Monday, December 9, 2013


The IMDB Once Upon A Time discussion board functions as a new form of communication for online fans. Although's main purpose is to dispense information regarding movies, celebrities and etc., the discussion board itself serves as an affinity space for fans of different ages, genders and nationalities to interact as a community. The element of digital literacy in this site is possessed and controlled by the fans; with the discussion board being an interactive site, the level of activity is dependent on the fans and their devotion to the site. In my study of the emotional responses of the members, I found the discussion board to be full of relatable content, for due to the vast number of personalities that make themselves known there, there is always someone with whom you can empathize. Though the site was not fan-created, it is continuously maintained by fans, with the result that it rest on a solid fanbase, the strengths and affability of which draw in more fans.

I conducted my research as both an observer and a participant. The best way for me to go about my study was from an ethnographer's standpoint; I quietly stayed in the background watching how the members behaved, getting a better feel for the site, before I decided to actually interact with other members. Being a fan of the show myself made things easier, though other members make it simple for new fans to grasp what's going on, in their consistency of explaining themselves; the discussion board also has a very simple layout, which I surmised is part of what helps pull new members, the ease of it all. With complete anonymity, members are free to behave however they so chose, which would make this a good site for someone wishing to study public connections or affinity spaces.

All of the action on the discussion board takes place via posts and/or comments, and the relentless in-pouring of posts and comments proves how many devoted fans the Once Upon A Time discussion board has. It's not just a fondness for the show, people get excited or angered by what transpires on the discussion board itself. This site has proven itself to be an excellent example of an online fan community, with its variety of members, wealth of material, and clear layout. I can conclude from my study that the level of support from the fans, mixed with the digital literacies on the site, allow the community to flourish as a multi-layered network.

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