Here’s a roundup of stories about the changing nature of fandom that might be of interest to fans:
- Writing about the experience of moving from fan to pro, baseball blogger Joey Matschulat echoes the discussions of burnout that also recently made the rounds among television recappers, only this time discussing the revelations of fellow sports bloggers. “I still enjoy writing about this team…but my fandom won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being what it once was until the day I walk away from all of this, and it may never be the same. That’s just the way it is…I welcome with open arms the next wave of young, talented, hungry writers that want to try and make a name for themselves in the ever-expanding world of online baseball scouting/sabermetric analysis…but if you’re really going to commit for the long haul, be prepared to live with the unintended consequences of your decision.”
- Some changes can be generational, as evidenced by the fact that kids can now go to writing camps that include fan fiction on the agenda. But changes in music fandom have been as much technological as they are due to cultural awareness. Nitsuh Abebe posted about how music fandom has gotten rewired in New York Magazine. “There are the rituals, for one thing. The youth of previous decades have fond memories of hand-labeling cassette mixes or scoping out the record shelves of party hosts; youth of today can eventually feel the same about, say, those ecstatic binges of discovery that keep you up all night listening to Korean pop. Physically handling your record collection is like wandering a neighborhood you know by heart, bumping into unexpected friends; diving into the massive catalogue of streaming music is more like being able to teleport to any city on the planet, an experience as daunting as it is freeing.”
- More than one technology company has decided to target the fan market, but the real change is in how information flows through fan networks and changes the fannish experience. ESPN blogger and self-proclaimed “NBA junkie” Daniel Nowell tested the effects of social media on his game-watching by staying off Twitter for three weeks. “I’ve heard people talk about the power of Twitter as a community-builder, a way to sit and watch games with friends, but it had never occurred to me that Twitter was making the product of the games themselves more enjoyable. In fact, I’d come to think of tweeting during games as a distraction, and on the nights when I needed to do it for an assignment I treated it warily. But once I was off Twitter, I realized that what it allows members to do is experience the game all day long.”
- Tallulah Habib of South Africa’s IT Web wrote about what she called “the fandom disconnect” between businesses that find fans the most potent of their marketers, and the entertainment industry, which doles out mixed messages to its audience. “Take, for instance, the approach of copyright holders on YouTube. By all means, they should ask the video site to take down content that is dumped straight ‘as-is’ onto the free channel. That’s piracy, plain and simple. But what of the fan-created content?” Arguing for the importance of fanworks, she notes the changing way that fanworks can affect the marketplace. “A music video taking a song from one artist and clips from a television show by someone else promotes both of them. For free. I personally have whole playlists of songs that I first discovered through these means. I have become interested in TV shows because I saw amazing videos about the characters. People have made money from me not because of cinemas or DVD specials or the radio, but because something I saw on YouTube took my breath away.”
If you want to share how your experiences in fandom have changed, why not write about it on Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.
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