Links roundup for 27 February 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories on fan practices that might be of interest to fans:

  • A feature in Parade Magazine titled Inside the Mind of a Superfan discussed the level of commitment of the most avid fans. Fans place their fannishness “above other social commitments. “I’ve missed countless baby showers and wedding showers because they’ve conflicted with Eagles games,” says Kelli Gail, 41, a communications consultant and lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan. When a good friend got married during the playoffs a few years ago, she spent the majority of the wedding reception in the coat closet watching the game on a handheld TV.” Or to put it another way ““I’m a passionate guy,” Big Lo explains. “My motto is, if you’re gonna love something, just love it, you know?”” One thing powering that love may be “chemical changes. ­“Researchers from Georgia State University studied soccer players and extreme soccer fans and found that both groups exhibited the same increase in testosterone levels after a victory, and decrease in testosterone after a loss,” says Robert Cialdini, a professor of psychology and marketing at ­Arizona State University. “These fans are almost physically merged with the team in terms of their hormonal states.”
  • Certainly hormonal states can be in evidence in fandom grief. In a fun piece Rookie Magazine breaks down the denial in fans that their small fandom can conquer the world. “It’s a beautiful thing, actually, to leave the dark side of fandom. You like things, but they’re not who you are. You enjoy yourself, but you’re not going to be traumatized if you don’t get to enjoy yourself in the exact same ways all the time. You aren’t a “fan,” you’re a person who likes stuff. As a wise TV show once said, “I guess I just like liking things.””
  • Entertainment Weekly ran a piece in its February 17, 2012 issue called “Just Do It” (subtitled “TV’s Weirdest Fans”) which focused on the shipping aspects of fandom. “Most showrunners in Hollywood consider shippers to be a minority voice…”But they really are your core audience and you can gauge the level of investment of your entire fan base by their interactions with you.” The article cites academics, including the OTW’s Kristina Busse, to provide the details of key fandom shipping events, provides a handful of definitions such as slash, shipper wars and Wincesters, and features several fans in a sidebar. The article concludes that most networks would like to have a shipper driven show because “They’re cheaper, easier to manage, and inspire the same buzzy interconnectivity that sci-fi does. They also encourage the thing that TV needs more than anything: passionate loyalty over time.”

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News of Note
  1. Alysa H. commented:

    Not sure if this is specifically fannish enough, but there was some big news today regarding the Research Works Act (H.R. 3699). 2/27/12, the publisher Elsevier announced the withdrawal of its support for it, citing concerns from journal authors, editors, and reviewers. This effectively kills the bill.

    “The bill contains provisions to prohibit open access mandates for federally funded research and effectively revert the NIH’s Public Access Policy that requires taxpayer-funded research to be freely accessible online. If enacted, it would also severely restrict the sharing of scientific data.”

    So yeah. Not specifically fannish, but potentially of interest to publishers, authors, editors, reviewers and scholars. And it hasn’t gotten near as much press as SOPA and all that!

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      It’s a little outside the range for News Links but might be a nice tie-in to a post involving the OTW’s Transformative Works and Cultures. Thanks for the tip!