Archive for the ‘Posts by Laura’ category

Fandom based disseration gone bad: Julie Levin Russo’s Archive Wars: FanLib vs. OTW

December 18th, 2009

I’m a bitter jaded fandom historian.  In my ideal world, the purpose of telling a history is to do so as neutrally as possible, to provide a factually correct version of events.   I’m just not a fan of deliberately biasing the telling of events to support a fannish political agenda.  To be brutal, I can’t see the point.  Doing so does not serve the greater good in the fan community.  (It just serves certain parties.)  It misleads people and distorts the truth.  It creates friction in fandom, pushing people to one extreme or another.  It can shut down dialog and hinder understanding.  I’m not a fan.

Over on life_wo_fanlib, Stewardess was busy plugging Julie Levin Russo’s dissertation, Archive Wars: FanLib vs. OTW.  Fantastic! I’d love to read about that and I would love to gain insight into, you know, the perspective that wasn’t being told.  I’d love to see well rounded coverage that gets to the truth of the matter so that others won’t make the same mistakes.   Seriously.  It is about time some one did a neutral accounting of events.

But that’s not going to happen.  Julie Levin Russo is not, according to Stewardess and based on the interviews she has and hasn’t conducted, interested in getting to the truth of the matter.  She’s not telling any sort of war between archives.  She’s not explaining FanLib’s position.  She’s merely doing a propaganda piece for the Organization for Transformative Works.  She’s not interested in what actually happened and fandom’s response to FanLib.  She is, as Stewardess points out, interested in the history of the Organization for Transformative Works.  That’s fine.  Awesome.  Let’s just not pretend it is anything but that.

Updated to add: In the finest spirit of what we’ve seen during Race!Fail, when some one politely engages you in dialog but you those questions interfere with your point of view, preemptively ban them and exclude them.  Do it in secret and don’t tell the people you’re banning why you’re doing it.  That’s what stewardess has done in regards to my participation in life_wo_fanlib.  That sort of behavior, in response to a question of if Julie Levin Russo contacted FanLib, reaffirms the problems mentioned above.

Today’s Twitter Follow Spammer is @StreetKingEnt

December 18th, 2009

In my continuing saga of pointing out Twitter follow spammers, today’s follow spammer is @StreetKingEnt. Like our previous Twitter follow spammers, this one has thousands of followers: 47839 followers to be exact. He follows 48054 people, or did when he followed one of the three Fan History accounts he followed.

Street King is now spamming you!

Unsurprising: He didn’t add any of the accounts he followed to lists.  He’s never going to read any of these accounts because two haven’t tweeted in at least six months.  The other one he followed has been busy tweeting about the problems of Twitter follow spammers.  He’s not selective.  He’s just gaming the system for autofollows to improve his follow count.  He’s never RTed fanhistory, never mentioned us, is never going to interact with us, isn’t offering content that we’re going to read, etc.  All he needs is those two dead accounts to have autofollow on and he wins.

Twitter needs to take action to stop this follow spam.  If you have over 2,000 followers, Twitter needs to ban you from following people first. 

@rudezen joins the list of Twitter follow spammers

December 17th, 2009

If you haven’t figured it out, I’m growing annoyed and tired with the slew of Twitter follow spammers. It is killing the service. I’ve decided to chronically vent.

Previously, I brought to you Peter Cutler, @studio525, is obsessed with the wrong metrics. He is and he might some advantage out of it, like e-mail spammers who get one response in 10,000 and thus their work pays off.   The ROI might excellent for the follow spammers but the rest of us have to put up with their unwanted follows where we get nothing back in return.

Today’s candidate for spam follow is @rudezen who, having already 9,000 followers, continues to add more followers.  I don’t know Rudezen.  He’s never replied to my tweets.  He is unlikely to ever reply to my tweets as he’ll never see them on his list.  He isn’t interested in wikis.  He followed two of my accounts.  Neither of these accounts have balances that suggest they follow everyone.  (Both follow much fewer than follow us.)  He appears to be solely interested in getting more followers.  That makes him a Twitter follow spammer.

If you have more than 3,000 followers, there is almost NEVER a good reason for you to being following other people first.  If you have that many people you’re interested in following, that’s what lists are for: To identify people by category that you think are interesting.  Adding people to a list does not force on that person a decision to return the unwanted follow or not.  It doesn’t imply any sort of relationship or personal interests.  Adding people to lists still accomplishes the goal of watching interesting people.  Following implies more of a relationship and demands something back.  That in turn makes a person a Twitter spammer.  Stop with the spam follows people.

Fan History Wiki copyright switch: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (“CC 3.0″)

December 12th, 2009

We’ve been doing a lot of backend improvements on Fan History. In the course of fixing things up, we’ve been looking at other fundamental issues to our going forward and excelling at our mission. One of the things that we realized was that we needed to make a switch in our copyright policy. We’ve chosen to go with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (“CC 3.0″).   We feel that this will help us in several areas:

  • Be able to use text contributions from other CC 2.0+ licensed projects. This includes Wikipedia, Wikia, and many, many more.
  • Have a more secure legal position. The enforceability and legality of our current copyright is a big potential issue. This would solve that problem by using a recognized, legal copyright.
  • Become future compatible. CC 3.0 will automatically upgrade to the latest version.
  • Help attract new contributors from other projects. People expect a certain license type if they want to be involved. Our current one is discouraging to some people in the wiki community.

If you have any questions about what this switch will mean, please read the rational for this.  If you made any contributions and object to this change, please comment on the page with refuse and we’ll work with you to reach some sort of resolution.  If you have yet still  more questions, comment here or on the talk page for the license upgrade switch.

Case Study: Fan History’s Proposal For Being Acquired by the WMF

December 8th, 2009

In November 2009, Fan History Wiki approached the Wikimedia Foundation about possibly being acquired by them.  The motivations for this on the part of Fan History Wiki were to help the project continue with and grow its mission.    The choice to approach the Wikimedia Foundation was based on relationships developed by Fan History’s founder at events like RecentChangesCamp and through interaction in #wiki on

Fan History approached people connected to the Foundation, put forth a proposal, posted the proposal to the Foundation mailing list and to Strategy wiki.  The process broke down because of some problems.  This included lack of an established procedure for the acquisition process, communication problems and expectation issues.

There are several recommendations that Fan History Wiki would make to the Foundation on how to fix this process.  The first is to decide if the Foundation is actually interested in new projects or acquiring existing projects.  The second is defining the roles of Meta-Wiki and Strategy wiki. The third is to create a list of staff members who would handle acquisition related requests.  The fourth is to create a clearly established procedure for how to handle this process.

A copy of the complete case study can be found at

Top referrers, most popular articles on Fan History for November 2009

November 30th, 2009

This month has been really exciting for us in a lot of ways. I’ve gotten in touch with more people in the wiki community, started work on planning RecentChangesCamp 2010, applied to grad school, learned a lot about the Wikimedia Foundation, gotten our back end improved, did a lot of fandom research. Year to date so far, our visitor count has increased by about 81%. Lots of excitement! Outside of what we have been doing, what have our visitors been doing?

Top referring sites

Search Engines


  • mcstories
  • adultfanfiction
  • tijuana bible
  • restricted section
  • fandomination
  • adult fanfiction
  • freedom of speech fanfiction
  • naruto wiki
  • cassandra claire
  • yugioh card maker


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

Comment threading on Mediawiki

November 26th, 2009

This came up in a discussion on #wiki on and as one of the developers is actively looking for feedback, I thought I would cross post the details here so you can learn more about it and if interested, find out where it is installed and how to beta test it:

Testing LiquidThreads

Try using Talk:LiquidThreads testing. Note that you can sign in with your regular Wikipedia account here.

Basic tasks:

  • Post a discussion
  • Respond to somebody else’s posts.
  • Edit somebody else’s comment.
  • Move the discussion to a new page.
  • Split discussions into pieces.
  • Stitch them back together again.
  • Summarize threads.
  • Watch threads, and wait for notifications on the replies.

Other testing:

  • Try it in weird browsers and report display and functionality issues (with screenshots) on bugzilla.


Leave comments on Feedback, or submit bugs to bugzilla (mentioned there).


About LiquidThreads

LiquidThreads replaces discussion pages with actual forums, giving the following benefits:

  • A clear, simplified post/reply workflow so new users can jump right into the discussion.
  • Simple management of threads, including automation of archival, refactoring, and other tasks currently undertaken by bots and humans.
  • A powerful, flexible notification system, allowing users to keep abreast of developments in areas in which they are interested, ranging from entire discussion pages to discussion fragments.
  • Support for following discussion pages with RSS feeds.
  • Flexible post ordering, allowing users to keep track of which threads on a talk page are dead, and which threads are active.
  • A modern, AJAX-based interface, that allows users to quickly post and reply to other posts, without clumsy page loading.

Fan History’s relationship in the wiki community

November 22nd, 2009

We talk a lot about the wiki community on our blog and elsewhere because we really feel part of it.  We wanted to give you an idea of where we feel like we belong in this community.  This isn’t a complete chart of wiki relationships, or even our own relationships.  The version below leaves out Tikatu, who has been involved with TVTropes, Girl Genius Wiki and Wikipedia as a contributor.

Lots of connected parts. AboutUs, wikiHow, Wikipedia, EncyclopediaDramatica, Wikia all have play an important role in shaping our policies, our concept of content organization and adding content.  We talk to founders, contributors, assist on many of the wikis on this. 

Revisiting Fan History’s copyright policy

November 19th, 2009

Our admin staff loves the wiki community.  They are a helpful bunch, both in terms of content, back end issues, information structuring, etc.  Which gets to our point: We floated our proposal to merge with the on the foundation mailing list.  One of the issues that came up was our copyright policy.  At the time that we implemented it, we had talked to several people in the wiki community, wanted some sort of copyright protection from automated scrapers, etc.  We were leery of creative commons licenses because we didn’t necessarily think that they would offer us the protection that we might want.

But the discussion on the mailing list… has a point.  Even if we don’t make the move to WMF (which both sides need to want, where we both feel like compromises can be made to help each of our missions), we still need to address our copyright policy.  When I last had a serious conversation with Wikia about being acquired, Angela indicated that this would be pretty simple to change: Just do it.  (We would have had to change our policy to match the copyrights used by Wikia.)  This mostly seemed to entail: Announce the change, give time for people to comment or disagree, address edits made by those who don’t consent to the change, then just make the change.

Is it that simple?  And if we do change, what sort of copyright policy should we adopt?  We just don’t want to make such a change without really thinking it through because we don’t want a repeat of the problems that Transformers Wiki went through.  Have other wikis made copyright changes?  How did they handle it?  What are problems that wikis have faced using different licenses?

Proposal: Fan History and WMF

November 18th, 2009

Fan History feels like it is at this point where, in order to further our mission, we need to expand our contributor base a bit. We’ve talked amongst our admin team about methods to do that. One solution that we’ve been considering is to find a for-profit company or a non-profit that would help us with our mission. Rejection from one for profit wiki related company. Now we’re talking to WMF. Before we did that, we contacted a few people inside the organization who gave us the same feedback: Most projects of this type come from inside of existing WMF projects. Most of them were not aware of projects outside WMF that had been brought into the fold.

If we were serious about this, we would need to float it on the mailing list.  We did and our proposal can be found at here. If you want to join the list, details are here.  The initial feedback is interesting and has given us a lot of food for thought.  If you have any feedback that you want to give us, please drop a comment here.

FanFiction.Net status

November 17th, 2009

We’re getting hit with visits from at least four countries and ten visitors in the past half hour about people having connection problems with FanFiction.Net.  Beyond that, if there is an issue, we won’t know as we can access the site and FanFiction.Net doesn’t have any announcements on their site regarding downtime or other problems.

What does the Organization for Transformative Works look like?

November 17th, 2009

The Organization for Transformative Works is a fan advocacy group that runs Fanlore and An Archive of Our Own.  They were created on LiveJournal and most of their early and continued support continues to come from that community.  Much of that has to do with the reasons they were created: The group perceived Fanlib as a threat to fandom as a whole, and had issues with how LiveJournal treated its fans.. 

After having done a bit of an analysis of the Twilight fandom as represented by lion_lamb, I was curious to see how otw_news looked, especially when compared to lion_lamb.  How similar are they in terms of age, length of time on LiveJournal, the number of friends, the number of posts, etc. In the past, the group’s members have talked about doing advocacy on behalf of fandom to change media perceptions of fans.  The goal looked like they wanted to present their demographics as the norm.  That is what I am looking for here.

The Organization for Transformative Works’s founders and supporters were also vocally critical of LiveJournal’s commercial aspects, and discussed the need for a non-profit site that would cater to fan interests while being less susceptible to pressure from advertisers.  The actions by LiveJournal taken during StrikeThrough 2007 were one of the prime examples cited by this group to rationalize this position.  Many people talked about giving up paid accounts, not using Plus accounts, etc.  Given that history, I am curious as to the behaviors of the organization’s supporters in  the almost two and a half years since the groups founding: Are they more likely than Twilight fans to use basic accounts, less likely to give money directly to a company whose ethos runs counter to the group’s founding principles?

The methodology for gathering data for this analysis is the same as the one for for lion_lamb: A sneak peak into the composition of the Twilight fandom.  The community looked at is otw_news.  The data was gathered on November 15, 2009 and pulled from publicly available profile information for people who both watched and belonged to the community.   This means that 1,784 journals are included in the sample.  When looking at this data, you have to remember that not everyone lists factually correct information.  For this data, we assume that the obviously wrong data balances out in the end.  (People list themselves at 100 and people list themselves as 5 years old.)  This is the same methodology used for lion_lamb and we assume the error rate between the two is the same.

One of the first things to look at is age of the membership of otw_news. The chart below includes the total number of people who list themselves as having been born in that year.

OTW ages

The average year of birth is 1975, with a median age of 1979.5 and mode of 1984.  In terms of fandom, this is not a young group: The average member is about 35 years of age.  Even if we assume that the mode year is more representative of the group, that still places age at 25.  If we try to correct this data for error by removing 10 from each extreme of high and low years of birth, our year of birth average only increases to 1976.7, and the median and mode stay the same.  If we remove 10% of the extreme from the sample, or 30 from each side, we get an average year of birth of 1977.3 with median and mode remaining unchanged.

Assuming that our group of 11,000 Twilight fans on lion_lamb are representative of fandom on LiveJournal, the average year of birth is 1985.6, median year of birth is 1987 and the mode year of birth is 1989.    If we try to correct for error and remove the extreme 10% of the sample, fans who are claiming Edward Cullen’s birth year as their own as well as fans who claim an impossibly young age, lion_lamb has an average birth year of  1986.5 with median and mode remaining unchanged.

When we compare the membership of otw_news to fandom, Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters are on average almost ten years older than their counterparts in the rest of fandom.  If we assume that median is more representative, we are still looking at a an eight year difference.  Mode is the only one where they are close, and even that is only by three years.  In the case of fandom as a whole, the average is right out of college.  The after college life experiences are very different in terms of forming our perspectives so these three years are critical and do demographically separate the two groups.

It just cannot be said that the Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters are representative of fandom based on their ages.

The other important demographic issue for LiveJournal based fandom is location.  Some 1,111 members of otw_news list the country they live in.  6,330 members of lion_lamb list the country they live in.   Both have garbage entries for places where people obviously do not live,  places like the Romulan Neutral Zone, the Vatican City, Jesus’s home town or the North Pole.  In both sets, people listed cities or providences instead of countries.  This data was removed.  We are assuming that the members who do not list their home countries are represented proportionally by those that do.

The Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters represent 41 countries. 63% of the membership are from the United States, 11% are from the United Kingdom, 7% are from Canada, 6% from Australia, 4% from Germany and other countries all have less than 1%.   The top five countries population wise represent 91% of the organization’s total population.  The other 39 countries represent 9% of the organization’s total population.

lion_lamb represents 112 countries.  54% of their membership is from the United States, 6% from Canada, 5% from the United Kingdom, 5% from Australia, 3% from Germany, 2% from the Philippines, 2% from France, 2% from Italy, 2% from Mexico.    The top five countries represent 73% of the community’s total population.  The other countries represent 27%.

OTW ages

The Organization for Transformative Works over represents for Americans, with about 10% more Americans the lion_lamb.  The Organization for Transformative Works members and their supports also over represent for Brits, Canadians, Australians, Germans.  They under represent for the Philippines, France, and Mexico.  The top five countries by membership over represent by about 20%.  It cannot be said that the national representation of the Organization of Transformative Works is representative of the fan community on LiveJournal.

There are some other issues regarding how representative patterns for the Organization for Transformative Works are when compared to the whole of fandom on LiveJournal with lion_lamb being defined as fandom.

For year of registration, lion_lamb had  the median and mode of 2008 for registering. The average registration year is 2007.07 in comparison. Members of this community are updating, with a last update year average of 2008.66, mode of 2009 and median of 2009.  Compare this to otw_news, where the average registration year was 2004, with the median also being 2004 and the mode being 2003.  Members and supporters of the Organization for Transformative Works became members of LiveJournal much earlier.  Three years is a lifetime on the Internet.  This is another example of otw_news follows not being representative of fandom on LiveJournal.

otw_news members have posted an average of 858.6 times, with a mode of 492 and a mode of 1.  Compare that with lion_lamb members who have posted an average of 132.25 times, a median of 11 times and a mode of 1 time.   Again, the Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters are not representative of fandom on LiveJournal.

These patterns hold true for other variables such as number of friends where otw_news members have almost 50 more on average and almost 95 in terms of median.  It holds true for tags, memories, and virtual gifts.  In all cases, members of otws_news have much higher averages than their fandom counterparts.

All of this reaffirms the same idea: Members and supporters of the Organization for Transformative Works do not represent fandom in that they are demographically distinct from fandom on LiveJournal.  otw_news members also differ from their fandom counterparts in that they do not use LiveJournal the same way: They use LiveJournal much more actively in their personal space than the rest of fandom.

That concluded, the next issue is LiveJournal account status.  The issue of paying LiveJournal was a big one.  Around the time that Strikethrough happened, LiveJournal offered permanent accounts for sale. Some people affiliated with the later founding of an organization like OTW  advocated that people unfriend those who bought permanent accounts.  Other people openly talked about allowing their paid account status to expire as a method of expressing unhappiness with the site.  Two and a half years later, what is the status of members and supports of the Organization for Transformative Works in terms of paying for LiveJournal?

OTW account type

otw_news members  pay or have paid for their accounts. 36% have Paid Accounts.  Many (15%) have permanent accounts, where they paid at least $150 for this status.  A smaller percentage (18%) have plus accounts, which offer additional features in exchange for viewing additional ads. 

lion_lamb account type

When compared to lion_lamb, otw_news members way over-represent in paid accounts and permanent accounts. Despite the issues of Strikethough, not all of which have been resolved, people affiliated with the Organization for Transformative Works are much more willing to pay for LiveJournal than their fandom counterparts.  Still, there is some obvious shift from the group, where people are willing to sacrifice functionality in order to view fewer ads and thus potentially give LiveJournal less income; there is an 18% difference in basic accounts from otw_news to lion_lamb.

Are the buying habits of a cross-fandom section, and their choices to expose themselves to additional ads, consistent with the attitude expressed by members and supporters during the time they lambasted LiveJournal’s beholdenment to advertisers?  It is hard to make a conclusive judgment based on the data we have available. 

FanFiction.Net issues?

November 15th, 2009

Two people have reported to me that FanFiction.Net is having issues with pages not loading. If you think it is you, it might not be.

What fandoms are hot on An Archive of Our Own prior to open beta? Find out!

November 13th, 2009

An Archive of Our Own is going to come out of closed beta in the near future.  Before that happened, we got a snap shot of the site to see what fandoms were included so that we can see how their representation changes after they officially launch their open beta.  If you have no clue who this archive is, they were created in response to FanLib.   

Fandom Number of stories as of November 13, 2009
Stargate Atlantis 584
Harry Potter – Rowling 389
Supernatural 331
Due South 306
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 298
The X-Files 216
Firefly 176
Stargate SG-1 175
The Sentinel 144
Angel: the Series 127
Lord Of The Rings RPF 122
Smallville 119
Doctor Who 93
Death Note 89
Merlin (BBC) 89
Torchwood 88
Lord of the Rings (Novel) 84
Battlestar Galactica (2003) 83
Andromeda 79
Star Trek: Enterprise 78
Hot Fuzz (2007) 72
Prince of Tennis 72
Jericho 67
Weiss Kreuz 58
Lost 57
Fullmetal Alchemist 53
The West Wing 52
Farscape 47
Real Person Fiction 45
Grey’s Anatomy 41
Grey’s Anatomy 41
Hard Core Logo (1996) 41
Pirates Of The Caribbean 41
Xena: Warrior Princess 41
Star Wars 38
Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis 36
Star Trek (2009) 36
Serenity (2005) 35
Sports Night 34
DCU 32
Leverage 32
Life on Mars (UK) 32
Tokio Hotel 32
The Professionals 31
The Magnificent Seven 28
The Sandman 28
The Office (US) 27
CW Network RPF 25
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog 25
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) 24
Alias 23
Bleach 23
Gundam Wing 23
Saiyuki 22
Doctor Who (Big Finish Audio) 20
Marvel 17
Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place 17
Yami No Matsuei 17
Vorkosigan Saga 16
Babylon 5 15
Good Omens 15
Law & Order: SVU 15
Gilmore Girls 14
Gilmore Girls 14
World Wrestling Entertainment 14
X-Men (Movieverse) 14
Man From U.N.C.L.E. 13
Master and Commander – O’Brian 13
Pride and Prejudice 13
Star Trek: Voyager 13
Final Fantasy X 12
Star Trek: The Original Series 12
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 12
Veronica Mars (TV) 12
American Idol RPF 11
Fall Out Boy 11
JAG 11
Kill Point 11
Original Work 11
Slings & Arrows 11
Anthropomorfic – Fandom 10
Canadian Actor RPF 10
CSI: Las Vegas 10
Fandom RPF 10
Friday Night Lights 10
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 10
Iron Man (2008) 10
Katekyou Hitman Reborn 10
Once a Thief (TV) 10
The Faculty (1998) 10
Twilight – Meyer 10
Discworld 9
Fastlane 9
Lord of the Rings 9
Numb3rs 9
Princess Tutu 9
Psych 9
Robin Hood BBC 9
Robin Hood BBC 9
Witchblade (TV) 9
Afflection 8
Eureka 8
Gravitation 8
Miracles (TV) 8
Saiunkoku Monogatari 8
Sneakers 8
Backstreet Boys 7
Football RPF 7
Hikaru no Go 7
Invisible Man 7
Kings 7
Queer as Folk (US) 7
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 7
xxxHoLic 7
Yu-Gi-Oh! 7
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter 6
Chuck (TV) 6
Entourage 6
Honeydew Syndrome 6
Law & Order 6
Quantum Leap 6
Singer Not the Song (1961) 6
Tales of the Abyss 6
Temeraire – Novik 6
The Authority 6
Twitch City 6
X-Men (comics) 6
AJ Raffles – Hornung 5
Batman Begins (2005) 5
Beauty and the Beast (TV) 5
Eyeshield 21 5
Fast and the Furious 5
Firefly RPF 5
Fushigi Yuugi 5
High School Musical 5
Historical RPF 5
Jeeves & Wooster 5
Jossverse RPF 5
Kizuna 5
Love and Rockets (Comic) 5
Merlin (BBC (RPF)) 5
My Chemical Romance 5
Ocean’s Eleven (2001) 5
Queer as Folk (UK) 5
Rent 5
Samurai Champloo 5
Spaced 5
The Pretender 5
Villains by Necessity – Forward 5
Blades Of Glory (2007) 4
Blood Ties 4
Coldfire – Friedman 4
Criminal Minds 4
Daria 4
Dark Knight (2008) 4
DCU Animated 4
Die Hard 4
Everwood 4
Fight Club (1999) 4
Fringe 4
Getbackers 4
Hellsing 4
Inheritance Cycle – Paolini 4
Jarhead (2005) 4
Kill Bill (2003) 4
Law & Order: Criminal Intent 4
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 4
Life 4
Sailor Moon 4
Sapphire and Steel 4
Sherlock Holmes – Doyle 4
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 4
State Within 4
Tales of Vesperia 4
The Beatles 4
The History Boys – Bennett 4
The OC 4
This Is Wonderland 4
Top Gear (UK) 4
Traveler 4
Arthurian mythology 3
A-Team 3
Avatar: The Last Airbender 3
Battle of the Planets 3
Being Human 3
Black Books 3
Black Cat 3
Boondock Saints (1999) 3
Casino Royale (movie) 3
Copenhagen – Frayn 3
D.Gray-man 3
Dark Is Rising Sequence – Cooper 3
Dead Like Me 3
Deadwood 3
Digimon 3
Donald Strachey – Stevenson 3
Equilibrium (2002) 3
Fairytales 3
Final Fantasy VII 3
Final Fantasy VIII 3
Final Fantasy XII 3
Flashpoint 3
Forever Knight 3
From Eroica with Love 3
Fruits Basket 3
Georgette Heyer 3
Katamari Damacy 3
Kushiel’s Legacy 3
Loveless 3
Medium 3
Monochrome Factor 3
Night at the Museum (2006) 3
Nobuta wo Produce 3
Northern Exposure 3
Panic At The Disco 3
Politician RPF 3
Press Gang 3
Pushing Daisies 3
Real Ghostbusters 3
Sarah Jane Adventures 3
Scrubs 3
Shounen Onmyouji 3
Spooks 3
Stargate Atlantis RPF 3
Superman (movies) 3
The 4400 3
The Dresden Files 3
The Shield 3
Tokyo Babylon 3
Trinity Blood 3
Twelfth Night – Shakespeare 3
Watchmen 3
Wilby Wonderful (2004) 3
Wonderfalls 3
World of Warcraft 3
X-Force (comics) 3
24 2
12 Dancing Princesses (Fairy Tale) 2
21 Jump Street 2
Aspen Extreme (1993) 2
At Swim Two Boys 2
Baby-Sitters Club – Martin 2
Band Of Brothers 2
Banlieue 13 (2004) 2
Battlestar Galactica (2003 (RPF)) 2
Beauty and the Beast (Disney) (1991) 2
Bend It Like Beckham (2002) 2
Bible (New Testament) 2
Big Bang Theory 2
Big Love 2
Blake’s 7 2
Blues Brothers (1980) 2
Boy Meets World 2
Brimstone 2
Bring It On (2000) 2
Brokeback Mountain (2005) 2
Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPF 2
Castle 2
Companion to Wolves – Monette and Bear 2
Dark Angel 2
Dead Poet’s Society (1989) 2
Dead Zone 2
Dogma (1999) 2
E.R. 2
Eastwick 2
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 2
Elisabeth 2
Escaflowne 2
FlashForward 2
Generation Kill 2
Generation Kill 2
Global Frequency 2
Gokusen 2
Greek and Roman Mythology 2
Hamlet – Shakespeare 2
Hands Off! 2
Here is Greenwood 2
Highlander (movies) 2
House of Wax (2005) 2
Howl’s Moving Castle (Book) 2
Inuyasha 2
Invasion (TV) 2
James Bond – Fleming 2
Jekyll 2
Jurassic Park III (2001) 2
Kingdom of Heaven (2005) 2
Lord Peter Wimsey – Sayers 2
M.A.S.K. 2
Manic Street Preachers 2
Men in Black (1997) 2
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2
Muppet Show 2
Mutant X 2
One Piece 2
Peacemaker Kurogane 2
Phantom of the Opera 2
Primeval 2
Private Practice 2
Profiler 2
Red Dwarf 2
Red Dwarf 2
Roads of Heaven – Scott 2
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) 2
Robin of Sherwood 2
Robin of Sherwood 2
Rocky Horror Picture Show 2
Royal Tenenbaums (2001) 2
Samurai 7 2
Sanctuary (TV) 2
Sharpe (TV) 2
Shaun of the Dead 2
So You Think You Can Dance 2
Song Of The Lioness 2
Sorority Boys 2
Southland 2
Star Trek: The Next Generation 2
Stargate SG-1 RPF 2
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 2
Tactics 2
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World 2
Teen Titans 2
Terminator 2
The L Word 2
The Lymond Chronicles – Dunnett 2
The Matrix (1999) 2
The Wire 2
Thief of Eddis – Turner 2
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle 2
TV Commercials 2
Vampire Chronicles – Rice 2
Van Helsing (2004) 2
Whistle! 2
Wicked – Maguire 2
Winnie-the-Pooh – Milne 2
X/1999 2
.hack//G.U. 1
10 Things I Hate About You (1999) 1
3rd Rock from the Sun 1
A Little Princess – Burnett 1
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare 1
A Star Is Born (1954) 1
Absolutely Fabulous 1
Addams Family (1991) 1
Ai no Kusabi 1
Alice 19th 1
Alice In Wonderland – Carroll 1
Alien Nation 1
Alien: Resurrection (1997) 1
All About Eve (1950) 1
All The President’s Men (1976) 1
All the Pretty Horses (2000) 1
Alliance-Union – Cherryh 1
Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Chabon 1
Amazing Race 1
Angel Sanctuary 1
Anna to the Infinite Power (1983) 1
Antique Bakery 1
Arcadia 1
Arrested Development 1
August Rush (2007) 1
Avenue Jew – Lopez/Marx 1
Batman Beyond 1
Becket – Anouilh 1
Bedazzled (1967) 1
Beowulf 1
Bible (Old Testament) 1
Big Eden (2000) 1
Big Nothing (2006) 1
Big Sound 1
Birds of Prey (TV) 1
Blade (1998) 1
Blade Runner (1982) 1
Blonde Venus (1932) 1
Boa vs. Python (2004) 1
Bon Jovi 1
Bones 1
Boston Legal 1
Bots Master 1
Boys Over Flowers 1
Burn Notice 1
Cambridge Spies 1
Candide – Voltaire 1
Captain Blood – Sabatini 1
Cardcaptor Sakura 1
Carnivale 1
Cars (2006) 1
Casanova (UK) 1
Chariots of Fire (1981) 1
Charmed 1
Chrestomanci – Jones 1
Christine – Stephen King 1
Chronicles of Amber – Zelazny 1
Chronicles of Narnia RPF 1
Chronicles of Riddick (2004) 1
Cinderella 1
City By The Sea (2002) 1
Clockwork Heart – Pagliassotti 1
Cold Case 1
Computer Software 1
Conviction 1
Coupling 1
Cowboy Bebop 1
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2003) 1
Crusoe (TV) 1
Cthulhu Mythos – Lovecraft 1
Cupid (TV) 1
Curse of Chalion – Bujold 1
Damar – McKinley 1
Das Wunder von Bern (2003) 1
Dawson’s Creek 1
Death Race (2008) 1
Devil Wears Prada (2006) 1
Dinosaur Comics 1
Don Giovanni – Mozart 1
Double Dare (documentary) 1
Dracula – Stoker 1
Dracula: The Series 1
Durham County 1
E Street Band 1
Earth 2 1
Earthsea – Le Guin 1
Eerie Queerie! 1
Enchanted (2007) 1
Enzai OVA 1
Eureka Seven 1
Everything Is Illuminated (2005) 1
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser – Leiber 1
Faking It – Crusie 1
Fionavar Tapestry – Kay 1
Fish In The Trap 1
Fledgling – Butler 1
Frasier 1
Friends 1
From Dusk Til Dawn (1996) 1
Futurama 1
Gattaca (1997) 1
Gentle Gunman (1952) 1
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) 1
Ghostbusters (1984) 1
Girls Next Door 1
Girls Next Door 1
Glory Days 1
Glory Days 1
Go (1999) 1
Gossip Girl 1
Gossip Girl 1
Hairspray (2007) 1
Have I Got News For You RPF 1
Heat Guy J 1
Here Lies the Librarian – Peck 1
Heroes RPF 1
Hilary Tamar – Caudwell 1
Hockey RPF 1
Hurog – Briggs 1
Inglourious Basterds (2009) 1
Initial D 1
Into the Woods 1
Iron Chef RPF 1
Iron Man (Comic) 1
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 1
Jeremiah 1
Jesse’s Girl (song) 1
Jonathan Coulton 1
Jonathan Creek (TV) 1
Kaine 1
Kindred: The Embraced 1
King Arthur (2004) 1
Kingdom Hearts 1
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 1
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues 1
Kyou Kara Maou! 1
La Femme Nikita 1
Last Exile 1
Last Night (1998) 1
Law & Order: Trial by Jury 1
Les Miserables 1
Lie to Me (TV) 1
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 1
Little Miss Sunshine 1
Little Women – Alcott 1
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman 1
Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years 1
Love Pistols 1
Lucifer (Comic) 1
MacGyver (TV) 1
Married with Children 1
Mars Trilogy – Robinson 1
Mary Poppins (1964) 1
Mean Girls (2004) 1
Men With Guns 1
Menkui! 1
Merry Gentry – Hamilton 1
Mildred Pierce (1945) 1
Minority Report (2002) 1
Moby Dick – Melville 1
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) 1
My Bloody Valentine (2009) 1
My Own Private Idaho (1991) 1
NaPolA (2004) 1
Nature of the Beast (1995) 1
NCIS: Los Angeles 1
Nebulous 1
Neuromancer – Gibson 1
Neverwhere – Gaiman 1
New York Trilogy – Auster 1
Nightrunner – Flewelling 1
No Coins Please – Korman 1
Nochnoi Dozor aka Night Watch (2004) 1
Noir 1
Once and Again 1
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Márquez 1
Outer Limits 1
Outlander – Gabaldon 1
Paradise Kiss 1
Penny Arcade 1
Persona 2 1
Petshop of Horrors 1
Philadelphia Story (1940) 1
Pineapple Express (2008) 1
Point Break (1991) 1
Points – Barnett & Scott 1
Poirot – Christie 1
Ponyo (2008) 1
Power Rangers Zeo 1
Prey 1
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Spark 1
Prison Break 1
Queen Christina (1933) 1
Quills (2000) 1
Rabbi’s Cat – Sfar 1
Razia’s Shadow 1
Reaper 1
Reaper 1
Religious RPF 1
Reservoir Dogs (1992) 1
RH Plus (TV) 1
RH Plus (TV) 1
Richard Bolitho – Kent 1
Richard Jury – Grimes 1
Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Coleridge 1
Rome 1
Rome 1
Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare 1
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead – Stoppard 1
Rurouni Kenshin 1
Samurai Deeper Kyo 1
Save My Soul 1
s-CRY-ed 1
Secret Garden (musical) 1
Sex Pistols 1
Shaman King 1
Sharpe – Cornwell 1
Signs (2002) 1
Sin City 1
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 1
Snow Queen – Andersen 1
Song for the Basilisk – McKillip 1
Spenser series – Parker 1
Spy Game (2001) 1
Stand By Me (1986) 1
Star Trek RPF 1
Stargate (1994) 1
Starman 1
Starsky & Hutch (2004) 1
State of Play (2009) 1
Static Shock 1
Street Kings (2008) 1
Suikoden III 1
Swingtown 1
Tales of Destiny 1
Tales of Destiny 2 1
Tam Lin – Dean 1
Tanz der Vampire – Steinman/Kunze 1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1
Ten Inch Hero 1
That ’70s Show 1
The Avengers 1
The Bill 1
The Dresden Files (TV series) 1
The Faculty RPF 1
The Forsaken (2001) 1
The Hitcher (2007) 1
The Kingdom (2007) 1
The Long Goodbye – Chandler 1
The Middleman 1
The Mikado 1
The Mummy 1
The Odyssey – Homer 1
The Office (UK) 1
The Silmarillion – Tolkien 1
The Snowman (1982) 1
The Used – Fandom 1
The Watcher (2000) 1
The X-Files RPF 1
Thieves’ World – Various Authors 1
Third Watch 1
Thirtysomething 1
Threshold 1
Thursday Next – Fforde 1
Time Quintet – L’Engle 1
Time Traveler’s Wife – Niffenegger 1
Tintin 1
To Wong Foo (1995) 1
Top Gun (1986) 1
Toy Soldiers 1
Traders 1
Trailer Park Boys 1
Tramps Like Us 1
Tru Calling 1
True Blood 1
Tudors 1
Twin Peaks 1
Ugly Betty 1
Ultraviolet 1
Valentine (2008) 1
Vampire Game 1
Vampire Knight 1
Venture Bros 1
Vicar of Dibley 1
Vulcan Academy Murders – Lorrah 1
Warehouse 13 1
Weeds 1
Westmark – Alexander 1
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego 1
Whiskey Echo 1
White Boots – Streatfeild 1
White Collar 1
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire 1
Wicked 1
WKRP in Cincinnati 1
Wonder Woman (1976) 1
Wrong Turn (2003) 1
X-Men Evolution 1
Ysabel – Kay 1
Yuuto 1
Ze 1
Zetsuai and Bronze 1
Zoolander 1

What is interesting about the list of most popular fandoms on An Archive of Our Own is that it doesn’t line up with what fandoms are currently popular on LiveJournal or FanFiction.Net.  It will be interesting to see after they launch if this picture changes.

Wikia and Mahalo are not competing for the same audience…

November 12th, 2009

Apologizes for writing quality.  This is stream of consciousness.

I love Wikia and I love Mahalo.  Both do interesting things in the wiki community, are fascinating to watch and offer important lessons to people running their own wikis.  Jason from Mahalo would really like to recruit Wikia contributors for Mahalo.  He’s offering a financial incentive to switch. 

It isn’t necessarily the right approach.  First, most Wikia wikis are not about individuals but rather groups.  He should be focused on pulling the whole admin team over to Wikia.  Second, he’s talking about contributors to his wiki earning revenue on a page by page basis.  Wikia wikis are complex and have a huge number of pages, or at the least the ones Jason should be trying to recruit. He’s only offering a single page solution, not a multipage solution. He’s also not offering an option to port the content from Wikia to their own user controlled subdomain. 

If I’m mad at Wikia and my community on my wiki is also mad at Wikia and we want to leave, Jason can’t get us because there is no option to port from Wikia to Mahalo.  (I’m also not certain that Mahalo could do this if they wanted to.  The licenses between the two may not be compatible.)  If there is no porting, I’m pretty much stuck on Wikia.  (Why leave Wikia?)  If I do want to leave and my community wants to leave, we might be able to do it easily if we’re talking a limited subset of pages.  (Less than 500 is easy enough to copy and paste over.  [Wiki farms like can help you move things over easily too.])   Mahalo is not even going to be a consideration because you get even less control community wise and content wise on Mahalo than you do with Wikia. 

Porting over from Wikia to Mahalo is even more problematic.  I might have my wiki about Twilight that has 20 pages.  I might be tired of Wikia because the ads are annoying and I like the idea of making money off content.  Wikia isn’t ever going to do that.  Can I move it to Mahalo?  Probably not.  On Wikia, I could create my special Twilight wiki because Wikia allows duplicate wikis around the same topic.  Mahalo is a bit like Wikipedia and it doesn’t seem designed that way.  The pages that will do best for that subject are going to be the obvious ones.  In the case of Twilight, that will be the Twilight page.  100 people can’t profit off Twilight and can’t curate it.  Communicating with the community editing it, another major plus for Wikia, is difficult.  The nature of Mahalo thus locks  out those power mad Wikia users who create small specific wikis around subject areas where there is already a bigger wiki on Wikia.

The money aspect is going to turn off a number of potential Wikia users.  If I’m a huge Twihard, I’m going to obsessively create content about Twilight because I LOVE TWILIGHT! ZOMG! THE SPARKLY VAMPIRES! I LOVE THEM!  My motivation is going to be based less on monetary return and more on my obsessive love and expressing it.  I’m going to look for like minded people.  Wikia is a turn on because it is a venue where I can create a clear product of my obsession and meet other like minded fans.  (Go Team Edward!)  Mahalo has limited interaction and money just cheapens my love.  Twihards and other obsessive fans are ones Jason should be courting because they produce loads of content for free because they are so obsessed.  In a number of cases, highly motivated fans who love the source create high quality content.  (See Wikipedia.)  Those folks are needed as fans as the pages they create will become great resources for people to cite.  Fans who create for money often think differently or misunderstand their audience, creating less desirable content.

If Jason wants to effectively market to unhappy Wikia users, he’s got to find a better solution.  His current methods are just off the mark.  Money needs to be de-emphasized, community more emphasized and he needs to demonstrate to the community he is courting that he is trust worthy and that users will have community control and content control, that he’ll support leaders in those community while putting monetization as a secondary goal.  I just don’t know if doing that is something that would be compatible with Mahalo’s goals as the two appear to be catering to different audiences.

Russet Noon: Update

November 12th, 2009

We’ve seen a small increase in traffic to the wiki (10 visits to 40 visits a day) in the past week to Russet Noon.   If you are wondering what happened, we are too.  This is what we know and we’ve updated the wiki to say:

As of October 26, 2009, visits to the site returned a “Page Not found” error. marks the domain as “Registered And No Website” under its Server Stats tab.[75] It is unclear why the site was deleted. The corresponding MySpace page is gone, with the note from MySpace confirming that either the account was either cancelled by the owner or deleted by MySpace.

That is what Tikatu found out.  She also blogged about this issue on her JournalFen account.  If you know, let us know.  We’d love an update.

Want affiliate links from Fan History? Here’s how!

November 12th, 2009

I got an e-mail two or three days from some one who found this blog and asked for affiliate links.  They touted their own page rank and how it would be to both our advantages to do this.  My reply was basically: Why are you asking me for links on the blog when you can get rel=follow blogs on the wiki, where the links can be on pages more targeted to their audience? The person replied back with something like: Fan History is a much better place! Here is more info on why we should affiliate link!

People?  Don’t send me those type of e-mails.  Don’t send others those sort e-mails.  Fan History Wiki is a wiki.  You want links?  All you have to do is follow our rules and our self promotion guidelines.  You don’t have to ask us if this is okay.  We encourage that because it makes the wiki more relevant and more useful.  If you want more incoming links, go ahead and add them to Fan History.

Are we going to add links to you on Fan History at your request?  Maybe… but generally only if you’re asking for a front page link because you have big, big fandom news that you think everyone landing on the main page needs to know about.  (Ficathons, charity events, law suits, contests, that sort of thing.)  If the link is good enough because your news is that good, we’ll be happy to blog about it.  Outside that, e-mails for reciprocal link are pretty much ignored.

The only other exception is if you want us to create a lot of articles (50+) about your site.  Then please feel free to e-mail us with as many details as possible, why you want those pages, what is required of us, how this will help Fan History be better at completing its mission.

Please, no e-mails requesting affiliate linking.

Reflections on #wikimedia-strategy discussions

November 11th, 2009

I love wikis.  I love wikis in the way that people go “Lulz! You treat wikis like too much serious buziness!”  When there are conversations about wikis that I can participate in and watch, I like to do that. I can learn a lot about what makes other wikis successful, how that can be applied to our own wiki work on Fan History, see  if our experiences on Fan History can help other wikis be more successful.  With that in mind, I’ve been trying to attend some of the organized chats in #wikimedia-strategy, which are for trying to help create a long term strategic plan for the Foundation.  These are some of my thoughts having been involved with two of those.

One discussion involved how wikiNews had issues.  The project isn’t viewed as credible enough for use by Wikipedia users.  WikiNews finds it hard to get quality articles and attract a lot of good editors because the project’s rules were created almost fully formed; these guidelines can be confusing, intimidating in terms of attracting new contributors, aren’t always clear and involve a lot of tedious hierarchy for news to point where it seems pointless to try.  To get around those issues, a lot of people just put the news on Wikipedia… because Wikipedia gets a lot of praise for how well they cover issues such as that.  This situation makes the one on wikiNews even worse.  The news on Wikipedia in many cases has a limited shelf life, where old news related articles like Balloon Boy will get deleted.  From my perspective, this is clearly a problem that needs to be addressed.

Another discussion involved why people weren’t editing Wikipedia.  One of my arguments was because some people had problems with other contributors, who they felt were rude and actively discouraging new people from contributing.  I’ve heard this from several people, saw it mentioned on my LiveJournal friends list, and it is one of my own issues.  Some one in the chat challenged this as not true.  There was a side discussion involving that, which devolved.  My understanding though is that there has not been a study to determine why people are not contributing to Wikipedia.

There was another discussion about the need for a WYSIWYG editor to be included in Mediawiki.  The consensus amongst developers appears to be that you cannot do that  with Mediawiki.  The other problem is that Mediawiki cannot do real time editing.  (Though people are trying to create extensions plugging in Google Wave to allow for real time collaborative editing on MediaWiki.)  Some people thought that Mediawiki’s software had pushed as many limits as it could; was it now time to scrap the software and create new software that could meet changing needs like real time editing and a WYSIWYG editor?  Developers seemed inclined to lean this way.

A separate discussion involved the question of: Is real time editing something that Wikipedia projects really need?  For high volume articles and Wikinews where timeliness is important, the answer appeared to be yes.  The people in the chat who appeared to be most loudly advocating a position that it is needed for a wider variety of articles were power contributors.  They did acknowledge that for the vast majority of articles, there won’t ever be two people editing an article to make it an issue.

A question was raised on the role of the Foundation supporting wiki related conferences.  The Foundation plans to continue this as a form of outreach.   There is not consensus of if they should be doing more support for conferences or if they should be working with other organizations for fund those conferences.

One issue that was some what contentious was that some people felt that most of the suggestions on the strategy wiki were dumb, stupid and never going to happen.  At least one individual felt that these suggestions should be deleted.  The representative from the foundation suggested instead that volunteers should use the reader feedback section to discuss  why those things won’t happen.  This didn’t really make some people happy as they felt it made it difficult to have  a real plan with all that junk there.  I tried to point out that in terms of a strategic plan that different people have different things they want/need to get out of Wikipedia so some of the things they desire may be a matter of perspective and slamming people’s good faith efforts wasn’t the best way to get quality feedback.

Some other things were mentioned that I will try to blog about at a later date.

Fan History organizational tree: Fan fiction archives

November 10th, 2009

During the past few days, we’ve been working on trying to visualize our organizational patterns on Fan History in order to understand our own patterns, how we conceptualize fandom, to check for organizational consistency, create tools to help users understand our organizational patterns, to identify areas where we lack stub content. This is our second post in this series. This one is about fan fiction archives.

Thus, we’re creating mindmaps like the one below that do that. The purpose isn’t to get a complete tree. (Some of the categories have 10, 50, 200 different sub categories. It isn’t timely.) It is to get enough of one to do the above. The one below is one of these mind maps. It looks at how we conceptualize blogs. Click on it for the link to the full size.

The structure isn’t complete for a lot of fandom specific categories.  That’s because for some things, there are over fifty categories.  Some of these were chosen as a representative sample.  I tried to put at least eight subcategories in those cases. 

What strikes me as obvious is the lack of FanFiction.Net appearing in more places.  If there is a category for it, which I’m almost certain there is, it wasn’t linked here.  That needs to be addressed.  Sugar Quill for Harry Potter also deserves its own subcategories.  We need subcategories for archives where we have user lists.  We’re also short on archives for sports and theater and actors.  The actor related archives might have been hidden or minimized because for a while, we didn’t really know how to organize them.  We also didn’t get many actor fan fiction related archives when we did our geocities preservation work. 

The Adult Fan Fiction archives section isn’t built really well and really lends itself to other questions, like should we be separating out archives with adult content into their own separate hierarchy?  And if we should, should we also be labeling articles that the sites, pages, concepts in question may deal with adult concepts?  Added to that, AdultFanFiction.Net isn’t included in that category at all so if the category should be there, AdultFanFiction.Net needs to be included.  (Unrelated, I would really love to do something like we did for and FanFiction.Net and YuleTide in terms of stories and people articles.)

There are a lot of multifandom fan fiction archives covering different genres and mediums.  This includes FanLib, AdultFanFiction.Net, MediaMiner.Org, and FanNation.  They are listed in multiple places like Comics fan fiction archives, Movie fan fiction archives, Television fan fiction archives.  The problem is that they are listed along side categories like Batman fan fiction archives, Harry Potter fan fiction archives, Charlie’s Angels fan fiction archives, Wonder Woman archives.  This, to me, doesn’t feel intuitive but I’m not sure how else to categorize these large massive multifandom sites and make them findable for people looking for fandom specific archives that they represent.  Maybe that’s more of an issue for articles, where we include these archives on the article pages?  It needs more thinking and some one to implement.

If you have any feedback on this tree, any questions about how it developed, we would love your feedback. Do the organic patterns we’ve developed make sense? Is this construction too artificial? Is it not logical? And if you’re really motivated, we’ve really like that feedback on the relevant talk pages for those categories.

Fan History organizational tree: Blogs

November 10th, 2009

During the past few days, we’ve been working on trying to visualize our organizational patterns on Fan History in order to understand our own patterns, how we conceptualize fandom, to check for organizational consistency, create tools to help users understand our organizational patterns, to identify areas where we lack stub content. 

Thus, we’re creating mindmaps like the one below that do that.  The purpose isn’t to get a complete tree.  (Some of the categories have 10, 50, 200 different sub categories.  It isn’t timely.)  It is to get enough of one to do the above.  The one below is one of these mind maps.  It looks at how we conceptualize blogs.    Click on it for the link to the full size


For blogs, we tend to organize by fandom type (music, sports, actors), by social networking site, by blogging site, by bloggers.  The inclusion of American bloggers on the top level probably isn’t the best place for it and later, some one should probably move that down into Bloggers -> Bloggers by country -> American bloggers.  LiveJournal is actually much deeper than you’re seeing here.  As we post others part of our tree, that might become a bit more obvious.

A lot of the blogs that we have are generally listed around a topic.  We have few fandom specific categories for blogs like that.  It would be nice to see that expanded, to have blogs listed beyond the ones present on social networking sites.

If you have any feedback on this tree, any questions about how it developed, we would love your feedback.  Do the organic patterns we’ve developed make sense?  Is this construction too artificial?  Is it not logical?  And if you’re really motivated, we’ve really like that feedback on the relevant talk pages for those categories.

Trends on Fan History from January to October 2009

November 8th, 2009

I love looking at Google Analytics.   I also love identifying fandom trends and trends on Fan History Wiki.  The following charts show traffic to articles which have those keywords in the URL. 

Different issues, sites and fandoms peaked at different times.  Draco/Hermione peaked in July 2009.  Cassandra Claire related articles peaked in August 2009.  That peak related to the news about her movie.  Our overall traffic to articles related to her has been down since 2007 as the SEO on our articles has fallen a bit; other articles about her rank much higher on Google. The Police also peaked in July 2009.  Michael Jackson related articles also peaked in July 2009. That was while a lot of the hoopla around his death was still going on. Jon and Kate Plus 8 peaked in June 2009.  That was around the time they announced their split and the topic just would not go away.  Pages with Fail in the url peaked in August 2009.  Most of the pages involved there were connected to Survey Fail as we were one of the best fandom news sources covering the issue.  Naruto also peaked in July.   AdultFanFiction.Net peaked in June 2009.  Freedom of Speech Fan Fiction Archive peaked in August 2009 as the site experienced continual downtime.  Inuyasha peaked in July 2009 as we added a number of articles about pieces of Inuyasha fan fiction. Sakura Lemon Fan Fiction Archive peaked in February 2009.  Traffic has been going down ever since.  Russet Noon peaked in March 2009.  Twilight peaked in February 2009.   Interest in Geocities peaked in October as the site was shutting down.   Interest in FanLib peaked in August, a year after it shut down.  Interest in Jorja Fox peaked in February 2009 thought there was much more consistent interested in September 2009.  LiveJournal peaked in February 2009.  Star Trek peaked in May 2009.  Harry Potter peaked in August.  Dreamwidth peaked in April.

Do you think was ever touched by a real person? And how many will ever be seen by a single person?

November 8th, 2009

I read McNiche: On the perils of scaling down a mass model a day or two ago and it has been bothering me ever since.

There was an observation or two about WikiCity that made me really think about Fan History and some of our automated content creation:

How many of those millions of “Web site pages” do you think was ever touched by a real person? And how many will ever be seen by a single person?

About 700,000 of Fan History’s 808,000 articles were created using automated methods that didn’t have a Fan History admin manually curating information.  We did this for FanFiction.Net people articles, for episode articles, for musician/band related articles.  I’d guess that of those 700,000 articles created by bots, roughly 50,000 have been touched by human hands.

Last month, there were 37,272 pages were viewed a total of 176,272 times.   That 37,272 works out to roughly 4% of our pages being accessed in October 2009.  Year to date, 183,755 pages were viewed a total of 1,786,830 times.  This works out to 22% of all our articles being accessed this year.  (Which basically supposes that only articles on the main name space were accessed.)  That doesn’t feel all that impressive.  We’d really, really like to improve on that.  It is one of our goals.  That and to get more people to edit pages that were created through automation.

The article talks about how scaling down these projects might be the best option because of all those dead pages that aren’t touched by human hands.  I’m just not sure for some large scale wiki projects that rely on automation like Fan History or AboutUs would benefit from this sort of thinking.  One of the things we’ve found on Fan History is that by having a large number of consistently formatted articles about certain topics is that we’ve been able to increase our number of contributors and have been able to get people to edit those articles.  It also helps with modeling; new contributors are able to look at those articles and create ones of their own.  We see this happen on a daily basis on Fan History: People discover articles about themselves or groups they are involved with and improve an article.  The article gets curated.  After that happens, the person doing it frequently links to it, tells others about it and then their friends go and create articles about their interests OR edit existing articles.  With out that automation, that wouldn’t happen.  If we were better at self promoting, our particular situation would improve and we’d have more people editing and curating and reporting and documenting.  The problem isn’t the automation; the problem is our ability to get others involved.

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. 


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.

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.

International copyright law could spell big problems for fandom

November 4th, 2009

If you haven’t seen it, read Cory Doctorow’s Secret copyright treaty leaks. It’s bad. Very bad. It spells out some of the details of proposed international copyright law that the Obama administration is looking to change the world with.

If this changed happened, it would be bad news for fans and their families. It looks like it would also squash a lot of fair use rights that fans rely on for things like fanvidding and fan fiction archives. For fan fiction archivists, there is always the question of “Is this material legal?” For the most part, archivists just ignore this question and only deal with the issue when legal threats are issued. There is no precedent for the material so we just don’t know. If archivists are going to be held liable for user uploaded material, then there will be an incentive to close archives. Why? Most archivists run their archives as a labor of love and cannot afford to the liability.

Fansites are in the same spot. Most of those are also labors of love that rely on their promotional aspects and fair use to rely on what they host or allow contributors to their site to upload.

There are so many other issues with this and how it is bad news for the fan community that I can’t fully articulate them. This is not change we can believe in. Let the US government know that this is not good and is not necessary for national security, that our current implementation of this has been a total failure and unAmerican in that it does not allow due process.

In LiveJournal media fandom, we are taught…

November 2nd, 2009

… admit no mistake, do not make yourself vulnerable to others, always be on the offensive, don’t admit to character flaws or weakness. We are taught that if you do, you will suffer the consequences for years. We are taught, through example, that if you admit mistakes and are vulnerable, others will exploit these weakness for their own fannish benefit.

I’m writing this entry mostly in response to a series of tweets by Ben Parr, a writer for Mashable. Our perspectives differ because of our place online and our own experiences. I’d love to believe “@BenParr @purplepopple My philosophy has always been “let the haters come,” because I believe in what I do and prove it with my actions.” I believe in what I’m doing. I believe in it a lot. I’m committed to what I’m doing and am always looking for ways to improve. I just do not like to publicly own my faults because I just have moments when I can’t because I’ve seen what fandom haters are capable of. I don’t just don’t have the energy to deal with the ramifications of the shit that could come down the pike if some hater took issue with me.

Check out some of the shit that Cassandra Clare, Supernatural fans, Smallville fans, Blake’s 7 fans, X-Files fans and science fiction fans are capable of. Contacting employers, contacting family, threatening to kill people and talking about how they deserve to be sexually assaulted, cracking passwords, contacting webhosts to report them for alleged Terms of Service Violations, contacting a show’s producers and actors to blast them for another set of fans’s actions. Most of the most egregious behavior doesn’t get documented out of fear of both sides going after the document-er for getting the story wrong.

I want to characterize these actions as fail fandom but it isn’t. Fail fandom is generally about some one taking offensive at something some one did or said or implied. Sure, yeah, the subtext of fail fandom is often about a power play in fandom but at the onset, it generally doesn’t look that way.

A lot of this is really banal stuff. Do you ship Clark/Chloe? Well fuck you. I hate your ship with a fiery passion. You’re in my space. Let me find some ways to cause you pain. Hey! You wrote Supernatural incest fic? I hate that crap! I know what to do! You made the mistake of linking your real name and your fannish name so I’ll contact your family and let them know what you are up to online! Oh hey! You challenged my status in the Harry Potter fandom and I need my status to be higher so I can be closer to JK Rowling. Let me teach you a lesson, because I know you work in school, by letting them know what sort of material you read. It doesn’t matter that I read it too because I don’t work with kids. You like Doggett from X-Files? That’s unforgivable because MSR is the only good thing from X-Files and because you’re too stupid to get that, I’ll just do a DDoS on your network connection. I want the freedom to write sexually graphic rape because of artistic freedom. You don’t like that and hey you’re a rape victim? Awesome! Because you know how you tried to repress my artistic expression? I’m going to intentionally trigger you! Those examples are all variations of real incidents.

And then we come back to the first part of this post: Media fandom on LiveJournal (and its clones like Dreamwidth Studios)teaches us not to be vulnerable, to self criticize, to admit to our weaknesses. In some places, in some communities, you want to admit and own your weakness, your vulnerabilities and where you can improve. I’ve found that in the wiki community outside Wikipedia, this generally is the norm. On Twitter and in social media communities filled with social media professionals, it is also good to be able articulate those. Fandom differs to a degree though. In a wiki, we should all be working towards a greater good. In social media, you want to be honest with your clients, to be continually learning and you’re aware of the professional repercussions for being an asshole, and a moron that engages in personal attacks on people outside of the scope of the content. Fandom doesn’t have those considerations of greater good or professional gain.

Fandom has other considerations because, for most of us, fandom is a hobby. People have goals for fandom: Having fun, getting feedback on their stories, enjoying the porn, being fawned over for their most awesome fanvids and fanart, writing extensive meta analysis because they love to do that, to fantasize about Eli Roth getting off on your nudie pics, trying to get a professional publishing career, using their fanac as a vehicle to meet actors and producers, trying to influence the writers and directors and actors to write the book or show like they want it to be written. Some of these inherently set fans into conflict with each other. If you are in a fandom to get close to the powers that be, well only so many people can. If you are in a fandom because of a character, actor or ship, there is only so much time that those can be given; people with different preferences are going to be in conflict as they try to persuade producers to focus on their desires. For fan fiction writers and readers and vid watchers, there is only so much time in a day, only so much feedback that can be given; conflict happens in the struggle to maximize the feedback and to support our favorite artists. The greater good in fandom only seems to happen when there is something that threatens the institution around which the fandom is based like a show ending.

Because of fandom existing as a state of conflict, because LiveJournal fandom is dominated by women, people bring in the personal and unrelated. The attacker looks for vulnerabilities. They look for places where they can exploit your weakness in order to push you out of fandom, to get you to stop being in conflict with them and to further their own agenda.

That’s my takeaway from fandom. Those are the lessons I have learned. So while I think it is good to be able to articulate your weakness in social media, as a journalist, as a historian, as an entrepreneur, I have trouble with that because I cannot unlearn overnight what I spent over ten years learning and having reinforced on a daily basis. (Thanks White Collar fandom and Smallville fandom for this week’s lesson.)

Having the hockey fan experience

November 1st, 2009

I’ve been busy in the past two days being a big hockey fan, having seen the Chicago Blaze and the Rockford Ice Hogs play. The Chicago Blaze are an AAHL team. They play in Rolling Meadows. Home games cost $8. Parking is free. Food is cheap. The hockey is entertaining and the team is undefeated.

I didn’t have my normal camera so I was stuck taking pictures on my cell phone on Friday night. Those pictures can be found here at Chicago Blaze images. If you have your own images, please feel free to upload them.

On Halloween, I went the 50 miles to Rockford, Illinois to see the Rockford Ice Hogs play. I’d been to a Chicago Wolves game before and had loads of fun there. The Ice Hogs are the Chicago Blackhawks farm team and get a lot, lot of promotion on WZOK, a Rockford radio station I listen to a lot. I decided at 5:50pm to see them with a start time at 7:05. Eek. The parking was more affordable than the Wolves: $5 vs. $11. I got a ticket for $12 behind the goal on the second level. Second level seats seem a bit better (Metro Center) than they do at Wolves games. (Allstate Arena) I didn’t buy any food so I can’t really compare. It was a lot of fun. The fans at this game chanted and cheered and talked to other fans. I was amused by the cheering when the Ice Hogs scored. The cheer? “Hey, guess what? Your goalie sucks!” This chanting went on for a while. Some one also had bubbles blowing. The hockey players seemed a bit more intense, quicker to get on and off the ice than the Chicago Blaze. The hits were harder. Awesome fun. I’d go see them play again. (Though I might see the Wolves first as they have better entertainment during the game.) Oh and hey! Free wifi inside the Metro Center.

Again, no camera but had my cell phone camera. My pictures are at Rockford Ice Hogs images.

I love hockey. I love the game experience for the AAHL and the AHL. I just never want to hear how rude Chicago Cubs fans are again. Anyone who says that? They haven’t attended a hockey game, where rudeness has been ritualized and is good fun.

The wikiHow conference call

October 30th, 2009

This week I did a conference call with wikiHow. All users were invited to attend and the call was advertised on wikiHow’s forums and in their chat room. I like these things a lot. (I just felt a bit uncomfortable “attending” as I am not an active contributor. I mostly hang out on chat and edit when asked. I’m there for great wiki community support and because I believe in their project.) It is interesting to hear part of their call and to get insight into their thought process for implementing features and design. I don’t get to do as much of that with Fan History because we lack the technical skills. The parts that I participated in talked about things like placement of how to contribute on their main page, how to offer live support, if their current chat room is an effective option, how to advertise that. There was also some mention of the new skin. If you’re a contributor to wikiHow, or want to see how a large wiki works, try to get in on another one of their calls.

October 2009: Most popular articles

October 30th, 2009

Most popular articles for October 2009. (Yes, two days early but I want it done because plans for the weekend.) Some patterns have changed from a year ago but mostly, what has always been popular continues to be popular.

  1. Draco/Hermione
  2. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive
  3. Shotacon
  4. AdultFanFiction.Net
  5. Yu-Gi-Oh Card Maker Wiki
  6. Cassandra Claire
  7. FanFiction.Net
  8. FanDomination.Net
  9. Naruto
  10. Fan fiction archives

For the month, we had 36,101 pages that were viewed a total of 167,509 times.

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