Following Transmedia Hollywood and SCMS, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how different media producers envision their audiences and what drives fan behavior. I’ve also been thinking quite a bit–especially after Transmedia Hollywood–about what our responsibilities are as scholars and acafans as we engage in dialogue with producers who have differing notions of audience and fan engagement than we do. These issues became especially clear to me in the Transmedia Hollywood workshop I participated in, in a moment of semantics, when we were debating whether fans who participated online and authored their own texts were “active” or “activist.” I came down on the side of active–indeed, I was very surprised to hear the term activist raised in this context.
So with Flow around the corner, I thought this might be a good opportunity to consider these questions–and I do get the sense that I’m not the only one who has been mulling over these sorts of issues following the many exciting conversations with producers at TransH and SCMS.
So–here’s a rough draft of a proposal for a Flow roundtable that would get at these issues. I’d certainly be happy for any feedback or general thoughts!
Given the increased visibility of audiences online, how might we understand the shifts in the relationship between audiences and producers? How have producers’ perceptions of audiences and fans transformed over the past decade? How have audience/producer interactions changed because of fans’ increasing knowledge of and access to a range of producers, from showrunners to writers to performers?
As TV and new media scholars enter into dialogue with both producers and fans, how do we negotiate our positions as scholars invested in both sides? Can and should we try to bridge gaps between fan- and producer-created fan engagement?