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So, how many of you have ever watched a television show regularly? Good. Now, when I say regularly, I mean regularly. This is a show you rearrange your schedule for. This is a show you skip your best friend's wedding for. I'm talking about a show you love with all your heart. Uh, I'm talking about a show that inspires that sort of intense devotion and loyalty from its fans. I'm talking about a cult television show, because today I'm going to tell you how to be a successful cult television show fan.
See, if you stay in the physical realm, you're going to interact with maybe five other fans. Uh, fifty. Five hundred, in a big city, maybe. Because this is a cult television show; no one's watching it. So the key here is to establish an online presence. Because in the Internet, you can interact with, you know, hundreds of thousands of other fans all around the world, who share your love for the show. And your goal is to stand out, is to be important among all these people.
So to begin, you're going to wanna post in a messageboard. I recommend one of the more popular sites, like Television Without Pity or Fan Forum, but there are many other TV- and show-related forums you can post in. And your object is to just be as active in the community as possible. You know, you want to post about episodes; you want to psychoanalyze characters' motivations; you want to compare the show to Shakespearean tragedies.
Or you can just crack jokes a lot; that works too.
Um, because, basically, you want to be noticed. You want to be memorable.
Then, you're gonna wanna start a LiveJournal. Because you are no one on the Internet without a LiveJournal. Your LiveJournal is your personal space to collect your thoughts about the show. I mean, you could post a lot of the same things you post on the messageboard, but whereas there they would get lost in a sea of other people's thoughts, on your LiveJournal, they're all collected with your own thoughts. This is a place for you, to shine.
And it doesn't have to stop there; you have a wide variety of things you can do here. Be creative. You can do everything from, you know, unpacking symbolism to, you know, PhotoShopping an alpaca into scenes from the show. Because it's funny.
Or you could write fanfiction. It's a very popular pastime among fans. Uh, you know what fanfiction is, right? Well, it's basically when you write stories about characters doing things they don't do in the episodes. You take their lives beyond what you see on the screen.
Uh, so, for instance, um, give me a television character. Lorelai Gilmore, good. Okay, um, tell me what you did this—one thing you did this weekend. You...shot a man. Interesting. Okay, uh, give me a location. Tahiti. All right, there you have it. You can write a story about Lorelai Gilmore shooting a man in Tahiti. And people will come and read it. But here's a tip: write about the heroine getting together with the bad boy. They love that.
Because, see, the fans of the show are already fans of the show. What you want to do is give something back into the community, uh, be it laughter, or intelligent discussion, or just really pretty pictures. You want to provide something that makes them fans of you.
Finally, you want to be involved in a website. And it can be anything related to the show, really. You know, recaps of the episodes, character biographies, news about the show and the people on it. Or if your favorite actor or writer doesn't have a website of their own, start one! Register the domain name, and, uh, cull together all the information from the Internet about their biography, about their past work, photos, appearances, all that sort of thing. And put it together all in one place so that other people can see how cool this person is.
Now, one thing about cult television that distinguishes it from mainstream television is that the people behind the scenes are normally more aware of and more receptive to their fans. So this writer might come across your site, and think, "Wow. This person has built a site, all about me. That's totally awesome. I bestow my blessing upon you." And now you're official! That gets you major coolness points.
So, you see, you've come a long way. You've made a name for yourself on the messageboard. You—People are flocking to your LiveJournal. And now you're a part of something that even the most casual fan can partake of. Now you have this position in the fandom that you have acquired and achieved, just like you wanted.
But now, it is time to rally the troops. Because your show is in danger of cancellation. The ratings? Aren't so hot. It's time for you to help organize a campaign to save your show. That, however, is a lesson for another day.