Wednesday, January 28, 2015

7 Ways to Find a Fan Community

Being a nerd or a fangirl can be a lonely experience. Not everyone is in love with imaginary things and worlds, after all. Before the internet, I felt totally alone and embarrassed about the things I loved. Thanks to some awesome resources, I don't feel that way anymore. I've found so many great groups of fans that have helped me feel like I'm not a total weirdo. Here's how you can find your own.

1. A forum

The thing that pulled me out of my nerdly despair was NarniaWeb, a group of fans dedicated to The Chronicles of Narnia. I found the forum and lurked there for months before finally signing up, but when I did, it was totally worth it. The fans are warm and welcoming, and I can honestly say that there aren't many places like it on the web.

Try Googling forums or discussion boards about your chosen fandom topic. Whether it's Nerdfighteria or the BBC Robin Hood, I've seen several. Check it out and see what you can find.

2. Tumblr 

I joined Tumblr back in 2011, and I had no idea what I was getting into. When I first signed up, I thought it was just a microblog and aggregation of pretty pictures. Not so. Tumblr is actually almost an entity of its own--a collection of living, breathing fans. Fandom blogs are a dime a dozen. You can search for your favorite fandoms and follow blogs all about those fandoms in mere seconds. As far as versatility goes, Tumblr is it. You can find anything there.

While it can take some doing to find a community there, stick with it. The site is so big and you're sure to find someone talking about something that you love. Reach out! If there's any place that you can feel totally yourself, it's Tumblr.

- Type your favorite characters' names as URLs. (Ex: This can help you find like-minded Tumblr users.
- Use the recommended blogs on the sidebar. While some of them are whacked out, I've found some of my favorite blogs this way.
- Recruit your friends. What fun is it if you don't drag someone down with you?
- Peruse the tags about your fandom of choice. You can find awesome gifsets, headcanons, and new bloggers to follow that way.
- To get you started, follow The Fangirl Initiative Tumblr! (And I'm buckiejbarnes.) There you go; you're already following two people!

3. The blog world at large
Suggested by Mirriam and Annah

The blogging community is a great one. Currently, it's a really great place if you're into reading books (specifically YA), but there are multitudes of other fandom bloggers out there as well. If you're interested in book blogs in particular, here are a few of my favorites:

Paper Fury
Paper Daydreams
Little Birdie Books
Insanity Inc.

While fandom blogs can be a bit trickier, I'll let you know if I find any awesome ones. And if you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments below! As I find more, I'll leave them in the comments section, too.

4. LiveJournal
Suggested by Isabella and Annah

LiveJournal is the one I'm least familiar with, but I lurk there a lot and it's amazing. The format is really beautiful and sophisticated. One resource LiveJournal is amazing for is finding graphics about your favorite character, show or OTP. There are also entire communities for certain fandoms, that, from what I've seen, are pretty darn amazing. Google LiveJournals about your chosen fandom and you're sure to find something out there.

5. In real life

I know, I know, it seems impossible to find nerds in real life. I've had limited success with this, to be honest. However, here are my humble suggestions.

- Check out your library. I once saw my library advertising a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan club. While I didn't go, it was still awesome to see that there were nerds out in the real world.
- Wear graphic t-shirts. T-shirts about your chosen fandoms can be a great conversation starter and they've helped me find things in common with people that I wouldn't have otherwise.
- Drag your friends into your fandoms. (I'm kidding, I'm kidding! Kind of.)

6. Google

The moral of this story is that Google is your best friend. I wouldn't have found NarniaWeb if not for Google, and the same for many of my other favorite blogs. Type in search terms for forums or blogs or LiveJournals about your chosen subject and see what you find! If you write, you can also try places like Figment or Wattpad--while not centered around fandoms specifically, they're a great place to find like-minded people. (Suggested by Mirriam.) There may also be fan communities in places that I've missed. Explore. The internet is a treasure trove of fangirls typing about the things they love.

Speaking of...

7. Here!

The Fangirl Initiative's goal is just this: to help fangirls feel that they're not alone. So we're here for you. Hang out with us in the comments section. Hit us up on Twitter. Stalk us in a friendly manner, we don't mind. The Fangirl Initiative is meant for everyone, and we welcome discussion and general fangirliness every day of the week. Thanks for sticking around, you awesome people. (If you have any suggestions on how to bring this community even further, we'd love to hear them!)

In summary: the internet is your friend, real life nerds can be found, and it is possible to find a fan community dedicated to the things you love. Don't despair, my fellow nerdlings. You are not alone. You are not weird. You're in exactly the right place.

Now go. Open Google and see what you discover... and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Readers: What are your suggestions for finding a fan community?


  1. I actually had coherent thoughts as I read but then I saw you recommended my blog and OH. MY. GOD. Thank you so much for suggesting my blog -- I'm actually starting a few more fangirl-y series this year, so I hope I live up to your rec! *whirls giddily*

    I haven't actually tried a forum before, but I do stalk people on Tumblr and Bloglovin' and Twitter. I'm also on Figment and Wattpad, although I'm not as active as I'd like to be on top of actually writing and keeping a blog. But these are all great tips!

  2. I nearly wept tears of joy when I saw the title of this post! JK. I really need more nerd friends and these are great ways! I've already met quite a few fantastic nerds through blogging, and it's been awesome. I really want to get a tumblr, but I hear it's a swirling vortex of nerdiness that you can't escape... and I really need to study more. XD Anyhow, I'm going to try the graphic and library thing for sure (-:

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. There was a typo. I panicked and deleted my comment.

  4. Awesome list, Sky! It always makes me happy to befriend fellow nerds, and I really love all the fantastic Fangirls I've met through the initiative! Thanks for sharing all the other great ideas. Fandom forever! :)