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The L word, a US drama series has initiated a great example of “Open Source Marketing” by engaging their audience to not only get involved with their show, but actually help write the script, and vote on submissions to influence the actual drama itself.

It’s called a “Fanisode” and is described as

where legions of fans are invited to team up with a writer from the show to collectively and democratically script an episode — the “fanisode” — one scene at a time.

Here’s how it works

16,500 votes have already been cast and over 100 scenes created in what i am sure is engaging and helping to build their fan base.

Remember the old campfire game where a group of players sit in a circle taking turns improvising a new passage to a continuing story? Creating a fanisode is like that, except the campfire is encircled by thousands, and voting determines whose passage gets into the story.

Here’s the first winning scene script

It may not be appropriate for all television content, but consumers are definately keen to be more engaged with their content whether through voting (e.g. idol, who wants to be a millionaire, big brother), submitting content (funniest home videos), or in open feedback forums (60 minutes). Productions that fail to engage consumers will continue to lose out to those that allow their audience greater involvement.