Posted by: katieaoreilly | October 23, 2014

From which fandom(s) do you hail?

As I read through Spreadable Media this week one concept jumped out at me: the notion of fandoms as publics. It makes sense from an academic standpoint that audiences which already organize themselves around certain content make an obvious target for media industries, but I had never before considered the effects of content created through these communities of fans in the larger industry. To better understand, I applied it to myself.

I am a Harry Potter nerd. I have always considered myself a fan, but until now I had never considered myself a member of a “fandom.” Further thought proves I definitely am. I can name a number of my friends I initially identified with at school because they had HP tattoos or other items. I’ve never been the type to create and post my own content to others online, but I’ve had countless conversations with my childhood friends about the books and the movies, debating the shortcomings of certain characters, the biology of House Elves, and movie failures. I’ve shared the books with my former students, I have a Pottermore account, and I finished top 3 at HP bar trivia. It turns out I’m not just a single fan, I’m a part of the community creating demand for more content, and J.K. just announced 3 new films. Would she have done so without the demand created by the fandom?

Do any of you identify with a particular fandom? How meaningful is your participation?


  1. I’m too embarrassed to admit I’m a Star Wars nerd. darn.

  2. Never too embarrassed to admit that I’m also a Harry Potter nerd (Gryffindor House for life!), but like you wrote, I too never considered myself a member of the “fandom.” I’ve never written my own fan-fiction, my account on Pottermore is pretty much inactive and while I am enrolled at Hogwarts (, I haven’t attended a single class since signing up.

    However, I do own all the books and movies, I proudly wear my Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows shirts still, my best friends and I attended ALL the midnight book release parties in 2007 and my 7-month-old puppy’s name is Sirius, after Mr. Padfoot himself. (I didn’t name him, but fate brought us together at the Oregon Humane Society.)

    Maybe “fandom” has its own sub-categories—those who immerse themselves and create new content, and fans like you and I, who have been impacted by Rowling’s magical world so deeply that we try to incorporate it into our daily lives. (Ha, or maybe that’s just me!)

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