In our early, brainstorming phase, members of the TORn History Project Steering Committee asked ourselves,"Why does TORn matter?"

  • TORn reported what was happening but TORn also was a *part* of what was happening and, in some ways, TORn was a matrix (matrix: an environment that gives form to or provides for the origin or development of something) for what was happening
  • the making of the films was a significant film-making event, and the site was in on the ground floor of these films
  • the site functioned under the 'spy' concept where fans/readers of the site contributed greatly to the content of the news (and to the site in general?)
  • movie directors were learning how to work with the web and fans in new ways because of TORn's format
  • a lot of daily documentation was done on the films (and things related to the films): information, rumors, events, other sites, news articles, etc.
    • news articles
    • gallery images
  • the site's continuance beyond the film years
    • is a resource for information dating back to 1999. Not too many places offer this, especially on the net
    • founding, growth and development of a web community over time
    • TORn is rather unique in being a respectful, pleasant place on the net making it a particularly notable aspect of web culture
    • TORn continues to be a go-to source for updates on actors, crew, etc. involved in the films, Tolkien news in general, news on conventions, fan events, etc. and is a way to keep LOTR fandom alive and connected.
    • TORn has made an effort to partner with and/or promote other fan communities, entities and events which also keep Tolkien fandom alive: LOTROnline, Fictional Frontiers, Sideshow, DragonCon, ComicCon, The Frodo Files, Tolkien Society, Weta, etc.
  • it's a resource for reading and sharing* information about
    • LOTR, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and other Tolkien works
    • Latest news on everything related to Tolkien, LOTR, The Hobbit, and related fandom
    • Tolkien scholarship
    • film production, movies, audio book and printed book
    • being able to hear varying opinions on all kinds of issues
    • watching and participating in the process of debate and dialogue on-line
    • engaging in shared humor/creative fun like pun threads
    • collaborating via email and on-line, organizing things in a virtual world
    • learning technical skills about using the internet, etc...all of that
    • TORn fanfic and TORn fan-art
    • Elijah Wood and Sean Astin have both said they come to TORn's homepage to find out what the other actors and each other were doing.

August 29, 2013 TORn News Article: Ten ways TORn serves Tolkien and Lord of the Rings fandom

*reading and sharing : I think this is a loose way of expressing a distinction between two aspects of TORn - fans reading: the stuff that is basically static, it goes up and doesn't change much - and fans sharing: via the Message Boards, Barliman's Chat, Facebook, and Twitter. I suspect we will be covering the history of both of these aspects. Sometimes the histories will overlap. Sometimes they won't. Right now, all if it's kind of jumbled together as we brainstorm but I wanted to make some distinction that both existed and both were important. Magpie


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