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Renée
16 November 2018 @ 01:24 am
Taken from author_by_night's list of writing prompts:

Fandom: Do you prefer focusing on fanworks, meta, or do you like helpings of both?

I honestly love both because they provide some variety from fandom.

Unfortunately, the presence of meta has been very slim in recent years. When fandom dominated spaces like LJ, meta was very common place and an essential piece of fannish discussions. Whether it was examining canon, questioning character motivations, looking at particular pairings (canon or not), understanding the meaning behind the messages of the source material, it allowed fans to properly engage and exercise expressing their thoughts, opinions, theories and speculations on things and see other viewpoints as well. I remember making a lot of friends through these kinds of discussions, I even contributed in making some of my own back in the day. You could usually find posts linked through fandom newsletters and engage from there. However, nowadays, meta discussions are incredibly rare, whether it's due to the lack of active fandom communities or people thinking that nobody cares and therefore don't really bother to write anything. It sucks, because I think these kinds of posts and discussions make everyone more interactive with each other.

This brings me to the community on Tumblr, which is where most of fandom seems to reside nowadays, as unfortunate as that is. Fanwork is rampant over there, which is nice, but it's near impossible to actually have a decent discussion without it devolving into an exhausting wankfest. While drama has always been present in fandom no matter what platform, the way Tumblr is designed isn't really a proper way of having any kind of discussion, especially of the constructive kind. And while there can be good meta on there from time to time, without the possibility of archiving individual entries and comment threads, most of what gets posted often gets lost in the void or hijacked by individuals who lack any understanding of critical thinking skills.

As for elsewhere, meta still does exist since fandom these days is so fragmented and spread out finding both fanworks and meta can be found on multiple different places. And I do enjoy looking and reading them whenever I do come across them, this also includes visual mediums like video essays that examine pieces of media. But it's just a different kind of vibe than how it used to be back in the day, at least on here.
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