Emmie (angearia) wrote,
Emmie
angearia

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Segregation and Miscommunication in our Fandom

I'm tossing my hat in the ring to comment on the discussion (started here by katekat1010) about the su_herald</lj> .  First, I want to say how much I appreciate the time the editors devote to compiling rec lists.  It's a lengthy process that is perceived as more of a service the community expects rather than one the community thanks you for (I mean this in the sense of how many times do herald posts get comments saying "Thanks for the rec!" from writers or readers--and this is LJ here so communication is about commenting). 

So here's what I believe.  The su_herald</lj> is being run by a select group of very devoted and generous fans, but there's only so much a handful of people can do.  It is my understanding that the Herald's aim is to include all fandom works that reach a certain level of quality (e.g. a fic that manages a basic competency of grammar).  I don't believe exclusions of fic or artwork are done with malicious intent, but more a natural skewing of interests caused by the natural segregation that occurs on LJ. 

Fandom on LJ is a great, sprawling beast and new communities pop up everyday.  I've been a citizen of LJ-land for over a year now and I still feel a bit insulated in my corner of fandom.  Now, I love my corner where I read lots of fic and meta about Spuffy and Season 8 and some wonderful Gen fic authors (deird1 , beer_good_foamy , stormwreath ), but this recent navel-gazing at the Herald has made me more aware of how limited my reach is.  Even within the Spike/Buffy segment of fandom, I'm amazed to meet new people everyday--this happens largely from people stumbling upon my long epic Spuffy fic and so I'm once again thankful for how fanfic writing brings our fandom community together. 

But here is the problem with my experience: LJ is an extremely insular community where it's not easy to meet new fans.  Yes, we all have a few communities we're members of and it's been a great way to meet people, but I don't know all of the communities in our fandom and it seems like the communities are places where we want to highlight involvement and special events because that's where people meet and come together.  As was pointed out to me, we're a fandom that is largely segregated into our own pairing/interests ghettos.  I know that ruuger  keeps a list of all Whedonverse communities, but frankly that list is daunting to look at and sometimes the communities included are now defunct.  What I'm suggesting is a way to better to keep a finger on the pulse beat of communities in our fandom.  A community watch for the Buffyverse (Whedonverse?) fandom communities. 

As for the su_herald</lj> , it appears that there might be a need a for a feedback session or perhaps just a group of interested folks who'd be willing to give the Herald feedback and help them keep aware of what's happening in fandom.  They're not omniscient, so let's help them to find those great fics and in return I'd hope the Herald would appreciate more people being willing to point them towards interesting fic, graphics, meta and all manner of fandom works.

So there's my two cents.  LJ is a great sprawling beast and we're all trying to connect across these divides.  Communication is key (and most importantly--being open to communication) and a devotion to looking outside your natural inclinations for interests in fandom to a more universal view of the fandom landscape. 

So let's talk about what's working and discuss what needs to be addressed and how we can make our fandom community stronger.  What can we do to bring the fandom together on LJ?  I've seen memes where you make new friends for the Supernatural fandom, but I haven't noticed that for Buffy fandom.  How can we shake things up to meet new people and be more aware of community events?
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