The guy from Arrow and the girl from Arrow that I see on my dash all the time are smooching!
HOORAY FOR YOU, ARROW FANS!!!
(I know nothing about Arrow or the ships within it, but I like to see people fangirling the eff out. Because that’s me on a pretty continual basis.)
A brief history of fandom, for the teenagers on here who somehow think tumblr invented fandom:
- 1960s: with the advent of Star Trek, fandom moves into the public sphere for the first time with a television in almost every home, creating a large group of people all excited about one thing. Beforehand, fans mostly had relationships with the author, not with each other. Obviously there were groups and conventions, but Star Trek was the beginning of an independent, interactive, saturated fandom culture.
- This means in the coming years: conventions, mailing groups (both public and private), fan magazines, and fanfiction presses.
- Yeah this pretty much remains the deal until the internet gets put into every home in the 90s.
- EXAMPLES OF BIG FUCKING DEAL FANDOMS, 90s EDITION: X-Files, Xena, Star Trek, Star Wars, ASoIaF, The West Wing, Buffy
- So with the internet, this really cool thing happened: Geocities. And then Yahoo groups. Early fanfiction archives. Back in the day, fandoms had to create their own private spaces. This made fandoms on the internet smaller and less accessible than fanzine operated ones. However, since fans on the internet didn’t have to pass through an editorial board to publish their fic, it was the beginning of the democratization of fandom.
- In 1998, fanfiction.net was launched to compete with the hundreds of independent, fandom-oriented fanfiction archives. More democratization, although fanfiction was marketed on how many reviews one had. You had to, like today, “break into the market.”
- In 1999, Livejournal was launched. Fans created communities and their own private journals which was like woah, we have our own places to store our own fic? And can cross-post them places? However, with Livejournal came the idea of the internet-based BNF: big name fan. Since communities had moderators and posts could be friend or community locked, people could easily gain social capital.
- See also: Cassie Claire and misscribe.
- On the other hand, authors like George RR Martin get Livejournals.
- Around this time was also the rise of forums. Again, moderators had a lot of power, as did certain users who would rise to the position of moderator. People rapidly gained and lost power, causing quick turnover in these parts of fandom.
- In 2002, due to legal concerns, fanfiction.net bans NC-17 fanfiction.
- Adultfanfiction.net is created to fill the void. For years, 13 year olds would pretend to be 18 to enter. Including myself.
- In 2005, fanfiction.net, again due to legal concerns, bans “choose your own adventure” and songfics.
- In 2007, Archive of Our Own is launched to further democratize fandom in response to fanfiction.net’s new stringent rules, offering writers a cleaner format, kudos, hit counters, and bookmarks. However, many older fandoms have not made the move.
- In 2007, tumblr is launched. It would take until 2010 for it to reach saturation on the internet, meaning that most fandoms which lived and died pre-2010 exist(ed) on Geocities, Yahoo Groups, independent archives, ff.net, etc.
- In 2009, Geocities is taken offline. Thousands mourn because they never backed up really old fic that they liked.
- In 2012, most major broadcasting companies have caught on to the fact that tumblr has democratized fandom to a degree of anarchy and mob mentality, and utilize it, since tumblr is unmoderated.
And that’s what you missed on FANDOM EXISTED BEFORE TUMBLR, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
A useful overview. Worth remembering: astolat's original post about needing an archive of our own was a response not just to ff.net’s changed rules but to FanLib, “a commercially-owned, for-profit multifandom fanfic archive” (see previous link) owned and run by a couple of dudes with no connection to fandom who just wanted to profit from fan fiction.