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Fandom Does Not Use Technology. Technology Uses Fandom - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
Fandom Does Not Use Technology. Technology Uses Fandom

Fandom usually jumps into technologies, uses them, and then acts surprised when we realize that we have no clue what we're doing or how the use of the new tech has changed an aspect of our fandom culture. Right now a few authors are posting notices that you need permission to link to their fanworks in "public spaces". Or that they'd prefer their readers comment on their fic where it was  originally posted.  Each author gets to unilaterally define what is public with the expectation that every reader will follow because that is part of the "social contract". So for today Goodreads = public and is not a place to list or review fanfic. Tumblr is OK (for now) because it is not seen as a "public" space.*  

It used to be easier to know what to expect of other fans but the moment we went online, the fannish social contract was voided due to sheer size and complexity of online interactions. Add the fact that new platforms and new ways of interacting keep coming out every 20 minutes and you have a hot conceptual mess filled with poorly understood expectations.

I know that when we went online in the 1990s few of us had any idea  that fans would be publicly posting their porn fanfic** to open access websites (no. stop. think of the children!), displaying their explicit art where anyone could see (blush), and tweeting their love of RPS and knotting fic (OMGWTFBB!).  By those standards, we have all breached the original fannish social contract of keeping fandom a "safe space" simply by interacting with one another in public and online. And I suspect that 20 years down the road, we will again struggle to recognize "fandom" as it continues to be reshaped by technology.

So I would rather see us practice mindfulness and awareness that the tools and platforms we use change us and our culture instead of snapping at one another because we've changed and that we no longer know what to expect from one another.

Because to be honest, I have no clue any more. And I'd be wary of anyone who claims otherwise.

*Keep in mind that most fans don't bother to turn off Google indexing on their tumblr blogs (or their LJ...or their DW..or their twitter or their.....). And even if they do, every time someone else reblogs your content, if *their blog* is searchable by Google it will still be "public".

**A few of us did have in inkling but we all kept it quiet because we did not want to scare our fellow fans with our crazy visions of the future filled with flying fans sporting jetpack keyboards and tinhats.

edited to add: here is another example of Fandom Meets Technology [A Dreamwidth post with comment count unavailable comments | Post or read on Dreamwidth| How to use OpenID]

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