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Fans, Friends And Followers: Building An Audience And A Creative Career In The Digital Age Paperback – March 18, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442100745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442100749
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott Kirsner is a journalist and blogger who writes about new ideas and their impact on the world. He edits the blog CinemaTech (http://cinematech.blogspot.com), which explores the way technology is changing the entertainment industry. He is the author of "Inventing the Movies," a technological history of Hollywood published in 2008, and "The Future of Web Video: New Opportunities for Producers, Entrepreneurs, Media Companies and Advertisers," first published in 2006. He writes regularly for Variety and the Boston Globe. Scott's writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Wired, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, BusinessWeek, and Newsweek, among other publications. Scott is one of the founders of the Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, held each May. He also speaks and moderates regularly at entertainment industry events, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the South by Southwest Film Festival. Scott is a graduate of Boston University's College of Communications and the New World School of the Arts, in Miami. He can be reached at kirsner@pobox.com.

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Customer Reviews

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In PDF format.] The book is an excellent read.
Jake Stetler
Scott Kirsner's book should be on every college and university professor's reading list for both undergrad and grad students in journalism, film and new media.
Rhonda Moskowitz
Scott Kirsner's new book provides a fresh guide to building an audience in the new media landscape.
David Tames

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles E. Tryon Jr. on March 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Scott Kirsner's Fans, Friends, and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age uses interviews with a number of prominent artists who have been able to forge careers and gain widespread popularity primarily through promotional and distribution tools available online. For those of us doing research on digital cinema, Kirsner's book is a valuable resource, one that illustrates the ways in which content creators are navigating, and sometimes profiting from, what Chris Anderson has described as the "long tail" of digital distribution and what others have described as do-it-yourself (DIY) distribution. While my own research, in Reinventing Cinema (Amazon) , focuses exclusively on filmmakers, Kirsner assembles a number of key figures from what he calls the "era of digital creativity," including musicians, comics artists, visual artists, and novelists, in order to establish or explore how a set of practices have emerged that allow artists to escape the "gatekeepers" of traditional distribution and market themselves. While Kirsner's book is generally optimistic about the potentials of DIY, a number of significant themes surfaced throughout the interviews.

Kirsner knows DIY culture as well as anyone, and he is well-positioned to document what is happening in a variety of digital media, to provide that crucial snapshot of digital DIY practices. He is also aware that what he is providing is just that, a snapshot, pointing out that these practices are far from static and subject to alteration as new artists find new techniques for having their voices heard (and hopefully making a living from it). The book also provides at least some statistics about what opportunities are actually available financially to even the most successful digital artists, making the book a useful guide to all of us interested in the ongoing practices of indie filmmakers, musicians, and artists alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LAMakeupGirl on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of seeing Scott speak at a technology seminar. What had inspired me to purchase the book was that he shared a very real world approach to building an online community. By real world, I mean something that required some effort, but was not cost prohibitive. I am not an artist, but I own a small business and realize that small business and art live in someone parallel worlds. Both are creative and typically strapped for finances. To get our message out, we have to be creative. This book gives you simple guidelines and ideas on hoave best to create an audience through the power of the web. It lays out what your audience (customers) are looking for, how they want to be involved, and how best to include them, and FREE resources to do it. If you own a small/midsize/ or even large business, read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard N. Stephenson on May 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Pros: Mr. Kirsner lays down the foundation for an inspirational and passionate adventure into the Digital Age's internet based livelihood and does so in a very readable and entertaining fashion. The sheer amount of personal stories from the "it crowd" of the Digital Age is awesome enough. However, the real content of their stories is where the value is at. Getting a closer view of how these folks did what they do, did it passionately, and it just happened to make a living for them is highly inspiring to me. Some VERY good lessons to learn from this content. Excellent resources at the end of the book.

Cons: Not a whole lot of analysis going on as a vast majority of the book is interview / anecdote. The responsibility is on the reader to draw conclusions and see how the lessons learned could impact their lives. I don't view this as a bad aspect, but I could see how some readers (that are looking for concrete answers) would.

Assessment: Definitely worth buying and adding to the library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Rosenfeld on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Fans, Friends and Followers by Scott Kirsner is a three part book about building and monetizing an online fan base.

In the first part, Scott lays out the "new rules" of building an audience such as "Be remarkable and make remarkable stuff", "Understand the power of the link" and "Help people learn to do what you do". While artists new to social media may find this section insightful, this section is just a reminder of what the rest of us should already know. After reading Seth Godin and other online thought leaders for the past few years I found myself alternating between a state of "oh yeah, I forgot about that" and nodding along impatiently waiting to get to some new secret formula.

But a secret formula to get a large following quickly isn't the point of the book, and thankfully so. The real value of this book is in part two, where Scott interviews 30 creators from diverse fields such as singing, film production and comedy who have succeeded in building an online following (and in most cases, a monetary living) for their work. I found myself getting more ideas from creators that had nothing to do with comedy than I did from the comedians, and I feel this sort of "cross-pollination of ideas" will hold true no matter your medium.

While the interviews were very insightful, I would have liked to read interviews from the following creators who have built a huge online following: Tucker Max, Hugh McLeod, Aaron Karo and Dane Cook. (Whether you love or hate Dane, he has always been way ahead of every other comic on technology and interacting with his fans.)

In the third and final part, Scott provides a quick reference guide for getting started on using social media and the internet to one's advantage.
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