Using Fandom Right

Awhile back I did a post about how the internet isn’t a big fan of original content, instead preferring fan films pairing Batman with the Predator, plotless lightsaber battles, or covers of whatever’s on the iTunes top 10 instead of original songs. It’s just the nature of the thing. Even as original content explodes in every medium with a very real avenue to the eyes of the entire internet-surfing world, people still search for the things that the conventional industries are pushing with their marketing. The new trick is getting your original content out there. Most content creators are useless at marketing their stuff. Branding, click-throughs, promotion, grass roots, and then the brass ring of the internet…viral. How do you go viral? Good grief, that’s like trying to catch a lightning bolt. I have no idea. Here’s all I do know…film kittens; eventually one of them will yawn while falling over. But for those of us who aren’t in the kitten pushing business, and trying to push our original stuff, what do we do? For people like me who have an original series, the best we can do is try to get in with the internet communities who like our genre and hope enough people pass it around to catch the interest of the blogs big enough to have traditional media eyes on them.

The title of this post doesn’t work for series-guys like me. It works for other internet entertainers though. It’s on my mind because of a dude I became internet-obsessed with just TODAY. His name is Levar Allen and the dude landed on my radar by writing a great original song about my favorite show, Community. He uploaded it to YouTube yesterday, was tweeted by practically the entire cast AND the creator, and as soon as I heard his fan-song, I tore through his backlog, including his originals. That’s how it’s done. He targeted a very specific, niche community while displaying his serious ability for creating original songs. I don’t know if this particular video will land him a recording contract, or if he would even want one—inside sources these days seem to be saying not to get involved with record companies if you can get your own audience going online, but who the hell really knows?

I’m including the video here because it’s the perfect example of how it’s done right. It’s also an example of a YouTube genre called a “video song,” where you see video clips of the actual takes that end up on the track. You’re actually watching the song happen. As far as I know, it was pioneered by a dude named Jack Conte, who is definitely worth checking out as well. He’s an example of the opposite though. His covers are impeccable, but I don’t connect with his originals. I digress, here’s Levar:

How cool is he? Thanks for reading, guys.

–Jarvi

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