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Date Posted: Wednesday, February 08, 07:00:46am
Author: Nestra
Subject: Many rambling thoughts (r)
In reply to: sk 's message, "some not-very-rigorous statistics about fanfiction" on Tuesday, February 07, 04:47:39pm

at 8,154, Gilmore Girls has more stories than Angel, Smallville, X-Files, and many others

To state the obvious, Angel, SV, and XF have a huge web presence in other online archives.

X-Files was around before fanfiction.net (premiered in 1993) and was really the first giant online fandom, by my understanding. As such, the big X-Files archive was Gossamer, and the big medium for disseminating fic was newsgroups, and to a lesser extent, mailing lists. Gossamer even has its">http://fluky.gossamer.org/local/headers.html#cat"its own method of classifying stories that's unique to XF fandom, like "MSR" for Mulder/Scully romance.

I don't know exactly when fanfiction.net started to become a default archive, but according to a quick google, it went online in late 1998. Buffy premiered in 1997, so many fans of Buffy who became fans of Angel were already accustomed to archiving at places other than ff.net.

It's the same story with some of the biggest slash fandoms. Highlander premiered in 1992, due South in 1994, and The Sentinel in 1996. As many fans moved from slash fandom to slash fandom, including Smallville, they were already accustomed to specific ways of doing things. In particular, shalott's creation of the Automated Archive software made it possible for authors to archive their own work. The major Sentinel slash archive runs on this software, as do two archives each for due South and Smallville. Contrast that with Harry Potter, whose growth as a fandom took place after the rise of ff.net, and which, as you noted, has a massive presence there.

The last couple of factors affecting fanfiction.net are its navigability, and its limitations on content. As ff.net grew, its navigability became more and more complicated, it began having server problems, and it began hosting ads. I would not want Xing's job, and he obviously puts a huge amount of effort into running ff.net, but for many people, the effort involved in archiving and reading there began to outweigh the rewards. Sometime in, oh, 2001 or 2002, ff.net also banned NC-17 fiction. It was an understandable decision, given how young the demographics of the site skew, but again, it caused many people to just give up on the site completely.

And this really had nothing to do with your question. Sorry. ;-)

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