Fan BoyzConsumer Becomes The Product

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Research Question:

How does fan boys and girls, using the internet, assist in the progress of the famous Nickelodeon show, iCarly?


The iCarly show has impacted its viewers in a powerful way. The show encourages children to go out and explore technology by experiencing what it takes to put out blogs and web shows, and to draw in a fan base. It is cool to watch so many different children enthused about making themselves known, by following the layout of the Nickelodeon iCarly show as a blueprint. After watching a few of these web shows and blogs I was able to see the different personalities that were inherited from the show. It is a good thing to see how the show has actually impacted the lives of these enthused children, both male and female. It is also good to watch how the show will remain popular due to the fact that these blogers and web casts will continue to make the show relevant as they continue to take these keen attributes from the famous show. In a way the consumer becomes just as important as the product, and vice versa.

Approach and Findings:

“A fanboy is the typically geeky 16- 34 year old male ( though there are fangirls) whose slavish devotion to a pop culture subject, like a comic book character or a video game, drives him/ her to blog, podcast, chat, share Youtube videos….etc” ( Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac, 2008).

I took the liberty of searching the internet, specifically Youtube, in order to find videos, created by fans, surrounding the Nickelodeon show, iCarly. By no surprise, I have found quite a few of positive reports surrounding the show. I have viewed how children utilized technologies from video cameras and cyber cams, to sound effects devices and background music. It was neat to see how the children, obviously, copied directly from the show, and still managed to add their very own personality. It was amazing to see how these kids, similar to the show, received many of viewers and subscribers after utilizing Youtube as a vehicle for their shows, blogs, and episodic reviews. I also found that many of the children’s viewers are familiar with the format that they are copying from the actual show. The realization also allows the show to remain relevant, because it is being constantly mentioned. I believe that the iCarly cast would be glad to see how powerfuly their show has affected so many people

Connections Sarah Banet- Weiser:

“Theorizing children as already empowered citizen consumers thus marks not only a change in the political economy in which children participate but a redefinition of the experience of childhood” (Kids Rule, pg 12).
The opportunity to be the star on your own podcast, blog, and web show empowers the individual, and puts them in the position of fame. For a child to receive the chance of recognition on the internet, by those who are neighbors in their cyber society, gives the children a sense of empowerment. After once being the diehard fan of a show like iCarly, to becoming the one who is now encouraging fans to log on and comment for the success of their very own show, encourages the children to continue exercising their rights as cyber citizens. In a way the children sale back ideas with their own versions of iCarly.

“An important element of Nickelodeon’s self-construction is the network’s insistence that kids are an active audience in their own right, separate from the world of adults” (Kids Rule, pg 33)

As I watched the videos I could see how the children dominated their video submissions, without the true involvement of any responsible adult. Could it be true that adults and parents are not supposed to intervene because they do not have the understanding of what is going on? The iCarly show depicts, in their own ways, how parents and adults only “get in the way” of what the children are attempting to accomplish. Every episode of these web shows, that I have seen, adults have been absent, with the acception of one line yelled by an adult, heard from another room. iCarly has encouraged children to continue to embrace the idea of a kids world. Thus, the children’s participation with this idea allows Nickelodeon shows, such as iCarly to remain relevant, because the kids rule the world ideology is practiced throughout the organization.

“This shapes the practice of watching Nickelodeon programs as a kind of cultural practice, akin to other citizenship practices, such as affiliation and loyalty” (Kids Rule, pg 82)

The children have shown loyalty to the iCarly show. They have shown affiliation by copying the very enthusiasm and wildness depicted in the star characters characteristics. Carly and Sam, two of the main characters are, many times, wildly behaving in the show. They do this in order to excite their viewers, and to keep them interested in what may occur next. These are some methods practiced by the children in their very own shows. They have camera people, like Freddie, who barely interact in their episodes. They display loyalty to the iCarly show in a few different ways. If they are not talking about iCarly directly, or by giving a shout out, they have very closely used the name of the show in order to make up their own. Shows like iBuddies were created, directly influenced by iCarly.

The show will continue to influence young children to embrace their cyber society. As the popularity continues to grow, with the web shows and blogs, so will the iCarly show and shows similar. Though there are, and will continue to be iCarly hatters, as werll as iCarly fan hatters, the show will remain relevant because it will continue to be talked about by diehard fans. Thus, the fans, with their blogs, episodic views and web shows will continue to be the consumer/ products who help better sale the show.


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