Monday, March 26, 2012

Nerd Appeal - Redeux

Joining the Nerdfighter community is by far the most interesting aspect of vlogbrother culture. Typically when someone becomes part of a community, she is either born into that community, or she is required to fill a list of prerequisites to gain membership. I often see the latter form of community inclusion in the context of my college experience, when, at the beginning of each semester, hundreds of hopeful girls rush the sorority of their choice. Processes like these are extensive and exclusive; the existing members of the community choose whether others are able to join based on a series of qualifications, like where they are from, what their interests are, or who their contacts are. This is where the Nerdfighter community is unique. There is only one qualification for becoming a Nerdfighter: you have to want to be a Nerdfighter. In this sense, Nerdfighteria acts like Facebook—as long as you have an email address, you can join DFTBA Records, get involved in the social networking site, (Nerfighters.com), or simply subscribe to the vlogbrothers' videos. In any case, if you call yourself a Nerdfighter, you are one.

It is this inclusivity that Nerdfighters and non-Nerdfighters believe makes Nerdfighteria so appealing to a wide range of people. I asked a member of the Nerdfighter community, my friend Taylor, some questions regarding her involvement in Nerdfighteria. Taylor began watching vlogbrothers in 2009, two years after Brotherhood 2.0 made the Green brothers a YouTube phenomenon. She has read all of John Green’s books, attended the 2012 Tour de Nerdfighting, has met John and Hank and the Katherine, and she is subscribed to many of the vlogbrothers partner channels (such as charlieissocoollike, nerimon, crashcourse, etc.). When I asked her what she believes makes Nerdfighteria appealing to so many people, she responded by saying, “I believe that Nerdfighteria is so appealing to people because it has a place for anyone who wants to belong there.”

As a Nerdfighter, I can attest to Taylor’s theory. People involved in Nerdfighteria are incredibly diverse. The vlogbrothers audience is represented by six continents. No two Nerdfighters are the same. Some are interested in literature, some in music, and some in visual art. Nerdfighteria encompasses a variety of interests, and the Green brothers, as well as the community as a whole, do a relatively good job at covering them.

I conducted an interview with my classmate, Logan, who was unfamiliar with the vlogbrothers community until I familiarized him with the culture. During our interview I explained to Logan Brotherhood 2.0, vlogbrothers, nerdfighters.com, and DFTBA records. He seemed interested in the project, saying, “I think it’s really cool what they’re doing.” I asked him what he thought made vlogbrothers appealing to so many people, and he responded by saying, “They have such a huge audience... because they’re in so many different medias. They cover broad interests.” He referred to a vlogbrothers video I showed him in which John Green talked about his college friends. During the video, John referred to several different forms of media including literature, photography, and film. This singular video was enough to show Logan how diverse Nerdfighteria could be. When I asked him if he would consider becoming part of Nerdfighteria after learning more about it, he responded, “Yeah, it’s really interesting... it sounds like there’s something for everybody there.”

Evidence shows the reason people like Nerdfighteria is because they feel welcome there no matter their interests.

1 comment:

  1. Your participation in the community could also be as minimal as watching the vlogbrothers YouTube videos.-this sentence seems to come a little out of the blue. maybe it could be changed a little to work better with the approzimate sentences

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