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Henry Jenkins and fan communities

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 6 (1303 words)
Categories: Hen
Downloads: 31
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That’s the part of my love for spoiling. I like to dig at the bottom. I like it when people don’t just say here’s who gets booted- here you go, but elaborate a little bit about where they get their information. ” (Jenkins H, 2006) Fans are the pioneers of cyberculture. – Henry Jenkins claims. This brings a lot of discussion about whether it was the fans or the companies that own these “fan sites.

” Who started it? According to Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse (2006), authors of “Fanfiction and fan communities in the age of the internet” fandoms were developed in the early 1900s.

Developing their culture through traditional ways from zines, letters, conventions and later on- the internet. Fans created centralised online fandom-specific archives for their fanfiction – sites created by the fans. Fans were the first to write software that would automatically format and store fiction in searchable databases. (Hellekson K & Busse K, 2006) The Forever Knight (1992-1996) fandom can claim the first online mailing list, ForKNI-L, started on December 9th 1992 by Jean Prior – a fan.

Members would receive information inviting them to join other fanfiction sites.

The hardest thing about fanfiction prior to the internet was the geographical barriers. The new digital environment increased the speed of fan communication. (Nightingale and Ross, 2006) If fans once traded ideas through the mail, they now see the postal service too slow, to satisfy their expectations of immediate response. Fans goes online to discuss new episodes immediately after the episode’s transmission time or even during ad-breaks perhaps in order to demonstrate the ‘timeliness’ and responsiveness of their devotion.

Nightingale and Ross (2006) explain it where fans might have raced to the phone to talk to a close friend; they can now access a much broader range of perspectives by going online. This access to the internet supports the lack of geographical closeness, yet there are still arguments about international fans being additionally disadvantaged because of their first time experience of the episodes is ‘spoiled’ by learning too much from the online discussions. So why do these people go on the online discussion, if you don’t want the episodes “spoiled?

” In a MIT Enterprise Forum interview with Peter Zak, Henry Jenkins explains that if you want to know where technology is going, see what people are doing now-when it’s hard and they’re struggling to achieve it, and make it easier for them to achieve. (Jenkins, H 2009 Interview) This ties back with the notion that fanfiction and ultimately the concept of cyberculture (fan communities) date back decades ago, however once it was on the internet, companies saw it as an investment opportunity and ‘made it easier for them to achieve.

‘ Jenkins tries to explain what consumers are doing with media and understand how they’re doing it over enormous difficulties; this can explain much more precisely the technical needs that are going to go on. As the early adapters proceeded, known as the lead users, they’re adapting technology to their own needs. As the technology becomes easier to use, it becomes more wide spread across the population. In a sense, culture proceeds technology, but technology amplifies the trend of the culture -and makes it readily available to a much larger segment of the population.

(Jenkins, H 2009 Interview) In a lecture to Cambridge University in 2007, Jenkins explains that the problem with the new age internet is that they start to believe that they created participatory culture. (Jenkins, H 2007 Lecture) “They start to imagine they built fanfiction sites and instead of accepting that there’s a whole history behind any of these communities, this decade long history of a push for participatory culture media that fuels the engagement of participation in something like fanfiction creates” Jenkins said.

Whilst some like Henry Jenkins believe that fans are the pioneers of cyberculture, others take an entirely different approach. Many argue that although the basis of cyberculture is the fan communities and online games and that these “communities” were introduced back in the early 1900s- theorists such as David Bolter and William Gibson argue that they the communities were there on the internet as a community, but without companies investing money in making it more recognisable with website after website, investing millions for fanfiction and online games – cyberspace would not have emerged.

(Bell, D & Kennedy B M, 2000) Maybe cyberspace would not have emerged, but cyberculture is an entirely different thing. It’s a culture, a way of life- the cyberspace (websites) has just made this more readily available. Jenkins declared cyberspace a new frontier of civilization, a digital domain that could and would bring down big business, foster democratic participation, and end economic and social inequalities. (Bell, D & Kennedy B M, 2000) The reasons behind such a claim by Jenkins and the reasons that this claim is indeed correct are supported by arguments that fans and fan communities date back to the early 1900s.

Without too much detail, you can understand the extraordinary lengths fans go to stay in touch with fellow fans. Letters that may have taken months, conferences that were held annually demonstrate the dedication an audience can have on a show, book, band or film. If there weren’t any fans, there would be no fanfiction, without fanfiction would be no online communities. The fans make it what it is, thus highlighting that fans are in fact pioneers of cyberculture. This idea does not just rely on fanfiction but any online discussion forums. If you answered a question posted by someone on yahoo or google, than you participated in cyberculture.

So would there be these forums if they were no questions being posted by people? Our previous lives where we were told what we can or cannot read, watch or listen to – is now a thing of the past. The term ‘participatory culture’ is just that-participate. The audience are now the creators, the critics. Although fanfiction dates back to the early 1900s, the evolution of the internet and in fact cyberspace will mean fanfiction will have a bigger purpose in a lot more lives. If there weren’t any fans, there would be no fan communities, without fan communities there would be no such thing as cyberculture.

References – Jenkins, H (2006) ‘Collective Intelligence vs the wisdom of crowds. ‘ Confessions of an ACA-FAN blog. From http://www. henryjenkins. org/2006/11/collective_intelligence_vs_the. html Retrieved 15. 9. 2010 – Unknown, (2004) ‘Why was the internet created? ‘ Science and Invention. ‘ From http://www. enotes. com/history-fact-finder/science-invention/why-was-internet-created Retrieved 15. 9. 2010 – O’Reilly, T (2005) ‘What is Web 2. 0’ O’Reilly. From http://oreilly. com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20. html retrieved 23. 9. 2010 – Jenkins, H (2007) ‘From YouTube to YouNiversity’ Confessions of an ACA-FAN blog.

From http://www. henryjenkins. org/2007/02/from_youtube_to_youniversity. html retrieved 26. 9. 2010 -Jenkins, H (2009) Interview -Talks about media landscape. Conducted by Peter Zak and Highest Common Denominator Media Group http://www. hcdmediagroup. com/ Retrieved 26. 9. 2010 – Jenkins, H (2007) ‘Lecture – Cambridge University. From http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=FbU6BWHkDYw Retrieved 26. 9. 2010 -Jenkins, H (2006) ‘Spoiling Survivor’ Convergence Culture -Where new and old media collide. Published by NYU Press. pp. 25- 59. Retrieved 17. 9. 2010.

– Nightingale V & Ross K, (2006) ‘Interactive Audiences,’ Critical Readings: Media and audiences. Published by Open University Pres. Retrieved 15. 9. 2010 – Bell D & Kennedy BM, (2000) ‘Cyberspace- First Steps. ‘ The Cybercultures reader. Published by Routledge London. pp. 29-35 Retrieved 17. 9. 2010 – Jenkins, H & Thorburn D, (2003) ‘Culture of Democracy,’ Democracy and new media. Published by MIT Press Cambridge. pp. 1-21 Retrieved 17. 9. 2010 – Hellekson K & Busse K, (2006) ‘Construction on fanfiction,’ Fanfiction and fan communities in the age of the internet. Published by McFarland & Company. pp 134-140. Retrieved 26. 9. 2010.

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Henry Jenkins and fan communities. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/henry-jenkins-fan-communities-13620-new-essay

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