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Remember the days of sending off your details on a little card that came with your CDs and tapes, in order to receive bi-annual updates on your favourite band, and info about exclusive merchandise sold at a not-so-reasonable price? Fan clubs went the way of, well, CDs and tapes a while ago, but they could return online.
Whilst the early days of the internet had subject-specific newsgroups and email newsletters, fandoms began to splinter with the rise of social media – you can be a fan of a whole load of things on Twitter and Tumblr, which can actually make it a lot more difficult to find people with a specific common interest.
Where can these specific fan clubs be found, then? Lady Gaga’s been hoarding them all, apparently. Backplane offers social networks revolving around shared ‘interests, affinities, and movements’, with Gaga’s ‘Little Monsters’ being the first. It’s similar to how MySpace used to be, essentially, a whole network of fan clubs – people could connect with their favourite musicians and actors, get exclusive updates, and talk to each other. MySpace’d be smart to tap into that with their relaunch. It’s early days for Backplane, but surely a Moshi Monsters fan club can’t be far off?
Participating in fandom can have countless positive effects on kids – even if the likes of cosplay can have a negative effect on your wallet. Most notably for us, it can help make them good web citizens - and having a good online reputation is pretty important nowadays.
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I know a great one that's about to launch! Will come back and post when it's live! :)