Fan Fiction Defense
fanfiction.net is by far the largest multi-fandom archive site online, covering hundreds of fandoms. It's my impression that the growth of fanfiction.net until September 2002 (when the site did a major reorganization) tracked -- but didn't drive -- the growth of fan fiction on the Internet as a whole. Overall, I'm estimating (=guessing) that the more inclusive version of fanfiction.net represented not more than 20% of all English-language fan fiction online.
Though officially open to slash material, most of the stories at fanfiction.net seem to be gen or het. Fanfiction.net ran user surveys up until 2000 or so, and their population seemed to be very young, with a mode below 18. Alas, although I could have sworn that I saved a copy of the survey results from June 2000, I can't find it now. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who happened to save a copy for themselves.
I first collected data from fanfiction.net on 6/1/2000. At the time I was focusing on comparing the population of stories at FFN to those at Karen Nicholas site and what I could find using search engines, for my paper The Fan Fiction Universe: Some Statistical Approaches. Therefore, I only collected data on FFN's anime, comics, movies, and TV categories. (I seem to recall that at that time FFN itself was posting a "total number of stories" figure, so there was no need for me to determine it for myself.)
My next pass was in July, 2001. FFN had given up posting the total number of stories on the site, so I collected story numbers from the category pages and added them up myself. I did this again in March, 2002 and July, 2002. In September, 2002 FFN announced that they would be deleting the entire "Music" category and all the NC-17 stories from the archive, and re-arranging it so that Original material would have equal status with the fanfiction. Unfortunately, there was no longer any simple way to calculate the number of items in each Original category.
Basically, between summer 2000 and summer 2001 the number of items at FFN went up by a very large factor, more than 10 in the case of anime fandoms. Since then all the categories have approximately doubled each year, which is roughly what you'd expect for something on the Internet. Thus, I expect that FFN will pass 1 million items in the summer of 2003.
below the table
updated January 14, 2003
all material on these pages copyright 1999-2002 Mary Ellen Curtin, except where otherwise noted