December 6, 2013

Drive-in Mob Round-Up

As I move towards the end of my study of the #drivein mob, I have begun to take the data complied and aggregating it. Using an approach called grounded theory-letting the data inform the results instead of attempting to approach the study hoping to prove/disprove any theory, I divided the twitter activity of the hashtag users into seven categories; riffing, directive, narrative, conversation, phatic, intertextuality, and critique. These codes revealed the hashtag users involved primarily in two activities: creation of a jointly produced text and creation of social networks.

We can see this in the percent of tweets in several categories: riffing, phatic, and conversation. Riffing accounts for 80% of the total tweets, and phatic, combined with conversation, equal 41%.

The riffing produced by the hashtag users acts on two levels. Not only do the jokes re-produce the fan object as desired by the fans, but such activity is also a statement towards the fan object.

I combined the phatic and conversation codes into the creation of social networks because these two codes both demonstrate the hashtag users as actively building communitity ties. They bemoan and sympathise with faulty computers or the need to miss a film night, they share and relate. Twitter users are coming for the movie, but building connections beyond.

The twitter hashtag community offers a significant change in construction of hierarchy. This is no trickle-down fan pyramid, with media at the top. Fans are becoming producers, making media slightly less important. Rather than dictating activity, movies are inspiring it, just as twitter is affording the community a digital space and oppurtunity towards connection instead of creating it.

Twitter users incorporating the driveinmob hashtag into their tweets are engaging with one another, conversing, building, as opposed to simply broadcasting any identification.

Written with StackEdit.


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About tomwink

Graduate student at Rowan University currently researching public spaces and their impact


fan activity, fandom, research update