Fansites are websites that are made by fans. There are fansites on everything - actors, movies, TV shows, favorite locations etc. The website's genre often reflects the interests/hobbies of the webmaster.

Usually, the person runs the website (webmaster), does the web design and maintenance. Webmasters can be at any age. It's perfect for teens because they don't need to profit off the website to live. In this experience, they often learn alot about the Internet and eBuisness. Protocols such as FTP and Telnet are often learned in the process, as well as many programming languages such as HTML, PHP, CGI/PERL. The most common fansites these days are made in PHP - a server side programming language.

If the website becomes popular, fans of that website usually ask to become a "staff member". The "staff member" usually works for free, causing them to be unreliable at times and often just there for the popularity of the status. The "staff members" main function is usually to post news on the website. However, it's common now for staff members to update pages because of the new technology of Content Management Systems.

Fansites are very community driven. It is not unusual for fansites to include a Bulletin Board or Chat Room. Multimedia commonly weighs the quality of the website. In the early days, the design was more paramount in the website's status. Now, content has become king.

Some examples of fansite categories can be of the Anime/Cartoon Pokémon and the US FOX Cartoon The Simpsons. During the late 90's, analysis predicted there were over 10,000 Pokémon related web pages on the Internet, thus displaying the true value of fansites. Nintendo asked many to shut down ("Cease-and-Desist" letters) because they were violating copyrights with scans of Pokémon Trading Card Game scans, full episodes, etc. The Simpsons fansites has an enormous history on the web. It seems FOX despises fan made websites. "Cease-and-Desist" letters became the norm in the inbox of The Simpsons website webmasters. Many shut down and even were sued because of it.

During the growth of the Internet, some Corperations did not know how to handle fansites. A company must protect it's Trademark, or it risks losing it. The Cease-and-Desist letters only sprung up a bad image for the company; hatemail, hatesites etc. Today, IP (Intellectual Property) Lawyers are used often with large companies to withold the copyrights and trademarks of the buisness, but then retain it's image.

Another rising trend within Fansites is competetion. Many webmasters of fansites within one genre, such as Star Wars, often always look alike. If you look at one of the most popular Star Wars fansites, TheForce.net, and then every other Star Wars website you will notice a destink similarity in it's design. This is carried out in nearly every fansite genre; though mostly within the Entertainment area.

Though a significant amount of personal sites which covey a feel of a fansite, most popular fansites (in terms of traffic) almost always reside on a domain name, such as TheForce.net or The Simpsons Archive. Fansites can also often be found residing within free web hosting companies such as Geocities, Angelfire, and Tripod. However, if the website begins to attract more visitors, the webmaster has to either close the website, mirror it on other free website hosting service, or upgrade to commercial website hosting service.

Following the burst of the Internet bubble, fansites began to fall off the web. Mainly because many paid their hefty server bills with Internet advertising. Internet Advertising began to fail. CPM (cost per thousand impressions) rates fell dramatically. Fansite webmasters were unable to pay the bills, and had no other option than closing their websites for good.
Related Information:
  • Businesses That Hate Fan Sites May Fan Hate Sites
    http://www.newswise.com/articles/2001/12/LOVEHATE.UAR.html

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