A Great Online Experience is like The Twilight Zone

Updated: February 8, 2009
the-twilight-zone
5 years, 156 episodes

The classic 30 minute television drama is all but extinct, having given way to reality shows and various forms of forensics and autopsy programs. Thanks to

Me TV and Nick at Nite numerous classic (and not so classic) shows still live. There is one show from television past that has a unique brand, The Twilight Zone. A full 40 years after it first aired, the mere mention of its name takes everyone almost universally to the same place; ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. A dimension where things are just a little bit askew. The thought of TZ might even elicit chills. It’s one of the few programs that has sustained life outside the cathode ray tube. Rod Serling was the mastermind and creative genius behind that groundbreaking show and attracted a who’s who of actors and technical talent. Everyone wanted to work with Mr. Serling and be part of the creation of this new and exciting form of television.

So, how is The Twilight Zone like a great online experience? Many of the attributes that made The Twilight Zone so successful eerily overlap with the very best web experiences. Both:

  • Are easily accessible to a broad audience
  • Present a fresh, unique approach
  • Provide a consistent experience
  • Contain highly engaging content
  • Have the power to surprise
  • Capitalize on teachable moments
  • Are highly memorable
  • Transform skeptics into loyal fans

Which leads me to MCD Partners. I work with Magnani, Caruso and Dutton (New York), an independent interactive agency that places a premium on ideas and a priority on understanding their client’s business objectives and brand value proposition. They are skilled at helping firms craft and execute their digital strategy. I’ve been working with them for over two years now and have not only made a great business partnership, but numerous friendships as well. We work long hours trying to solve the latest problem or design the next generation web site experience. But no matter what the deadline or obstacle, we always try to make it fun.

Speaking of fun, here’s some, at least for me. I revisited those classic Serling episode introductions and altered the copy so I could include members of my MCD account team. Using a cool microphone called the Snowball, I channeled my best Rod Serling imitation in a series of recordings I call The MCD Zone. I know I’m opening up a can of worms here, inviting a response in kind which will be much more polished than my meager creative skills can muster. But that will be even more fun.

So turn up your speakers for The MCD Zone theme. Disclaimer. It’s not really a video.

The cast of characters on my MCD account team is diverse and I highly respect their talent and professionalism. As time permits, I plan on posting more episode introductions with members of my MCD team as the stars. So if you work there you may want to bookmark this page and check back. Who knows, You might be next!

Identity Crisis

Word Traveler

Machine vs. Man

Missing

Now I have to say, lest someone think I’m serious, working with MCD is not really like being in the Twilight Zone. No one has aged prematurely or been lost to roam an empty vortex for all time. But we do create some extraordinary online experiences together. Some of them have been positively other worldly. Thanks MCD team for your effort, energy and oh yes, your good sense of humor. It’s a relationship that pushes all of us beyond The Comfort Zone.

Special thanks to Mr. Rod Serling. He’s not dead, he’s just gone ahead.

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