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Too Brief History of Fandom

Someone posted a brief history of fandom.

Now, I'm not the sharpest fan in the fan pile. Heck, I suspect that I come in somewhere around the foyer when it comes to being a true fan, but I see some big stuff missing that is obvious even to me.

The three biggest are:

  • Clubs

  • Fanzines

  • The BBS

  • Usenet

Fans formed clubs. These would be the earliest fan spaces. Fans get together an be fans together.

Shippers have done what shippers have always done. They've written. They then mimeographed and distributed their collected works to other shippers, and so the fanzine was born in the 30's. Oh, and they wrote articles and opinions, too. And they argued. Fans like to argue. Fans made their space.

Copies came along, and that made everything a bit easier.

With the advent of computers came word processors, and that made things easier still.

Once there were computers, and  modems to connect them to other computers, some brilliant chap write the first computer bulletin board, and so online forums and such came into existence. The first BBS was 1978, and it only goes downhill from there. And you can betcha, tech savy fans made their own spaces again.

When usenet arrived, of course fandom went there, too. I remember folks who loved going onto such places to argue over fannish things.

By the time we get to LiveJournal, web forums have already been established and fandom has had its own space for a long time.

If there's anything to say about fandom in the 2000's, it's not the spaces that they occupy, but the MANY spaces that they occupy. Fandom has radiated tremendously, if not explosively. If there's any story to tell, that's the story.