More evolutionarily mature fandoms are stronger, more resilient fan communities. They’ve been around a while and have regular customs, language, and practices.
Newer, less organized fandoms are ones that haven’t developed many of these features yet. These fandoms are more vulnerable to outside influence and can have their development stunted by it. (See Tricia Wang’s #elasticself or this recent Pew Research study for all of the reasons why.)
The fandoms that Aja’s article speaks about concentrates on the more evolutionarily mature ones. They have a season/book/movie release or two under their belts. They’ve had time to express their love for their fandom, identify other fans, and start sharing ideas and emotions and building relationships. Repeated enough times, these practices grow and suddenly the fans find themselves with their own community, culture, and language.
In Deleuze-speak, Tumblr has been territorialized with this fandom.
Eventually, these fandoms get to the point where they become full-blown hierarchical societies so resilient that they will actively fend off anything that feels like an attack on their community.
These are the fandoms that Aja speaks of. These are the fandoms that we as a Tumblr community are most proud of. These are the fandoms that can balance out and absorb a big corporation’s “official” presence and all of the advertising, marketing, personnel, and money resources they bring.
Finalizing the fandom support schedule for next week’s season premiere of Orphan Black.
Sunset at the Everybody at Once office.
Some of this maps to our own observations on Twitter conversation, the rest of it not so much.
The Pew Research Center, working with the Social Media Research Foundation and using a special software tool, analyzed and mapped millions of public tweets, retweets, hashtags and replies that form the backbone of Twitter chatter.
Here are the other five types of conversations:
- People who talk about well-known brands on Twitter tend to be disconnected from one another, focusing only on the topic at hand and not really interacting with each other. The study calls these “brand clusters.” One graph, that looked at mentions of Apple, found that users didn’t follow, reply to or mention any other person who also tweeted about the company.
- People who tweet from a social media conference, or about another highly specialized topic tend to form tight crowds of people who are connected to one another as followers. There are only a few users who are not connected to at least a few others in the group.
- “Community clusters” happen when several, evenly sized Twitter groups are connected to each other. In a sense, these can be compared “to people clustering in different stalls at a bazaar.” The conversations in this group share a common broader topic, whether that’s Michelle Obama or a tech conference, but each cluster takes a different focus.
- “Broadcast networks” are often media outlets or prominent social media figures with a lot of followers who repeat the messages such outlets send out.
- A Twitter “support network,” is the last major conversation type. These conversations usually involve a large company, such as a bank or airline, that listens and replies to consumer complaints. When mapped, the interactions in these groups tend to look like a bicycle wheel hub with many spokes.
Every caribou at Once!
We just launched the EarthBBCA Instagram account! Follow along for spectacular images from all over the planet.
As Kevin would say, “social media” is to “media” as “egg” is to “eggplant” and yet still so many people still get it wrong.
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.