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  • OTW Fannews: How fandom works

    By Claudia Rebaza on Niedziela, 13 April 2014 - 5:32pm
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    • The question of how fandom works has been popping up in the media. Entertainment Weekly used the finale of True Detective to raise the question: 'Does modern TV fandom actually make it harder to understand TV shows?' "I wonder if the conversation around True Detective made the show seem more ambitious than it actually was. I wonder what it would be like if we could have those conversations about shows that do have a deeper point beyond 'Good vs. Evil.'" (Spoiler warning for the series).
    • At The Mary Sue, Rachael Berkey used the return of Veronica Mars to look at changing fandom. "I was seventeen when I joined my first fandom. It was 1999, and Rent was kind of a big deal...Fandom feels like a completely different beast in 2014. There’s a lingo to it you have to translate until you really go native." She believes that "Fandom has hit its stride in the second decade of the new millennium. Thanks to successful fan-funded projects like the Veronica Mars movie, the great things about being a part of a fandom are being pulled right out into the open."
    • Bronies for Good posted a podcast of Feminism and the Fandom. "One of the core aspects of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is how it strives to provide empowerment for young girls through a medium that is typically unfavorable to women. As part of the content blitz for International Women’s Day discussed in more detail in our previous post, and in collaboration with The Round Stable, we have invited fellow fans to discuss femininity, feminism, and women’s issues in the context of MLP:FiM and its fandom." (No transcript available).
    • NPR's Code Switch transcribed their discussion of race in World of Warcraft. Although the interview began by saying "Don't worry, this isn't about racial disparities between black, Latino and Asian players", in fact the discussion does end up there. "DEMBY: So there were no, like, guilds full of young Latino kids? SCHELLDORF: I never met a single person with a 'Hispanic-sounding' accent on the game. But I can say that those who sounded Asian or black were less welcomed...HERNANDEZ: I wish I had found a Latino guild! It would have made things way easier. A friend actually joined an Australian guild one time on accident, so there are definitely some guilds with national or racial identity out there. For us it was about finding a good raiding guild, and eventually a good raiding guild that didn't hate on our accent."

    What factors about how fandom works have you noticed? 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Corporate assembly fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Środa, 12 March 2014 - 7:19pm
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    • Frontline featured a number of fandoms in its documentary Generation Like. "From the agency that’s leveraging the Twitter followers of celebrities like Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) to make lucrative product endorsement deals, to the 'grassroots' social media campaign behind the Hollywood blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, "Generation Like" explores how companies are increasingly enlisting kids as willing foot soldiers in their marketing machines."
    • A "Social Media Week" event featured a panel on “Fueling Social Fandom”. "'You think about fandom not as a one night stand everytime your show is on…it’s a long time relationship,' Fishman said, adding the most important thing for TV executives to do mirrors a relationship: listening."
    • Sugarscape is one of many sites featuring a fanfiction contest but this one is done piecemeal. "The idea is that every day when the story is updates, you'll have the chance to add the next paragraph all over again and by Sunday 23rd February, we'll have the full fan fiction. So even if yours doesn't get picked the first day, keep entering every time the story updates and you could see your writing up on the site!"
    • Kotaku used votes instead to create a 'Fan Built Bot' for Transformers. "Windblade is a rare female Transformer...Some people are vexxed by the idea of female Transformers...we do get an episode where most of the old-timey female robots are destroyed for being female, which doesn't seem nice. In the IDW Comics continuity, Arcee is the result of a failed experiment to introduce gender to Transformers. That doesn't seem nice either."
    • While some fan activities in the news seem more about recreation or transforming the format of a work, the question for many these days may be whether they're part of a corporate marketing effort and to what end.

    What ways of creating fandoms or fanworks have you come across? Write about it 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Creativity everywhere

    By Claudia Rebaza on Piątek, 21 February 2014 - 4:59pm
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    Banner by Erin of a sunrise behind the OTW logo with images of a globe, paintbrushes and a computer sound button.

    • Crunchyroll displayed a slew of artwork when taking note of a new fanart meme. "The last week has given rise to bit of obvious genius on Japanese art portal Pixiv. Suitable for some awesome wallpapers, the hot trend of the moment in fanart is to draw characters trapped behind the glass of a smartphone."
    • Meanwhile, io9 pointed out how fans are drawing the next Disney princess even though her details haven't been released yet. "Only one image associated with Moana has come out, and Disney has said that it isn't concept art for the movie, which focuses on Moana Waialiki, the only daughter of a chief from a long line of navigators. But based on that artwork and the setting of the film, a handful of artists have started drawing their own visions of Moana, drawing from various South Pacific cultures."
    • Bowing to user demand, the World of Warcraft site battle.net added a fanfiction forum. "That's right, you asked for it and now you've got it. We hope you have your creative juices flowing because now is the time to share just what it is that's been crawling through your brain and itching to be be shared beyond the confines of your skull. Those voices you hear? Those are your own characters or interpretations of the world (of Warcraft) whispering in your ear and begging to be set free upon your fellows."
    • IGN looked at audio fanworks for games. "Fans go to great lengths to celebrate the games they love. Some write fan fiction, draw beautiful images, or cosplay as their favorite characters. Others channel their reverence and admiration into rap albums. Some video game-themed rap songs make a big impact, but several more fall under the radar. The following are some of the best songs that didn't quite nab the recognition they deserve."

    What fanwork discussions have you come across? Write about it 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.

  • OTW Fannews: A closer look at fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Czwartek, 13 February 2014 - 8:32pm
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    • King's College London will be offering a new undergraduate degree in Digital Culture which includes sessions on transformative and fan culture as part of its modules. Admissions have opened for the degree program which will launch in 2015.
    • Den of Geek wrote about Holmesians as the template for modern fandom. "The kind of hype surrounding Sherlock today very much resembles the hysteria around the time the stories were originally published; in fact, Sherlock Holmes is arguably responsible for much of fandom as we know it today. Long before the possibilities of today’s mediated world, he was one of the first characters to massively, irrevocably, step off the page and into the world, and refuse to get back on the page...It’s a fascinating history about what it means to love a story, to let it have power, and to be a fan (or a geek)."
    • While the Holmes fandom is certainly a very long running one, sites as varied as The Asheboro Courier-Tribune and Huffington Post have been looking at Beatles fandom, which is reaching an important U.S. milestone. One fan in particular is part of a nightly remembrance. "When Paul performs a song 'All My Loving'...he picked one girl to be behind him in the Jumbotron showing the days from 1964. There is Irene--she travels the world with Paul." Irene added, "The first time I saw it was just totally amazing to me. I had no idea it was coming up, and all of a sudden you see my face jumping from screen to screen to screen, ending up on the Jumbotron. And then I did scream, because I was completely freaked out."
    • The demographics of fandom is something that NPR's discussion of Supernatural failed to examine, only mentioning how slash is "usually written by women." But it focused on the effect of fandom on a show's success and even storylines, asking "Fan engagement gives color and volume to dry data, such as ratings, but the question remains, how do you quantify depth of feeling? Writing a story takes longer and means more than hitting a 'like' button or re-blogging a picture. How do you measure a kind of success that, by its very nature, is completely resistant to metrics?"

    What closer looks at fandom have you come across? Write about it 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fannish connections

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wtorek, 11 February 2014 - 9:01pm
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    • Mina Kimes wrote in Slate about how critical football is in maintaining her relationship with her father. "My father still calls me almost every day when he’s driving home from work. We still talk about the news, and the weather, and the pain in his back, which has gotten a lot worse over the years. But mostly we talk about football. I tell him the rumors that I read on the Internet that day. We scoff at the ignoramuses who dare criticize our team—typically East Coast sports analysts—and praise the brilliance of our coach and general manager. We keep talking as I fiddle with my key, unlock the door, and trudge up the stairs."
    • The Hindu discussed the expansion of fandom from those close to home. "Before the Internet invaded our lives, trends and popular culture meant tidbits of information shared by friends and family members. Once a popular series ended, there was no platform to learn more about the characters, new plots etc. The Internet seems to have changed the manner in which we consume new trends of popular culture. From running promotions on social media websites to operating fan pages and Wikia pages on the net, fans are ensuring that the characters they adore live on forever on the Net."
    • Marketers are latching onto the word fan as a way to connect people emotionally to their brands. However, one group long acknowledged as fans are tech fans. The Verge took a long look inside the mind of a fanboy and explored the hostility emerging from brand loyalty. "Once somebody has acquired this level of arcane knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to do but share it with other fanboys. 'Among my close friends and family no one really operates at the same level as me,' says one high school Android hobbyist. Thus, fanboy culture takes place in the comments sections of tech news sites and YouTube."
    • Shadowlocked blogged about the marketing approach being used for The Muppets Movie. Saying the ads target multiple audiences, Calvin Peat explains, "[I]t's not as simple as a binary between fans and critics, as if you're either a fan or a critic; or even a continuum between fans and critics, as if you're somewhere along the line between being a fan and being a critic. Rather, it might be more accurate to consider two dimensions: from high-brow to low-brow, and from appreciation to excoriation."

    What personal or marketing connections have you seen in fandom? Write about it 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.

  • Events Calendar for February 2014

    By Claudia Rebaza on Niedziela, 2 February 2014 - 5:54pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of February! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website

    • XenaCon, The official Xena Convention, is a "must attend" for any Xena fan! Meet fellow fans and special guests in Burbank, CA February 7-9

      More about Xena: Warrior Princess on Fanlore

    • Popular and American Culture Studies: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow With a mission to "promote innovative and nontraditional academic movement in Humanities and Social Sciences celebrating America’s cultural heritages," The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association's 35th conference will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico February 19-22nd.
    • Like slash? Then Escapade is where you want to be February 28th-March 2nd! Escapade has been celebrating slash for over two decades! The fan designed convention and includes an art show, dealer's room, panels, a zine library and a songvid show.

      More about Escapade on Fanlore

    We have four calls for papers for coming up in the next month!

    • Call for Papers: Twitter, Celebrity and online public identity

      Contact and submissions to: Sarah Thomas skt [at] aber.ac.uk

      The ongoing adoption of Twitter as a tool for communication, broadcasting and interaction has meant that the social media platform has emerged as a significant site for re-thinking some of the key relationships between celebrity, performance and the presentation of the self. This CFP seeks short articles for Celebrity Studies Journal Forum section that explore Twitter and its usage beyond its status as a ‘new’ platform (that positions its singular significance through comparison with traditional representational media).

      The special issue of the journal will incorporate the style and ethos of Twitter in the submissions: Abstracts should be 140 words and are due on February 28.

      The short articles should begin with reference to a specific Tweet that sparks the analysis within the rest of the article. The final word count for the article will be between 750 and 1,500 words, depending on the number of accepted submissions.

    • Call For Papers: New Directions in Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes

      The BBC "Sherlock" is now one of the most commercially and critically successful series of all time. This one-day symposium focuses on the series to look back at its roots in Conan Doyle’s stories, and examines its treatment of a range of issues including race, gender, terrorism, and international relations.

      The fruits of this symposium will lead to the publication of a special journal issue dedicated to the series. Please email your 200-word abstract for a 20-minute presentation and 50-word biography to ue_tom at hotmail.com by February 28.

      More about Sherlock on Fanlore

    • CFP: FanPhenomena: Fan Studies & Fandom

      The Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (Popcaanz) is devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. Proposals for both panels and individual papers are now being accepted for all aspects of Fan Studies, including, but not limited to, the following areas: Fan Fiction, Fan/Creator interaction, Diversity in Fandom, The Internet and Fandom.

    • CFP: Fan Phenomena: Rocky Horror Picture Show

      Now accepting abstracts to be considered for a new book Fan Phenomena: The Rocky Horror Picture Show from Intellect Press. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Fan Phenomena) title will examine the film’s fan culture, its essential role in creating the midnight movie, audience participation, and cult film cultures, as well as other areas of influence and social impact. Abstracts, along with CV or resume, are due March, 3rd 2014 and should be 300 words long.

      More about The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Fanlore

    The Events Calendar is here to inform and connect fans about upcoming fan events both face to face and online! We are always open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. Events come in many categories such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, Announcements of fanwork fests and challenges, or Technology Events taking place around the world and online. New ideas and categories are encouraged! If you know about any upcoming fan events please let us know!

  • OTW Fannews: Passing judgments

    By Claudia Rebaza on Czwartek, 30 January 2014 - 9:13pm
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    Banner by caitie of Princess Tiana looking in shock at a frog

    • The visibility of fandom fights is a definite downside of social media. Stylecaster wrote about attacks on singer Lorde and dubbed it "extreme Internet fandom". "'The music and fashion industries nurture teens’ obsessions with one icon after another,' said Epstein—a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific...'No matter how competent teens are, we trap them with their peers 24/7 and don’t let them enter the adult world in any meaningful way. Many get frustrated or depressed or angry as a result, and they exercise power in any way they can. In recent years, social media has become a major power outlet for teens, even though it actually gets them nothing except a little attention. So when Lorde or anyone else for that matter trips up, or at least appears to trip up, they pounce in large numbers. It’s a pathetic way to demonstrate power.'"
    • Writer Ben Koo discusses how the toxicity of regional tribalism in college football sets fans against one another. "The power brokers of college football think they are onto something in nurturing a rising tide of friction, envy, and hate in the college football fan eco-system. Hate has long been an underrated tool for anyone looking to make people watch, care, and pick a side in sports."
    • At Kernel, writer Jack Flanagan manages to indict Japanese culture and fans alike. "[W]hen the internet and Japanese culture collide, these people have that haven to explore worlds far away from the suppressed ones they inhabit, for whatever reason. So, yes: it’s a shame for some that Japanese culture comes down to niknaks and samurai. But the strange and somewhat superficial interest in Japanese culture online is rooted in the need for solace."
    • The Atlantic hosted a spoilery article about the plot of Frozen. "Leslie Fielder...argued that the American novel is incapable of dealing with sex, and instead focuses on violence and death in a prolonged state of boyish immaturity. Yet he could have been writing about the state of American films today where violence gets more audience-friendly ratings than sex from the MPAA in a culture dominated by superhero franchises that are primarily aimed at boys...'We champion the culture of teenage boys every day—giving them all the comic book heroes, sports stars and porn any human could conceivably consume. Can’t we give teenage girls one thing without demonizing them?'”

    What judgments on fandoms and audiences have you seen? Write about it 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Doing more with fanworks

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sobota, 25 January 2014 - 12:30am
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    Banner by Robyn with phrases about creating fanworks and the phrase 'Turn the everyday into fanworks

    • Blogger Priya Sridhar suggested that fanfiction can be used to analyze canon. "'Hitchups' first addresses one of the pressing issues in [How To Train Your Dragon]: female character development. The movie has two notable females: Astrid Hofferson, Hiccup's rival and love interest in Dragon Training, and the Village Elder Gothi...The movie limits Astrid's character by delegating her as the love interest who keeps Hiccup on Berk...Before, she was more concerned about competition and coming out on top in Dragon Training, and she loses that aggression after seeing Hiccup as a romantic partner...In 'Hitchups,' both Gothi and Astrid receive more notable screen time."
    • The Star News Online reported on a comic book collage artist. "Fluty's artwork has...become popular at comic conventions and with comic book fans in the area." Her work began as "a gift for her boyfriend, for whom she made a desk covered in Superman images. Once the desk was complete, there were leftover pieces and images. This led to canvas-based collage images of superheroes."
    • Geekosystem was one of several outlets blogging about a Wholock video. "We would’ve been way less impressed (and not a bit surprised) if the video hadn’t been much more than scenes from the two shows cut together, but Wholock‘s creator, YouTuber John Smith, really surprised us with the visual effects he pulled off. If you want to take a look at how it was made, he put together another video showing how he accomplished the effects for the mashup."
    • Librarian Colleen Theisen who works with Open Doors' Fan Culture Preservation Project discussed the variety of work surrounding the materials. "I love that we're called upon to wear every hat, and to invent some as well. In Special Collections we are librarian and archivist, but that also includes curator, teacher, scholar, conservator, writer, graphic designer, data entry specialist, genealogist, PR manager, social media content creator, web designer, historian, mentor, and even grief counselor. Recently I have added .gif animator, and video director."

    What have you seen done with fanworks? Write about it 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanworks around the world

    By Claudia Rebaza on Czwartek, 16 January 2014 - 8:31pm
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    Banner by Lisa of an aerial view of a network of city lights

    • Awesome Robo! explored Pacific Rim fanart. "I'd always been pretty curious about how Japan, especially their creative community would react to Pacific Rim, a movie that was a whole-hearted ode to various pop culture genres like Kaiju films and various 'Tokusatsu' (Special effects) genres that their cinema scene popularized...What we found was a plethora of amazing tribute pieces executed in a variety of styles and interpretations of both the Kaiju and Jaegers alike, showing that the movie had definitely found it's place with artists abroad."
    • The Mary Sue posted images of Batman graffiti discovered in an abandoned building. "Graffiti artist Pete One has been known to dabble with the Dark Knight in the past, this time he used an abandoned building in Ronse, Belgium for his canvas and took inspiration from the animated Batman TV show, comic artist Jock, and more!"
    • The Daily Dot wrote about an Attack on Titan cosplay film. "[W]e’re pretty sure 夜透 has taken the 'cosplay film' to a whole new level. The film features the J-rock song 'Neverever Land' by Nano, and a cover of the 3rd ending theme to Attack on Titan, 'The Reluctant Heroes,' as covered by a YouTube artist named Mica Caldito whose performances of two songs from the series recently went viral. The video was uploaded a few weeks ago but only recently crossed over into English-language SnK fandom."
    • A theater company in Asheville, South Carolina decided to put on an evening of Shakespeare fanfic. "[T]he Bard's work remains in high demand, with modern and star-studded adaptations of plays like Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing filling movie theaters every few years. But it's not these reinventions that have captured the imagination of The Montford Park Players. Instead, the theater company's 'Evening of Shakespeare Fan Fiction,'...features G.B. Shaw's Dark Lady of the Sonnets and Vincent Dowling's The Upstart Crow."

    Write about the fanworks of your country 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Social media wins and losses

    By Claudia Rebaza on Środa, 18 December 2013 - 5:01pm
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    Banner by Erin of the post title next to an image of Tom Hiddleston leaping from behind the Tumblr logo to nab the Twitter bird

    • With both fans and entertainment projects utilizing social media, it's important to understand the playing field. Mashable cited Dr.Who for knowing "How to Keep Secrets in a Social Media World" while The Guardian looked at Tom Hiddleston's publicity skills. "Hiddleston though doesn't seem to be going through the motions, which is why it works. Like Jennifer Lawrence, his is an unfiltered realness that is fast becoming the ultimate asset in post-Twitter, post-PR Hollywood."
    • Aside from celebrities utilizing social media to go straight to the audience, Mirror Online's use of a One Direction fan to write about 1D day will likely be one of many efforts to connect to fans' by utilizing their voices in published pieces.
    • Not Literally Productions used fandom's practices to create a parody version of Icona Pop's "I Don't Care," titled "I Ship It", and are offering the single for sale, moving from social media to commerce.
    • The Verge discussed how facilitating more connectivity among fans can backfire. Sony PlayStation 4's 'Playroom' allowed users to broadcast themselves to other gamers. "Sony was seen to be rushing to slam its ear to the ground, picking up current video-game trends without truly understanding them." As a result, "[t]he rise, rapid descent, and subsequent banning of The Playroom on Twitch is a lesson for Sony. Racing to be part of the fastest-growing subsection of the largest entertainment medium in the world is more difficult when the people who inhabit that space already are entrenched, and have their own specific ways of doing things. As for the worrying content: it may just be human nature that given a camera and a means to communicate, we'll do so in a way that is by turns ingenious and disturbing."

    What social media fandom trends have you been seeing? 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.

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