Extra: Where are all the fandoms going?

facebook-share-buttonTime for me to remember just how ancient I am. Go ahead and raise your hand if you know what a forum is? Hm, not bad. Ok, raise your hand if you remember geocities fansites. Ooooh and I’m way old. It’s alright though. I should have seen that coming.

For those of you a bit younger in your anime years, the otaku community (as least the English speaking one) has been through more than a few transformations. Back when Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Zoids and Gundam Wing reigned supreme (and Toonami played anime), fans created their own websites for their favorite shows and, if they were savvy enough, hosted forums for them. Sites like fanfiction.net were just being born and YouTube was yet to be a thing. Suffice to say, social networking was not even close to what we have today.

Today, companies like FUNimation can tweet to thousands of fans about posting a new show or releasing a new set. Series can be viewed online, legally and for free. And fans can blog (and re-blog) one another’s nerdy posts instantaneously via Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Not to mention that all the video sites connect right back to the other sites, making sure you can tell everyone and their mother what you’re watching at any moment (should you wish to). It’s a great time to be a fan.

Of course, seasoned fans like me still miss the older platforms at times. After all, creating a site took a lot more time than posting on Tumblr. And when fans went so far, they really pulled out all the stops. Some of the best artwork, research and Japanese updates came from those old fansites that have long since been abandoned. It takes far more digging to find a good cash of information and well done fan articles these days.
Not that all older systems are abandoned, mind. A few fandoms are still clinging to older platforms. We Rangers are still rockin’ the old forum and chatroom combo, though we have “upgraded” to utilize Facebook too. Still, it can’t be denied that social networking has changed the anime community. It’s far more instant and seems to stay still as little as possible. As soon as a new show comes out, the last show is often forgotten, leaving more than a few anime companies running in circles to please impatient fans who are always looking for the next show.

What about you, though? Do you still use older platforms to rave about your favorite shows? Or are you completely dedicated to the newer systems?

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About inrosegalaxy

Raised on everything from Moby Dick to the Star Wars X-Wing books from a young age, it came as no surprise to anyone who knew me that I’d become a literature graduate and avid writer. But my love of a good story wasn’t restricted to the written word in my early years. Star Trek, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and badly dubbed Godzilla flicks helped shape my love of science fiction on screen as well. I wrote my first story while in the second grade. It was a horrifying tale about murdering a fairy-eating dog via a slice of pizza (in my defense, my only exposure to pizza was in the cafeteria and I swear you could legitimately kill someone with those things). I was a special snowflake. Today I write science fiction, fairy tales, Gothic epistolaries, fantasy and anything else that pops into my bizarre and twisted mind. I write new articles for my blog every Tuesday and Thursday. And if you happen to fancy Japanese animation, I also run an anime review blog, RRAR, which updates every Monday.

4 thoughts on “Extra: Where are all the fandoms going?

  1. Great article, it really made me stop to think about just how much my habits have changed. I would say I do a 50/50 blend of new and old. The mass fan consciousness seen on twitter & Tumblr are interesting to me, but it seems like everyone is yelling their opinions at once. I enjoy real webpages & forums more, because they are often a more intimate group of people that develops a natural sharing of ideas, and conversation flow.

    • Indeed. I’m much the same. It’s only recently that I’ve been using Tumblr. It’s easier to converse on than Twitter, but still rather random conversation-wise. Forums are still the best for such things. Though some of my favorite fandoms (Princess Tutu and Gundam Wing) seem to find solace in Tumblr.

  2. Am I really that old? This reminds me of reading that graphic about how old the kids on Friends are (the actual kids, I am NOT being an old fogey and calling the main cast kids – they are older than me!) Geocities is so old that I don’t even remember the address of my website for it.

    And you make a good point. Developing a website meant dedication to your fandom. I won’t say that people who use these new methods aren’t dedicated, but you don’t see the investment. I remember having a similar conversation about why there are so many terrible fanfictions. It’s that it’s so much easier to write than do art or a movie. And easier to fool yourself about the quality too. Not everyone is the obsessive proofreader I am, after all.

    And I kind of miss that website stuff. I started a story there that I want to finish now, but it just doesn’t have the same tone that my background site with character sheets and graphics and differing design scheme created. Of course I could create one, but since it’s just not the center of fandom anymore, it’s hard to drive traffic too when the readers prefer the convenience of your blog or archive of our own posts

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