What is a Fandom?

Written by: Katherine Penman

Fandoms can range from many different forms of media. Books, movies, video games, TV shows, internet celebrities, and musicians can all have fandoms. But what does the word “fandom” really mean?

“Fandom” was first used by the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1903 to describe a group of baseball fans. Since then the word has expanded and is now also aimed towards fans of all kinds!

Being a part of a fandom means keeping up with fandom activity, discussing topics related to the fandom, keeping up with the release of new content, and creating or consuming fan content. Fandoms are known for creating fanfiction, video and picture edits, and fan theories. This type of content adds on to the amount of content that can be absorbed by the fandom. This is especially important for fans who are a part of a fandom that no longer has new official content. Fandoms can keep themselves active by creating their own content for fun!

So who makes up a fandom? There is also no official way to be a part of a fandom, unlike some fan clubs, which can have membership fees. Being a fan can be casual. You’ve watched the movies, or read some of the books, or listened to most of their songs. What makes a fan a member of a fandom is their dedication. It's memorizing every lyric, knowing the lore, being involved even after the story has ended. While being a part of a fandom is something you decide yourself, the fandom members are usually the highly dedicated fans that spend a lot of time consuming content related to what they’re devoted to.

Most fandoms have specific names they identify as, like 5 Seconds of Summer fans call themselves the 5SOSFam and BLACKPINK fans Blinks. Sometimes these names have specific meanings behind them, some can be references to specific songs or characters, and some are related to the name of what the fandom is based off of.

No matter what your interest is there’s most likely a fandom for it. You can find fandoms on many social media platforms and spend loads of time delving into all content made by fellow fans.

If you want to get more involved in fan communities,

join a Fan Crew on the With the Band app!