When the decision was made to try to expand Fan History to represent fandom on a much wider level, I made an effort to try to keep up with more entertainment and social networking industry related news. What media companies do and services that social networking sites offer can have an impact on fandom and communities based around them. I’ve found quite a few really nifty tools including FriendFeed. I pretty much signed up as soon as I heard about it. I love FriendFeed in theory. Many of my fandom acquaintances use a variety of networks to do various fannish things. These include uploading fan art, posting fan fiction, writing meta on various topics, sharing links to various fanworks they’ve found. It just gets mind boggling to keep up with it all. FriendFeed helps to keep up with all that by taking all that information and putting it in one place. Beautiful! It can potentially save a lot of time and make it easier to find relevant discussion, new fan fiction, keep up with fandom and canon news. Who wouldn’t like that?
Except, well, a lot of people don’t like that. I plugged the site on my LiveJournal, nagged a few of my more tech savvy fandom acquaintances, chatted up a few people who might see its inherent advantages, and plugged it in the comments of a fanthropology post. How many people in my fannish sphere have signed up? One. Fandom is confusing. It has a lot of crossover with the personal and the professional. People go to different places to fill different fannish needs. Such a tool doesn’t allow them to remove that which they don’t need. I might love your episode reviews of CSI and read every piece of Grissom/Sara fan fiction you write but that doesn’t mean I want to read your Amazon.Com book reviews, hear about what you’re not fandom related doing right now on Twitter, care about the links you’re posting on your delicious account that relate to cooking, nor have your pro-political candidate of choice diggs appear along side that other content. Linking your whole life up like that might work for people who are related to you, or if you’re narrowly focusing your submissions to all sites along the same lines but in fandom, that rarely is the case. The average fan just isn’t going to provide enough fandom specific content across all these forums to make other fans want to embrace FriendFeed as a fandom tool.
At least, not at this time.