show and I'm really excited about it, you should check it out," and not in ways like "You have to watch this now, now, now, its the best thing ever and you need to buy Tide bleach and Glad Clingwrap so it can stay on the air even though it hasn't aired yet, but its going to be cancelled when it does and OMG FOX WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO!?!?! Let me tell you all about Firefly! Joss Whedon is god, why do you worship these false idols?!?".

The new Fox has a lot of confidence in this show and we should have confidence that Dollhouse will get a fair shake.
Or maybe create bumper stickers to promote the show ?

"My other personality also doesn't signal when changing lanes !"
"If you can read this then you clearly haven't been imprinted with the personality of a pre-school child !"
"What would Jesus do ? Just give our techs a minute and you can ask us"
"Honk if you love commercially oriented examinations of the philosophy of identity !"

OK, some may be a leetle bit wordy. And obviously by "create bumper stickers" I mean "do nothing".
You mean create the ideas of bumper stickers but never actually literally create (design/print) them, right? ;)
Are we not there yet? Not that I really care.
You mean create the ideas of bumper stickers but never actually literally create (design/print) them, right? ;)

Oh hellz. I did didn't I ? Just when inaction really seemed to not be achieving anything too. See what happens when you don't not take your foot of the gas and inadvertently keep your eye on the ball ? Shit, that's what happens. I feel like I haven't just let you all down but i've also let myself down. I'd apologise if I could be bothered.

Oh and "Actives do it as other people !"


dammit !
We're all inactive about Actives, heh. (rimshot!) (Yes, I know--at this point I'm just amusing myself.)
...not in ways like "You have to watch this now, now, now, its the best thing ever and you need to buy Tide bleach and Glad Clingwrap so it can stay on the air even though it hasn't aired yet, but its going to be cancelled when it does and OMG FOX WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO!?!?! Let me tell you all about Firefly! Joss Whedon is god, why do you worship these false idols?!?".

Um... I don't see where you are getting such negativity. Really, is that necessary? No one on that thread is talking that way. They want to help Dollhouse succeed. They want to get the word out to their family and friends. They are tired of their shows getting cancelled.

And what's wrong with making a bumper sticker? It's way more disconcerting to see unneccessary rudeness and condescending remarks. I don't get that attitude at all.
No one on that thread is talking that way. They want to help Dollhouse succeed. They want to get the word out to their family and friends. They are tired of their shows getting cancelled.

That's the issue under discussion here-- assuming the word needs to be spread now because the show's in danger of being cancelled. It does have a somewhat conversionary tone.
Um... I don't see where you are getting such negativity.

Well, personally I have a big bag of negativity set aside for exactly these occasions ;).

succatash, the part you didn't include in your quote of zeitgeist makes it extremely clear that he hopes they promote the show in a restrained, sensible, non-aggressive fashion (and enjoy doing so). Removing that from your quote makes it seem much more negative than it is. After all, surely none of us want "fans" to "promote" the show in the latter fashion ? It can only be a bad thing.

The bumper sticker idea is a joke but obviously making bumper stickers is not actually an act of evil.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-05-22 15:37 ]
Also worth pointing out that we don't know yet if it's "our show". It might, after all, not be very good (sure it's Joss etc. etc. but everyone misses the mark now and again and statistically, he's probably due one ;).

Personally if someone I knew was very enthusiastic about a TV show my first response would be "Sounds good. What night's it on ?". If they then went on to tell me it wouldn't actually be on for another 8 months and that they'd only seen a two minute trailer I might be less inclined to take their opinion seriously.

I don't honestly think anyone is trying to rain on anyone else's parade. For myself, I'm just weary of the zealotry I've seen in the past few years, and the negative attention that comes with it. Thus far the people on that thread seem to be a nice, enthusiastic group of fans, but these things have a way of getting out of hand very fast. And like most everyone else, I don't think a "Save Dollhouse" campaign being launched before the show has even shot two episodes is a fantastic idea. It makes it sound like it needs saving, which isn't a great message to be sending to people.
Exactly. It's a logical fallacy but people still do tend to think "There's no smoke without fire".
The bumper sticker idea is a joke but obviously making bumper stickers is not actually an act of evil.

I dunno. I bet Evil League of Evil bumper stickers are pretty bad.
I was totally on the hyperbole-cause-its-funny train there. I'm all for people promoting it in ways that are sensib;le, restrained, and don't lead to a gigantic backlash which will hurt ratings and actually get the show cancelled. I bear no ill-will towards the folks on the forums and honestly hope that they get the word out while being careful not to scare folks away. Good on them for being excited about what has the potential to be a fantastic show; I just still hear backlash-y comments about overzealous Browncoats to this day, so I feel some care needs to be taken.
Hyperbole is funny. I think it's cos it sorta has the word "ball" in it.

And yeah, I may have to make an evil exception for Evil League of Evil bumper stickers.
"I don't honestly think anyone is trying to rain on anyone else's parade. For myself, I'm just weary of the zealotry I've seen in the past few years, and the negative attention that comes with it."

I see a lot of parade raining in this thread. And I do sympathize with your weariness of zealotry. But it's a double edged sword, because kicking over other people's sandcastles brings a negative attention of its own.

I just wish everyone would be nice, cuz this fandom thing is supposed to be fun, right?
Eh, just think people here are veterans of this kinda thing. There's venting, reality checks, and humor here. And as far as I know (haven't checked that thread today) no one is running over there to say, "I'm big thunderstorm! Pack up your folding chairs and go home. No parades for you!"

I get the excitement and enthusiasm. I did the whole Browncoat thing, after all. Many of us did. But there comes a point when you look at history and see that, A) the effect these fan campaigns have is usually small, B) many times, when over-done, these promotions back-fire and turn people against the very thing being promoted, and C) reality gets ignored in favor of a Great Idea.

People can be fans in any way they choose. It's not like there's a fan police. But just as some fans choose to engage in campaigns, other fans have a right to say those campaigns are misguided... and in the case of trying to "save" Dollhouse before it even airs, say the message is potentially harmful. But at the end of the day, we're all fans hoping for the same thing: a fantastic Joss show that runs for years.
I just wish everyone would be nice, cuz this fandom thing is supposed to be fun, right?

Actually I got the feeling we were mostly making fun of ourselves. And that it was fun. I certainly meant my comments about just hanging out here and commenting to be self-parody. There was a recognition early in this thread that some of us will not be taking the approach suggested in the linked thread. And after some genuine comments on the downsides to fan zeal, things devolved into more acidicly funny stuff that I took mostly to be self-parody.

Except a few things, like zeitgeist's hilarious impression of someone who's taken things much too far. And honestly, who hasn't seen that happen? It was very accurate, but clearly a caricature. Not the real thing. I didn't take it as a direct mockery of the linked thread at all. That thread seems to be carrying on just fine, regardless of whether or not are telling jokes about our own inaction and discussing pros and cons of fan enthusiasm here. I think maybe you are misinterpreting tone here.
Yeah I think we're being nice. In our own way ;).

(nice is absolutely not the same as reverent and I think this thread typifies Whedonesquian irreverence. After all, the thing you should be least reverential of is yourself ;)

A lot of the comments on here have absolutely nothing to do with the linked post - as is usually the case we start from a specific instance and generalise so that we're actually talking about the idea of the linked post.

And of course, if we'd wanted to be nasty it'd be easy enough to join the forum and leave personally insulting comments there. AFAIK no-one here has done that.
We are not very good at trolling anyway. The Morgan Freeman icon stands out on fan sites, I am told. Haters.
Well, he is kind of a giant among men - there's bound to be some jealousy.
Yeah, I'm down with what zeitgeist, Sunfire, Dizzy and Saje have said about this thread: self-parody and just general snark, but born out of a genuine concern about what they/I perceive as possibly misguided fan energy.

(You'd think I could just leave it at that - agreeing with them - but nope, that just wouldn't be moi, would it?)

I'm hugely pro-Dollhouse and a big ol' Whedon fan. You could even call me obsessive, since I spent hours upon hours capturing and examining all the cool interstitial shots in the first Dollhouse trailer. (Okay, granted that I'm still home sick and procrastinating, but still... pretty obsessive nonetheless, n'est ce pas?)

I'm also proud of so much of what my fandom has done, including but not limited to: raising money for Equality Now (CSTS & much else), raising money for the MPTFs Work Stoppage Relief Fund (Cash for the Crew & others), Backup Bash (B3), "Bears that Care for BC Women's", raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, supporting the recent WGA strike (Fans4Writers and others), donating to the WGA-Foundation Industry Support Fund (F4W and others), raising funds for Kids Need to Read, and so much else... stuff I don't even know about.

But what does make me a little wary is stuff like this - the original link for this thread. It's okay to say, "I've got a barn and you know the songs, so why not put on a play?" Enthusiasm is great, even if there are occasions when I think it's a little nave. I'm all for guerilla marketing, and Joss has made it clear time and time again that he thinks it's nifty when fans get all into it and make stuff based on his creations.

What I'm not so crazy about is guerilla marketing done before its time. Months before the show has aired, when the network has indicated that they are frikkin' thrilled about Joss and his show, when the buzz and the pilot script reviews are hot and heavy, when the trailer-viewing is sucking up gigs and gigs of bandwidth, it feels more than a little... (I can't think of a word that's not insulting, but I don't mean to be)... over-the-top? Pre-mature? Cuckoo for CocoaPuffs? to be getting all anxious and pre-emptive about promotion and possible cancellation. It rings all the wrong notes for me... lil' warning bells go off... and I back slowly away.

But I will say that about two years ago - when I guess I "joined" this fandom - even using the word "fandom" gave me the willies, and now, after working with and being associated with all you guys, I use it proudly.

I'm happy to spend large amounts of my free time with you amusing and educating folks, and to be (hopefully) a resource and a support for Joss[us] and All His Works.

I just so don't want us to be his little albatross.

Edited: 'cause I screwed up my linky-code. Duh.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2008-05-22 19:57 ]
Well the way I see it, with the Firefly and Serenity experience, the pendulum swung far in one direction and SOME Browncoats were too vocal, too rabid.

And now I think the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. To the point where "Browncoat" has become a bad word and small fan projects are met with scorn. So now this group of Joss fans wants to do something for Dollhouse, and the instant reaction is largely contempt and exasperation.

Now it's "cool" to do nothing and I wish this were not so.

No, I don't think they are going to help Dollhouse. But I don't think they can hurt it either. So let them have their fun, I say. I don't know - being a fan is fun, and to me it's all about enjoying the ride. Which means participating in stuff because it makes you feel like you're a part of something.

How much money did we spend on pencils? And do you guys really think that changed anything?
No one here has a problem with them doing something and we love and support small fan groups left, right, and center. We don't consider fandom to be a bad word, or why would we spend hours a day of our lives being a part of fandom? We think that putting the words Dollhouse and cancelled in the same sentence when all indicators are positive is a big mistake and we used that as a kick off point to abstract the issue and then parody our own fandom and ourselves (not directed at these particular people/posts). The joke of the inaction website is that that is not the right reaction either. Its all been a big meta joke about the fact that the pendulum doesswing. We aren't seriously suggesting that people do nothing, we are suggesting that they be mindful of what they do and the best way to do it.

Not sure how much was spent on pencils, but the difference here is that the strike was on and it showed support of the writers. Did it do any good? That was debated heavily at the time (and probably still is). If you were to seriously compare the pencils to a pre-emptive "Save Dollhouse" campaign, it would have to have been us deciding to send pencils to a network in support of a strike that may potentially happen in the future while the networks and writers were telling us that the strike had been averted.

If you don't think that they can hurt, do you think that they can help? It seems to me that if you think that they can have an effect, you have to agree that its as possible that that effect could be positive or negative. If they can not have an effect, why do it and why would it matter then in any case?
Succatash, I don't think you'll find the Whedon fandom united about the whole pencils thing - it was widely discussed and disputified at the time, so I'm not sure why you're using that as a prime example... of what? A pointless fan endeavor? The cause itself was highly worthy, imo, which was raising awareness of the Writers' Strike - which was happening, and not "potentially happening" - and the pencils themselves went to people that needed them (by which I mean children in schools and not the Moguls) so what are you saying?

That the money could have been better spent? I'm sure you'll find people in the fandom that strongly agree with you - including me. I personally believe that the money should have gone to BTL worker relief, and we should have gotten the pencils donated, but it happened very quickly. I resolved it for myself by matching my pencil donation with a BTL donation.

But you're wrong in claiming that people necessarily don't want to jump aboard this particular campaign because it's not cool to do so - I can certainly speak for myself in this. As a hugely uncool dork, I'm not hopping aboard a pendulum and swinging into "apathy" in reaction to some Browncoat activity in the past. Browncoats & other fans still participate in fan activities I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole - but I do spend my time volunteering for other Whedon'verse events - ones I believe in.

"... let them have their fun." Are we stopping them by voicing our opinions - and having some fun with it? What, and the solution would be not doing that and just shutting up?

Really not gonna happen - nor do I think it should.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2008-05-22 20:27 ]
I think that part of the "coolness" of doing nothing is the overall convenience of it, personally.

As for whether or not a "save Dollhouse" campaign now could hurt it? I think so. As with anything in pop culture, if it is overdone and overexposed, it loses its appeal. And as for rabid fans, they can be very offputting. People will just get to the point where they'd rather listen to the squeaky glass noise than hear another word about whatever it is the fan's promoting (in our case Dollhouse or Serenifly).

As for the tone in this thread, I think that part of what makes everyone here so fantastic is that we do have the ability to be so irreverent. We can satire ourselves. And we do it with a wink and a grin, and no one is harmed.

Even so, we look at things critically. What people are saying is true: we don't know whether Dollhouse is any good. We're assuming, based on what Joss has done before, that it will be. I get excited about Dollhouse to the point of incoherence at times; I think it's great that we have time to take a step back and be a little rational about it.
...But what if it's bollocks, and it's not worth saving? What then? Then, as Whedonesquers, we have just undermined any future campaigns about anything Joss will ever do from then on. Part of our strength stems from the overall quality of that which we support. Lose our credibility, and we're just a bunch of sad geeks.

EDIT: removal of some stuff based on Zeit and QG's input about the pencils and the writer's strike. It's all been said.

[ edited by BandofBuggered on 2008-05-22 20:30 ]
That's kinda the point... people learned with the whole Browncoat thing that over-enthusiasm and preaching too much can back-fire. For me, there's no contempt. Exasperation, maybe a little; just because, been there/done that.

And it's not that it's cool to do nothing: that's us being silly. Silly people live here. The thread just as easily could have devolved into why Glory is never seen in the same place as Ben (they're ignoring each other!) or if Morgan Freeman should be cast as an active. No one is actually saying we shouldn't do anything to promote Dollhouse. We're just poking fun at ourselves as lazy, cynical fans.

Those folks can have their fun. No one is stopping them. Fun! Go have it, you people over at that forum! Have lots! Seriously. Just 'cause people are snarky here, doesn't mean people there can't have their fun.

The pencil thing may not have changed much, but got a ton of positive attention. And really, the whole comparison is apples/oranges as one campaign is about saving something that doesn't need to be saved yet (and may never need to be saved), and the other included action by and endorsement from the very people we were supporting.

Edit: damn y'all are fast typers.

[ edited by Dizzy on 2008-05-22 21:30 ]
Now it's "cool" to do nothing and I wish this were not so.

Again, I think you are misreading the tone in the "we are awesomely inactive" comments here. It's a joke. This site links and exults every time something Dollhouse related hits the internet. Every time Eliza Dushku is mentioned in something. This is a very excited community. But some of us have been shooting the shit a bit in this thread. Because it's MAY and the show starts in JANUARY. Come the fall, I don't doubt the tone here will change. It won't be the same tone as in the linked thread, but it will be different. The time for initial squeeing has come and passed. This show looks to be possibly much bigger and more mainstream than the previous ones. I think this is the calm before the storm. Now is the time for gentle humor and reflection. I think both are very important. The time for massive excitement and fan activity has yet to come**. Also important.

The idea of preparing to promote a show you haven't seen is kind of inherently amusing though. I made similar comments when people starting writing fan fiction before the pilot had been written. It's funny! But it's also kind of philosophical-- are you a fan before you experience something? Can you be? If you're a fan of someone, are you a fan of their work before you even know the work? I think many here think yes, and some others think no.

** Unless you are gossi, I hear. Man's got a scary kind of initiative.
I think the poison has been poisoned. And then shark-jumped.
And beat like horses that are dead. And then hung out to dry... flappin' in the wind... up the creek... of no return.

(And yeah - The Gossi is The Gossi and there is no Other.
The Creek of No ReturnTM?!? Oh noz...
The Creek of No Return actually isn't that bad so long as you don't lose your paddle. Or boat obviously.

(it's no End of Your Tether, that's fer sure *shudders*)

Basically, tone aside, I think maybe a bit too much store is being put in what we farties say in some random thread on Joe T'intarwebs. If those other guys are that determined to do their thang then I very much doubt a thread with some snarky humour (largely not even directed at them) is going to stop them. All we're doing is shooting the shit.

(and talking of shooting things, whoever looked at the final cut of Indy IV and thought "Yep, perfect" would be my current nomination ;-)

[ edited by Saje on 2008-05-22 23:59 ]
Actually when I consider my viral efforts so far, it's quite a few low-level things. Nothing significant for around here, but I guess I slack less than I tend to believe.

I gave up awhile ago on linking correct Serenity information to more general sites like Facebook. People know about the comics anyway, or they don't care to know and really do enjoy mostly sharing their heartache over what Season 2 might have been. And every Tuesday, someone digs up a misleading article and starts a sequel movie rumor. Same with Buffy. It hurts to watch. They love those shows so hard.

ETA: Really low level. Sitting around and commenting really is true to form.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-05-23 00:16 ]
Love this thread! I'm especially glad that barest_smidgen did not let apathy deter her from her cross-continental campaign to win a multi-season commitment from zeitgeist. It was fun and exciting to be on the sidelines cheering for that one.

I didn't read anyone in this thread being negative - just the usual funny, sometimes snarky - thoughts of true Whedonesquers. I'm all for enthusiastic - after all, I'm a member of the Awesome Super Very Excited Clubhouse on Dollverse - but I don't expect to keep that level of ASVE for the next eight months!

I think the show is going to be something I want to watch because a) I love Joss's TV work - and Serenity; b) I think the premise is an exciting and challenging one; c) I like the actors I've seen before who are cast; and d) I've seen the trailer. After all, b) and c) are what made me want to watch Firefly before I really knew who Joss Whedon was. (Yes, I know - late to the party again!)

When I'm talking to someone I know who likes Joss's works (some of whom I have 'converted', btw), I mention that he has a couple of new projects out - Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse, coming in January. Most people are then interested enough to ask for more details and I tell them what I know or point them in the direction of the trailer for the latter.

For instance, yesterday a fellow Browncoat and I were having lunch at a fairly high-class restaurant (2 for 1 coupon!) and a waitress came over to our table (from another section), because she had seen my Serenity button and wanted to talk about Joss. We asked her if she'd heard about the new show and she was enthusiastic about the trailer. She also is a BSG fan.

I have a Serenity calendar in my office and several people have come in lately, seen it, and started rhapsodizing about the movie, the series and Joss. I don't have to do a thing. See, I fit right into this group. ;) Also, too busy organising CSTS screening and preparing to go to my first Comic-Con to do anything!

Long post, but I'm on holiday so I'm being more than usually long-winded! ;)
samatwitch, I'm right there with you! I have a Serenity poster up in my cubicle at work, and people usually stop by and ask about it. Which has lead to the lending of Serenity, Firefly, Veronica Mars, Buffy, & Angel. It's always better when they come to you.
Wired blogs about this. A couple of Whedonesquers get quoted.
Looks like Nathan's original post has been heavily edited after discussion here and there. Some more realistic thoughts about what to do and when (closer to premiere) are now being highlighted. Good for them.
I know this Brust quote adds absolutely nothing to the discussion in this dead thread so I feel totally justified in posting it at this late date:

I feel I've taken some great strides in doing nothing. There's room to improve, but I'm dedicated.

Okay, this is TOTALLY pointless. We've already seen that the new FOX regime is going to be way more supportive of DH than the previous regime was of Joss's Firefly, and we've also seen that the new regime is willing to be supportive of other series of this type, such as TSCC, even if the ratings aren't exactly what they were hoping to achieve. All this is going to do is highlight, once again, the strangeness of the cross-section of people who call themselves Joss Whedon fans.

It also demonstrates a lack of faith in the new FOX regime, which is just silly since, like I said, we've already been shown that they plan to give DH their full support (Come on, they greenlit 7 episodes based SOLELY on Joss's pitch script and presentation, and added an additional 6 episodes to that order before the pilot episode had even finished filming, for crying out loud; when has that EVER happened before?).

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