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12 Jan, 2012 – 4 comments

fan strategies

As a passionate fan of numerous media titles, I’m fascinated by how digital technologies have enabled fans to work collectively to express their passions and, when called on, to attempt rescuing those titles from oblivion.

It’s led me to write extensively on this blog about fandom and modern fan movements – and to dabble in fanon works myself. I’m also proud to be a Futures of Entertainment Fellow, as well.

For this year’s conference I pitched the idea of building an online community dedicated to collecting past fan attempts to save or resurrect their favorite shows, and to host interviews with major network executives to discuss these movements from the perspective of someone attempting to balance a complex portfolio of titles and advertisers. Unfortunately (and fortunately) there was an embarrassment of riches when it came to other panel ideas and diverse speakers. So this idea was never realized.

Today, io9 published a short list of such successful fan movements.

I still think future fans could use a centralized resource to advise or inform their decentralized movements. I think having execs from major networks take part in a site like this would help humanize the often contentious movements. Someone like Craig Engler from SyFy Networks is a perfect example of one such exec. Sabrina Caluori at HBO is another.

I know a handful of brilliant media scholars that could help moderate interviews and discussions, people like Flourish Klink, Sam Ford, Nancy Baym, or Josh Green.

Additionally, in my past consulting for a trio of media companies, I explored listening strategies that could help these organizations vet scripts and pilots of new titles based on fandom behavior. This sort of predictive analysis would make such a site a valuable place for media companies to participate as well.

For now, I’m just releasing this idea into the wild for anyone to potentially run away with. To me, an idea shared and realized always beats an idea hoarded. I’d love to hear your feedback if you have any.

By the by, is currently available. Just a thought.

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  1. Sam Ford
    Sam Ford January 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm .

    Love this idea, Bud, and just the kind of thing I know the soaps world could use. This whole genre is going to disappear–with millions of dedicated fans–because of the many disconnects and issues hampering it from innovating and moving on…

  2. Anjali Ramachandran
    Anjali Ramachandran January 13, 2012 at 9:50 am .

    Ha – I have mentioned exactly this idea to a couple of people here. :) I absolutely believe that using fan communities to vet and create scripts is a very logical thing to do, and profitable as well, if done right.

    Nice post. I’m well Bud, hope things are going ace for you at Deutsch!

  3. Nick
    Nick January 16, 2012 at 12:32 am .

    Such a good idea. like “get up” but for 80′s cartoons and arrested development type situations!

  4. Sheron Neves
    Sheron Neves February 3, 2012 at 2:22 am .

    Such a brilliant idea, Bud. Hope it gets off the ground, would love to see such a project happening, especially if people like Engler get involved. By the way I’m a big fan (yes, pun intended)of your work. Have quoted your Mad Men manifesto in an academic article(it’s been published in Portuguese, but could mail you the link to the journal if you wish). I do believe it’s time companies recognise fan production as legitimate and, as Mike Monello has mentioned many times, understand that a fan is much more than someone that simply clicks on “like”.

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