How to support your fandom, even when money is tight.

So, everyone has a favorite fandom. It could be a comic/movie/TV/game cross promotion intellectual property or it could be a small brand that is more of a hidden gem than an unpublished Neutral Milk Hotel B-side. Your fandom could be sports, your fandom could be authors, or your fandom could be the collecting of molds, spores, and fungus.

Regardless of your fandom, you want there to be more of your fandom out in the world. You don’t want a TV network to cancel your favorite science fiction show, you don’t want your favorite comic book to end, and you definitely don’t want your fungal collection spore plates to stop being produced. So how can you, as a fan, be actively involved in the continuation of your fandom?

Sure, money is the easiest and most direct way. If you buy the things that your favorite fandom produces then you are supporting that fandom in one of the most direct ways possible. Producing resources for fandoms cost money, so, giving money for the things you enjoy helps support your fandom so that there is more of your fandom. This could be as simple as buying product when it comes out instead of doing illegal downloads.

But money isn’t always an option. Like me, I assume many of you don’t always have the money to cover all of my living expenses and to buy a thousand little space ships and latex weapons to beat my friends with. So, when money isn’t an option, there are a few things that you can do to support your fandom without spending a dollar or even spending much time.

1) Like posts that relate positively to your fandom. It’s a simple thing, but the little like button on Facebook is a great way to show support for your fandom without putting in damn near any effort. Liking a post influences how Facebook determines what kind of posts should be shown to you and to your friends. Clicking that like button on positive posts relating to your fandom lets the creators (and often times the financial backers) that there is a love and interest in the world for what is being done. As we all know, continuing the life of our favorite TV show is easier than getting a show back on the air.

2) Don’t feed negativity and the trolls. The fact of the matter is that the internet is filled with people who, for whatever reason, will never be happy with things they interact with in life. The food will always have something wrong with it, the drink will always have room for improvement, the price will be too off, or the story will not address the portions that they really want. So, instead of seeing the pleasure in fandoms these living offshoots of the Noid and the Whammy will partake in a fandom while doing nothing but trash the fandom and any direction a fandom takes. Not sure what kind of person I am talking about? Log into any MMO forum, public chat, or community group. There is always someone in there that will be loudly broadcasting negativity for no apparent reason.

There is something to be said about accidental negative tone as well. This is something I see all of the time in event organization and management. When an event manager posts an advertisement for something cool they are hosting, they need as many people as possible to attend just to offset the cost of running niche events. When a fan of a particular event sees these posts and responds with "so sad, can't make it" it immediately takes the wind out of the positive drive for attendance and throws little shot glasses of cold water on the momentum of an event. Believe it or not, saying that you can't make an event is more likely to make your friends not attend. You may not think you have that sort of sway over your immediate friends that share a fandom, but that subconscious thought of "not attending" has just been linked to an ad trying to remind people to attend.

3) Share the love. Is there a new book out that you really want, or a series of books you really love? Just post about how you like them on your personal pages. You don’t need to go all super fan, but, just making a post that you are excited about a new miniatures model may give one of your friends who has been sitting on the fence about getting involved with your fandom enough reason to give it a shot. The more people who enjoy your fandom, the more people that exist to support your fandom.

Believe it or not, immediate fan response influences so much in the world of TV and game support. Sure, sales influences more, but showing support for a fandom not only spreads the word about your fandom to new audiences but also sends a message to the creators and backers. It gives hope to the future of a brand to the investors. It gives the opportunity for new potentials in adjacent mediums, and, your nice words very well could carry a creator through a day where everything seems like an uphill battle.