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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Big Name Fans

I'm not a Big Name Fan.

Of course, I'm known in my circle of Fannish friends, and the filkers know me as the Kosher Con Suite Person, and I wrote this essay about keeping the Sabbath at conventions. But that was because someone else, with a *much* bigger name, had been asked originally, and she passed it on to me because I'm more observant at the moment. *She* runs conventions and departments, and is generally known through out fandom, and when she goes to cons, she's on panels because people will say, "Oh. She's on a panel. We need to go to that." And that's what makes a BNF to me.

This is not to say the that the people called such on LJ aren't - while the processes may be different, the result is the same : a BNF is someone whose name is generally known throughout their fandom, whether it be as a writer or an editor or an archivist. Or an artist. cereta is known because of her symposium, and a good thing, too. It's not an attitude and it's not a responsibility. It's simply that you do something well enough, or often enough, or both, that other people know who you are. It's *good* if they use the status to advance their fandom or to help others; it's bad if all they get wrapped up in the size of their name and stop worrying about the quality of their output, or whatever they did to achieve the status in the first place. Most of the time, though, it's neutral.


You know, I have honestly never thought of myself as a particularly "big name fan," if only because I hardly write any fic. OTOH, I tend to assume people have heard of the Symposium and FCA-L, and have to remind myself to include URLs and such when speaking of them.

I did say to elynross once that while I don't really think I have much name recognition in fandom, what I have instead is "brand recognition." Conversations usually go somehting like:

"This is Lucy."
{blank stare}
"She runs the Symposium/FCA-L."
"Oh, riiiiiight."

I kind of like it that way ;).

Well, I think part of the "problem" is that the whole thing is slippery, too. People who Know and given name might think, "well, yeah, I've heard of her, BNF," while others are going, "Who's that?" LJ has been big for the Name Recognition portion of BNFdom, apart from other things, since it tends (I think, off the top of my head) towards more inter-connectivity of fandoms, and hence more crossing of those fannish lines. You become familiar with friends of friends, potentially, and trip across stories and ideas you might not have, otherwise, if you weren't on the "right" lists to do so.