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29 November 2011 @ 12:58 pm
Fandom Migration  


Seeing an ad for a new/different "land" community for TVD, reminds me of my theory that the proliferation of those types of comms is one of the reasons there's less 'Fandom' on LJ. Of course, part of it is LJ's troubles and the growing popularity of other sites like DW and Tumblr, but it's also true that people would stay and be more involved if there was more to keep them involved - it's all about content. People go where the content is. And one of the things Land-type comms do is lock all their content away where it can't be seen by Fandom-at-large. Sometimes the things get reposted to personal/general fandom journals, but most of the material doesn't. So Fandoms may have active participants, but if all the things they make/do aren't visible and the general comm has no new posts, it looks as if there are no fans producing anything. Any new fan is going to wander off somewhere else to find stuff to look at or read, right?

Likewise kink memes and Big Bangs -- those Fandom activities also tend to squirrel away fic either in comms that may not be general access or just by keeping down the visible participation into big chunks. I know I'm not usually writing short fics when I'm working on a Big Bang, and that may be weeks at a time. In a bigger fandom, a large number of the writers may be working on a Big Bang, and not doing more regular shorter fic.

Which is not to say that these things are BAD - people do what they want to do and these activities are certainly fun. I've done them all myself. But sometimes very fun things have wider consequences, and I do wonder if the past year or two of these activities really taking over Fandom-at-large-on-LJ has encouraged dispersal to other platforms like Tumblr. I don't always go to Tumblr, but there's no denying in a lot of fandoms it now has more content than LJ does.

And maybe this was inevitable migration anyway. Technology marches on, right? Social networking is different now, and since Fandom IS social networking, the two go together. Platforms change and have changed: from letters and zines, to email, to groups, to forums, to LJ, to...? As we say in BSG, This has all happened before, and it will happen again... *sigh*



But I think we here can help this process not be quite so quick or permanent by remembering to post and crosspost things we make in other places. Post that fic that didn't make the Big Bang wordcount or deadline. Support the comms you want to stay active and to draw new people. Activity breeds enthusiasm, which breeds involvement. Nobody wants to feel like a fandom of one, right?
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A work in progress: Firefly Wash Dinosaurs Animatedancarett on November 30th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
I don't spend much time over at Tumblr. I don't find it fandom-friendly but that's because, while pictures amuse me, Tumblr's tiny-sizing of so many graphics in the dashboard view is just plain off-putting. I agree with you that when people hie off to other sites or only to specialized niches within LJ, we all lose out. Cross-post widely and keep your LJ fandoms alive!
lizardbeth: Nikitalizardbeth_j on November 30th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
I find myself less and less inclined to go to Tumblr -- I think I find it just too visually cluttered too. The new displays with the multtiple gifs get tiring. Especially when the same thing gets reblogged a zillion times so it keeps showing up and being all flashy. Fandom-wise, it's good for pics/gifs and general squeeing -but boy does it suck for thoughtfulness or fic which is why the gradual increase of its popularity for fannish things is kinda... depressing in conjunction with LJ's decline. (and it doesn't seem that DW is taking up much of the slack -- maybe in the meta side of things, but of my fandoms, there's still hardly anything over there in terms of output)
patron saint of neglected female characters: bat in a caverose_griffes on November 30th, 2011 03:09 am (UTC)
Tumblr intimidates me. I don't get it. Possibly because I'm less visually oriented than a lot of fans? Like, I kinda hate most gifs. And how can you have a conversation on Tumblr?

Also, locked comms irritate me. How can I know if I want to join if I can't see anything?!

Eeesh, I think I'm turning into a fandom crank.
lizardbeth: PoI - Reese with gunlizardbeth_j on November 30th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
oh it's so hard to have a conversation, like RIDICULOUSLY hard on Tumblr. Or, there's a way, but it's stupid and annoying. ugh. It's not meant for anything but displaying pictures. And I like pictures and all, but too many gifs are just overwhelming.

We shall be cranky fans together! But that's okay because we like badass fandoms. *nods*
M: Nikita + Michael make reunion hugs EPICmfirefly10 on November 30th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. I don't have a tumblr, I don't want one. I get the appeal and I actually love .gifs, but I prefer interaction to reblogging someone's stuff. Also, spoilers are rampant there and while I don't mind them, I'd hate to spoil other people by posting anything before the 'proper' amount of time has passed. LJ, thankfully, has cuts to combat that problem.

That being said, I don't really frequent general comms for my fandoms. I just...my opinions tend to differ so vastly from the fandom majority that it's just better for my sanity if I stick to ship comms/female-centric comms. Sadly, those tend to be less-active so, idk, I always feel like my preferred corner of fandom is pretty small, in general. And I suppose it doesn't help that I'm very sporadic in actually making fandom-related things.
My way of staying sane: what themamaboolj on November 30th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
Put me in the "I don't get tumblr" crowd too. I prefer the journal approaches of LJ and DW.