I’ve actually never really been apart of a fandom per se. There are a lot of books, movies, TV shows that I love and care about. Despite my love for Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Magnus Bane, Katniss Everdeen and more, I’ve never signed up to any message boards or read fan fictions. I may have time to time read other fans blogs and theories about why a certain character did this or what they think will happen next but never really participated in it personally. Once upon a time, I was very involved in a i guess you could call a fandom for tennis player, Andy Roddick. Do athletes have fandoms? I started posting on a fan site called Roddickrocks.com. Soon, I was a board moderator and then I started writing recaps of Andy’s matches and got more involved from there. I spent a lot of time on Roddickrocks. It was the first site I checked in the morning and the last before I went to bed. It was almost a job, keeping up with the demands. After a year though, the site splintered. I have forgotten the exact details but some of us wanted to take the site in one direction and others wanted to keep as is. Feelings were hurt and relationships severed. A few of us started a new fan site but it didn’t last very long. I think the official reason in most of our minds was that we all got too busy. Most of us were in school or had real jobs and that started to take priority but really, as much as we tried, we could never recreate what we used to have.
Now that I think about it, this might be why I’m not much of a joiner online but really just a lurker. It’s not how I want to spend majority of my time online, these days but also it can get rather negative pretty quickly. I follow many authors on twitter and tumblr and there I get the gist of what is going on in the fandoms they created. I can see the other creative things my fellow readers are making and read thoughts and theories without have to truly have to participate. I’m not sure what that says about me but I do think it has lessens some of my online stress . Fandoms are great at uniting people from all over the world with like interests but it can also be toxic. I don’t regret the time I spent on Roddickrocks because it introduced me to some of the best people in the world that I still am friends with but I definitely do miss the negativity that surrounded the ending.
So why am I bringing this up? An author I follow, Cassandra Clare, decided to take a break from social media after the fandom she inspired sort of turned on her. Her books, The Mortal Instruments have been turned into a movie and now is being turned into a show. There was apparently a rift between fans who loved the old cast and fans who love the new cast. Clare decided not to take sides and was threatened by fans for it. Recently, she with another favorite author of mine, Maggie Stiefvater did an interview about the good and bad of fandoms and it’s a great read. They talk about how fandoms have changed. How twitter and tumblr help and hamper them. How they both want to accessible to fans but being too assessable comes with a price. How they are now treated by fans. They also talk about how that women in general are treated. It’s a well thought out discussion that I think is very valuable to read.
So please read it here and leave comment below about what you think? What are experiences in being apart of a fandom? Are like me and just lurk on the outside or do you actively participate? Sound off below.