• Editorial: Our Little Empire - Friendship is Everywhere

    I'm going to be covering something that a good amount of you have probably noticed about our fandom.  Something all of you are effected by pretty much daily.  This massive collection of pony fans has created something new on the internet, something we should all be proud to be a part of.

    We have grown exponentially over the past year and a half.  Many aspects of the pony craze have gained a life of their own.  We have become a virtual world, filled with enough facets to qualify as what is essentially an online pony empire.  It doesn't just stop there! With hundreds of meetup groups littered across the globe and conventions spawning from the minds that initially ran those, Friendship is Magic has become large enough to actually gain the attention of our pony producing overlords at Hasbro, The Hub, and DHX.

    What was initially a silly demographic of adults and teenagers watching pony  has evolved into an actual market for a billion dollar corporation. We have watched as Welovefine's best seller list became 90% pony for the past 7 months.  We have completely emptied out Toys R' Us, Hasbro's toy shop, and several other online retailers in less than an hour when something catches our interest.   There is a reason they are rolling the dice on the upcoming toy pack focused on us, and why Blind Bags/miniatures have become the norm.  You can still hit up ebay and see customs and plushies selling for hundreds of dollars on a regular basis.

    This isn't the main aspect that sets us apart from other fandoms.  Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and several others have had stuff like this going on for years. We have a hurdle, a huge stigma for Friendship is Magic that a good majority of you probably had trouble initially overcoming, and something your friends won't even bother with. I can't tell you how many times I've shown someone the show, and watched as they immediatly backed off the second the "My Little Pony" jingle started. So why is it still so huge even with the outsider perspective of a bunch of adults obsessing over a children's cartoon?  How do we survive  and grow even with the hundreds of newspaper articles that always start with a picture of a pony that is completely unrelated to the majority of the current fandom?   It's all about the community!

    Lauren Faust and the rest of the DHX crew created something amazing, and we ran with it!  Several websites have adopted full on pony sections, right next to other major players on the internet.  Way back in the day, when a Drawfriend post was 12 images and 50% one artist, we were still producing image macros and taking over the internet at a phenomenal pace. From there, we expanded into pretty much every aspect of online entertainment, from videos, art, and music, to fanfics that rival some of the longest novels in history. 

    It didn't stop there though.  With a surge of fan created content comes the part that actually makes us look like a mini empire.  We have news organizations, radio stations, and hundreds of talk shows.  When a fanfic is submitted to EQD, it goes through what is essentially a publishing company via the pre-readers.  There are conventions and more groups across Facebook, Deviant Art, and Twitter than any other fandom.  Artists are being signed with real record labels, and collaborations between the community and show runners has become a norm.   The music in general sounds like it would fit perfectly on actual radio stations. And of course, we can't forget the charity organizations helping save lives and improve conditions for people all around the world.

    Two years ago, most of us wouldn't have been caught dead watching a show about colorful pastel horses, and the summer after the first season ended, a good amount of us thought the fandom would die off completely.  However, here we are, bigger than ever and still expanding!  I'd say that is pretty remarkable!  I remember back in the day when it was a big deal for a web comic or blog to pump out a pony article.   Now it happens almost daily.  Friendship really is everywhere!

    tl;dr Ponies are cool

    (I tried coffee for the 3rd time ever, and this is what happened)