This blog is Part 1 of a two part series. Part 2 can be read here.

FANDOM has evolved pretty significantly over the last few years. We’ve talked a lot about being a complete destination for fans, an idea that continues to inform the way we build our products. Modernization work in 2017 was a big part of reaching a wider audience, and that work is continuing throughout 2018. But what exactly does it mean to be a complete fan destination?

What is FANDOM?

That question is at the core of what we’re talking about today. Most people reading this are wiki editors, and editing on wikis is where their passions and interests are rooted. But there’s also a whole fan community out there looking for all sorts of content, and FANDOM strives to make sure that we have something for everyone. One of our brand pillars is Inclusive, and we’re here to provide an experience for everyone from wiki editors to more casual fans.

FANDOM has the best fan-authored content on the web. Wiki editing software has given you and your fellow editors the ability to collaborate and build a massive sum of knowledge about games, movies, TV, and more. The fact that you know so much about your fandoms and love them so much is what allows your content to have authority in the fan community. People trust you and they trust your wikis.

With the best wiki reference material as the underpinning of the site, FANDOM has since been able to evolve to include editorial news coverage and opinions, and engaging conversations on Discussions. The continued development of all aspects of the site and the continued creation of great content means that FANDOM’s audience will keep growing.

As that audience grows, we like to think of their experience on FANDOM as the Fan Journey.

What is the Fan Journey?

The best way to define the Fan Journey is through the lens of a particular fandom. Let’s use Game of Thrones as an example. It’s a wildly popular series and fans flock to Game of Thrones Wiki every time a new season airs. The fan lifecycle of a season in Game of Thrones fandom can be summed up as Anticipate, React, Reflect, and Select.

  • Before a new season even begins, fans Anticipate the next season by catching up on the previous seasons. Most people don’t have time to rewatch all the previous ones, so that’s where plot summaries and character biographies come in handy. A Featured Video about Jon Snow serves as a quick refresher about his story, and his in-depth wiki page provides even more content for fans who want to take a deep dive. Fans can also find news about the new season through editorial articles and video, and discuss their thoughts about the upcoming season on Discussions.
  • Once new episodes begin to air, fans React to the new season. Twists, turns, and developments are all documented in video and wiki page summaries, allowing fans to understand what happened. They can hop over to editorial articles to see what other people are saying and get analytical breakdowns of the latest episodes, and then share their thoughts and opinions on Discussions.
  • Reaction naturally leads fans to Reflect. Whenever a Game of Thrones season ends, fans have so much to look back on and unpack. Fans can connect story developments to previous seasons, and find out how a plot point in Season 1 paid off in Season 7. Nostalgic editorial articles that look back and Discussions where fans put the pieces together are there for fans to engage with.
  • The end of a season means it’s time to Select something new to watch! That’s when fans often turn to other fans and ask for recommendations, something Discussions can provide. Fans can also find recommendations in editorial reviews and other articles, which are there to help fans decide if that’s something they want to watch.

And then the Fan Journey starts all over again. We visualize the continuing cycle like this:

Fan Journey

Historically, FANDOM has primarily been a place for fans to Anticipate and React, but the growth of FANDOM content means there are more opportunities to Reflect and Select.

How do we make that happen?

To really grow the Fan Journey, a lot of it is about encouragement. We’ll always make sure you have the tools you need to focus on creating the best wiki content possible. We will continue developing Discussions to encourage communities to have even more conversations with one another. Editorial will continue to develop so more opinions and news can be shared. And we are growing community participation in video so users can be a bigger driver of video content.

However, no single product can ever fully achieve the goal of making FANDOM a complete fan destination. It takes development and growth on all aspects of the site and an easier way for fans to access all of the different content FANDOM has to offer.

In our next blog, this Thursday, we'll talk about the questions we're asking ourselves and exploring this year about how to make the vision of the Fan Journey a reality. In the meantime, we’re happy to answer any initial questions you may have about how we look at the growth of content on FANDOM!

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