I shouldn’t even talk about this, but what the hell:
Guys, there is no such thing as a ~leader of fandom.~ I’ve been hearing that phrase thrown around for weeks now. There is no such thing as leader of fandom. You might as well be the Chief Herder of Cats. No matter how well known you are in one corner of the internet, there’s three other corners where no one’s ever heard of you at all. No fandom is a single, quantifiable, monolithic entity—that’s just not how it works. The same internet that’s big enough for all kinds of people to reach out and connect is also way too big and varied and far-flung for one person to ever get a grip around. And yes, this was true even back in the Harry Potter and LOTR days. Of course there are people who put in lots of time and effort! Organizers and artists and writers and moderators and graphics makers and vidders and lots of people who contribute so so much! And have no idea who half the other people are! There are no thrones, there are no coups, there are no districts reporting election results. Life is too short to go chasing after something that does not exist. There is no such thing as leader of fandom.
A word about fandom
I really do think the biggest problem about show runners, authors, and suchlike responding to fandom—online or otherwise—is that they’ve fundamentally misunderstood what fandom is.
They see a group of fans and they assume that they, the author, is like unto a god for these fans and that they can send decrees down to them from on high.
That’s not what fandom is at all.
No one is more critical of art than fandom. No one is more capable of investigating the nuances of expression than fandom—because it’s a vast multitude pooling resources and ideas. Fandom is about correcting the flaws and vices of the original. It’s about protest and rebellion, essentially. Fandom is the voice of a mob that can do better than the original, that often flies in the face of the original, that will accept nothing less than the best the medium (and the human at the helm) is capable of. Fandom is about putting debate and conversation back into an artistic process—-especially if the artist or author in question has become so vain that all criticism is ignored, distrusted, thrown back in the criticizer’s face. (Moffat, I’m looking at you.) Fandom is about mutual creative expression—-there are no gods in fandom and every time someone thinks they’ve become a god of fandom, fandom corrects them again. (Cassandra Clare, I’m looking at you.) Fandom doesn’t need permission and it’s certainly not waiting for it. (Robin Hobb, I’m looking at you.) And fandom doesn’t actually want your attention; often, they’d rather you left them alone to get back to what they’re doing better than you anyway. (Supernatural, I’m looking at you.)
I would bet dollars to donuts that most of the people who run into this post could name five fics off the top of their head that could go head-to-head with canon any day of the week. I could name five fanvids with more biting commentary than a NYTimes review of the same film. I’ve definitely—and this is the easy one—seen hundreds of thousands of better fanart than the promotion materials for a lot of mainstream films and television shows.
Fandom is not worshipping at the altar of canon. Fandom is re-building it because they can do better.