I can’t help but think some of the issue here is that for a lot, maybe even the majority of the younger fandom crowd, forty dollars is a non trivial expense for something that probably doesn’t matter all that much to them. Like, “it’s actually not worth spending that much money for something this irrelevant,” non trivial.
This is a good point, but the even gooderer news is that the small existing voting/nominating pool the Hugos are used to means it… actually doesn’t matter all that much.
Yes, $40 is a lot to a lot of fandom. But there’s plenty that fans can do for free as well, and 99.99% of that is making/reblogging posts talking about, a) the Hugos, and, b) things that are eligible for the Hugos. So next time nomination season comes around, even if you can’t afford to nominate/vote, even just a I-can’t-do-this-but-you-might-be-able-to signal boost amongst your fandom means more than you might think.
This post is sitting just under 300 notes right now, most of which have been in support for the idea of Tumblr fandom getting more involved. I’d like to point out that this is about ten percent of the average Hugo awards voting base. Ten percent! Think about that for a moment. Even if only a fraction of fans who’ve thus far liked/reblogged this post participate in the 2016 Hugos, that’s enough to get a nominee on the ballot in some categories (yes, really). And those categories? They’re going to be the ones of most immediate personal interest to Tumblr fans, I think, like fanwriter/-artist.
I’ve been following the reblogs to this post, and I am seeing a lot of “I didn’t know this was a thing but now I do I’m totally going to participate!”, which is awesome! People are proposing nominees for their fav fanwriters, and getting excited by the realisation that, yeah, you really can nominate the AO3 if you want to. And I’m sure there’s a lot more potential nominees out there I don’t know about, because I’m not you, but who would totally deserve to be on the ballot.
So, yanno. Talk about them! Even if you can’t vote for them yourself, a few reblogs really do go a long way.