As we discussed in class, we have been associating ourselves with being a fan of something since we were young. I, personally, as a child was the biggest Scooby Doo fan out there. I had it all, the bedsheets, the lunchbox, the stuff animals of Scooby Doo, and even a statue of Scooby Doo in the corner of my room. Even today, although I do not watch the cartoon anymore, I am still glad to see the cartoon is still around.
Today, I am a still fan of many things. As Wood and Baughman state in their article “ Fan cultures are shaped (and their practices reshaped) by the combination of television and the internet”. Fandom has come a long way since the invention of the Internet. Fandom prior to Web 2.0 days consisted of mailing lists, message boards, and snail mail. Now with Web2.0 we can now factor in online forums, Facebook and Twitter. One show that I may be slightly obsessed with is Dexter. For those who haven’t watched it, it comes on Showtime (yes, I am aware this is a channel in which you have to pay for, but the internet is a wonderful place to search for things… hint hint). I always get super excited when I find a fellow Dexter fan. I could talk Dexter anywhere and anytime. I follow Dexter on Twitter to keep up with the inside scoop and I even go as far as to having the Dexter app on my phone.
With the app you can get sneak peaks and interviews with the actors and writers, you can play “Dexter Disciples” which is the trivia game, and the application even has a photo both where you can be placed in Dexter’s kill room, or have your face on the Miami Metro Police department badge. One thing I did notice is that unlike shows like Glee, Dexter did not have twitter accounts for each character. Glee’s characters hold accounts that interact with one another. This type of interaction is how transmedia storytelling is accomplished. According to the article “…fan-operated character role-play accounts interact with one another to create a stream of discourse meant to augment the narrative presented by the show itself”. With these twitter accounts, Glee characters can chat about the show as it is airing, and can interact with fans one on one. The beauty of web2.0 fandom is that the communication takes place in real time and makes the opportunity for information and news instantaneous and temporary. Twitter is a huge aspect when it comes to online fan communities, it allows strangers to come together and share in a common interest with something as simple as a hash tag. “The fans who tweet are voluntarily doing marketing labor for the networks in question in exchange for participation in the higher level fan community.” It’s a win win for everyone involved. Fans get their interaction and networks are getting people to talk about their product.
Do you think more violent and risqué shows like Dexter could have personal accounts for each character interacting on Twitter?
How much do networks rely on their online interaction of fans?