Lessons from Fandom

Xena and Gabby Dance

For much of my life I’ve been a fan of various things, and I was reminiscing on all the fandoms I’ve been a part of, and what that’s taught me. For what it’s worth, I consider WordPress a part of my fandoms. I’m a fan, but I’m also a WordPress developer (and unicorn).

This is just a list of things I’ve learned from fandoms.

  • Be gracious in accepting thanks
  • Scheduling meetings with people across the globe means someone will be up at a crappy hour
  • Reading between the lines is an art form
  • Attribute/credit people for their contributions
  • Sharing is fun
  • Xena and Gabby DanceHow to build websites
  • It’s okay to walk away when I’m angry
  • How to code
  • How to ask the right questions
  • It’s okay not to be humble, but not all the time
  • Why we don’t get drunk in public
  • Don’t put anything online you don’t want people to see
  • You will never successfully explain fandoms to some people (“Taf, it’s like being a Base Belle!”)
  • A percentage of all groups is out and out nuts, it’s okay to ignore them
  • A smaller percentage of all groups are giving, caring, and amazing wonderful people (and they matter more)
  • Trust your gut
  • Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to like and approve of everything they do
  • It’s not your job to stop people from being wrong on the internet
  • ‘Block’ and ‘ban’ buttons exist for a reason, but it’s a last resort
  • Inspiration comes from everywhere, so don’t feel bad if you became a foster mom just because of people on TV
  • There’s a line between fan and creepy-stalker-fan, and if someone tells you you’ve crossed it, they’re probably right
  • Never ask a friend for something you wouldn’t pay for if you could
  • If it’s not fun anymore, it’s time to move on
  • People are amazingly artistic

And most importantly? You can meet some of the best, most important people, in your lives via fandoms. After all, they like some of the same things you do.

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