This paper addresses crowd-based dynamics of value creation in participatory culture. Based on a corpus of 114,931 tweets associated with One Direction and similar boy bands, we draw on recent theories of crowd-based organization in digital media as well as classical crowd theory to build a theoretical model of collective value creation. In our model, the achievement of value in the form of trending and individual microcelebrity is based on affectively driven processes of imitation, rather than on rational evaluation and deliberation. We contrast this model with established accounts of microcelebrity and draw out implications for theories of crowd-based organization in digital media and for theories of participatory culture and collaborative value creation in general.
- communication studies, media studies, political economy, social media, Social Theory, Sociology