Podcast, Nancy Baym: “Music Fandom and the Shaping of Online Culture”

From the earliest days of networked computing, music fans were there, shaping the technologies and cultures that emerged online. By the time musicians and industry figures realized they could use the internet to reach audiences directly, those audiences had already established their presences and social norms online, putting them in unprecedented positions of power. Even widely-hailed innovators like David Bowie, Prince, and Trent Reznor were late to the game. This talk traces the intertwined histories of music fandom and online culture, unpacking the fundamental disruption and its broader implications for interacting with audiences.

Nancy Baym is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a Research Affiliate in CMS/W at MIT. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Illinois in 1994 and joined Microsoft in 2012 after 18 years as a Communication professor. She is the author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Polity Press), now in its second edition, Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community (Sage Press), and co-editor of Internet Inquiry: Conversations About Method (Sage Press) with Annette Markham. Her bookPlaying to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection will be published in July by NYU Press.  More information, most of her articles, and some of her talks are available at nancybaym.com.

Vicky Zeamer

About Vicky Zeamer

My passions fall more in the realm of human-centered design. I have spent my previous education and work experience in the tech industry, specifically focusing on how user experience (UX) can help guide the development of technology to be better for people and society. At MIT, I earned my M.Sc. in Comparative Media Studies where I wrote my thesis on how the dining out food industry shifted in response to the proliferation of digital food culture on Web 1.0 & 2.0. I earned my B.A. at Wellesley College where I studied both how people and societies function and create culture (American Studies) and how computer science and design could be leveraged for innovation (Media Arts and Sciences). I am currently a UX Research role at HubSpot in Cambridge, a software company dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses grow through an online marketing and sales platform. I sit as a user-centered researcher within the Machine Learning (ML) engineering team where my main focus is to gather insights about our users and strategize how to create ML-enabled solutions for our customers. Being at the intersection of technology and people is really my sweet spot.


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