Promoting fan labor and "all things Web": A case study of "Tosh.0"


  • Rose Helens-Hart University of Kansas



Audience participation, Multimodal Web site, Spreadable media, Sticky media


Television programs are increasingly paired with interactive media platforms in attempts to reach fragmented audiences though a medium where millions are now seeking entertainment—the Internet. Programs' online presences are cultivated and promoted by paid staffers and unpaid fan laborers. Producers monetize fan activity by guiding its form on their sites. Utilizing the concepts of sticky and spreadable media, an analysis of the Comedy Central show Tosh.0 Web site demonstrates how producers can promote particular types of interactivity through the content and architecture of a multimodal Web site. By designing a site that centralizes the use of popular social media, the producers of Tosh.0 concentrate fans and benefit from their creative labor. Furthermore, this study serves as a test for the scope and usefulness of the concepts of sticky and spreadable media in revealing strategic Web site design that encourages specific types of user participation.

Author Biography

Rose Helens-Hart, University of Kansas

Rose Helens-Hart is a graduate student in the department of Communication at the University of Kansas. Her research interests are popular culture and organizational communication.