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Playing to the CrowdMusicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection$
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Nancy K. Baym

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479896165

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479896165.001.0001

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(p.77) 3 Audiences
Playing to the Crowd

Nancy K. Baym

NYU Press

Beginning with the story of the advent of online crowdfunding, this chapter shows how audiences organized into participatory fandoms during the twentieth century. It defines fandom and shows its tensions between anticapitalism and consumerism. It traces the evolution of online fandom, beginning with BBSs and mailing lists through to the World Wide Web. The progression is illustrated in part through the author’s experiences as a young fan before the internet and as an older able to take advantage of online resources. It closes with the argument that by the time artists came to the internet with hopes of marketing their music, fans had already set the terms of engagement with the gift cultures they had established online.

Keywords:   fans, fandom, fan community, consumerism, gift economy, participation, participatory culture, crowdfunding

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