#Browncoatbinge – A Reflection on the Success of @TVBinges

RICKY (@rickylovestv

#BrownCoatBinge has been a month in the making, when me, Shana and Blaire first started the TVBinges campaign, we knew that Whedon would be a great starting point, because he has a lot of “internet” fans, Buffy and Angel were our first TVBinges, and they were successful, BuffyBinge even trended on twitter somewhere. They were only small, with maybe less than 30 different accounts tweeting about them, but we knew that the #BrownCoatBinge was going to be more people than that, we just never knew how big it was going to be. I’m not going to talk much about the event itself, more about the lead up to the event, and the work we put into spreading the signal


Going back a month, once I had I started with my research, we knew which episodes we were going to use. We used Wikiepdia I looked at everyone who was in the episodes, who wrote it, who directed it and starred in it (including the numerous fan sites dedicated to them), made a list, found them on twitter, and started sending out tweets letting them know about the event. Then came the simple act of putting the word BrownCoat into my twitter search bar, and almost 100 accounts popped up, (for the Buffy/Angel Binges I had put the word Whedon in, and had those saved from before). So armed with my list, I tweeted not only to celebrities, writers, and directors but also to the BrownCoats themselves (whether these were personal accounts or fan accounts).

The response we got was overwhelming, I scheduled tweets over the night, and I woke up to maybe 100+ retweets, and numerous follows, I saw number of followers on the TVBinges account shoot up to around three times what we had before the BrownCoatBinge. Not only did we get fans, but also some of the handles started to tweets at us in order to help them out – Jayne Hat makers, CantStopTheSignal promotions, and artists — we happily endorsed them because they had endorsed us, also because BrownCoats stick together. Shana also got herself RTed by Sean Maher (who did it numerous times), which helped spread the signal

I did the mass tweet out at least once a week leading up to the event, but I also tweeted at the hashtags BrownCoat-s, CSTS, and Firefly – the TVBinges account got suspended around 3 times because of spamming! (By the way – anyone know how to fix this problem?)

The thing about Firefly, is that even though it had only had one season, it has had numerous other things which have come out in the wake of its cancellation – the comic books, the essays, the companion books, the fan films – I have most of those things, so in the days leading up to the BrownCoatbinge I started to research in order to give FACTS about the episodes (Blaire also helped a lot with this).

The BrownCoatBinge wasn’t just a live tweetathon – it was a way of trying to spread the word of all the other things which Firefly had created, and let people know the story hadn’t died. I also started to create meme style pictures in order to promote the episodes before and during the BrownCoatBinge.


Then came the event itself, I had started a list, and as the first episode started, I had two computers and my iphone open, one to watch the episode, one on the BrownCoatBinge hashtag – refreshing, adding people to theBrownCoatBinge list and RTing things that people had said, and one to actually tweet with.

I gotta admit, the first episode was really hard to keep up with, but as the Binge carried on, I got a system down and started to enjoy binging. Before every episode I would put up the next episode, the list of facts, and respond/RT anything of interest.

The event was great – not only in terms of livetweeting, but also in terms of BrownCoats, bringing them together – seeing people interact was great, people weren’t flaming each other, they were just talking to each other about something that we all love and miss.

When the dust had settled, it was the most successful TVBinge we had done since we started. With BrownBoatBinge doubling the Buffy/Angel Binge tweeters combined! It didn’t trend, but that wasn’t really the point, sure we would have liked it, but the reason for the TVBinges was to bring people together who share a common interest, and that’s what we did, not only have we tripled our own follower count, but we also have like minded people who we can talk/discuss TV shows with.

BLAIRE (@BlaireLovesTV)

I have to say; when Ricky, Shana, and I dreamt this idea up I could have never in a million years anticipated the response we received. I knew that Firefly was more popular than any other Whedon show, but the fact that we were able to organize nearly 100 individuals to tweet a series that had less than one full season is a beautiful thing. It shows our dedication, and it proves that the signal cannot be stopped.

There are a lot of topics that could be covered with #Browncoatbinge, but I’d like to focus on one in particular: there were some friends of Browncoats and even general tweeters who saw the event and, having never seen the series before, decided to sit in on the binge. That’s right, our #Browncoatbinge made new Browncoats! There were at least three accounts that decided that they wanted to take part in our event without any prior knowledge of the series itself. Now that is something to be proud of.


 Honestly, Ricky outlines the whole process pretty well. I’m the writer for the binges—it’s my job to clearly and concisely explain what’s happening, how it’s happening, and how information can be found on how things happen in case you didn’t get it the first time. I take care of the Facebook page, create the countdown meter, and generally moderate the discussion as pertained to the website www.welovetvmore.com.

The traffic to the #Browncoatbinge article was some of highest we’ve ever seen. It’s proof that the signal can’t be stopped, and that we’re still here searching for our community. I’m happy to say that I am now following more than 30 accounts of other like-minded individuals. I am thrilled to have made some new friends through the binge, many of which I still interact with weekly.

Ricky, Shana, and I work our tails off to promote these events. #Browncoatbinge finally showed us the awesome results I knew our little corner of the Internet deserved. I am proud to say that our team effort really paid off. We’re still flying, but this wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time that we take off and explore the wonders of the TV-verse. We hope you’ll come aboard each and every month to join us!

 SHANA (@evilapprentice)

There’s nothing like watching something that started out as just a hypothetical between a few people on twitter become kind of a big deal.  When Ricky, Blaire, and I had the idea to binge on Whedon shows and “live” tweet about it, I’m pretty sure neither one of us thought for a second that we’d eventually have 86 people participating in some Firefly-mania, that Citizen Nerd would make some special artwork in honor of the day, or that Sean Maher — Simon Tam himself(!!!) — would actually help get those 86 people to watch with us by retweeting our promotional messages.

All of those things actually happened, and it was SHINY.


There’s really nothing quite like feeling like you’re a part of something, and I have to say, this whole TV binges thing gives me that feeling on overload.  I was happy with the successes of both BuffyBinge and AngelBinge, each of which had about 15 people tweeting. Then Browncoat Binge happened.  It was magical.  Phenomenal.  THE BEST.  Because there were so many of us with so much to say, I couldn’t even keep up with the hashtag, but what I did get to see was pretty great.  Everyone had a nice mixture of funny and serious things to say, and the interactions between fans were really inspiring to see.  TV brings people together, or at least live tweeting about good TV does.  Maybe binging on TV is the way to rule the world.

Perhaps, had twitter been around when Firefly originally aired, even FOX would’ve known better than to bury it.  I can’t help but wonder.

When I wrote the 5 Things piece for Firefly leading up to our binge, I was a little ball of emotion whilst writing the “we’re still flying” bit because I already knew, even then, that this fandom was special.  We’ve survived episodes played out of order, premature cancellation, and time, but we’re still here.  Instead of losing fans, Firefly actually continues to gain supporters as the years fly by.  BrowncoatBinge was just another great way for us to show that.  I can’t thank each and every person that participated in even part of an episode enough for spending time with us.  And Sean Maher just might have to be my new Captain (sorry, Mr. Fillion).  Can we seriously get that guy some kind of medal for his support?


As we look to the future, with DollhouseBinge on August 25th, I can’t wait to see what happens next.  We’re dealing with yet another Whedon masterpiece that was never given a fair chance by FOX, and hopefully, we’ll be able to get even more people involved.  What’s that?  You haven’t seen Dollhouse before?  Join us anyway!  It’s bound to be a good time, the more the merrier, all that good stuff.  Whedon’s writing and Dushku’s badassery, with appearances from Glau and Tudyk while we’re at it?  Fan of Battlestar Galactica or even Castle?  We’ve got Tahmoh Penikett.  See what he did before he threw Kate Beckett off of a roof.  The list is endless.

A day filled with live tweeting, good TV, and some familiar faces?  What more could you want?  Let’s bring the fandoms that we already have to the table and keep adding on.
Let’s take over the Internet and maybe even the world.

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1 comment

  1. I’m so glad that it was such a success! Thanks for putting this together and all of your hard work. I absolutely love the binges. I finally found my people on twitter. 😉 I look forward to learning about Dollhouse with the next one.

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