Just to state the difference between “Ambiguous Fandom” and “All Media Types” a little more explicitly —
”- All Media Types” tags are like a “parent” tag that collects many “child” fandoms, because the “child” fandoms are all based on the same canon source. Generally this is because of multiple adaptations over the years, remakes into different mediums. So for instance, if you go to Robin Hood - All Media Types and look in the “Sub tags” box you can see all the fandoms included (also check out “-All Media Types” pages for megafandoms like James Bond or Star Wars, it’s very impressive). And if you then click on “Works” on that page, it will show you ALL THE FANWORKS from every Robin Hood fandom that is a child tag (or “subtag”) of the “Robin Hood - All Media Types” parent tag (or “metatag.”)
But I don’t know how many readers actually do this— browse without picking a specific fandom— so you probably want to include at least one specific fandom tag in most cases. But the point is, “All Media Types” is the tag you want to use if you are mixing canons, or taking bits of canon from many different versions of the same canon, like comics/movie version, or book/tv series version.
In a few cases the “- All Media Types” tag IS the main canonical fandom tag, not just a “parent” tag— this generally happens (1) when the fandom is very, very tiny even when both versions are combined, and/or (2) when the adaptation is very, very faithful and the fandom doesn’t really distinguish between the two canons, so it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to split them up. If you are typing the title of your fandom in the “title” field and you ONLY see the “All Media Types” option in the drop-down list, feel free to pick that one— or to type something more specific! Whichever you think best fits your fanwork.
"Ambiguous Fandom" is the tag that gets created when there’s more than one fandom with the *exact same name*, and the fandoms are *not at all* related to each other. For instance “Crash” the 1996 David Cronenberg movie and “Crash” the 2004 Paul Haggis movie. Or any other super common word that is often used as a title— for instance, “Ghost,” which is a shonen-ai manga (adapted in English as “Eerie Queerie”), and also an American romantic movie from the 90s, and a cheesecake comic book from Dark Horse, and a 2012 Korean tv drama about cyber-detectives, and a Swedish heavy metal band. None of these fandoms are related to each other— they just happen to have the same name. So if you’re uploading something to the archive and you see “- Ambiguous Fandom” in the drop-down, that’s an indication that there’s already more than one fandom on the archive with that exact name. So be careful to pick (or type) the specific one that you want!
Brilliant explanation is brilliant. Guys, if you’re reblogging, this is the one to grab.