Gift Economy

Fandom is a gift economy: One of the most outstanding characteristic of fans is that they do their thing — conventions, fanzines, clubs, blogs, whatever — as a gift to fandom and never for personal profit.

This is not to say that things are for free, since running a convention or publishing a book or a fanzine, or renting space for a club to meet costs money. What keeps it fannish is that no one profits personally from the activity and no one gets paid even a penny for their time and expertise. If someone aims to profit non-trivially and personally, then that activity is not fannish. (Note that aiming to profit and failing to do so does not make an activity fannish.)

What about hucksters? They certainly aim for a profit. A huckster is a pro and like a pro writer or a pro artist, are pros and not fans in that activity. And, like a pro writer or a pro artist, a huckster may also be a fan the rest of the time.