Gift Economy

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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 or for egoboo and never for personal profit.

This is not to say that things are 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 nontrivially 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 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.

This is a miscellaneous page