Post by Sarah Marshall:
In our class discussions, we talk a lot about waiting anxiety, fan activity, and producer to fan relationships. For fans of television shows, waiting for the next season of their beloved series and be agitating. It can sometimes take more than a year for a new season to be released. During these long stretches of time without new material, devoted fans often turn to the internet to fill the void, most popularly tumblr, facebook, and twitter.
Being an active member of the social networking website tumblr, it is nearly impossible to scroll down my dash without seeing a post dedicated to a specific fandom; Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey just to name a few. Through blogging, the fans of these shows express their feelings about the plot, their love for a character, what they think should happen, or simply posting a group of pictures or gifs (moving images) from their favorite scenes. Fellow fans, specifically on tumblr, not only re-blog these posts to share with their own followers but will also add to the post, creating a circulating conversation between other fans of the same show. Sharing their opinions and receiving other’s opinions on their favorite television series helps devoted fans stay in the fictional world even when the show is on hiatus.
Even television networks are catching on to the trend. BBC’s Doctor Who has its own tumblr page upon which it will not only fill in its viewers on what’s going on with the production, but also re-blog and communicate with the fans. The fans of this series immediately feel more devoted to the show, feeling like the show, in turn, is giving back to them by acknowledging their existence and their support.
Communication is essential. If an official television show blog does not communicate back and forth with its followers, the blog is simply a very large, very annoying advertisement. ABC’s Once Upon A Time makes use of all three: facebook, tumblr, and twitter. Both Doctor Who and Once Upon A Time have very devoted fan-followings and used this to their advantage via popular social networking sites.
Do you follow any shows on facebook, tumblr, or twitter? What do you think about television networks use of social networking to promote their shows? Has social networking ever led you to marathon a series?