I plan to explore a topic that I am relatively unfamiliar with for my photo-essay: fansites. In particular, I plan to analyze fansites created with young adult novels as their basis. Since I am inexperienced in the use of such fansites, my research question will seek to identify key elements of what I view as a new online genre. What are the main elements of fansites stemming from young adult novels and what methods of writing are utilized within these elements?
My interest in fansites created with young adult novels in mind stems from an interest in the way young fans choose to communicate and make connections using new electronic technologies. I have heard a great number of individual statements made by classmates and colleagues about the great value of fansites, and I want to know why some people seem to think they are special. What do fansites have to offer avid readers like myself who may wish to extend the life of a book beyond its actual pages? What mediums for exploration do they provide for their users? I hope these questions and many others are answered as I explore the research question I have chosen for my photo-essay.
The approach I intend to use to gather research for my photo-essay will be complex. The majority of it should consist of my own exploration of fansites devoted to young adult novels. I will need to spend a great deal of time analyzing these sites to isolate the elements that are common amongst them and determine the methods of writing used in these elements. I will also seek to supplement these explorations with some academic research. I intend to find and utilize a number of reliable sources which will help to explain fansites and offer insights into their uses. My hope is that my strategy to pursue this dualistic approach to my research will help to create a more diverse photo-essay.