What happened to the Fanboy of the Month feature and calendar? Will it come back? Also, where can I see the past FBOTM photos?
Jay (aka PsychoTeenTitan)
After “How the hell did you get past security?” this is the single most asked question we encounter. For those unaware of its existence, Fanboy of the Month was a feature than ran on the site from 2008-2010. Basically, we’d take a fanboy, interview him, take some cute photos and feature him on the site all month long. It was a blast, got us a lot of attention, and we miss it as much as you do. So, why don’t we do it anymore? There are a couple of reasons.
First, as much as we tried to control the perception of the feature, we couldn’t escape the assumption that we were an adult site, peddling dirty pics of cute guys. Our vision for the feature was always an homage to fan magazine pin-ups from the 80s, where shirtless heartthrobs in Speedos were a regular fixture. So, we were always suprised when people would describe us as a porn site. The calendars, of course, which featured a few butt shots, certainly didn’t help the perception problem. We thought it was all innocent and cheeky fun, but we were left explaining our true intentions so often that it became obvious that whatever we intended, we weren’t succeeding.
Second, as production costs grew, the feature began taking up more and more of our already limited budget. Design and maintenance of the site took a back seat to the FBOTMs, which inhibited our growth. We don’t sell ads or work with sponsors, so we have to be more budget conscious than most.
Third, feedback on the feature was always 50/50 anyway, for and against. For as many FBOTM fans, there were also detractors. We used to do a lot of FBOTM recruiting at conventions, which afforded us the opportunity to get immediate feedback. Many readers felt our selection of guys didn’t accurately represent the community. We took this to heart and tried really hard to get a more diverse group of FBOTMs, which turned into something of a Catch-22. Potential models declined to pose for us, because they didn’t feel they looked like the guys we’d already featured, so we couldn’t feature more diverse guys unless they’d take a chance and pose for us.
Ultimately, I think the feature ended at a good time and on a high note. We’ve thought of doing an occasional one-shot here and there, but nothing has been definitely planned. We also considered doing a Kickstarter campaign to produce a new calendar, but since we’re inundated with crowdfunding campaigns on a daily basis, it would be difficult to justify the project and compete in such a crowded market.
As for photos of FBOTMs past, there is hope. While we won’t be featuring them on the main site again, there is another option available that we didn’t have before. Namely, the FBOTU Tumblr blog. There are already images of the FBOTMs floating around Tumblr, so we might as well post what we have on a regular basis and see what the response is like. That way, we’ll be able to keep it separate from the main site, but still have an online repository for anyone who is interested. You know, for historical purposes. If it proves unsuccessful (or unnecessary), or if we just end up creating more perception problems for ourselves, we’ll cut it out. But since people always ask, this might be a good solution for now (and alert people about the awesome-tastic FBOTU Tumblr). We are always open to suggestions, too!