I've been putting this journal off for the last month, mostly because I've been feeling quite lazy. Even with my laziness I continue to ponder the question above. Considering I've been watching Youtube videos and Twitch streamers than engaging in traditional media.
Have you read a good book recently? Maybe you watch a new movie? How about enjoying a T.V. series? Game of Thrones was so 3years ago! It's all about Westworld now a days. Sometimes even music has a story to tell. I've always considered traditional media to have an overarching story with organised narratives. What I mean is there is a massive story, but the narratives are broken into pieces to keep you engage. Like you can't wait until the next chapter or episode.
Let's now jump into the Digital realm, welcome to what I call the age of personalities and community building. Now the battle for audience attention will heavily rely on how good you can convey your story and show that it is genuine. If you're really good at it, you'll get a large amount of audience and a possibility to earn a decent living from a small amount of the participating audience. Basically when you see the word "support" it's one method of the story teller to tell you "Hey continue to help me out my hardcore fanbase and I'll keep making my content."I'll be honest there is nothing wrong with that, they are after all dedicating their time and effort to convey to you a good narrative or at least engage directly with their fanbase. But your support will come from either you directly donating, buying merch, signing up to a sort of paid subscription model or just helping the story teller build a larger fan base.
I'm alright with the community building and fan engagement but one massive problem I see is the community is now revolving around the story teller. Take the story teller out now I don't know what to call the result. Is it still a community? There are other time I see the community to be defensive or extreme to the point of being toxic. I remember the controversy around the British game reviewer and how he got pretty stressed out with the Youtube comments. Or a more RT example the feud that's been going on with AH fans and FH fans sound a bit childish to me. Staff thought it was only for good fun but that dragged on for a long time.
Although, on the upside of having a successful fanbase. I'm now seeing more and more story tellers being successful. Aleksander (ImmortalHD) from Cow Chop has been one of my favourite entertainers, he's been able to adapt to a changing demographics every time and found ways to move platforms, while getting a substantial amount of his audience to follow him. Another example are the Funhaus team from Machinima to RT they seems to have been successful and had even overtaken the AH subscription count in YT. The team has some pretty good personalities but the audience tend to skew older and had more disposable income (just me assuming). I would argue this story telling business are not just for the digital content creators. If you look at Instagram and Twitter, artist and actors are joining in the fun. There's not a year that goes by that I don't hear a twitter feud between two big-shot celebrities. I feel like it's mostly to create some sort of story to show that they too still have a presence.
Right now I feel like we'll see more of a trend towards personality base communities and engagement. I know it's nothing new from a traditional media standpoint, but the digital platform has made this easier. Although what made it easy for them to tell their stories will now also be their biggest problem. More and more people what to be digital content creators and not all of them will be successful at convincing an audience. Another way I'm seeing this is that audience might be split to smaller communities rather than the larger audiences we used to see with prominent content creators. Well that's going to be a problem if there's not enough of the audience to "support" you.
My Three Part Journal Series on Story Telling
Telling The Audience A Story (Digital Way!)
Narrative Based Application