ReedPOP officials thought they’d found a great way to take advantage of RFID and Twitter at the same time to enhance New York Comic Con when it opened Oct. 10 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
And it did work—until it didn’t.
Attendees who had opted in and linked their Twitter accounts to their RFID-enabled badges found themselves posting dozens of Tweets pre-written on their behalf. So many in fact, that show officials shut the function down within hours amid complaints from thousands of fans and attendees.
Almost as soon as they entered the venue, fans found their Twitter accounts posting messages they hadn’t written saying things like “So much to see, so much to do!” and “So much pop culture to digest! Can’t. handle. the. awesome.”
After responding to the complaints almost instantly, ReedPOP released a statement the next day saying, in part, “We were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC. We have since shut down this service completely and apologize for any perceived overstep.”
Since the wildly popular New York Comic Con launched in 2006, it has grown by epic proportions with somewhere close to 150,000 attendees this year. It has also grown in its use of technology, including RFID and social media.
At the same time, apparently, show managers have learned, there’s always something new to learn.
Like, for instance, how to phrase “opt in” language when asking people for permission to have access to their Twitter accounts.
“It was too vague,” ReedPOP Global Vice President Lance Fensterman told BizBash.
“We were overzealous,” Fensterman added. “We were just trying to be playful and have fun with it.”
No matter what, it managed to create the buzz such popular culture events are always looking for. Besides BizBash, Wired, Time and the New York Post published online stories about the Twitter ghostwriting complaints.
Michael Hart is executive editor of Expo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.