In BCM241 Media Ethnographies, we are instructed to undertake a research report of our own choosing and in my case, I have chosen to investigate online content creators and vloggers. In more specific terms, I want to study the audience and fanbase, study the degree of their loyalty and immerse myself into a different popular creators online fan-dome every week to critically self reflect upon my own experience and gain a personal understanding of what being a super fan is.
I had to conduct some background research to further better my understanding of fan loyalty. One source that began to build a foundation to format my understanding was titled “Building a loyal fanbase: How sports organisation use social media”. Although this source is directly about sports teams and their respective fan bases, it does bring to light a point that I feel is very relevant to this research topic. The paper explains that “offering fans unprecedented access to teams through unique content reinforces a fanbase. This includes behind the scenes access and other types of content offered to their followers. This type of online presence attracts dedicated followers and fans who wish to return for more content. Online creators and vloggers do the same for their own fans with the content they produce so this is a technique that I shall monitor with each new creator that I explore.
Next is “Social Media and celebrities: the benefits of a social media presence”. Online celebrities have this new and mostly unexplored medium to connect with fans and produce content that has never been seen before. Through constant tweets, posts and videos, fans feel like they know their respective online idols far better than has ever been established. The paper describes how replying to fans comments and interacting with them makes fans feel significant and ensures that these online stars have some of the most dedicated and loyal fan bases ever seen before.
These two sources are a glimpse of the sort of document studies that I will undertake during this research project. I feel that they provide someone with limited knowledge of the subject with a basic understanding and appreciation of how interesting and complex the research topic can be. This topic and the format that I have chosen to explore it in has many aveues that can be explored and immersing myself into various online fandoms to gain a fully auto-ethnographic understanding of this research project.