[This post is not intended to be a comparison between which medium is superior, blogs or message boards. I’m not presenting laundry lists for or against either. Until two weeks ago, I had not a clue there existed any bone of contention. Instead I want to reiterate my opinion stated in the “Who Is A ‘Real’ Fan” post: that there are different types of fans who would prefer different media.]
A thread developed under that post regarding the merits of blogs versus message boards. Because some people described having different preferences, one commentator said there was a “divide” between the two venues. I don’t see why that should be the case.
As I stated in the post, there is no such thing as a ‘real’ fan. Fans come with different opinions, experiences and outlooks. The only that matters is their personal enjoyment in their object. With such differences, it’s not unreasonable to expect that a fan might prefer one medium over another. This does not mean that blogs are intrinsically better than boards or that boards are the way to go. Saying there is a ‘divide” to me implies to me a certain disharmony between the two media, if a fan prefers one over the other. Why can’t they exist side by side solely based on preference?
I’ve belonged to several message boards through my years in fandom. They were a great source of information for crushes and before the internet explosion were, at times, the only medium available. Then along came other media like blogs, tumblers, Twitter and Facebook and I had more choices. Based on my personal experiences and idiosyncrasies, I decided that blogs fit me better, not because boards were bad, but because I felt more comfortable with the former. I’m still a member of several forums although I rarely post. I could list the reasons why I decided this, but that is irrelevant. There is nothing wrong with switching from one medium to another (or back). Finding something is a better fit does not imply there is something inherently wrong with the other choices. It’s just my preference. Tomorrow I could decide blogs don’t work for me and move on to something else.
What disturbs me is that RA fandom is small enough and doesn’t need to deal with perceptions that different media are either/or, or superior/inferior, or in competition with each other. A fan should be able to say “I don’t like medium#1 because of A, B and C, but like medium #2 because of X,Y, and Z.” It’s just a personal preference. It doesn’t take away anything from medium #1 or prevent other people from seeking it out and making up their own minds. RA fandom doesn’t need tribalism. After all, the blogs, boards, tumblrs, etc, were all created for one purpose: to appreciate RA. I think he would be sad if he knew there was any type of “divide.”