Being the loving parent of a fan site it saddens me to see the demise of this venerable Internet institution. The corporate sites never really cared about the band - they mostly just cared about the latest release they had to promote. Damon and Naomi for a while had three corporate web sites on the go one for each of their (then) three most recent albums (thankfully their latest web site has a little bit more of the "fan site" feel about it).
The fan site was the baby of the dedicated individual who lovingly hand-crafted huge lists of tour date archives and setlists, photos and audio, reviews and interviews painstakingly transcribed by hand from magazines and newspapers, and a discography that included the most obscure and pointless of releases just for the sake of being complete - only a real fan could possibly care that the album version of Superfreaky Memories was given away on a Mojo coverdisc...
I recently headed over to Chairkickers - the official Low site. The site had started as a fan site but the band made it the official site, that must have been such a buzz - to be recognised by the artists it so lovingly represents. For years after the move from fan to official not a lot changed - it still had the feel of a site that was run by people who loved it and loved what it was about. Sadly that isn't the case any more, Chairkickers today looks like a corporate site and like so many corporate sites with the change things went astray. The list of past shows, the setlists, the pictures, the band's past, it's history...just slipped away with it (the discography doesn't even seem to have links for the bands first three albums!).
Maybe it's because the vile MySpace has become the home to the fan page (and, laughably, the corporate page as well) or maybe because Wikipedia is now host to all the facts and release information that anyone could want, or just maybe the potential fan site builders are too busy blogging. Whatever the reason it seems the days of the fan site is over and all that's left are the few excellent sites run by the few dedicated individuals (saddoes??) that will remind the world what things were like in the days before MySpace and Wikipedia and blogs...or we can always go have a look on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine!