If I ruled the world (wide web), one thing I’d like to do as one of my part-time “eh”‘s is creating some guidelines regarding (J-)idol fansites. Why? Because the new/current generation of (male J-)idol fans in general reminds me of how pop music in general became today in comparison to the pop music back in the days.
Right. I don’t need to elaborate. You get what I mean.
If I seriously ruled the world (wide web), I shall enforce a list of guidelines for those budding fan girls with a major interest in building a fan site to their 3F Idol (Forever First Favorite Idol), as well as the group/band in which that particular 3F Idol is a part of. Why? Because for one thing in general, when someone builds a website and published live on the world (wide web), it usually means, this person wants to share to the whole world something they want to share. If that person’s reason to build a website is to show off how elite that person is compared to the rest of the world (wide web), then obviously this person is wasting his/her time, money, and web space altogether. Why bother?
Now that I’ve wasted a few seconds doing my ghetto-tastic intro, here are my ideal guidelines for (Male J-)Idol Fansites. Watch and learn, ladies~!
- THOU SHALT HAVE RELATIVE AND CONCRETE CONTENT!
I’m not talking about content as in a person being content. I’m referring to the content of a particular website. When a fan girl builds a fansite to her 3F Idol, a general reason would be because the fan girl wants the entire world (wide web) to give notice to this particular idol. She writes down anything and everything she can gather about this idol (though there is 25-50% chance that many of those so-called “facts” are also fiction…). We’re not just talking about facts and information here, but we’re also talking about some of the things a fan girl can offer to their visitors during their visit. This includes free wallpapers, free (and 95% illegal) downloads of video clips and audio clips, free website layouts for blogs and such, free avatars, free image signatures, a fanart gallery, fan fiction (not recommended, by the way) and all the related stuff. You know— relative and concrete content! Give something to get your visitors back to your site again! Make sure you have your general news and updates, not just about your site (seriously, who cares about your site updates ?), but the real deal news about your 3F Idol. Most fanatics aim more for the content than the look and design of your site anyway, so before you actually start designing your site, make sure you’ve got the goods to provide and ready to go, baby!
- THOU MUST HAVE EASY, USER-FRIENDLY MENU NAVIGATION SYSTEM!
- THOU SHALT HAVE CLEAN AND SIMPLE OUTER SHELLS FRESH TO PUBLIC EYES
The late 2Ks is the generation of Web 2.0 Design (in other words, the clean and simple design trends), and anything simple, clean, calm, not-too-elaborately wild, and most of all legible and user-friendly are highly regarded. In fact, your site needs to work well with various kinds of web browsers by submitting your site and validate them at the W3C site to check the validity of your markup (both (X)HTML and CSS). You’ve seen many personal sites that have these linked somewhere to show their users that they’re valid and they’re no trends, people (of course, watch out for those who just link them just for the sake of linking them when the results turn out invalid). If possible, pass the Section 508 Accessibility so disabled/handicapped users may still be able to view your site correctly. Why is this important in a fansite, you ask? Well, simple. You do want your site (and yourself obviously) to be known and popular throughout the online fandom community for your efforts, knowledge, and expertise, yes? The more you work your site according to web standards, the more you’ll gain new visitors quickly. Why? Because your site caters to everyone of all different systems and browsers and it tells them that you do care. Of course, there are requirements for you to succeed this, especially if you want to give your all!
- Basic HTML (or XHTML, whichever you prefer) and CSS. You can always learn them at various tutorial sites around the web, such as W3 Schools.
- Basic graphic design using graphic manipulation software such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP (free open source!)
- An open and creative mind with the mindset of “I’m the biggest (idol name here) fan in the world and I want to share what I know and love to the whole world (wide web)!”
- Patience! Web designing requires a lot of patience. There’s no way in hell you can create a full-content website in less than five minutes, not especially if you are take a lot of factors (from grammar and spelling of your text to the overall look of your design) in to accord.
- THOU SHALT HAVE PROPER LANGUAGE TEXT AT ALL TIMES
You’re probably wondering right now as to what on earth I really mean by this. When you’re building fansites in general, you’re also promoting and advertising something you find awesome and want to spread it to the masses. Because this is the world (wide web), you should expect that fellow fans around the world (wide web) will be visiting your site. If you’re in disbelief with this, go grab a counter or two, like Sitemeter. You’ll be overwhelmed. My point with this particular item? Write in proper English (or whatever language you use) and avoid writing annoying sTiCkY cApS or 1337 5p34k (“elite speak”) or serious unnecessary slang such as lulz fo’shizzle because a lot of these visitors would see you as an illiterate moron. Writing crazy, eye-straining text that way does not make you look cool. It just doesn’t, seriously. If you’re one of those people who declare that this is my site and I can do anything I want! types, then do us a favor. Don’t waste your time building a fansite in the first place! Save all that to your MySpace account or something. Just don’t write and present a fansite that way in public, please! I beg of thee, fellow fan girl…
- THOU SHALT NOT INCLUDE FALSE WITNESSES AND TESTIMONIES
Who do you support more? Your 3F idol or the aggressive tabloids? I think you should know where I’m getting at with this one. As a dedicated and responsible fan, you should know better than to scare your fellow fan girls regarding these false witnesses and testimonies. Besides, whatever these false witnesses and testimonies may be has nothing to do with you or any of your fellow fans. If these hearsays do turn out to be true, you need to ask yourself how it’s going to affect you, because in reality, it wouldn’t. (Male J-)idols are as 100% human as you and I, girl. They live and they work to earn a living, just like many of us in the working world. If these hearsays are simply hearsays, just shut up and move on…
- THOU SHALT NOT DECLARE OWNERSHIP TO THY SAID (MALE J-)IDOL
Really now, if you really declare ownership to that (Male J-)idol, not only that you’re attracting a bunch of rabid haters (against you, not your idol. You’re not getting away that easy~!), but you are also humiliating yourself in front of your fellow fans and (heaven forbid!) your idol, your idol’s agency, your idol’s family and friends, and your idol’s significant other (Hah!). Save all your over-possessive, over-obsessive, and over-deranged fangirlism declarations in your personal blog, LJ, WP, Blogspot, MySpace, or something. That also includes your (badly) Photoshopped magazine-scanned images of your idol and yourself. You two don’t match together, so don’t even try. However, you could post up some YouTube embeddings of your rendition of your favorite idol’s songs and entertain your fellow fans your singing (and sometimes acting) skill! You can even post up your fanfiction somewhere in your fansite too (recommended if it’s not Mary Sue-style and if it’s not shounen-ai/yaoi— only because 95% of (male J-)idols are straight) if you want.
- THOU SHALT HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPAND THY FANSITE!
If you think there’s a lot more room for you to expand, then go for it! That’s what I did as an owner of a long-running Arashi fansite that goes by the domain name of amnosNET. I have a user-contributed image gallery of goodies, a news and updates blog, an informational site, and I used to own almost all the general fanlisting sites of the group and the individuals themselves. Best of all, you can even open a fan forum/message board such as Arashian, Aibakaland, and Arashi Forum (but if you get a really cool and clever name for your fan forum and not something too generic, you’ll even get a lot more members as well)! Back in the early years, I was almost a monopoly. But you know that awesome moments like these don’t always last long. When that’s the case, just do the best as you can and make sure that you do have the time to take care of all these hosted sites. If you don’t, this is your chance to gather a fansite staff to help you out.
Be sure to participate in other people’s sites too, especially if they have their own fan forum. In that way, you’ll be able to easily promote your site to all your fellow fans and those interested in checking your site out. Also, as a recommendation, it’s best that you are one of the more level-headed fan girls— ones who love their (male J-)idols for who they are as they present themselves to the public (I can’t really say who they are as people since you don’t know how they are as individuals anyway) and the talent they express to the public, not because they’re hot and rape-able or whatever ridiculous reasons you’ve got in store.
So there you have it. Don’t look at me as some kind of an expert, but I do derive these from my own personal experiences in the past (as well as observations from fellow berserk fan girls… *sighness*). Sure there may be a gazillion fansites out there, but who says you can’t jump in and open one on your own? Go for it! Make your presence! You’ll earn a lot of MAD RESPECT points from your fellow peers. I know I received a lot, simply because of one thing— along with my old fansite, another thing I gave to my fellow peers was respect and sharing my love with the rest.
Why? Because real fans rule! You know… the types of fans who power-up their idols through love and respect and laugh at those who claim themselves as wives of their favorite 3F (male J-)idols and laugh at those who swore a major seppuku on a pathetic tabloid-style rumor. In addition, it’s the types of fans who see their favorite idols as everyday people like the rest of the world.
Humans rule the world.