Fans or Friends?

Last weekend I gave a talk at the International Communication Association about the increasingly interpersonal nature of the relationships between musicians and friends. In it, I draw on the interviews I’ve done with musicians to identify some of the positive new rewards they get when they can interact directly with their fans, cover many of the tricky interpersonal issues they face in trying to negotiate how much those relationships can be like friendship, and briefly summarize the main strategies they use to manage boundaries in ways with which they are comfortable.

Here it is in PDF form for download:

Fans or Friends?

Any and all feedback (especially the constructive kind) is welcomed!


Comments (3) to “Fans or Friends?”

  1. Quoting your opening “the first time as our online social networks expand to sizes
    that push us to reconsider how we can address so many at once.” this seems to hit the nail on the head. How do I talk with coworkers in security and radical anarchists at the same time? Um now I need to read more of your presentation. BTW I am looking to find something on musicians talking to each other or you could tackle that one somewhere else.

  2. This(below your quote) is something to explore more musicians or not. I also wonder if we all as users need to make more enlightened ethical choices. My example… do I want to read the profiles of a high school friend\’s friends? Or is this unethical considering I do not know them or is it gossip?

    Here is your text about this: The distinction between personal and fan page also means that artists have to make conscious decisions about what exactly constitutes a “friend” rather than a “fan” in ways more explicit than before. Deciding what exactly constitutes a “friend” for Facebook purposes is a process most of the site’s users deal with, but it’s one made even more complicated when there is the alternative of a band page.

  3. Not a lot of media or fandom theory in my head but audience becomes performer a la DIY art show might fit in here. While the avant garde try to connect with their audience, the audience also try to become the perfomers. Many early Beatles male club goers were apparently attending to learn the riffs, as it was for me often at clubs. No citations in this comment but there should be some here.