Paraka (paraka) wrote,
Paraka
paraka

How Fandom Has Changed

So, I've spoken to people about this in various places in various ways, but I kind of wanted to put this out there, and get people's opinions.

Maybe it's just the fandoms I've been in, or it could just be me, but it seems like fandom has changed how they present themselves a lot since I joined. The area that I notice this the most is with vidding.

I remember making my first vid, and then having no idea how to go about sharing it. I was a poor student! I couldn't afford to buy webspace! I also was stuck using WMM (Version 1!) because you couldn't get downloads of better programs, and that was all that was available to me. It took me *months* to get my hands on all the aired episodes of QaF, because there weren't all the communities available, and while there was probably bit torrent, I certainly didn't know about it. I used Kazaa to get all my eps. :P I remember, even as I got started, there was meta going around saying that vidding was beginning to lose some of it's quality because what with WMM being on most new computers, and episode downloads more readily available everyone was trying vidding now, even if they hadn't any talent for it. I took exception to such meta, mostly because I was one of those talentless n00bs taking advantage of the new fangled technology suddenly on my computer (I still don't really agree with that idea, because for all the less than stellar vidders, there are a lot of amazing vidders who wouldn't have tried in the old days, and even if you're not an amazing vidder, I still think your work has merit if you enjoyed yourself. Hell, if I was that kind of elitist, I could never have made anymore vids, and I'd like to think that I've moved beyond the mediocre vidder I started as).

Despite it giving me problems when I first started out, I think the thing about vidding today that annoys me the most is the fact that people don't have personal webpages for their vids anymore. They just post them to Youtube or Imeem, and so, so many don't even offer a download link anymore, or if they do, they're often hosted on temporary sites such as sendspace or megaupload. I'm one of those people that always downloads vids, I watch them as I do other things on my computer, I hate streaming vids. I won't watch them if there is only a streaming option, and I like being able to go to a vidders website and downloading more of their vids if I find something I like. Half the time if I want to do that now, I end up having to root someone's LJs tags or memories, only to find that the download link has expired.

And it's not just vidders that I've noticed giving up on personal websites, it seems like so many author's have decided that their LJs are the only place they need to post fic. I had a big long discussion with paradise_city about this, she was wondering why anyone would need more than LJ in fandom, and no offense to her, but that idea really... worries me and drives me crazy. Because LJ? Not really the best archive. Unless the author takes the time to maintain a master fic list, I find it so frustrating trying to find their other fics. Tags just... aren't really enough for me, and people can be really bad at keeping them updated (I know *I* am). Do people even *use* the memory feature any more? I've been lucky in SGA, that it has enough fic appearing on my flist, that I never really have to search any out, but it's not so with all fandoms. I've pretty much given up on reading Numb3rs fic, because it's always so much effort finding it. That's really the reason why I wanted to start an archive for Numb3rs, to help centralize it, but for reasons having to do with stupid eFiction those idea have been put on hold.

I know that when I started in fandom, it was literally *months* before I even found LJ, I happily did all my reading initially from personal webpages of authors, and then later from archives. Even once I was on LJ I did most of my reading off it. I really miss that. For one thing, as someone who doesn't bookmark fic as I read it, it was a lot easier for me to go back and find the fics that I had read previously, because it's a lot easier to remember a webpage than it is to remember someone's LJ.
I find myself missing the days when more fic was stored off of LJ, and not just because I feel that LJ isn't a reliable place for fandom. It's funny how fandom moves, I wonder where we'll be next.
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