Does it seem to anyone else as though fansites reached their peak some time around 2002, and have been dwindling ever since? It seems to me as if fansites just aren’t as common, or as comprehensive, as they once were.
We have Wikipedia now, and most fandoms have one wiki or another. But I’m encountering fewer and fewer genuine fansites obsessively dedicated to documenting every single thing about a show/book/movie.
Could it be that people decided they can’t compete with Wikipedia, so why bother trying? Because let me tell you, Wikipedia is far from comprehensive. (Or rather, it’s ridiculously comprehensive when it comes to things that Wikipedia editors love, like anime and Dr. Who. It’s much less useful for things that don’t.)
One problem I have noticed with Wikipedia is that since “everyone can edit,” in practice this frequently means “everyone’s press secretary can edit.” Wikipedia biographies are spun, baby, spun. Chock full of prose which was clearly written by official functionaries.
Sometimes I worry that the rise of social media has encouraged people to spend more time talking about themselves (on Twitter and Facebook and blogs) and less time talking about their favorite subjects (on endearingly hideous yet comprehensive fansites).
(And then of course there’s that staggering number we talked about.)
Or maybe I’m just getting cranky in my dotage?