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2013-09-18 12:55:38 -0400

The Category Change Workgroup is excited to share its proposal changing the way fandoms are categorised on the Archive, and we are looking for your feedback!

Our goal is to change the current fandom categories into something that balances complex, sometimes competing, factors such as diverse fannish traditions, user behavior (current and potential), and ease of browsing. You can read about the concerns that brought the workgroup into existence and some more information on the workgroup in our introductory post.

Right now fandoms on the archive are sorted into media categories - Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery can be found under Books & Literature for example, and fandoms that fall under multiple categories are listed under multiple categories.

Under the proposed system, media categories are one of three attributes that fandoms will be sorted by and browsable under. The other two attributes are country of origin and source language. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery would have the attributes Canada and English. Like with the current media categories, fandoms will be able to have more than one country or language. The guidelines for how the country and language attributes are assigned to fandoms will be made by the Tag Wrangling Committee.

The proposed media categories have subcategories. Fandoms can belong to multiple categories and subcategories. Fandoms may also belong to a category but none of its subcategories. That subset of fandoms that belong to a specific category but none of its subcategories will be viewable.

The proposed media categories and subcategories have been named with the idea of that name being easily understandable to different people.

Proposed Media categories and Submedia categories

Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art

* Anime & Manga
* Bande Dessinée
* DC
* Films
* Manhwa
* Marvel
* Webcomics & Webseries


Audio & Music

* Albums & Songs
* Audio Plays & Spoken Word


Books, Literature & Lore

* Myth, Folktales & Religion
* Novels, Novellas & Short Stories
* Poetry



* Board Games
* Tabletop Roleplaying Games
* Video Games
* Visual Novels


Live Action Films, TV Shows & Other Productions

* Films
* TV Shows
* Webseries


Performing Arts

* Ballet & Dance
* Theater & Musicals


Real Person Fiction

* Actors
* Bands & Musicians
* Political & Historical
* Sports


Other Media

* Paintings, Sculptures & Related Art Forms

So, Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery would belong to the media category Books, Literature & Lore and the subcategory Novels, Novellas & Short Stories. It will be findable under those media categories as well as its language and country attributes. Users will be able to browse fandoms by combining these attributes to find, for example, Books, Literature & Lore fandoms that have Canada as a country of origin. Users will also be able to search for a fandom by typing its name into a search box on the main fandoms page that will replace the current media page.

Each fandom on the archive will have a landing page that will include a list of its attibutes (media, country, language), a link to its page on Fanlore (if the page exists), and a link to its works and bookmarks on the archive.

Layout Changes

Mock-ups have been created to illustrate how finding a fandom on the archive will work when this new system is implemented. This is not a finalised lay-out of the new page.

Figure 1: The Initial State of the New Fandom Page (Click to enlarge)

There is a small selection of fandoms initially displayed on the page including fandoms that have recently experienced activity, and fandoms that are currently popular on the archive. Above these fandoms is a search box labelled "Search for a fandom" as well as three tabs labelled "Media Type", "Language of source", and "Country of source".

Figure 2: Media Category Dropdown (Click to enlarge)

When the "Media Type" tab is selected, the small selection of fandoms originally listed is replaced. In their spot all of the media categories are listed and submedia categories are displayed as buttons beneath their respective categories. Alongside each media category's subcategories are the buttons "All" and "No Submedia". The number of fandoms belonging to each subcategory is displayed in brackets on that subcategory's button. Beneath "Performing Arts" one finds "All (1287), No Submedia (71), Ballet & Dance (412), Theater & Musicals (23)". (The numbers used in this mock-up are not accurate.)

Figure 3: Submedia Display Page (Click to enlarge)

When a specific submedia is selected, a small selection of fandoms in that submedia category is displayed - fandoms with recent activity and fandoms that are currently popular on the archive. On the header for the submedia, the option "show all [count] fandoms" is displayed.

So, for example, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) is a fandom that would belong to the Films submedia category of Live Action Films, TV Shows & Other Productions as well as the Films submedia category of Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art. El Eternauta will belong to Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art but none of its subcategories.

Please tell us!

There is a Category Change FAQ that has been prepared for this announcement and may answer some basic questions that you may have.

Two subsets of fandoms not yet categorised in the proposed new system are WWE-type Wrestling and Anthropomorphic.

1) Wrestling is under the current fandom categories as Other Media. Are you in Wrestling fandom? Do you think it belongs in Other Media? Real Person Fiction? Performing Arts? Real Person Fiction and Performing Arts? Let us know.

2) Anthropormophic is also currently under Other Media. Do you think it should stay there or does it belong with the proposed Real Person Fiction subcategories under a Real Life category?

Those are two areas that we're particularly interested in feedback on, but we of course welcome feedback on all aspects of the proposal.

The Category Change Workgroup will be reviewing all of the feedback and making (or not making) adjustments to the proposal in response to that feedback. There may or may not be another public review period, depending on how the proposal is altered because of the feedback. Once the Category Change Workgroup has finalised the proposal it will be sent to the Board for approval.

We want your feedback on this proposal. Please leave a comment on this post or contact us through the Category Change contact form.