Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with SoyAlex, who volunteers as a staffer at Fanlore.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
Part of OTW’s mission is to “preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures”, which is exactly what Fanlore tries to do. Documenting what fan history I know, and helping other fans do the same, is something that really appeals to me, which is why I ended up volunteering.
Fandom is huge and multilayered, complex and incredibly rich. It’s also forever changing and unfortunately fleeting. One of the saddest things for me, when it comes to contemporary fandom, is that it shines bright, burns hot, and quickly forgets. Those fans who remember don’t always want to share their experiences, because they either don’t consider themselves “experts”, or they don’t think their personal experiences aren’t representative of the rest of their fandom.
I suspect they simply don’t realize that no side of fandom is too small to put on Fanlore, no personal experience too minor to document. You could say that my personal mission, to go along with the OTW’s and Fanlore’s, is to try and convince every fan I come across that they have something to contribute to Fanlore. I’m happy to report no restraining orders have been filed against me. Yet.