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Popular categories of fan fiction in the 2008 survey

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Jul. 23rd, 2014 | 11:46 am

Over the next few weeks I'll be crossposting pieces of the Fandom Then/Now webproject here. I'll be moving in order through the site, starting with information about the project and ending with some of my ongoing questions. I'll link back to the site in each post. Please consider commenting here or on the site to share your thoughts and ideas. First up, fan engagement and reading habits from 2008 and today...


Slash was technically the most popular category of fan fiction for participants in the 2008 survey, but it appears that survey participants were reading slash and gen fan fiction in fairly even amounts. At least, that’s what it looked like when fans were asked about their general reading preferences. However, slash was much more heavily represented when I looked at the different stories that fans identified as their favorite works of fan fiction. (See Popular Fandoms & Stories for more on this.) Looking back, I wonder if something important was missing from my original question. I didn’t ask about frequency. Sure, many people were reading many different kinds of stories, but how often did they read them? Did they have a type they read more than others? A favorite? If I had also asked how frequently participants found themselves reading different types of fan fiction, those answers might influence how we read these numbers. Given the prevalence of m/m in the favorite stories, I wonder if the fan taking the survey tended to read one variety of fan fiction significantly more than others.

What about you? If you read different types of fan fiction (gen, het, slash, femslash, yaoi/boyslove, or yuri), do you have a favorite type? One you read more than others? Has this changed over time?

Read the full write up on fan engagement here. Share what you think about this on the Fandom Then/Now website or respond here using the comments section below.

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