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While "picspam" might sound negative (when is spamming a good thing?), it is actually an affectionate fannish term for posting a collection of screencaps or other photographs, often from a recently-aired episode of a television show, typically featuring a particular BSO.
In RPF fandoms (such as bandom), picspams will usually feature photographs and sometimes animated gifs of a band. These may also be focussed on a particular band member or on a pairing. In bandom picspamming is a popular means of introducing the new fen and flisters to the bands, musicians, and OTPs.
Fans sometimes use Photoshop or other similar graphics programs to create highly manipulated collages of various images (sometimes also including quotes related to the subject of the picspam). These types of picspams move into the realm of fanart. With fandom migration to Tumblr in 2007 and so on, many fandoms started turning the various pictures inside a picspam to be animated gifs and thus not just plain non-moving screencaps.
Picspams can also sometimes include, or be entirely made up of embedded videos, usually from YouTube.
Most fans post picspams to their own journals, but there are also many communities specifically for posting picspams. They are commonly found on Livejournal and other journaling sites:
- Picspams Ahoy, a Fall Out Boy related picspam community, was created in September 2007 and had almost 300 members as of September 2010.
- Fandom_Picspams was created in January of 2007 and had over 2,200 members as of September, 2010.
- SPN_Picspam, for Supernatural, was created in August 2006 and had almost 900 members as of September, 2010.
- Picspams on Dreamwidth, created in May 2009, with 65 members as of September 2010.
- Fuck Yeah, Pixar Picspams
- Fuck Yeah TV Picspam
- Glee: The Story Through Picspam
- NCIS: The Story Through Picspam
Examples on Fanlore
- Socky McSockpuppet, Tumblr Is On Fire. Now Over 6 Million Users, 1.5 Billion Pageviews A Month To all the tumblr naysayers: you either "get" Tumblr, or you don't. Right now, I prefer tumblr to twitter because, to me, tumblr is like twitter only with picspam Posted July 19, 2010. Last accessed September 12, 2010.