In the past, Ive mentioned here the way that the furry fandom seems to grow by leaps and bounds. For years, in fact, convention attendance doubled like clockwork every three years. (It still may be; I just havent done the math lately. Certainly, the hotels seem to be growing more crowded at the same old rate.) But I thought it might be fun to look at some of the other ways the fandoms been maturing. Such as, for example, the ever-increasing scope and diversity of the fandom.
Wikifur got started several years back, and has been growing like a weed ever since. Its an attempt at an on-line encyclopedia of all things furry in the Wikipedia mold, and a surprisingly successful one. While much of the material is a boring list of furry character descriptions, its also growing beyond that and becoming the general information center of the fandom. (Heres one of my favorite articles: Down the Rabbit Hole)
Perhaps the best measure of the success of this project is that I found most of the other links listed here using this wonderful tool. In fact, Id like to personally thank the people behind WikiFur for their services to the fandom. Id find life much harder without this website.
Furbid is the fandoms own version of E-Bay. Its been a stable, interesting place to buy and sell furry-fandom and SF-related products for many years now. Though Ive never personally used this service, many friends have.
- The Internet Furry Proximity Locator
This is an interesting site that shows where furs are physically concentrated, worldwide. Not long after it was launched, I ran into the author and suggested that he add a doo-dad to find and track the Center of the Furry World. He never did, perhaps for want of a computer-friendly way to define that Center. Nevertheless, it remains a very cool site.
- Furry Cruise
Ever want to sail the Caribbean in a fursuit? Apparently some furs do it every year!
- Furmeets in General
There are other lists of regularly-scheduled furmeets, but this is the best and most up to date I know of. While some of the listings are of cons that are not fur-centered (Comic-con, for example) its still remarkable how many we now have, and how widespread geographically the phenomenon has grown. I heard rumors recently of tentative plans to organize a furmeet in South America.
- Furry Camping
To the best of my knowledge, formal organized furry campouts originated with Feral!, in Canada. But just look at how theyve spread since! One hopes that no one schedules them during the local hunting season
- Furry Bikers and Model Railroaders
While there are many, many other furry interest groups, these two are beginning to make themselves felt in the fandom. Most cons now have panels devoted to furries who are also riders or model railroaders. What I find significant is that these are already old, long established communities in and of themselves. Yet, once there were enough of us, we furs started forming sub-groups within them. We see ourselves as furs first, in other words, and railroaders or riders second. Theres an entire doctorate thesis here waiting to be written
- Everything Else!
Whats impressive here is the sheer volume. Yes, some of it is the normal fetishy-stuff that can be found all over the Internet, but whats remarkable is how much isnt. This page above all is perhaps the clearest evidence available that we furs, as a fandom, are only just setting out on a long and wonderful voyage into the future!