Meet the Team: Auntags
[ID: A graphic with the Fanlore logo above the words ‘meet the team’, with a row of pot plants underneath. Next to them is a sticker reading ‘Hello, My Name Is’. The name written on the sticker is Auntags /end ID]
Meet the Team is a new social media feature that will give you the chance to get to know some of the people volunteering behind the scenes at Fanlore! This week features Auntags, who volunteers as a Fanlore Gardener!
1) What is your role with Fanlore, and what does it involve?
I'm a gardener on Fanlore. Gardeners work to keep everything organized as Fanlore continues to grow. This can include adding categories or links to pages, creating new categories when needed and taking part in discussions about page content and organisation.
These are things all Fanlore editors can do, but Gardeners also have some extra administrative powers on the site. We also attend a bi-weekly meeting with the Fanlore Committee to discuss upcoming events and changes to documentation or policy. (It's more fun than it sounds)
2) How did you get involved with Fanlore – both as an editor and as a volunteer?
I first started editing Fanlore in 2017, when I noticed my current ship page was a stub. I had no wiki experience before this and other editors were very understanding of my early missteps and were always quick to offer advice. I edited a lot of pages in that fandom, and then branched out to others. And there always seemed to be something else to add to Fanlore, so I just never left. I was first asked to step up to the role of Advanced Editor and later, I was asked to interview for the role of Gardener.
3) What to you is the most important thing Fanlore does?
Fanlore records a diverse range of fannish histories; with pages covering all eras of fandom. I feel that's hugely important as without a space like Fanlore, fannish history is almost an oral history - where your knowledge of what happened in fandoms past is really dependent on coming across a first hand account or knowing a fan who was there at the time. And then you might be getting only one perspective.
Fanlore also has a plural point of view policy, which means even on an individual page, you will find multiple points of view that fans may have on a single topic. I think this is so important as it highlights how every individual experience or interpretation is valid and worthy of inclusion.
4) What are some of your favourite pages on Fanlore, and why are they your favourites?
All of them.
I really like the pages that document fannish activities or spaces that are no longer with us. It fascinating to see how much things have changed and its mind boggling when you realise how important the post was to early fandoms. Before Fanlore, I think I always thought of fandom as beginning with the internet and that is just not the case!
I also like the pages about old fanfiction archives and fansites. So much work went into creating those early online communities and spaces, and a lot of them are gone now. I really like that there is a record of those fans' work and contribution to fandom on Fanlore. They're gone but they won't be forgotten.
5) What was your first fandom? How did you get involved with fandom?
My first fandom was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I found fandom very young - I think I was looking for episode guides or spoilers, and I found fanfiction instead. From there I moved to Doctor Who fandom. In both those fandoms, I read mostly on authors' personal websites or archives that were dedicated to a particular ship or character.
It was a long time before I began to interact more within my fandoms, posting my own work and joining communities, but those early fannish experiences have stuck with me. I think I will always consider myself a Buffy and DW fan no matter which fandom I find myself in.
6) What are some of the fannish things that you like to do, outside of Fanlore?
I read way too much, and I very occasionally find time to write. During lockdown I binged several series that I had never gotten around to but I had heard so much about their fandoms and I wanted to read all the fic. Fanfiction and fandom really helped me get through 2020, so thanks to all the writers and creators out there!
If you enjoyed reading this post, check out our previous Gardener Spotlight with long-time Gardener MPH as well as our other Meet the Team features!
To help preserve fandom history, create a free account to start editing Fanlore!
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