Fans vs Pranksters

I’m sure you’ve all been breathlessly following the Spice Girls reunion news (to say nothing of the nonstop drama of Posh and that husband of hers moving to LA), but maybe you missed this little blip:

The five-member skank-power band has asked fans to vote online to decide which city will be added to their 14-date world tour and promised they would play wherever got the most nominations; however, they probably weren’t banking on the fact that a huge number of Spice Girl haters would get in on the fun, nominating them to invade the war-torn city in Iraq.

To their credit, they say Baghdad is in the running and if it’s a top vote getter, they’ll go there. Of course, they may have to play acoustically given the electricity issues there, and I’m not sure it’s right to inflict them on a country already so devastated, but on the other hand, setting cattiness aside, the good people of Baghdad deserve some fun, years and years of fun, and if this happens and brings them a little bit of it, then the pranksters will have done more good than they meant to.

It does raise the issue of how to manage online voting in ways that get fans involved without feeding the antifans. There’ve been a lot of efforts to solicit fan input on everything from where to play, to which songs to play, to which songs to be on records, and, oh yeah, which character to kick off the TV show. The things that seem to work best at excluding antifans involve small barriers to participation – a $1 annual fee or registration. But those things exclude fans too.

Speaking of which has everyone been following the DailyKos (free to post) vs Bill O’Reilly ($5 to post) drama? I will steer clear but if you care at all about the tensions between the top down right wing media and political machine vs the bottom up online leftie grassroots, it’s a doozie.

Update: No Iraq for the Spice Girls, Toronto got more votes. Or so they say. Interestingly, this article attributes the Iraq votes to a fan-movement in Iraq rather than to antifans.

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