Richard Armitage fan or professional marketer: Why it matters

Richard Armitage as Chop rolls himself a cigarette. The first picture from the set, I believe, and one of my favorites.

Richard Armitage as Chop rolls himself a cigarette. The first picture from the set, I believe, and one of my favorites.

Well, one obvious reason is that a professional marketer knows how to set her Facebook page to public. Since this is not that hard (FB makes it easy on purpose, to make its content more useful), and since the person in question keeps insisting that it’s some technical flaw in Facebook and not her own custom settings of the page, one tends to suspect that the main reason for not just doing it is hiding her real identity. Why not take the simple step that would make the social media campaign most visible to the most people? I’ve talked about my issues with this person’s marketing of Urban and the Shed Crew before, including the fundamental representations she’s made about herself. If you care about the film’s fate, it’s grating to watch that Twitter. On the one hand, its operator wants fan support; on the other, however, no fan support that doesn’t already fit in with her plans. There’s a hilarious paradox to using the most potentially spontaneous social media platform to center one’s campaign and then insist that everyone move in lockstep and no one do anything that isn’t already approved by the marketer! Hey, Urban fans: DON’T TWEET ABOUT THE FILM! WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T USE YOUR OWN HASHTAGS!

Still, 90 percent of fans are not paying attention to the account seriously any longer, and it’s been a failure at non-fan social media (the only place in all of my streams that I see what it is doing is on Twitter — so not much broader social media penetration — everyone who blogs about Urban hits Google Alerts faster than that Twitter). The social media campaign isn’t going to sell the film; we hope that the film will sell itself when potential distributors see it.

So why should I care any more?

It’s interesting that the tweet that provoked this post has, in the interval, been deleted (I thought I made a copy of it, but maybe not). @AnglophileTV asked the question: why does it matter if to “some people” (the passive aggression is really wearing — you can just say who you mean, I’m a big girl, I can take it) if someone is “fan” or “pro”? In answering, I’m not going to pretend I’m ignorant of the reason why she asked that. For her, it’s crucial because she’s some kind of hybrid caught on the threshold, who makes her money, or at least her reputation, in that place, exploiting fan desires in what I see as a hugely negative way; as a consequence for me, it’s a matter of real concern.

The whole question of the lines between fan and marketer and crush is one that has concerned me more or less since Richard Armitage has been in a position to be professionally marketed — this is the first post about this topic that I remember writing, approaching four years ago. Very early on this blog, I stated my emphatic position that the crush should not spend too much time worrying about what his fans want. So this topic is not something that only concerns me now, on what now looks like it will have been a rather minor project of his, nor because I know who’s involved and I’m gunshy after what happened twice in 2014. After all, anyone should be able to learn from her past mistakes.

This is why — in a conceptual sense, apart from the people involved — it matters.

Fans love things; marketers and professionals sell things. Fans care about sharing their enjoyment of something with the likeminded; marketers care about finding more consumers for it among those not yet in the group of the likeminded. Fans want other fans to have fun however they do it; in contrast, professionals only want fans to participate in certain ways that support their sales projects.

And the combination of those two things threatens to destroy the world of the person who loves something for the sake of the experience of loving it. It turns everything we “lovers” do into something that’s for sale.

I. The difference between love and sales

A fan (on the whole) wants you to enjoy or at least experience something with her. One reason many of us blog and tumbl and tweet and facebook is for the purpose of enjoying Richard Armitage and his career with each other. In contrast, while a professional marketer may be sharing an experience with us, she wants us to buy (however we define that term; money isn’t always the currency) something. Professionals also hope that you enjoy what they put out there, but that is a means to an end; their fundamental goal is sales, even if they’re selling something that has no price.

Because of this fundamental contrast in their goals and motivations, fans and marketers care about different things; we share different kinds of information. We use different techniques, have different strategies, want different results. In particular, a fan doesn’t have to think about what might be attractive about her crush to outsiders, because her fellows all share that presupposition already. In contrast, a professional has to think about what people who are not already in love might care about, and say different things as a consequence. (This is part of what the Urban social media campaign has been so pointless. Richard Armitage fans already love Richard Armitage.) For those reasons, we evaluate what they say differently.

II. The difference between a labor of love and a product for sale

If what I want is fun and enjoyment, like fans usually do, then the skill level of the product doesn’t matter. This is why so much of fan culture is so amateurish. It’s why this blog has never sought to be a news outlet, but only to reflect the things that I found interesting in the level that I find them so. Did you know that the root of the term amateur is “lover / love”? The point for the fan lies in the making and collecting and trying out. This doesn’t mean there’s no great stuff to be observed in fan culture — there is. We’ve all seen really masterful fan vids, or stories, or art. But the point of it isn’t that it’s great — the point is that it’s made by fans.

In contrast, we expect more from a professional marketer or journalist. Since they want something from us, we expect them to be the master of what they do and to do it well. They want us to engage in a transaction of some kind (whether or not money changes hands directly), and in such transactions, we examine more closely whether the value of the exchange is fair. If I watch something I think is art and discover it was advertisement, most of the time, I feel disappointed, manipulated. The fan doesn’t ask anything from me in producing her work, so if I don’t love it, I can walk away; indeed, depending on the situation, it might be cruel to express my unvarnished reaction to it. In contrast, professionals want something from us in return for what they provide — even if that’s as simple as a tweet and ranging on down to some kind of purchase or action — so it’s legitimate to be critical of them in proportion to what they ask of us. If a fan gets a story wrong in transmission, that’s unfortunate, but on some level part of the risk one takes and maybe even expected, because fans have a particular kind of partisan stance. In contrast, when a professional gets it wrong, I have a reason to express my disgruntlement because I have the expectation of accuracy and that expectation is part of why I give them my attention. When a fan bungles a social media campaign, well, she was doing it out of love. When a professional bungles a social media campaign, it’s a wasted opportunity.

And, one might add, when a fan masquerades as a professional and bungles a social media campaign, it’s doubly frustrating because one imagines an opportunity that might not have been wasted, had a professional — by which I mean, not a fan, no fan, not any fan — done the work. Because as professional as a fan might be in any area, she’s not objective when it comes to her crush. Which means she can’t think clearly enough to consider how to appeal to people who aren’t already convinced.

III. The difference between fun and work

There’s this term used by fans and the people who study us: fan labor, which means “things that fans do and make in the course of their fandom.” Companies that distribute creative works have sought increasingly in recent years to benefit from fan labor as advertising, which is the effect that raises the question of why it matters if someone is a fan or a pro. Whatever you do, it’s all advertising!

Now, I’ve been responsible for complex organization of fans myself, in my own day. So I’m not against fans organizing to do things they enjoy, and I hope those fans enjoyed it as much as I did — or at least the feelings during the event. My resistance, rather, is to the suggestion that fans — who love something — rearrange their love for something in order to turn it into advertising. If I love something, then the labor I do is a labor of love, and if it has a positive effect in some other area, great, but that wasn’t the purpose of the fan labor. The purpose was the experience and expression of that positive relationship to the crush, and in some cases, the sharing of that feeling with others. When the primary purpose of the fan labor becomes selling something to people I don’t know in order to convince them that they should love something as much as I do, it’s not a labor of love any more — it’s plain old marketing. When the purpose becomes to get fans to do what I want them to do, it’s just coercion and shaming. To me, that’s the tail wagging the dog.

Fans don’t need to share the same hashtag for everything. We don’t need to organize ourselves into a single campaign or a market segment. We can tweet what we want at who we want; if we want to organize a hashtag campaign — or many of them — we should do that! If we want to alert people as to something, we should do that; if we want to make suggestions, we should do that; if we want to fundraise, we should do it because we enjoy participating and doing something kind, not because of counting the numbers of raising a huge amount of money. When the money or the participation rate become the point, instead of the pleasure — that’s the tail wagging the dog again.

A marketer cares about outcome, a fan cares about process. Tainting the process kills the enjoyment. My fan labor is not performed out of obligation, my love is not for sale, and it’s not a tool for marketers. I am not here to move markets, I am here to be moved and to talk about that. I give my fan labor freely for the purpose of loving. And if I’m going to be confronted by someone who — like the Urban social media “marketer,” who is really a fan who’s just using me and you, who is going to try to manipulate, abuse and exploit what I give freely, I want to know about that ahead of time so I can guard my reactions, so I can preserve what I love most about being a fan — the love I can be suffused with and spread to others.

~ by Servetus on November 6, 2015.

53 Responses to “Richard Armitage fan or professional marketer: Why it matters”

  1. Very well said, Serv.

    I confess I basically depend on you and other bloggers to help me keep up on RA-related matters on Twitter. I find I just don’t care to deal with some of this stuff, which hopefully doesn’t make me a “bad fan.” 😉 Just one with limited energy and brain power at times.
    As for ‘Urban,’ oh dear. I hope it’s a good movie; I believe Richard will give a good performance because that’s what I’ve come to always expect of him. I hope it is well received by The Powers That Be. But I am not impressed thus far with how this film is being presented/promoted on social media.

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    • Comme fan je suis dans la même démarche et le même état d’esprit que vous Fedoralady .
      Sauf que je n’entretiens pas un blog perso . Il n’y a ni matière à , ni capacité intellectuelle à , ni le goût à , ni le temps à , … Il faudrait que je prenne des cours d’informatique et que j’améliore mon anglais. Tant de personnes si différentes le font très bien , bien mieux que je ne pourrais jamais le faire , je leur laisse bien volontiers cette occupation .
      Cependant , certains travaux de fans se rapprochent de ceux de professionnels et pourraient , selon moi , être considérés , d’une certaine manière , comme des travaux de marketting . Il n’y a souvent rien à vendre , mais leurs propos , leurs présentations, leur qualité en font indirectement des vitrines publicitaires du travail de Richard Armitage.
      Mais confier à un fan la promotion , auprès de ses congénères , d’un film non commercialement sorti , me semble une aventure périlleuse . Les fans seraient considérés comme des clients de seconde zone , faciles à berner ( des poissons affamés se jetant sur le premier appât ) . Sensation que j’ai déjà ressentie plus d’une fois dans ce fandom ( pas dans vos blogs serv or fedo) , cf post vente du Crucible par exemple . Triste , triste …

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  2. Well said! I don’t follow the Urban tweets much & haven’t been on the page to see what she’s tweeted in a while. Most of what I have seen hasn’t been new info. Sad, really.

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  3. You’ve put into words what I couldn’t quite pinpoint for myself. I was annoyed with the Urban tweets (apart from the Tweet-spamming from that account) and unfollowed pretty quickly, without analyzing what bothered me. Having read this, I think you hit the nail right on the head! And huh, I never noticed the ‘amateur’ – ‘love’ connection before, that is beyond cool. 🙂

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    • Isn’t it?

      I stopped writing at some point because I was about to lose my internet signal, but I would have responded to objections I could think of, and one was that there are exceptions — Peter Jackson is one of them. He’s definitely a Tolkien fan but also definitely a professional, and surrounded by an entire professional apparatus. I think what’s key there is that there’s nothing emotionally transactional about it. He puts his stuff out there — you can consume it or not — but there’s no guilt trip that goes along with it, no weird behavior. He’s managed to subsume his fan moments in his professional personality (with the possible exception of some content moments of the films).

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  4. Very well said!

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  5. Well said Serv, this was a very interesting read. It’s how I feel, although if anyone asks me to elaborate I’d have great difficulty articulating it!
    I unfollowed @UATSC twitter when I realised it wasn’t being run professionally, or particularly well. I was one who got carried away in my enthusiasm, making suggestions for release in Australia, only to be quashed because I didn’t know how the whole distribution system works. Some information about that at the start would have been good, especially since it was obvious we were wanting to help. There is already a captive audience for Urban – good film or not – in us Armitage fans, but there doesn’t seem to be much being done to promote it on a broader scale. I’m looking forward to the feedback from those who are seeing it at LIFF this weekend.

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    • To be fair, I think the Twitter sort of encouraged that — which was also a weird quality of this. Be enthusiastic, until I slap you down! But it’s really a problem, encouraging enthusiasm if all you are going to do is tell fans they shouldn’t do those things — but they you don’t do them any better.

      I look forward to hearing from eyewitnesses myself. Inter alia I don’t believe that the UATSC tweeter has actually seen the film.

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  6. I agree with your observations that the UATSC twitter account is not being marketed outside of Richard’s fans, who are already sold without seeing the film. However, my bigger criticism is not for the person who is running it, but for whoever involved in the film allowed an outsider/non-professional to run the film’s twitter account — Candida Brady, perhaps?.

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    • Yes, it points to sloppiness on Brady’s part. She didn’t do her due diligence. Thought to be fair, the tweeter erased a lot of the evidence of it. You’d have to have talked to someone in the fandom to find that stuff.

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  7. excellent post! well thought out and explained. we expect a certain level of professionalism from a marketer and trust that they are equipped to get the job done. a fan masquerading as a marketer will fail on both of those counts, ultimately hurting the project they are trying to market. and in this instance, alienating fellow fans

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    • The thing that bugs me about the alienation factor is that it interferes with my excitement. I want to be thrilled about everything Armitage is doing.

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    • I only clicked today, I think person should of said they were rcarmitage us, just so you knew who u were talking to # just saying

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  8. I continue to be mystified at the producers of the film allowing an important social networking promotional asset to be run by an amateur. It looks all very bush league to me. I just hope it does not affect the ability of the film to be picked up by a distributor put off by the crazy “marketing”.

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    • I’ve been saying to people all along that one of a few things will happen:

      1) The film will get picked up by a distributor, which will take over the publicity.
      2) The film will fall into oblivion, in which case there will be nothing TO publicize.
      3) The film will fall into limbo. It won’t find a distributor but it will get some critiques from pros, so that perhaps it will be re-edited, or whatever … and then resubmitted to another festival in a year so. In that case, since the Twitter account can’t afford to continue giving away new material, it will necessarily fall silent for long periods of time.

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  9. Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes and commented:

    More to come from me on this issue. But, for now, here are the deleted tweets referred in the the beginning of the post. https://armitageagonistes.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/marlise21.png, https://armitageagonistes.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/marlise-1screen-shot-2015-11-04-at-5-16-45-pm3.png?w=670

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  10. I’ve already reblogged and have more/different opinions to share, but meanwhile, here is the link for the screenshot of the deleted tweet https://armitageagonistes.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/marlise22.png

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    • Yeah, I didn’t think this was the last word. This post only represents my investment in it — and not even all o fthat. But it was 2000 words long and I needed to stop.

      Thanks for the screenshot. I need to sharpen my evidence collecting skills, I’ve been getting lazy.

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  11. Brilliant, thank you so much for pointing out the differences so succinct! To me it seems to be a topic which gets more and important, not only in RA fandom, but for the most film- or TV-related fandoms. The lines get ever more blurry between promoting to and interacting with the fans by actors/directors/writers (or promoting by interacting ;)) Still I basically know what to expect and can let my gut decide whether I like it or feel somewhat exploited. But with journos/marketers posing as fans I feel cheated, massively so. Therefore thanks again for drawing a beautifully written line. 🙂

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    • This, this is really the big issue for me. I want to be a fan and love Richard Armitage. If that has a positive effect in terms of his career, great. But the positive outcome is not the reason I want to show my love. I don’t want to love something for the purpose of its positive effect — that’s work, or morals, or childrearing, or pedagogy, or whatever. I want to have the genuine reaction, participate in the ocean of emotion. I don’t want to create an ocean of emotion before I have even thought about how I feel. The latter is the job of the marketer and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s fundamentally different from the responsibility of the fan.

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  12. This is very well expressed and I completely agree with all of it. Blurring the lines between “amateur” and “professional” can open up difficulties in all sorts of arenas. Fans who are pure-hearted and sharing their good feelings and creative products are not out to manipulate others, whereas marketing and publicity people are in the very business of doing just that. These difference cannot be reconciled, in my view. Whoever has been in charge of the Urban Twitter account seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding about a lot of things. Let’s hope the film’s potential does not suffer because of it.

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    • Chances are (and I do mean ‘chances’) that this unprofessional media presence goes largely unnoticed by others than RA’s fans, because the reach of this so-called ‘marketing’ is of such a nature that it’s limited to the fandom.

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      • I think so too. And once the film has a bona fide distributor the film will in turn have a bona fide marketing campaign and this annoying whatever it is that keeps sending out those annoying tweets and whatever they are doing on facebook that I haven’t bothered to even attempt to look at will hopefully go away. Or be told to go away by whoever it is that bought the rights to distribute the movie (or whatever it is distributors buy or own …. sorry! I have no idea of the terminology to use here to articulate my ramblings).

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  13. What is the marketer’s “plan”? Isn’t this key to this discussion?

    If the marketer has a plan, it’s certainly blurred in all the incessant, unnecessary twittering overload about this or that. I read about the characters in UATSC (that are linked to FB), but the truly interesting updates regarding the film are few and far between. They sadly become hidden in this ‘information’ overload.

    I don’t disapprove of a fan kindly offering help to carry out a task related to RA. Not at all. However, when this help is subsequently performed unprofessionally in terms of the purpose of this assistance, then I grow really tired.

    I agree with previous the comments. It’s sadly a wasted opportunity.

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    • the previous comments (sorry)

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    • yeah, I think the person is a lousy marketer, but I wrote about that earlier.

      One of the issues is that the fan running the account in this case isn’t an altruist. She absolutely wants something out of it. I don’t think it’s really possible for a fan to be an altruist when it comes to her crush, but if it is, this one isn’t one. She could at least admit it.

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  14. As usual, well stated and wisely insightful to the fan/pro line some people are walking. I’ve not been aware of the marketing efforts for Urban film, but your reasoning is sound. From my perspective, which services a fan-consumer for entertainment purposes, when the fan-consumer/reader does not enjoy their experience, you cannot ‘sell’ them anything. From day one, I have refused to ‘sell’ my own self-respect and credibility for any amount of dough; you have my respect and appreciation for the continuing insight and if I am honest, fun, you provide us all.

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    • re: mortgaging one’s own credibility — I think that’s absolutely right — and I experience something similar during course registration. There are courses that simply will not “sell” in terms of attraction students, and as an advisor, I undermine my credibility if I try to sell them something they don’t need, don’t want, will struggle with too much, won’t profit from educationally. Profs will come by and tell me they want me to push their courses, but I can’t. That’s not my role. That doesn’t mean it’s no one’s role, but it’s not my role.

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      • What is that saying? Something like, you can spend a lifetime maintaining your credibility, rep, word (obviously paraphrasing) but it only takes one dishonest, (insincere?) act to destroy it. I don’t know if there is any coming back from that, for me at least. I side w/you on that as an educator, you have to make the honorable stand; your decisions, (words) can impact students so profoundly. That is a huge responsibility. I applaud your caution and unwillingness to push (sell) a course that may not benefit your students. I wouldn’t sell my credibility short either. Continue to stay strong 🙂

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  15. Just trying to write this in my iPad. Hope it works. Like Mezz above, I felt quashed by the promoter when we were both getting excited about distribution in Australia.

    I’m going to stick my neck out here and give a perspective as a health professional of 35 years. If I was asked to treat Richard Armitage’s neck, back, wrist, little finger, I would in all professional conscience have to say ‘no’! I feel it would be a conflict of interest, as I am a fan of his. The boundary between professional and fan would be too blurred for me, personally. This is why I have a hard time understanding how other fellow fans are comfortable getting themselves in a situation where they are using professional skills to meet their own personal fan agendas. I think it is far better to leave the promotions/journalism (in my case, physio), to colleagues who can be more objective.

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    • yeah — a fan could NOT be Armitage’s health professional. Your judgment is automatically off in that situation.

      re: personal fan agendas — I think one of the things this incident demonstrates is what the “free stuff” economy is doing to certain professions. When everyone can “market,” it means an increased level of susceptibility for everyone. Honestly, we can’t live in a world that is nothing but advertising.

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    • Well said! An excellent comparison… 🙂

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  16. I’ve been wondering the same thing. How did this happen to begin with? I’m not sure if she was just that desperate for help or if Candida Brady knows so little herself about how to best utilize social media to market her film. But I know this marketer offered repeatedly to help & on paper she SEEMS like a pro, claiming years of work in the PR industry. Apparently years BEFORE social media entered the picture. But it appears Candida took the woman’s word & didn’t investigate much beyond that.

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  17. The social marketing fiasco of this film has almost completely stolen my excitement about Urban & the Shed Crew. RA fans themselves are some of the best promoters of his work, but there’s so much noise coming from UATSC that I just want to walk away completely. I really REALLY hope the film itself will begin to do some of the talking after this weekend. And I have a secret hope that someone (or two) might bend Candida Brady’s ear this weekend and ask her WTF is up with the social media. 😉

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    • I agree that RA fans are great promoters on their own — but at least in part because it never leaves that realm of “labor of love.” They’re not doing it to get something, but for pure enjoyment. THAT is the kind of thing I support an dwould love to see more of.

      I think one of the things that is probably playing into this marketer’s mind is the DLC’s twitter campaign for Hannibal. However, all that was accomplished by that in terms of actually getting the show extended or finding another distributor was … nothing. It was fun for a lot of the fans, and that on its own is a fine purpose. But I am not incredibly optimistic about the heavily level of congruence about those things. And I think DLC could order fans to do things because there were so many of them and they only had to behave in a sort of general herd way. They kept their “don’t do this” comments to a minimum.

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  18. And of course, this uncertain situation regarding the UATSC Twitter account expends fan “energy” ruminating about the person tweeting about the film–and whether the info being tweeted is accurate or not–rather than fans just having fun chatting about the film and RA’s participation in it.

    And this uncertainty could also have unsettling effect upon the communities of RA’s fans–wondering what is going on and who is behind it. I don’t phrase it as “community” singular because we are a very diverse group of people and not a monolithic entity.

    Is this a grand conspiracy? Or a kerfuffle? I don’t know. For me as a fan, I appreciate Serv and Perry and others who bring these issues to light, because it is worth remembering that the “nature” of social media and its participants is rather illusory. And frankly, i don’t have the energy nor the time to focus on every kerfuffle or squabble that arises–including this one. I just want to focus on Richard and his projects–and my reaction to them.

    P.S. I’d write more, but my doggie has to be let outside or there will be a puddle to clean up. That’s real, and I can grok it–my not wanting to have to clean up the pee.

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    • I don’t think it’s a grand conspiracy; I think it’s another example of the encroauchment of the would-be salesperson on space that isn’t supposed to be about commerce.

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  19. Thanks for your thoughts on this, Servetus. I’ve stopped following the official social media on that film a week or so back, and am relying on fan blogs for news of it. I want to keep my excitement for the film and not be put off. Thankfully, RA fans are REALLY good at keeping track of his projects.

    Marketing is often a problem encountered by indies, and people seem to have this false idea that it’s an easy skillset to acquire. I follow indie game development, but it’s the same issues. Good product, but no one knows about it. The advice is often the same–do your research and get a pro in your team. On the very unfortunate occasion you really can’t get a pro marketer on your team (it’s roughly about $2,000+/month or so to hire one, last I checked), then be prepared to devote tons of time and effort into learning it, ’cause just yelling out loud on social media isn’t gonna make much of a difference. That’s an entire discipline people are just trying to casually rope into their set of skills, and it shows when it’s not being done well. Incidentally, being spammy on Twitter just for the sake of it is a no-no. Neither is cramming your opinions down people’s throats. I’m sure there are quite a number of differences between marketing a film and marketing a game that I’m not privy to, though. Indie film makers seem to like being more tight-lipped about the film-making process, for one, and maintaining a dev blog is one of the good sources of free marketing an indie game can have. I think it’s also why fans really appreciated PJ’s video blogs that he tried to maintain while making The Hobbit. Making people feel like they were part of the journey of creation has funded many a Kickstarter. Anyway, sorry, tangent…

    Fans can absolutely be professionals, but this one hasn’t been displaying good professional behavior, IMO. A lot of drive, which is good, but not enough self-awareness and far too preachy. If that’s all right for Candida Brady and co, I’m personally not gonna hold it against them…I kind of figure they just want to pass the online stuff to someone else so they can concentrate on doing the RL legwork themselves, maybe. Wasted opportunity though, but could still be a step up from what they had before, in their eyes.

    I agree that this promoter is taking a lot of cues from DLC’s far more successful Hannibal fan campaign. She’s not pulling it off very well though, for predictable reasons. DLC’s an entire team of professionals with decades of experience that was working very closely with the people behind the product, not just one person given very limited access to what can be shown and said. It’s unfortunate that part of her energy seems to be devoted to rather inconsequential things, like making it seem like this isn’t the case. (Maybe it isn’t. I don’t know.)

    Thanks again for the very good read, certainly a lot to think about.

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    • Fruity, very insightful comments. I’ve been thinking back to the vlogs Sir Peter shared with us and how both his consummate professionalism/media savvy and his tremendous boyish enthusiasm and love for Tolkien’s works and characters were always evident. Yes, I felt as if I were getting a wonderful glimpse behind the scenes and really participating in the journey. It felt inclusive–not alienating. It was interesting, informative and FUN! Which is a big factor here–fans are getting turned off, burned out and losing interest in the UaTSC social media efforts, which sort of defeats the purpose of such a campaign. I am going to write on my own blog about a sort of parallel circumstance taking place in my own life right now . . . so I won’t take up a big whopping space here. 😉

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    • And I meant to add I can understand it’s a struggle for independent films with limited resources to do marketing–as part of a small video production company I am all too well familiar with budgetary restraints when marketing your business–but going about it in such a ham-handed way is definitely not the way to do it. One wishes someone connected with the film had been able to expend the time, effort and energy needed to do it right.

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      • Thanks, though I think I rambled on a bit too much, heh. Looking forward to your post. Marketing and self-promotion are such tricky things to get into for individuals or smaller companies…and even when you do everything “right,” there’s still a chance of failing or not getting noticed. One of the unfortunate realities of saturated markets. Would love to read about your experiences with your company, and your thoughts on this matter.

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        • Actually it’s through my volunteer experience creating and promoting  a fundraising calendar for our humane society that I’ve gotten the best  lesson in how not to market your product and alienate your potential donors , Fruity. 😉  I tackled this job after the previous chair got burned out and it’s been a learning experience one  both gratifying and frustrating . I will address this in a post –but first,  I’ve got to finish proofing all the calendar pages for the publisher  this weekend! (Volunteering and blogging–full time jobs with rotten pay but their own rewards)

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    • Thanks for saying this — because I agree. Marketing is not something that should be crowd-sourced: not if you really care about something.

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  20. Since I’m a bit of an imposter in the true ‘fan’ sense I don’t have a personal awareness of the issues addressed, but found your exposition interesting for its own sake. It was a thought-provoking read for me as I am working on my own writing and marketing. Good food for thought!

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  21. […] Although admittedly this turned out badly last time — find a volunteer to do the captioning. Armitage fans have been transcribing interviews for a decade now. I’m sure there’s a fan somewhere who would close caption this, perhaps a retiree — or perhaps even someone who works in that branch. However, Brady should ask for a CV and references for any fan who does this, and call the references, just like one would for any employee. […]

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