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OTW Fannews: Mashing up Platforms

  • Fast Company was among those promoting Wikia’s plans for a multifandom platform. “[T]he leadership at Wikia looked at what their competition was—and found it wanting. ‘What we started to realize is that there’s a very crowded ecosystem among entertainment media companies that cover celebrities and fashion, but our fans were different from that…They were interested in the IP itself—Game Of Thrones, Star Wars, Harry Potter. For people trying to keep up with that, where would you go every day? It didn’t really exist, is what we found. It was kind of a white space. So this seemed like an opportunity to co-create with our user base, as a new kind of media platform to create a new kind of media site.'” Even Fast Company pointed out this isn’t the case, noting “there are plenty of websites that speak to Game of Thrones and Star Wars fans” but still focused on commercial spaces only, citing io9, Entertainment Weekly and Comics Alliance.

  • Wikia’s own press release gave more details about their plans for centralizing fandom news, but still completely ignored fannish activities other than information gathering. “With Fandom, we are now a complete entertainment destination that appeals to every type of fan, from the casual TV viewer to the marathon gamer, and everything in between. Fandom will also see the launch of a Fan Contributor program, where aspiring journalists and knowledgeable fans on Wikia will be engaged to cover specific topics from the fan perspective. This will include video and written reporting. Currently, Wikia has over 125,000 active fan contributors each month in its communities. This product will give many of them a much needed media platform to share their knowledge more broadly.”
  • An example of the widespread fandom activities ignored by Wikia’s plans is at Tor, which discussed Broadway’s biggest current hit and how it reflected more widespread fandom practices. “Hamilton has no real canonical form: As blogger and critic Abigail Nussbaum explains, one person’s experience listening to the soundtrack is very different from someone who saw the show. Unlike those aforementioned shows, this matters more when you have a fandom united over their love for the music, but with varying experiences with the overall piece itself. What unites these fans is the experience of mashing up the source material with other fandoms that they may have a more equal share in.”
  • NPR interviewed fans and organizers at the first Broadway Con and emphasized the broad range of people devoted to these works. “Jack found his tribe at BroadwayCon — and that may well be a good sign for the future of this living, breathing art form, especially since the average Broadway audience member now is 44 years old. Melissa Anelli, co-founder of the event, broke down the attendance numbers: ‘We are about 80 percent out of town, close to 80 percent female and half of our attendees were between 18 and 30.'”

What platforms and places have you used for fannish activities? Write about your experiences in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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