The audience, in terms of the internet, is virtually anyone who wants to use an online browser for the purpose of using a site. Each site has a specific role to a certain demographic of people. There are two kinds of audiences, and everyone falls into one of these camps, including you. There is the primary audience and there is the secondary audience. Knowing the difference will inform you on how you should interact with a particular site, and knowing is half the battle. The following page will discuss the differences between these two audiences, as well as how the audience typically reflects the author. This wiki will focus specifically on the audiences that can be found on fan sites. There are many and more sites for virtually every possible thing to be a fan of so this guide will help you to understand what makes you a part of a community of fans and how they interact with each other. To see other topics on The Internet for Dummies, check out Internet Fandom for Dummies.

The Primary Audience

The primary audience is made of the people who are accessing the site for the specific purpose of using it to further their fandom. They are the people for which the site was expressly created. In order to reach the widest possible audience one must develop an understanding of what the various components of the site are trying to accomplish. The primary audience consists of the members of the community that contribute and maintain a site by adding their own input. This can be done through conversation, fan-art, memes, or sometimes even voting. These contributions drive the direction of the site, sometimes positively and and sometimes negatively. Some sites can be all conversation and some can be all fan-art, but most sites fall somewhere in between. As the primary audience these people are the community of the site, they generally decide everything aside from structure. To be a member of the primary audience, you need to add your own input. If you have a great idea, share it, if you don't, share that, too. If you like to debate certain aspects of the fandom you can start arguments, which, generally, is extremely easy to do. If you think you are an artist and can create a great piece of fan-art then by all means share it with the community. By involving yourself in the site in this way, you have become a definite part of the primary audience. This sharing of content with each other is the primary purpose of the site. To learn more about the purpose of a fandom site, click the following link, Purpose.

The Secondary Audience

The secondary audience is made of the random people who will just happen to stumble upon the site. If you just want to surf the internet and you find a site that interests you, but does not grab you, then you are what is considered part of the secondary audience. As the secondary audience, you would just browse the surface of the site, touching some sections, but not contributing anything or regularly frequenting the site. All users are part of the secondary audience before they become part of the primary audience. If a site does happen to grab you and will not let go, and you decide to become a member of the community and contribute something, you have become part of the primary audience. To stay a part of the secondary audience you do not type any messages or add anything of your own input, but that's boring. A specific site that embraces the idea of the secondary audience is stumbleupon. This site takes you to different web pages at random, though you can pick a category. A user can flip through these pages until they come across a page that really grabs their attention. When this occurs the user moves from the secondary audience to the primary audience.

The Audience and Authorship

Being a part of the audience is almost the same as being a part of the authorship. Since most fan sites are ran by the fans themselves, the audience is the authorship. This can make it hard to distinguish one from the other, but there is a distinct difference. The audience is specifically the members of the site who are receiving the output, be it conversations or memes. They read the various posts and memes and admire the fan-art that other people create. They then create their own posts in response. Authorship is more creation then reception. An example of this is that someone will create a post that involves some aspect of the fandom. These people are the authors; the audience is made of the people who respond to it. They are two closely linked ideas, but there is a clear difference. For more information on authorship, check out Authorship.

How Being a Part of the Audience Affects Others

One aspect of being an audience is understanding that what you do can affect other members of the site. If you are respectful and considerate, then that’s usually what you will receive in return. If you are acting out and insulting others, you will receive similar treatment from fellow posters. Because the community makes up the site, how the community acts will affect the site as well. It is also important to realize that these fans sites do not exist in a vacuum, that is to say that producers and people that control what the fandom is based on can also see what you have created. It is quite possible that they will take your input into consideration for what they produce in the future. Fan sites can have a definite impact on the fandom they are based on. The primary goal of any producer of a good or service is generally to create something that will attract as large of an audience as possible. Because of this, producers may alter certain aspects of a good or service of theirs in order to appease and accomodate the needs of their audience. This gives the audience a significant amount of power in terms of their ability to affect producers.

The Walking Dead Subreddit as Example

The best way to learn what the audience can contribute is to see it in action. A great example of a fan site is The Walking Dead subreddit, which is part of On this site, the members of the community post topics that other people respond to. These topics can be conversation starters, art, and memes which are collectively known as threads. An example of how a conversation on a fan site might go is this: Reddit. It starts with someone posting an idea, which makes him the author of this thread.

quantumfunk: are walkers destroyed from virtually any bit of brain damage, when it's only their brain stem that is active? I understand it's not necessarily right to compartmentalize the brain, but I was just trying to follow the logic that was laid out.

Other people, who are considered the audience, answer with this,

Radiofooted: To answer your question without shrugging you off saying "it's a TV show." We know very little about the virus or infection and how it works. We know the brainstem plays a large part in the activity of the infection, but little else.
There have been instances like the famous case of Phineas Gage where his brain was pierced by a metal bar, but he survived with nothing but a slight attitude problem, thus meaning that it may be possible that the zombies could survive if the proper part of the brain wasn't damaged. Maybe something like this will happen eventually in the show, but from my understanding, enough brunt force applied to the head area seems to at the very least paralyze them. Maybe the brain is beginning to rot so it's becoming more delicate and fragile, so even the slightest force of trauma causes extreme damage.

and this,

Dappy94: This is shown one time in the comics, Rick hits a zombie in the head with his hatchet but it doesn't die, it keeps coming at him with the hatchet stuck in its head.
Rick's conclusion is that he just didn't hit it hard enough.

By responding in this manner, the audience has contributed solid feedback, making their input invaluable. If you want to be a part of the audience, you should follow fairly closely to this template. In this post they discuss the implications of an aspect of the show. You can jump in at the current point in the conversation and add your own opinions to continue the stream of thought, or thread. Memes are another way to share your opinion, but they do not invite response. Memes are quick throw away jokes, but they also point out a certain facet of an idea. They are easy to make, just find a picture online of the subject you want to discuss, take it to windows art, and add text. Below this paragraph is an example of a meme. Another contribution that can be made is fan-art. Fan-art is really the best contribution that a member can make, it is often well received. This involves creating something that you think others will enjoy, scanning it into a computer, and posting it on the site of your choice. An aspect of Reddit that cannot be shown here is that there is voting on the site. Each member can vote for a thread to move it towards the top of a page of the site. In this way, the community can control what other members of the audience will see. This is not something that every site does, but many sites have some form of voting. Members of the Walking Dead TV show can also participate on Reddit. This can be seen in a question and answers thread with Steven Yuen, who plays Glenn on the television show.

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