Archive for the ‘misc’ category

Dreamwith Studios invite codes

March 5th, 2010

If you want one, the following are ones I was sent:

KD88GHRZPNFCJAAAFVY7
HHGKYA7AC4WZXAAAFVY8
EE9GHB2ZGP52HAAAFVY9
7GHE7S489BQK8AAAFVZA
VJFCKR8RAN5DRAAAFVZB
JFRHQ5S8BTCRSAAAFVZC
A2G84WYRB6WV5AAAFVZD
BCHWCJQZMEWG8AAAFVZE

Rockford Ice Hogs vs. Heat: November 28, 2009

November 29th, 2009

These were taken on my cell phone. The quality is pretty crappy as a result. The major reason for taking them was to get the audio component to show some of the chanting. I think I missed those when uploading. The whole “Hey Guess what the Goalie Sucks” thing is just… yeah. I kind of love that.

This is just a random clip.

That is a clip of a cheer after the team scored.

This was right after a fight.

The Fire and Ice Girls. They come out and remove some of the scraped off ice from the rink.

Kids cleaning up after chuck a puck.

Chuck a puck.

Another fight

Review: Strange Things Happen by Stewart Copeland

September 29th, 2009

Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo and Pygmies by Stewart Copeland hits bookstores today, September 29. Review by Nicole Pellegrini (sockii)

* * *

I feel a little bit like pulling a Jedi Mind Trick here to start off this review. Or that perhaps Stewart Copeland has pulled one over on all of us readers, or that he should do before the angry shouts and rampant confusion surely begins.

Police fans looking for, at long last, Stewart’s definitive statement on The Police?

*handwave*

“This is not the book you are looking for.”

As far as I see it, Stewart made his definitive statement on the early Police years with Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out. (You can read my original review of that film in my archives.) If you’re expecting much more here, you’ll be disappointed, although there are a few brilliant gems of observation that slip through the cracks when and where you least expect it.

Diehard Stewart fans–the self-proclaimed Nutters and Snarks–looking for deep personal insight and a detailed history of Stewart’s life and all his various projects?

*handwave*

“This is not the book you are looking for.”

Stewart Copeland is not here to divulge all his secrets, nor dish the dirt on his past relationships, musical or personal. If you’re looking for either type of information, you’ll be highly disappointed (go read band mate Andy Summers’ book “One Train Later” instead). What Stewart is here to do is share some stories with us, and most of these stories are quite lighthearted and fun in their nature and tone. They’re the kind of stories you’d share at a dinner party to good friends, people who will get all the in-jokes and references you’ll be making. It’s no wonder that when Stewart first shared some of these stories on his website, it was in a section of the site entitled “Stewart’s Dinner Tales”.

But if you’re looking for a traditional autobiography? Seriously, listen carefully to me, right now:

“This is not the book you are looking for.”

* * *

Structurally? Strange Things Happen is kind of a massive hot mess. It’s divided into four sections: Stewart’s early life (where he sticks The Police); immediately after The Police; the years 2000 – (roughly) 2007; and lastly the reunion tour. I found myself oddly reminded of a Kurt Vonnegut novel as I read through it all, with the various chapters jumping here and there through time–some very short, some longer; the narration from Everyone Stares stuck in-between the prose as a substitute for a developed chapter on the Police’s early years.

However this jumpy shatter-shot structure seemed to emphasize the surreal nature of some of these events and adventures Stewart describes in his tall (drummer) tales. How does one go from being at the top of the world with The Police to seeking out pygmy tribes in Africa? Playing polo matches against Prince Charles? Becoming a reality show “celebrity”/villian? It’s a wild life story that probably could have filled several volumes if described in detail, but that’s not the intent here. We get the highlight reel instead–and with Stewart’s clever prose and eye for pertinent, well-chosen detail, a great deal is often revealed in just a few words or sentences.

Some Police fans seem put off by the fact that The Police (v 1.0) is dismissed so quickly in the book. I think the important points Stewart wants to share about that time were, again, already made in his movie and then emphasized in the brief chapter that follows here, “Police Rule”. He doesn’t talk about the band, his bandmates, the creative (and other) tension between them. He talks about the disorientation of being The Rock Star, an idolized one, and the effect it has on one’s mental well-being.

It was getting claustrophobic. Privacy deprivation is something like sleep deprivation. The love that surrounds you becomes vexatious.

I often wished that I could merely turn my collar up and shun the light.

But Police fans really should relax and take a deep breath, as they get more than enough about the band in the last section of the book. Again mostly snippets from here and there as the reunion tour rumbled along, it is an enjoyable look into the machinery of the band: rehearsing and road rituals, major tensions and how and where they were resolved; what brought out the best and worst in each of them as musicians (and individuals) and why it was painfully, clearly obvious that there could never be a “new” Police album after all of this was over. As far as individual incidents go, I especially enjoyed the chapter “Raging Kumbaya”, Stewart’s story of hanging out with Rage Against the Machine as well as the section in the “Toast in the Machine” chapter on what happened when Sting and Les Claypool crossed paths.

* * *

The book’s Afterward, entitled simply “The Green Flag”, apparently seems troubling to some members of Stewart’s fandom and is getting very mixed reactions so far. I personally find it a very suitable ending in its ambiguity and the quandary presented. The afterword is placed side-by-side in the book by a full-page picture of Stewart with his wife and family, with the caption “This is who I really am”. The message is not very subtle, I don’t think: “I am not a superhero (Halloween costumes excluded.) I’m just a regular family guy who has had some strange things happen to me.”

The story of The Flag has been told well by others elsewhere, and will continue to be told by the fans who participated in its travels for years to come. (Goodness knows, whenever I can finally find the time to edit together my book of fans’ recollections from the tour, that story will be told many times over!) But fandom is a funny thing. I spend a lot of time thinking about and writing about fandom, having been involved in various ones for most of my life. Fandoms very much are communities which develop their own rules and rituals, symbolism and language, as Stewart hints at here in the Afterward. And they can develop an almost religious fervor about them. Fans converge at conventions and at concerts, often donning ritual gear and costumes to identify themselves in a crowd and feel united. Fandom can by joyous; sharing in a common love for a band, artist, film or tv show can be great fun. Yet it can also turn ugly very quickly and harmful quite easily, both for the members of that fandom and for those at the center of all that attention. Everyone Stares certainly gave many of us a first-hand view of what it could be like to be in the middle of that kind of fannish mania and attention, and one gets the sense that Stewart is rather cautious about anything that could encourage or set off that crazed adulation again.

Which is not to say I necessarily believe that Stewart “reads” the Flag as such. But I do get the feeling that there’s a sense of caution in embracing it too closely lest it get out of control–for those waving the Flag as much as for him. Throughout the book, we’ve read his stories of what it’s like to try to find a normal life in the aftermath of being The Rock Star one time around. And as much as he may have enjoyed the ride this second time during the reunion tour, there’s an understanding of where taking it too far can lead.

“The folks at the concerts aren’t bowing down so much as rising up in exultation, but I’m just saying that I have an idea of what it feels like to be a golden calf.”

It’s cautionary in tone as much as it is a loving (well, I think so, anyway) acknowledgement of this “nutty” fandom that Stewart has, which he’s long been more than generous with supporting and encouraging for these many years.

In the end, this is a book I’m very happy to be able to add to my collection of materials related to The Police and the members of the band. At times it’s frustrating, at times it’s hysterical, and some times it’s utterly brilliant. It’s another piece to the puzzle that is/was The Police that probably has no solution nor answer, but a piece I’ll enjoy going through again from time to time for a good chuckle and to mull over in my mind–like any good dinner tale that deserves retelling amidst the best company.

Most popular team sports around the world

September 21st, 2009

I’ve been compiling a list of sports teams based on sport and country for a project I am working on for Fan History. The selection of teams now is around 33,000 teams. This information has come from FIFA, the NCAA, Wikipedia, sports federations and league websites. I think it could easily hit 40,000 if I spent some more time building the list. This list includes professional, semi-professional and some amateur teams that play in collegiate, national and international competitions.

Given all that, I was kind of curious… What countries are the most popular team sports? Based on this sample, I got created the following chart:

Number of teams by sports

There are a couple of issues with this list, especially when it comes to bicycling. I’m not familiar enough with the sport to understand the different versions or standard spellings for those variations.

Countries with the most sporting teams

September 21st, 2009

I’ve been compiling a list of sports teams based on sport and country for a project I am working on for Fan History. The selection of teams now is around 33,000 teams. This information has come from FIFA, the NCAA, Wikipedia, sports federations and league websites. I think it could easily hit 40,000 if I spent some more time building the list. This list includes professional, semi-professional and some amateur teams that play in collegiate, national and international competitions. 

Given all that, I was kind of curious… What countries have the most sports teams? Based on this sample, I got created the following chart:

 

Country

Number of teams

United States

20842

Australia

1792

Croatia

810

Canada

730

Spain

593

Norway

497

Sweden

398

Mexico

246

Turkey

243

England

236

NorthernIreland

205

Ireland

204

Belgium

200

Brazil

193

Bulgaria

173

Russia

148

New Zealand

138

United Kingdom

134

Scotland

132

Germany

127

China

122

Slovenia

116

The Netherlands

111

France

109

Ukraine

107

South Korea

104

Puerto Rico

102

Barbados

96

Portugal

94

Japan

93

Poland

93

Hong Kong

90

Thailand

90

Bosnia and Herzegovina

82

Taiwan

82

South Africa

81

Wales

76

Austria

74

Denmark

73

Iran

71

Switzerland

70

Hungary

62

Uruguay

61

Finland

58

India

58

Bermuda

55

Greece

54

Czech Republic

53

Singapore

53

Philippines

50

Belarus

49

Chile

49

Latvia

49

Slovakia

49

Romania

48

Pakistan

47

Botswana

46

Cameroon

46

Cuba

46

Malaysia

46

Montenegro

45

Iraq

43

Cyprus

42

Israel

42

Italy

42

Senegal

39

Nigeria

38

Afghanistan

37

Bahrain

35

Serbia

35

Bangladesh

34

Lithuania

34

Sri Lanka

34

Uganda

34

Argentina

32

Democratic Republic of the Congo

32

Estonia

32

Kazakhstan

32

Tanzania

32

Andorra

31

Algeria

30

Iceland

30

Morocco

29

Azerbaijan

28

Costa Rica

27

Lebanon

27

Syria

27

Yemen

27

Colombia

26

Indonesia

26

Kyrgyzstan

26

Macedonia

26

Oman

26

Solomon Islands

26

Sudan

26

Tajikistan

26

Angola

25

Egypt

25

Kiribati

25

Qatar

25

Georgia

24

Maldives

24

Zimbabwe

24

Benin

23

Kuwait

23

Lesotho

23

Malta

23

Côte d’Ivoire

22

Kenya

22

Niger

22

Congo

21

Ghana

21

Luxembourg

21

Ethiopia

20

Jamaica

20

Malawi

20

Papua New Guinea

20

Sierra Leone

20

Uzbekistan

20

American Samoa

19

Brunei Darussalam

19

Haiti

19

Libya

19

New Caledonia

19

Zambia

19

Fiji

18

Mali

18

Mozambique

18

Albania

17

Aruba

17

Burkina Faso

17

Nepal

17

Rwanda

17

Togo

17

Trinidad and Tobago

17

Tunisia

17

Bolivia

16

Ecuador

16

Gambia

16

Great Britain

16

Guatemala

16

Kosovo

16

Madagascar

16

Moldova

16

Swaziland

16

Tonga

16

Belize

15

Cape Verde Islands

15

Jordan

15

Mauritania

15

Mauritius

15

Mongolia

15

Namibia

15

Saint Kitts and Nevis

15

Samoa

15

Vietnam

15

Antigua and Barbuda

14

El Salvador

14

Gabon

14

United Arab Emirates

14

Armenia

13

Cambodia

13

Cayman Islands

13

Cook Islands

13

Grenada

13

Honduras

13

Macau

13

Niue

13

Palestine

13

Saudi Arabia

13

Turkmenistan

13

Bhutan

12

Dominican Republic

12

Faroe Islands

12

Netherlands Antilles

12

Panama

12

Paraguay

12

Suriname

12

Venezuela

12

Bahamas

11

Tahiti

11

Vanuatu

11

Seychelles

10

Tuvalu

10

Gibraltar

9

Guam

9

Nicaragua

9

Comoros

8

Greenland

8

Nauru

7

Palau

6

Turks and Caicos Islands

6

Dominica

5

Guyana

5

Netherlands

5

Central African Republic

4

Falkland Islands

4

Liechtenstein

4

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

4

San Marino

4

US Virgin Islands

4

Anguilla

3

Burundi

3

Djibouti

3

Eritrea

3

Guinea

3

Guinea-Bissau

3

Laos

3

Liberia

3

Myanmar

3

Norfolk Island

3

North Korea

3

Peru

3

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

3

Somalia

3

Soviet Union

3

Timor-Leste

3

Wallis and Futuna

3

British Virgin Islands

2

Chad

2

Equatorial Guinea

2

Korea

2

Monaco

2

Saint Helena

2

Saint Lucia

2

Tokelau

2

West Indies

2

Yugoslavia

2

Bonaire

1

Catalonia

1

Chuuk

1

Curaçao

1

Czechoslovakia

1

East Germany

1

England

1

Federated Malay States

1

French Guiana

1

Great Britain

1

Guadeloupe

1

Guernsey

1

Isle of Man

1

Jersey

1

Khazakstan

1

Leeward Islands

1

Marshall Islands

1

Martinique

1

Mayotte

1

Micronesia

1

Montserrat

1

New Zeeland

1

Northern Cyprus

1

Northern Ireland

1

Northern Mariana Islands

1

Pitcairn Islands

1

Pohnpei

1

Réunion

1

Saarland

1

Saba

1

Saint Martin

1

Sao Tome e

1

Sint Eustatius

1

Sint Maarten

1

Slovak Republic

1

Somaliland

1

South Vietnam

1

South Yemen

1

Straits Settlements

1

Transnistria

1

Vatican City

1

Wallonia

1

Western Sahara

1

Windward Islands

1

Yap

1

Zanzibar

1

 

This table needs to be fixed some.  Countries need to have their names standardized (Slovakia vs. Slovak Republic).  There are also issues regarding territories and what is considered a “nation.”  Still, it begins to give a good idea of the size and influence of team sports around the world.

Are you a sports fan looking to find others to play with you? Check out sportkin

September 14th, 2009

I hang out a lot in AboutUs‘s chatroom where I help with pro follows, creating articles and adding tags. Sometimes, I find some really cool people who are promoting their websites. Today, I found one such individual and I asked them to send me an intro about their site so I could post it to Fan History’s blog. Their site focuses around sports and I’m a huge sports nut. (I’d also like to see Fan History’s sports section improved.) This is what I got and I encourage you to check them out!

What is Sportkin – It’s the digital media platform designed to bring together individuals who share a common interest of sport.

About Sportkin:
It is our intention to unite  the Global sporting community,  Sportkin is pioneered to help all sports people in  finding other athletes of their own sporting interests and abilities, then unite, practice, and communicate together, hence perform better together. Sportkin serves many convenient functions to help athletes discover their full potential; furthermore, it brings tranquillity to ones sports lifestyle.

Key Features:

Members & Visitors:

* Find sports players*
* Find sporting Activities*

Members:

* Unite with sports people through a circle of kinship
* Communicate with members
* Create and manage* multiple sporting activities (and make it happen again within the click of a button)
* Participate in multiple sporting activities

What can Sportkin do?

Because Sportkin is consistently setting new targets and striving to achieve them, new features will be consistently introduced, it is thus the features listed below, may be less than the actual number of features on the website.
Twelve Reasons to Use Sportkin
1. Sport has no limits, so why limit yourself? There are close to 500 different types of sport on Sportkin to choose from!

2. For many of us sport is just for our spare time, and you might think it’s not necessary to join a website just to play sport, since you can easily go for a run by yourself or call a friend to go out and play. But it’s not always that easy, sometimes we need little nudge!

3. Sportkin is more than a social network, it’s a digital media platform designed to unite people with the common interest of sport. From sporting contacts to sporting activities, Sportkin has all the features you need to help you get sporty!

4. What if your friend or sports partner moves out of town one day, or is injured, or even worse, doesn’t like you any more? This could be the perfect excuse for you to stop playing sport, and you don’t want that to happen!

5. What if someone in your area is feeling depressed, lonely or left out? You could help cheer them up by playing a game of sport with them, and they may even be able to teach you something!

6. What if someone is new in your area? They might not have any friends to play sport with, and maybe you could help them find new friends – and maybe they could help you improve your game!

7. Just a few more to go! But if you want, you can join Sportkin first and come back to this page later. We’ll be here when you get back, because the only place Sportkin’s going is up! We already passed the point of no return back in 2005 when we first had the idea for this site.

8. There are also some people who might need a change of crowd, and as the saying goes: a parent is successful only when their child is successful! So why not get your parents into sport too? And remember – it’s not what your community can do for you, it’s what you can do for your community!

9. Thinking of getting into sport for the first time, or getting back into sport after a long holiday? You’ll be suprised how many others are too! Most Sportkin members arrived here after Googling “find a sports player”.

10. What if you’re a professional athlete? Don’t worry! There are other professional athletes on Sportkin too – in fact, Sportkin is for everyone, from beginners to pros. Each person’s skill level is checked against the other players they’re engaging in sporting activities with.

11. There are lots of cool and exciting features continuously being added to Sportkin, because we’re motivated by helping individuals to discover their full potential and move beyond!

12. Sportkin was designed to save you time. And best of all, Sportkin is free to join and free to use, so why not give Sportkin a try? It’s safe, secure and you have total control over your privacy!

If you have a passion for sport, and want to see world unity, then help Sportkin unite people through sport.
Add a link to your website from http://www.sportkin.com/info/resources01.php

P.S If you know of anyone looking to get into or back into sport, tell them to signup at sportkin. Its free to join, and free to use. Thank you

» Read more: Are you a sports fan looking to find others to play with you? Check out sportkin

f/m instead of m/f ?

August 31st, 2009

Yesterday, I was chatting a Fan History admin about this fan fiction dictionary. It is a nice little dictionary… but it has one thing that really stands out as different from every other fan fiction dictionary I have seen: It uses f/m instead of m/f as the norm. Is this the norm in the Superman fandom? Is it specific to just this site? Is it specific to comics fandom? The whole idea seems to flip some gender understanding of how we organize things in fandom on its head. The definition list also seems to indicate that femslash is the norm for the fandom and that m/m is not dominant or normative.

I’d really love an explanation for this. :D

What’s new with The Police?

August 29th, 2009

It’s now a little over a year since the end of The Police‘s highly successful 2007-2008 Reunion Tour. So what are they all up to now? It’s interesting to see how the three members of the band have (or haven’t?) been keeping busy since then, perhaps using the tour as a launching pad for new projects of various kinds.

Cover of Stewart Copeland's

Stewart Copeland seemed to take very little time to rest at all before jumping into numerous new endeavors. During this past summer, he did a brief tour of Italy with his “La Notte Della Taranta” ensemble and also appeared at the La Jolla Music Festival in California to premiere a new piece of music. September will bring the world premiere of Ben Hur Live, a musical/stage spectacle which Stewart composed the music for (and for which he will be doing the live narration at the London premiere performances.)

As if that’s not enough, he’s also been hard at work on an autobiography. The last member of the group to pen one (even original guitarist Henry Padovani beat him to the punch with his book “Secret Policeman”!), Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies is set to be released by HarperStudio in September. Talk about keeping busy! In a recent interview, Stewart admits he hasn’t been taking calls for movie soundtrack work for three years now–which had been one of his major areas of work before the tour for a long time. So it seems The Police tour has done great things for his visibility and ability to pursue lots of other projects of various kinds.

Sting has also kept somewhat active, but in perhaps a less prolific way. He performed several one-off concerts this year (a charity event in Toronto and at Foxwoods in Connecticut). In October he will be releasing “If On A Winter’s Night…”, a collection of mostly traditional music from the British Isles with a few reworkings of his own older material. He also has a performance scheduled with The Philadelphia Orchestra in January of 2010. When he may have an new album of truly “original” material is unclear; he hasn’t released one since 2003′s Sacred Love.

And Andy Summers? Well, he seems to have returned to his other passion besides music: photography. His official website lists numerous exhibitions featuring his photography work which has shown through the year in California, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and Australia. An associated book of photography, Desirer Walks the Streets, was published by Nazraeli Books in March.

Of course, some fans are still holding out hope for a new Police album some time in the future. The possibility of such seems quite slim, given the disparate interests and pursuits of the band members these days. But who is to ever say for sure? Most of us fans thought a reunion tour would never, ever happen, and then we spent the bulk of two years following them around the world.

Myself, however? I’m kind of more hoping Stewart gets Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio back together for an Oysterhead reunion!

Wiki adminning: Different strategies to deal with conflicts

August 27th, 2009

We’ve been busy watching our recent changes on Fan History. An incident recently came up and we had a fair amount of behind the scenes discussion on how to handle it. After exploring our possible actions, we analyzed where our desires to take these actions came from. They can best be summarized as follows:

  1. Desire to thoroughly document a topic, be completely truthful, provide multiple perspectives and be as unbiased as possible.
  2. Desire to behave ethically, enforce our policies in an ethical and consistent way, and to adhere to the norms of the community of which we are a member.
  3. Desire to avoid drama, possible negative publicity for the wiki, and personal attacks aimed at our admin staff.

This situation is one that many other wikis are likely to deal with. The problem with these motivations is that plan of action for each requires a different response. The plan of actions will have different outcomes when implemented. The desire for the first will almost certainly run afoul of the third one. The desire for the second one could likely piss off both sides who will see you as negating the first one and resulting in the third one not being met. It is a messy situation to be in. When you’re faced with a similar situation, our advice is to write down the pros and cons of implementing a strategy based on each desire. Examine those pros and cons and then implement the solution that will allow you to sleep at night. There is no right answer.

Update on 4chan vs. AT&T situation

July 29th, 2009

Earlier we noted that it appeared AT&T was blocking 4chan for users of its internet services. This appears not to have been the case. In a statement issued on July 27, AT&T reported the following:

“Beginning Friday, an AT&T customer was impacted by a denial-of-service attack stemming from IP addresses connected to img.4chan.org. To prevent this attack from disrupting service for the impacted AT&T customer, and to prevent the attack from spreading to impact our other customers, AT&T temporarily blocked access to the IP addresses in question for our customers. This action was in no way related to the content at img.4chan.org; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic.

Overnight Sunday, after we determined the denial-of-service threat no longer existed, AT&T removed the block on the IP addresses in question. We will continue to monitor for denial-of-service activity and any malicious traffic to protect our customers.”

So, crisis appears averted for now. There’s more information in the 4chan status blog.

AT&T Blocking 4Chan

July 27th, 2009

The following was originally posted by girlvinyl on her LiveJournal and is reposted here with her permission. She articulates her position for better than I feel I can on this issue…

I’m not normally one to make ‘statements’ on things in regard to internet drama. Even when that NYT article came out last year, I didn’t comment on it. Most things happen and I know that it’s wiser to sit quietly and let people fight things out amongst themselves. For a variety of reasons.

But today something happened that I feel I should comment on because it affects me and will eventually effect you too.

AT&T has started blocking 4chan for it’s customers. Right now there are just internet forums and posts with people chiming in and no real word of exactly what is happening and how widespread it is. It doesn’t appear to be all customers right now, but it does appear to be geographically diverse.

I do not use 4chan. I don’t understand it and I honestly find it sort of boring. I’m an obsessive gawker devotee, to give an idea of my browsing habits. I like faux news and lol news and some light politics. The content at 4chan is too much for me to handle in general. But 4chan and ED have a close and strange relationship. ED was not started to catalog 4chan, it was started to make fun of LJ, but a lot of 4chan users and ED users started to overlap, so the content began to overlap. 4chan’s founder became Time’s person of the year, 4chan has grown and grown and grown. ED has grown too. And a lot of that growth comes at times when 4chan is down. When 4chan experiences downtime, ED experiences significant increases in traffic. ED appears to be the second stop for 4chan users when their main site is unavailable.

It’s not my place to judge the merit of content on ED or 4chan, but I am an avid proponent of free speech. I understand that AT&T is a business and that that business has the right to shape it’s network traffic as it sees fit. And of course it’s customers have the right to choose another ISP [well, unless AT&T has a monopoly in that locality, in which case they have the right to file an anti-trust lolsuit, which is a dismal reality]. However, the FCC affords common carrier status to AT&T. This means that they have a responsibility to provide the service in a way that is conducive to the public good.

4chan is the cesspool of the internet. I think most people will agree on this. That’s why this battle has started with 4chan. It’s easy to justify to the general public that this censorship is “good” censorship and that 4chan shouldn’t be accessible to anyone, for any reason. Other websites will then be blocked by AT&T, ED being one of them. The smaller ISPs will follow suit, citing AT&T as precedent and eventually there will be blacklists of sites that all ISPs implement for the “public safety”. Thus we have internet censorship with no laws necessary. Even if there are laws against it, Obama has made it clear that he and the congress are happy to excuse this kind of behavior by internet companies and will protect them from any kind of law suit.

If you have AT&T, I highly suggest you switch to another ISP as soon as you can. If you switch to another provider, you can probably get a better deal with a 6 month promotion anyway.

Get a list of ISPs in your area

And here is the ED article which is being formulated currently. It includes a list of numbers to call to cancel your AT&T service.

2009 – The Year of Fail?

July 25th, 2009

The August 2009 cover of

Is 2009 going to end up going down in the Fannish History books the Year of Fail? Some days it certainly seems that way. I can’t remember a year with one incidence of or rallying against accused Fail coming one right after another as it has this year.

First there was Race Fail ’09, beginning in January and stretching through into April before morphing into Mammothfail in May. Even at WisCon 2009, at the end of that month, there was controversy over apparent racism and gender fail, despite the convention’s overall feminist-orientation.

After Readercon this month, there was sexism and ability-privilege wank reported and discussed by many. And Readercon also seemed to be the springboard for what could now be called Fishboob Fail, focused on the newly-relaunched Realms of Fantasy magazine. Sexism and race fail combined in this controversy over the magazine’s choice of cover art–and of course, when Harlan Ellison gets involved in any situation, one knows it’s going to get real ugly, real fast.

But wait, there’s more! Reports coming out of Comic-Con this weekend have noted Electronic Arts’ ill-advised marketing strategy, of placing a “sexual bounty” on their “booth babes”. sf_drama is all over the situation already, and no doubt further wank and rage over this will follow before the convention ends.

There have been other skirmishes brewing in the genre publishing world on the edges of fandom lately as well. Justine Larbalestier’s upcoming Young Adult novel “Liar” is causing a huge amount of controversy, at least over the American edition’s cover. The publisher seemed to think it necessary to put a white girl’s face on the cover, despite the book’s narrator and protagonist being of “dark skin and short black hair”, and sometimes mistaken for being a boy. Some also attempted to stir up a round of Trans Fail over Ellora’s Cave Publishing‘s new title, “Heart of a Forest”, which prominently features a transgendered character in a new take on the Robin Hood mythology.

So what is all of this Fail, and talk of Fail, going to lead to in the long run? Is it a sign of the changing, more progressive times, of people in certain groups and communities finally stepping up to say “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore!”? Is there going to be a positive outcome from raising awareness about so many issues of privilege in our society and fandoms, be they based on race, gender, ability, or otherwise? Or is there some danger that the people who most need to be reached in these discussions will stop listening from overload, from too much meta, too many incidents of metamobbing, from a sense of fatigue and lack of enjoyment in remaining active in certain areas of fandom? Is fandom becoming too much of a mine-field for potential accusations of Fail, or are these all vital issues that need to take precedence over some individuals’ discomfort, or “harshing” of their “squee”?

As always seems to be the case with these matters, truly only time will tell.

Plagiarism with consequences

July 10th, 2009

I love reality television.  This morning, I was catching up on my The Fashion Show.    The end of the episode came up and there were two contestants up for elimination.  One of the judges said all these nice things about one of the dresses that was in the bottom two.  The designer looked pleased.  Then the judges dropped a bomb shell: They accused the designer of plagiarizing another designer.  They said a lot of the audience had come to the same conclusion.  They offered photographic proof.  The judges then went to debate which contestant should be let go. Meanwhile, the other contestants discussed amongst themselves that this particular designer had talked about making knock offs before, had mentioned the designer that they were modeling this dress off and otherwise weren’t sympathetic to the alleged plagiarizing designer.

The judges discussed amongst themselves if a dress that was a creative failure was better or worse than some one who plagiarized other people’s designs.  When they reached their decision, they determined that creativity and originality was more important than the ability to make copy some one else’s design.  This was a clear case where plagiarism had consequences: The contestant did not advance because he wasn’t original.

This feels important to note because in fandom people justify plagiarism by saying there aren’t any real world consequences and who cares?  Here is a case, in the creative world, where there are consequences and people cared.  The point the judges made regarding this issue in fashion has just as much meaning in the world of fan fiction: Copying other people’s work is not a fundamentally creative act that should be rewarded.  Copying  and plagiarism should not be celebrated and should not be tolerated.

Important privacy news for Facebook users

July 3rd, 2009

As privacy is such a frequent, troubling issue in fandom, it is important to note that today, Facebook has begun making status messages, photos and videos visible to the public by default instead of being visible only to a user’s approved friends. The New York Times has a good article on what these changes mean, both now and potentially in the future.

Many fans use Facebook, with varying levels of success or effort in keeping their “fannish lives” and identities separate from the “real lives”. All fans who use the service should now take the time to review their privacy settings there, and decide what they are and aren’t comfortable sharing with the world at large. Unfortunately, many users will no doubt not even realize these changes have happened and/or how to adjust their default settings. I won’t be surprised if there may be more incidents of outing seen in the future using information now public on Facebook that users may not have realized was out there for all to see, or how it could put themselves at risk.

For useful information on protecting your privacy on-line in fandom, see FanHistory’s Privacy help page.

Michael Jackson fanfiction: is it out there?

July 1st, 2009

I’ve noticed that since the shocking death of Michael Jackson last week, one of the top phrases showing up in our keywords for searches is Michael Jackson fanfiction. I admit I, too, was curious to find out if the Michael Jackson fan community had any kind of fan fiction activity to date, so I did a little searching around. The answer seems to be, not much–either that or it is well-hidden and only accessible to people deep within the fandom.

MJ Fanfiction is one site I found, but it only had 6 stories, mostly of the NC-17 variety with OFCs. MJJ Dream World is a bulletin board community which has a fan fiction section, which is locked to members of the board (and one must show posting activity on other areas of the site before gaining access). From looking at the feedback thread, which is open, it does seem as though this site has some considerable fan-fiction activity, again of mostly the OFC/potentially Mary Sue variety. MJSite.com has a “fan fiction” section which looked more promising volume-wise, but investigation reveals many of the postings there are not fanfic so much as personal stories and statements of support and love towards Michael. There are a few actual pieces of fiction in there, but one must go digging for them. One other forum, Make That Change, has a section for fan-fiction but the only activity seems to be on the poetry sub-forum.

What about Yahoogroups? Well, I found three groups that came up on a “Michael Jackson fan fiction” search, one of which only had 11 postings ever (all spam); one was a locked community for one author’s Michael Jackson/Prince story, Pale Perfection; the last, Novel Fever, showed some small amount of activity but was again locked to members-only.

LiveJournal? Plenty of MJ fan communities, but none that mentioned fanfic in the description.

That’s all I’ve been able to find so far. If there are other, better archives or sites for Michael Jackson fanfiction, I’d be curious to hear about them. And I also wonder if we’ll begin to see more of it now in the future, as his name is back in the spotlight, even if under such unfortunate circumstances. Will people feel freer to write fiction now, or more disturbed by the concept? I’m not sure. Real person/celebrity fiction is always an interesting thing to me to study, and this could be a particularly intriguing case depending on what the future of Michael’s legend holds in store for fandom.

Archive of Our Own vs. FanLib: Why they are not succeeding

June 29th, 2009

I love statistics.  I love analytics.  I love analyzing fandom based on those numbers.  The numbers can provide a framework for telling a story.  In the case of this set of numbers, a group was created back in May 2007 to try to bring greater fan control over certain parts of fandom in response to what they saw as the commercialism of fandom.  The specific commercialism of fandom in this case was FanLib.  There were people who hoped and believed that their new archive could end up being bigger than FanFiction.Net.   It hasn’t materialized and compared to what this group was fighting, they didn’t even measure up to FanLib in terms of the number of stories that FanLib had before it closed.  (Comparing their archive to FanLib seems apt.  Their supporters were comparing FanLib to FanFiction.Net.)    Let’s take a look at the numbers and how they stacked up…

Fandom   ? FanLib, # of stories   ? Date   ? Archive of Our Own, # of stories   ? Date   ?
15/Love 0 January 3, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
28 Days Later 1 January 29, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
4400 9 January 30, 2008 3 June 29, 2009
7th Heaven 3 February 2, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
8 Simple Rules 0 February 2, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Absolutely Fabulous 1 February 2, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alf 0 February 9, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alias 38 February 9, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alias Smith and Jones 2 February 9, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alien 3 January 29, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Angel 122 February 21, 2008 92 June 29, 2009
Battle of the Planets 25 December 13, 2007 3 June 29, 2009
Bleach 113 January 30, 2008 23 June 29, 2009
Brokeback Mountain 23 December 30, 2007 2 June 29, 2009
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer 234 January 2, 2008 244 June 29, 2009
Charmed 70 August 17, 2007 1 June 29, 2009
CSI 250 December 7, 2007 9 June 29, 2009
CSI: Miami 65 December 19, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
CSI: New York 38 December 19, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Disney’s Gargoyles 3 December 30, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Dragon Ball 4 January 7, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Dragon Ball Z 62 January 7, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
due South 0 June 29, 2007 265 June 29, 2009
Final Fantasy VII 17 December 30, 2007 3 June 29, 2009
Friends 71 August 17, 2007 1 June 29, 2009
Gilmore Girls 220 January 30, 2008 14 June 29, 2009
Grey’s Anatomy 27 December 18, 2007 36 June 29, 2009
Gunsmoke 0 August 17, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Harry Potter 1,740 May 3, 2008 236 June 29, 2009
House M.D. 72 January 30, 2008 203 June 29, 2009
Inuyasha 636 January 4, 2008 1 June 29, 2009
Kingdom Hearts 75 December 7, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Lois and Clark 32 December 28, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Lord of the Rings 130 December 8, 2007 55 June 29, 2009
Lost 49 August 17, 2007 52 June 29, 2009
My Chemical Romance 2 January 30, 2008 3 June 29, 2009
Naruto 1,843 December 18, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
NCIS 18 October 2, 2007 18 June 29, 2009
One Tree Hill 11 August 19, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Pirates of the Caribbean 231 January 2, 2008 27 June 29, 2009
Robin of Sherwood 0 January 7, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Sailor Moon 92 May 23, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Scarecrow and Mrs. King 0 January 27, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Smallville 84 January 11, 2008 107 June 29, 2009
Star Wars 330 December 8, 2007 20 June 29, 2009
Supernatural 220 December 13, 2007 241 June 29, 2009
Thunderbirds 240 July 24, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
X-Men 72 January 2, 2008 13 June 29, 2009
Zelda 11 December 15, 2007 0 June 29, 2009

Just how big is their lack of success? 1 Inuyasha story. 0 Naruto stories. 0 Sailor Moon stories.  0 CSI: Miami stories. 0 Thunderbirds stories.

Why didn’t they take off?  There are probably a lot of reasons.  The biggest is probably because the group that founded this archive were never FanFiction.Net type users to begin with.  (Thus, FanLib was never intended for them.)  Switching from blogging software to archiving software was probably a cultural struggle that they weren’t motivated to do because the new archive didn’t have readers and would have distanced them from existing power structures in fandom that they value.  (FanFiction.Net  certainly has a power structure, popular people, ways to propell your status on the site and in fandom.  It just is probably less obvious to outsiders.)  At the same time, the creators failed to market the site.  There was no massive outreach to FanFiction.Net users, to former FanLibbers, to Quizilla users, to LiveJournal users, to AdultFanFiction.Net users. (And when they do market it, it looks like they are trying to use wank to generate traffic.  Just look at their warnings we has! announcement on metafandom.)  As a result, their major pool of authors was severely limited.  The last reason why it looks like they fail to succeed as much as FanLib is they don’t appear to believe in their own product.  People aren’t doing fake LJ cuts to it.  They aren’t delicious bookmarking it on any scale.  They just don’t appear to want to make the time commitment to make it THE next FanFiction.Net.

Pictures from Chicago’s Pride Parade

June 29th, 2009

Disclaimer: This has very little to do with fandom or marketing issues that might be of interest to fans.

Yesterday, I attended Chicago’s Pride Parade with a friend.  He invited me to attend because Lisa Madigan had invited people to walk in the parade on her Fcebook fanpage.  The invite said bring a friend.  Lisa Madigan is one of my favorite politicians so it seemed like a really cool opportunity to meet her.  I’d also never been to an event like Pride and it felt about time in terms of my own coming out experience.

Lisa Madigan’s float was number 81.  The parade officially kicked off at noon.  We didn’t leave the holding pen until around 12:45.  We didn’t reach the end of the route until about 2:35 pm.  It was wild.  The whole thing was beyond cool.  I probably took 250 pictures.  The following are about 100 from that selection.

Click on the image for a larger view.  Images are stored on my LiveJournal scrapbook. These have not been cropped.

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All sorts of people attended with all levels of mobility.  There seemed to be a really good job done at making things handicapped accessible.

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The football like object is actually the ball from rugby.  I believe the float was for the professional rugby team in Chicago.
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Some of the volunteers from Lisa Madigan’s float.

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Illinois Lottery float.
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People waiting in the holding pen.
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I think that is Hamilton College.  Lots of hulu hooping took place during the waiting.
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The really white white white dude with curly hair reminds me of Alice’s main squeeze Jasper from Twilight.

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Lisa Madigan.
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That crowd stretched all the way back to the El station at least a block or two away.

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It doesn’t seem possible that you could get that many people packed in like that.  It was wow, awe inspiring.
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Notice the people sitting on the portable toilets.

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Equality Illinois.

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Young and old attended this.
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More people sitting on portable toilets.

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Salvation Army giving away free lemonade at their college. Their college was bordered on two sides by this parade. No place to escape from it.

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People sitting on tops of street markers. People were all over places that make you go “Huh. Is that safe? and how did you get there?”

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The halfway mark?

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The police.

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The Green Man.

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Hiding the protesters.

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The protesters.

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A political message.

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A peek through…

What’s hot on Fan History for June 14 to June 20, 2009

June 21st, 2009

More Fan History traffic information and looking at what is popular. This edition includes our most popular traffic sources outside search, our most popular articles and our most popular keyword based searches for the week of June 14 to June 20, 2009.

Most popular articles
11,909 pages were viewed a total of 43,428 times

  1. Draco/Hermione – 785 times
  2. Cassandra Claire – 359 times
  3. Race Fail 2009 – 338 times
  4. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive – 329 times
  5. Russet Noon – 233 times
  6. AdultFanFiction.Net – 228 times
  7. Naruto – 200 times
  8. FanFiction.Net – 195 times
  9. Hurt/Comfort – 194 times
  10. Digimon – 175 times
  11. Laura – 144 times

Our most popular pages mostly had fewer views this month. Some of this is probably because we had 600 fewer article views this past week.

Top non-search referrers
Referring sites sent 2,435 visits via 337 sources

  1. animenewsnetwork.com – 301 visits
  2. chickipedia.com – 233 visits
  3. community.livejournal.com – 147 visits
  4. journalfen.net – 126 visits
  5. fanfiction.net – 96 visits
  6. twitter.com – 84 visits
  7. partly-bouncy.livejournal.com – 80 visits
  8. fanpop.com – 78 visits
  9. tvtropes.org – 63 visits
  10. deviantart.com – 47 visits

200 fewer visits this past week from referrers. A lot of this can be attributed to getting less traffic related from fandom_wank. There were a few sources that moved up or down. There was only one site that dropped off and one new one appearing.

Search key phrases
Search sent 11,657 total visits via 8,264 keywords

  1. emo porn – 87 visits
  2. galbadia hotel – 66 visits
  3. naruto wiki – 59 visits
  4. restricted section – 47 visits
  5. adult fanfiction – 46 visits
  6. gosselins without pity – 46 visits
  7. adultfanfiction – 39 visits
  8. draco hermione – 38 visits
  9. sakura lemon – 36 visits
  10. fanhistory – 34 visits

Our search traffic was a bit down this past week. This was by about 400 visits and 300 key phrases. Some terms moved up and other terms moved down.

Oldie but still interesting… Supernatural: Does fandom activity correlate to the release of canon?

June 20th, 2009

I wrote this back in 2006.  If I was doing it again, I would change a great many things about the methodology involved.  Still, feels interesting so I’m reposting it on Fan History’s blog for the sake of posterity.


Begin original post

I had one of those la la la, I so smart and funny moments. I wanted to play with numbers again to avoid things which I should be doing. The hypothesis was that posting volume, community creation and other fannish activity correlated with the release of canon.

Story totals were added by hand based on date PUBLISHED, not last updated. The little table at the bottom is how the totals correlate with total new episodes per month in the USA + DVD releases. (I wish I had Australian, British and Canadian totals. I could not find that info.) No strong correlations there.

I divided the mailing list by 1000 just so it make the visual easier in chart format.

Conclusion: I so wrong. Whoops. No strong correlations anywhere. Not what I thought. It was what the people I other wise bugged and annoyed on AIM thought. It does help to explain the idea though possibly why fandoms continue long after the show goes off the air… because no correlation between airing of stuff and fan activity.

Or simpler: Fandom = Random.

And while at it, Fan History article on Supernatural. Please feel free to edit, add information about the fandom. Charts are cross posted there too.

yourwiki.net

June 16th, 2009

I love irc.  I love irc.freenode.net.  There are a number of wiki related chat rooms on there and a month or so ago, an acquaintence introduced me to yourwiki.net.  It is a wiki hosting company that is run by a couple of friends.  At the moment, they are pretty small and they aren’t focused on making money.  Rather, they are focused on offering great support that being a small wiki host allows them.

yourwiki.net is a traditional wiki farm of sorts in that there is a shared user base across multiple wikis.   This is similar to how PBWiki and Wikia work.  This can be great for community building on your wiki because there is a larger pool of contributors from which you can edit.

They currently make some money with google ads.  None of them are in the content area.  In the near future, they will be launching premium accounts so you can have an ad free wiki.

If you’re looking for a first wiki and don’t want to pay for hosting, this is an option you might want to consider.  The directs below are from their About page and tell you how to get a new wiki:

First, you’ll need to Login or Create an Account so we can keep track of who owns the wiki. After you have done that, you may request a wiki on Meta Wiki, our collaboration site about YourWiki. If you cannot create an account for whatever reason, just send us an e-mail and we’ll work with you; Just send us a preferred username.

If a big wiki is impractical for a small subject you want to write on, then you can create a Mini Wiki. Mini Wikis can be created by anyone. Although they aren’t full wikis, they’re still perfect to use for small public projects.

If anyone else knows wiki projects like yourwiki.net worth supporting, drop me an e-mail and I can happily plug.

Fan History referrer patterns revisited

June 12th, 2009

I was looking through old blog entries and saw Fan History referrer patterns with data from 2008. Since then, we’ve done some work to increase our traffic. We’ve succeeded in increasing the number of visitors to the wiki. We’ve got some new referrers. So time for a compare and contrast. Where have we improved from September 2008 to May 2009? These numbers are based on daily average visits from that referrer.

Sep-08    May-09    Increase
Google                   852          1,427.6    575.6
Yahoo                     144          187.7        43.7
LiveJournal             54            42.8        -11.2
NarutoFic.Org        16            0.0          -16.0
Wikipedia               14           9.2           -4.8
Ask                         11            5.2          -5.8
AnimeNewsNetwork    8        33.0         25.0
Wikia                       8              6.3         -1.7
AOL                          7            13.6          6.6
FanFiction.Net 6             9.1          3.1
MSN                       4               10.8        6.8
FanPop                   3              5.7           2.7
DeviantArt              3             0.6          -2.4
TVTropes                2             6.1            4.1
EncyclopediaDramatica    2    0.7          -1.3
Altavista                   2             1.5        -0.5
FaceBook                  1            2.4         1.4
hogwartsnet.ru    1               2.0            1.0
Total Daily               1,138    1,764.3    626.3

We’ve really increased our Google traffic. This was done by increasing our overall link diversity.  It is why we can take a hit with LiveJournal traffic, EncyclopediaDramatica traffic, DeviantART traffic and Wikipedia traffic and see an increase in our overall traffic.  What you aren’t seeing is our increase in traffic from places like Chickipedia, Twitter, answers.yahoo.com, wiki.fandomwank.com, ident.ca and jumptags.

Same advice as I had in October:If you’re running your own fansite or you have no money to promote your site, our suggestion is to spread yourself out some and focus on all aspects: Link building, quality content creation, quantity content creation, back end SEO optimization.

First there was Torchsong Chicago. Now there is TwiCon…

June 11th, 2009

What is it with conventions and problems with their guests of honor lately?  Guests haven’t not been able to attend.  Expectations for attendance by the masses regarding the guests of honor have been off the mark.  High prices for tickets lead to expectations that concoms don’t seem to be able to meet or convey effectively to avoid disappointment.

Two conventions have dealt with this recently.  First there was Torchsong Chicago. Then there was TwiCon. Below are extracts from both articles on Fan History to convey the problems both conventions are suffering:

Torchsong Chicago:

There was also mixed reaction from the risque antics which John Barrowman apparently got up to during his satellite-link appearances in both the Q&A session and the Cabaret.[21],[22],[23] There were later requests from John not to post/share some of the more raunchy aspects of what went down publicly, for fear of negative backlash from the British press, and again, some fans reacted negatively, feeling they were being manipulated.[24],[25] It was also pointed out that the video feed was copyrighted and the con management did not want photos of the feed posted due to copyright concerns.[26] Accusations of jealousy were made over some of these issues of requested silence and non-posting of photos.[27]

TwiCon:

In 2009, the cost of membership was listed as $255/person.[1] On June 9, 2009, it was announced that only one “free” autograph would be included with the membership, and attendees had to reserve their free autograph of choice in advance (beginning June 19). There would be a limit of 2 autographs and one photo-op per attendee, and each guest would only do 65 photo-ops. Many fans were upset by this announcement, feeling they had been mislead on how the autographs and photos would be handled and given the cost of membership to the convention.[2]

What is going on with conventions these days?  Have people become used to the idea of megaconventions like DragonCon and ComiCon in San Diego?  Do high costs of running these events drive up the expectations to the point where they are not managable?  Did the connectivity of the Internet just make the drama involving conventions easier to access?

Whatever the reasons, this sort of convention drama is not going to go away any time soon.  If you’re attending a convention, look at issues that attendees at other conventions have dealt with.  Be prepared and have some sort of plan in case of a worst case scenario.   Know your rights and understand refund policies before you purchase a ticket so that you don’t get any surprises like the people attended Torchsong Chicago and those who will attend TwiCon.

J&N: A Love Story by Rachel Plotkin

June 9th, 2009

J&N: A Love Story by Rachel Plotkin is a Twilight story that the author self published and listed on Amazon.com. This would be notable in and of itself but this is the second time in less than two month that the Twilight fandom has wanked this issue hard. Unlike the situation with Russet Noon, this one looks like it will end a lot faster. Less than 24 hours after the story made fandom wank (and was removed when f_w learned a minor was involved), the story was gone from Amazon.com.

Why is this happening again and again? Technology has made publishing material like this so much easier. There are fewer barriers to entry. Fandom has fewer gatekeepers and mentors that can help socialize and help new fen learn social norms. We’re going to see a lot more of this in the coming years because of those issues.

Sports fan fiction fandom

June 9th, 2009

I found this on my hard drive. It dates back to June 2006. In all the time I’ve been doing Fan History, I don’t know if I have expanded my knowledge of sportfic fandom beyond this much.


SportsFic history is something difficult to construct. If you’re in main stream fan fiction culture, you may never stumble upon it. If you’re in BandFic, ActorFic or PoliSlash communities, you are still probably unlikely to stumble upon it. It is and it isn’t. SportsFic is one of the smaller, less visible fannish communities.

Some fan fiction community dates are relatively easy to pin down. The Star Trek fan fiction community was started in 1967 with the publication of Spockanalia. The BandFic community date is harder to pin down but the zines were definitely present by the 1983 when Comet Bus was published. The Harry Potter fan fiction community was started by 1999 on FanFiction.Net. SportsFic lacks even this much clarity.

Sports was clearly defined as a fandom as early as 1908. [1] What this meant at that time in the context of sports is not the same as most modern fen would use the word. The technology to facilitate community was just not there. The tradition of writing fictional stories about real people in a sporting context was not there. [2] The community demographics of modern fandom that go to support fan fiction were not present. The culture that allowed writing of stories that featured sexually explicit stories was not there. It did not resemble fandom as most fen define it.

In the period between 1908 and 1950, histories of sports fan behavior and sports fandom do not describe anything that look like fan fiction. The first inkling of sports fandom involving fan fiction first emerged in the 1950s, in the post World War II era. This is the period when wrestling fiction began. [3] The wrestling community that created this material tended to be female, with some sixty percent of the audience to live events being composed of women and ninety percent of the television audience being female. This group of fen started creating their own fannish materials, including fanzines and the writing of fictional stories about real wrestling stars. They would continue on with this activity well into the 1960s. After that, the history of the community is some what neglected, with out much research done on the community.

Following wrestling fiction, there is a void of knowledge. [4] Was there sports fic going on? It seems highly probable given that bandfic was similar and had a tradition of putting fictional stories about band members into fanzines. And sports fandom had fanzines. There are tons of them to be found. In the period between 1960 and 1995, these included but are not limited to the following fanzines: Leyton Orientear, Scottish Athletic Journal, Foul!, Sick as a Parrot, Combat Sports, Fan-Club Bulletin, Paper Tiger and The Northern Light.

The internet proved to be a bit of a boon to SportsFic. For the first time, the material was more easily findable, more easily publishable and it was easier to people to find like minded fen. It also helped bring sportsfic communities into contact with other communities. There is important because unlike ActorFic and BandFic, there is no indication that SportsFic had contact with traditional media fan fiction communities prior to this and even for a number of years after the material was first put on-line. Sadly, like BandFic, it appears that the early other community contact that SportsFic had was with the erotica community. This community was found on Nifty in 1993.

From that early home, SportsFic appeared to go to Usenet. By 1997, figure skating, baseball, football began to discuss issues that laid a framework for story writing including speculation on athlete orientation, eating disorders and more. These discussions would result in such archives as SkateFic. The presence of the speculation lead to the creation of mailing lists and fan fiction archives located off Usenet. The SportsFic community was helped in 1998 with the creation of FanFiction.Net. While the archive did not set out to create a community where SportsFic could be posted, it hosted a number of SportsFic stories in the original and other categories. The ability to create free mailing lists also helped the nascent community. RS-X and FFN-Slashers-Unite were just two of the mailing lists that helped to expand the community. They also offered platforms to promote more specific communities. These mailing lists in turn begat a number of small, author centered fan fiction archives. Archives were considered large if they had twenty stories on them.

SportsFic became some what more tolerable in parts of the traditional media fan fiction community because of the ambiguity of some of the fandoms. Fan fiction based on professional wrestling was not quite real person fic like actorfic because the wrestlers were putting on a show for the fans, partially based on themselves but heavily scripted towards making it fiction. This ambiguity allowed SportsFic fen to put their material

When, in 2002, FanFiction.Net banned all real person fic, some parts of the SportsFic community reeled. The biggest communities that were affected were the baseball, wrestling and racing communities. What would rescue them would be the ease of creating mailing lists, new automated fan fiction archive scripts, low cost for web hosting and LiveJournal. LiveJournal’s role can not be understated. It created a number of communities that might otherwise not have existed or would have remained very small. These communities included horse racing, swimming, baseball, football, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, Nascar and Formula One, skiing, gymnastics, skeleton and curling. It was helped along in other areas by the creation of such archives as FanDomination.Net and FanWorks.Org.

All these different avenues of story sharing did not narrow down. Members of the SportsFic continued to post to LiveJournal, to mailing lists, to automated archives, and to personal fan fiction archives. This expanding of the horizons is probably the reason that, by 2003, SportsFic began to come to the attention of the athletes themselves and that legal issues. In March of 2003, FanDomination.Net would get a cease and desist letter from the representative of Andy Petitte. In 2005, an Ohio State University Buckeye women’s basketball saffic writer would receive a similar letter and be kicked out of the Buckeye booster club.

Even with all these things happening in the SportsFic community, the crossover with traditional media fan fiction communities did not happen. Most members of traditional media fan fiction communities seem blissfully unaware of SportsFic. SportsFic community members give the appearance of being aware of possible reactions to the material and not forcing it on unsuspecting people. Terms have migrated to SportsFic from traditional media fan fiction community including fan fiction, real person fic, Mary Sue and slash. Given the long period of isolation, it seems unlikely that sportsfic will ever fully integrate into the traditional media fan fiction community.

[1] Chicago Daily Tribune used the word fandom several times in the context of baseball fans.
[2] Roman-a-clef, what could be seen as a precursor for some real person fic, was being written but it tended to focus on literary figures.
[3] See: Fiske, John. Researching Historical Broadcast Audiences: Female Fandom of Professional Wrestling, 1945-1960. Diss. Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison, 1997. 5 Apr. 2006.
[4] For more information on the problem with fanzine histories, see: Hall, H. & Smith, N. (1997). You’ll wish it was all over: the bibliographic control of grey literature with reference to print football fanzines. Serials, 10(2), 189-194.

Top referrers for the first week of June: Fan History Wiki

June 8th, 2009

It’s been a while since we looked at our referrers so here is a list of our top referrers for the period between June 1, 2009 and June 6, 2009. There are a few more referrers not on this list that provided less traffic. These are just our major ones.

Referrer Visits
livejournal.com

302

animenewsnetwork.com

213

chickipedia.com

211

bing

125

journalfen

121

twitter

73

fanfiction.net

67

tvtropes.org

54

deviantart

51

wikipedia

45

fanpop

38

wikia

30

inuyasha-fanfiction.com

28

jumptags.com

25

answers.yahoo.com

18

boards.endoftheinter.net

16

hogwartsnet.ru

15

imdb.com

11

therethere.net

10

wiki.fandomwank.com

10

dearauthor.com

9

savekp.proboards.com

9

cassandraclaire.com

8

encyclopediadramatica.com

8

i-newswire.com

8

identi.ca

8

russet-noon.com

7

wishluv.blogspot.com

7

insanejournal

2

answers.com

1

cwanswers.com

1

There are sites that don’t appear there where we’ve done a fair amount of link building including Mahalo. If you’re looking at them for link building and getting referrers? It probably isn’t worth the time. orkut, bebo, Quizilla, MySpace, Facebook aren’t on there.  We haven’t really done any link building on those sites.  We do have a fair amount of links on FriendFeed but as we are not actively engaged on there, we just don’t get traffic as a result.  Our Yahoo!Answers traffic are from past questions we’ve answered: We’re still getting traffic from them months later.  DeviantART links are all organic and weren’t us engaged in link building activities.

Popular fandoms?

June 2nd, 2009

We had a couple of searches to our blog asking about popular fandoms.  That’s kind of subjective and hard to measure but I’ll try to list them again. :)

Year to date, the most popular fandoms on Fan History based on how many times the article about them have been accessed are:

  1. Digimon
  2. Nartuo
  3. Twilight
  4. Gundam Wing
  5. Harry Potter
  6. Supernatural
  7. The Fast and the Furious
  8. Dragon Ball Z
  9. Prince of Tennis
  10. Sailor Moon

That list doesn’t necessarily seem accurate.  It probably reflects where Fan History’s articles are better.

A second way that you could measure the most popular fandoms is based on the total of new stories posted to FanFiction.Net.  For yesterday?  The following list was generated:

1 Twilight 204 1
2 Naruto 164 3
3 Harry Potter 158 2
4 Bleach 39 10
5 Supernatural 38 6
6 D.Gray-Man 32 34
7 Yu-Gi-Oh 20 243
8 Maximum Ride 20 43
9 Death Note 19 7
10 Pokemon 18 11

That seems a bit more accurate for popular fandoms and wow! Yay!   It seems to agree some with the most popular list of fandoms on Fan History.  Of course, the list of fandoms that appear there have not been updated since September 2008. :/

Then there is another way to guess at most popular fandoms.  That’s based on activity levels on LiveJournal.  This list isn’t all comprehensive and because of bot problems?  The list hasn’t been updated since March 31, 2009… but here it is!

Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
1 Twilight 14372 1
2 Meta 7649 2
3 America’s Next Top Model 2672 6
4 Pokemon 2470 5
5 House M.D. 2114 4
6 Gossip Girls 1628 12
7 Doctor Who 1624 10
8 WWE 1581 9
9 Merlin 1496 14
10 Lost 1405 19
11 Harry Potter 1346 8
12 Bones 1328 7
13 High School Musical 1220 3
14 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 1038 13
15 iCarly 1033 16
16 Bleach 1020 11
17 Sailor Moon 995 15
18 Jonas Brothers 966 25
19 Naruto 944 18
20 NCIS 716 23
21 As the World Turns 709 64
22 the GazettE 685 20
23 Gackt 662 17
24 Ben 10 645 97
25 Mystery Science Theater 3000 607 29
26 Slayers 568 21
27 An Cafe 554 45
28 Life on Mars 548 32
29 The Office (US) 528 35
30 Transformers 519 22
31 Sports fan fiction 518 40
32 Soccer fan fiction 515 41
33 D.Gray-Man 508 52
34 30 Rock 480 42
35 Heroes 392 37
36 How I Met Your Mother 387 46
37 My Chemical Romance 386 131
38 David Tennant 382 30
39 Batman 378 128
40 Torchwood 353 28
41 Batman Beyond 352 159
42 One Piece 342 60
43 Man from U.N.C.L.E. 339 85
44 One Tree Hill 336 34
45 Fullmetal Alchemist 322 47
46 Ewan McGregor 320 36
47 Star Trek 319 51
48 Meta community 317 24
49 Lord of the Rings 306 49
50 Dancing with the Stars 306 48
51 Yu-Gi-Oh 301 31
52 Stargate SG-1 296 54
53 30 Seconds to Mars 296 50
54 Brand New 291 80
55 Saiyuki 268 43
56 U2 266 63
57 Princess Tutu 260 61
58 American Girls 259 78
59 Dollhouse 255 39
60 X-Files 254 160
61 Top Gear 252 87
62 Geoffrey Rush 233 103
63 The Mentalist 230 57
64 American Idol 217 73
65 Pushing Daises 215 79
66 Queer as Folk 211 74
67 Death Note 203 120
68 Britney Spears 197 72
69 Supernatural 189 55
70 Criminal Minds 185 62
71 Ugly Betty 182 65
72 Laurell K. Hamilton 175 171
73 Law and Order: SVU 172 69
74 Anita Blake 172 192
75 The Late Late Show 168 58
76 Craig Ferguson 168 59
77 L Word 164 75
78 The Sentinel 161 68
79 General Hospital 155 70
80 Manic 151 201
81 D’espairs Ray 150 44
82 CSI: Miami 147 94
83 Discworld 145 95
84 Prince of Tennis 143 1020
85 Neil Patrick Harris 138 108
86 Christina Aguilera 131 426
87 Serenity 122 82
88 Manchester United 122 38
89 Law and Order 121 119
90 Blake’s 7 121 166
91 The Young and the Restless 120 141
92 Ace Attorney 120 173
93 Vancouver Islanders 119 105
94 Shugo Chara! 119 89
95 Beatles 117 127
96 Zelda 115 111
97 Firefly 115 83
98 Bullet for my Valentine 115 149
99 Hanson 113 67
100 Days of Our Lives 113 96

Maybe you want that information based on another language?   How about Russian?  Then these fandoms are some of the most popular (at least in March 2009):

Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
1 Harry Potter 795 3
2 Watchmen 417 1
3 Radiohead 140 2
4 House M.D. 112 6
5 Firefly 75 14
6 South Park 71 4
7 Buffy: The Vampire Slayer 57 89
8 Hugh Laurie 56 26
9 Star Trek 43 38
10 Babylon 5 42 13
11 Simpsons 38 11
12 Battlestar Galactica 37 36
13 Futurama 34 9
14 Star Wars 27 5
15 Supernatural 20 21
16 PFC CSKA Moscow 20 8
17 Metallica 17 12
18 Blur 17 42
19 Terry Pratchett 13 10
20 The Cure 12 53

There are probably other ways to measure other popular fandoms but those are the ones that we have to measure popularity.

Top articles on Fan History for May 2009

June 1st, 2009

Another month ends and it is time for another list of some of the most popular, most viewed articles for May 2009. There have been some notable shifts in what is on here from last month.

Articles

  1. Draco/Hermione
  2. Russet Noon
  3. Race Fail 2009
  4. Cassandra Claire
  5. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction_Archive
  6. Twilight
  7. AdultFanFiction.Net
  8. Digimon
  9. FanFiction.Net
  10. Naruto

Fandoms

  1. Cassandra Claire
  2. Twilight
  3. Digimon
  4. Naruto
  5. Supernatural
  6. Star Trek
  7. Jon and Kate Plus 8
  8. Gundam Wing
  9. Harry Potter
  10. Sailor Moon

Ships

  1. Draco/Hermione
  2. Sesshoumaru/Kagome
  3. Snape/Hermione
  4. Kirk/Spock
  5. Michael/Maria
  6. Harry/Draco
  7. Harry/Hermione
  8. Max/Liz
  9. Takari
  10. Draco/Ginny

Kerfluffles

  1. Russet Noon
  2. Race Fail 2009
  3. Cassandra Claire
  4. Dreamwidth Studios
  5. Race wank
  6. LiveJournal
  7. GreatestJournal
  8. Cassandra Claire’s Plagiarism
  9. Fandom Wank

Fans

  1. Cassandra Claire
  2. LadySybilla
  3. Maya
  4. Caito
  5. Msscribe
  6. Bhaalspawn
  7. Heidi8
  8. Ithilien22
  9. Dot-chan
  10. Minisinoo

Fan Fiction Archives and Blogging Services

  1. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction_Archive
  2. AdultFanFiction.Net
  3. FanFiction.Net
  4. Dreamwidth Studios
  5. LiveJournal
  6. GreatestJournal
  7. FanWorks.Org
  8. RestrictedSection
  9. FanLib
  10. FanDomination.Net

Jon and Kate Plus 8 fan fiction…

May 29th, 2009

I was a bit curious if there was any Jon and Kate Plus 8 fan fiction as we’d received a couple of visits from people looking for this material. In the past, I’ve checked the major fan fiction archives, the automated ones that tend to be Real Person Fic friendly Quizilla, LiveJournal and its clones. I’ve also poked around the major blogs and wikis that cover Jon and Kate Plus 8. None of these sources have fan fiction based on the show. If it exists (and it undoubtedly does. Isn’t there a Snacky’s law about this?), then the material is pretty much underground. Which is understandable as this fan community seems to largely be composed of two camps: Show defenders, Show critics. The defender camp does not seem like it would be in the position of tolerating that material. The critics camp seems much more entrenched in the “Get the show canceled. Save the family.” mod. That doesn’t leave much room for fan fiction people to come in and openly play.

Race!Fail/Mammoth!Fail activity: Peak yet? Peaking again?

May 25th, 2009

Post WisCon and continuing to watch the big list of Race!Fail/Mammoth!Fail links grow, I was curious when the conversation peaked and if there were any signals if this particular iteration of a discussion about race in fandom had reached its peak. So I looked at this version of the list and counted up the number of posts. From what I’ve gathered looking around, it is one of the best lists of its kind and is helpfully broken down by date. It doesn’t include everything but I’m assuming that the links are representative enough across that posting totals give an overall accurate picture. Doing that, we get the following chart:

Explanations:
It looks like it took about a week for people to really start responding to the Elizabeth Bear precipitating event. That discussion lasted from about January 12 to January 28th before it dropped off.

Things got kick started again big time when there was the Will Shetterly, John Scalzi, trying to get published authors to renounce racism events. This started in early March and ended by around March 22.

Things were relatively quiet and stayed quiet until May 8th or so when Mammoth!Fail happened.

This situation looks like it will continue. How it will continue looks largely based on how those responding to anti-racist react and if the anti-racists find new books that they deem racists and how the alleged racist material is responded to by the author or their friends. Those two things seem to be defining catalysts. Each event seems to take two to three weeks to work through.

Why Wikia gaming?

May 21st, 2009

There is something that Wikia does pretty damned well and that’s Gaming wikis. If you were creating a wiki dedicated to gaming, they would be one of the hosts I would recommend. Why? Because Wikia has awesome connections in the Gaming community. They’ve developed relationships with game developers and other companies. This has a positive effect on those wikis in terms of helping generate content, getting contributors, etc. They get the companies and people involved with them to help out on some of their wikis. How cool is that?

A really good example of this? Jesse Heinig, one of the developers for Fallout has made a few edits on the Fallout wiki. And he’s chatting with contributors on #wikia-fallout on freenode on IRC. How damned cool is that?

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