Technology, fandom and community in the second media age

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The virtual or online community was considered by Mark Poster (1995) to be central to what he called the second media age, marked as distinct from the first media age by new modes interactivity and subjectivity afforded by internet technologies. Community is also central to participatory culture, the study of which began at the cusp of the second media age. This paper critically examines the technocultural formation of online community in the context of fandom and its relationship to specific platforms from Usenet to Tumblr. Based on the analysis of interview data collected from participatory fans (n = 33), I argue that not all platforms enable community formation. While the participants had a sense of community as members of listservs, Yahoo groups and LiveJournal, the same was not true of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, even though they afforded a number of fannish pleasures. These findings raise questions as to the ongoing centrality of online community in the late second media age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-642
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec. 2017


  • community
  • fandom
  • internet
  • participatory culture
  • social media


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