I am a Fan of Fandom

The internet today and its wired world of users, connectors and creators has served not only as a tool for curation of those things they are passionate about, it has created fandoms. Fandoms were first recorded in the late 19th century when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes and caused pandemonium by protesting fans at the publisher’s office. We have them to thank for another decade of Sherlock’s adventures. Through the years and particularly with the birth of television, fans began to become passionate about programs, their characters and entire genres in turn launching Trekkie and Star See Wars conventions. Today, the world is awash in fandoms, from Comic Con, to Bronies (fans of My Little Pony), Potterheads and of course A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones). But no other fandom has entirely captured a fandom as large, broad and engaged as that of Korean pop music. According to Google, there are more than 600 million K-Pop fans across 235 countries with over 80 billion clicks on YouTube. Never has such a fandom emerged entirely on the internet without television or radio and without the help of the US entertainment industrial complex. The behaviours manifested by this fandom augur a future where fandoms coalesce around what they truly love, “passion communities” that act in unique and innovative ways. The way in which these fans both follow K-Pop as well as are manipulated in a subtle fashion by Korean entertainment companies offers a view on the way the internet is likely to transform in the future. As we transform from an era of aggregation to curation, these fandoms will provide people with passion about everything from fishing to collecting iguanas, from knitting to playing chess, affecting even academia; enabling amateur researchers both to provide diverse input and serve as a powerful and cost-effective means to contribute to the greatest questions of all time.

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Posted by IAFOR