OTW Fannews: Asking questions

  • The number of fandom groups within the general population is still a big unknown, but the MIT student newspaper The Tech decided to find out if its school's nerdy reputation was justified. In a special section that included an interview with fandom scholar Flourish Klink, they published results of an MIT campus survey. One of the more interesting findings was the list of most popular fandoms on campus by either vote (Harry Potter, The Avengers, Lord of the Rings, Batman) or write-in (Ender's Game, Sherlock & Modern Family). The paper compared these results to a survey of 386 non-MIT individuals who were asked what they thought would be the most popular fandoms on either MIT, Harvard, or a state school. The results were the same for all three — Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Call of Duty. (Survey results can be found on pp.12-13 of the PDF version).
  • The My Little Pony site Equestria Daily also ran a user survey about fanfiction. Much of the survey dealt with how users wanted the site to deal with fanfiction availability and selection, but a few dealt with general reading tastes such as the question "What genres of fanfiction do you enjoy reading?" There were 10 categories with a choice of "Other" and the top 3 answers were "Slice of Life/Normal", "Adventure" and "Comedy" with the bottom three being "Scifi", "Human" and "Random." About 31% of the 3,634 respondents claimed to read fanfiction daily.
  • An article in Fabulous focused on "the dark and sinister side of fan fiction" which included a variety of plot types in the writer's opinion, from thrillers to slash. "Hannah…insists her stories…are about creating gripping storylines rather than wishing harm on her idols. 'I didn’t want to be clichéd and have them skipping off happily into the sunset,' she says. 'I enjoy provoking emotion through my writing. To have someone say they cried when finishing my story, although distressing, is an achievement.' Hannah doesn’t think there’s anything unusual about her violent stories. 'As a writer, if you want to make more of a splash, then an emotional, sad ending tugs at the heart-strings more,' she says. 'Plus, sometimes your favourite celebrity doesn’t seem real, especially if you’ve only seen them in magazines or on TV. Giving them a disease like cancer in fan fiction humanises them and [shows] they’re just as vulnerable to illness as the rest of the world’s population.'”

What interesting fandom numbers have you seen? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans. We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.