This post is in response to having met people I consider myself a fan of. Specifically Spider Robinson, author of many books and even more terrible puns and George Hrab, author of 1 book several albums and a similar body of puns. In generally I have not self identified as a FAN. Outside of geography, I have no affinity for sports teams, and like any non fan I only care if the team in my city is winning, the rest of the time I don't even know they are playing. Similarly, movie stars and most famous performers fail to engage my interest.
The people I am fans of have reached me in ways more personal then the players on a sports team or an actor on the big screen. Spider Robinson, has made me laugh, taught me some of the principles of truly horrible puns, I have lost count of all the books of his I have read. I have stopped reading him in recent years, I have had my fill and even when a writer is good I will over time want to move on to new voices. That said his more emotional short stories still linger in my memory and the community that existed in the Callahan's pub series made me want to have some of that for my self.
I only saw Spider briefly, he did a reading and a signing afterwards. I exchanged only a few words, enough to convey my appreciation. This limited dialog is what I expect from a content producer in the traditional media. The other side of the coin is the relation that can exist in new media, those people who have carved out a space for them selves on the internets because the old school distribution and sales methods fail for something as fringe. The best example of that in my life is George Hrab.
Some where along the line I started to listen to podcasts, downloadable, generally audio content, generally free, often amateur. Many of them simply suck. Since at the time I had a boring job that did not always require my full attention I listened to many such shows, this chain eventually lead to the Geologic podcast. Its mix of dry humor, strait up silly skits and random factoids entertained me. This precipitated an exchange of emails that has continued in an off and on trickle over the last few years.
Upon hearing that George was going to be in Vancouver, I ordered my tickets as soon as I knew the site was online. To be fair he was a guest host on another podcast which I have been listening to for roughly the same amount of time, but he was coming to Vancouver non the less. So colour me surprised when, I was recognized in as I spoke introduced myself. Two me an interesting illustration of the way the internet has opened up media.
I conclude this with saying that, within my interests I am as prone to fandom as most though I feel I am a laid back supporter. I am also glad that now that I live in Vancouver that I can indulge my fixations better as many things come to town, because of that I can start checking off personal goals rather then count missed opportunities.