“Can’t Stop the Fandom: Writing Participation in the Firefly ’Verse”

This is where we’ll talk about Liza Potts’ “Can’t Stop the Fandom: Writing Participation in the Firefly ’Verse.” In some ways, this might not be quite as useful this term as it has been in the past when I’ve done this assignment because I don’t think (or maybe I just don’t remember?) any of you are following very fan-specific social media sites. And as I re-read it now, I also think it might fit better in with an assignment I’m doing in 328: Writing, Style and Technology right now. A couple of quick things to get you started:

  • If you were a fan of the show Firefly, you probably appreciate this project a lot more than those who weren’t fans. There’s not much I can do to fix that one way or the other, though I do think there are probably a few browncoats amongst us?
  • The big thing here to think about once again is the methodology in terms of how she structures her research. And for those of you who are interested in fan culture, both with your social media project or other similar projects, the things that Potts is referencing might be useful to think about. And beyond the theory stuff, just the idea of how Potts is analyzing her social media community here around the various objects from the show.
  • I think this is also another example of some of the kinds of decisions you might want to think about as you design your text to hypertext project. This is not something you could just “print out” and experience the same way, and that’s part of the point. That’s particularly true with the “Objects” part.
  • And while I don’t expect any of you to add this to your web sites, the “Reavers” link is pretty cool. 🙂
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37 Responses to “Can’t Stop the Fandom: Writing Participation in the Firefly ’Verse”

  1. andrew says:

    A preliminary comment. While attempting to read this my computer got super hot and the fan went crazy. It might be the animated stars in the background that are causing my computer to heat up very quickly. They definitely make it hard to read. But I found the reading on my iPhone which also offers a “Reader View” making it easier to read and easier on my computer. In case anyone else is having this issue.

  2. Jaclyn Y says:

    This website/research project is really cool! It’s easy to look around and find everything. It makes me wish that other academic papers were set up like this. I also think that it is really cool that, I am pretty sure, she cited my boss in her reference list.

    Oh Fox, if only you made good business decisions. The Jayne Hat on ThinkGeek is stupidly expensive, and Fox could have made more money on Firefly if they had given the show the proper care and attention it deserved.

    Anyway, onto the important stuff:

    I think that it is important that Potts is a fan while studying the fans. Fandom is a culture and each fandom has its own nuances and inside jokes that an outsider wouldn’t understand right away. She’s also not an active participant, meaning she looks at everything but doesn’t actually make anything herself. I think that this is the perfect circumstance to do this sort of cultural research in.

    It is also interesting to see academia and social media collide because academia has always sort of been in its own little world away from mainstream media. Obviously, this isn’t true for all disciplines of academia, but as a literature student, I have noticed that there are some concepts that could be taught better using social media and the like, but we’re not even allowed to have technology in our classes let alone actively use technology as a tool for study.

    • swilso93 says:

      I agree with you on your thoughts of fandom! I love the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and whenever I talk about it with people that don’t watch it, or share posts about it online, they have no idea what I am talking about. So if I was choosing to study fandom, I would pick something to study that I know a bit about or was a fan of myself.

      • andrew says:

        Fandom is always something I have been interested in as well but have never dove into it. I am the type of person who likes a tight canon when it comes to my fantasy universes, lol. Although, I always get ideas in my head about story arcs after watching shows like The Walking Dead or BattleStar Gallactica.

        I think my desire for a tight canon comes from childhood fanboy experiences. The stories I would here from, for example, the Star Wars extended universe always fascinated me. I also remember feeling disappointed when I would here conflicting stories after changes were made. It is kind of battle with nostalgia.

        • Debra says:

          Two other fandoms struggling with canon right now is the Harry Potter and Once Upon a Time fans. When the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” screenplay and West End play started, many fans struggled J.K. Rowling supporting material written by someone else. Many don’t want to consider it canon because Rowling didn’t write it.

          The Once Upon a Time (ABC drama) fans are struggling with the rules of magic changing when it’s convenient for the writers. Many of them are like you and want a tight canon.

    • Scott says:

      I also wish FOX would have put more care into Firefly, but their too busy making old movies into TV shows… The way Potts presents this essay is very effective. She even says that it wouldn’t have been possible to do this type of presentation in paper form. The “Objects” portion of the essay is easy to work through because of the interactive dynamic she allows within the presentation.

    • jmoss9 says:

      It’s almost comical that the Fox network would not care about keeping a show like Firefly on the air because it was not generating enough money, which on network television is measured in tens of millions of dollars, but they’ll put a stop to fans selling hats on Etsy which someone is maybe making hundreds of dollars on. It seems they would spend more on lawyers to stop the fan the fan would earn from selling Jayne hats.

  3. swilso93 says:

    I loved the design of her site! It gave me some idea’s for the site we will be making in this class. I really liked the stars falling across the site underneath the words. I enjoyed that every topic had its own page. It was organized and well thought out.
    I think it is a good thing that she is not an active participant in the fandom of this particular subject. She can look at things more critically instead of questioning or wanting to argue her own thoughts and points on the subject.
    I have always had issues understanding the concept of fan-fiction versus copyright. Because to me, you are copying the authors work, by using their characters and such. (You may have to take some of the backstory from their original story to make yours make sense.) Her website helped me understand that better.
    Some of her context started to bore me, but I think that was because as you, (Steven), said in the start of this post, if you aren’t a particular fan of FireFly you won’t like it as much. My father was a fan of it and even gave me the DVD’s he had for it, but I never really watched more than a couple episodes and moved on.
    This does bring up an important issue for me in that, I think if we could use the internet and social media for all or most of our writing classes, that would help people tremendously. There is a lot more we could learn if we could harness the internet. But a lot of my writing classes, stick to hard-copy books and handouts. They don’t think about the internet and I have had some teachers that don’t even want us to use it at all.

    • Joan Kwaske says:

      Your comment about Liza Potts being outside of the Firefly fandom made me think about a project I’m currently working on for my 328W class. At the beginning of the project, I chose a fansite covering a book series I personally enjoyed. I thought it would be helpful to be so familiar with the content, but it’s actually been a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. After reading your comment, I realized how useful it can be to see it from a fresh perspective.

  4. Scott says:

    One quote that stood out to me is when Potts quotes Henry Jenkins: “fans are the most active segment of the media audience, one that refuses to simply accept what they are given, but rather insists on the right to become full participants.” My point of view may be influenced by this past week gripping the presidential election, but this quote sound like a very democratic way of thinking. Instead of being passive consumers of what has been going on, an overwhelming amount of attention has been focused on becoming participants within the democratic process of learning, teaching, and informing a community that doesn’t know otherwise. And though the Firefly context has to do with a fun past-time activity, it also seems as if participants are honing critical and analytical skills of how we digesting information (such as a TV show, or overwhelming racial/racists motivating forces). Are we purely consumers of information or participants because of and reacting to that information?

    “Because the episodes were originally shown out of order and the shows were not air consistently, fans relied on each other to understand the timeline. Fans helped each other untangle the stories and share information across various digital spaces.” This quote was of particular interest to me because I only know about Firefly because of a former roommate of mine. He was interested in this show and shared the episodes and his knowledge of the short-lived series with me. I wasn’t exposed through the internet (though he may have been). So in that case, my knowledge may have been the product of third hand information he learned and passed on to me. I would consider myself a fan of the show, but not in the same way Potts identifies herself and others within the fandom realm. I like it, I wish there was more, and that’s the extent of my interest. Still, I find it fascinating that people perpetuate the existence of Firefly, remaking the clothing of the show, continuing story-lines through fan-fiction, sharing interests through communities. It’s remarkable that a flash-in-the-pan-like series–one FOX really didn’t invest too much time or effort in–has remained in the minds of people for such an extended amount of time. But I guess that is the distinction between my kind of fandom (in which I am mainly a consumer of the product) and other peoples’ fandom (in which they become producers, collaborators, and thus participants based on the original product). A side note in the same vein: I think our world would be a drastically different place if we were all “fans” of our political system, or if the producers of the political system tried to make “fans” of their citizens much like television producers do.

    • Steve Krause says:

      As a side-note here (since a number of you have mentioned your interest in fan culture), Henry Jenkins is a very readable and interesting writer/academic. He still blogs (more or less) here: http://henryjenkins.org/ He has a great book called Convergence Culture which really speaks well about the complexities of being very much a non-passive fan who “makes” stuff, and he has another book I’ve thought about using for this class (maybe next time?) called Spreadable Media.

      It’s interesting stuff, though I don’t think I have quite the “super-fan” kind of thing. I mean, I liked the show and I can appreciate the culture here, but dressing up and going to conventions seems weird to me….

  5. rachel says:

    I must say, it certainly is a pleasure to read a piece that references many modes of fan-culture that I know of or have partaken in. Everything from the fanfiction to the fanmade music videos that use carefully timed scene snips from a show with a music track that speaks to what was going on with particular characters. Fan culture is a great example of how fanmade tribute works can walk the line of fair use and copyright.

    Potts’ use of mapping as one of her research methods seemed well chosen as a way to make connections between the activities and the actors.

    The layout of Potts’ site was creative (liked her creative word-choice for sections), even though the site was not compatible with being read on a mobile device. When I tried to read it a bit on my phone, I couldn’t scroll down or zoom out. It’s definitely something to keep in mind when I think about what shape my hypertext site will take, and what kind of choice I’ll have available to me with wordpress to create a site that people can engage with on more than one kind of device.

    • aderengo says:

      I like how you brought up the copyright laws and use of fair use. It was something that I hadn’t thought about, but it is something that we have to be aware of while participating in our fandoms. I also agree that we need to make sure that people can engage in our websites on more than one device. I had the same problems when reading it on my phone.

      • Steve Krause says:

        This goes back to the “Tales from the Public Domain” discussion too, and all of this weird space of “remix” culture. I think I might have mentioned this before, but one of the things about fan culture generally is that the big companies that produce and make shows like “Firefly” have a sort of touchy relationship with this stuff. On the one hand, there is this whole “protect the copyright/protect the brand” sort of thing. On the other hand, it is in Fox et al’s interest to honor fan culture because these are the people who are paying for the product, if that makes sense.

        I guess the difference is– and this is something potentially to think about with your social media projects– if you set up a web site on your own and you’re “borrowing/stealing” from the “Firefly” franchise, they probably won’t like that. But if you post stuff about the “Firefly” franchise in a community where other fans are posting, then you’re probably okay. Does that seem about right?

        • Marianne says:

          That sounds about right to me. I have found this to be a bit of a quandary for me when I have written different articles for journalism classes and also posts for blogging. I usually link everything I can think of and make sure to mention at least once where the information came from in addition to the links, but I always wonder if I am going to get a nasty email from someone.
          I’ve also wondered when I want to include a project from a prior job in my professional portfolio. I made sure to black out any dollar amounts or things like that, but I sometimes wonder if I am going to get a call about those, too.

  6. Joan Kwaske says:

    The page’s orange font against black background with the moving stars actually made me a little dizzy. It seems like it’s meant to look outdated, given that Firefly is about 13 years old now, and I think it achieved that.
    The content is genuinely interesting, especially as I compare it to the discussions I’ve had in 328W about discourse. Even as I’m writing my Discourse Project in another tab, I hadn’t really thought of the community I’m analyzing as a group of people who feel like family. If I were a participating member, I might understand this better. On the other hand, I have read blogs where multiple people interact on a regular basis, and I have always thought of them as being close friends. Here, I suppose I could recognize what Liza Potts discussed. I think there’s a strong argument to be made for interaction then. With the Firefly fandom being so old, it is astonishing that it’s still around. It takes dedicated members to continue a community for 13 years.

    • Marianne says:

      I agree. I can’t help but think that a show that is 13 years old with such a dedicated following is a show Fox may want to take another look at airing. And they mentioned that when it did air, the episodes were not shown in chrono order. How annoying for the viewers. That seems like a sure-fire way to make a show fail to me.

  7. aderengo says:

    Like Andrew, I was having problems with the website running on my computer. My problem was the security software would not open the page because it had potential risks associated with the site. When I pulled it up on my phone I also could not read the whole text, but I think I got the majority of what Potts was saying.

    I liked the setup that she had for the site. It’s similar to the one that I had sketched up for my website that I am creating in this class. The stars in the background were pretty cool, and I wonder how she was able to do that.

    In the section ‘Still Flying’ I liked what Potts said, “Participants in digital spaces are learning to engage online in ways that will support their communities.” Its true that we have changed the way that we engage with our fandoms because of the changes and advancements in technology. We now have the opportunity to talk with our favorite actors through platforms like Twitter and Facebook that we never had before. I remember reading an article that talked about the actors of a certain movie answering questions on Twitter that their fans had for them. Twenty years ago if people liked something they would just say they liked it, talked to their friends about it, or join a local club. Now we have the ability to connect with people from all over the world and discuss what we love.

    • Marianne says:

      Now that you mention it, that really is an amazing thing that wouldn’t have happened 30 years ago when I was your age. The thought of actually having contact with an actor of a show I was a fan of would never have crossed my mind and didn’t now until you mentioned it. I think it really is a great part of today’s communication technology.
      I am also in WRTG328W like Joan mentioned and the comments she made on this site gave me more to think about for my web genre/discourse community project we have been working on.

  8. Debra says:

    I’m struggling with this website for two reasons. The first is that I have never watched “Firefly.” But the biggest reason is the orange and black design. I am finding it so distracting that I am having trouble concentrating on the material. The endless amount of text is also difficult to get through. But based on all of your comments, I’m going to give it another try! You are clearly finding interesting information on the site, and I was looking forward to seeing her methodology.

    • jmoss9 says:

      The orange on black was a big distraction to me too. It reminded me of the first word processor I ever used in the 1980s that was like a giant typewriter that instead of having letter hammers had a tiny four to five inch square monitor built into it that displayed the text in that same orange on black scheme. It always induced headaches within 10 minutes of using it.

    • Marianne says:

      I was just like you, Debra. I totally didn’t get what everyone was talking about the first time I looked through it. But I just read through it again and was able to focus on the content more than the (hideous) reading colors and flying stars so I now appreciate her research that flew over my head the first time.

  9. haniam1315 says:

    This was an interesting website, and interesting research as well. I do have to say though, like some comments by others show, that the overall design of the website is a little distracting. I found myself having to switch over to something else after reading a bit, because it was starting to strain my eyes a little. The moving background looks cool, but it does make it a little hard to read, especially with the color combination.

    The website layout overall is nice. I like how each section is specified and covers different aspects of the research. It’s clearly very well organized. It gives a feel for how our websites might look as we continue with our projects, and I think it helps to see it as well, to get an idea. I do think it also helps to see how the colors and movement effect the readers, kind of as a “what not to do” tip (this isn’t to say that everyone feels the same way, but it is something to take into account when putting something like this together).

    As far as the research goes, I think it’s also very thorough and well thought-out. I haven’t watched the show, but I’ve had that fan-base experience, so I can kind of relate. As I was reading it, I had the thought that the fans help make a story, and their ideas or approval/disapproval is also something that goes into pulling a story together, especially now that fans and authors/producers/actors can communicate with each other through social media. As I continued reading, I saw that the Potts referenced this point from a book as well.

    “In describing fan participation, Henry Jenkins (2006) stated that ‘fans are the most active segment of the media audience, one that refuses to simply accept what they are given, but rather insists on the right to become full participants’ (p. 131).”

    I love this description, and I think it shows a lot of what was highlighted in this research. Regardless of the website design, this was interesting to read.

    • Scott says:

      Personally, I did not have a problem with the orange text or the movement of the stars. But I think you make a good point that we need to be aware of these kind of distractions even if it affects some, and not all, of the readers. If Potts would have received feedback about some of the visual interference some of our classmates have identified, I wonder if she would have kept the same design. Order is very important. The presentation should not disturb the ease of gaining the information.

      • Jaclyn Y says:

        This is a very good point. It didn’t bother me, either, but I think that might be because it matched the tone of the show. At least, I thought that it matched the color scheme they had going for the promotional photos, logo, and DVD covers of the show. While this is great for fans to connect with, I can also see why it would be distracting.

    • Marianne says:

      Jenkins’ description really is awesome. I have never been active in any fandom but there are a few shows that I loved that I could easily have done so. (Gilmore Girls and Lost). while I was reading this, I was envisioning what any activity in a fandom for one of those shows would have been like, especially Lost.
      The show had so many different threads and directions and theories behind so much mysterious stuff that it would have been interesting to communicate with different fans and get their theories on what the “truth” may have been or where things were going.
      I know that the last episode of Lost kind of left things “up to the viewer” to give it their own interpretation and there were some blogs and comments I saw on Facebook and some blogs about what they thought the meaning was. Jenkins’ description that “fans are the most active segment of the media audience, one that refuses to simply accept what they are given, but rather insists on the right to become full participants” is a perfect description of the fans of that show.

  10. LouiseWrites says:

    The moving stars in the background and the yellow text made it a little difficult to read, although I appreciate the mood that she set in doing so.

    While I understood all of her statements about fan participation being bigger than the actually original content (I myself love buying Hayao Miyazaki fan made stuff on etsy anytime I can), I wished she used more examples in showing the type of power they had, such as how Harry Potter fans made sure the Potter themed chocolates were made fair trade. I just felt as though she was making a big deal about the impact without actually describing how that came to be. However, it’s probably the Firefly fans that are on this site and therefore specifics need not be mentioned. Taking part in a few fandoms myself, I understand the whole canon/fanon and the corporate greed that attempts to control this entity that has become an identity for entire communities.

  11. andrew says:

    I tried the site again and I genuinely thought my computer was going to crash when I was looking at this site. My fan had never kicked on the way it did here. I tried to get through this a fast as I can and am a little disappointed since I am very interested in the ANT model that the author has constructed. I actually tried to make a PowerPoint presentation using ANT before and the best I could come up with is images stacking on top of each other.

    I like the look into fandom culture as a means to look at how communities share knowledge. It doesn’t seem too much different from academia. There is a object to be studied. People present their understanding of the object. New terms are created and shared. Then they discuss what should remain as “canon”.

    I will move through a little more tomorrow. Actually, I will use a school computer.

    • Scott says:

      I am also interested in ANT, but I didn’t really find a whole lot of useful information on the subject. Potts definitely mentioned it but I felt like she could have talked about ANT more in depth. Maybe I missed something.

      • andrew says:

        I was able to go back and get a better look at this article on a school computer this morning.

        I agree, I don’t think there is much explanation of ANT on this site. But I do like how the author used ANT in mapping out the network. I have found that the difficulty with ANT is containing the network within a useable space. Since connections can become infinite, there has to be a way to kind of set boundaries around the object we want to look at. Of course, where these boundaries land is up to the author. But this map was kind of a cool way to illustrate the fandom “verse.” The thing I was not sure about was how we were able to locate the agency of each “node” based on the map alone. Yes there is the central unifying object of the hat, but everything else is located one step away. I like how the author provided hyperlinks every time a term from elsewhere on the map showed up in other areas. It would be interesting to find a way to show how strong a term’s connection to central “actors” really is. Otherwise, we kind of have to count links or make judgements ourselves. Which may not be a bad thing.

  12. jmoss9 says:

    I only had vague memories of this show being on because I never watched a single episode of it. Potts deserves a lot of credit because this website makes me feel like I am familiar with the show and now I’m curious if it’s on Netflix or Hulu so I can watch it.

    The popularity of Firefly and its fandom reminds me of the Star Trek phenomenon. Both shows had some similarities in that they were science fiction shows based on a western concept and they lived on after being cancelled by their network because the fan base wouldn’t let them die. The original Star Trek series was on tv for only 3 seasons, but the fandom surrounding it led to the infamous Star Trek conventions and spawned 4 spinoff series (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise) plus a fifth (Discovery) that is supposed to start next year, two film franchises and an animated series. All of which also have their own fandom. You know your friends are serious nerds when they argue about the superiority of Next Gen over Voyager.

    Regarding Potts’ website, I appreciate the vast amount of information on a fairly concise site, but her page layouts and color schemes leave something to be desired. Having to scroll sideways to read the blocks of text on the Objects page was annoying and the orange on black scheme causes eye strain almost immediately. The overall site is well done and gives me some ideas on how I can present some of the content for my project.

  13. Steve Krause says:

    I think you are all making some good observations here about the layout of the site, and I have kind of mixed feelings myself. On the one hand, I like the way that this piece is divided and how it is an example of a web-based text that would be difficult (if not impossible) to experience in print. That’s definitely something to think about for your own web sites. On the other hand, I’m not crazy about the stars and the orange either.

    But there’s another element going on here that no one has mentioned yet that I guess I have to share now. It’s goofy, but it’s probably the reason why it runs so slow on many computers. In the lower left-hand corner of the screen, there’s a link that says “Reavers!” If you click on that, you’ll get a little triangle that shows up just to the left of the top of the table where the text is, near where it says “shindig.” That little triangle is actually an asteroids-style spaceship you can power by using the arrow keys and you can shoot at the text with the spacebar. Check it out!

  14. MattZ says:

    I’ve been a huge Firefly fan for a long time, and it was great to see someone from inside the fandom writing about the fandom. I think when an outsider tries to take this kind of look the can get lost and potentially misunderstand a lot of the culture that has been established.

    I agree with her points about the participation of fans sometimes becoming bigger than the original content. There are examples of this all over the place. Firefly is not the only television show that has been long dead with a cult following. Just look at something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s a show that’s long dead, but still has a very passionate fan community that loves to write their own “episodes” of the show. Fans can continue to give life to properties long after those in charge deem them dead.

    Also, the site kinda reminded me of GeoCities back in the day. Annoying moving background? Check. Weird color scheme? Check. All it needed was 7 different fonts and I would’ve been right at home. I do like the layout of the site though, as it is somewhat similar to what I’m doing with my site.

  15. totallykyle94 says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece, as I became a fan of ‘Firefly’ a few years ago, and although I only watched the entire series through once, I remember even then when I looked into the show’s fandom, I could see that fans of the show, the series’ cast, scholars, researchers, etc. have created a massive fandom network, all stemming from love for the show, despite the repeated moves that Fox has made to monetize on these efforts. It is interesting to me that a show which only lasted for only one season with one official film made a few years after the show ended. Since then, according to Potts’ website and some prior knowledge I had, this fandom has resulted in tons of fan fiction stories, several conventions which include guest appearances from the Firefly’s original cast, and fan-created merchandise, despite cease and desist letters from Fox. In situations like this, I can’t help but take the side of the fans. Although it could be argued that the fandom is taking money away from Fox, the network took the show down after a season, so it seems to me that they were not too keen on continuing the show’s success, and many of the aspects of the fandom are not created to make a profit anyway, and contrarily, the “Browncoats” have used their popularity and funds earned to donate to charities, start their own, etc. All in all, this write-up serves as a solid example of showcasing the power that a fandom can have, and it all starts with a common shared interest and passion, in this case, the beloved Firefly series.

  16. Marianne says:

    After reading a few of the first comments people made, I had to go check out this site for myself. I can’t claim that my computer had problems or that I got dizzy from the constant movement, but I read through a lot of the site and I don’t think I comprehended any of it. I just finished going through it again and actually found it very interesting and think she had a lot of good insights that I just didn’t pick up on in the first go-round I had with the site.
    I think my trouble the first time was from a mixture of reasons that have to do with site design issues. In my web publishing technology class we are studying color theory right now and I just recently read that websites with dark backgrounds are more difficult (straining) for our eyes over extended periods of time. When I read that, I thought of this site. It also said that colors convey feelings, which I experienced in this site. I hate the color scheme (no offense anyone) and the moving stars.
    You can find the information on color at the tiger color website at http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/
    Go to the Basic Color schemes page a little ways down the page or at http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.htm
    They say that “Colors affect us in numerous ways, both mentally and physically. A strong red color has been shown to raise the blood pressure, while a blue color has a calming effect.” They also say: “With colors you can set a mood, attract attention, or make a statement. You can use color to energize, or to cool down. By selecting the right color scheme, you can create an ambiance of elegance, warmth or tranquility, or you can convey an image of playful youthfulness. Color can be your most powerful design element if you learn to use it effectively.”
    I know everyone is different but I think the combination of the distracting stars in the background and the odd color scheme both had something to do with it.
    One thing she said on the “Sussing Out” page really struck me.
    ” It is important that we recognize our own participation in these spaces as a way to understand the structure in which the research takes place. In doing so, we can also help our students equip themselves for studying and working in spaces in which they have a stake in the fandom of certain worlds, brands, and spaces.”
    This is a very useful insight that I realize I need to keep in mind for any website design project I work on. I summarize/extrapolate this out to mean the following:
    In order to be prepared to analyze and work with a web space, it helps if I recognize that participation in the space is a way to understand the structure of the research conducted.
    Does that seem correct?

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