NKOTB's Tink! Takes on a Life of Its Own

Jordan Knight promised to release the true meaning of "tink!" and  has announced the winner of the New Kids on the Block's NYC Today Show contest. Virally, Jordan's one-word tweet of "tink!" has exploded onto the Twitterverse into a global frenzy exciting a fan base who just can't get enough! From tens of thousands tweets to tink! cartoons, tink! products and even an Ashton Kutcher Platinum Tweet Award, tink! has taken on a life of its own.

First the Winner announcement... revealed on May 1 complete with a tweet drum roll----> and the winners is a Ms. Tatiana Michelle Hernandez. (not to be confused with SubjectReality, who apparently has been attracting a lot NKTOB followers on Twitter as result of the similarity of her name)  At the time of this posting, the profile I had on the real Tatiana indicated that she born in the 80s (note: NKOTB's LP "Hanging Tough" hit the charts in 1988) her mother is also a fan (which makes sense since she is probably the same age as NKOTB), lives in California and is considered a "Jordan girl" which means she favors "Jordan Knight" over the rest of the band members. There was also a runner-up by the name of Marlene Putnam, which apparently was  joke, since Marlene Putnam is Jordan Knight's mother''s name? The subsequent runner-up selected was Jodi Carlson who hails from Iowa.

And now the for the tink! reveal---> First let's clear this up. As much as tink! enthusiasts would have liked the following video to be the answer, I think the use of tink! in this video is pure happenstance. It's  actually a hilarious cartoon based on Katt William's special, "It's Pimpin, Pimpin":

So as far as the real reveal, as of this posting, Jordan Knight is continuing to keep that a secret. As a result of the TOP TEN POLL that I recently released, over 2300 of you voted. While the overwhelming majority of you (1099) didn't agree with any of the survey choices, 495 thought it could possibly mean "Tweeting Interest in New Kids" and 183 thought it might be the name of a new NKOTB single.

My personal opionion, based on all the subtle clues tweeted out over the course of the last week is based on Jordan's relationship with his two sons (his very own "new kids on the block').  Since tink! seems to  pleasantly surprise Jordan each time  it happens and since initially he wanted his son Dante to film one of its occurences, my best guess is when his youngest son Eric Jacob surprises him with a kiss or a tink! 

In April, Ashton Kutcher's much publicized challenge to CNN that he could amass a larger Twitter audience than the mega-news network won him the much acclaimed Platinum Tweet Award. Ashton in his typical 'Punk'd' persona awarded himself the honor on a YouTube video.

In turn, and only a month later, Ashton decided to pass the honor along to another who could be considered one of Twitter's "most influential twitterers." After he polled his followers online, he rifled through tens of thousands of nominees. While Mike Wesely from TwitTalk.tv was a likely contender, the final choice went to one that showed exemplary work on Twitter ----> you guessed it, New Kids on the Block. Whether Ashton was influenced by his days of "hanging tough" at NKOTB concerts in the 80s or whether it was due to the NKTOB Twitter follower numbers is hard to assess ( NKOTB - 31,142, Donnie Walhberg - 53,824, Joey McIntyre - 32,111, Jonathan R. Knight - 31,976, Jordan Knight - 23,266 , Danny Wood - 18,578). But nonetheless, the torch has been passed, and "Butters" (the PTA equivalent to the Oscars) has been awarded to boys in the band!

NKOTB gratiously accepted the award in true online fashion... by tweet:

Jordan's previous Twitter avatar was just changed to a cartoonish Jordan Knight uttering the words "Ohhhh SNAP." This gave me the idea to illustrate my recent interaction with NKOTB fans, and its subsequent altercations. As an editorial cartoonist, my kidd millennium cartoons have lampooned politics and the world of social media for quite some time. So kidd millennium decided to offer up an illustrated version of how getting caught up in "all things NKOTB" may be hazardous to your health!

TINK! in its short lifespan has also generated product development. Jamie Sutton, a recent Twitter convert has decided to finance her trip to NKOTB's Denver, Dallas and Houston concerts by offering the following product line of women's blouses.

This motivated me to think of doing something similar. Having just experienced my sister's long and hard fought battle with breast cancer, I was impressed by the charities that NKOTB sponsors to help fight this horrific disease. In conducting my research for this article, I learned that Danny Wood set up a fund in honor of his mother where 100% of the proceeds go to the Betty Wood Breast Cancer and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundations.  So the CafePress store called Tink! Before You Tweet is set up for anyone to purchase Tink! merchandise where the profit will be donated to these foundations.
Tink Before You Tweet MerchandiseTink Before You Tweet Merchandise
Tink Before You Tweet MerchandiseTink Before You Tweet Merchandise








CHALLENGE: I now challenge all readers to come up with additional activities and fund-raisers that can support these charities and tweet me their suggestions. I strongly feel that we are living in the world of social networking for a purpose. And that purpose is to find ways to offer a helping hand to others, and make out best efforts in "paying it forward" whenever we find an opportunity.

Now from a viral marketing perspective, I would have to say that the phenomenon of tink! is a great Seinfeldian saga as to how something very simple can mushroom into something larger than life. And yes, while on the surface, my skeptical nature may have thought of this initially as a publicity stunt, I think what it eventually was able to accomplish was of consequence. I think it demonstrates how a social network like Twitter can mobilize people into action... based on what Donnie Wahlberg refers to as an "army of 50,000 who are fearless and come armed with love."

There were no adverstising dollars supporting this campaign...nor TV entertainment shows blasting out the message nightly to reinforce it. It was based solely on a direct channel of communication between celebrity and fan. And while Twitter and other social networks get slammed regularly for only allowing one-way communications, I think the tink! phenomenon shows that not only do two-way conversations exist, more importantly they can do a lot of good in making people feel better about themselves, and hopefully in turn find ways to improve our lot in life.

As always I welcome your thoughts and feedback... and hopefully at this point I have converted my harshest critic, Ms.Alice Willson, who goes by the Twitter handle of "dwsmillionthhug" who initially threatened to "chop off my legs" for critiquing her favorite band! I'm presently in the Witness Protection Program until she formally admits by tweet that she forgives me! Maybe you can counsel her on my behalf as well! ;-{>  Hang tough Blockheads!



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May 4, 2009
by Anonymous

Tink! Is huge!

I never thought that this tink would become so big! I even remember seeing his first Tink!

P.S. Cartoon is ADORABLE!

May 4, 2009
by Anonymous


...its less hassle to be with us than against us! We bring down all the haters eventually!!

I hated the comments in your first article. They seemed to be spawned from ignorance. I'm pretty sure you didn't realise what the reaction would be! haha! I'm glad you have re-thought your strategy. This article is good and I like the fact that you are examing the effect of TINK! Its viral marketing gone mad but we love it.

Nice article!

Love to all my NK sisters! xx

~ @katewhinesalot

May 4, 2009
by Anonymous

Well I'm impressed with your

Well I'm impressed with your fundraising efforts for breast cancer. Way to get on the right track and join the NK Army! I like your cartoon also.

May 5, 2009
by Anonymous

Ahh, NO ONE and I mean NO

Ahh, NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can undersatnd the SPECIAL bond we have with these boys but us and them...TOO BAD FOR ALL YOU THAT ARE MISSING OUT! cause, we are having a BLAST!!!

Nice article! Big improvements from the last...BUT, please spell the General's name correct next time...

Donnie not Donny!


May 5, 2009
by Anonymous

I tink therefore I am!

Ron -- I just gotta say I love that my 15 minutes of Twitter fame came from threatening you bodily harm. In my defense, though, I threatened to cut off your feet, not your legs. :p Can't wait for your next blog!

Your newest fan,

Alice (aka @dwsmillionthhug, aka Donnie's 1,000,000th Hug on ning)

May 5, 2009
by Anonymous

hi jordan knight

hi jordan knigh
pleas twitter me
iam mon here too
jeny gibson

May 5, 2009
by Anonymous


is great the comic
but the t-shirt's number of jordan is 5 not 1

May 5, 2009
by Anonymous


I too thought that tink was just a typo that took on a life of it's own, mostly because us fans take everything from the guys way too seriously!

We're all going to be disappointed when we find out what the true meaning of tink is because it's not going to be as exciting as all the commotion it's created.
Oh, that's right...the guys couldn't do anything to disappoint us!

May 5, 2009
by Anonymous


i just TINK jordan is so adorable when he TINKS :)

May 6, 2009
by Anonymous

love this tink

The first thing i tink when i wake uo is what tink means..loll..and Jordan he is just so funny and adorable that i gues it must be good and funny.After all Nkotb rock the world and jordan...make us crazy!!jUST LOVE HIM!

May 7, 2009
by Anonymous