Twitter Advent Calendar, Day 4: 383Advent

To be honest, my computer fried over the weekend, and I ended up spending the entire day Sunday trying to get it to work so I could do this post. Obviously, I was unsuccessful, so I am post-dating this so the series will look continuous, and trying to write at least 2 for this series today. Fingers crossed!

383 started out looking a lot like the others so far, but to think so would be plain wrong.

Twitter: 383Advent:!/383advent
Twitter Advent Calendar Day 4: 383

They start out well. They say what they are doing, who they are, and where they are, including a link to the main project.

383 Advent:

This was an Advent Calendar highlighting the best of their own work from the previous year. Not a bad idea for anyone, really.

Twitter Advent Calendar Day 4: 383

But that wasn’t all! That was just one year, 2008. It turns out they repeated the idea of an Advent project the following year, 2009, with a different slant.

Twitter Advent Calendar Day 4: 383

This turned out to be a crowdsourcing project, a competition with prizes. So the advent event was actually a way to gather clever photos with their logo embedded in them, to crowdsource the creativity of others and to get buzz going around their brand. Very interesting strategy! And the winners were:

Twitter Advent Calendar Day 4: 383

Those two were both mentioned and promoted on Twitter in their 383Advent stream. In 2010, they evidently abandoned their 383Advent account and switched to their main 383Project account. Frankly, I recommend that anyway. Why divide your audience? Use your main account even for special projects because it draws more attention all to the same place, and builds that audience who may stay around. Unfortunately, they did so without telling their 383 audience where they moved, so I don’t know how well that worked for them. Anyway, in 2010, they didn’t plan to continue their holiday tradition in their own space, but instead promoted a holiday project they had done for someone else using Facebook.

Twitter Advent Calendar Day 4: 383
Text: Spreading Christmas Spirit on Facebook: A neat Facebook app to hunt out and cheer up your miserable mates.

But they did it through their blog (and I am VERY surprised it took 3 holiday seasons to draw attention to their blog in a significant way).

Twitter Advent Calendar Day 4: 383

I bet you can guess what happened next. Folk started asking them what they were doing for Xmas that year, and where was their project for the season, etc. Lesson: Once you start, you need to make it clear that it is a one time event, or else make it clear when you’ve stopped it. One guy went so far as to tell what he was doing for the holiday, and they were nice enough to retweet HIS project, since they hadn’t planned one.

Turn your Tumblr blog into an Advent Calendar:

So what did they do for 2011? Well, they evidently had one bangup blowout party for their staff!

The 383 Christmas Weekend:

Oh, and they made this absolutely incredible holiday online interactive for the University of Warwick.

A Very Warwick Christmas:

A Very Warwick Christmas 2011

This was a brilliant concept piece promoting the highlights of the researchers and scholars at the University, and nice implemented and programmed also. I’m not sure how accessible it is, but impressive and attractive for an able-bodied person.

I wasn’t expected to find quite so much! So this was an interesting mix of successes and missed opportunities.


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