Thank You Aimee
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A month ago today was one of the worst days of my life. Late on a Wednesday evening I received a frantic message from a friend, begging me to tell him that this was some kind of horrible joke. When I opened the message to see what “this” he was talking about, I was stunned to learn of the unexpected loss of Aimee Long: Fringenuity co-founder, legendary fan activist, and one of the best friends I’ve ever had. My husband and I had just been brainstorming places to take her when she arrived for a much anticipated visit, and the only thought I seemed able to formulate was no that’s not right, she’s going to be here Wednesday.

In the time since then I’ve started this post a dozen times, scrapping effort after effort, because nothing I could say seemed adequate. A whole month later I still have no idea how to begin. None of the words that come to mind make any more sense than the ones I stared at so stupidly when my brain simply refused to accept what they were saying, because what they were saying was Aimee’s gone.

Nothing I can say could possibly compare to the anguish in those two little words.
But I’ve come to the realization that no words ever will, and so I’m going to get through this tonight, because it’s been too long, and Aimee deserves to be remembered here of all places. So I have my glass of scotch and my white tulip plucked from her grave, and I’ll just have to do the best I can to do justice to the incredible woman who touched so very many lives, and helped change the way an industry works.

Great pic, Aimee smiling

Aimee was almost synonymous with Fringe to me; it was how we met. We both came to the show late, blazing through the first two seasons over the summer of 2010. We met on a forum that fall and bonded almost immediately. We gleefully (and endlessly) discussed each episode of the new season, sometimes with other fans on various websites, sometimes over long, silly Skype conversations. We eyed the ratings with nervous frustration, watching the show continue to outperform itself week after week even as the numbers kept falling. By late 2010, when Fringe was moved to Fridays, we were talking about ways to try and help the show. I painted my car the day after Thanksgiving that year. Aimee found some bumper stickers and took to wearing her Fringe gear every time she left the house. Others started making promotional videos and artwork to be posted all over the place. Our efforts were too disparate to have any real impact, but Fringe was renewed anyway and Twitter reverberated with the jubilation of the Fringedom.

Near the end of 2010 I had this crazy idea to try and get people to dress as Observers on a certain day and go out into the world to draw attention and show the network that “Observers are here.” There was a little bit of interest from other people, but when it came down to the day, everyone else who’d intended to participate bowed out for one reason or another – except for Aimee. She eschewed the bald cap (for which, in retrospect, she was smarter than me) and just went out in her Fringe Division t-shirt and Peter Bishop Triumph jacket, while my sweetly supportive husband and I went full…creepy… with it. But  while we were out there looking like total freaks, the knowledge that there was even one other person who was with us in spirit; talking to people and looking like a fool for the sake of a friend and a TV show…the thought kept us warm on a freezing January night. I think that was the night that cemented our friendship.

That was Aimee. I’d said numerous times that I’d do it by myself if I had to, and she knew we’d be on our own. So even though the “event” was already a failure, and we were half a country away, she went out too so that we didn’t have to be alone. That’s the kind of friend she was, not only to me, but to scores of others. She was the one who was always there with an encouraging word, an ear, and a boatload of support.

When season four started and the ratings kept falling, we decided that Fringe needed more help than wacky cars, posters and promo vids. Over the next few months we did a lot of research, and came to the conclusion that trackable data was our best line of attack. We wrote our hearts out on Nielsen ratings and ways to be counted without having a box. We found a small coterie of friends willing to brainstorm with us, and discussed the need for a centralized mobilization platform, resulting in the transformation of my teeny blog. One day in October we had our first real meeting, with no idea that we’d be having those meetings almost weekly for the next 18 months or so. We came up with a name, and a terrifying plan to try and get people to use the hashtag #CrossTheLine for the mid-season premier in January…

I won’t rehash any more of the story, it’s getting late, I’m rambling, and most people reading this will know all about the wonderful things that came next. The important thing is that it was always Aimee. She was there in the very beginning, and although she often tried to deflect taking credit for our successes, none of the things that happened with Fringenuity would have happened without her. I truly believe that without Aimee, Fringe never would have gotten its season five, and the family we all made together would never have been as strong or cohesive as it was.Some of us were good at art, or videos, or ideas. I was good at organizing and writing long dry articles. Aimee was good at people. She was the best of us, and she’s the one who brought us together.

She was my friend for just over three years, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. I’ll always be grateful to Fringe for bringing her into my life.

And now I’m out of words, which is probably good because there seem to be quite a lot of them here. It feels like when I stop writing, the most remarkable chapter of my life will really be closed. All I can do is close it with love and start a new one, shaped by an indelible mark left by an extraordinary person.

 
I don’t want to say goodbye, but I will say, I love you, my friend. We will never forget you.

Aimee's tulip

 

*Donations to Aimee’s memorial fund are still open for those who’d like to contribute. All funds will go to her son, who’s just starting out in life and about to celebrate his first Christmas without his mom. Let’s take care of him for her.

 

 

#AlmostHuman: New Show—New Team—New Website—New Premiere Date
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A new show—a new team—a new website. And now, a new premiere date.

We have been planning to generate some social media buzz for Almost Human, since it was officially picked up to series by FOX. Deep in the shadows of Facebook, a group was established—Almost Human Task Force—in order to provide a place to collaborate on art, marketing, and social media strategy. Our team has topped out at 17 members, with a variety of talents, most of which worked with or were well-known to Fringenuity.

While morethanoneofeverything.net has served as the home that launched a large, unifying fandom movement, it was decided that a new domain, website and Twitter account would better serve Almost Human fans, especially once the show launches.

As part of our team, @Hanko9 offered a home for the site and furiously worked all weekend to get the face of the Almost Human Task Force running. His hard work has produced a slick, well-organized and adaptable site.

Almost Human Task Force has a home at:

http://www.AlmostHumanForce.com

We are on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/AlmostHumanTF

Fringenuity’s Twitter account will continue to support Almost Human, but we plan to taper off activity as more people follow the Almost Human Task Force account.

The most important thing to know is that at the eleventh hour, FOX changed the series premiere date.

Almost Human will be airing two episodes on two nights: Sunday Nov 17 and Monday Nov 18 8/7 C.

Almost Human Premieres Sunday Nov 17

There were tons of billboards, bus, and subway posters that were advertising the old date, and people were tweeting and posting pics on other social media. Our poor artists had to scramble to remove any artwork featuring the old date. And this put a dent in the celebration we were hoping to have due to the Fringe connections for Almost Human and John Noble’s debut on the November 4 episode of Sleepy Hollow.

Thanks to the artists, all materials have had the dates changed. After working so hard to drill a date that no longer matters into people’s heads, it now important to get the word out that FOX is planning an event, yes an event, for the series. There are going to be people who tune in Nov. 4 hoping to see Almost Human and they’ll find Bones instead. Which is a plus for Bones that night, I guess, but not for this show.

While I am sure that FOX will blitz the airwaves with promos advising of the new nights, we should be prepared to help people on social media who are confused about why Almost Human is not on. (I just hope the basically forced ratings numbers from having a football lead-in doesn’t backfire and make the show look bad when that number deflates for subsequent episodes… Cross your fingers that there’s enough to catch the long-term attention of a lot of people who see it after the game.)

Feel free to use and share the artwork at the Almost Human Fan Art Matrix to get the word out, and let’s chirp a bit more about this series. Tell the world why you are ready.

Sometime during the next few weeks, there will be a post that further delves into how we can best tailor our tweets to aid the Nielsen social TV ratings. Stay tuned!

 

 

Promoting Almost Human
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So, the cat’s out of the bag. You’ve probably noticed some of our associates using a hashtag #AHTF and maybe you’ve see them on Twitter sporting badge icons that say “Almost Human Task Force.” Well, it’s time to introduce ourselves and to explain what’s going on.

First, some history. (Hey, now; don’t yawn! History is important.)

This site was originally Annie’s (@birdandbear) personal blog that she started to analyze the lyrics of the transmedia Violet Sedan Chair record, an item that was created and released as a real life extension of the Fringe universe. (It’s Walter’s favorite band, and you can listen to it on Spotify!) Fringe had been teetering on the edge of Nielsen oblivion for most of its existence. To make a long story short, fan groups (The Fringe Movement and then Fringenuity) rallied to promote it and to gain a longer lifespan. If you’re new to us, our site has some interesting archived materials.

When Fringenuity was founded we were open to the possibility of having more “adventures in geekery” with other shows. While our members love lots of things, especially Doctor Who, Continuum, Revolution, Orphan Black, Sherlock, and even newcomer, Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human is a natural fit. We’ve been excited about it since Joel Wyman said he was working on a script. It has a tremendous Fringe pedigree, right down to being filmed in Vancouver using the incredibly hardworking and talented Fringe crew. Even so, it’s not Fringe, just like Fringe is not The X-Files. Personally, I am a sucker for stories about machine-versus-man, enhanced humans, and artificial intelligence. (Heck, my home wireless network is named Omnius, and my next computer just might be dubbed DORIAN…)

What is AHTF?

The Almost Human Task Force is currently a loosely organized group of Fringe fans who have come together to apply their various talents to the social media promotion and discussion of Almost Human. Most of us have worked closely together during the past few years, and yes, we are friends. The skills include an Adobe software coder, graphic artists, an advertising agent, an MBA, an information science/library degree holder, a community fundraiser, writers, those who have learned social media by doing, and leaders for various fan communities. We actually have the basis to form a promotional company if we wanted. But, this is a project for love and an admiration for the creative minds behind the show.

Our goals include:

* Facilitating the formation of and supporting fan communities for the show.

* Providing information and news about the cast, creators, and show.

* Spreading the love for the show to others and engaging them in conversation.

* Providing positive social media promotion. (Don’t bash other shows.)

* Making Almost Human one of the most social scripted shows for Nielsen Twitter Ratings.

* Working to expand the fan base by encouraging reluctant or potential viewers and  through providing them with information about how to catch up as the season progresses

* Seeing “Almost Human has been renewed for a second season.”

FAQ

Are you planning Twitter trending events?

No, not at this time. The successful trending events were organized out of a special love and the desire for the renewal of Fringe, complete with a planned ending. So many just don’t know how much work that took each and every week that Fringe aired. Also, that the trail has been blazed, &  others follow the route. We’re on the lookout for the next big thing that could set Almost Human fans apart.

We do have some contests and fun activities planned, because this is about having some fun.

I like the badges! How can I get one?

The badges that we have are pretty cool and we wish that it would be possible to offer personalized copies for all that would like one, but these were designed for us as a group, and the artist could not possibly make them for everyone who wants one. However, the Icon Matrix is growing each day, so there’s something cool for everyone there.

I have some great art or icons. How can I share?

Anyone is welcome to post icons or artwork to the Almost Human Icon Matrix. It is in Beta, but should be completely ready soon.

I have a fan community for Almost Human. Can you let people know?

At this time, we’re going to do a search to check every corner of the Internet, and will possibly make an ongoing directory. If you want to let us know about your forum, page, blog, or podcast, please do!

I live in a country outside the US. Will Almost Human air here?

Working on a table for that information. Stay tuned.

How can I help out Almost Human?

Check out, “Spreading the Excitement for Almost Human.”

This post explains how important social media activity is now that these things are better measured/analyzed and that Nielsen has a Twitter rating.

You may also want to read Annie’s, “Not Nielsen.”

I have questions. Who Can I Contact?

Our members are on Twitter. Feel free to chat. I’m Aimee, and I was made to feel.

 

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Legal

 

Almost Human is the property of Warner Brothers Studio and Fox Network. Fringenuity is not associated with Almost Human, Bad Robot, or the cast in any way; we are here only to support and promote the show through social media.

No copyright infringement is intended. All photos, articles, etc. are the property of their original owners.

Spreading the Excitement for #AlmostHuman
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Almost Human’s premiere (November 4 – 8/7C) is less than a month away, so it’s time to assemble and to start talking up the series via all available social media channels. We knew that the television world was heading towards placing a larger emphasis on social media activity, and now that time is here. Too late for our beloved Fringe… but useful for the future of TV. Dust off the tweeters, and let’s cultivate some social media influence for Almost Human.

Why is Fringenuity so interested in Almost Human out of all Fall shows?

Almost Human was created by Fringe executive producer J.H. (Joel) Wyman. It’s filmed in Vancouver (like Fringe) and employs a large percentage of the old Fringe film crew.  Plus, “because it’s cool.” There were lots of people interested in the concept before it was even cast, filmed, and picked up by the network. We wanted to “Make Human Reality.” Now that it’s real, we want to keep it around for some time.

So, what can we do to help?

We can employ some of the same tactics that we used for Fringe to help get the word out for Almost Human. The broadcast networks are using some of the things that Fringe fans used during our campaigns, but fans who actually care for a show will always do a better job getting the word out. We form real communities with each other, and no network herding will ever change that. We have the power to influence social media users to watch, discuss, and keep coming back for more.

We’re not considering trending unique hashtags for each episode of the show. That was a special effort out of love for Fringe, and has worked to help fans of Community and Hannibal.  For a new show, the focus should be on just generating genuine social engagement.

When the time comes, let’s be sure to search for Almost Human viewers to follow and interact with on Twitter.  Like with Fringe, it’s helpful to have lots of followers and to interact. Share Almost Human content such as videos from FOX, articles, and fan art.

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June #Fringe Event Alert: Let’s Wish a Happy Birthday to Anna, Lance, and Josh!
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June is a month for birthdays in the Fringe universe. We have several cast members whose big day is coming up!

* I also have the cosmic luck of sharing my June 27 b-day with the man himself, J.J Abrams. You can send me condolences for turning 35…

 

Anyway, we haven’t had a good trending party since… well…. since #WeCrossedTheLine. So, let’s see what we can do for our beloved cast members, eh? We were able to trend for Josh’s birthday last year, so let’s give all three of our Geminis a Twitter party! (Although I regret to inform Mr. Gemini that he is not invited.)

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“Friend” Contest Entries!
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Last week we announced a promotional contest for Jess Noble’s Friend, (starring her dad, John) asking for your visual representations of the meaning of the word. Here are the inspiring responses we received! Entries are to be judged by the inestimable Mr. Noble himself, at his convenience – we’ll let you know when we have a winner. Thanks to everyone who participated, and good luck!!

 

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You’ve Got a Friend in Me
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“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe…warp drive…wormhole refractors…you know the thing you need most? You need a hand to hold.”    – The Doctor

No one knows better than a Fringie how an unexpected friend can change your life. The Doctor was right; in a world peppered with pitfalls of loneliness and uncertainty, it can be nearly mpossible to get back up once we’ve fallen, unless we can reach for the proffered hand of a friend. That bright smile, that caring presence, can bring us back to ourselves again when we’re ready to give up.

Friends come an all shapes and sizes. They can be lifelong companions, or they can drift into your life for just a little while, and change you forever. They’re the family of your choice, the people who make life a little less scary, and a lot more fun. They’re not afraid to laugh at you as well as with you. They’re the ones who listen to you even when you don’t make sense, who love you in spite of (or maybe because of) your flaws. They’re there when you need an ear, or a shoulder…or a hand to hold.

In honor of the upcoming release of the short film “Friend,” starring John Noble, written by his daughter Jess, and produced by members of the Fringe crew, Fringenuity is once again issuing a challenge to your boundless creativity. We’re holding a contest!

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#FringeFanFriday Fanfiction: “Thirty Days” by DixieGirl256 Part II (Updated 5/31)
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Part I is here.

Chapter 6

The next scene has a sexual situation. Nothing graphic.

Four stacks of files lay on the desk in front of Peter, along with his laptop. Jazz from WGBH played faintly in the background.  Peter rubbed his eyes, stretched, and pulled another folder from the tallest stack.

At least he wrote everything down, even if most of it doesn’t make sense.

Olivia stood in the doorway, watching Peter as he skimmed the contents of the folder.  How many nights had she done this with case files, going over the details dozens of times, looking for any clue that would bring her another step closer to resolution?  And how many times had Peter coaxed her away?

She walked behind him, then leaned on his shoulder and set a small tumbler of whisky by his left hand.  She rested her hands on his shoulders and began to massage the knots from his neck and back.

“Thanks, Liv.  Ahh, that feels good,” he mumbled, never looking up from the file in front of him.

“How’s it going?” She asked softly, still rubbing his shoulders.  “Anything I can do to help?”

“Find Walter…” he sighed.  He took one of Olivia’s hands in his, and leaned back, resting his head against the back of the chair.

“Come to bed, Peter… You’ve been at this for hours.”  She kissed the top of his head.  “I miss you.”

“Is this how you felt all those times I tried to get you to take a break?” His voice was serious, but he was smirking.  “Isn’t this the part where you kiss me and promise me mind-blowing sex if I’ll just come to bed?”

“Did that work?”

“Most of the time.”

“Then yeah, this is that part.”  She leaned over and brushed her lips against his stubbly cheek.  “If you shave before you come to bed… and if you can stay awake.”

“How can I refuse?” He chuckled and shut down the laptop.  “But shaving, huh?”  He wrapped his arm around Olivia as they walked out of the room.

“Well, it’s not a requirement… but it severely limits your options if you don’t,” she teased.

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Fringies, Let’s Make Joel Wyman’s Human a Reality
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Future LA Cops (From YVR Shoots)

 

The Pilot for Joel Wyman’s project show, Human, is scheduled to wrap filming this week. It won’t be long until the post-production product is screened in @FoxTV’s boardroom in order for the execs to decide whether or not they want to order it to series.

We can’t tell you how much we want this show to become a reality. Why do we have such confidence in something that barely exists, and feel so passionately about it?

– Its main creative team – Joel Wyman and Bryan Burk — are from Fringe.

– Most of the crew were those who had worked on Fringe. Aside from their tremendous dedication and talent, these people were incredible to respectful fans who watched filming. The Vancouver and the British Columbia film industries are fighting for jobs right now, so any work for these people is a good thing.

– Did we mention that the casting is amazing? Karl Urban? Michael Ealy? Yes, please.

– The concept of artificial life and human interaction/interfacing with machines is fascinating.

Some may say that we’re setting ourselves up for heartbreak. Pilot season is cutthroat, and many promising projects just don’t make it. But we’ve taken the stance that well… squeaking helps things get greased. Action at a Distance. And if Fringe fans have learned anything from taking an active interest in Fringe’s fate over several seasons, positive squeaks can have an impact.

We need to be advocates for what WE want to see.

We need to let FOX know that they possibly have a built-in, influential, and transferable audience for Human if they risk it.

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#FringeFanFriday Fanfiction: “Thirty Days” by DixieGirl256 Updated 4/12
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For our first Official  #FringeFanFriday, Fringe fanfiction writer – DixieGirl256 – has submitted the first part of a ten chapter-plus-epilogue story that deals with the month after Walter disappeared in 2015.

She says: “It’s my attempt to fulfill Joel’s hope that we would imagine our characters the next day.”

Story is rated T, however one upcoming chapter will be M rated.

We’ll be posting an update each week. Enjoy!

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