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Over the next few weeks I'll be crossposting pieces of the Fandom Then/Now webproject here. I'll be moving in order through the site, starting with information about the project and ending with some of my ongoing questions. I'll link back to the site in each post. Please consider commenting here using the #fandomthennow tag or on the site to share your thoughts and ideas. Today, one last post about fan engagement/reading habits. Tomorrow, we're onto popular fandoms and stories.

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In the not-so-distant past, fan fiction about real people was a pretty controversial topic in media fandom. In 2008, 34% of the survey participants read some kind of real person fiction (RPF). The majority of participants (67%) said that they did not read stories about real people.

When this survey went out in 2008, many popular boybands were going on hiatus and the size of the celebrity-focused Popslash fandom had begun to decline. For a time however, Popslash was a large fandom with a heavy presence on LiveJournal. As popslash's popularity faded, a new music-celebrity related fandom, bandom. began to develop. Today, interest in real-person related fan fiction continues. There are fandoms for athletes, actors, musicians, news anchors, and more. While the ethics of writing and reading real-person fan fiction is still debated among some fans, the controversy it used to provoke seems to have faded.

Again, however, I'm basing this on what I've observed. As fans continue to spread out across different social media sites, perhaps there are webspaces where fans go to either find or avoid more controversial types of fan fiction. What do you think? Do you visit or avoid certain websites because of the types of fan fiction they make available? Are there types of stories today that are still taboo or has a more "live and let live" approach become the standard? Why? What might be fueling either the taboos or their reduction?
Read the full write up on fan engagement here. Share what you think about this on the Fandom Then/Now website or respond here in the comments section below.

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Date: 2014-08-03 02:56 pm (UTC)
jae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jae
I don't have an interest in RPF--whether in writing it or independently reading it--but some of my friends do, and I have always betaed their stories when they've asked me to. It's not a problem for me, though as with FPF, I'm always going to be more drawn to the stories that aren't all about Teh Sex.

-J

Date: 2014-08-17 09:16 pm (UTC)
jae: (zenfengecko)
From: [personal profile] jae
Yeah, I really never did have the fannish bias against RPF that was so prevalent back when I was first involved in organized fandom (starting from the early 2000s). I do have an issue with fans writing RPF that's more about them and their own personal fantasies than about the people/characters (i.e. writing a story with kids or a particular sex act or knitting or whatever because the writer herself finds that interesting or hot, rather than something that person/character would be likely to do), but I have that exact same issue when fans do that with fictional characters.

For references (though not for quotation), this is what I said about RPF back in 2002. My opinions have clarified a little since then (in the sense that it's clearer to me now what exactly I do and don't have an issue with), but they're more or less the same.

-J

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