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.
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.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.