Thursday, September 15

Blog Fangirls...

Angie had a great post about fangirls the other day on RTB. I didn't read the post until yesterday, but one of the comments stayed with me after I finished reading all of the posts:

What about blogger fangirls?

Seems to me that’s just as real a phenomenon. There seems to be a core group of 10 or 15 people who all agree with each other on their blogs and compliment each other effusively on their insights. Anybody disagreeing with one of the core group is attacked with the same rabid (and group) intensity you ascribe to author fangirls.

Fangirls are fangirls, don’t you think.

Comment by Suze — 9/13/2005

I thought Angie's response was right on, and no I'm not being a fangirl, honest.--LOL

You are so right, Suze. I was just thinking that as I typed a response on the SB’s blog agreeing with something I did. I found myself thinking, my God, I sound like a fangirl. I’m really not, I swear, I just happened to agree.

I do believe that sometimes people find it easier to agree or be agreeable, rather than to be a lone dissenter or one of few. So it appears we have a group of fangirls, when in fact it’s just so much harder to tell an author, a blogger, or anyone that you don’t agree, you didn’t think their book was great, or that they’re not your very favorite author.

However, I do think there is a real concern surrounding fan behavior reflecting on authors. I’ve had people email me, talking about how they might want to try an author’s book, but the fan behavior was really turning them off and making them hesitate in throwing money towards an author who encouraged that type of thing. Right, wrong, or indifferent, it happens.

Comment by AngieW — 9/13/2005

Suze is right a fangirl is a fangirl, we see them everywhere, but what the heck creates one?? The need to be right all the time?

I don't know why, but for some reason blogger fangirls always surprise me. It seems like so many avoid the fangirl stereotype and blog about being anti, but they are out there and at times with a vengence.

In each fangirl group is there one strong personality that dominates other voices and leads others with like minds--to use romance reading world terms--alpha females that lead other more betas to follow their lead? Or is it simply that like minded people gravitate together, and some have bigger mouths?

Is this something the author or blogger feeds--are they the alpha? Maybe, maybe not, maybe sometimes, maybe sometimes by accident. To be honest, I don't think it's always the author or blogger that feeds this, but we've all heard stories about authors wanting their fans to come to their defense when they've received bad reviews etc.

By not dissenting are we feeding an insular situation where fangirls feel justified in ganging up on the occasional dissenter? Are we simply living by the "if we don't have anything good to say..." logic? Are we afraid of being sent up in flames? Or are we simply avoiding beating our heads against the wall, because these people can't be reasoned with? Maili comes to mind giving up lecturing on Scottish history and kilts--LOL. For me, it's a little bit of all of these things.

And as to Angie's comments about authors being hurt in the long run, I think it's possible. I know of 4 authors I don't read because 1. I wasn't impressed by their books and 2. I'm not likely to try another simply because I'm not buying into the fangirl hype.

A few questions and thoughts about fangirls.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Anne E. said...

I have to be honest, other than the "outrage" I committed on the RT Board a few months ago when I indicated Nora Robert wasn't all that, I didn't really know anything about "fangirls." Where does admiration cross the line into fangirl behavior? I guess it would be when no criticism of an author can be raised without extreme behavior following...I personally think it is more a reflection on the reader than the author.

CindyS said...

It also could be something that LLB has mentioned called 'being at someones party and then speaking badly of the host'. I think if we are talking about books and stuff that we can all sit and discuss things we liked and didn't. I guess it's when someone (sometimes it's the host without a thick skin) attacks the person or their opinions instead of just debating merits that things get dicey.

I remember saying something stupid on the AARlist about RT reviews - phew, did I kick up a fuss and I felt like crap because I should have known better. I haven't read RT for years and I shouldn't have said what I did. Maybe some of us learned the hard way what we could say and what we shouldn't.

Me, I'm pretty carefree and it would take a lot to bother me. I think I have only ever been really shocked a few times in the past. Other times I just roll my eyes because I know what's coming.

Mrs. Giggles was the first to actually call out fangirls. She wrote an essay about them which was hilarious but I think she still gets a lot of hate mail. I think it's too bad that some people take themselves too seriously.

I often say I am an Anne Stuart fangirl but by that I mean I will buy anything she writes. I would never say that someone who doesn't like her sucks @#$^#$% ;) I just enjoy talking about books and all the stuff in between.

Hmm, rambled again.

Angela James said...

Let me tell you a little secret about that piece; it was inspired by a series of events I've witnessed recently by a particular author's fans. And no, I'm not going to tell you who ;) But a good number of them read the post and discussed it and agreed unanimously that they didn't fit any of those qualifications and weren't fangirls. The author agreed whole-heartedly. funny stuff to witness.

Tara Marie said...

Angie--I can only guess which one inspired the topic. I'm sure I could hit on the first try, which is a little scary.