Case Study #1: “The Frogpants Network: How a small community can change the whole of the Internet” by Adam Mickelsen

Back in June of 2001 Scott Johnson a programmer and web-cartoonist on the side decided to make his place in the Internet by creative the web-comic “Extralife”. Little did he know the giant snowball this tiny decision would make as 2 years later he joined the podcasting movement with his first podcast “Extralife Radio” with fellow web-cartoonists and then created podcast after podcast with incredible amounts of entertainment for geeks of all walks of life. 

The greatest advantage that came to Johnson is the fact that while he was starting out he had a small community of dedicated fans which grew as he met new web celebrities such CNET’s Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont which in turn brought their fans to him and also brought the idea of even more podcasts with said web celebrities.

 After making enough of a living that he could quit his day job and focus solely on his other work Scott then founded “Frogpants Studios” ,and then in turn had many of his podcasting buddies contribute to the cause by offering up their podcasts to become part of what would later be called “The Frogpants Network”. What Scott didn’t realize is the network of fans that supported him from the beginning would become one the greatest assets to him but to the Internet as a whole as well.

Through social networking and Web 2.0 the Frogpants Community has earned it’s own hallmark for being one of the safest and family-friendly environments on the internet, all while its creator was simply out to have a good time. All major frogpants talent have used social networking in some form, while some mostly stick to their Twitter and Facebook feeds others have taken on mediums such as Instagram to tease upcoming web-comics or Vine to let the community in during the holidays. It is because of social networking that Frogpants has become what it has and also has become one of the rarest concepts online where it is mostly a free environment of such internet problems as online trolling.

 

Web 2.0 has helped the Frogpants Network as a whole to connect with their fans in a way that I think is sorely missing from mainstream media outlets and they do it simply because they want to. Whether it be using Facebook to organize their yearly World of Warcraft event the running of the bull-people, to actually utilizing specific social media forms for contests and recognition of outstanding members of their community specifically by rewarding them on Twitter for speaking nicely of the Frogpants network or helping out the community as a whole. By doing these it actually makes it so trolls that do try and come into this network to cause problems are quickly set apart and criticized and kicked out for their behavior, but are also more than welcome to return if their willing to behave. 

In conclusion I believe this community to be one of the strongest assets the Internet has especially with so many critics of online content, the way to strengthen it would be to have communities like this form up around other talent which would in turn inspire all of us to behave better in a medium that allows so many ways for us to misbehave.

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