A fanlisting is a web clique that lists fans of a particular subject. Unlike most web cliques, a person does not need a web site in order to join.
The Anime Fanlistings Network is a directory comprised of anime and manga fanlistings.
Come and join our community!
Not sure how to run a fanlisting, what is needed, or how to make it stand out from other fanlistings? Here are tips from several successful fanlisting webmasters.
Have a nice site design. Spend time on your layout and use pictures of your subject in it. That lets people know you care about your fanlisting and that you really are a big fan - a nice design will get people to join faster. If possible, use a real graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop or JASC Paint Shop Pro for making your graphics.
Always explain what a fanlisting is. Not everyone knows about them- some people who find your site through a search engine may not have seen a fanlisting before.
Make the navigation simple and clear. It's fun to use original names for your sections, but always explain what each section is, so people can navigate your site easily. Make sure it is easy to get around, not too complicated, and preferably viewable in 800x600, as well as 1024x768. Otherwise, people might give up trying to figure out where to find the codes or the join form.
Test your site in multiple browsers. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to join a fanlisting, but being unable to because the site renders poorly (if at all) in your browser. Try testing your sites in Firefox/Mozilla if you use IE, or IE if you use Firefox/Mozilla. If you use a Mac, test your site on a PC, and vice versa. Don't assume that everyone has the exact browser/operating system as you do. Remember, a poorly-coded site will turn away visitors and potential members! See our Links Center for more information on browser compatibility and standards compliancy.
Update often and regularly- as soon as you get a member, if you can. This will let visitors know that your fanlisting hasn't been abandoned, and they will be more inclined to apply if they know that they will be listed quickly and that the webmaster really cares about the subject.
If you use a mysql database or a cgi script to maintain your members list, back-up your data regularly. In the event that something happens to your server, you will have a recent back-up of members, so you won't have to restart your members list if your data was lost.
Use a form for your join page instead of just an email link. People like the interactivity, and it's easier and quicker to fill out a form on a webpage than to open up your email program and send an email from there. Make sure you ask for the required information - name, email and country. Any other information is up to you, but please keep in mind that additional information is *optional* and cannot be required. Also, when using a form, use a php mail script, not a mailto: link in the FORM tag. The mailto: link doesn't work on a lot of browsers, and people who don't use a mail program on their computer but webmail instead (think Hotmail, Yahoo etc.) can't use the form. Visit the Links Center to find links to recommended mail scripts.
Make sure you have a wide variety of attractive codes using different pictures. Allow people the option to create their own codes and to donate them for your codes page. It is also useful to have the html code to link back available; not everyone knows HTML very well, and having the code available can make it easier for people to link back. The button sizes people use the most to link are 50x50, 88x31, 100x35, 100x50, and 200x40 (mainly used for banner exchanges), so it's good to have at least some (if not all) buttons available in these sizes.
Make sure you have some content. Everybody has the four basic pages - MEMBERS, CODES, JOIN, and ABOUT. But there may not be many websites about the subject of your fanlisting, and people who visit might want to know more about it, so entertain them to remind them of why they love the subject. Good content might also keep people coming back to your site. For example, if you have an anime movie/OVA fanlisting, write a small summary and review of it. Screencaps are usually also very much appreciated among fans. It's also fun to create small profiles of your members by asking them additional questions like: who's your favorite character (in the case of an anime/manga series) / song (in the case of a Music of fanlisting) / scene (in the case of an episode) and so on. Your members will feel more special with their favorite character/song listed, and it makes it easier for them to contact fans with similar interests.
You can get lots of traffic from people or sites who like your subject. Become affiliates with websites related to yours and add meta tags to get higher search engine rankings. Join banner exchanges and webrings related to your subject, get listed at fan sites on your subject and in general link directories. The more visitors you get, the more members will join.
Do not turn people away. For one thing, it's against the rules. Second, the point of fanlistings is to list fans. If people have innappropriate websites (hate, porn, illegal sites), simply don't list the website and let them know that in your rules. Accept ALL people, not just people with websites - it's a "fanlisting," not a "fans with websites listing."