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Digital Fandom 2.0

New Media Studies


Paul Booth

In this completely revised and updated version of Digital Fandom, Paul Booth extends his analysis of fandom in the digital environment. With new chapters that focus on the economics of crowdfunding, the playfulness of Tumblr, and the hybridity of the fan experience, alongside revised chapters that explore blogs, wikis, and social networking sites, Digital Fandom 2.0 continues to develop the «philosophy of playfulness» of the contemporary fan. Booth’s analysis reveals the many facets of the digital fan experience, including hybrid fandom, demediation, and the digi-gratis economy. With a foreword from noted fan scholar Matt Hills, Booth's new Digital Fandom 2.0 shows the power of the fan in the digital age.


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Part 1: Historical Digital Fandom


part i historical digital fandom · 1 · fandom in the digital environment [Texts] are mirrors in the image of those who wrote them. They reflect their concerns, questions, desires, life, death. … They’re living beings: you have to know how to feed them, protect them … —Pérez-Reverte, The Club Dumas (p. 60) [I]n literature there are never any clear boundaries. Everything is dependent on every- thing else, and one thing is superimposed on top of another. It all ends up as a complicated intertextual game … —Pérez-Reverte, The Club Dumas (p. 95) In traditional parlance, a fan is a person who invests time and energy into thinking about, or interacting with, a media text: in other words, one who is enraptured by a particular media object. As the quotations from Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel The Club Dumas indicate, fandom can even extend towards antiquarian books. Corso, the hero of Pérez-Reverte’s novel, deals in centuries-old occult manuscripts that their collectors religiously revere and for whom these texts lead to new worlds: worlds inhabited by demons and devils, angels and authors. Indeed, in their quasi-religious devotion to these ancient texts, the book collectors are also, in a sense, fans, although perhaps of a more negative tenor. The Club Dumas, while ostensibly a novel about book collecting and the occult, also provides us with a traditional popular cultural 20 digital fandom 2.0 reading of fandom, and through it we can glean a number of salient details about popular conceptions of the fan. As...

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