Watching Drama, Finding Community at the IA Summit 2015

The Challenge:

Presented at the 2015 IA Summit in Minneapolis, this conference poster highlights 3 major questions I had when I started to poke fun at my own drama addiction more than a year ago:

  1. What do you call a drama? What’s your cultural frame of reference? Are you looking for the Chinese title to provide for your mother-in-law look up on Chinese streaming sites? Or are you looking for one of various English titles for a friend to look up on Netflix, Hulu, Viki or Dramafever? Such is a conundrum.
  2. What are you watching next? When a discovered-upon drama ends, how do you decide what to watch next? Do you follow a loved actor through his recent works? Or perhaps you enjoy the genre and follow similar dramas in that category? Or did you fall in love with the style of the writer, director, or producer? Take one drama and follow through the relationships it has with other dramas. Is it a remake or adaptation? Did it have the same cast? Similar trope? Storyline? Plot twist? At the most basic level, exploring ontologies reveals added value to the data you have, showing how linked data is a crucial component of enabling search and discovery.
  3. How are you engaged in a drama? Usually a solitary activity, watching dramas isn’t just about the lone drama fan watching her dramas in the middle of the night on her laptop cradling a bowl of ramen/ramyun and laughing and crying her way through. It’s a shared experience of learning and adapting the ways of a drama’s culture and mannerisms from craving a country’s food to sending care packages to the drama’s cast and crew (if they are still filming). Playing an OST on repeat and creating fanmvs, fanart, fanfic to continue the experience of the drama’s characters and feels are just a few of the ways that drama fans engage in to manage their drama withdrawal.

Through a non-scientific survey of 89 drama fans in online communities across Twitter, Google+, Facebook and and enthographic observations of drama watchers over the years, I’ve observed 3 main segments of drama watchers: Casual Drama Fans, Drama Addicts, Drama Subject Matter Experts. A simple model of their activities is illustrated as well.

The conference poster

The conference poster

Thanks and Acknowledgements

  • Good friend Maggie Yeo for her design of the poster girl.
  • My colleagues at PerficientXD who offered suggestions and feedback – namely Alisha Truemper, Jeff Tang, Karen Bachmann, and Thomas Swetman.
  • The 89 anonymous respondents who indulged in my survey.

Thank you to everyone who came by to see my poster. It was awesome chatting with you and to meet up with other drama fans.

  • Date Released: Apr 2015