Friends or fans, or does it even matter?
So, we've had blogs and the intarwebs for some time now, but it still feels a bit like the wild-west frontier at times. It's fun to see people exploring the medium, trying to find new ways to connect, or just make a buck.
In an interview with The A.V. Club, Felicia Day talks about blurring the lines between 'fans' and 'friends' online:
AVC: It's someone they're invested in, who's in their world, as opposed to someone who was thrust on them by movie posters.
FD: Or you know, completely separated and become something you project all these things on. Like, "Oh, that person's like this." Well, they know how I am. They probably know what I had for breakfast that morning. [Laughs.] And that's the cool part. And I respond to people, if they post on my blog, I'm like, "Oh, that's really cool you read that book, that fantasy series!" It's almost like they're my friends in a sense. There's less separation. They know me more as a human being with my flaws, versus some kind of actor on a pedestal.
The timing with this is funny, as I've been watching something similar on Patrick Rothfuss' blog / fundraising project. If you don't know, Patrick Rothfuss is a lecturer and writer, who's first book, The Name of the Wind is probably my favorite book this year. He's currently running a fantastic sort of 'charity raffle', wherein people who donate to the incredible Heifer International through his project will not only have their donation matched by the author, but also receive a signed book, artwork or what have you.
Specifically, it's been interesting to watch the project morph and change shape over time. Just a few days after starting, based on fans'/friends' feedback, Rothfuss has expanded and altered the original terms of the raffle, and the whole process has the conversational style you'd expect among friends. I'm sure some of that is Rothfuss' own style and presentation, but that only goes so far — there's a give-and-take here that you don't see with traditional mediated fan relationships.
See also: 1,000 True Fans, give or take a few