I will admit, I knew the area I wanted to work, but not the topic until I pushed myself to get through all the material and research I had collected. Did I want to look at Fandom, online interactions, there are a long list of things.
However my breakthrough came on Tuesday night with an ethnography I found about punk culture and the hierarchical structure from within — based on possession. Things such as, “Oh you have that on CD, well I have a first pressing vinyl.” I saw this and had an epiphany of sorts. Topic: Technology Changing Experience. Argument: Technology facilitates methods to avoid hierarchical social structures.
Working with online identity and fandom, I am wanting to make an argument similar to, “when you are on the internet, no one knows you are a dog.” When enter an online fan forum, no one knows you just saw this movie yesterday. Take for example, the first time someone attends a live viewing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, they are declared as being a Rocky Horror Virgin and must go perform certain tasks before the film starts — throughout the film, people interact with each other and the film. I will admit, the first time I saw it, I had no idea what was going on and had to rely on watching other people to see what to do. The way the DVD release of Rocky Horror changes this is making an option to turn on/off interaction cues. “Throw Rice,” or “Place Newspaper on your head” now can show up in the closed captioning. The person who plans to go see it can now go prepared and avoid the situation of someone labeling them as a total noob — avoid the situation where you feel shame sitting next to a person who is seeing it for the 50th time.
That is where I am at now. Brain storming session continues…
Audience: Social Informatics, New Media, Interaction Design
Structure: Intro, Definitions, History, Hierarchical structures, Technology combating these hierarchical structures, Conclusion
I still have a ways to go, but I feel more confident in the direction now. Any tips on moving forward from here?