Links roundup for 5 March 2012

Here’s a roundup of fandom technology stories that might be of interest to fans:

  • Technology has always had a circular relationship with fan practices, with the format and medium shaping what fans could do, and with fans modifying the technology to accommodate their needs. This post about music fans discusses “an extraordinary 20th century of people developing behaviors, values, and communities centered on listening to records” which may now be slipping away due to changes in music distribution. However, fannishness as social glue is a continuing thread: “There was nothing else necessarily in common amongst them at all; they were all different ages and occupations. It was funny to walk into a room where nothing else mattered except he’s playing the new Slim Harpo and that was enough to bond you all together.”
  • One problem that sometimes springs up is that people, whether outsiders or users, confuse the platform with the practice. In this post about how Twitter changed his sports fandom, the writer notes changes in his life that have more to do with communal fandom and his own willingness to interact. “I realized I wasn’t alone”, “I understood I was not, in fact, bat s*** crazy”, “Gameday will never be the same” and “Twitter has provided me great interaction with terrific people” could have been said in previous decades about platforms which are still in use by some. In fact, fandom today may have more problems due to platform diversity, and corporate or government control, than the inability to connect with other fans.
  • A lengthy Village Voice piece titled Rise of the Facebook Killers cited how “the architecture of communication was distorting the conversation.” The artice details some of the problems users face that new projects such as Diaspora* are trying to overcome. “[Y]our posts can easily be imported into Tumblr, Twitter, and even Facebook…Diaspora* can function as a social aggregator, bringing together feeds from various other platforms…you can communicate directly, securely, and without running exchanges past the prying eyes of Zuckerberg.” Additionally, “for those worried about malicious government or corporate interference, the distributed network is much less vulnerable to denial of service attacks, which makes the network much harder to take down.”

If the history of fandom technology use interests you, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

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