Thousands of Positive Reviews: Distributed Mentoring in Online Fan Communities

Campbell, J., Aragon, C., Davis, K., Evans, S.A., Evans, A.C, & Randall, D.P. (2016). Thousands of positive reviews: Distributed mentoring in online fan communities. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ’16), 691-704. New York: ACM Press

14 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2017

See all articles by Julie Campbell

Julie Campbell

University of Washington

Cecilia Aragon

University of Washington

Katie Davis

University of Washington - The Information School

Sarah Evans

University of Washington

Abigail Evans

University of Washington - The Information School

David Randall

University of Washington - The Information School

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Young people worldwide are participating in ever-increasing numbers in online fan communities. Far from mere shallow repositories of pop culture, these sites are accumulating significant evidence that sophisticated informal learning is taking place online in novel and unexpected ways. In order to understand and analyze in more detail how learning might be occurring, we conducted an in-depth nine-month ethnographic investigation of online fanfiction communities, including participant observation and fanfiction author interviews. Our observations led to the development of a theory we term distributed mentoring, which we present in detail in this paper. Distributed mentoring exemplifies one instance of how networked technology affords new extensions of behaviors that were previously bounded by time and space. Distributed mentoring holds potential for application beyond the spontaneous mentoring observed in this investigation and may help students receive diverse, thoughtful feedback in formal learning environments as well.

Keywords: mentoring, distributed mentoring, informal learning, fanfiction, online communities, digital youth

Suggested Citation

Campbell, Julie and Aragon, Cecilia and Davis, Katie and Evans, Sarah and Evans, Abigail and Randall, David, Thousands of Positive Reviews: Distributed Mentoring in Online Fan Communities (2016). Campbell, J., Aragon, C., Davis, K., Evans, S.A., Evans, A.C, & Randall, D.P. (2016). Thousands of positive reviews: Distributed mentoring in online fan communities. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ’16), 691-704. New York: ACM Press, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2982537

Julie Campbell

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Cecilia Aragon

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Katie Davis (Contact Author)

University of Washington - The Information School ( email )

Box 353350
Seattle, WA 98195
United States
206-221-7741 (Phone)
206-616-3152 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://katiedavisresearch.com/

Sarah Evans

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Abigail Evans

University of Washington - The Information School ( email )

Box 353350
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

David Randall

University of Washington - The Information School ( email )

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