Saturday, October 5, 2013

Data Memo #1

First I would like to apologize for the lateness of this post: I have had technical difficulties and have just managed to resolve them.

This is my data sample:

All names and images of people besides Sowerby, Luff, and mine will be censored for the privacy and protection of the individual. Who the person is has less to do with my research as opposed to how often they post and interact with the show.
It is a screen capture of a post to the Sowerby and Luff's Fully Optimised Social Media Network, on Facebook, by a fan of the show who will be called SK. SK posted this link,, to the page, and continued a conversation from many podcast throughout Sowerby and Luff's podcasts about how much "Big Brother" is watching people. This post,  was then featured on episode 90 of Fat Chance and was discussed by Georgina and Brian. SK posted the link the same day that the episode was released (Spetember 22). The link is a photo of a group of people outside a hockey arena for the 2011 Stanley Cup. The photo was taken with a very powerful camera, and allows one to zoom in on the faces of the people in the crowd. 

This post is an excellent example of what my research focus is. Sowerby and Luff have allowed fans to interact with the show, mostly by answering questions and submitting stories, through email, but a few years ago the opened the Facebook group, which has allowed a broader range of content to be submitted, plus a higher level of fan interaction because of the social network context. Furthermore, this post helped shaped the show not only by being part of the content, but created a connectedness, because as we see Georgina comments, "Never go out without lipstick, that's the rule" on the post but also says the same thing on air, potentially at the same time. We also see that not only does Georgina comment on the post it self, but she likes a comment made by NH. Furthermore we see that Georgina is not the person to generate interest in a comment because SK liked the comment first then Georgina liked it (Facebook shows the first like last putting the first like on the left starting the sentence).

Georgina not only interacts by commenting, but also by liking.
The only other comment that has likes is Georgina's comment, which garners interest not only from the person that posted the first comment, but from someone that had not posted a comment in the conversation and not liked the post or the previous comment. This interest in Georgina's comment, might mean that people in the group see things that Georgina and Brian post or say as more important than the rest of the group's. This attention, may have to do with Georgina and Brian's digital capital: they are what is now termed as "Internet Famous" and are thus higher profile. Furthermore, 

Georgina's comment is the first comment to receive any likes.

Another facet of this conversation is that though this is part of Facebook, the comments are all at a higher level of grammar than one normally sees on Facebook. There is no misspelling, or misplaced grammar, or missing punctuation (one person does use two question marks). The tone of the comments is conversational, but also higher than the usual "freaky," "cool," "OMG" type comments one would see on their own newsfeed. This level of correctness in English shows that the group is either aware that they are being observed by strangers, and/or they are all very well educated in English correctness.

One interesting thing about the post is that though people are interacting by commenting and liking they are not directly interacting one with another: there are several questions posed in the comments but they all remain unanswered. Admittedly, the first question was rather comical and rhetorical, there were others that potentially merited attention and answers. It would be interesting to see if all questions posed in the comments remain unanswered.

1 comment:

Jennifer Stone said...

This is an interesting set of data that shows how the fans interact with each other and the cast in the group. I'd love to see you develop your analysis quite a bit. I think you have two potential analytic conversations here--1) focusing on fan participation, attention, and digital capital; 2) focusing on how language is used. Right now, the two don't seem very related, so I recommend choosing one and going with it.