I think a lot of emphasis among fan writers and artists has been for *more* visibility, once that became possible—more validation, reviews, feedback, hits, reblogs, etc. As software made the counts more accessible, they began to function like a kind of currency. So for a long time, many were about becoming *more* visible but they sometimes assumed it was only visible, somehow, to other fans. I’ve seen so many people react in horror that non-fans could see their work. So I some people who don’t want nonfans to see their work are burrowing down—and I think that’s fine.
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Well, in my opinion, with the increased visibility of fandom comes two different paths for fans — (1) fans are more open to scrutiny, participate with the scrutiny, and explore fandom more critically; (2) fans “burrow down” into deeper and more hidden areas because fandom is personal and shouldn’t be explored like that. The consequence of this, then, is that, at least as academics, we end up only studying the more visible fandoms
Paul – very true. This is equally true of transcultural fandoms – we study what’s visible, because we literally cannot see the rest, which runs the risk of skewing our understanding(s) of fandom in certain directions.