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21 Apr, 2009 – leave a comment

fans: wealth production


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Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, fans were emblematic of audience resistance (Jenkins,1992; Fiske, 1989), understood as actively appropriating and transforming mass media content as raw materials for their own cultural productions.  Mass media depicted fans as living in the shadows of mass culture (if not the basements of their parent’s suburban split-level houses), and media companies saw their tastes and concerns as “unrepresentative” of the general population. By the early 21st century, fans have been redefined as the drivers of wealth production within the new digital economy: their engagement and participation is actively being pursued, if still imperfectly understood, by media companies interested in adopting Web 2.0 strategies of user-generated content, social networks, and “harness[ing] collective intelligence.”

- O’Reilly, 2005

Part of my week of posts dedicated to fans and the future of digital marketing. Tell your friends.