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Lori Morimoto

FSN Conversations: Social Media Campaigns

One of the other conversations that happened during the Fan Studies Network Conference 2014 – on Twitter, in fact – was spurred by Nistasha Perez’s paper, “The Creation of Official Tumblr Accounts in Online Fannish Spaces: Examining Integration of Fannish Practices By Media Corporations.” As I was live tweeting the presentation, it was observed that successful campaigns – Hannibal being notable in this regard – seemed like nothing so much as a triumph of soft power. And I do think it’s related to soft power, a term that’s undergone revision since Joseph Nye introduced it in 1990, and which he currently defines as

“the ability to affect others through the co-optive means of framing the agenda, persuading, and eliciting positive attraction in order to obtain preferred outcomes” (Nye 2011, p.20-21)

However, to my mind, what a show/marketing campaign like Hannibal demonstrates is the extent to which successful ‘co-opting’, ‘framing’, and ‘persuading’ are all contingent on a significant degree of producer acquiescence to fan values; which is to say, at least in the case of Hannibal, what we’re talking about isn’t straightforward message –> receiver transmission, even of the appropriated variety, but rather a much more delicate balance of message and mode of address that, of necessity, plays out across multiple fields.

FSN2014 Recap

I’ve had this blog sitting on my WordPress sites for awhile now, with no idea how to kick it off. But having just finished a really fantastic weekend at The Fan Studies Network Conference 2014, a recap of what went on there seemed as good a place to begin as any. And it was, truly, a fantastic weekend. Overall, what stood out to me the most was just how diverse the crowd was – keynote speakers, paper presenters, and attendees alike came from a variety of backgrounds and, within academia, different points and positions in our careers. Independent scholars, established academics, graduate (and undergraduate!) students; journalists and media producers and marketers; people arriving from as far away from London as Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Edmonton all gathered together under the Regents University roof made it a fantastic opportunity to talk about fan studies from a wide variety of perspectives.