How did you get your start in fandom?
Did a friend show you? Where you surfing the internet and stumbled upon it? Did you start in RL?
What aspect of fandom did you first discover?
Was it meta? Message boards? Fanfic? Cons? Vids? Actor interviews? Other?
When do you consider your "start" in fandom?
I ask this question because I have quite a few "starts" in fandom. I've been experiencing fannish behaviour for as long as I can remember, but I have a few milestones but I think it's a very personal thing.
So, to be fair, here are my answers (in a non-specific jumble)
As I said in my last question, I think people's "starts" in fandom can be very vague. If anyone were to ask me right out, I would say my start in fandom was in 2003, when my new friend and room mate raxhel got me hooked on the TV show Queer as Folk. As I began to obsess about it, she talked about these things called fanfics, and showed me some vids. I didn't get fanfic, but I totally fell in love with vids. For my first couple months in fandom I surfed the internet looking for vids. I think that maybe makes me unique. I would think that people would join fandom more through interviews, meta and message boards and then onto fanfic (although I have no data to back that up, hence this post). I know there are a lot of people in fandom who hardly ever touch vids. And although I doubt I could have articulated it as such at the time, I think back then, I was more in the QaF section of the vidding fandom, rather than the vidding section of the QaF fandom.
I don't know, are there many people who got their start in fandom through vids?
But then again, was QaF my first fandom? That's debatable for me. Throughout most of my teenage years, I was completely in love with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I remember spending time haunting the Ladies of Lallybroch message boards. I remember my excitement at reading my first meta there (although I didn't recognize it as that at the time), I could still tell you what it was about. Why don't I consider that my "start" to fandom? Maybe because I didn't actively participate over there. Maybe because it was just a fleeting moment. Maybe because most of my fangirling was done in private, I'm not sure.
And before Outlander, I fell completely head over heals in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I started watching that in it's first season and it was pretty much the only TV show I watched in my teen years (any other TV I watched was an hour here an hour there, there weren't any shows I followed). I used to watch every single episode and then would squee with my friends about it the next day at school. It was also the first fandom I read fanfic for, although it was the official book kind. And boy did I have a lot of the official books. I remember one year, all I wanted for Christmas was The Watchers Guide. I never read magazines as a teen either, unless I saw there was an article about a Buffy actor. I would go and see movies, just because an actor from Buffy was in the movie. That sounds like it was a fandom for me, but again, I don't really consider it my first, maybe because for me fandom is a *community* thing, where you interact with others, and my fangirling of Buffy was mostly solitary.
And before Buffy, I remember back when I was in grade 5, my best friend at the time got me hooked on Sailor Moon. I don't really remember much of that obsession, but I know it was a big one. I might even possibly *maybe* remember some of the songs from the official sound track *cassette* *tape* I bought and listened to a gazillion times :P
I can't really remember any specific obsessions before Sailor Moon, although I spent a lot of time as a kid pretending to be the Little Mermaid and other Disney princesses.
So yeah, I consider QaF to be my "first" fandom, but really, I think all this just goes to show that I'm one of those people to whom "fandom is a way of life". You could take the internet away from me, and I would still be a fan. I would still try and create the fandom atmosphere, just with people in RL instead (not that I don't currently talk fandom with RL friends *waves at RL friends on flist*).
In conclusion, fandom rocks!