"Heroes" does character blogs right

You may recall my rant about character blogs done poorly. If you don’t the quick recap is that it’s hard to have an effective “character blog” (a blog created around a fictional character) when the blog has constant reminders that this character is completely fictional. TV show characters live in a world that’s not hosted on CBS.com, for instance.

Since that post I’ve been on the lookout for a great character blog and Web sites that I could share as an example of how to do it right. I found two great support efforts for this season’s hit show “Heroes”, and both focus on lesser discussed aspects of show.

Of the two, my significant favorite is the VotePetrelli.com site. This site literally could have been created for any candidate running for office this year. (Which is a sad reflection on Web sites for political candidates, but I digress)

Let’s see how this site stacks up against my Rules for Character Blogs & Sites:

  1. Keep it right – this blog is certainly the exact right concept for a fictional political candidate.
  2. Use what you have – this project is fun because it fits into the universe, but doesn’t focus on the more obvious elements of the show. This helps to extend the show “world” much further.
  3. Make it real – although not as applicable on a non-blog site, it’s still interesting to see that the privacy policy says nothing about NBC and instead references only VotePetrelli.com. I actually emailed the webmaster with an in-character note to see what kind of response I’ll get back.
  4. Connect the dots – I’m not sure if this has been advertised elsewhere. Anyone else seen anything about it? (I read about it in Wired)
  5. Extend the illusion – the illusion on this one is pretty deep. Zero branding, zero reference to NBC, and absolute synchronization to the show’s on-screen character.

The second site focuses on the fictional Yamagato Fellowship but isn’t as tight. Sadly there’s far too many “coming soon” references in the content for this to be considered great, but it’s certainly a solid effort.

Great work, NBC!