Archive for December, 2008

Keyword peaks for fandoms and fansites on Fan History in 2008

December 31st, 2008

The following are when interest, based on keyword (not keyphrase), spiked in 2008 on Fan History according to Google Analytics…

January 5

January 11

January 13

January 14

January 27

February 22

February 27

March 2

March 8

March 13

March 18

April 17

April 29

May 22

May 27

June 10

June 13

July 6

July 20

July 24

July 29

August 3

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 21

August 22

August 23

September 12

September 27

September 29

October 6

October 15

October 16

October 17

October 20

October 21

October 31

November 6

November 9

November 9

November 11

November 22

November 23

November 28

December 1

December 6

December 9

December 11

December 28

December 29

Do you user Flickr? Might be time to back up your pics…

December 31st, 2008

I know of a number of fans who love Flickr and use it as a place where they house their fanart. If that’s you (or you just use your account for non-fandom purposes), you might want to back those works up. FuckedStartups is reporting that there is a possibility that the site might be sold or shutdown. Its stock price is down and Microsoft is apparently not interested in any potential deals for Flickr.

Well ouch. MySpace turns super fan unfriendlier…

December 30th, 2008

MediaPost is reporting that MySpace has come up with a new way of dealing with infringing fans. Instead of DMCA takedown notices, cease and desist letters, etc., companies can now overlay the content on your MySpace contributions with their own advertisements:

Once a site publisher enables Auditude, every piece of content gets a unique ID. First, a content owner has to supply Auditude with copies of all content it wants “fingerprinted,” and Auditude adds it to a database. Once deployed on MySpace, for example, the technology can scan every digital file queued for uploading to see if there’s a match within the indexed content. It can then take any action the content company prefers, including blocking the upload. MTV Networks is one of the first entertainment companies to sign up for the MySpace service – and it’s going the ad route for content from BET, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

That kind of sucks the big one. It probably helps explain why MySpace has never really caught on big with hardcore fandom who have instead opted for services like LiveJournal, FaceBook, Quizilla, FanFiction.Net, YouTube, etc. Well, that and a number of teen fandom friends I have music wise were put off when they posted their bandfic, bandslash when they were contacted by people that they characterized as pedophiles.

That sort of heavy handed tactic could result in a loss of people tuning in to MySpace because it is hugely intrusive and doesn’t offer any form of recourse. (Of course, considering that MySpace offers some unique things that you can’t get elsewhere and a lot of people won’t ever notice that, and it will help MySpace with their revenue stream, I can’t see any change happening to dissuade media companies from responding this way to alleged copyright violations. )

Fly, Eagles, Fly!

December 30th, 2008

It’s a good week to be a Philadelphia Eagles fan, after this past weekend’s crushing defeat of arch-nemesis team the Dallas Cowboys. After an up-and-down season, suddenly the Eagles stand an actual chance of making it to the Superbowl — perhaps not a great chance, but a chance — making fans here in Philadelphia wonder if by some miracle the city could win two big sports titles in a row, what with the World Series victory by the Phillies just a short time ago.

OK, so it’s a long shot, but Philadelphia fans are nothing if not eternally hopeful. And a little crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I’ve been spending some time watching Eagles-related videos on YouTube (wiki). And it’s been really interesting seeing some of the songvids and other fan-vids that have been produced. While some are little more than looped memorable game plays or quick jokes (such as Brian Dawkins’ memorable slam of Reggie Bush, and Donovan McNabb’s victory dance from this Sunday’s game), others are as involved and complex as any fan-vid in media fandom that I’ve ever seen, though with a rather different aesthetic, to be sure. Just a couple of my favorites from recent viewing include:

Anyway, I thought it was interesting to spend some time checking these out (while enjoying a little post-victory glow).

Why hello thar CrunchRoll and potential fan wank!

December 28th, 2008

Thank you to elocinia for bringing this to my attention. I’m only an occasional visitor to CrunchyRoll and I wouldn’t have picked up on this otherwise. The site is going to have big changes.

CrunchyRoll made a deal with TV Tokyo to get subbed versions of some of their series available one hour after they air in Japan. Awesome no? Not necessarily. In order to do this, they are first removing all unlicensed anime from their site. And if you want to watch those new episodes? You need to pay to be able to watch them right away. If you don’t, you’ve got to wait a week to watch them.

The fall out could be pretty big and we’ll have to see how they handle the fall out that is sure to come from people who protest their illegal vids from being accessible like they want to.

I want to win a free mug! :) Also, twitter!

December 28th, 2008

This is a totally non-fannish post. Over OwenC’s blog, he’s giving away a free mug to people who blog about his free mug give away. My chances of winning are probably pretty low but hey! Why not?

If you’re also on Twitter, consider following our Twitter account which feeds from our Recent Changes. It gives you an idea of some of that fantastic articles being updated on the wiki.t

Frost/Nixon! I saw it!

December 27th, 2008

Holiday season is here which means YAY! Awesome movies out in theaters! The one I wanted to see the most was Frost/Nixon. (I’m not a Tom Cruise fan, exhausted on World War II themed movies and the reviews weren’t all that glowing. Valkyrie thus wasn’t an option.) I love politics. (I’ve been major league distracted by Illinois’s current political theater.) Nixon is such a fascinating character/figure. And AT LAST! After loads of hype? The movie came out in theaters!

Normally I go to Cinema 12 in Carpentersville because shows tend to not be sold out, popcorn prices are reasonable and you can get a matinee ticket for $4.50. Frost/Nixon wasn’t showing there so I had to go up to AMC South Barrington 30 where a matinee showing cost $10, a large popcorn costs $6.50 and a small bottle of water costs $3.00. I boggled as this is way more than I usually spend. I don’t get how theaters can stay in business charging that but according to my friend who lives in the city (of Chicago), that cost is normal. (And how does this theater appear to stay in business? First run Bollywood movies which play to packed houses on Saturday night on 1/3 of their screens.) The movie start time “was” 5:05pm. The movie actually started at 5:25. I paid some good money to sit through a lot more ads (previews? still ads for movies) than I have to sit through at Cinema 12. These two things? They probably mean I won’t be back to AMC 30 for another two years.

So yeah. Anyway. Moving on.

The movie! It was pretty good. I enjoyed it a lot. I hadn’t read much about it, hadn’t heard much about it other than it was based on a screenplay and featured an interview I had never heard of. I wondered how they would handle an interview because if they didn’t add background information, it would be a total snore. But the movie had that and intercut the interview parts and background with shots from the “future” where the players talked about what the interview meant. The actor who played Nixon did a pretty good job. When he got angry or emotional, it seemed really authentic. The rest of the time, I was left feeling guilty because he didn’t sound enough like the real Richard Nixon and I shouldn’t have been focusing on that. And the voice shouldn’t be that important. (Except it is. I know of Richard Nixon through his voice.) I think the parts that showed Pat Nixon were limited but still did a great job showing the complexity of his marriage. I had a ZOMG! moment of “Didn’t realize Diane Sawyer got her start with Nixon.” I feel like I should have known that.

So I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot. I’d recommend it to others who are already thinking of seeing it.

What do David Tennant, Allison Stokke, David Hewlett and Russel Crowe have in common?

December 23rd, 2008

They were our most visited actor fandom articles recently!

We’ve been really busy at Fan History promoting articles in the actor fandoms category. Most of this promotion has gone on in three locations: LiveJournal, Chickipedia, FanPop. We started it about a week ago and stopped this morning. This led to a number of really good edits to articles.

Anyway, after this week of blitzing the actor fandom categories, we were interested to see which articles got the most visits. The following is a list of articles that got the most visits:

And lot of the visits we got led to people not just visiting those articles but other articles on Fan History so we’re really happy. If you know anything about actor fandoms, check out the category and start editing articles! We’d really appreciate it!

Generating traffic for your fansite? Use a method that generates positive metrics!

December 22nd, 2008

Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of generating traffic for websites. A lot of this learning happened because I have some great friends on Twitter, some awesome friends in the wiki community, and met people at two Chicago area barcamps. They’ve given me advice directly, and linked to blogs and sites that give advice. This advice has been one of the major reasons that Fan History has changed the way that we do some of our promotions.

When you’re generating traffic for a fansite, you should have three goals:

  • Increase repeat visits to your site;
  • Increase the time spent on your site; and
  • Increase the number of pages visited per visit.

    When you’re link building, you want to spend more time on links which will bring in a higher quality visit. Pure visitors are great but they aren’t the most useful metric around. Would you rather get 10,000 visitors who spend 10 seconds on your site and view one page? Or 1,000 visitors who spend 10 minutes on your site and visit 20 pages? The second one is the type of visit that builds value for your fansite. It means people are more likely to come back, more likely to register, more likely to contribute to your site, and more likely to refer people to your site.

    Ever heard of digg? A lot of fandom people I know aren’t that familiar with it but it is a hugely popular site. If you can get your site on the front page of digg, you can probably get in the neighborhood of 10,000 to 40,000 unique visitors. Ever heard of StumbleUpon? More of my fandom friends have. StumbleUpon, if your site is stumbled right, can get you a few hundred visits a day. A lot of fansites would kill for that. (If the increased traffic didn’t kill their sites.) Those stats make it seem like it would be a no brainer: use both to try to increase your traffic! Lots of visitors!

    Another way to generate traffic is by wanking. Make fandom_wank or sf_drama and you can probably see another 1,000 to 3,000 visitors. If you’re linked through metafandom for being controversial, you can expect between 500 and 2,000 visitors depending on how many posts you’re linked on, how controversial you are and what day of the week it is. But like digg and Stumbleupon, these are cheap visits. Most of the visitors you get through wanking are wank navel gazers. They come in, view one page, spend between 10 seconds to 1 minute on your site, then go. They generally don’t repeat. In fact, because of the tie-ins to wank, they are less likely to be repeat visitors than if you had been linked through Digg. This is because your reputation ends up getting smacked around and you become known as a wanker. And once the wank winds down, your traffic levels off to prewank levels. The high in increased visitors doesn’t hold. You’ll get a massive drop off. So using wank to generate traffic, unless you’re specifically running a wank-type site like fandom_wank or EncyclopediaDramatica, isn’t a good idea. It doesn’t help build value by increasing the visits to your site, increasing time spend on the site, or increasing the number of page views per visit. (It is why Fan History mods don’t intentionally go around wanking; it doesn’t help our more important and valuable metrics. Quality over quantity of visits. And when we have wanked, our traffic tends to fall off a cliff about two days after the wank dies down. We’ve known this for over a year now when we first got the numbers to demonstrate it.)

    Want some real numbers for that? Fan History’s numbers:

    Average digg visitor to Fan History views 1.76 pages and spends 35 seconds on the site. Stumblers view an average 2.27 pages per visit and spend 1 minute 25 seconds on the site. It is harder to separate the wank traffic but the metrics are pretty similar because wank happens all over. But we were mentioned on ranty-rie‘s LiveJournal recently. The average visitor viewed one page, spent less than 10 seconds on the site and didn’t come back.

    If you’re trying to build valuable traffic, what are valuable ways to link build to get visitors who come back, spend time on your site and view multiple pages? Personal e-mail. We have a couple of people on hotmail that we’ve e-mailed who ended up spending over an hour on the site and viewed more than 20 pages in their visit. On gmail? The average visitor views 21.77 pages and spends 21 minutes on the site. Positive mentions with attached discussion. Sidewinder blogs about Fan History on her LiveJournal pretty regularly. Our referrers through her? They view 21.5 pages and spend 11 minutes and 52 seconds per visit on average. (And most of them come back and view the site again.) Another good way to get traffic is to link to sites where the sites are small enough to watch and view every referrer. Fan History does that and people who come in with a referrer of a stat counter, they spend nearly 27 minutes on the site and view an average of 20 pages in their visit. Plugs on message boards also work really well if the message is about the site and the comment invites other comments or discussion about the site. We got mentioned on fannation.shades-of-moonlight.com and the average visitor spent 7 minutes on the site and viewed 13 pages.

    What does that mean? You want to build high quality links where you invite people to participate and be involved. You want a link where the discussion, overall, will have a positive tone. Doing that increases the time spent on the site, increases the number of pages viewed per visit and increases the amount of times a visitor visits your site.

    Don’t go for a cheap route of wanking or using services like digg. They don’t help your increase the value in your metrics.

    For information on Fan History’s metrics in general, see Quantcast, Alexa and Compete.

  • Say goodbye to adult content on Ning…

    December 20th, 2008

    I know there are a few fandom oriented/entertainment communities on Ning. Given fandom’s love affair with adult concepts, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if some of those communities had adult content. If that sounds like it MIGHT be your community, be aware that Ning is shutting them down mostly likely in order to continue to generate revenue through GoogleAds.

    Twilight, Harry Potter and Twitter! Oh my! (Also venns! I love the venns!)

    December 19th, 2008

    I love venn diagrams. (And data. And numbers. And other ways I can better visualize fandom.) I also love Twitter so I was ecstatic to discover TwitterVen which helps visualize what is going on Twitter using venn diagrams. I cranked it up and made the following chart with the keywords of Harry Potter, Twilight and fanfic.

    Twitter venn diagram showing Twilight Harry Potter and fanfic

    Lo! Behold! Wow! Twilight sure gets a lot of mentions on Twitter. Not surprising. I’ve read a number of people on LJ fandom talk about how Twilight will one day be bigger than Harry Potter. I’ve seen enough of data to know that Twilight fandom NOW is bigger than Harry Potter fandom NOW. What seems really surprising here is that there aren’t more mentions for both terms AND fanfic. Twilight and Harry Potter are mentioned more frequently together than those either with fanfic.

    We have a couple more TwitterVens. If you create your own (upload it!), let us know if you find anything interesting!

    Yay! The RIAA isn’t going to sue John Doe!

    December 19th, 2008

    I sort of follow the RIAA news in terms of their rabid desire to sue anyone who downloads content a certain way, be the content legal or illegal. So I was pretty happy to read this Mashable post which said that the RIAA was going to stop their stupid and costly John Doe lawsuits. About time.

    Sadly, it doesn’t look like fandom and the entertainment community will be safe from continued wrath of the RIAA because the RIAA has a new tactic: Get your ISP to shut you down. Ick. That’s worse because it denies people of due process and you’re probably not going to be aware that it is going on.

    Majel Barrett Roddenberry died

    December 18th, 2008

    I’m a pretty big Star Trek fan. I first really fell in love with the show when I was young and watching TNG when it first aired. I had a great big crush on Wesley Crusher. I also loved Lwaxana Troi. The character was really interesting. I also appreciated the original Star Trek. So it is rather sad to hear that Majel Barrett Roddenberry passed away as the character she brought to life was integral to my love of Star Trek from an early age. :( These losses to the Star Trek family just suck. Majel Barrett Roddenberry, you’ll be well remembered and missed by your fans.

    Myths about Fan History’s deletion policies

    December 18th, 2008

    I don’t handle deletion requests anymore. (1) I do listen to our admins who deal with them. A couple of issues have come up. People have been contacting Fan History with misinformation regarding deletion requests. (2) So this post is designed to clear that up.

    Fan History won’t honor deletion requests posted!

    This is false. Fan History DOES honor deletion requests… so long as they are properly submitted.  If you don’t follow this procedure, then the article won’t be deleted.  This happens more regularly than people might think because people will just send an e-mail to delete@fanhistory.com .  They don’t post an ADR and don’t answer e-mails we send them following up with their request.   If they don’t follow the procedure, the article won’t be deleted.  (3)  This is pretty much how it is on most of the Internet: To get what you want, you need to follow the rules.  If you don’t follow them, then you don’t get what you want.

    Fan History’s deletion request is cumbersome and annoying!

    This is… true. Fan History’s deletion request policy was implemented after a simpler method was found wanting and arbitrary.  This method is less so.

    Our request method is cumbersome because the goal is to hold three different groups accountable: Fan History, the person making the request and Fan History contributors.  First, when you put in the request and we delete the article, we’re accountable.  The article is locked so no one can recreate an article with the same name.  If the article becomes unlocked and an article created about that person that put in the ADR request, Fan History’s admins can be held accountable for our actions as we didn’t honor our agreement.  Second, it holds the person submitting the request accountable.  They know it is their responsibility to regularly check the wiki to make sure no one mentions them.  If they are mentioned elsewhere and people complain, Fan History’s admins can easily say “Look, this person was aware of that this might happen and it is their responsibility to check.”  Third, it holds our contributors accountable.  If some one asks not to be mentioned and some one does it anyway, that puts the problem with them.

    We haven’t found another method which holds all these groups accountable that is less cumbersome.  If you can think of one, we’d love to hear it!

    Fan History violates people’s privacy by having pictures of their houses! Don’t support this! Get your article deleted!

    This is false.  Also, false. There aren’t pictures of people’s houses on Fan History.  If there are, then we’d delete them.  If some one posts a picture of their house and wants it up there, then yeah, we’ll let them.   They should put {{Privacy waived}} at the top of the article about themselves so we know. (4) If they don’t, then the picture/information gets removed.

    If anyone does know of a case of this, then let us know as we take this issue seriously.

    Fan History mines private information! Don’t support them! Get the article about you deleted to show your support!

    This is false. Fan History doesn’t mine private information.  We’ve had two bots which have helped create articles about members of fandom.  In both cases, the bots were bot compliant with robots.txt files.  In both cases, the bots pulled only public information that individuals made available to the public.  None of the information that the bots picked up was behind password protection.  None of the information included personal details like where people went to school, their phone number, their real name (5), their address, etc.  Nothing private was mined.  The only information that was gathered was public information that the person themselves provided.  They knew (6) that the information would be public when they joined the service.

    Related to this, if Fan History finds people putting in private information, our admins delete it.  It violates our privacy rules.  That’s why we have admins patrolling edits.  We can’t guarantee we’ll catch everything but we make a good faith effort and if you bring it to our attention, we’ll remove private information.

    Putting in a deletion request means visiting Fan History which means enriching Fan History’s owner!

    This is false. In terms of the wiki, Fan History makes money from Google Ads.  We get between $0.02 and $0.09 for every thousand articles viewed.  If you’re putting in an article deletion request, you’re viewing the max of three pages which means we’re making 6.0 × 10-5 cents off your visit.  If you have an ad blocker on, we’re not even collecting that as your page views don’t register.

    If you’re that concerned about Fan History, then you won’t be able to visit and you won’t be able to post your ADR request. The article will stay on Fan History.  Are you more concerned about the article existing or Fan History making 6.0 × 10-5 cents off your visit?

    Posting an ADR means you support Fan History!

    This is false. Editing a wiki article does not imply support for Fan History.  Getting your article deleted off Fan History doesn’t imply support for Fan History.  (7)  That’s not how wikis work.

    Fan History doesn’t answer my e-mails regarding deletion requests!

    This is false. Our admins are pretty rocking.  (8)  If you send an e-mail to delete@fanhistory.com, they are pretty on the ball at responding.   In our e-mail account, admins label which e-mails they handle so we have a trail.  They also do this for support@fanhistory.com.  If your e-mail wasn’t responded to, I’d be really surprised but stranger things have been known to happen. (9)  Please resend the e-mail.  If you still don’t get a response, contact me on AIM at h2oequalswater, on MSN at lhale@niu.edu, on Y!M at bouncingpurplepopple, on GTalk at laura@fanhistory.com.

    Footnotes

    1. Unless some one really has issues and our admins can’t handle it. Of the last 100 or so since we’ve had our policy change in August, that’s happened once.
    2. And considering the volume with the exact same issues, this is probably pretty deliberate. If you know who is spreading that misinformation, ask them to stop. You’re not helping people who want articles deleted by giving them information that will hinder their ability to get an article deleted. If their goal is to screw with Fan History, that’s great. This isn’t the way to do it. They’re just screwing with fandom people who have privacy concerns.

    3.  Good analogy: If your mom tells you that you won’t get to out with your friends until you clean your room, then you need to clean your room.  You mom isn’t going to let you out until you do that.

    4. You don’t need to use that article box.  You can create some other statement to that effect so long as we know you’re aware that this type of information isn’t allowed.

    5.  Unless they used their real name as their user name or in their profile.  If they included it themselves, they were giving permission for everyone to use it.

    6. Or should have known.  Remember: Nothing you put on the Internet is private.  If you don’t remember and get caught up on that, the fault is yours.

    7. Having an article about you on Fan History doesn’t imply support for Fan History either.  It does mean you’re a member of fandom…  but that’s about all it says.

    8.  And I really wish Fan History was making more money so that they could be compensated.  They do a totally rocking job and I love them.

    9.  Check your spam filters.  Maybe something happened and the e-mail went there.

    Most popular Fan History wiki articles by month in 2008!

    December 17th, 2008

    In addition to top ten articles regarding content, a number of blogs and sites have been doing a month by month listing of their top posts and articles. As we’re all about riding the trends, though this obviously isn’t a trend in fandom (just in social media as far we can tell), we’re jumping on too! Sadly, we’re not as interesting as other sites and blogs. This is a bit of a snooze fest. (But continue reading anyway! Please?)

    January 2008
    Cassandra Claire: This was our most popular article in January. The second most popular article had half as many views. The wiki was pretty much known for this article at this point and trying to downplay it wouldn’t be successful for us until her popularity decreased and interest in the whole of the wiki increased. That would take a couple of months though.

    February 2008
    Cassandra Claire: Still the most popular article but the page views on the second most popular article, Draco/Hermione, that month were up and the gap between the two was smaller.

    March 2008
    Draco/Hermione: The article went from 1,400 page views in February to 4,800 in March. We got plugged by a really awesome Draco/Hermione fansite, did a few plugs of our own on various LiveJournal communities and elsewhere. This helped blow away the Cassandra Claire which had almost an additional thousand page views from February 2008.

    April 2008
    Cassandra Claire: Back to being the top article in April. At this point, we were busy working on this more practively and with a better staff than we had in months.

    May 2008
    Draco/Hermione: Back on top baby. This article was our most popular for May 2008. Our search engine on the site also saw increase action, with more searches being done than ever before.

    June 2008
    Cassandra Claire: Down from previous highs for views per month, it still came in as the most popular article.

    July 2008
    Draco/Hermione: And that popular Harry Potter pairing was back on top. I promise, if this list is yoru first exposure to Fan History, we aren’t just into Harry Potter. The wiki is more diverse than that. (Our SEO just became optimized around those two phrases… It wasn’t our fault. Really!)

    August 2008
    Draco/Hermione: Er. Yeah. Them again in August 2008. But great news! For the first time, our second place article was something not Cassandra Claire. The second most popular article was Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive which had 1,675 article views that month. Awesomeness.

    September 2008
    Draco/Hermione: Yeah. September 2008 is pretty much the same as August 2008 with fewer views on our two most popular articles.

    October 2008
    Draco/Hermione: Third verse, same as the first. We need more diversity and interest in our articles that are the top for the month. Help us out by improving some articles and plugging them because this write up has become boring with its predictability. on the upside, by tis month, Fan History has accomplished its goal of being less known for being about Cassandra Claire. (Now we’re known for other things. Some of them untrue. We’d rather not have changed what we are now known for if we could do things over.)

    November 2008
    Draco/Hermione: Did you even have to guess? Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive came in second with very little change in the amount of times the articles were viewed per month.

    December 2008
    Draco/Hermione: So far this month, that continues to be our most popular article. On a bright side, Twilight is our second most viewed article this month. It is nice to have a change their. Plug the article. Turn December around. Help keep the Twilight article at number two.

    Congratulations to Encyclopedia Dramatica!

    December 17th, 2008

    In the Open Web Awards, I spent a lot of time voting for WikiHow and EncyclopediaDramatica. I was really happy to see that EncyclopediaDramatica won. My friends and Fan History’s tech guy really enjoy the site… at least in terms of content. There are also a lot of interesting articles over there, including one about Fan History. So yeah. Congrats to ED. Congrats to WikiHow too. You guys also rock!

    Fan History: What was hot in 2008

    December 17th, 2008

    Top Articles on Fan History for 2008
    Yes, this is a bit early but we totally want to get on the top lists for 2008 bandwagon! This is our list of most popular articles on Fan History by category. Some of these are really interesting. Some make a lot of sense. Our anime top ten list mirrors the popularity of many of those shows in general. Television is a bit surprising. Alf? Why are you so popular? Some items that appear are areas where Fan History was a bit controversial this year. If there is a category of top articles you’d like to know about for the year, let us know and we’ll update this list to include it!

    Top Fandoms: Anime

    1. Digimon
    2. Naruto
    3. Dragon Ball Z
    4. Avatar: The Last Airbender
    5. Sailor Moon
    6. Bleach
    7. Gundam Wing
    8. Prince of Tennis
    9. Pokemon
    10. After School Nightmare

    Top Fandoms: Television

    1. Supernatural
    2. Roswell
    3. X-Files
    4. Beauty and the Beast
    5. Gilmore Girls
    6. CSI
    7. Doctor Who
    8. Star Trek
    9. Alf
    10. American Idol

    Top Fandoms: Music

    1. My Chemical Romance
    2. Panic! At the Disco
    3. The Police
    4. Metallica
    5. American Idol
    6. Nine Inch Nails
    7. Radiohead
    8. NSync
    9. Fall Out Boy
    10. Guns N Roses

    Top Fandoms: Movies

    1. Harry Potter
    2. Twilight
    3. 3:10 to Yuma
    4. Transformers
    5. The Fast and the Furious

    Top Fandoms: Other

    1. Harry Potter
    2. Twilight
    3. City of Bones
    4. Batman
    5. Pride and Prejudice
    6. Rescue Rangers
    7. Transformers
    8. Kim Possible

    Top Fan Fiction Archives

    1. FanFiction.Net
    2. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive
    3. AdultFanFiction.Net
    4. The Original Naruto Fanfiction Archive (TONFA)
    5. FanLib
    6. RestrictedSection
    7. FanDomination.Net
    8. Animexpansion
    9. FanWorks.Org
    10. Organization for Transformative Works

    Top Fans

    1. Cassandra Claire
    2. Astolat
    3. Msscribe
    4. Heidi8
    5. Thamiris
    6. Minisinoo
    7. Maya
    8. Peter Chimaera
    9. Ataniell93
    10. Aja

    Top Ships

    1. Draco/Hermione
    2. Harry/Hermione
    3. Yuffentine
    4. Grissom/Sara
    5. Snape/Hermione
    6. Snape/Harry
    7. Takari
    8. Michael/Maria
    9. Taito
    10. Draco/Ginny

    Top Internal Searches

    1. astolat
    2. lord of the rings
    3. draco/hermione
    4. goku
    5. cesperanza
    6. prince of tennis
    7. sasunaru
    8. seperis
    9. panic at the disco
    10. yugioh

    Twilight parody

    December 15th, 2008
    Take180.com view

    I’ve watch that video and another one by them. REALLY, REALLY FUNNY. It fits with the movie and satirizes it wonderfully. (And I pathetically still want to see the actually movie again. I’m waiting for it to come out on DVD because seeing it once was one more than I should have.) Twilight, you’re still my public awful guilty secret.

    No AFL season in 2009… :(

    December 15th, 2008

    I’m an Arena Football League fan. I love watching their games on television. I love the Chicago Rush because they can win and win consistently. I love the speed of the game. I love that players play both ways. It was the football season AFTER the football season. Serious love on my part.

    So it was with sad news that, according to the Chicago Tribune, the Arena Football League season for 2009 has been canceled. It looks like it was a money/economy issue. I’m not certain why they decided to do that but I have to wonder if other companies that are dependent upon discretionary entertainment related spending are going to feel the hurt. Because ouch. When you’re the most down, you need that bit of escapism. This just doesn’t seem to bode well at all.

    (I want my football! Please come back in 2010! Chicago needs a winner!)

    Survivor has a winner!

    December 14th, 2008

    And the winner is Bob! Woe! I’ve been a Sugar fan since early in the season so I was disappointed that she didn’t get a single vote. If she had played it as “Look, I played the best game. This is a game.” she might have had a shot. She didn’t and the final tribal council was full of awesome because of that. Seriously? This is the best season in years and years. There were more twists, more drama than ever before. Just awesome. So despite the person I wanted to win NOT winning, it was a great ride.

    And Survivor and Amazing Race both having come to an end, with Gil Grissom officially leaving CSI in the next episode… I’m not certain what will happen with my television watching for a while. Bah!

    Father knows (evil) best?

    December 11th, 2008

    Yesterday saw the announcement of some interesting news for superhero fans, from Entertainment Weekly‘s on-line site. Apparently Heroes, still struggling in its third season to reclaim earlier magic, will be bringing in some big-name talent to the rescue. John Glover, last seen on television as Lionel Luthor on Smallville, will be joining the cast as father to another “super”-villain, though this time Sylar instead of Lex Luthor.

    As a fan of John’s work for many years, when I first “discovered” him thanks to Brimstone, it’s certainly exciting to see him coming back to another televised series in what appears as though it could be a recurring role. At the same time, the apparent similarity in roles he’ll be performing certainly does give one pause; is Heroes being predictable in going with an actor already far too often typecast as an uber-villain? Or will they (and John) manage to do something with the role to clearly delineate it from simply being the Magnificent Bastard V 2.0? Even if pulled off successfully, is this enough to rekindle enthusiasm for a series that has been struggling since the end of its highly-touted first season? It should be interesting to find out–though I am perhaps more interested to see John’s other upcoming new television role on the ABC series Brothers & Sisters as it should be something rather different from his usual bad guy roles. On this series he’ll be playing a love interest to the character portrayed by fellow veteran actor Ron Rifkin. The two were excellent together in the 2005 play The Paris Letter, so I’ll be curious to see if they can recapture some of that chemistry in these roles.

    And of course, the other question for me will be whether either of these roles will generate any new fan-fiction!

    Plugging my friend’s book: Eight Days Ablaze by Angelia Sparrow

    December 8th, 2008

    It is an e-book and Angelia Sparrow‘s first het short story/novella by a major publisher. It goes on sale on December 24. Check it out and go back and then go buy the e-book for your loved one as an early Christmas gift. Or as a Hanukkah gift as the novel is a Hanukkah story. Its GOTTA BUY ME tagline? “Sexy Hanukkah Cyberpunk!”

    Support an author who supports Fan History elsewhere. Also, if you’re an author who has an article about yourself on Fan History and you’ve linked to the article somewhere, let me know and I’ll happily do a similar post for you. :)

    A lament for Fandom on MSN Groups

    December 8th, 2008

    I’ve been blogging about the pending demise of MSN Groups, and some about the replacements – most specifically Multiply and Windows Live Groups. Multiply because it is the chosen replacement for MSN Groups, and Windows Live Groups since it is Microsoft’s own answer to MSN groups.

    So far nothing has come close to the versatility and ease of use that MSN Groups has had.

    Nothing.

    No other service allowed for custom webpages, for custom logos and buttons and separated messageboards. Nothing was as easy to use as MSN Groups. Just fill out the forms and bingo! You’re good to go. The webpage interface wasn’t exactly WYSIWYG, but it was close and allowed for far more colors than Windows Live Groups allows for (in fact, WLG doesn’t give you background colors for your discussion pages, which is the only place you can use HTML. Pretty much the same for Multiply.) You could easily hide pages, rearrange pages, add new albums, use the pictures from those albums in other spots… the learning curve was as shallow or steep as you wanted it to be. It accommodated both the novice webmaster and the more experienced. It was a great starting place for fandom groups; and a lot of fandoms were represented there.

    What will happen to those many fandom groups? Well, some of them will be lost forever come February because their owners just sort of abandoned them to the spammers before this point. There’s at least one Thunderbirds group I know of that falls into this category. It has a lot of interesting fanfic on it, but the owner has grown beyond it and has left it for the “lonely singles” spammers to keep it active (otherwise, it would have been deleted years ago). Some groups will migrate to Multiply, some to Geocities, some to Windows Live Groups… they’ll be scattered all over, and harder to find. The close-knit communities that had developed over the years will be broken up, never to truly be reclaimed again. A lot of interesting and unique fandom creations will disappear forever. I’ve already had that happen once to me; the thought of it happening again makes me sick.

    Is there a perfect solution to this forced diaspora? Not really. If you want to have the same flexibility as MSN Groups has, you’ve got to create your own website, and very likely, you’ll have to pay for it. And if you want to continue having a free site, you’ll have to pay in other ways, with intrusive ads or with a loss of those features you’ve become accustomed to.  (Yes, MSN Groups has ads, but because of their placement, they are ignorable.)

    As a side issue, I’ve been poking around the Windows Live team blogs for the past few days, and I noticed that they’re not asking for feedback on WLG. Everything else, yes. Windows Live Groups, no. I think they know what kind of response they’d get there: a very angry one from a large group of disgruntled MSN Group owners.

    So, we’re losing a piece of fandom property. What’s to go next?

    ETA: I’m also aware that AOL is/was dumping their Groups. So there are more fandom communities disappearing. Let’s hope that Yahoo doesn’t join the pack.

    No Japanese language fandom communities on LiveJournal?

    December 7th, 2008

    I’ve been looking around LiveJournal and looking and looking. And when I was done looking, I looked some more. I see huge numbers of anime and manga communities. I also have seen a lot of communities dedicated to people’s love of Japan and the language.

    What I haven’t seen is any Japanese language communities for those fandoms. For Harry Potter, you’ve got Polish, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish. German language communities. Nothing in Japanese. Naruto fandom has those languages and Norwegian. Some music and anime fandoms have Ukrainian language communities. Nothing in Japanese.

    I asked a friend who speaks Japanese about this. Why with the huge fanbase of people who look like they are interested in Japanese, who use a few phrases here or there, why aren’t their Japanese language communities based on fandom? He wasn’t quite sure. Some of he felt was because there wasn’t a large community of Japanese speakers on LiveJournal to begin with. That was coupled with the fact that for most fangirls/fanboys, it is too much work to construct long posts in Japanese. Added to that, there might be issues where Japanese isn’t a Roman script which could contribute to the lack of Japanese language communities. A lot of the lack could probably be explained by those issues… but what do you think? Are there other reasons?

    FanFiction.Net vs. LiveJournal community size

    December 6th, 2008

    The bot isn’t finished running yet… but while still compiling, I thought it was worth looking at some of these fandoms and how the size of LJ fandom is beginning to look, how big fandoms look versus eachother and versus FanFiction.Net community size…

    This isn’t yet complete as the bot continues to run. Some fandoms may not have had their communities looked at because they didn’t cross over much with communities the bot has already looked at. There might be some naming issues which still need to be resolved. (Which were corrected when I spotted a few of them.) Some fandoms just didn’t have communities about them in the sample community list. Some categories actually contracted as we did admin work such as deleting duplicate articles and handled Article Deletion Requests… so any fandom which didn’t have over 50 new articles for categories with over 650 articles in them were excluded.

    But overall, this table begins to paint an interesting picture as to the biggest fandoms on LiveJournal. FanFiction.Net column is total articles from FanFiction.Net. LiveJournal column is FanFiction.Net + LiveJournal articles (or new total of articles in the category). Difference column equals total number of members from LiveJournal.

    Differences between traffic sources from November to December

    December 6th, 2008

    It isn’t necessarily fair to compare these periods as they aren’t the same but I did it anyway. ;-)

    Getting less daily traffic on average off JournalFen, TVTropes, DeviantArt, Wikia, FanPop, FanFiction.Net, StumbleUpon, TechCrunch. JournalFen can be explained with less wank. The rest are generally not our links and we’re not actively promoting over there to generate traffic.

    Up up a lot for LiveJournal we’ve been promoting heavily on LiveJournal, Chickipedia because we added links there, and Twitter because we added more followers on our recentchanges account.

    It will be interesting to see if these patterns hold for the rest of the month.

    Autopatrol: Not all edits will be looked at…

    December 6th, 2008

    … not that we promised it before. We’ve added a new user class to Fan History. Details below.

    Introduction
    Patrolled edits are edits that an administrator has looked at. They are generally looked at to determine if the edits are formatted correctly and in compliance with the rules. All edits done by non-bots and non-admins are generally, but not always looked at to insure that. Users who have been put in the auto patrolled user group will not have their edits looked at by an administrator. Their edits will automatically be marked as patrolled.

    Rationale
    A special class of users was created where their edits will not be monitored. The group belongs to a user group called Autopatrol. Fan History’s administrators decided to create this special class of users because we have a few regular contributors who consistently make great edits and they can come in and sometimes make a few hundred edits in the course of the week. That’s a lot of edits to mark as reviewed when admins know from past experience that all those edits are likely to be good ones. To save time and make it easier to look at edits that need to be looked at more, this group was created.

    Disclaimer
    Fan History administrators make every effort to patrol edits for violations of the site’s rules. Because our staff is volunteer run, our staff is unpaid and our admins have lives and other interest, we cannot promise that every edit that is done by users who are not in the non-patrolled category will be looked at. The site is not responsible for the content created, updated and added by contributors. If you discover an edit that violates the rules or that you are otherwise concerned about, please contact an administrator at support@fanhistory.com or leave a comment on the appropriate talk page.

    Fandom sized samples… how big?

    December 6th, 2008

    I’ve been bouncing off the walls for a bit now as we’re supposed to be getting a new bot for Fan History that is similar to Fan Fiction Stat Bot.  (It won’t probably be ready for another three weeks to a month.  I’m not in that much of a hurry and I’d rather the developer do it right.) The major difference is that this one will look at LiveJournal, its clones and the growth/size of fandom on them by monitoring the number of new posts and total comments to a selection of communities, which will then sorted by fandom so as to be able to compare the sizes of different fandom groups.

    The sample community list is about 2,500 different communities.  It represents probably about 750 different fandoms.  The list isn’t 100% comprehensive because you can’t find every LiveJournal community based on a fandom and you can’t list every fandom.  And that’s what leaves me flummoxed.  How much time should be spent building a more comprehensive list of LiveJournal communities?  And InsaneJournal communities?

    The thing with the sample is that I know going in that it won’t cover everything.  It isn’t possible.  It isn’t feasible.  The communities need to be manually vetted to make sure that while they might actually say list Twilight as a fandom, the community is actually about Twilight.  (And not say a community of pictures of sunsets.)   This list takes a lot of time to compile.  I’ve probably spent in the neighborhood of 24 hours compiling the list that was used for LiveJournal bot.  The updated list which will be used for this bot I’ve probably spent an equal amount of time compiling as I’ve needed to develop lists for InsaneJournal, JournalFen, Inksome, Scribbled, Blurty, DeadJournal and ivanovo.ru.  I could easily spend another week adding to the list beyond that, bringing the LiveJournal list to 5,000 communities and the InsaneJournal list to 1,000.  The other services have much less activity and fandom communities are much harder to find.  To a degree, it takes much more time to find those fandom communities for a much smaller list.  Two or three of those services are lucky to have five communities on them.

    There are other issues. A lot of communities are long abandoned, not having been updated in years in some cases.  (This feels like it the case for smaller fandoms.)  They are never going to appear on any list of active fandoms as a result.  Including them feels necessary but also counterproductive because of the sparse amount of activity related to them.  Still, if we don’t have them in our list, how good of a sample do we really have?  And what is the cut off point?  I know for Fan History, we’ve posted to communities which haven’t had activity in more than a year… so new posts, new members, new comments are always possible.  Except probably in the case of role playing communities.  Those pretty much feel dead once the players have quit the game.

    Another issue is sample size. How many communities is enough?  When do you stop the list?  Is it better to have fewer fandoms represented but to get a more communities represented for that fandom?  Or should we find one or two communities which we can have represent the whole of the fandom?  More fandoms or more communities per fandom?  I look at the Harry Potter and Twilight fandom lists and go ZOMG! Those huge fandoms only have about 20 communities in that sample!  They are HUGE! They should have at least 100!  Naruto, Inuyasha! Same deal! But we are still missing a whole slew of actors and television shows and anime and manga!

    The dataset we are going to develop is going to be really, really interesting, and really, really useful.  It will help provide some data which can give a quantitative picture to exactly what is happening in parts of LiveJournal fandom.  It will help give a picture as to the size, comparitive size of various fandoms on LiveJournal.  You’ll also be able to examine the effect of certain events in the fandom to the size and amount of activity in fandom.  For instance, does a community being features on Fandom Wank lead to posting and membership spikes or a membership drop?  Does the release of canon cause an increase in posting volume, create a membership spike or both?  I’m really excited about getting this bot developed and up and operating.

    In the meantime, you’ll see me over there busy working on adding to that list…

    Spotlighting great wiki contributions – and contributors!

    December 4th, 2008

    Here at FanHistory we like to take the time to thank those who have put in considerable effort to help update the site and make it better by sharing their fannish knowledge, experiences, and time.

    This week I’d like to take a moment to thank two individuals especially for their recent efforts. Susan M Garrett has worked very hard in the past to help make Forever Knight one of the best-organized categories on FanHistory. If you’re interested in expanding or reorganizing the information on your favorite fandom on FF, the Forever Knight category is a fantastic model to follow and copy, thanks to Susan’s work. She has also done the same with The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, and lately has put a lot of work into the Star Trek category as well.

    Organizational/structural work on the wiki can be tedious and challenging–and something I often find myself sludging through when I’d rather be working on actual content–so we really appreciate those who put the time into helping out with this challenge. Thanks, Susan!

    Another individual we’d like to thank right now is DM-Kellie, a member of Police fandom who worked very hard on a wonderful entry about “The Flag”, a unique fan-driven project that became a major component of the Reunion Tour for many Stewart Copeland fans. The wiki entry does a beautiful, thorough job of explaining the Flag’s history and importance within the fandom, and is just the kind of well-developed, detailed content I know we’d love to see more of here at FanHistory.

    The article on The Flag is also mirrored between FanHistory and The PoliceWiki, as part of the partnership between our two sites. We would love to see more such partnerships develop with time, as it helps provide exposure and potential increased user bases for both wikis.

    So once again, thanks to our “spotlighted” contributors for their hard work! We can’t grow this site without the efforts and input of such individuals who volunteer their time into bettering the information on the fandoms they know and love best.

    Random fandoms

    December 3rd, 2008

    I was doing some random viewing of articles on Fan History and I stumbled across another of people who belonged in multiple fandoms where the fandoms that they belonged to didn’t seem to go together at all… Below is a list of a few of the ones that made boggle and smile:

    Do these fandoms go together?  Is there a logical connection which would indicate a person would be a fan of them all?  Also, what fandoms do you belong to when you look at them all together would appear random to others?

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