Practicum Project – Media Fandom Forum

Well, in observing my community of Dr Who fans at the SyFy.com forum, I’ve gotten to understand a bit of the etiquette, how one identifies themselves within the website and with others, and been able to observe a lot of interactions amongst these members.

Members tend to have relationships with one another. These members are more engaged, having posted often and frequently for a long period of time. They grow relationships, I assume, from their extreme active engagement. By clicking on one’s screen name, anyone can view their biography, their ‘status updates’ similar to those on Facebook, conversational topics they have started, as well as the history of their posts made. On the sidebar, more information about the individual is available. Number of posts made, when they joined, number of profile views – (using Facebook lingo : how many people have ‘stalked’ this user), last active, currently viewing which forum, and demographics provided by the user. Individuals may leave personal messages (PM) or write a comment, again comparing to Facebook, as if writing on one’s “wall”. All of this personal information and track record of their involvement within the SyFy community, as well as the ability to interact with them enables and encourages the formation of friendships. Individuals may add friends, I have 3, all of which are moderators of the Doctor Who forum that seemed welcoming and very active in the forum.

However, not all members identify with one another on a personal level. Most of the time communication is friendly, helpful, inquisitive, and welcoming.

Ironically relevant to the reading for tomorrow, the thread I’m currently reading begins:

“Doctor Who has inspired a level of “vidding” that I don’t think I’ve ever seen with any other TV show. (Not counting the legions of poorly edited romance videos.)So, post your favorite Doctor Who fan vids, whether they be music videos, title mashups, fake titles, anything. Well… keep fan films down to trailers.”

This is relevant to the article about remixing – these are videos that viewers have created about or based-off Dr. Who. Although, it appears the producers of the original show are not concerned about property rights or whatnot, since so many videos and mashups exist.

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One Comment on “Practicum Project – Media Fandom Forum”

  1. kteebs says:

    It’s interesting to me how fan sites, like the one you are exploring, have really taken on a Facebook-like form. Facebook seems to central to social life these days, and part of that is its broad appeal. It’s true dedication, and rather impressive, that fans are so passionate about Dr. Who that they base so much of their social networking in this narrow context. I would be curious to know how active these users are in other realms of the internet, and whether or not their dedicated fandom supplements time spent elsewhere or if they are mostly heavy internet users overall.


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