Hello, slightly larger group of subscribers! Thank you for reading. In this episode of Old Internet People I have gone Way Overboard. Last time I promised a piece on Usenet, newgroups and The X-Files, and it turned out like, well, this:
Note: where I link through to examples of fan response, especially on hashtags, I am not responsible for NSFW content or spoilers! Click at your own risk (athough, also, don't get your hopes up, there is unlikely to be anything that exciting…)
I thought this would be an easy one. My intention (as previously mentioned) was to write a little reminiscence on life in the X-Files newsgroups on Usenet in the 90s, something short and sweet. But then (appropriately, given the subject matter), I went down an internet rabbit hole, through academic theories of fandom, the origin of "shippers" and contemporary examples in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To me, this was digital anthropology treasure and I couldn't resist having a really good dig around for it. And so, several weeks later, I seem to have written an essay on the changing nature of internet fandom instead of a snappy newsletter post. Later and longer than expected, but hopefully richer for it...