Transmedia Fan Communities

My role: principal researcher (2016-)

Status: Data collection and analysis. This project represents my doctoral research.

Below is the abstract of the research proposal  accepted by confirmation panel at Swinburne on January 15, 2018.  For a glimpse at how this project has transformed over time, click here for the draft summary submitted in my initial application for postgrad studies.

Grounded in Convergence: Information Behaviours of Transmedia Fan Communities 

As individuals, how we access, use, share, interact and engage with information in our everyday lives are always in a process of evolution. Referred to collectively as information behaviours, these activities are influenced by social and cultural norms and the emergence of new technologies. The question posed by the current project is what role media convergence and “transmedia”, as social and technological phenomena, play in the information behaviour of media fans. By studying the fans and fan communities of specific transmedia storyworlds (e.g., Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Mass Effect, etc), this project seeks to understand the “transmedia fan” as information user in contemporary postdigital society. Adopting a social constructionist paradigm, this project will undertake a Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT) study of transmedia fans. The methods will consist of in-depth interviews with 15 to 20 participants and content analysis of three to six publicly accessible online fan communities. The goal of this research is to contribute new theoretical and interdisciplinary understandings of media fandom, and will establish a bridge between the existing fields of information studies, media studies and fan studies. These findings will be significant for the development of future research on the everyday life practice of fans, media consumers and information users.

Funding

  • January 2016-March 2017: Tuition fee scholarship, Charles Sturt University.
  • March 2017- Present: Tuition fee scholarship, Swinburne University of Technology.
  • May 2019-Present: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Doctoral Fellowship.

Project Pages

As my research progresses, side-projects have spun out of the dissertation work through various presentations and collaborations. These projects expand on the dissertation in various ways.

Publications and Presentations

Ch-ch-changes: Lives Online, Then and Now. Nerd Nite Melbourne. Melbourne, Australia, October 22, 2019. [Link]

When the World Ends: Study of #FakeWesteros Twitter Fan Community During the Final Season of Game of Thrones (Poster). Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology (pp. 654-655). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2019. [Link] [PDF – poster] [Link – Companion site]

Everyday Life and Leisure Contexts: Transmedia Fandom and Postdigital Information Behavior (Guest Lecture). LIS 543: Human Information Interaction, University of Alberta, July 22, 2019. [Link]

Fandom, Food, and Folksonomies: The Methodological Realities of Studying Fun Life-Contexts (Panel). With: Melissa G. Ocepek, Julia Bullard, Jenna Hartel, Sarah Polkinghorne and Ludi Price. At the 81st Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Vancouver, Canada, November 10 – 14, 2018. [Link] [PDF]

The YouTube Formula: Information Work and Community-Building in a Visual Era (Panel). With: Leslie Thomson, Nadia Caidi, Kyong Yoon, Alice N. Kim and Niel Chah. At the 81st Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Vancouver, Canada, November 10 – 14, 2018. [Link] [PDF]

Re(a)d Wedding: A case study exploring the everyday information behaviours of the transmedia fan. In S. Erdelez & N.K. Agarwal (Eds.), Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology (pp. 93–101.) Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2017. [Link] [PDF]

Re(a)d Wedding: A Comparative Discourse Analysis of Fan Responses to Game of Thrones [Poster]. Digital Humanities 2017, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, August 8-11 2017. [Link] [PDF]

3 Replies to “Transmedia Fan Communities”

    1. This is convergence in the sense used by Henry Jenkins, meaning “a paradigm for thinking about the current moment of media change, one which is defined through the layering, diversification, and interconnectivity of media. Convergence contrasts with the Digital Revolution model which assumed old media would be displaced by new media. Aspects of this convergence model are shaping decisions of media producers, advertisers, technologists, consumers, and policy-makers, and thus convergence has many different aspects and consequences.” http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2011/08/defining_transmedia_further_re.html

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