(Late night) thoughts about fandom and LY
This is something I've to say here, even if I don't know if anyone would read it. Otherwise I might just implode.
I’ve spent the last two days searching all around to discover how things may have come to this mess. What I’ve found has left me speechless. Jumping from site to site I’ve read Poderosa’s account of facts in her GJ, I’ve seen communities created for discussions of the “banishings”, people asking and sharing information about how to move entire archives and journals to other sites, even pointing where you have to go to make a formal complaint about 6/A and send it to the company who actually paid them. People is angry, pissed off, scared, indignant and/or a bit at a lost. Usually all in one.
My first thought was that this was even worse than I’ve first supposed. Then I switched off the screen and sit to think.
This is not the first time the HP fandom has been stalked or menaced. There has happen before, more than once. I know I’ve an account in LJ for just a few days, but I read fanfiction since I learned to tip ‘Google’ and ‘Star Trek’. About January 2004 I landed in HP fandom, like a lot of people, through Fiction Alley, and it hooked me like nothing before. I still read other fandoms, but my true virtual love became this.
Back then the YahooGroups were at their highest. I was member of a lot of them (I still am of some). It was a lot of fun, if also a lot time consuming (I remember days with near a hundred mails!). It was through the YahooGroups that I discover LJ, as the links of some authors were posted. I also remember that years later the “deleting” without warnings, of a lot of groups, started. Even if they where adult groups, with age statements and all. Some people migrated, other created new groups. But things are quite far from settled. Just a few weeks ago, the only Snarry Group Il was still member was suddenly deleted too. I’ been said a lot of the files were lost. But is being rebuilt again, with a new name.
HP LJ fandom has suffer this treat at last twice before today, if my memory is good. I remember clearly one about underage art too, because it caused a lot of my favourite artits f-locked their journals, and I ‘lost’ them (yes, the lurking thing, maybe I’d explain someday). The fandom could’ve been affected by this, yes, but everything calmed later. I don’t know if this time it’s going to calm too, or if it’s not. If experience serves, very probably it will do. How much damage has been done, however, it’s a different thing.
Because everything resolves there. The damage that may have been done to one of the more important fandom resources, not at the fandom itself. HP fandom is, as all fandom, inherently indestructible. All that is needed is someone with a pencil and a passion. The rest, call them net sites, fanzines, conventions or even pyjama parties, can be rebuild, renamed or transferred. People will always find a way of expressing themselves. What it’s at stake here is the (probably) more emblematic channel, or more accurately, its capacity to keep being so. Fandom will survive, with or without it.
The tricky part is that, even if fandom continues merrily elsewhere, the lost of LJ fandom should be a enormous one to the people who built it. Because it was a bunch of dreamers who initiated it, and welcomed a lot who came after, and made communities, and fests, and forums, and helped to build something big. It was YOU ALL who made this happen.
But in the process of making it possible, you built something else. An incredible social net that involves not only a shared passion, but in lot of cases, very personal feelings. LJ not only gets together ‘partners in disclaimers’, but truly friends with shared experiences that even meet personally sometimes. If LJ dissolves, that net surely will suffer a lot. If LJ people migrates, even if by consensus they do it in mass, probably someone is going to be lost. And if LJ stays? And if stays with changes? I wish I have an answer, but I don’t. Whatever happens in future, none of us is a seer.
Still, I’m a pathologic optimistic. A massive leaving of HP LJ fandom should mean a very great lost of incomes, and whoever owns the playground probably believes more in an open mind than in a closed purse. So, whatever everyone of you decide to do, please think about it with a cold mind. Because fandom may be risking disruption for a while, but you LJ people have put a part of your very souls and blood in this. It’s very unfair to lose even just a part of it because the people you are paying for a service are acting like asses.
Just, if you decide to go, please leave a trail that we can follow. Know that a lot of people who share your passion will want to be there with you.