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[personal profile] cherrybina
Okay, so I have a lot of Thoughts about fandom's migration to tumblr, and at first I didn't want to type them up because I thought it would just make me all sad, but then I was all sad anyway so I figured I might as well, and then I wasn't gonna post, because who wants to wallow in crankiness NOT ME THAT'S WHO. But then I thought maybe posting would like help my crankiness ~dissipate into the ether~ or something skdlhj;sdhjfs; IDEK WHAT I AM SAYING AT THIS POINT. Thoughts. I have them.

Obviously everyone comes to fandom for different reasons. The definition of fandom isn’t even the same for everyone. Like, one of my complaints about tumblr is that I feel like I can’t find fandom, but I’ve heard other people say they like tumblr precisely because it’s easier to find fandom, and I think that has to do with your personal definition. Tumblr’s tagging system makes it easy to find stuff (unless of course you are in 1D fandom, in which case you will find a trainwreck of misogyny, homophobia, and all sorts of other horrifying things in the tags), but to me, fandom is not the place with the stuff; it's the place with the people.

It’s not that I don’t believe fandom on tumblr can’t be active and vibrant and full of amazing things, because I know all of that is true. It’s not the what; it’s the how. For me, fandom is first and foremost about the people – it’s the energy that comes from sharing joy and building friendships, and that energy is what keeps me coming back day after day. It’s not about the end-product fanworks, but the conversations that get us there, and that’s where I think tumblr fandom is lacking in a major way.

Don’t get me wrong, I think tumblr is an awesome platform, and I love having the ability to share things without feeling like I have to take the time to say something interesting all the time, but as my main source of fannish activity, I find it really unsatisfying. I just really miss those interactive conversations that make up the whole reason I’m in fandom in the first place. I find conversations on tumblr to be awkward, clunky, and almost impossible to follow if they involve more than two people. It’s like everyone is talking, but no one is talking to each other.

This isn’t about better or worse. I fully believe that fandom will flourish no matter what platform it’s on. I mean, obviously tumblr fandom is working for some people or it wouldn’t be migrating there in the first place, right? But for my own personal fannish experience, I think that something is lost when the bulk of fandom happens on tumblr, and it’s not just one little piece, but the whole reason I love fandom so much in the first place. And that makes me sad :(

But dflkhjfdlhfdj YOU GUYS. This is a terrible post D: I don't want to feel cranky right now because wherever it happens to be, I really do love fandom a whole awful lot. And since to me fandom means people, that means I love all of you OH YES I DO ♥ And on that note, I am putting on my happyface and no one can stop me SO THERE.

I bet you're smiling now, aren't you. EMBRACE YOUR GIGGLEFACE :D :D :D

Date: 2012-08-17 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] christycorr
:D TH's face makes everything better :D :D

I agree with you. While reblogging gifs with the occasional commentary is fun and all, it's just...a different form of interacting. It's rather telling that a lot of the best commentary happening in tumblr happens in tags. Which are not even made for that! Which require an extension and/or manual scrolling effort to be viewed fully! Tumblr keeps trying to limit fandom's "wrong" tagging habits, to no avail, and I don't think that's changing any time soon. Age of the hashtag, baby.

My non-IM fannish interactions nowadays are about 70% tumblr and 30% twitter. I really miss having an active LiveJournal/Dreamwidth feed to read and comment, but it feels like quick, pointed commentary is almost all we're producing nowadays. I miss meta so much; tumblr is pretty awful for discussion, because it's nearly impossible to keep track of arguments, and twitter is much too short for anything. I feel like most of the meta I read nowadays happens within fic, actually. Which is great! I love meta-y fic! Just. Since when has fandom been all about producing things? I feel like all the hours people spend making gifs for tumblr could've been spent having interesting discussions. Don't get me wrong, I love fan art! And gifs! I just love everything else too, and that—as you said—has been losing space.

Also, most of my fic recs I get straight from Pinboard, crack_van and AO3 feeds, which get sent to Instapaper via ifft, and that has changed my fic reading habits a lot. It's kind of removed the "personal rec" element from the equation in a way, which makes me sad.

tl;dr fandom survives no matter what, and this new multiplatform fandom is a bit strange. Not quite sure what to make of it yet.
Edited (jfc, I clearly need sleep—so sorry, bina) Date: 2012-08-17 06:46 pm (UTC)


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