WKU POP 201

Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Meaningful Participation P1

Posted by katemilner9 on March 30, 2017

We’ve seen what happens when fans participate on their own accords over and over again, but this week’s readings, particularly Television’s Invitation to Participate show what happens when participation is encouraged, and almost required, for the show to be enjoyed at full capacity, or to keep it on air. It’s undeniable that fan participation is part of shows like American Idol and The Voice’s success, and what fun are shows like Lost if you’re not watching along with an active fandom, with an open dialogue for sharing theories and interpretations? The shows used as examples in this piece lose half their flair if we remove their extra credit opportunities for fan participation.

It reminded me a lot of the ideas presented when we spoke about wrestling as a transmedia form of entertainment, especially when it described the supplemental web series and writings that help enrich the series. By creating these transmedia attractions, we see how series can make people more willing to consistently support their shows: the more time they spend thinking about it and the more they feel personally invested in it, the more likely they are to tune in every chance they get. When you think about it, it really is a model set up for success.

But then, you have to face the reality of it. Instead of these extra credit opportunities creating more fans, they’re usually only used by fans. While I thought it was cool American Idol opened polls for voting, I was never one of the ones who actually utilized them. It could be argued that these participation opportunities only benefit the show if they have the kind of fanbase who’s willing to utilize them.

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One Response to “Meaningful Participation P1”

  1. emmaeled said

    I like the point you made about how the extra credit options re typically only used by fans, not creating extra fans. The extra credit seems to stick in the already hooked audiences and not really actually spread.

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