The monetization of fandom: How media franchises pay to have a fan following built from scratch.

Online fandoms are now the popular media equivalent of the tech world’s early adopters. If you can get people to start blogging and tweeting about your TV show or movie, half the work is already done.

The good news is, your social media campaign doesn’t even need to be all that subtle. If you say that you’ll release the new Divergent trailer after a thousand retweets, a thousand fans will retweet you, cheerfully aware that they’re own Twitter feeds are being used for advertising purposes. Even fast food joints are trying to build their own fandoms, with Denny’s currently in the lead thanks to their inexplicably cool Tumblr presence.

Inevitably, there’s now a lucrative market for social media consultants who can engineer online fandoms from scratch, with the fans as willing participants in the deal. It’s an “if you build it, they will come,” kind of situation. Fans want to show support for their favorite TV show or movie, even if they’re completely aware that it’s a cynical marketing ploy. In the era of Facebook communication, you are what you Like.

In a recent episode of PBS documentary series Frontline, Douglas Rushkoff took a look at various social media fandoms from the ground up. With YouTube star Tyler Oakley at the most organic end of the popularity scale and the Hunger Games movies as the most professionally cultivated example, all of those fandoms had one thing in common: a desire to feel closer to your idols, even if the most tangible sign of that relationship is a retweet.

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Japan's biggest imaginary pop star is opening for Lady Gaga

We’re hosting a panel to discuss the world of sex and technology tomorrow at 3-4pm EST.

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'Noah' screenwriter attempts to explain why everyone in his movie is white. "The race of individuals doesn't matter."

If you’ve seen Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, you may have noticed something a little weird about the semi-Biblical, semi-apocalyptic cast of the movie: they’re all white. Even the extras.

In an interview with The Higher Calling, Noah screenwriter Ari Handel spoke about the reasoning behind the lack of racial diversity in the cast.

“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise. You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’ Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, ‘Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?’ That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”

In summary, white people are stand-ins “for all people,” and no other race could possibly qualify for “everyman” status. Ari Handel’s reasoning is that the only way to dispense with the issue of racism is to remove everyone who isn’t white. Asking what happened to all the other races is akin to nitpicking about whether the arc would float or not. It’s just silly, OK? “The race of individuals doesn’t matter,” which is why they made absolutely sure that all of those individuals were white. Or something.

Unintentionally, Handel managed to illustrate everything that’s wrong with the ongoing attitude towards casting actors of color in major Hollywood movies. White people are the norm, and everyone else is just a distraction. God forbid anyone attempt to be as diverse as the cast of the Star Trek, which debuted in 1966 and included a grand total of two non-white characters.

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Transgender Anime has room to grow
"Welcome to the Gender and Anime panel," joked boota3, the panelist presiding over a packed room at Anime Boston last month. "Otherwise known as the Attack on Titan dub premiere.”
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bookshop:

Transgender Anime has room to grow

"Welcome to the Gender and Anime panel," joked boota3, the panelist presiding over a packed room at Anime Boston last month. "Otherwise known as the Attack on Titan dub premiere.”

[Read more]

We’re hosting a panel to discuss the world of sex and tech on Thursday at 3PM EST.

RSVP here and comment with any questions.

1) Food. As the first of the laws, food may not be conjured, created or generate in any way shape or form.

2) Money. Similar to food, Money may not be created out of thin air. Contradictory to muggle belief, magical laws governing money prevent it from being created, moved or altered by magic

3) Life. The most prime principle of magic; there is no spell to reawaken the dead.

4) Knowledge. You cannot know something you’ve never heard of. Therefore, as the fourth exception, knowledge can be neither conjured nor generated by magic. Proof of this fact lies in that Aurors are unable to conjure the location of criminals, nor students conjure up the necessary knowledge to pass tests and the sort.

5) Love. The fifth exception is love. “Love Potions” are misleading in that they claim to generate love, however they do in fact only generate a deep sense of lust or desire. There is no way to conjure or generate love – it must be created from within.

The 5 Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Magic; Transfigurations 101, Lesson 1.

Do You Wanna Go to Hogwarts? Now You Can.

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Is that John Green hanging out with 1/2 of Sterek at Panem?
Our heads just exploded. Next time, warn us before you go all Superwholock on us, guys.

Is that John Green hanging out with 1/2 of Sterek at Panem?

Our heads just exploded. Next time, warn us before you go all Superwholock on us, guys.