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The Power of Being a Fanboy or Fangirl

I’m a big fan of Ted Talks on YouTube. I listen to them while I’m doing something tedious like washing dishes or folding laundry. This week, I heard a lecture given by Eric Whitacre, a composer and the creator of the first “virtual choir,” and it hit me that even though he did not intentionally set out to do this, Whitacre’s entire lecture was about the power of being a fanboy or fangirl.

Whitacre has become famous because of the virtual choir he created. Utilizing YouTube, people from all over the country have individually recorded themselves singing separate parts of a vocal piece — soprano, alto, tenor, baritone — and once compiled together, they are a choir of video recordings. It’s pretty cool, but what was even more cool was the story of how it began; it was inspired by a fan.

The first video was a fan video done by a sweet girl who wanted to send a note of appreciation to Whitacre. So, she recorded herself singing the soprano part of one of his compositions and put it on YouTube. This single video, an expression of appreciation and fandom, inspired the idea of the virtual choir. Now, there is a second virtual choir video which has over 2,000 voices participating from across the globe!

It’s beautiful. Over 2,000 people got to participate, become friends, be a part of something, become a community and millions of people have watched the virtual choir videos and millions more will be affected by it.

Look at the power we have as fans!

Fan culture gets a bum rap but here’s proof that being a fan is not only good, it is contagious and positive and beautiful.

So what are you a fan of? Tell the creators. Write them a fan letter. Post a comment on their blog. Make a YouTube video and send it to them. Who knows what could happen?

To start, here’s a list of 10 things I am a fan of:

– Calvin & Hobbes

– The Simpsons

– Alias

– Arrested Development

– Artemis Fowl

– Diary of a Wimpy Kid

– FoxTrot

– American Born Chinese (and First Second Books)

– Spielberg movies (esp. Jaws, Jurassic Park & Indiana Jones)

& – Pixar films (esp. The Incredibles)

Click for more on Ted Talks or something else I listen to when I have more time, Authors@Google.

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