Your Characters, World and Fandom
Previously we discussed making your media drillable (Jenkins, 2017, and, Moloney, 2011). Now I would like to discuss a topic that is directly linked with this. That is the topic of Fandom, or 'the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture' (Oxford University Press, 2017). Whilst fandoms can form purely from the core text, making your media drillable, using transmedia storytelling, and generally creating more for consumers to absorb will assist in your media gaining a following. The more content, information and world knowledge a group have to sink their teeth into the more likely they are to keep coming back to your world.
Fans that engage with your media often end up producing their own media related to the original story. This is know as fan-fiction or more commonly 'fanfic'. Often this will be completely separate from the established timeline or plot.
Sometime this manifests in parodies that require a strong knowledge of the original material in order to fully appreciate. A good example of this is Potter Puppet Pals (Potter Puppet Pals YouTube, 2017).
Many fans choosing to write romances between characters who would normally never interact in such a way. Often manifesting in homosexual relationships between males, who are commonly enemies, or at least in no way sexually involved, in the original text. This kind of relationship forming is know as 'shipping'.
Sticking with Harry Potter for an example of a common shipping we have Remus and Sirius. A music video example of this has been cut together to the song 'Run' by Snow Patrol.
Fan engagement and involvement in the media is often a very positive thing, however it can also lead to issues. Sometimes breaches of intellectual property use rights as well as misrepresentation can lead to fans being the subject of court cases and cease and desist notices. This is what is known as convergent culture. Jenkins (2006, p. 2) defines this as "where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways".
However, whilst there are occasionally negatives fan engagement, on the whole the spreading of your media, and wide audience this allows it to reach, mean high levels of fan engagement are predominantly positive.
Evolution of Fandom [IMAGE] Available at: https://www.501st.com/. (Accessed: 21 March 2017)
Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York and London: New York University Press.
Jenkins, H. (2017) The revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven principles of Transmedia storytelling (well, Two actually. Five more on Friday). Available at: http://henryjenkins.org/2009/12/the_revenge_of_the_origami_uni.html (Accessed: 21 March 2017).
Moloney, K. (2011) Tag archives: Drillability. Available at: https://transmediajournalism.org/tag/drillability/ (Accessed: 21 March 2017).
Oxford University Press (2017) Fandom - Definition. Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fandom (Accessed: 21st March 2017).
Potter Puppet Pals YouTube (2017) Available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/potterpuppetpals. (Accessed: 21st March 2017).