The nonnies made them do it! (Fannish history. SPN. A/B/O)

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Title: The nonnies made them do it! [Fannish history. SPN. A/B/O]
Creator: netweight
Date(s): October 27, 2013
Medium: online
Fandom: Supernatural
Topic: Alpha/Beta/Omega, Supernatural, Fandom Statistics, RPF, J2, Knotting, Wincest, Shared Universe, Omegaverse
External Links: on Dreamwidth [1]
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The nonnies made them do it! [Fannish history. SPN. A/B/O] is a meta essay by netweight about the beginnings of A/B/O in Supernatural fandom.

In the essay, netweight provides context, detailed statistics, vocabulary, and many explanatory links which explain the popularity of the Alpha/Beta/Omega trope.

Essay chapters are: 0. Intro 1. Context 2. From anon to namespace 3. What's in a name?

netweight also created a helpful timeline [2].

Opening Section: Intro

"Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics" (also known as "Omegaverse" and often just abbreviated to "A/B/O") is a genre combining a series of tropes, creating a shared universe, which originated in SPN/SPN-RPF fandom in between the Summers of 2010 and 2011, very much as a product of anon activity, whether taking place in fic communities that relied on anon participation or in more general anonymous discussion comms.

The present aims at providing an account of how it arose, or at least make a decent stab at it. Because, as someone at fail_fandomanon said, "half my impetus for getting into a/b/o was because I just wanted to know how it happened. How does fandom build an entire trope basically from the ground up? It's fascinating to me." And they're not alone in this sentiment, as it was fascinating for those who watched it happen too.

Despite having a clearly identifiable starting point, the formation of A/B/O as a genre can't be explained by one single cause. Rather, it resulted from a confluence of factors, being inextricably linked to the evolution of SPN fandom itself. Which means that mapping out how the genre developed is not that easy a task. There are multiple problems with trying to track down how all of it happened that arise from: the sheer quantity of information to take into account and the virtually impossible task of qualitatively analyze it, the transient nature of a good part of that information (this being fandom, sometimes things are just taken down and that information is lost or, at least, directly unverifiable), and the bias inherent in any retelling, in any attempt of trying to piece it all back together.

So this is, by no means, an exhaustive or unbiased narrative. It's most certainly incomplete and partial. I've tried to include as much factual data as I could, but I am positive I am leaving tons of stuff out (as I kept finding new information the more I looked into it, and there's still plenty more to be mined out there). I have also tried to make it as clear as possible for people unacquainted with Supernatural fandom, but chances of having completely succeeded are slim.

With those caveats in mind though, I guess the best way to start is to give some context about Supernatural fandom and its activity in Livejournal.

References

  1. reference link
  2. reference link