OTW Fannews: Fandom in development

Banner by Bremo with the post title on a grey background.

  • While it’s generally known that fandom is a major part of life on Tumblr, several researchers from Canada’s Simon Fraser University will be presenting the results of their fandom study at the Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing conference in February 2014. Their paper is already available. “We investigated Tumblr fandom users’ motivations behind participating in fandoms, and how they interacted within the Tumblr community. Our results show that fandom users feel their Tumblr experience is ‘always-on’ where they participate at nearly any point in the day. They have also adopted a unique set of jargon and use of animated GIFs to match their desired fandom activities.”
  • RocketNews24 discussed how Vocaloid fandom has become a milepost for distinguishing otaku generations. “The real rise in Vocaloid’s popularity began in 2007 with the introduction of Hatsune Miku, though the software existed years before. Songs like Melt and The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku led to the character, Miku, becoming the axis of Vocaloid fandom, and people first falling into the series for more than just its capabilities as music-making software adopted the perspective that Hatsune Miku and Vocaloid are synonymous. According to Febri’s article, these people belong to the first generation of Vocaloid fans.”
  • On Grantland, Molly Lambert uses the Brony fandom revealed in its documentary to discuss adopted personas. “Defining yourself by the media you consume has always been commonplace, but it took social media to really demonstrate how inadequate it feels to reduce your personality into a series of lists. The ownership we feel over our favorite things is false, and Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook really served to drive this home. You like The Big Lebowski? Cool, so does everyone. The things you thought made you unique when you were the only person you knew interested in some genre of music, independent film, or corner of history turn out to be laughably banal. Even personality traits are memes, picked up and transmitted or willed into place.”

What stories of fandoms developing do you have to share? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note
  1. Parhelion commented:


    Professor Fischer of Harvard Law is offering his online MOOC on copyright law again in Spring of 2014 and has asked his first-round students to spread the word to potential new participants. This course is free of charge, run as part of the actual Harvard Law course, selective, and was both transparent and very well mentored for a MOOC; after successful completion of an essay exam, the participants were certified. At the same time, the only formal requirements for admission were and are interest, a good application, and a commitment to doing the coursework.

    Having taken the course, I can attest the material covered was very useful and germane to a fannish writer’s (or artist’s, or vidder’s) interests. I’d certainly recommend it to anyone working with OTW. Also, although I’m not big on that side of things myself, the networking opportunities were absolutely extraordinary. I believe the course may, in fact, end up playing a small but real role in the revision of international copyright law now getting underway, so this may be a pie fandom wants to stick its collective thumb into.

    Oh, and writing for myself, I had a lot of fun taking this class.

    Here’s the link for more information: http://copyx.org/

  2. Claudia Rebaza commented:

    Thanks for the link! This will round out a post being prepared right now.

  3. Serena commented:

    Thanks for mentioning our Tumblr study!