A Beginner's Guide to Fandom: A Fangirl's Perspective

{September 14, 2009}   How My Fandom Freaked Out Everyone on Twitter

I’m taking a break from the series on fanfiction to address a recent phenomenon in my fandom. The season premiere for Supernatural was Thursday, September 10, and several fans of the show decided to try to get a Supernatural-related tag onto Twitter’s trending topics in order to promote the show. Since last season’s finale ended with the beginning of the Apocalypse (a storyline a long time in the making), they chose the tag #luciferiscoming, along with #supernatural and a few others.

Thanks to fans worldwide, #luciferiscoming and #supernatural made it to the top of the trending topics list:

photo credit to supernaturalwiki.com

photo credit to supernaturalwiki.com

Once at the top, it naturally received a fair amount of attention, as fans intended. Unfortunately, however, some people who didn’t know the show’s context interpreted the tags as the work of religious people, rather than fans. Rapper P. Diddy led a large group that reacted by promoting the tag #godishere. The subsequent clash led Twitter to stop posts with God and Lucifer tags from appearing in their trending topics.

The story was mentioned in many national news outlets. One of two important points, in my opinion, was that much of the uproar happened because people didn’t know and didn’t seek out the context for the tag. An article on Associated Content says:

“Those who actually knew why the tag was so popular were easy to spot. They also used the #Supernatural tag in their tweets, indicating the name of the show which caused this mass hysteria.”


“A very simple search of the tag which is on clear display under trending topics would show what all the fuss is about, but people do not seem inclined to do this.”

A second important point was that unconventional or not, fans managed to gather a lot of attention for the show. Eclipsed Magazine put it eloquently:

“This massive push by fans to promote the show garnered a lot of buzz and attention among many people who are active on Twitter and no doubt brought more attention to the premiere. It also goes to prove a personal point of my own, which is that scattering things on numerous LJ’s doesn’t have the kind of impact of fan based promotion for the show as it does when fans and viewers come together in one central location, easily accessible by other fans, media and those involved directly with Supernatural. When everyone comes together on one place, it creates a more cohesive force and gets more voices of support heard.”

This story overall serves as an example of what can happen when fans and popular culture interact. On the one hand, many people (as P. Diddy shows) misinterpret their actions because they fail to understand their underlying context. Often, a simple search will help explain what on the surface appears to be extreme.

On the other hand, as Eclipsed noted, fans can do far bigger things as a unified group than any one person could hope to accomplish. Fandom is not an exclusively inward-focused group. They seek to interact not only with each other but to collectively make an impact on the larger world. And I say, more power to them.

I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

A definite great read….

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