“Becoming a fan can be a transformative experience, deeply personal and potentially life changing. The stories of how we discover the objects that furnish our fan identities are as much a part of our personal mythology as the story of how we met our significant other or chose our career.”
I am sure if you are reading this then you are into fandoms of any kind. No matter the size, the structure, or the content — you love your fandom. Am I spot on? Well, I have a recommendation for you. The #amreading series began and ended in 2014 — however, with this book we were sent we had to bring it back.
Superfandom by Fraade-Blanar and Glazer and published by W.W. Norton is a must read for anyone who loves fandom, fandom studies, or anything fandom-try. This book is about the culture, business, and how it ties into fandoms and fandom studies.
In short, the synopsis is: “Fandom sheds its longtime stigmas of geekiness and hysteria, fans are demanding more from the brands they love. Digital tools have given organizations — from traditional businesses to tech startups — direct, real-time access to their most devoted consumers, and it’s easy to forget that this access flows both ways. This is a new “fandom-based economy:” a convergence of brand owner and brand consumer.”
“In the rise of fan-led brand revivals, the Internet isn’t a cause, it’s a catalyst. Digitial connectivity can’t create enthusiasm out of nothing, but it can allow fans to act on their enthusiasm much more easily, just as it also gives those activities unexpected forms and condequences.”
Superfandom is not just about fandoms; however, it is the idea that we all are a superfan of something. How broad the term “fandom” actually is and how it does not mean just one thing. It means masses of things at one time.
A few star chapters that I liked, personally, and that I bookmarked are: “Chapter 1: Fandom Is A Verb,” “Chapter 3: From Convention To Conventional,” “Chapter 6: Fans, What Are They Good For?” and, “Chapter 8: When Fandoms Goes Wrong.”
The entire book is stellar, and the storytelling is marvelous throughout. It is more of a ride through fandom-try than anything else. Not only does this book state why fandoms are important and why they will continue to be, but it also backtracks to history. Where fandom started and where they are headed with the new digital age.
This book is more than just about fandoms; it teaches you about where it all started and where it is going. The book even brings light to video game fandoms and conventions, even fans digitally and how they react towards fandoms, they are in or fandoms they love. Why and how has fandom come about? This book explains that.
“When fans revolt, it’s not pretty. Feelings of fandom are deeply tied into a fan’s personal identity, and it’s easy for the brand owner to accidentially ignore, trivialize, or modify something that sits at the heart of fan feelings.”
What the authors do very well is remind us that: to fan is human. To fan over anything is human instinct, you want to fan over anything you like — and become mildly obsessed with it for a while. It’s fresh and new. It is in our social DNA to fan. Fandom-try goes from video games to fan fiction to music to anything you want it to be. And, this book covers basically all of it.
This book was a fantastic read, and along the way, I found myself learning something new. Not just about fandoms; but, about the idea of fandoms, the idea of digital age, the idea of businesses in terms of fandom. There is so much more in this book, even marketing in terms of fandoms.
How it is important as a business and marketing executive to know about fandoms and focus on the idea of it. That is where we are in this world now, fandoms are a thing — and they are all over the place. To be aware of them is just the first step.