Everyone is a Fan of Something

When I think of collaboration, I think of multiple people coming together to accomplish one common goal. As Michael Mandiberg states in his book “Information technology informs and structures the language of networked collaboration”(pg. 53). “”Collaboration” is employed so widely to describe the methodology of production behind information goods that it occludes as much as it reveals”(pg. 59). Collaborate and participatory culture has influenced the way we watch television, allowing us instant feedback and letting us speculate along other fans on what might happen next.

Some websites that exhibit this type of user behavior is Wikipedia, where users can come together and create a “collaboratively edited, multilingual, free internet encyclopedia”(-Wikipedia) and there are fan-based websites that pride themselves on spoilers. Wikipedia uses MediaWiki software that will alert two users if they are editing the same paragraph and are inputting contradicting changes. Fandom on the other hand is a different kind of collaborate media. To be just a fan of a show or movie means you probably just like it, but to be a true fan goes beyond just liking it and goes straight to love. A kind of devotion if you will. Naturally, while writing this, I decided to look for a fan website my favorite television show which is Dexter. On the fan scale, one being just liking it to ten, which is absolute love the show, your life might be the show, I think I’m about a seven or eight.  I think everyone should watch Dexter; it might be the best show to ever exist. In my search I stumbled onto the official Dexter Showtime website where they had a “community” button option. They had each episode listed, and then under that they had different blog topics about that episode. Each post had multiple entries; the one with the most entries was of course the season finale. Fans were discussing the shocking plot twist and all the possible ways that the writer’s could take it next season, since this will be the last season, unfortunately.  Another web site I found was a Dexter Wikifan page where you could apply to be a writer. Among the top devoted fans to a tv show would have to be Mad Men. I personally watch this show and am a fan myself. I was interested to read that Netflix paid one million per episode to have the rights to stream.  The show has popular blogs where users can come together and form knowledge communities such as “Basket of Kisses” and the “Footnotes of Mad Men”. Mad Men fan’s will sit there and watch episodes over and over again trying to break down every moment to maybe create a meme or recognize some hidden message. Fans will go as far as claiming that “being a Mad Men fan is like part of your identity: It reflects well on you, and it makes you part of an elite, discerning club”(-venture.com)

Extreme fans are what make our favorite shows and the Internet interesting. They can even make shows that we think are outrageous entertaining just by creating Internet memes and jokes.

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One Response to Everyone is a Fan of Something

  1. tophermario says:

    Fandom and collaboration really have changed the way we all view and interact with TV and film. They have created more avenues for which fans can discuss and even become a small part of their favorite shows and movies. One early example of fan communities is that of TV’s Survivor. The show gained a pretty devoted fan following from the beginning and from that sprung entire communities of fans. More than just to discuss the show, certain Survivor fan communities became obsessed with discovering and exposing information about the show that the producers wished to keep secret, at least until the next episode aired if not until the season finale. Fans collaborated together in attempt to glean the season’s victor, or even where the next season would take place. Fans began traveling to exotic locations around the world on tips from possible insiders in hopes they would encounter the production as it was taking place, or even run into a contestant that had lost early on but was mandated to stay on/near the production location and leak that information to the fan community. Over the first couple of seasons, the producers really began to have a predicament on their hands as far as keeping the show’s secrets. At one point, Jeff Probst, the show’s host and some of the producers took to disguising themselves and leaked misinformation to the fan communities in order to keep their secrets. The producers even began to embrace the fan communities, taking their suggestions for future seasons and even invited some of them to be on the show.

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