Facebook Haggadah: A Case Study in Viral ROI (Is This App Different From All Other Apps?)
Micah L. Sifry | April 3, 2009 - 10:58am |
Sunday night, March 29, 2009, Carl Elkin posted a humorous take-off on the Passover Seder story (aka the "Haggadah"), imagining it as a series of wall postings on Facebook.
By April of 2009,, the Facebook Haggadah had gotten about 165,000 visits.
The Passover Seder, the oldest continuously observed religious ceremony in the world, tells the story of the Jews' Exodus from Egypt. Jewish tradition says that people of each generation must imagine that they personally had departed from Egypt, and the sages say that each generation must tell the story in its own terms.
The sages probably did not intend this.
Moses is Departing Egypt: A Facebook Haggadah
Joseph is going to Egypt.
Joseph and Pharaoh are now friends.
Elijah is a bit tipsy, but off to a good start. 30,000 households down, and its only 6:30!
Pharaoh is sad to report that my father has entered immortality. I have taken his place in government and will do my best to honor his name. Joseph Congratulations to you, my master.
Pharaoh Who are you, and why are you writing on my wall?
Joseph I meant no disrepsect, my master.
Advisor He is an Israelite. There are many of them. I do not know whether they are with us or against us.
Pharaoh Let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they join with our enemies in time of war.
Rabbi Eleazar ben Azaryah finally figured out why we're supposed to tell the story of the exodus at night. It's because it says "all the days of your life!" Ben Zoma Huh?
Rabbi Eleazar ben Azaryah You see "Days of your life" means days only, but "ALL the days of your life" means nights, too.
Ben Zoma Oh, I always thought that referred to after the coming of the Messiah.
Pharaoh sent The Israelites Bread of Affliction. The Israelites This stuff tastes awful.
The Israelites This year are we slaves, next year may we be free!
25 things you didn't know about me by God
1. Guilty pleasure: Smiting people.
2. I had another universe once, it was so much better than this one. But I got really wasted one night and lost it in a game of craps. :( I'm never doing that again.
3. In my old universe, the really cool one, the dominant species was a race of hyper-intelligent beetles. It was so cool. Unfortunately, when I lost that universe I also lost the beetles-as-master-race patent, so now I have to settle for primates.
4. I picked up this universe at a 50%-off sale. I thought I was getting a bargain. But as soon as I took it out of the box at home, I figured out why: space and time are both a bit bent in places, and most of the mass is missing. I wish I had saved the receipt.
Pharaoh has taken the Which god are you? quiz. Pharaoh is Ra, the Sun god. Ra represents light, warmth and growth.
The Israelites has used Yes We Conserve to pledge to Seal and caulk air outlets. The Israelites We might as well use extra straw to keep out the hot desert air.
Pharaoh has posted an Album: Construction of Python and Ramses.
The Israelites I'm the 432nd slave from the right!
Bernie Madoff The pyramid scheme is a good concept, but you need to think bigger.
Elijah is feeling very harried. 3 million houses left, and it's already 7:30!
Hillel sent You sandwich.
Youngest son Why is this night different from all other nights? Parent What do you mean?
Youngest son Well, there's the drink-four-times thing, and the matzah thing, and the dip in salt-water thing. What's up with that?
The Israelites has written a note on God's Wall: We're suffering! See See Wall to Wall
Rabbi Yehoshua Had a few too many at dinner and spent the whole night at Akiva's arguing about the Exodus. Rabbi Tarfon My head hurts.
God has written a note on The Israelites' Wall: Yeah, I see. Listen, sit tight, and I'll think of something. See See Wall to Wall
Moses has taken the Which god are you? quiz. Moses is Osiris, God of the Dead. Dressed in white flannel gown, Osiris ruled over the Egyptians and taught them farming. God Note to self: This is getting really annoying. I have got to add a Commandment outlawing this stupid Which God Are You Quiz. I think I'll word it broadly so that no one can possibly misunderstand my intentions, and I'll put it right up front where they can't possibly miss it.
God has written a note on Moses' Wall: Moses, stop wasting time and do something about this whole slavery thing. See See Wall to Wall
Pharaoh has used Yes We Conserve to pledge to Use dryer less. Pharaoh This is a no brainer, as I live in a desert. Also, dryers haven't been invented yet.
Moses has written a note on God's Wall: Er, me? See See Wall to Wall
God sent Moses burning bush.
God has written a note on Moses' Wall: Yeah, you. See See Wall to Wall
Moses has written a note on Pharaoh's Wall: Let my people go! See See Wall to Wall
Mark Zuckerberg You see? It's all about the social graph. Israel talks to God talks to Moses talks to Pharaoh. There must be some way to make money off of this. God Aren't you the CEO of Facebook? Listen, the old version was so much better. Tell your engineers to bring it back.
Mark Zuckerberg Actually, I'd like to stick with the new one for now.
God I'm sick of seeing all these quizzes! I command you to bring back the old one!
Mark Zuckerberg is fleeing to Tarshish.
Pharaoh has written a note on Moses' Wall: Up yours! See See Wall to Wall
Mark Zuckerberg and a whale are now friends.
Moses has used Yes We Conserve to pledge to Use trees to control sun and shade. Moses Back in my day job as a shepherd (which I still hope to return to some day), a few strategically planted trees made all the difference in the world on a hot day.
Elijah is sloshed
God sent Pharaoh a plague: blood. Advisor No big deal. Our magicians can do that, too.
Pharaoh OK. Whatever.
Pharaoh has written a note on God's Wall: Nice try. I'm not impressed. The Israelites stay. See See Wall to Wall
God sent Pharaoh 9 more plagues. Advisor Uh-oh. These are the fingers of God!
Pharaoh OK, I give. 10 plagues is enough.
Rabbi Jose The Galilean Which means that when God later smote them at the Red Sea with his hand, they got 50 plagues.
Rabbi Eliezer No, I think it means 200, since each plague was sent with fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble.
Rabbi Akiva Dude, you missed a comma. Fierceness was its own plague. So that's five plagues per finger, or a total of 250 plagues.
Pharaoh Will you guys stop running up the score?! You already won! Just stop!
Pharaoh has written a note on The Israelites' Wall: Get out of here! See See Wall to Wall
Moses has written a note on The Israelites' Wall: Quickly, people! Just grab everything and go! See See Wall to Wall The Israelites But what about the bread? We're in the middle of this great recipe.
Moses Just grab what you can and go! Now!
The Israelites has posted an Album: Fleeing from the Egyptians.
Elijah 100 times as many houses to visit, and presents to lug around, too. How does Santa do it? Santa Claus We young folks have all the energy! :)
Elijah has used Yes We Conserve to pledge to Power chariot by magic horses instead of internal combustion engine.
The Israelites has written a note on Moses' Wall: Um, there's a lot of water in front of us, and a bunch of angry Egyptians behind us. Any ideas? See See Wall to Wall
Moses has written a note on God's Wall: Er, over to you. Any ideas? See See Wall to Wall
God has written a note on Moses' Wall: Stretch out thy rod over the waters. See See Wall to Wall
Moses is crossing the Red Sea.
The Israelites has posted an Album: Fishes of the deep.
Pharaoh has written a note on The Israelites' Wall: Now I've got you right where I want you!! See See Wall to Wall
Pharaoh is very wet
Elijah is just about ready to call it a night. This gets harder every year.
Pharaoh and Satan are now friends.
God has used Yes We Conserve to pledge to Run sun on nuclear fusion instead of natural gas. God This way, I can save enough energy to prevent the Earth from.. oh wait, never mind.
God sent The Israelites a Torah. God Just so you know, the one I wrote for the hyper-intelligent beetles was so much cooler. I miss them. Sigh.
Here endeth the Seder.
This year our ceremony still contains some time for reflection, and some ability to remain on the same topic for more than a minute or two. But next year, may our ceremony be faster, divided into bite-sized chunks, and with each utterance no more than 140 characters. And so we say together,
NEXT YEAR IN TWITTER
Copyright 2009 Carl Elkin Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Consistent with the terms of this license, you may redistribute or modify this work provided you credit Carl Elkin.
Carl can be reached at cdelkin@REMOVE.gmail.CAPITALIZED.com.LETTERS
To read an interview with Carl about the Hagaddah, go here
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