The Day of the Doctor on Tumblr: The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special
Tumblr is made for fandoms (Tumblr + Fandom = OTP, if you will) and if last weekend’s Tumblr activity around the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who is any indication, the Doctor Who fandom is the biggest of them all.
On Saturday, November 23rd - the day the 50th anniversary special aired - 1 million people shared 5 million posts on Tumblr. Those posts earned another 3.1 million likes that day.
With a whole host of activities organized around the anniversary, Doctor Who fans had plenty to keep them busy. That includes the airing of the episode and special events - both online and in-person - throughout the weekend. Over the three-day anniversary celebration, more than 10.6 million total posts from 2 million people were shared on Tumblr, and another 1.4 million tweets (from more than 500k people) were posted to Twitter. This is huge engagement from a very active fan base.
The most popular Doctor Who fan post from the weekend has already earned 143k notes, while the most popular post from the official Doctor Who blog has earned 142k notes. The official Doctor Who blog knows, loves, and fully embraces its fandom. The gif in their top post is from the 50th anniversary special and celebrates very poignantly and simply the last fifty years of the show, while the fan post reflects how deeply connected many of the fans feel with the show, regardless of their age (and therefore the number of years they’ve had to become involved with it).
Over on Twitter, the most popular Doctor Who tweet over the weekend was from the official @BBCDoctorWho Twitter account, and featured a still image from the anniversary special of the new Doctor’s eyes. It has earned well over 6,000 retweets so far.
For Tumblr, these are the biggest numbers we’ve seen so far for a televised event. In comparison, the MTV Video Music Awards - previously the largest event - earned 2.1 million posts from 1.1 million contributors in a day, and the Super Bowl saw 1.5 million posts from 1.1 million people.
These numbers show us yet again that Tumblr is the place to go for a deep dive into a fandom for a show you love. Only on Tumblr would Doctor Who outperform the Super Bowl, and we love it for that very reason. That is, in the words of Nine, “Fantastic!”
And the answer came back in a single sentence:
Because of you, Saturday, November 23, 2013, The Day of The Doctor, was the biggest television event they’d ever seen on Tumblr.
5.0 million posts
4.9 million reblogs
3.1 million likes
1.0 million contributors
It was bigger than the VMAs, the Super Bowl, and the Grammys…
We’ve always said that the Doctor Who fandom on Tumblr was bigger on the inside. Now you have a better idea of just how big that inside is.
And what’s amazing is we’re still growing.
Tumblr. People. You NEED to watch this video. It’s about identity, and the internet, and queerness, and Welcome to Nightvale, and furries, and fandom, and Orange is the New Black, and the miracle of discovering (and finding permission to inhabit) your inner self… via in online communities. It’s amazing.
I’ve been waiting to see this. It is
Some of the issues with Teen Wolf’s Sterek problem come from people conflating slash shipping with social activism. Many fans want Sterek to happen purely because they want Stiles and Derek to fall in love, while others are hoping for better representation of LGBT characters on TV in general. Writer and creator Jeff Davis originally planned for Teen Wolf to be a diverse show with a strong LGBT presence, but many fans felt that the show’s third season failed to live up to those promises. Unfortunately, Teen Wolf’s changing social media message isn’t helping.
Last week, Teen Wolf released a video of actor Dylan O’Brien asking for fans to vote for Teen Wolf in a TV Guide poll, a similar situation to the Teen Choice Awards campaign that produced the “ship” video last year. But this time round, they went for threats rather than bribery. Instead of teasing with more Sterek footage, O’Brien joked that if people didn’t vote, they’d kill off the show’s lone surviving gay character, Danny.
The joke didn’t seem very funny, particularly when the survival rate for side characters in Teen Wolf is notoriously low for anyone who isn’t a straight, white man. To make matters worse, MTV released an “In Memoriam” video of all the characters who have died on the show. It was meant to advertise a fan contest to appear (and then die) in a future episode, but it ended up highlighting just how many women and people of color have been killed off so far. For a show that was originally touted as diverse and forward-thinking, things did not look good. [READ MORE]
"The biggest mistake creators can make is to try to dictate to fan communities how they should be interacting or expressing their fannishness. You have to respect these people who love your work."
There is a huge chasm between fanservice and servicing fans. One is about pandering to your audience. The other is about enabling them to be better fans.
As the official show presence, you have to be sensitive to the meaning of particular ships to different sections of a fandom. You also have be aware that once a show starts exploiting a fanship, you build the expectation that the ship will become actual canon in the show. And — last I checked — most show brand managers don’t have the authority to tell the show creators and writers how they should write their characters. So if that ship isn’t fulfilled, fans can (and will) become angry.
Similarly, if you acknowledge a ship too early in the run of a series you risk stunting further development of the entire fan community.
"…if you look further back in time, you can see that network show longevity has hints of being a zero-sum game. When one network has long-lived shows during a time period, such as ABC in the mid-1980s, another network might have a series of duds, such as NBC during the same time. This is reasonable, as there is only a finite amount of collective attention that we can lavish on television watching."
Quit Trying to Market With a One Size Fits All Mindset | Danny Brown (via unionmetrics)
Watching Each Other WatchArtist
On The MediaAlbum
Friday, October 4, 2013
There we are.
If you’re on Facebook, you’re in there. At the Faces of Facebook page, every Facebook profile picture and it’s accompanying name have been assembled into a single, massive mosaic. All 1,278,842,363 of them.
Head on over to tour around the interactive version. There’s an option to connect your Facebook account if you’d like to find yourself.
I wonder how long you’d have to randomly zoom down before you found someone you recognize? Get back to me on that one.
Incidentally, you’d think each pixel in that image represents one person, right? Unfortunately, it’s only 1400 x 900 resolution, so that means that there’s 9,868 of us crammed onto each digital island.
If you’re into visualizations like this, then you’ll want to check out this pixel mosaic of the first 4,000,000 digits of pi.
To say it another way: here are 50,000 people who are racing like maniacs to catch up (that is: 50,000 people watched 13 hours of television in one day) … who can imagine the number of viewers who took 2 or 3 days to do the same?
All this, because they don’t just love the show, they also love the audience. They hurried up to sync up with everyone else heading into the season premiere (not even the finale!)
More than the show, they love the experience of watching it in sync with everyone else.
This is what “what-you-want-when-you-want-it” culture has done: it has optimized for the user, and left the audience behind. But the audience wants the audience, and they will do anything — even watch 13 hours of TV in one day — just to become part of it.