The focus on audience and audience interactivity this week is interesting and got me thinking more on the ways I previously viewed my own audience experience and participation. Ellen Seiter’s call for a diversity of researchers was enlightening to read about it. It’s a valid and important need for qualitative audience research but it also adds a level of complexity within the research of audiences; for both researcher and researchee, the gender/race/class of each can be considered and opens the space to questioning how those identities shape the research.
Henry Jenkin’s highlighted the proliferation of reading as writing for female audiences, more than men. This was the part of fandom that I hadn’t known about before, however, when put into context with the writings of Radway on the romance novel, it makes sense. I’m curious to learn more on the term “fan boy” because of this historical context. I’m not an avid fan-fiction reader but the few that I have come across are always written by females and favor homo-sexual relationships. If we consider Ellen Seiter’s article, here there’s a need for research as to why this gender shit occurred. And who reads these writings? How are males influenced by them if they do read them?
Finally, the Mark Andrejevic article really made me think of new forms of audience interaction. More than on-line spaces for audiences to interact with television networks, I kept thinking of YouTub as a space where a heavy dose of viewer-creator interaction occurs on a daily/weekly/bi-weekly basis. What makes You Tube an interesting case for me is the fact that at the beginning, YouTube “Stars” were single content creators who looked for feedback from the start. It’s a space where anyone can upload their creative content and immediately receive feedback from viewers/audiences/fans who have the ability to freely comment their admiration, hatred, or opinion for new content, and creators benefit from their interaction. The fan base for YouTube Stars has grown so much that VidCon seems to gaining as much popularity as Comic-Con. Maybe not as much these days, but YouTube was appealing because “everyday people” could become famous because of other “everyday” people who interacted with them on-line.