Moving Across Lands: Online Platform Migration in Fandom Communities Journal Article uri icon



  • When online platforms rise and fall, sometimes communities fade away, and sometimes they pack their bags and relocate to a new home. To explore the causes and effects of online community migration, we examine transformative fandom, a longstanding, technology-agnostic community surrounding the creation, sharing, and discussion of creative works based on existing media. For over three decades, community members have left and joined many different online spaces, from Usenet to Tumblr to platforms of their own design. Through analysis of 28 in-depth interviews and 1,886 survey responses from fandom participants, we traced these migrations, the reasons behind them, and their impact on the community. Our findings highlight catalysts for migration that provide insights into factors that contribute to success and failure of platforms, including issues surrounding policy, design, and community. Further insights into the disruptive consequences of migrations (such as social fragmentation and lost content) suggest ways that platforms might both support commitment and better support migration when it occurs.

publication date

  • May 28, 2020

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • January 24, 2021 4:59 AM

Full Author List

  • Fiesler C; Dym B

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 25


  • 4


  • CSCW1