Are you Harry Potter’s biggest fan? Are you just wild about beaches? A fairly new website called Fanpop might be just the place for you. At a mere one year old, Fanpop is still an infant on the Internet scene… but the place is rawkin’ hard already. This website is designed for fans of everything and anything from the color blue to watermelon to world travel. The goal of Fanpop’s creators is to eventually be the first stop in the World Wide Web for information on virtually any subject. From the looks of it, they are well on their way to reaching that goal already.
The best part of it all is that you don’t even have to join Fanpop to take advantage of all the information shared by the members. Instead of searching everywhere for hot new Viral Videos, go check out Fanpop’s Spot for them. There they are! Tons and tons of them. Why? Because various Fanpoppers have already done the legwork for you. Miss a few episodes of ‘Lost’ or ‘House?’ They are probably here. Doing a school paper on Castles for your History class? Fanpop has lots of info in the Castle spot. Planning a summer trip after graduation? There are oodles of Spots for pretty much every country in existence.
Fanpop is broken down into what they call Spots. Members of the site create these spots. If you are a die-hard fan of something and do not see it here, you are free to create a spot for it. The beauty of it is the ease of use. Creating a Spot for your favorite musician is so simple your 8 year old brother could do it. All you need is an idea, a small picture, and a banner. They don’t even have to be the proper size. The Fanpop system takes what you upload and makes it fit. No technical know-how necessary. It only takes about 5 minutes to create a Spot, then you and other fans can add to the spot all you want. Share all those really cool links sitting in your Favorites list, upload those dynamite pictures from your last concert, link to that hilarious video you just watched on YouTube, write an article in the soapbox, or start a forum discussion.
One of the coolest aspects of Fanpop is the Picks. These are all user-generated questions, so you can put up these delightful little polls to your heart’s content. Some current Picks are things like ‘What is the best beach in the USA?’ and ‘What color iPod do you have?.’ You can attach images to each answer, which makes it even more fun for both the creator of the question and the folks answering it. You can make a question with a yes or no answer, or put in as many responses as you like on Picks like ‘Which Movie Was Orlando Bloom Best In?’ You are only limited by your imagination.
This brain child of Dave Lu and David Papandrew is positioned to rival both Facebook and Myspace for teen attention. When members were asked why Fanpop is rapidly becoming so popular, their responses were fairly uniform: Because it’s fun! And it is. It is wildly fun… and safe. Your profile can show as much or as little as you choose, and you do not have to put your real name out there. You can connect with like-minded teens all over the world with very few worries.
If you run into any problems at all on Fanpop, help is always right there. Fanpop is a safe environment as far as websites go, and it is kept very upbeat and positive by both the users and the Fanpop team. You won’t get bombarded by spam here, or harassed by trolls. Knifewrench, a 16 yr old user from England, says “(Fanpop has) The most friendly staff I’ve ever talked to on a website! Everything is designed perfectly for the users.” Any hint of trouble is taken care of very, very quickly. If you get someone messaging you that you are not sure about, shoot a message to Dave or Papa. They’ll take care of it.
Whether you are simply looking for information on a certain subject, or wanting to connect with other teens who share your love, Fanpop is set to be the top website to do it. So search away, or join the fun. No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find lots of great info about it on Fanpop.
What are you a fan of?
My article as seen in the Oct/Nov 2007 issue of Teen Trend Magazine; All rights reserved