Preservation of the ephemeral: challenges in saving memories of online fan culture

Project: DissertationIndividual research project

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Information Studies


The aim of the study is to examine and problematise sociocultural and technological dimensions of the information production in online fan communities to reflect broader challenges in preserving information produced within digital participatory culture online. The purpose of the study is to contribute with a conceptual understanding of the challenges involved in preserving ephemeral information produced in the entanglement between sociality and technology online. More specifically, the study focuses on aspects that inform and conditions the information production of online fan communities and expand on its implications for future preservation. This is exemplified by two online fan communities, each residing on separate social media platforms: open source respectively commercial. Viewed from a comparative perspective, differences in sociocultural and technological aspects of the social media platforms is investigated. Furthermore, other aspects specifically tied to preservation that are also addressed include the participants’ privacy in relation to the right to be forgotten (GDPR), creative outputs from the communities connected to the legal framework of intellectual property and the applicability of concepts such as provenance and appraisal. The latter concept assist in moving the study onto discussing preservation of information considered reactionary or offensive, exemplified by the concept of anti-fans. Through analysing these aspects in conjunction with current policy and regulatory documents regarding preservation of social media within ALM-institutions, gaps, and limits of the concept of preservation is made visible, which further disclose the challenges of preserving digital participatory culture online. Therefore, both the information production respectively practices within the communities, the community participants’ notion of their information production and policy respectively regulatory documents of ALM-institutions is investigated within the scope of the study.
Short titlePreservation of of the ephemeral
Effective start/end date2020/09/01 → …