On the limits of fan power

One of the core issues in fandom is the ongoing power struggle between fans and those who produce the materials around which they organize. Analysts tend to focus on how the internet has empowered fans, but as this piece by Tom Dorsey on fan efforts to save cancelled tv shows points out:

In the old days of snail mail it was harder to whip up a save-our-show campaign because there was no central meeting place for outraged fans to assemble.

Now the Internet serves as the perfect gathering spot to try to raise a ruckus. There are several sites that allow people to select their killed-off show from a laundry list and sign the online petition.

Some offer people a place to pen their frustration. Petitionspot.com is one. You can Google TV show petitions for others or search by show name.

But there is little reason to believe that network executives ever visit any of these sites. They’ve made up their minds by the time the ax falls, and there won’t be a change of heart for several reasons.

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