What if the Night Before Christmas had been composed of hashtagged tweets solicited from the Twittersphere?
That’s essentially the premise behind digital content company Findaway World’s initiative to create a holiday audiobook out of tweets.
By tweeting with the hashtag #Jinglebook from December 5 to 19, Twitter users can contribute to the story that will be recorded and digitally released on December 24. Access will be free from Findaway’s Catalist Digital mobile audiobook app.
A compilation of each day’s tweets can be found in succeeding chapters on the website — Day One is Chapter One, Day Two is Chapter Two, and so on.
Like a Greek epic, the story itself seems to start in medias res with a tweet out of nowhere: “#Jinglebook and then Santa decided to reenact that scene from Twilight where Jacob falls off his motorcycle – @OlivebPersimmon.”
On the site, Findaway says it reserves the right to edit or delete any submissions to #Jinglebook for any reason.
“Our final product will be a script of #Jinglebook texts edited for the best interest of the intended audience,” it says.
So far, the resulting story is not always coherent. For example, one passage includes:
So, the vampires regained composure as Buffy the vampire slayer reluctantly woke from her nap in santas sack to weigh in #jinglebook – @Vitamin_Belardo
Santa never came #jinglebook – @WulfeInOhio
just once, and only once, I will respond to a holiday mass mailing. #jinglebook – @limberg
Dear Santa, I hope to see a vintage gibson flying V guitar under my xmass tree this year, vampires don’t like loud rock-n-roll! #jinglebook – @GeneLaMarca
But, according to Dean Skinner, chief creative and marketing officer at Findaway World, unless the tweets tagged with #Jinglebook are purely promotional or in bad taste, the tweets will remain unedited in the finished product.
It’s also worth noting the audiobook is employing a so-called Naughty to Nice Translator that replaces foul language on #Jinglebook tweets with a holiday-themed word like jingle or gingerbread, Skinner says.
The campaign includes between 500 and 1000 tweets, Skinner says.
After some tweeting from internal Findaway handles, #Jinglebook gained the attention of some outsiders, including pop singer Taylor Dayne, who commented on a line: “Great moves RT @TheseKnees Then danced to @taylor_dayne ‘s “Tell it To My Heart” #jinglebook.”
Skinner describes promotion for the effort as “extremely grassroots.” It has included some Facebook and Twitter posts, as well as guerilla marketing in Findaway’s hometown, Cleveland.
It also has a YouTube video featuring comedian Mike Polk Jr. that has been viewed 450 times since it was posted on December 3.
In addition, participants are tweeting requests for celebrity participation, such as:
@willdages You know what’d be awesome? If @StephenAtHome joined in on the#jinglebook story (it’s fun and for charity)!http://jinglebook.findawayworld.com/
And @Vitamin_Belardo @DebbieGibson – Can you shake your love over at #Jinglebook? For a good cause!! http://jinglebook.findawayworld.com
A Findaway employee will narrate the final product.
In conjunction with the campaign, Findaway is donating $1 worth of Playaway preloaded audio players to schools affected by Hurricane Sandy for every tweet up to $10,000.
@FindawayWorld has 30 followers on Twitter and 134 likes on Facebook.
@Playaway has about 1000 followers.