Fan Is A Tool-Using Animal
Below are some highlights of the talk, or take-away points to the talk that seemed to be far-reaching when dealing with social media. Read the whole thing by clicking the picture above or following the link at the bottom.
Fans fight the good fight against an insane corporate vision of copyright where imagination is considered property and we’re supposed to believe that writing original stories based in an established universe is thoughtcrime.
Here’s a quote from some shill at LucasFilm:
We’ve been very clear all along on where we draw the line. We love our fans, we want them to have fun. But if in fact somebody is using our characters to create a story unto itself, that’s not in the spirit of what we think fandom is about.
Fandom is about celebrating the story the way it is.
Fandom is a big middle finger raised at this attitude.
Consider that fandom is a subculture that is older than the Internet, yet I can talk about it in 2013 and know that some of you are hearing about fandom for the very first time.
Lurkers Are Watching
Lurkers are watching you, and they outnumber everyone else. Your behavior is important. Livejournal didn’t think there would be a big deal in banning a few hundred little fan communities, but for every person who spoke out, there were ten people watching to see what would happen.This is something to be really careful about. People who choose to stop using your site will likely never tell you why they’re leaving
Shut Up And Listen
Which leads to the next point, ‘shut up and listen’. People are using your sites in ways you might not understand. Why not have a look and see what they’re up to? Or ask? People are amazingly forthcoming when you ask them, but it rarely occurs to site owners to do this.
Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean you know what your site is for.
+Commentary: This a rather long, but completely informative mind into fandoms and how they operate or interact with sites. It deals primarily with the UX/UI of all sites, whether they seem to have fandoms or not. Whether they cater to them or dismiss them. It is easy to feel grown-up when dismissing fandoms, or stans, but they have a lot to teach every single person with a website, a social media presence, and certainly for the people who develop technology for people.
While feeling aloof or apart from these power-users, early-adopters, or simply passionate purveyors the quickest dismissal is to feel above their seeming petty concerns. To be adult, measured, and responsible. That is a trap; for these passionate players in the paradigm that is a social web are the ones to share your site the most, be most attached to the features/offers, use it with the most abandon, and also have the most to say about its well-being.
Fans Trangress: Don’t be Taylor Swift whose team harasses anyone using 1989, etc…that is an extreme example, but what people on social media seem to love invoking for humor. Certainly when your art or work are being co-opted & your credit erased, but if it is being
Lurkers are Watching: Don’t get bogged down by only focusing on the squeakiest wheels that get the grease, or worse thinking you are doing it right based off of vanity metrics that are the likes/shares of your close friends or ardent supporters.
Shut Up & Listen: First listen to your metrics, KPI, Analytics. Let them inform you on how people are actually using your site. Let that direct you to business intelligence about how you can best appeal to people with a message. Make a narrative around that, incorporate it into your strategy, but get out of your own way. Use the information obtained from social listening to improve your offerings.