Archive for the ‘fandom news’ category

This day in fandom history: November 7

November 7th, 2009

The following is a selection of some events that took place on fandom on this day:

How to be a good fandom report (on Fan History)

November 7th, 2009

This is a crosspost from Fan History Wiki. We are crossposting it to our blog as we’d like to expose it to a wider audience because we think the information contained in it might be useful for other wiki projects and for people to better understand how to do a good job at telling the history of fandom events that are happening in the moment..  Please feel free to comment here, or on the talk page for this article to help improve it.  Please also feel free to edit the on wiki version to make those improvements. 

Introduction

Help Fan History improve, be more comprehensive and cover breaking fandom news. Covering major fandom news in the moment, as they happen, is important because articles can be used as quick reference guides for people who are curious as to what exactly happened and this information can be difficult to follow without a good, overall guide. It also helps with the preservation of material that may later disappear (via deletions or expiration of links) and allows for current events to be put into a historical context.

We need your help to cover breaking fandom news. In covering breaking news, there are three things you should keep in mind:

  1. Strive for being unbiased. Where bias is hard to avoid, present multiple perspectives. Ask for help from other editors to review and remove what might be biased language.
  2. Strive to tell a cohesive narrative. In quickly evolving events, it is crucial to understand how and when things evolved.
  3. Be organized. Compiling a link list is often the best way to begin.


News sources

Sometimes you can stumble upon fandom news on your own. You may run across an event that needs covering on your Twitter feed, on your LiveJournal (or its clones) friends list, reading your favorite blogs or as a blow up happens on your favorite mailing list, message board, fansite or archive. If news is not obvious or you don’t know where to go to get, there are several places you can to find news to cover. Sites that are favorites of Fan History’s admins to check for news include:

This list currently over represents with LiveJournal media fandom because admins are a bit biased in that direction and this type of news is the kind that we get the most incoming visitors from. You can find other sources for fandom news. Please check Help:Be a Fan History Reporter/News sources by fandom for links to those sources. When documenting the history of an event, you don’t need to focus on fandoms and communities that fall under the purview of the communities covered just by those links.


Naming the situation

In many cases, small kerfluffles can be worked into an existing article. If the news is about a convention, the reporting can go on the page about that convention. This is how the situation was handled for TwiCon. Sometimes though, fandom news needs to go on its own article. The general rule of thumb is that if the link list in reporting a situation is more than ten links AND/OR the kerfluffle section would be longer than a third of the length of the article AND/OR the kerfluffle involves a large audience beyond the original intended one, a new article about the situation should be created.

Once you’ve determined that a new article is needed, how do you create a name for it? First, read a bit about the situation. In many cases, participants will have already coined a phrase to describe a situation. This was the case for SurveyFail and Race Fail 2009. If no one has coined a name for the situation you are reporting on, then you are free to name it yourself. The name should reflect what is going on. If there is a particularly influential post with a title that gives an idea of what is going on, you can borrow that. Otherwise if the situation is a fail one, it should include Fail in the title. If the situation is a kerfluffle/kerfuffle, it should include that in the title. If it is a wank, Wank should appear in the title. If it is none of those, chose some other short phrase to describe the situation. This was done for a situation involving Eli Roth that was named Eli Roth saga of doom. After you have chosen the descriptor, couple that before or after the main focus of the topic you are reporting on. Examples of names of topics cover that you can model naming after:

When thinking of a name, do not worry too much about it. It is easy to move an article or use redirects to point to that article if other names for a situation develop. It is a wiki and the article name being less than ideal is not going to matter. If you later have regrets about what you named an article, just comment on a talk page to ask for people’s opinions on what to rename it.


Links list

The heart of most of Fan History’s fandom news related articles is the link lists. These are easy to build and do not require extensive knowledge of a situation. Often, they are one of the first things that reporters write and they are a good place to start. If you do not have a good grasp of a situation, or the situation is developing quickly, we recommend that you start your reporting by compiling a link list. In some cases, this is all

Examples of articles with link lists that you can model your own article after include:

Link lists should be organized by date and author. The purpose of providing two versions of one list of urls is to make it easier for people to find content, and to prevent bias in how links are organized. Sorting by date also helps construct the narrative of the events for readers of the article and for other reporters trying to document the event. Sorting by author helps to identify key participants in events and makes it easy integrate those links in articles about members of fandom.

Links on the list you create should be formatted like this:

* [http://link Link title or blog post title)]: author[?] on Month day[?], year[?]

This provides consisting formatting across other news stories and makes it easy to include parts of the list on other page while providing additional context.


Documenting an event

When documenting a situation, there are three goals: accurately portray what happened in a neutral fashion, provide a cohesive narrative and preserving the history of an event.

There are several tricks to writing in a neutral fashion. One way is to try to provide relevant quotes from all sides; do not just quote one side. Second, try to seek out links that represent multiple points of view. For example, in a situation like FanLib, you would want to provide quotes from FanLib, FanLib supporters and FanLib detractors. You would want to link to all of those with out placing a value judgement on the links.

Sometimes, it appears like people are overwhelmingly supporting one side and it makes it impossible to provide a neutral perspective. In these cases, the best way to handle things neutrally is to identify quotes from the minority that the majority has identified as the most problematic. Use these quotes so that people can see them in their original with out the commentary. Provide links back to that material. Include links to commentary about those quotes in the link section. Handling things in this fashion helps to accurately represent the minority view and highlights complaints of the majority.

One of the ways to provide a cohesive narrative is to create a timeline of events. When you are first starting to write the article, you may want to use a standard Fan History style timeline with bullets stating that an event occurred on this site on this date with relevant citations. As you improve the timeline, take each of those bulleted points and expand on it by providing relevant quotes and screencaps. Provide additional context to those events, like what something happened in response to or why this event is worth including in the report. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, comment on the talk page to ask for assistance.

Preserving history is important as some links disappear, people will make posts private or delete comments. When you suspect that content may disappear, screencap the conversation and upload the screencap to Fan History. Put the image in the relevant category or create a new one for this event if there are multiple images. If you are unsure how to do this, leave a comment on the talk page for the image and ask an administrator for help in figuring this out.

In some cases, it is important that the text be more easily searchable. If that is case, you can create a page with the name of the post, put {{preserving history}} at the top and ask an administrator to lock this article as a historical document. This type of history preservation is useful for documents like Terms of Services when people may want to compare different versions.

One of the things that we ask at Fan History is that if you are reporting on a story that you do not drop in and comment to people that you linked to in order to inform them that you linked to them. In some cases, such as situations like Race Fail 2009, this could lead to derailing of important conversations. Some of the topics that you may cover are important and derailing would be unfortunate. You are free to post links elsewhere, pointing people to the article as a resource but we ask that reporters for a topic do not drop links. This is similar to the policy at fandom wank of asking users not to “troll” the wank.

Another thing that we ask is that as you report on event, remember to follow Fan History’s rules. Some important rules to remember:

  • Do not reveal private information in an article. If during the course of reporting an event, some one does this and you think it is important to cover, explain what happened with out providing the private information. Link to the source that provides that information you are providing.
  • Do not use profanity unless you’re quoting some one else and only then, if the profanity helps with documenting the evtn.
  • Do cite sources as often as possible and assume good faith on the part of other reporters.
  • Do not write in the first person. If you are involved in an event, you can get around this by labeling a section {{MPOV}} and giving your account of the events.

This day in fandom history: November 6

November 6th, 2009

The following is a selection of some events that took place on fandom on this day:

re Slayer episode Once More, With Feeling premiered on television in the United States. [263]

This day in fandom history: November 5

November 5th, 2009

The following is a selection of some events that took place on fandom on this day:

Yuletide news: Archive hosting change

November 4th, 2009

This is an extract from our Yuletide article that includes a bit of fandom news for those participating…

  • On November 4, 2009, sign-ups for the 2009 exchange went live.[6] In an announcement earlier in the day, it was finally revealed, as had been hinted at previously, that Yuletide would be integrating into Archive of Our Own for the posting and revealing of stories this year. It was also suggested by this announcement that the old Yuletide archive would be merged into AO3.[7] When questioned on how the Yuletide admins would handle deletion requests from previous authors who did not wish their work to be hosted on AO3, the response given was:
….participation in Yuletide comes with an agreement that authors will leave their stories in the Yuletide archive. If we’d had to move to a new ISP, I’d have assumed that this agreement held good.
This is essentially what is happening with the shift to AO3, a move that is necessary for Yuletide to continue at all, and definitely the best option for the mods and the ongoing existence of the Yuletide archive. The Challenge will still be maintained and run by astolat and myself; how distinct the Yuletide archive will be in appearance and search options is not yet completely defined.
With the shift, and going by overall AO3 policy, people will be able to delete their own stories, but we will ask that instead they “orphan” them, which will be an easy option. If they instead choose to delete the stories, they will no longer be welcome to sign up for Yuletide, since they will be removing what was essentially someone else’s gift, as you say.[8]

If anyone needs context for this particular event, the two are run by the same people.  One argument that is running in defense of this that this is no different than importing LiveJournal comments to Dreamwidth Studios.

Copyright Issues In the Air For Halloween?

October 29th, 2009

Through the years, many individuals and companies have been come face to face with cease and desist orders over copyright infringement. Zazzle, a type of CafePress website for users to be able to create their own designs and sell them on various bobbles and clothing was sued by Summit Entertainment for selling Twilight swag.

Courthouse news mentions it in their article Moviemakers Sue Site Over ‘Twilight’ Swag

Though the main event this Halloween season seems to be Ms Marmite Lover.

Then Warner Bros sent their own ceast and desist letter to a blogger by the name of Ms Marmite Lover who wanted to have a Harry Potty Dinner in her home for the cost of recooping the fees of the meal. She has placed the ordeal on her site and changed the name of her party, but still drew up drama to try to get support for her idea. Her blog entry, Generic Wizard night illustrates the issue, but also boiled over to Guardian.co.uk in her article – Harry Potter and the chamber of lawyers. It was even mentioned in the BritishBlogs.co.uk site in the article Muggle lawyers ban Harry Potter feast

Some of the commenters tried to tell her through her site and the Gaurdian site that if her feast had been not for profit, it would have been no problem and there was no reason to pitch a fit to the public if she changed the name already. Yes, even if it might sound ridiculous, it is unfortunate that society has come to horde anything in the name of money.

Some reactions to Ms Marmite Lover and the Case of Copyright Infringement:

‘Screw You, Mrs Marmite Lover’
Warner Bros. to fan: No Harry Potter dinners for you!
Harry Potter themed dinner banned for ‘infringing copyright’
Harry Potter dinner disappears

You might have to wonder if Halloween just might end up ruined with all the greed amok…

written by Nile Flores (@blondishnet on Twitter)

Michael Jackson fandom on Geocities

October 29th, 2009

We’ve received several visits to Fan History from people looking for information about Michael Jackson content that was archived on Geocities. We have a fair bit. It can be found in the following locations:

If you know of any Michael Jackson specific efforts to save info on Geocities, let us know!

Geocities closing and data saving

October 25th, 2009

Like most people, we’ve been pretty busy doing things in life that need to get done.  We worked really hard to get some Geocities preservation work done.  The site closes down tomorrow.  We’re not happy with what we got preserved, even as we are.  Doubled edged sword that.

We did a manual look through and found information on about 5,000 stories archived on Geocities.  We screencapped and created articles about over 500 sites.  We added definitions from around 50 pages on Geocities.  In the final days, we created an extension so that people could look at the page and fill out the form, updating wiki articles about the site.

And in the past five days, we really kicked it into over drive.  We extracted information about 9,000 fansites mentioned on DMOZ.  We screencapped about 5,000 of those pages which contain related meta data.  We screencapped another 500 or so pages based on Google search results.  We downloaded about 1,000 text files related to fandom.  We saved about 10,000 search results from Google that mentioned fandom related terms on pages hosted on Geocities.  Some of this information is just garbage.  Early SEO efforts used random keyword seeding on the bottom of pages and that still pulls up on search, especially 500 deep.  Some of the screencaps are undoubtedly 505 errors.  Others, especially ones based on Google searches, are probably not fandom related.  Lots and lots of potential garbage sorted in with potentially useful information.

The problem now is: What do we do with this data?  The screencaps, the google search results, the DMOZ information?  How do we sort through it, cull through it, put it on the wiki?  Do we just mass upload everything and sort the potential garbage out later?  Do we just slowly try to work out things now?

We’re looking for ideas on how to handle that.  We’re also looking for assistance in implementing any ideas.  Any help you can provide us with post Geocities closing is most welcome.

Geocities preservation project: Screencapping Geocities

October 22nd, 2009

I love the people who help make Fan History awesome with their work. Some of our back end work is done by non-fandom people who come from the wiki community who see the value of our work. One of those people is Lewis Collard. He did a fair amount of automated screencapping that we need to get uploaded on Fan History.

He’s written about doing this and has a fair number of screencaps over on his blog. It is a really great entry and well worth reading. It nicely summarizes some of the major html trends from those early days. Go and check it out.

Kanye West Hoax – Who is Laughing?

October 22nd, 2009

Kanye WestWell apparently the Twitter world is laughing at the hoax about Kanye West kicking the bucket in a car accident. This may have been done in response to a video by Spike Jonze which depicts the entertainer being killed in a car accident. Since this, the video has been pulled.

Since then, Twitter fluttered about with the trending topic RIP Kanye West, it has remained in the top list for more than 24 hours. Some tweeps jokes that the incident about the Balloon Boy was a better hoax. In fact, it only became a hoax after West’s girlfriend Amber Rose set the record straight, and even Los Angeles Times covered it in their article -
Amber Rose ( @DaRealAmberRose ) debunks ‘RIP Kanye West’ Twitter topic. On Idolator, they still have a screenshot of the photoshopped piece in their article Kanye West: Not Dead that says “Rapper West Dead at 32.”

So, anyone laughing? Kanye is not and apparently has not even acknowledge the hoax as nothing has been said as of yet. The only thing is that the Balloon Boy incident has been doing better as the RIP Kanye West trending topic is finally filtering itself out of popularity.

“Whoever started the RIP Kanye West hoax…Imma let you finish, but Balloon Boy had the best hoax of all time.”

- Pulled from trending topic Balloon Boy on Twitter.

Are there going to be anymore incidents with Kanye in the near future to surprise the media and fans? He already has been called a “jackass” by President Obama after his drunken interruption toward Taylor Swift’s VMA’s in September 2009.

MLB Game Attendance and Alternative Social Network Group Engagement

October 14th, 2009

In 2009, the New York Yankees averaged the second highest per game attendance of any team in Major League Baseball.  On LiveJournal, there was only one team with more communities dedicated to it, only one team with more total members of those communities, and only one team with more posts and total comments.  On bebo, the Yankees had more groups dedicated to them, more total members, more total profile views and more total loves than any other team.  The Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland Athletics have the lowest average per game attendance in Major League Baseball.  There are only one or two communities on LiveJournal, LinkedIn and bebo dedicated to these teams.

Social media is an increasingly popular tool to connect with others who share your same interest.   Sports fans, baseball fans, fans of Major League Baseball teams are participating on social media to do just that.  They are on popular social networks like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.  Sports fans and Major League Baseball fans are also on less popular networks liked bebo, BlackPlanet, CafeMom, Dreamwidth, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, orkut.

The less popular networks are not examined as often ones with greater traffic and more media attention.  The discussion regarding social networks, and the sports and Major League Baseball communities located on these sites is even less.  These sites are worth analyzing to answer questions such as: Is there a relationship between the number of communities on social networks and a team’s at ballpark attendance?  Is there a relationship between the volume of activity on these networks and ballpark attendance?  Is there a correlation between size of a community in members and attendance? MLB Game Attendance and Social Network Group Engagement seeks to answer those questions and a few related ones.

The results show that baseball communities dedicated to Major League Baseball teams are large and well established on several social networks like bebo, LiveJournal, LinkedIn and orkut. There is a community presence on other networks including biip, BlackPlanet, Blurty, CafeMom, DeadJournal, Dreamwidth, Eons.com and InsaneJournal.  Community does not exist on BIGADDA, buzznet, cloob.com, DontStayIn, Inksome, JournalFen and VampireFreaks.com. 

Where communities exist on a network, so does a correlation between the size of that community by team using the average number of people attending games featuring that team and using the percentage average game attendance.  In general, the more people on average attending a team’s games, the larger and more active social network community around that team.  There is a predictive value where you can determine the size of a community or average attendance based on the other variables.

A copy of MLB Game Attendance and Alternative Social Network Group Engagement can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/baseball.pdf.

IPBFree went down

October 13th, 2009

IPBFree went down this morning and have been down for several hours. They host a number of fandom based message boards so this is problematic for fandom. :( We hope it gets back up.

Science fiction fandom fails again?

October 13th, 2009

Well, it looks as though science fiction fandom is about ready to engage in another major round of Fail.

This time it’s a fresh batch of sexuality and gender wank, wherein someone appears rather outraged that women have (supposedly) invaded and engaged in war against science fiction.

Reactions are just beginning to spread all over the blogosphere from professional writers’ sites to the meta-areas of media fandom. We at FanHistory are trying to do our best to keep up to date on discussion links as they are posted, but please do help us by contributing to our article on the matter if you can.

FanFiction.Net down again

October 10th, 2009

Yes, it does appear that FanFiction.Net is down again and has been for at least five minutes. They’re generally pretty good at getting back up again so don’t panic!

Putting aside our differences for the greater good of fandom

October 8th, 2009

This is a cross post from Fan History’s InsaneJournal asylum.

At Fan History, we’ve been busy trying to preserve the history of fandom on Geocities. This is extremely important and we’ve hard at work since the news came out in July. This task would best be accomplished by a group of people, where different fandom projects were being coordinated. To this end, Fan History has tried to reach out several times to the folks at the Organization for Transformative Works for assistance. We’ve sent them e-mails, tweeted looking for people to get in touch, made posts on our LiveJournals asking people to help us get in touch with them. Most recently, we commented on their LiveJournal community.

So far, all we’ve received in return is aching silence. Our replies are not returned. Time is quickly ticking down. It is likely that Fanlore and Fan History are overlapping in some areas and completely lacking in the same areas. This makes no sense to us at Fan History. We need to put aside our personal differences, work together for one big last push in the 10 days before Geocities closes. We need to coordinate to preserve this history of fandom, so that there will be a record of it, so that when people talk about fandom during the late 1990s and early 2000s, we have good secondary sources to cite as our primary sources are disappearing. It is important. We need to work together.

Yes, there has been bad blood between Fan History and some of the people at the the Organization for Transformative Works. It needs to be put aside for the greater good. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away from Race Fail: Principles can and often should trump personal loyalties.

So if you know some one at the Organization for Transformative Works, please ask them to finally get in touch with us. We would love to work together for one last push to preserve the history of fandom on Geocities.

Most popular articles on Fan History for October 6, 2009

October 7th, 2009
  • AdultFanFiction.Net
  • Beauty_and_the_Beast
  • Canadian_Idol
  • Cassandra_Claire
  • Category:Anime
  • Category:Television
  • Digimon
  • Ditto_Jessie
  • Draco/Hermione
  • Dragon_Ball_Z
  • Exiled_girl
  • Fan_fiction_archives
  • FanDomination.Net
  • FanFiction.Net
  • FanFiction.net
  • Fanhistory.com:About
  • FanLib
  • FanWorks.Org
  • FicWad
  • Freedom_of_Speech_Fanfiction
  • Gilmore_Girls
  • Harry_Potter_fan_fiction
  • Hurt/comfort
  • Jorja_Fox
  • Kirk/Spock
  • List_of_Merlin_LiveJournal_communities
  • List_of_Star_Trek_LiveJournal_communities
  • LiveJournal
  • Main_Page
  • Max/Liz
  • Mortal_Instruments
  • Mpreg
  • My_Immortal
  • Naruto
  • Ontd_blueberry
  • Outsiders
  • Prince_of_Tennis
  • Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan
  • Race_Fail_2009
  • Raven_christina
  • Roswell
  • Russet_Noon
  • Sakura_Lemon_Fan-Fiction_Archive
  • Shotacon
  • Silver_sporks
  • Silver_Sporks_:_Draco_Dormiens_-_Chapter_2
  • Silver_Sporks_:_Index
  • Special:Search
  • Supernatural
  • Tijuana_Bible
  • Transformers
  • Twilight
  • Yu-Gi-Oh_Card_Maker_Wiki
  • Please help edit our Geocities fansite articles!

    October 6th, 2009

    Fan History has used some automation to help create articles about fansites and fan fiction archives.  (This is outside the fabulous job that Sidewinder has done by manually adding this information.)  All of these articles have (Geocities) in the title so that we can readily identify these articles.  With the end of Geocities fast approaching, we could really use some help with what are our most popular articles of this type to date.  Screencaps would be awesome.  Adding information to the timeline, who maintained them, where the sites are moving to (or if they aren’t) is really important to get.  Because of the interest in these sites, improving these would be nice to have as a priority.

    The_Ultimate_Tekken_Fanfiction_Archive_(Geocities) is our most popular article with (Geocities) in the title.

    The following also have views:
    5 views

    4 views

    3 views

    Any help improving these articles would be very much appreciated.  We need to save our history before it is gone forever.  Things like screencaps are important for understanding trends.  (Passions sites tended to be purple.  Just writing the history of a site?  You don’t get that detail.)  Please help!

    Tila Tequila, Just Getting Attention on Twitter?

    October 5th, 2009

    Tila TequilaSinger, model, and television personality Tila Tequila recently wrote on her official Tila Twitter account what seems like frightening dark messages and suicide tweets. These messages are entirely different from her usual mood, which is outgoing, positive, and loud. However, she is not staying quiet through this ordeal and has been responding with her fans over the social network stream. It leads fans, the media crowd and those just curious about Tila’s plans for the future. This comes not long after her apparent choking by San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman in early September, as according to CNN‘s article NFL’s Merriman arrested, accused of choking Tila Tequila.

    Tila Tequilas scary messages

    Many fans replied back and she responded to some, and even retweeted some of the messages. Is this another attention ploy from Tila. A couple months ago, Tila had been playing with her fans with her official Tila Ustream channel, giving them a skin tease. This is nothing unusual for the attention seeking girl, and nothing new as celebrities are turning to live streaming and twittering. Example: 50 Cent, the music artist – though his live streams do not show any skin.

    The examiner asks in their article Tila Tequila frightens fans with tweets on suicide: ‘It woulda been tonite I ended my life’:

    What do you think? Could Tila’s sudden talk of suicide have anything to do with her issue that she ran into with boyfriend, Shawne Merriman?

    Regardless, it is stirring up a lot of responses in the Twitter community (Just look up Tila Tequila in the Twitter search). Here are just a few:

    Twitter Reactions
    Twitter Reactions

    So, is this really a suicide watch over a breakup or because of racism, religious fanatic talk, stress from her career, or just bluffing? Regardless, this should be enough to put Tila on suicide watch. Hopefully something is figured out as Tila has been a top trend in Twitter off and on since June 2009 and ReadWriteWeb confirms her as quite the active user in their article Twitter’s Most Active Users: Bots, Dogs, and Tila Tequila.

    What do you think?

    —-
    post written by Nile Flores of Blondish.net. Follow Nile Flores on Twitter.

    InuYasha Fans Geared Up For The Anime’s Continuation

    October 1st, 2009

    InuYasha: The Final Act (link is to the Official Japanese site) will be an adaptation of the last 21 books of manga-ka Rumiko Takahashi’s InuYasha series. This has been a long await since the Takahashi finished the manga in June 2008.

    There is already an increase of activity noticed in fanfiction sites such as the InuYasha sections of Fanfiction.net and AdultFanfiction, as well as InuYasha-Fanfiction.com, Dokuga, and Eternal Destiny.

    Viz confirmed that they will simulcast the anime starting Saturday, October 3. Shonen Sunday will also be streaming the series, as well as the Animax Asia television channel.

    Prominent InuYasha fan, and site owner of the InuYasha scanlation site called AdInuYasha.com, Urd-chan posted the updates all over her Deviantart account on September 5th, 2009 with her article New Inuyasha series to begin in Japan!, and a followup on September 30, 2009 with her article New IY anime to be simulcast by Viz. She also posted to the popular Yahoo! Group, adinuyasha.

    You can preview the English subtitled version of InuYasha: The Final Act at Shonen Sunday.

    Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings

    September 25th, 2009

    On January 15, 2009, CSI had one of its highest rated episodes all season.  On that day, people published 26 new pieces of fan fiction, the most stories posted on the same day as an episode had aired. On September 25, 2008, CSI had it third lowest ratings day all season and people posted zero new stories on that date.

    Fan fiction is a really popular outlet for fan expression of interest in television shows.  The stories are creative, explore plot lines in the show and, according to many fans, help market a series in a positive way.  Fans often argue that their activities mirror larger interest in a show, and that producers should pay more attention to them and cater to their fannish interests as the example provided seems to demonstrate.  Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings tests this fan theory and answers the question: Does the volume of fan fiction published in the period around when an episode airs correlate to Nielsen Ratings?

    To answer this question, fan fiction daily posting stats were gathered for the one week period around television shows where fan fiction communities existed and Nielsen Ratings were available for that show.  The fan fiction data was compiled from six archives: FanFiction.Net, fanfiktion.de, FanWorks.Org, FicWad, SkyHawke, and Freedom of Speech Fan Fiction.  The Nielsen Ratings data included over 720 episodes representing thirty-nine shows.  Once this data was compiled, it was analyzed using Pearson’s Correlation and linear regression. 

    The results confirmed what many fans already suspected: Levels of fan activity, specifically in terms of the production of fan fiction, mirrors interest specific episodes of television.  Fan fiction can be used to predict Nielsen Ratings.  The predictive value is strengthened in several cases when it is broken down by network, genre or specific television show. The best networks for predicting Nielsen Ratings are CBS, The CW, Disney, Fox and USA. Comedy, crime comedy, crime drama, medical comedy and sports drama are the best genres for predicting Nielsen Ratings.  The strongest correlations for  television shows for predicting Nielsen Ratings are Burn Notice, CSI, Eli Stone, Friday Night Lights, Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, Hannah Montana, Heroes, iCarly, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Life, Prison Break, Psych, and Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    This information is potentially valuable to parties with a vested interest in a television show’s performance.  By analyzing content patterns around periods with high volumes of fan fiction and high Nielsen Ratings, comparing that to periods of low posting volume and lower Nielsen Ratings, producers can make changes to maintain high interest amongst fans.  Non-American television networks and advertisers can better predict how their shows will perform.  This method of analysis can help organizations save money as it is cheaper to monitor and track than other analytic tools.

    A copy of Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/FanFicNielsen.pdf . The appendix can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/FanFicNielsenAppendix.pdf .

    Jorja Fox: Still not pregnant

    September 24th, 2009

    During tonight’s new episode of CSI (which I totally squeed over. I love Sara.), Fan History saw an increase in search traffic related to Jorja Fox being pregnant. According to the several Jorja Fox fansites I check regularly, she isn’t pregnant.

    And really? Watching that episode? I don’t see it at all anyway. I could understand Sara Sidle pregnant ideas because of Grissom/Sara fans desiring it… but Jorja Fox? No.

    Yay! More positive press for Fan History!

    September 22nd, 2009

    Kate at Dandizette interviewed me for her site. A copy of the interview can be found on the site: Conserving fandom. I’m really pleased with it. You should definitely check it out. It goes a bit into why preserving the history of fandom on Geocities is important. :D It discusses what we plan on doing on Fan History and more. Read it please! :D

    An A-Team movie finally coming together?

    September 20th, 2009

    Post by sockii.

    Proposals and scripts for an A-Team movie have been going around for over a decade, but now it finally looks like it’s going to happen for real. The main cast seems set: Liam Neeson taking over George Peppard‘s role as Hannibal Smith; Bradley Cooper in Dirk Bennedict‘s role of Templeton Peck; Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in Mr. T‘s role of B.A. Baracus, and now Sharlto Copley in Dwight Schultz‘s role of H.M. Murdock. Jessica Biel is also apparently in the cast as an ex-fiance of Peck now hunting the team, and Watchmen‘s Patrick Wilson will play a CIA operative on the hunt for the team.

    The story and characters will be updated so that they will be Iraq War veterans instead of Vietnam vets; what else will change or stay the same remains to be seen, though early pictures show an A-Team van much like the original’s.

    As a die-hard A-Team fan for many decades, my feelings about the project have been mixed from the start. I read an early script for the project back in the 1990s which was truly dreadful, bearing virtually no resemblance to the characters and tone of the original series. But at this point I have to admit to at least a little curiosity of what will come about now that the film is genuinely going to happen, with an expected release date of June 11, 2010. I’m a big fan of Liam Neeson, although I don’t quite see him as Hannibal Smith without some major changes to the character. Murdock was always my favorite character so I’ve always been highly resistant to the idea of anyone other than Dwight Schultz in the role (Jim Carrey was long a rumor, but apparently “too expensive” for the project and I’m glad for that). Yet Sharlto Copley seems like a potentially good choice based on what I’ve seen of him so far after his breakout performance in District 9. That said, a lot of the longtime A-Team fans I know are decidedly not enthusiastic about the project, no matter who is cast in the roles because it won’t be the team they know and love.

    If the film is successful – which of course is no guaranty – I’ll be curious about the effect on the fandom, which has been steadily chugging along for decades with a low profile but fairly continual stream of fanworks production. Will there be a separate fandom that develops for these new interpretations of the old characters, much as what happened with the Star Trek movie this year? Will the popular slash pairings change or be the same (if there are any slash pairings that take off?) Will there be conflict between the new and old fandom, or will the old fandom try to capitalize on the newfound interest in the A-Team and try to welcome new fans in to explore the world of the original series?

    It should be interesting to see, and l’ll be following news about the new film with great interest as it develops.

    We Believe movie release delayed

    September 8th, 2009

    Hey Cub fans! In case you haven’t heard the news, We Believe’s movie release date has been pushed back until Spring 2010. I’ve kind of been looking forward to this thing so it is a bit sad to see it pushed back… but maybe spring is a better time because right now? I just am not believing and stopped believing right after the all star break.

    Russet Noon meet Lee Goldberg

    September 8th, 2009

    If you haven’t heard, Lee Goldberg made a post about Russet Noon. You can find a copy of the post here. We’ve updated both of our articles in response. If there has been any recent news on the Russet Noon front, please comment to let us know or edit the article to include it.

    A handy-dandy guide on how NOT to conduct research on fandom.

    September 1st, 2009

    This post was written by Sidewinder and posted by Laura. If you are experiencing any problems accessing our blog, we apologize.

    Meet Ogi Ogas.

    A self-titled “cognitive neuroscientist and game show contestant”, Dr. Ogas has managed to cause a considerable wankstorm throughout LiveJournal media fandom. The kerfluffle primarily surrounds a survey he posted and promoted on LiveJournal, claiming to be studying “The Cognitive Neuroscience of Fan Fiction”. A full timeline of the details can be found in FanHistory’s article on Ogi, but for here, let me summarize where he went so wrong in fannish eyes. These mistakes should be noted by other researchers outside of fandom who may wish to “study” fen communities, if they want to have any chance of obtaining willing participants and useful information in their research.

    1. Don’t lie about your intents. In his publicly promoted FAQ about the survey, Dr. Ogas (and his associate, Dr. Sai Gaddam) did not note anywhere that the research was not being conducted for a “hard” scientific study, but instead for a sensationalistic-titled book already up for publication in 2010: “Rule 34: What Netporn Teaches Us About The Brain.”

    2. Don’t talk down to your potential study participants. In several comment threads in the discussion following the survey, Dr. Ogas’ attitude was seen as highly condescending towards members of the fannish community. The apparent lack of sincerity in his responses to being challenged did little except further anger and upset many who were perhaps originally willing to give him a chance.

    3. Have at least some basic knowledge about the community you wish to study. Making basic errors in understanding fandom norms, genres of fiction, and styles of interaction, as occurred repeatedly in this instance, do little to give a community any faith a researcher will represent them fairly. And with a community which is already very sensitive about misconceptions and misrepresentations of it in the mainstream media, this is a crucial factor. Dr. Ogas should have at least vetted his potential survey questions before a large group of fandom individuals before unleashing it in a public fashion.

    And as a side note/emphasis to this:

    4. Don’t just take the word of a few individuals when attempting to study a community. Apparently Ogas and Gaddam made some contact with fandom individuals a month before this survey was launched, but it was a very limited sampling. They did not appear to take any real time to read much of the already-published literature on fandom and fandom culture, nor explore the vast amounts of meta and historical information available on fandom on the internet – in places such as FanHistory, Fanlore, or elsewhere.

    Of course, in this situation it may not have mattered very much as the authors seem already preset in the hypothesis they want to prove instead of being interested in genuinely researching fandom. Another error in their judgment.

    5. Be aware of fandom’s sensitivity to certain topics and the appearance of privilege. 2009 has been the year that fandom has exploded with discussions of race, gender, sexuality, and ability privilege. A researcher should take the time to read up on events such as Race Fail 2009 and also the 2009 Warnings debate. Doing so will help them understand the importance of dealing with potentially triggering content carefully, as well as how not to appear cluelessly privileged.

    6. Don’t underestimate fandom’s ire if you piss it off. It took less than 48 hours from the posting of Dr. Ogas’ survey for the situation to explode into a full on metamob attack. Participants have been quick to screencap and record material before it could be deleted or changed by Dr. Ogas, as well as spreading the word to make sure others stay away from his “research project”. Some are discussing – or already have gone forward with – contacting Boston University, where Dr. Ogas is on staff, regarding the apparent problems in his research and potential violations of ethics.

    And, of course, some have also responded with true fannish humor and proving Rule 34 correct after all: by writing Ogas/Gaddam RPS fic.

    Marvel to be acquired by Disney

    August 31st, 2009

    TechCrunch is reporting that Marvel is in the process of being acquired by Disney. This looks like it should have some long term impact on Marvel related fandoms… if Disney gears up and tries a new marketing idea for the comic book company to reach a wider audience. We’ll have to see how this shakes out.

    Fanzine history on Geocities

    August 30th, 2009

    The countdown to Geocities closing is rapidly approaching.  Fan History’s admins are just a bit queasy about this as the closer the get, the more we realize that we don’t have valuable information.  As of yet, there has been no large coordinated effort to data mine Geocities information to preserve fannish history.  Fan History has gotten some information, including about 5,000 articles about stories that were hosted on Geocities.

    What we really want to push now includes terminology, fansites and fanzine information.  I’d really like the fanzine information.  Please.  Also, please help.  Much of the information hidden away on Geocities is from the late 1990s, an era that had a much closer connection to fanzines than we have now.  If you can, please help in the following ways:

    • Screencap and upload pages that mention fanzines.  (We can always data mine that information later, so long as we know it is there.)
    • Create an Excel file, csv file, tsv file, Word table where each row has information about a fanzine where the information was found on Geocities.  E-mail that to us and we’ll automate the creation of pages about those fanzines.
    • Update fandom specific lists like Star Trek fanzines with names of fanzines.
    • Update or create articles about specific fanzines.
    • Comment on talk pages with information about fanzines where the history is found on Geocities.
    • Promote Fan History’s efforts so that more people can get involved with this project.

    Thank you for your help.  We really appreciate it.

    Possible Movie in the Future for The Mortal Instruments Series

    August 28th, 2009

    Less than a week ago, Cassandra Clare announced to her adoring fans on her LiveJournal blog, that The Mortal Instrument books could be on the big screen soon. Well, the rights have been taken up by Bob Shaye film line called Unique Features. As Casssandra pointed out:

    Now, a book series being optioned doesn’t mean a film is being made right now or is definitely going to be made at all — it means that the studio or production company in question is developing the books as a film project — right now they’ve nailed down financing and a screenwriter (I don’t know who that is yet) and are working towards the next stages in the development project. It is, however, an important step in the movie-making process, so I feel like it’s okay to be excited about it.

    Cassandra also reiterates this information in the FAQ section for The Mortal Instruments website.

    Despite Cassandra Claire’s controversial past, as documented by FanHistory, she had proved resilient and cleaned up her act. With all the fan support and perseverance – to get to this point is a great feat.

    Here are some links to some fan reactions:
    WHOOOOHOOOOO!!!!
    Harry Potter Fanfic Writer Gets Movie
    Just a mundane – ‘an appreciation community for the Mortal Instrument series’
    Re: Movies That are Going to Suck: Part Deux

    Of course, there are some mixed reactions already towards the idea of a movie, but obviously there needs to be some huge congratulations sent out to Cassandra!

    CC-BY-SA3, Transformers Wiki and consequences

    August 27th, 2009

    I was reading my friends list on LiveJournal and found this post by Derik Smith of Transformers Wiki. The post discusses the Transformers Wiki ‘s to switch their license from GFDL to CC-BY-SA3.  It then looks like the copyright holder took advantage of new license and what it allows to incorporate content from the Transformers Wiki into an advertisement for an official comic.   The wiki subsequently changed their license to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.  The post is well worth reading and does a much better job at explaining the particulars.  So yes, go forth and read it: http://deriksmith.livejournal.com/45915.html

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