From <mrsniall-horan-until-the-end> to <keepingupwith1d>: Online usernames and identity in the One Direction fandom

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This article categorizes 500 usernames employed by members of the One Direction fandom on microblogging platform Tumblr in order to better understand the self-naming strategies used by fandom members to construct their online identities. The five categories of usernames identified include monikers referring to a particular member of the band, names related to ‘shipping’ (imagined romantic relationships between band members) and names related to the labour undertaken by fans on behalf of the fandom. The findings indicate that, in contrast to the popular conception of fandoms as homogeneous groups, fans are in fact employing their usernames in order to (1) emphasize their individuality within the online community; (2) highlight how their engagement with the band differs from that of their fellow fandom members; and (3) promote the labour that they undertake on behalf of the fandom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-300
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Fandom Studies
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • fan studies
  • music
  • online communities
  • onomastics


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