Sometimes I really yearn for the more or less centralized fandom infrastructure like I was used to in The Sentinel.
I'm reading the results for a poll
about HP fic archives and recs, and there was a question on which archives one regularly visits, including also an open option for people to fill in archives not listed.
I hadn't even heard of (let alone visited) many of the archives people mentioned, and ended up googling a whole bunch. And okay, it's understandable that I didn't know all of them as most are pairing specific, but not for my favorite pairings. And I know of a bunch of other archives that didn't appear in that poll too, and when I looked up the ones I didn't know, I found yet more archives. Some rather small, others quite large. I get that HP is really, really huge, and that specialized archives may be practical for fans with strong pairing preferences, and yet -- I'm not an OTP person in HP, I have read and enjoyed stories with most of those pairings, and some I even read quite frequently, but I'm not even aware of all the archives.
Surely there don't need to be *four* (or maybe more) Harry/Ginny archives? I'm not much into pure H/G romance stories, but if it's an interesting action/adventure story that's also a H/G romance for example, I like that pairing fine, certainly more than some others. And yet I knew of only one of those archives appearing in the poll (PhoenixSong
), and otherwise mainly read H/G stories at The Sugar Quill
and Fiction Alley
. Now I know that there are several other Harry/Ginny archives, namely Sink Into Your Eyes
(which apparently is so widely known that the poll author only listed it with its cryptic acronym SIYE in the poll), Written with a Quill, Sealed with a Kiss
(which still seems quite new?), Simply Undeniable
(also for Ron/Hermione), and The Broom Cupboard
(that one seems to be a message board rather than an archive, though people listed it as the latter).
Personally I think that kind of thing, where you have half a dozen or more archives for a single pairing, is really inconvenient. What is wrong with having larger archives with good search functions? I get that huge archives in fandoms like HP are a lot of work, and that hosting costs are probably a factor too, but that's why archives can be group managed, no? Why do people found the fifth Harry/Ginny archive or the fourth Snape/Hermione archive? I just don't get it. It's not like more archives equals reaching more readers, at least for me it's rather the opposite, I'm not likely to regularly check multiple archives, much less multiple archives for a single pairing.
Other HP archives I didn't know about: Checkmated
(for Ron/Hermione), Magical Theory
and Fire and Ice
(both for Draco/Ginny), Dark Sarcasm
(both for Snape/Hermione, whereas I only knew of Ashwinder
for that pairing), Apparition Point
(I couldn't figure out if that's in any way specific by browsing the site briefly), Portkey
(Harry/Hermione), The Quidditch Pitch
(seems to be for romance, but not pairing specific, and accepts het, slash and threesomes), Hand Me My Robes
(seems for explicit het, not pairing specific), Malfoy Slash Archive
(I only knew of the Malfoy Family Archive
), Thin Line
(for Snape/Sirius), Godric's Hat
(for gen), and the list goes actually on for a bit more... also, there's a Snape MPreg archive
Unrelated to the sheer number of archives, am I the only one annoyed that (some) HP archives tend to name their categories in fairly cryptic ways? So that they have to include an explanation sheet what those categories are?