Greetings and salutations!
I know I fell of the edge of the earth for a while, but I am slowly getting back into the groove. In doing so, I have really noticed a few things that I would like to comment on, an perhaps make a suggestion or two.
First, I want to say that my fandom isn't dead! Upon my return, I fully expected to find that no one was writing my fandom (Buffy/Angel) related fanfic anymore, aside from tweens and teens who are discovering the show via Netflix suggestions as they devour their Vampire Diaries episodes. After all, the shows ended over 10 years ago! How many of us diehards can be left, still plugging away at prolonging our fanfiction glory days? Well, a lot, as it turns out. Imagine my joy at finding several quite good authors whom I still consider friends in my heart, are still putting up stories and contributing to fandom in productive ways! Not only that, but there are some really excellent somewhat new ones that are regularly cranking out intriguing stuff as well!
Second, I did find that as expected, many of the previous ways our collective had to encourage excellence in transformative works, have indeed gone the way of the dodo. I've found very few awards or rec sites in current operation.
Third, and perhaps most distressing, is the fact that several fantastic archives seem to have disappeared. I almost feel like I myself am standing on that road in 2003 staring into a giant crater, thinking about all of those priceless treasures that have now been swallowed into a great void. The stories and art that were housed in those archives and awards sites are gone now, and may never be seen or read again.
So, if anyone is still following this, I would like to reach out and see if anyone feels up to starting a movement of sorts? How do we save the amazing legacy of stories, essays, and art housed at defunct sites before those too are gone? Some of them are still semi-accessible via Wayback or offline via Slayerworld. Some are there, but haven't been updated in years, and may disappear at any time. The archives in current operation are quite few, and fandom specific ones are dependent on the kind soul or two who foots the bill and maintains it, which could at any point in the future become unsustainable due to an unforeseen circumstance or two. I so hate to see such excellent art simply cease to exist.
The problem isn't just Buffy/Angel fandom, either. It involves a lot of fandoms whose shows have ended. Vast blank swaths of stories from other fandoms such as X-Files, Stargate, etc., have simply vanished as their authors moved on, and websites went black. Some were truly masterful and should have been preserved for future generations of fans. So, how do we do that?