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YouTubers add to THP storyline

February 15, 2009

Oh, the fun in interacting with the community….

A few days ago, I posted that we included the names of 5 YouTubers in our 27th Episode of The Hayley Project. At the 1:17 mark, these YouTubers were listed on the cop’s whiteboard in the background. Turns out, the community started questioning why these folks were listed on the cops’ whiteboard in the first place. As in, were they actually suspects? Did they have a part in the story? Well, this is the fun in interactivity.

Three of the Five YouTubers that we named have responded and started to play along by contributing to the backstory of THP. I was a little bit nervous when this started happening, because I didn’t want their backstories to contradict anything that would happen in future episodes. To their credit, all of their contributions were realistic, yet vague enough, and can be considered canon.

For those of you unfamiliar with the storyline (SPOILER ALERT!), our hero Hayley has been trying to track down her best friend Keira’s killer. As she’s gotten deeper into the investigation, she realizes that Keira was mixed up in some very shady things. A recent shocking revelation was that Keira was involved in a high-class escort service. So Hayley starts to investigate Keira’s client list. Now, with the community asking what involvement these 5 YouTubers had in the case, the three responders contributed to the story by responding as follows:

  • One YouTuber posts a video response and claims he didn’t kill Keira and that he actually loved her. He says he’s a politician’s son and was introduced to Keira by him. He apologizes for not revealing his relationship with Keira earlier, but says the reason why he’s been so involved thus far is because he loved her. See his video response.
  • Another YouTuber claimed he never used Keira’s escort service and that he’s just an accountant. He claims that someone may have given the cops his name to fake them out and that he really has very little to do with the case. I like that he addresses the allegation but chose to maintain his innocence.
  • Another YouTuber also claimed that he had a relationship with Keira. He claims he met her on a social networking site in 2007. He never claimed to be a “client” of hers, but he did admit that they were friends. He also put up a video response where he showed the final text message he received from Keira, claiming he wasn’t sure if it was the night she died or not (btw, I appreciate that he didn’t try to pinpoint the timing which could complicate our plot too much). See his video response. Below is the text message (wish he didn’t misspell Keira though)

Due to the interactive nature of the unfolding events, this particular video has already surpassed the individual view totals for the last 6 episodes and has the most comments since we came back from break (and this excludes two video responses and the comments on their videos). While this is a small example, it definitely shows the impact that the community can have on an interactive story if you let them.

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