Swarmteams is a project led by Ken Thompson exploring whether the same sorts of processes that insects and other biological entities use to organize group behavior through short term low range signaling can be applied to human social groups such as fans.
With my colleague Andrew Ledbetter at Ohio University, I’ve been finishing up a paper looking at relational development amongst “friends” on Last.fm. Our paper’s been accepted for presentation at the Association of Internet Researchers’ annual meeting in Copenhagen in October. Here’s the abstract. Forgive the heavy academese:
Does the internet compete with “real life”? This has been one of the (most annoying and) most repeated concerns for about twenty years now, and the answer still seems to be “no.” Digital media are changing our patterns of behavior in important ways, but they are not leaving a decimated trail of old ways in their wake.
The New York Times has an interesting article today about being a black fan of indie rock (they do have the cultural memory to point out that the whole darn genre of rock was invented by black people), that includes this interesting paragraph:
The Serenity and ABBA cases may have been resolved, but as far as I can tell, this Cricket fan site is still under threat of legal action from EMI. The crime? Altering lyrics to copyrighted songs for parodies included in a free booklet”
Back in October a Serenity fan site got not just a cease-and-desist letter, but also a PAY UP NOW demand from Universal Studios, apparently for violating copyright in t-shirts being sold through the site.
The New York Times ran an article this week about a phenomenon I’d entirely missed: the 21 year old blogger who has become the go-to source about the TV News industry. We don’t normally think of news junkies as fans, but how else to describe reminiscences such as this: