Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s newsletter of things which are happening! Before we start, a quick mention that the Fansided network has published the results of its Fandom 250 project, a ranking of the most popular fandom of all sorts. Check out next week’s TWIF to learn more about the project.
It’s December, which means it’s Year in Review time. Lots of sites have begun posting about what all happened in 2016. The Tumblr Fandometrics posted a breakdown of the 20 most popular subjects in a bunch of areas of entertainment. Puppies were the most popular animals of 2016. Kittens came in second.
On a similar note, The Verge also published an article about Tumblr trends during 2016. According to this article, Tumblr users (specifically, teenage Tumblr users) had a good year. As a dedicated Tumblr user myself (and moderator of the OTW’s main Tumblr account), I was somewhat perplexed by this conclusion. The article mentioned some memes and viral posts, as well as some shipping-related content (and the word shipped was in quotation marks), but only half of a paragraph was spent on the social issues that trended on Tumblr. The article also seemed to ignore the fact that the most popular ship, Clexa from The 100, is itself a social issue. So there were definitely things that got in the way of Tumblr teens having a straight-up good year, even if they were delighted by a caterpillar named Chicken Nugget.
The Mary Sue published an article that perhaps explains the lighthearted trends mentioned in the Verge article. This article discussed how the Hamilton fandom helped one person deal with stress related to the US Presidential election.
“I’d never seen a fandom so united in a common goal. We don’t really know each other; the only thing we have in common is this musical. The amount of love, grief and rage coming from the fandom all at once was a little overwhelming. At the same time, however, it validated the reason I fell in love with this weird musical about the Founding Fathers in the first place—there’s something about Hamilton that brings people together and reminds us that there’s a place in the narrative for everyone.”
Fandom is often recognized for its external charity and fundraising work, but equally important is the support given within the fannish community. And sometimes that support means being serious, and sometimes it means squeeing about fun things together. How has fandom helped you get through tough times? Let us know in the comments!
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