A couple notes in Wired from Superfandom
When does a loyal consumer become a dedicated fan? Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron M Glazer, authors and founders of US toy firm Squishable, have the answers. Here’s some snippets of advice from their book Superfandom.

[Read all]

An article I did over at the Daily Beast
I like the BBC show Sherlock. I mean, I really really like it. I shame acquaintances I have no business in shaming for refusing to watch. I have deeply personal feelings about Benedict Cumberbatch. I lurk on the Reddit forum. I wear the tee. But I didn’t wear it last year, and there’s a decent chance that I’ll have lost interest by this time next year.

Moffat’s lovable sociopath was the sweet escapism that recently got me through a long, tedious project; watching the episodes over and over when I couldn’t type even one more word. For that, it has earned my completely sincere and heartfelt—but probably temporary—loyalty.

[Read more]

An article I did over at Quartz
May the Fourth be with you! Today is Star Wars Day, the fan-created international celebration of all things Jedi. (Fans of the Dark Side will have their turn tomorrow with their own day, “Revenge of the Fifth.”)

The pun-based holiday is only a few years old, but its vast fandom has already embraced the date with their own Star Wars-themed parties, movie showings, and contests. On the corporate side, Disney stores are hosting Star Wars ceremonies, storytimes, and droid-drawing tutorials, and the Star Wars website would like you to celebrate with some blue-milk lattes straight from Aunt Beru’s kitchen on Tatooine.

And, of course, there will be discounts on various Star Wars-themed merchandise, game access, and paraphernalia.

[Read more]

An article I did over at Huffington Post
Watching football, whether at home or in person at a game, is more fun when using the #mondaynightfootball hashtag. Dressing up as the anime character Jessie from Pokemon practically requires an audience who can say, ‘Whow, how did you get the hair to stay that way?” Very few people would show up to a Star Trek convention with no one else there.

Fandom is inherently social. But our fellow fans do more than just make things interesting. In many situations, they make things possible.

[Read More]

An Excerpt from Superfandom over at Quartz
On the afternoon of May 26, 1987, a New Jersey state trooper doing routine stops on the Garden State Parkway pulled over a rental car carrying two men. The infraction was an open can of St. Pauli Girl beer, part of a six-pack from a nearby convenience store. When the window was rolled down, the trooper smelled marijuana. The driver admitted there were a few joints under his seat.

“Hands on the hood, feet back, and spread ’em,” the driver later remembered the trooper saying before he radioed for backup. Handcuffing the driver took two pairs of cuffs; he was a very big man. The troopers then pulled the passenger from the car and searched his bag. They found a vial of white powder. The passenger was arrested too.

They were taken in separate cars to the police station, where the driver was identified as James Edward Duggan Jr., better known by his professional wrestling identity, “Hacksaw.” The passenger’s ID said he was named Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, but even the arresting officer recognized the popular World Wrestling Federation character The Iron Sheik. The powder tested positive for cocaine. But within a few hours Duggan was released, and so was Vaziri after signing an appearance bond. They returned to their car and continued southbound to Asbury Park, where they were scheduled to beat each other up before a crowd of thousands later that night.

[Read more]


I have published a book.

Fans offering notepads for celebrity’s signature behind barrier

An Article I wrote over at Huffington Post
We’re often asked if fandom is just a form of marketing. In a way, yes. At the heart of almost every fan object, these centers of emotion and love that arise from pop culture, lies a commercial product. A thing that can be exchanged for money. It might be a product, an experience, a ticket, or the advertising value of our eyeballs as we watch our favorite YouTube channel. In fact, another definition of fandom is ‘externally-generated branding’.

[Read more]

An Except from Superfandom over at Boing Boing
In 2014, IKEA, the Swedish-based global furniture company, sent a cease-and-desist letter to a blogger by the name of Jules Yap. Yap ran the extremely popular website IKEAhackers.net, which helped people “hack” IKEA furniture into new, creative, and unexpected designs. The site was already almost a decade old when IKEA’s lawyers demanded that Yap hand over the URL. What follows is a case study from Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are.

[Read more]

An Excerpt from Superfandom over at Inc.
In their book, Superfandom: How Our Obsessions Are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are, authors and cofounders of toy company Squishable Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron Glazer dig into how some brands manage to turn ordinary consumers into diehard fans. In this edited excerpt, they discuss why Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting is know as the “Woodstock of Capitalism.”

[Read more]

An Excerpt from Superfandom over at New York Magazine
Tish Bellomo looks to be in her fifties, but it’s difficult to know for sure — there are few pictures from the past forty years of her or of her sister Eileen, who goes by “Snooky,” without both of them sporting wild, fluorescent-colored hair. News clippings from the eighties hanging in their shared office show it layered, feathered, and back-combed into a fiery mane. At the moment, hers is bright pink with a green streak at the front — a nod to the hair-dye brand that made her and her sister famous four decades ago, and the company they still run today: Manic Panic.

[Read more]