The Jayne hat is at the center of this case study. It is an object worn by Jayne Cobb in the episode “The Message” (Whedon, Davies, & Minear, 2002). In an authorized book about Firefly, costume designer Shawna Trpcic described the hat as a “labor of love,” noting that “you can tell that he loves it because it’s from his mom, and he doesn’t even think about the fact that here he is, this hired killer, wearing a pom-pom on his head” (Twentieth Century Fox, p. 140). When Jayne puts it on, his crewmates are amused, while Jayne looks sheepish and proud in contrast to his tough guy persona. Thus advances a theme in Firefly, as Jayne continues his metamorphosis from a mercenary to an everyman with a family and backstory.
The hat was taken up by the fandom, with one fan crafter noting that “every fan who sees them knows I’m a fellow traveller in the ’Verse” (’dillo, 2013). In describing the Jayne hat in a podcast, this fan stated: “Is there anything more symbolic of Firefly than a cunning yellow–orange hat with red earflaps? When a browncoat walks down the street wearing a Jayne’s hat, you can tell they’re proud of their fandom” (’dillo, 2013). (QA: Revise following sentence?) This statement by the fan aligns him with the fandom in both turning the phrase from the quote above and by sharing his love of this object so central to the fandom. In that same podcast, that fan also stated that “I’d never been a cosplayer, but I instinctively knew this was a symbol of fandom that I wanted to wear” (’dillo, 2013). Here he showed how becoming a fan of the show changed how he thought about fandoms in general, and that podcast allowed him to both share these kinds of community statements as well as his own recipe for how to knit the cap.
The hat is an important object to the Browncoat fandom. The fans inscribe their fandom through the hat across various kinds of media, both physical and digital. There are fan-made versions of the hat on Etsy and the official hat on ThinkGeek (ThinkGeek, 2013a). People can download patterns to make the hat (Fung, 2012), listen to a podcast dedicated to the hat (’dillo, 2013), cosplay about the hat (blaster, 2013), and listen to folk music dedicated to the hat (Peal, 2008). On Twitter, the #jaynehat hashtag was used during the event in this case study, and it is still in use today for fans to talk about the hat, the situation, and the fandom. In Firefly, Jayne referred to the hat as “cunning,” a term used by the defenders of the crafters and the crafters writing in articles and across social media. Someone is even running a Twitter account under the name of the hat, spelled backwards (EnyajTah), in reference to Nathan Fillion’s suggestion that crafters rename their hats EnyajTah to avoid Fox’s interference (Fillion, 2013a). The hat is a contested object between the licensing company and the fandom; Fox's attempts to commodify the fandom has left the fans participating in this case study angered as they consider the hat to be a cherished object belonging to the fandom. All of this raises the question: what is canon and what is "fanon" here? Is the hat real if it is created by a fan or if it is officially endorsed by Fox?
ThinkGeek is an online retailer that sells “stuff for smart masses” (n.d.). Established in 1999, it has successfully sold toys, clothing, gadgets, and electronics to “the proudly nerdy, technically savvy, and pop-culture-obsessed” (Chaney, 2013). Firefly fans are clearly in their demographic. ThinkGeek itself has aligned themselves with the fandom in the past, having their mascot, Timmy the Monkey, wear a Jayne hat in photos on the ThinkGeek website. That hat was made for them by a fan crafter (ThinkGeek, 2010). She had made the hat not by request, but as an offer to ThinkGeek as a fellow fan (rumielf, 2010). ThinkGeek went on to request 18 more for their staff (rumielf, 2010). In discussing these hats, ThinkGeek readily admitted that many of them had acquired their hats from Etsy-based crafters (Chaney, 2013). Wanting to sell Jayne hats to the public, ThinkGeek later approached Fox to acquire licensed, official hats.
Were it not for their interest in selling a Jayne hat, it is unclear as to whether or not this case study would exist. It was ThinkGeek who reached out to Fox, who in turn worked with the company Ripple Junction to make the “official” Jayne hats for ThinkGeek to sell in their online store. By asking Fox for an “official” hat, ThinkGeek inadvertently triggered a response from Fox to Etsy about the fan crafters. This caused a communication crisis of sorts for the retailer, creating an interesting business case for students of professional and technical writing.
Many fans online reacted angrily to the Jayne hat being sold by ThinkGeek, primarily because of how it affected the fan crafters on Etsy and commercialized these handmade products. The fans sent angry tweets, geek news reporters documented the event, and many of the Big Damn Heroes weighed in with their support. ThinkGeek seemed to be caught flat-footed, unaware that their decision would cause such a backlash, stating in an interview, “we really didn’t want to disparage the Browncoat community” (Chaney, 2013). This case serves as a useful example of the need for crisis communication, with a plan in place before these events occur. In an effort to reply to the fans and Big Damn Heroes who were upset, ThinkGeek wrote a blog post (2013b) about the issue. In that post, they stated that they would donate all proceeds to Can’t Stop the Serenity, a fan-organized charity. They also made it clear that they were not part of the process of sending the cease-and-desist letters to Etsy about the crafters. Indeed, it was ThinkGeek's selling of the hat that caused the issue to begin with, regardless of their wishes to work in parallel to the fan crafters. It is unclear whether or not they will continue to sell Jayne hats, as they are currently out of stock at the time of this writing. However, their blog post is an interesting example of workplace writing and the rhetorical moves made by a corporation trying to negotiate their relationships with fans and corporate partners.
Firefly fans refer to themselves as Browncoats. In the universe, or ’Verse, the term Browncoats referred to soldiers who fought for the Independents against the Alliance during the Unification War. This slang term was derived from the brown coats that they wore during the war, as opposed to the term purplebellies, which referred to the Alliance member’s purple colored uniforms. Two main characters in Firefly, Captain Mal and his second in command Zoë, were both veterans of the war. So by referring to themselves as Browncoats, the fans are taking up this identity and aligning themselves with the Big Damn Heroes of the show.
In describing their community, one of the fans stated that “when you meet a Browncoat for the first time they don’t shake hands, they hug you right away. It’s like a family, and you feel that from the actors, too” (Hadlock et al., 2006). At one point, these fans also tried raising funds for Nathan Fillion to purchase the rights to the show from Fox. The Browncoats gather at conventions, chat in various digital spaces such as FireflyFans.net, knit Jayne hats, and talk to their Big Damn Heroes over Twitter. The fandom’s culture often replicates the Firefly ’Verse, with many noting that “the fans of Firefly are in fact sort of like these characters on the show” (Hadlock et al., 2006).
It has been acknowledged that fans of Firefly are both active in their community and activists for women’s rights. In describing these moves, one scholar notes that many of “Whedon fan activists have cultivated a distinctive character: specifically, a feminist one” (Cochran, 2012, n.p.). These fans are active and activist across a number of causes, most notably Can’t Stop the Serenity, a fan-based charity that supports Equality Now and other organizations promoting “human rights of woman around the world” (n.d.). The ways in which they use digital spaces as a community promotes these kinds of values. It is notable that the crafters in this case study are mostly women.
The fandom has received special attention form the show producers, stars, and crew. The documentary Done the Impossible (Hadlock et al., 2006) told the story of the fans of Firefly and how they set out to save the show. During those opening scenes, fans, cast, and crew of Firefly introduced themselves together in cut scenes. Neither fan nor actor was given higher priority. They were all Browncoats. This technique created a sense of equality amongst the participants in this film, enacting this concept already present in the television show, film, and fandom itself. They were co-producing content together about their shared affection for the Firefly ’Verse.
In Firefly, the main characters lived on a spaceship together. Their ship, Serenity, was a Firefly model, shaped like a horse to emphasize the show’s Western motif. The main characters used the ship to smuggle goods and protect their stowaways. The fandom uses the term “Big Damn Heroes” (BDH) to refer to the cast, actors, and characters of Firefly (Hadlock, et al., 2006). This term was lifted from a line spoken by the character Zoë during the episode “Safe.” In this case study, the most active BDH in digital spaces is Nathan Fillion, who played Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Central to the case is the hat worn by Jayne Cobb, played by actor Adam Baldwin.
On the show, the BDH maintained an Old West sense of morality and values; an ambiguity about right and wrong permeates the show. In the words of the ship’s captain, Mal, “You got a job, we can do it, don't much care what it is” (Whedon, Davies, & Minear, 2002). This quote is a key tenet of Firefly, one that is echoed later during this case study in Fillion’s response to a fan crafter (Fillion, 2013b). While Fillion is roguish, Jayne Cobb was described as a “doltish mercenary” and a “lovable sonuvabitch,” (Chant, 2011, p. 224). Throughout the series, Jayne's character developed a stronger sense of space cowboy justice, aligning himself closer to his Captain. In the twelfth episode of the series, Jayne received a gift from his mother: A winter-looking hat she has knitted for him in various shades of orange. It is this hat—the Jayne hat—that became a major moment for the character in Firefly and the major event in this case study.
Both Fillion and Baldwin are active in the Firefly fandom, as evidenced by their attendance at conventions and connection to their fans through social media and fan films (Hadlock et al., 2006). Fillion regularly interacts with his fans on Twitter, at times embodying the persona of Malcolm Reynolds (Fillion, 2010). Similarly, Baldwin sometimes aligns himself with the Browncoat fans, even going as far as stating that he is a fan of Firefly, rather than simply one of the actors (Hadlock et al., 2006). During the events of April 2013, these Big Damn Heroes expressed their concern for the situation by either tweeting or retweeting content on Twitter. Fillion was outspoken about the treatment of the show’s fans, posting numerous times about the hats and fan crafters (Fillion 2013a, 2013b). Like Fillion, Baldwin also aligned himself with the crafters, retweeting a post by a fan that states “I don’t have a ’Jayne’ hat. I have an Adam Baldwin Hat” (Baldwin, 2013). This retweet has since been removed from Baldwin’s Twitter feed, while Fillion’s tweets remain. The tweet and the retweet are interesting conventions on Twitter, with the former being a statement made directly from the participant and the later the resending of a tweet made by a different participant. The tweet is authorship, while the retweet can be considered endorsement or at least interest by the retweeter. Deleting this retweet calls into question Baldwin's support of those fan efforts. Various Geek News outlets speculated about the various stands taken by the BDH, with one stating that “It seems clear that they're all a little nervous about biting the hand that feeds, but it's also clear that they're not happy, either” (Roth, 2013).
Fox is the copyright holder for Firefly material and merchandise, and therefore, they are the entity who can issue an “official” Jayne hat. Working with third-party manufacturer Ripple Junction, Fox allowed for the creation of the “official” hat for ThinkGeek. Ripple Junction has stayed largely silent about the incident, and Fox has spoken to fans—whether they realize it or not—through their cease-and-desist orders sent to Etsy to shut down the fan crafters.
Fans were upset at Fox for sending these letters. The letters effectively shut down the Jayne hat listings on Etsy. Crafters, taking Fillion’s advice, sought to route around this issue by reworking the genre on Etsy to serve Firefly fans. As Jenkins (2013b) noted, a “utopian imagination often fuels fandom’s resistances to corporate efforts to commodify its cultural productions and exchanges” (p. xxix). But it is unclear how long this resistance can last.
While it is not disputed that Fox holds the copyright to the show, fans and the Big Damn Heroes disagree with Fox over whether the hat is an item that Fox can copyright. Fox believes they can copyright the hat, and they have the weight of their production company and the lawyers to enforce it. In this situation, “the company still seeks to set the terms of our participation and fans are by and large still refusing to play by those rules” (Jenkins, 2013b, xxvi). Siding with the fans, actor Nathan Fillion (2013a) tweeted “how do you license hats? I don’t think FOX invented hats.” His tweet contained a link to the article about the incident on io9, attaching an image from that article of a baby wearing a tiny Jayne hat.
Given this incident, it is unclear why Fox would want to do further injury to its relationship with Firefly fans. As Jenkins (2013b) noted, “we are seeing far fewer cease and desist letters as media companies have come to value networked audiences” (p. xxv). Why go after these fan crafters? As one geek news reporter noted, “Fox has actually decided to license merchandise based on the ten year old television series” (Polo, 2013). Why now, when these hats have been available online for years? Are they really a threat to Fox’s ability to sell licensed hats on ThinkGeek? While not embracing their short-lived show’s fandom, Fox continues to look like an adversary to the Browncoats. Through the use of the genre of a cease-and-desist letter, Fox missed an opportunity to network across these crafters and to create the possibility of licensing their work or at least allowing them to continue their comparatively low output without conflict or interruption.
Grouped in this category are several online news and magazine websites aimed at geek culture, such as Buzzfeed, io9, The Mary Sue, techdirt, and others. Many of these sites wrote about the Jayne hat incident. This coverage ranged from short articles (Pantozzi, 2013) to in-depth, photo-driven narratives about the event (Hall, 2013) and updated dispatches (Woerner, 2013). These articles helped spread content across the social web, pushing the story to Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere.
The authors of these pieces used this genre to circulate knowledge about the incident and align themselves with the Firefly fandom. The article on The Mary Sue pointed to how Fox is “taking shots at the smaller, unlicensed retailers that have been serving the market niche that they’ve been ignoring” (Polo, 2013). The author quoted several fandom references, including quotes from the show and mentioning the “massive cult following” of the short-lived series. Aligning itself with the fandom and the crafters, this article and several others worked to speak up for what had happened and the reactions to the situation.
These moves were also made elsewhere in similar venues. In an article that leads with “Because Firefly fans need more reasons to be mad at 20th Century Fox,” Buzzfeed staff member Ellie Hall (2013) built a visually-rich story that walked readers through the incident. Including numerous images of crafters to build her argument, Hall and several other geek news writers played the role of a fan scholar (Busse & Hellekson, 2006). They were embedded in their communities, aware of the language, terms, and tone of the Browncoats. And it was effective: Hall’s article had over 243,000 views and dozens of comments (note that Buzzfeed refers to comments using the more collaborative term “contributions”).
As the leading example, Hall’s (2013) article pointed to memes made by fans in the Firefly community and catch-phrases from the show such as “curse your sudden and inevitable betrayal” to describe the ways in which Fox reacted to the fan crafters. She documented the entire incident, providing links to source material and combining various types of media. Each object in the article can then be individually posted to various social web technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, making it easily shared across various networks. Hall’s style of writing and knowledge sharing is typical for this genre on Buzzfeed. By sharing this content, participants were able to inscribe their allegiance to geek culture, if not this fandom in particular, while circulating the story. While on the surface this kind of participation can seem passive, it is an activity that helps push information through networks and share material with the community as knowledge (Potts, 2014).
On the front page of their website, Etsy encouraged shoppers to “buy from creative people who care about quality and craftsmanship” ("Etsy: About," n.d.). Etsy is a supporter of the do it yourself (DIY) movement, creating a space for crafters to sell their wares. Etsy asked its shoppers to participate in a “marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods” ("Etsy: Home," n.d.). It is within this space that we can often witness “fan culture as folk culture” (Jenkins & Scott, 2013, p. xxvii) as crafters create objects for different kinds of fans.
It was on Etsy that crafters selling their Jayne hats received notification of cease-and-desist orders sent by Fox. These orders were created in conjunction with the selling of “official” hats by ThinkGeek. Although many of these takedown notices were not documented, most of them had one feature in common: They all referred to the hats using the name “Jayne” and “hat” or noting the Firefly connection. Undeterred, many of these crafters wanted to continue selling their hats. In discussing how to circumvent the issue, Nathan Fillion (2013a) suggested in a tweet that crafters “Maybe just call them Enyaj hats from Erifylf.”
This kind of “entrepreneurial feminism” (Jenkins, 2013b, p. xxx) is supported by Firefly’s show runner, Joss Whedon. As the creator of Firefly and several other cult television shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Whedon has notably created strong female characters and shown support for the DIY community. In an interview posted on the crafter blog Crochet Me, he stated that seeing the hats “fills me with tiny knitted joy” (Werker, 2008, n.p.). In that same interview, Whedon nodded at the crafter culture within the Firefly fandom, noting the “pioneer spirit” of the show and explaining that “we were really trying to evoke the idea of things you make for yourself, of a life that you create with your own two hands” (Werker, 2008, n.p.). Clearly, this kind of creativity and participatory culture was pervasive in the show. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the fandom would also show signs of this kind of participation, making their own hats, selling hats to fellow Browncoats, and sharing information with each other about how to make these hats. In that way, the hat itself becomes both symbol and genre form for the fans to show their allegiance to the show and each other.
For the crafters to have Etsy as a space to sell the hats gave them a way to connect with their fans in a space where handmade objects could be sold. Through this case study, we can see how the Firefly fandom is similar to a folk culture, which was “as ... historically operated, ... highly participatory, with skills and norms passed down informally across generations and with no sharp division between expert and novice” (Jenkins, 2013b, p. xxvii). It is through this kind of participatory activity that we can also see how Browncoats might manipulate the genre of Etsy by posting new listings that take up the language of their fandom rather than specifically naming them after the copyrighted material. So here we see listings for “cunning hats” rather than “Jayne hats,” pointing to the catch-phrases of their fandoms, rather than Fox’s material ownership. Whether or not this can continue will be up to Fox’s lawyers and Etsy’s policies, but many of the fan crafters, the fans, and the Big Damn Heroes all seem willing to support these exchanges.
Crafters are everyday people who create handmade (as opposed to mass produced) objects. Similar to the maker community, the crafter community is an online and offline phenomenon attracting the attention of researchers across Internet studies, participatory culture, technical and professional communication, and rhetoric; it explores how crafters collaborate and remix knowledge with other participants. Within the crafter community is a sense of openness and sharing, a similar attitude found in fan fiction communities (Busse and Hellekson, 2006, p. 6). Scholars such as Henry Jenkins (2010a) have considered DIY culture as part of a longer historical movement which he referred to as DIO (Do it Ourselves), a component of participatory culture. Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel referred to how “new technologies make it possible in principle for everyday people to produce artifacts that have the kind of sophistication that could previously only be obtained via very high cost infrastructure” (as cited in Jenkins, 2010b, n.p.). It is that kind of activity that lead to the issue in this case study. While these hats are derivatives of Firefly and not fan fiction, the similarities between these two types of production are clear. Like the “female fanzine editors” that Jenkins (2013b) talked about, these crafters are women who are “asserting their rights to create and manage their own small-scale business ... within the support structure fandom provided” (p. xxx).
Across Etsy, there were several Jayne hat crafters. The most vocal of these crafters used a name signaling her allegiance to Firefly by referring to herself as Ma Cobb, the mother of Jayne Cobb. The crafters who attracted the most attention for this case study were those who created and sold the hats on Etsy. Aside from these crafters, there were other fans who created hat patterns (Fung, 2012) and shared advice over podcasts (’dillo 2013). Many of the crafters who sold their hats on Etsy received notice from Fox that they had to remove their wares (Pantozzi, 2013). In order to protect themselves, some of the crafters asked The Mary Sue to remove their names from their geek news articles. This points to how some of these crafters were more reluctant to oppose the legal team at Fox. However, many of them continue to sell hats similar to the one worn Jayne in Firefly, either under different names or, in the case of Ma Cobb, their own websites away from Etsy.
Some fans reached out to the Big Damn Heroes of the show, contacting Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and others, asking for their support. In one example, a crafter asks Fillion to help “unload illegal hats” in Twitter. This tweet also included an image of knitted Jayne hats. Fillion retweeted this tweet, adding “You got a job? We’ll do it. Don’t much care what it is” (Fillion, 2013b). That phrase is one uttered by the character he played in Firefly to indicate his crew’s feelings towards smuggling, and thus the character's sense of right and wrong. In making this move, Fillion and the fan were acknowledging each other’s roles within the fandom with Fillion as the smuggler captain and the crafter in need of moving merchandise. And it did not go unnoticed: This tweet was favorited 2,324 times and retweeted 2,145 times. Both numbers are significant in showing how fans were acknowledging this use of Twitter and sharing them with others. Here they are also using this genre in useful ways for not-so-subtly stating which side they are on. It was through this kind of work on Twitter and their reworking of hat names on Etsy that showed their ability to use these genres to rally fan community members.
Firefly is a television show that lasted three months and was aired by Fox. Premiering in fall 2002, the show’s episodes were broadcast out of order and the show did not receive much support for the network. However, it did garner much fan support, leading to a sequel to the television show in the form of a movie called Serenity (Whedon, Buchanan, & Mendel, 2005) and a reunion special in 2012 on the Science Channel. In between those years and since then, the Firefly universe has produced various merchandise and media. These objects include official and unofficial materials such as compendia, comic books, and various fan-made products such as fan fiction, fan videos, and merchandise.
Set in the year 2516, Firefly presented a futuristic world in which Earth was destroyed and people were spread out all across the universe (referred to as the ’Verse in the show). Fighting in the Unification War, the Browncoats lost to the Alliance at the Battle of Serenity. The Firefly ’Verse focused on the everyday life of the somewhat sarcastically self-proclaimed “Big Damn Heroes” who were “by and large irrelevant in the grander scheme of the universe” (Rowley, 2007, p. 319). The Alliance continued to assert their control to varying degrees across the ’Verse, with people spread out across the system. The losers of this civil war were pushed to the boundaries, taking up a pioneer lifestyle reminiscent of the American Western society. In many ways, this story of Jayne's hat reflected this case study for these fans: The crafters were the Browncoats, and the Alliance was Fox.
Writer and Director Joss Whedon (2005) wanted to create a world in which he could “tell the boring stories about Han Solo,” which he referred to as “mundane stories” that would allow him to show the “spaces in between actions” that typical science-fiction action movies “don’t really deal with” (pp. 10–11). The main characters of the story included survivors of the war, a mercenary, a mechanic, a religious leader, and stowaways. But this was not a story of good vs. evil; Whedon’s show was purposefully ambiguous about these issues. In a similar way, the fans of the series—known as Browncoats—associate themselves with this ambiguity while aligning themselves with the main characters of the show.
Broadly speaking, fans identify and create communities around their particular fandoms. For fans to build their identities and align themselves with their communities, there are specific practices that they take up in various digital spaces. In particular, different social web tools can support this kind of work. For example, fan scholars and scholar fans have traced the use of technologies and sites such as LiveJournal (Busker, 2008), blogs (Chin & Hills, 2008), and, more recently, Twitter (Deller, 2011). Throughout this history, conflicts have arisen between fans and copyright holders. And while these conflicts are certainly troublesome, the ways in which fans are able to circumvent obstacles and continue to keep their communities active is noteworthy. There are also many instances where the collective actions of fans and content producers have led to the creation of new content, as was the case of Whedon's Serenity and more recent examples on Kickstarter such as the fan-supported movie for Veronica Mars.
The concept of "family" is one that is central for the fans, fan scholars, scholar fans, and the cast and crew of Firefly. Other scholars in Whedon Studies have explored these ideas (Koontz, 2008; Rambo, 2013; Wilcox & Cochran, 2008), and the notion of strong community ties is central to the fan produced video celebrating the Firefly fandom, Done the Impossible (Hadlock et al., 2006). This concept of family is pervasive throughout many of Whedon's works, and it has an effect on the fans and scholars who study his work. A central leader of the Whedon Studies Association, scholar Tanya R. V. Cochran (2014) noted that she was “especially drawn in by the abiding theme of chosen family” (p. 392).
Fans of Firefly have taken up this concept of family and created their own community around the television show and movie. This understanding is useful in examining the strategies, tactics, and hybrid activities undertaken by the fandom to support, protect, and defend members of the community in this case study. The item that is central to the case study explored in this webtext is a symbol of both fandom and family. It is a key example of how posthuman objects can impact communities and writing. As Firefly scholar Elizabeth L. Rambo (2014) noted, the “Firefly fandom has come to associate Jayne's hat with devoted family ties and with fearlessness in the face of opposition, such as the corporate interest that doomed Firefly” (p. 191).
In this section of the webtext, you can explore the main case study. Looking specifically at the incident discussed in this case study, we can see how fans, fandoms, and copyright holders collide. Genres and use from Etsy, Twitter, retailers, and social news sites are discussed. Analyzing the activity that occurred during summer 2013, we can better understand how fans construct their social networks, share crafter knowledge, and distribute information across these networks to support one another.
To illustrate this case study and help the reader explore it, I have created an interactive actor–network theory (ANT) diagram. With this ANT diagram, my goal is to present how fans, activists, and celebrities used the social web to share information about and then circumvent a corporation’s shutdown of crafter activity. Here I focus on the nouns in this network—each actor represents a key contributor to this case study. The lines between these actors and the central object represent their connection to the object. Clicking on an actor will allow the reader to navigate across the network, learning how each participant inscribed their participation on the network. Similar diagrams have served similar purposes for studying gaming communities (Jones, 2011), online health communities (Keller, 2013), and disaster communication (Potts, 2014).