"Shrine" or "Fan Site"?

Talk with others about anything shrine-related, be it presentation, content or something else.
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Lethe
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Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:26 am

As with others before me, the following only pertains to what term I use to refer to my own sites; I don't have strong feelings on what term other people use on their sites!

The word "shrine" barely ever comes up in my life in its actual meaning, whereas shrines - meaning fansites - have been a very big part of my life, so perhaps that's why the religious aspect isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I read "shrine".

I don't like using the term "fansite" because it's too general/broad for me. In the past, the term "fansites" was often used for the kind of sites Crystal and Adriculous described - basic information and news, sometimes along with forums and ways for fans to connect, and mostly to refer to series sites rather than character sites. Now, I think a lot of different things qualify as fansites, including Tumblrs dedicated to a subject. Fanlistings would be fansites too. So, among all of that, I think of "shrines" as a subset of fansites: they are fansites, but not every fansite is what we, as a community, refer to as "shrines". (For example, I don't think many of us affiliate with update "fansites" as described above, or with fan Tumblrs.) And I'm not saying any of these are better than others.

That aside, I also think that as far as language is concerned, it's natural for specific fields/communities to use terms that don't necessarily have the same meaning outside of that context. Yes, I'm sure the term "shrines" derived from the kind of physical worshipping described by other members in this topic, but shrining as a hobby has been around for so long, I think when most people say "shrines" now, it's not so much a conscious choice based on what the word usually means, but the adoption of a coined term - one that is also recognizable and used by people in adjacent communities, such as fanlistings.

I use the word "shrine" on my sites because, to me, it's a term of belonging. It signifies the connection to a particular hobby and community, one that has been around for a long, long time, with its own history and own people, and one that I've always wanted to be part of - one that I finally and proudly belong to. To abstain from using the word "shrine" would feel like not appropriately showing that link.

I absolutely agree with everyone that the term might come across as weird when promoting your sites to people outside of the community though. But that's the thing: I think we mostly promote our sites within the community, especially as far as sites are concerned that aren't revisited regularly (different from, say, "fansites" that cover updates, have extensive galleries, and so on). And by community, I don't mean just Amassment - I mean all those people already familiar with the term "shrine". I don't even know how many people use Google to find fansites/shrines to things they like anymore, since these days, fan dialogue and information hubs mostly run via social media and Wikis. Still, when I do promote my shrines outside of the community, I either describe what people can expect, explain what shrines are or say fansite/dedication - just so they know it's not about worshipping.
dubiousdisc wrote:Also, this is probably only me, but the term "shrine", as something that is done out of devotion, does not really link with the way I see my own work, which is often critical and irreverent towards the subjects of my sites. A fansite still has a little bit of that connotation to me, but to that I can reply that you can be a fan while critiquing what you like, so I prefer to go that way.
I think this comment is interesting because it's the other way around for me lol! I don't like using the word fan for everything because it comes across too strong for me in some cases - even though just as "shrine", as I've argued above, it has developed a meaning of its own (rather than being associated with "fanatic/al"). There are plenty of things I'm a fan of, yes, but not every single thing that I like, or enjoy writing about, is something I'd describe myself as being a "fan" of haha.
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Camy
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Wed May 04, 2016 4:42 am

For me, I address them as fansites since that means it's a site made by a fan. Plus, companies know that more nowadays, what with the whole "Download the fansite kit!"

I do switch between fansite and shrine though since shrines also work since it's like a temple - in a way - dedicated to someone, or something, and that fits, but when you speak it out loud, people look at you weird. "Why yes I have a shrine in my closet, would you like to see?"
I accept your challenge, "high prince", but I am no general.

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dubiousdisc
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Wed May 04, 2016 6:33 pm

Lethe: Heee I can see how it could have developed the opposite meaning for you! To be honest, I don't really think of fan as part of fanatical - at this point I consider them pretty much two separate words with two separate meanings, but I can see how the opposite could happen too, lol.

Camy:
Camy wrote:Plus, companies know that more nowadays, what with the whole "Download the fansite kit!"
Hold on, what's about that?! :O I'm probably just out of the loop, but this is the first time I hear this!

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Camy
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Wed May 04, 2016 8:29 pm

dubiousdisc wrote:
Camy wrote:Plus, companies know that more nowadays, what with the whole "Download the fansite kit!"
Hold on, what's about that?! :O I'm probably just out of the loop, but this is the first time I hear this!
Mostly with mmorpgs and some video games, but what they do is provide a kit (like a press kit but for fansites to use) with assets that fans are allowed to use for their own sites, whether it be a database, forum, etc., HD images too! All completely legal to use, just make sure to read the rules that they give of course~.

http://fansitekits.com (all in one location)

And to name two large MMORPGS:
http://tera.enmasse.com/community/fansite-kits
https://www.guildwars2.com/en/media/asset-kit/

Pretty darn cool, no? XD
I accept your challenge, "high prince", but I am no general.

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dubiousdisc
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Thu May 05, 2016 4:08 am

Ooooh, I had no idea this was a thing! :O Yeah, that's cool! Thank you for the links 8)

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Camy
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Thu May 05, 2016 5:07 am

You're welcome :D
I accept your challenge, "high prince", but I am no general.

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Robin
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Thu May 05, 2016 12:00 pm

COOL!! Fansite kits are completely new to me but I am def checking these out!
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Stefi
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Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:57 pm

For one of the last sites I revamped, I purposely strayed away from using the word "shrine" and switched to "fansite" in an experiment. At the time, I was working to cater to a more general audience, and using "fansite" seemed to return more hits from search engines. I will probably stick with this method, though I did leave a sentence about what it specifically is (a shrine) in the about section.

Like many people here, I refer to our sites as shrines within the community. Though I do feel a bit guilty not using "shrine" on my actual sites considering I started a whole community called "Character Shrines". I do it for the #SEO, I guess.

Side note, if you haven't seen it already, you guys also might find this interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fansite
However, several [fanlistings] are a part of a bigger fansite, used to amplify the fanbase's experience.
YOU'RE WELCOME, FANLISTINGS. (i'm kidding don't hurt me)

Anyway, this always a really interesting discussion that I've seen pop up over the years! It's really great to see what people think and what's changed, especially when time goes on.

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Destinie
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Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:22 am

WOOHOO WE HAVE A WIKI PAGE!

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Fiona
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Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:05 pm

I use the words "shrine", "fansite" and "tribute" pretty much interchangeably, although back in the days (early 2000s), I would never call the character shrines I built "fansites", I tend to call them "tributes" on the actual sites themselves but would refer to them as "shrines" on my collective domain, kinda weird, I know. lol.

I used to think of "fansites" as somewhat well-known websites focused on news and general information rather than any particular character (for example, something like ffwa.eu) so I was hesitant to label my own character shrines as "fansites". However, nowadays, I do call my shrines "fansites" on the actual shrines themselves because my concept of "fansites" changed after Wikis became a thing. I think it's because I associate Wikis with my old concept of "fansites".
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