I've never been the moderator of a community before, but I recently fell in love with a little known band with a small, scattered Tumblr following (of fans, not a fandom where I could gush about how cute X is or even breathe a word about fanfic) and have come to the conclusion that if I'm going to have any discussion with anyone about this group or to make them more widely known, I'm going to have to start my own FY community.
However, I am sensitive to the fact that FY communities are looked down upon in some circles for being just another part of an echo chamber of copy-pasted, copyright-be-damned fangroups. Having never done this sort of thing before, I am scared that I'll offend someone, or be ignored entirely. I have serious concerns that something like this is a waste of my time, and instead I should be out promoting equal rights or preparing for the next US presidential election.
So, are there rules to putting together an FY on Tumblr? Should I be looking to go about this some other way, or not at all?
Thank you in advance,
In its shortest form, my answer must be a resounding MFY!
Becoming the moderator of a community can be an occasionally intimidating undertaking, but when you see a clear void that deserves to be filled, don't hesitate or hold back! Your enthusiasm for your fannish object is the only thing you need to sustain yourself, especially on a reblogging-heavy platform like tumblr. Moderating takes some people skills, but mostly, motivation on your part, of which you seem to have plenty!
Don't allow your anxieties to hold you back. In this instance, it's not others' judgements about the appropriateness of a FY community that you should be focusing on--it's your own desire to share and promote a new and potentially burgeoning fandom. Yes, you will be copypasting some pictures; but isn't that the joy and the delight of tumblr enthusiasts everywhere? As for copyright, your own morals must lead you, but an individual's fannish rhapsodies usually have the benefit for creators of increasing the visibility of an otherwise obscure product. Underground bands might be the subject of many a hipster-kitty macro, but in truth, if the music and intra-band chemistry have inspired you, then they well may inspire other fans who are just waiting to discover them.
Rather than an echo chamber, consider that you might create an acoustic affiliation of like-minded others! While the etiquette of social networking platforms are ever-evolving, one of the perks of moderation is that with a simple FAQ you can create your own space with your own rules. And, yes, your fandom is scattered and non-existent now, but you could change that. Bring them together! Show the pretty! Reblog the best lyrics and videos! In short, Y/N?, you should tell the world!
Should you be fighting for social justice? Perhaps! But devoting all your time to worthy causes is more likely to burn you out than change the world. You can't feed the hungry twenty-four hours a day. As the saying goes, everything in moderation, including community moderation! Give your time and effort in whatever proportion suits your lifestyle, but in your off-hours, a FY community may well be the best way to recharge.
Therefore, FY and Y/Y! If you reblog it, they will come.