University professor Nancy Baym has studied, lectured and blogged about online social media for more than 10 years. She suggests that its important to remember that fans care about the artist, but they care more about each other: Some highlights from her MidemNet presentation:
- Sharing emotion
- Building social identity
- Collective intelligence (set lists, fan reviews)
- Sharing interpretations (analyzing lyrics)
- Creating for each other (fan videos, remixes, playlists)
How the net empowers and changes fandom:
- Transcends distance and extends reach
- Provides group infrastructure
- Supports archiving
- Lesson social distance
One upside of engaged fandom is that it fosters a personal relationship that encourages the fan to pay for music to be supportive and morally correct.
If It Doesn't Spread Its Dead
But with so many choices how do you know where to put your eforts? Baym likes the widget and showed Judas Priest widget powered by ReverbNation.
Mutually benificial ways to connect with fans:
- Make personal connections
- Use multiple plaforms, but only as many as you can maintain well.
- Provide social resources
- Encourage their creativity