In September 2006, I decided that I had gotten tired of having to put up fan art and fan fiction and that I was just going to give it up. However, I felt it would be rude to just do this without notice when so many people had been submitting their stuff, and therefore I made a poll asking, well, should I just stop it? I never expected people on the whole to be anything but indifferent toward those horribly organized fanstuff sections that I'm always too lazy to update anyway.
So therefore, when the results started clearing, I was rather shocked to discover that nearly half of those who voted were ready to threaten me with death if I dared to remove those sections. But okay, fine. I respect the opinion of my visitors. I kept it up, even though I hated to do so.
There are several very good reasons why I would very much like to be rid of this.
Putting up fan art and fan fiction by hand, as I do it, is boring and tedious. I'm sent Word documents and spend half an hour squinting through them to manually format their italics or whatever else in HTML. I get BMP images and specifically save them in a better format. I reply to e-mail after e-mail asking "Who should I credit for this?" when people forget to give a name. I don't like doing it.
And because I don't like doing it, I procrastinate a lot. When I get an e-mail with a fan content submission, I groan, star it and let it wait for a time when I can be bothered. All fan content rots in my e-mail inbox for a while, maybe even months, during which I bet 80% of the senders entirely forget that they ever submitted something to my site. What's worse, the fan content is added to my "stuff I need to do for my site" queue, which also includes affiliation and site rating requests - that is, it also contributes to delaying my response time for those. I would feel a lot more inclined to respond to my affiliation requests and site rating requests if I did not feel "Oh, but if I'm going to do that, I'll have to put up all that fan content too..." The existence of fan content submissions gets in the way of other things, too.
To top it all, the fan art and fan fiction sections are awful. I mean, come on. They're some of the worst places on the Internet you could possibly put your stuff. It is impossible to receive feedback on your work from them. The only way anybody can figure out when your fanfiction has been added to is to regularly go to the section and check manually, because I don't update about it anywhere. This is inconvenient both for authors and readers. They're extremely ugly and disorganized. The fan art section has no thumbnails, so if you're looking for a good piece of artwork you need to go there and click every single link, which, face it, nobody does.
Meanwhile, there are websites such as The Pokémon Tower dedicated to Pokémon fanfiction and fanart that are infinitely superior in every conceivable way, writing and art websites such as FanFiction.Net and DeviantART with advanced commenting, a large community of potential readers/watchers and the ability to upload your work in real time without waiting for some random lazy webmaster to get around to it, and all sorts of forums (including my own) containing sections dedicated to fan art and fan fiction where you can easily showcase your work and discuss it with others in a much more accessible and flexible way. Frankly, I don't get why the hell anybody would want their artwork or writing in those sections on my site, and the only reason I can possibly think of is ignorance of all the countless far superior options. Well, you know now.
So honestly, I have to ask you: do you really think I should keep accepting the stupid fan content?
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Page last modified February 21 2018 at 19:36 GMT