Archive for January, 2009

Pipl: Knowing more about you than you may realize

January 29th, 2009

TechCrunch ran an article about Pipl, a really cool people finding search engine. I’ve known about it for over a year because we get a half dozen visits a month from them. If you ever wanted to know anything about anyone, don’t go to Google, go to Pipl instead.

That said, some corners of fandom has a lot of privacy issues. If you’re concerned about yours, definitely check it out because you might not be aware of how much you’re leaking out that you didn’t know about. That includes public records that governments have made available. And after you’ve done that, go and make sure your fandom friends know so that we people are made aware so there aren’t any future outings like the one in the Supernatural fandom as a result of people’s ignorance about the Internet and how it works.

Trying to give CSI a chance in a post Grissom era…

January 23rd, 2009

I was a huge Sara fan and I’ve kind of been struggling since then to keep my interest in the show. I liked Grissom as my third favorite character behind Catherine. So this has been a real blow. I’m really trying to give it a chance because nothing else has yet so spark for me in terms of liking it more and wanting a new obsession.

Back when the show first started, Sara was the character that producers said was a vehicle for fans to help understand what was going on. “Yay! This is so cool!” and being an outsider to some of the early character related drama going on, giving her/our perspective on how things should be handled. (Warrick should be fired. He was gambling when he should have been at a scene.)

Ray Langston feels like that. Only stepping back and taking us back to review the process that these guys that we love actually do. Here is how we fingerprint. Here is how we interact with the people. See, this is why we don’t get involved because it comes back to hurt us. Blah. I just. I don’t want that sort of character. Or maybe I’d take it better if the character who I perceived as being a vehicle for our interaction as fans was more enthusiastic, more knowledge and heck, to a certain degree, more attractive to me on a personal level.

The whole economic situation is really depressing in life outside watching this show. Lots of people are dealing with family stress as a result of fall out. It is cold and flu season. The weather is crappy. I know CSI is a crime show and we are watching people dealing with crime, being victims of crime and not always happy endings in terms of dealing with the bad guy but Ray Langston just feels like a downer of a character. I want almost a happier character rather than continuing down a road that’s sad and depressing. We’ve had so much of that for the past season and a half. As a viewer, I’m not sure how much I can take before I just tune out because I don’t have the fundamental pieces that were why I started regularly tuning in in the first place, if I don’t have those character where I have that established relationship with.

So while I’m willing to give it a chance, I’m not sure how long that chance will last. And if the fan fiction community that has kept me watching since Sara departed and Grissom was rumored to be leaving stop writing new stories? I’m really gone.

Fandoms and their musical tastes & trends

January 23rd, 2009

So, I have recently fallen in crazy love with Last.Fm. Not only is it a great service for discovering new music, but also tracking my own listening habits, and now, I see, for examining fandom trends and looking at what connections there may be between certain anime, media fandoms and bandoms. This is possible as Last.fm allows users to create “groups” of any kind, and statistics will show what are the weekly top artists for that group.

So what are some popular musical artists within certain large fandom groups right now?

Let’s first look at Twilight. There are currently over 1,200 members of the Last.Fm Twilight group, and their Top 10 artists currently are:

1. Paramore
2. Muse
3. Linkin Park
4. Carter Burwell
5. Katy Perry
6. Coldplay
7. Britney Spears
8. The Black Ghosts
9. Iron & Wine
10. Blue Foundation

Not surprisingly, 7 of those 10 artists have material on the Twilight soundtrack cd, explaining their popularity.

Looking next at Harry Potter, which has a Last.Fm group of over 1,500 members and a fanbase with some similarities in age and makeup to Twilight, we discover some close similarities in musical taste:

1. Coldplay
2. Muse
3. Paramore
4. The Killers
5. The Beatles
6. Britney Spears
7. Linkin Park
8. Katy Perry
9. Radiohead
10. Fall Out Boy

6 of the Harry Potter Top 10 are the same as for Twilight, including artists such as Britney Spears and Katy Perry, not on the Twilight soundtrack but popular performers within the teenage/20-something age group. How exactly The Beatles and Radiohead fit in I’m not sure, unless they reflect some of the wider age-range and fannish make-up of Harry Potter fandom? I’ll be curious to keep comparing the data on these two fan groups in future weeks.

Let’s also look at Naruto, a popular anime which also has a large (1,400+ members) Last.Fm group. Here’s their current Top 10:

1. Linkin Park
2. System of a Down
3. Metallica
4. Muse
5. Coldplay
6. Toshiro Masuda (Naruto soundtrack composer)
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers
8. The Killers
8. Rammstein
10. Nightwish

Again we see some familiar names, such as Linkin Park, Muse, Coldplay and The Killers, but there are also some more metal and hard rock acts such as Metallica, System of a Down and Rammstein. So is there a connection between Naruto and metal fandom? I’m curious to know! Has a lot of metal been used in Naruto songvids? Can anyone explain this more?

Finally, let’s look at the Top 10 artists this week for an older fandom: Star Trek. The Star Trek Last.Fm group is smaller than the others we’ve looked at so far–about 350 members, and the Top 10 artists are quite different from the other groups looked at so far:

1. The Beatles
2. Nine Inch Nails
3. U2
4. Pink Floyd
5. The Cure
6. Depeche Mode
7. Radiohead
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. The Rolling Stones
10. David Bowie

The skew is certainly towards much older musical acts from the 60s & 70s (Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, David Bowie…), 80s & 90s (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, U2, The Cure…) Musical tastes for the fandom match quite closely with the time periods when Star Trek itself was perhaps at its most popular. Though there are The Beatles and Radiohead again. Maybe they’re just popular all across fandom? Will the release of the upcoming Star Trek movie bring in a younger fanbase and skew the musical taste of the group more towards currently popular acts?

Anyway, such are the things I find interesting to look at on Last.Fm currently, and what it may or may not say about the connections between different fandom communities.

Camp Fandom 2.0: Please help us promote this event!

January 20th, 2009

Bwa. *boggles* I was told to look at Camp Fandom 2.0 less as an event but rather as a movement to start discussions in the community. It is a fantastic idea. Things need to go beyond the event. Discussions and understanding need to happen.

That aside, please help promote Camp Fandom 2.0. Seriously. It is a free event. It is being held in Chicago on March 21 and March 22 so out of towners can have reason to attend by being a two day event. The people attending get to set the discussion. It should be free of race wank… If you’re a professional author, it is a great way to discuss say the issues of dealing with fans, managing your on-line presence, etc. If you’re involved with conventions, you can talk about the challenges of doing that. If you’re a vidder, you can bring your computer and make vids, or talk about the process of making vids, where to host it, etc.

If you want to be in on the planning, we’d love to have you. Just drop me an e-mail at laura@fanhistory.com and we’ll tell you more about what we’re doing behind the scenes. :)

Update on the Tripod situation

January 20th, 2009

Further information on the Tripod story reported here earlier indicates that it is in fact only Lycos Europe shutting down their email and webhosting services, and that the other divisions will not be affected. Tikatu has a good summary in her livejournal about this and TechCrunch has corrected their original article about the shut down.

So for now, a good number of Tripod users and fans of old sites hosted there can breathe a sigh of relief, but I do believe it is a fair warning sign of what yet might be to come for “free” webhosting sites which had been very popular in fandom for years. As they say, you get what you pay for–so if you’re not paying anything to host your website, you run the risk of losing it, especially in the middle of a big economic crunch when companies are going to be cutting back on non-profitable divisions.

The big lesson, of course, is no matter where you host your websites and fanworks, always keep a back-up! Several if you can! I’ve had external back-up drives fail on me and data recovery can be expensive, and not a sure thing. I try to keep at least two and sometimes three back-ups of all of my websites and important data, so that if anything happens I can quickly restore or move my sites to a new host.

Women don’t write fandom history?

January 18th, 2009

Fan History’s sports section is pretty awful. Really awful. It is downright pitiful. And that’s really sad as I’m a huge sports nut and I know my Chicago Cubs sports fandom history fairly well. I and Fan History’s other admins have just not invested time in improving it because really, sometimes, why bother?

Sports fandom has traditionally been dominated by guys and they’ve done a lot to document the history of fans. Heck, there is a whole cottage history dedicated to documenting the thuggery that goes down in soccer (football) fandom. This academic work has traditionally been done by guys. It is really well done.

Media fandom has traditionally been dominated by women and they haven’t done much to document the history of fans. There have been a few things done here and there but most of the research focuses on the product itself. If fans are looked at, it is from perspective of how they interact with the product rather than how fans interact with each other. It is totally different from sports fandom. So women aren’t writing fandom history and aren’t writing the history of their own communities.

Of course, this could be something that isn’t a gender issue. It could be a product issue. In sports fandom that tends to be historically dominated by guys, the product and fans aren’t really separate; they share an identity. You can’t really talk about the Chicago Cubs with out talking about its fans. (And if you’re a Sox fan talking about the Cubs, you can’t do it with out slagging on us.) Sports owners encourage that and really crank out the merchandise so fans can brand themselves as fans of a team. Our culture totally supports that by having “Support your team dress day!” type days at work. My local Jewel does that when the Green Bay Packers play the Chicago Bears and employees are encouraged to support their team. Sports fandom also continues on and on. Teams generally don’t collapse/disappear over night and many have histories that are 20+ years old. They have a product you can get behind and have the time to get behind as the background for your life.

Media fandom is different. The producers frequently don’t encourage that sort of relationship with the source. In a number of cases, they treated their most loyal fans as thieves or belittled them, telling them to get a life. When we think of Harry Potter and Twilight, most people outside of fandom don’t immediately think of the canon as batshit insane because the fans are batshit are insane. Most fans aren’t flaunting their relationship with the show in a way that a whole town could relate to and have special dress days for. Media fandom’s products also lack the time lasting factor. When Sex and the City went off the air, women picked a different show to watch or found another way to identify.

So women generally aren’t writing fandom history. There are a few notable exceptions. Fan History is one but our major contributors early on came from spaces dominated by guys or from educational backgrounds where the approach more systematic, quantitative, regimented. Some of the other exceptions came out of competition with other women.

Will this pattern radically change ever? Probably not. Women might write sports fandom history (And they do. Some have found walls that their sisters in media fandom haven’t encountered because of their gender.)  but they will probably remain in the minority for a long time. Women are so closely identified with media fandom and the source code has those identity issues that I see it as a huge barrier to overcome, and that won’t ever be overcome in terms of similar participation by men in sports fandom history documenting.

How many fandoms are represented on Fan History?

January 18th, 2009

About a week ago, I was asked by some one how many fandoms were represented on Fan History and I had problems coming up with a number. Why? Because Fan History is a work in progress. For some fandoms, we have articles but they aren’t found in a category that makes them easily countable. Some articles don’t have categories because we just have one article in that subcategory so we don’t bother. Some of our articles were created by bots. While we’ve been hard at work trying to make categories, subcategories and build the framework for them, we’re talking over 5,000 categories and that takes a lot of work.

So that aside, let’s try to get a picture of how many fandoms are represented on Fan History by seeing how big some of our important categories are.

Misc

  • Fan fiction community size – 2,111 fandoms
  • LiveJournal community size by fandom – 999 fandoms
  • Actors

  • Actor fandoms – 322 fandoms
  • Actor fans – 41 fandoms
    A lot of these articles were created because LiveJournal communities were based on them or in an effort to create articles for people who visit our site through FanPop and Chickipedia. A lot of these fandoms are smaller so high possibility that there are another 100 actor fandoms on Fan History that aren’t picked up because of LiveJournal related bots.Anime
  • Anime fandoms -304 fandoms
  • Anime fandom categories – 374 fandoms
  • Anime fans – 299 fans
  • Anime LiveJournal communities – 20 fandoms
    A lot of anime fandoms are really, really small. FanFiction.Net related bots picked them up. We just haven’t built categories for them because we haven’t always spotted them. And when we do spot them, we’re not always creating articles for them. We found an anime fandom recently where there were over 2000 articles in subcategories but no actual article about the show itself. I’d guess that’s the high number? Add another 200 and you’ll get a feel for the number of anime fandoms.Books
  • Book fandoms – 220 fandoms
  • Book fandom categories – 287 fandoms
  • Book fans – 181 fans
  • Book LiveJournal communities – 13 fandoms
    We’re planning on adding a number of new book fandoms to Fan Fiction Stat Bot, to the tune over over 100 fandoms. That should ratchet up the number of fandoms represented by another 100. There are probably another 100 not showing up because of FanFiction.Net connected bots.Cartoons
  • Cartoon fandoms – 63 fandoms
  • Cartoons fandom categories – 120 fandoms
  • Cartoons fans – 125 fandoms
    I’d hazard a guess of another 25 fandoms floating around the site. This category just doesn’t feel like it has the sheer number of fandoms to draw from to begin with to have a lot of hidden categories and articles.Comics
  • Comics fandoms – 48 fandoms
  • Comics fandoms categories – 59 fandoms
  • Comics fans – 41 fandoms
    Like cartoons, this is a pretty small type of fandom that is compounded in its difficulty to count and create articles for because of all the crossovers canon-wise, with new comics spun off based on characters, etc. There are probably another 25 fandoms not yet categorized in those groups yet.Movies
  • Movie fandoms – 221 fandoms
  • Movie fandom categories – 338 fandoms
  • Movie fans – 265 fandoms
    Movie fandoms might have some additional fan categories to the tune of another 100 or so. Like actor fandoms, unless there is more than 1 article in a category, categories generally aren’t created for it. FanFiction.Net related articles weren’t picked up by Fan Fiction Stat Bot because we wanted to get the bot done faster and generally assumed those fandoms weren’t as active. There are probably 100 to 250 wanted articles for movies on actor-related articles where we’ve listed what fandoms actors appeared in.Music
  • Music fandoms – 377 fandoms
  • Music fandom categories – 383 fandoms
  • Music fans – 67 fandoms
  • Music LiveJournal communities – 33 fandoms
  • Music images – 44 fandoms
    This broad subcategory has had a few stewards and hasn’t had the articles added by bots that the other ones have had. Where it did, most of the categories already existed. I’d guess at most that another 50 fandoms are represented.Politics
  • Politics fandom categories – 1 fandom
  • Politics fandoms – 6 fandoms
    This is one of those main categories that is a mess. There probably aren’t more than 4 additional fandoms. No one has really put the time and effort into organizing and fixing this category so it just isn’t represented. (That should really change.)Radio
  • Radio fans – 2 fandoms
  • Radio fandoms – 33 fandoms
  • Radio fandom categories – 31 fandoms
    This is another neglected category like politicians. It should have more but doesn’t. It might have another 10 fandoms, mostly ones that are part of other mediums.Science fiction
  • Science fiction fandoms – 38 fandoms
  • Science fiction fans – 2 fandoms
    These categories mostly are pulled from other categories like books, television and movies. There are probably another 300 categories but they overlap everything else ,so take that with a grain of salt. We really need someone to sort through and better categorize those shows. Our emphasis on this category so far has been conventions, culture and terminology when building here.Sports
  • Baseball – 10 fandoms
  • Basketball – 4 fandoms
  • Figure skating – 2 fandoms
  • Football – 8 fandoms
  • Football fans – 3 fandoms
  • Hockey teams – 5 fandoms
  • Soccer fans – 3 fandoms
  • Sports fandom categories – 17 fandoms
    Sports fandom is a total mess because you’re not dealing with a major broad category but a category per sport. No one has spent much time improving the organization or working on articles in this area. We have a number of fandoms based on my and Sidewinder’s sports team interests. A few were picked up by LiveJournal bot. It looks like 50 total but better counting and sorting things out from uncategorized categories and uncategorized articles, I think we’d have another 50 fandoms.Television
  • Television fandoms – 457
  • Television fandom categories – 545 fandoms
  • Television fans – 414 fandoms
    As Fan history came out of media fandom with some music and television fans, I’m not surprised this is really large. I’d hazard a guess we have another 150 categories and articles from various television fandoms floating around the site.
    Theater
  • Theater fandoms – 7 fandoms
  • Theater fandom categories – 14 fandoms
  • Theater fans – 13 fandoms
    This is just one of those other neglected fandom categories. Not much there and no one has spent a lot of time updating those articles. I’d estimate another 10 fandoms just because there hasn’t been a goal of adding categories and articles.
    Video games
  • Video game fandoms – 84 fandoms
  • Video game fandom categories – 187 fandoms
  • Video game fans – 159 fandoms
    This category is one of those that has a lot of categories because people helped complete wanted categories based on articles the bots created. Lots of articles missing but categories created. The category was better maintained a year ago when one of major contributors was more active. I’d guess another 50 fandoms here because not the biggest category ever.
    Based on the biggest number of fandoms (besides sports where we just added them up and misc which duplicated a lot of things in our existing categories) for each subheading, we have a total of 2,761 fandoms represented on Fan History. If you add up our total estimates for fandoms that aren’t counted where they are supposed to be, we probably have 3,635 fandoms represented on Fan History.

    That’s a lot of fandoms. And we haven’t even begun to really document many of those are touch all the fan communities that are out there.

  • Heads up! Tripod is shutting down!

    January 18th, 2009

    First, there was AOL shutting down its member sites. Now Tripod is doing the same. TechCrunch is reporting that

    “Troubled Internet company Lycos is shutting down its email service and website creation and hosting service Tripod, the company is saying via emails to users that begin with “We regret to inform you that our parent company has decided to discontinue all unprofitable activities.” Both services will be discontinued as of February 15 2009.”

    A lot of sites are hosted on Tripod, especially old fannish sites. A lot of early Internet fan fiction was there back in the late 1990s. This is another one of those times when our history is at risk because a site is closing. We’re going to lose a lot.

    If you have a Tripod site and you need a new home, there are a couple of places we could recommend and Fan History admins are more than willing to help you with that. If you want hosting, let us know.

    See Update on the Tripod situation for an update on this situation. .

    Fannish migrations in early 2009

    January 14th, 2009

    Fannish migration patterns have once again become a topic of some intense discussion and and analysis in certain circles, and interesting to observe as one moderately-sized fandom, Stargate: Atlantis, just saw the airing of its final original-run episode. While not a fandom of the size of, say, Twilight or Harry Potter, Atlantis has been very popular within certain circles of media fandom for the course of its lengthy run, generating a large number of livejournal communities, fanzines, and various other kinds of fanworks.

    While surely many Atlantis fans will remain at least partially active in continuing to produce related fanworks (and those who prefer “closed” to “open” canons may now start to gravitate towards it), there is still a void now left for those fans who crave the active, participatory environment that only occurs with “live” fandoms–post-episode discussions, episode-reaction fics, speculation over coming canon events, etc. So the question of where those fans will go next is one worth considering.

    Already there seems to be a swell of interest in Merlin, and it has been noted that a number of popular Atlantis fandom members have begun to post works there. However, as is always the case with fandom migrations, not everyone is especially happy about this being the next “Bright Shiny (or Slashy) Object” among their fandom friends. Whereas Atlantis featured a fairly mature, adult cast, Merlin is clearly a show aimed toward the Young Adventure audience and the main characters are very, very youthful. Given that one of the major reasons Atlantis fans decried the replacement of their show with the upcoming Stargate: Universe series was that Universe, with its youth-oriented cast, sounded a lot like “90210 in Space”, it is hard to imagine Merlin filling the void for those members of fandom not interested in teenage adventures.

    There has also been some discussion and criticism of Merlin for its debatable race and gender issues, as well as overall writing quality, yet at the same time some of the series’ defenders would point out that Atlantis was not necessarily free of those issues either, nor was it the most intelligently-written science fiction show. Fandoms do not always spring up around the “best” source materials, the logic goes, as at least fan-writers often find more room to work in and explore in shows with interesting characters yet poor plot and writing execution.

    So how will the situation play out? Already it seems as though Merlin is an unstoppable fandom-on-the-rise, no matter how some people may bemoan and resist it even as their friends flock there. But this is nothing new–I still recall the cries and moans when Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon became the fandom that seemed to eat up half of Sentinel fandom, and that’s only one case I can think of quickly. For those who are not interested in Merlin but missing Atlantis where will they go now? It may be too soon to tell, and dependent on what they’re looking for most in a fandom first and foremost: A certain genre (scifi, fantasy, procedural)? Certain character types (older, younger, superheroes or ordinary joes)? Certain subtexts or relationship dynamics (slashy or UST)? Or just following particular actors?

    I’ll be curious to keep watching the statistics and seeing what happens next.

    We have LiveJournal stats! So what fandoms are hot on LJ?

    January 14th, 2009

    I’ll get to the title line after first explaining what we’re talking about with LiveJournal stats. If you haven’t figured it out, we love stats at Fan History. We love them a lot. Stats can back up your gut feeling about what is going on in fandom. We’ve been tracking the size of fandom on FanFiction.Net, FanWorks.Org, FicWad, SkyHawke, FanFikion.De and Freedom of Speech for a couple of months and we’re addicted. It showed us that Twilight fandom had a small post movie release bump but it really took about two, three weeks for the fandom to explode. (And the numbers haven’t gone down since.)

    Given this love, we wanted to get more stats. And we wanted our stats to come from LiveJournal and its clones because we’ve always been told that LiveJournal is a hub of fandom activity. How busy is the fandom? How active? What fandoms are more active than others? How do we measure the level of fandom activity on LiveJournal and its clones?

    The method that was chose was to manually create a list of LJ comms based on fandoms. We chose manual because interests don’t really work. You could pick up icon communities dedicated to 100 fandoms where the fandom is unlikely to be represented regularly. We then built a list which we sorted by fandom, by language and by service. Our final list for LiveJournal included 3,092 fandoms. We couldn’t really make it much bigger because we needed to be able to update all these articles in a single day AND the bot would need to access each profile once a day to get the stats we were looking for. The stats pick up total posts, total comments, total members, total watchers and that information is put onto an article about the community in question. All the communities for a fandom are then added together and put on article which measures the total activity in a fandom based on our list for that fandom. Example: Harry Potter LiveJournal community size. After that’s done, those columns are then added together based on language for the community and we get a beautiful list like this list.

    What’s interesting is that Twilight is hot on LiveJournal and it clones AND hot with various fan fiction archives. Harry Potter, second on fan fiction archives, is only 18th on LiveJournal. (This could be because our LiveJournal sample is missing the more active HP communities but I some how doubt it.) Naruto is third with fan fiction archives but 15th on LiveJournal. This could be because anime communities are much better represented elsewhere on sites like CrunchyRoll, AnimeNewsNetwork, anime specific blogging sites, etc.

    When you get out of English, Twilight fandom is well, active but not always active. It was tops on our Finnish sample. It was 8th in our French sample. It was 7th in our Italian sample. It was tops in Spanish. For the other languages, we couldn’t find communities for Twilight to even be included. That’s the case for most fandoms: Non-English representation is tiny. The fandom language communities just aren’t there, even if the language is. (There are half a dozen Slovak communities but none are fandom specific.)

    So that all out of the way, below are the top 100 fandoms on LiveJournal, based on our sample, for yesterday:

    Fandom movers and shakers for LiveJournal on January 14, 2009
    Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
    1 Twilight 6665 1
    2 Meta 1232 2
    3 WWE 1077 25
    4 House M.D. 951 3
    5 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 833 7
    6 Gossip Girls 735 9
    7 Doctor Who 727 4
    8 How I Met Your Mother 473 6
    9 Merlin 381 5
    10 Jonas Brothers 322 13
    11 Bones 300 48
    12 Top Gear 278 45
    13 Darker than Black 221 31
    14 As the World Turns 219 18
    15 Naruto 184 16
    16 30 Seconds to Mars 180 44
    17 30 Rock 168 14
    18 Harry Potter 167 10
    19 Hanson 165 84
    20 One Tree Hill 162 124
    21 Slayers 150 47
    22 My Chemical Romance 134 75
    23 New Kids on the Block 130 156
    24 David Tennant 130 19
    25 NCIS 129 24
    26 Laurell K. Hamilton 125 37
    27 Britney Spears 124 34
    28 Anita Blake 123 36
    29 Life on Mars 118 26
    30 High School Musical 118 12
    31 Ugly Betty 115 33
    32 Avatar: The Last Airbender 115 79
    33 Neil Patrick Harris 113 8
    34 Mystery Science Theater 3000 113 54
    35 Bleach 112 15
    36 Manchester United 111 11
    37 Sports fan fiction 107 42
    38 Soccer fan fiction 107 43
    39 Sailor Moon 98 28
    40 Transformers 94 40
    41 The Office (US) 93 23
    42 Grey’s Anatomy 87 50
    43 Star Trek 83 21
    44 Prince of Tennis 81 109
    45 Torchwood 76 17
    46 Stargate SG-1 76 29
    47 An Cafe 76 20
    48 Ben 10 74 108
    49 Gackt 73 72
    50 Pokemon 71 74
    51 Alice Nine 67 128
    52 Law and Order: SVU 65 71
    53 America’s Next Top Model 62 22
    54 Lost 57 68
    55 24 56 112
    56 West Wing 55 80
    57 The Sentinel 52 46
    58 Vancouver Islanders 51 52
    59 The Big Bang Theory 51 117
    60 The Mentalist 48 73
    61 Saiyuki 48 39
    62 Bob Dylan 48 253
    63 Fullmetal Alchemist 47 69
    64 Ewan McGregor 46 51
    65 Ace Attorney 45 119
    66 the GazettE 44 56
    67 Veronica Mars 44 91
    68 U2 44 162
    69 The Young and the Restless 44 306
    70 CSI: Miami 44 111
    71 Atlanta Braves 44 228
    72 One Piece 43 38
    73 L Word 43 67
    74 Dir en grey 43 30
    75 Futurama 42 703
    76 CSI 42 64
    77 iCarly 40 27
    78 Kingdom Hearts 40 107
    79 Batman 40 78
    80 Speed Racer 39 92
    81 Beverly Hills 90210 39 127
    82 X-Files 37 85
    83 Drake & Josh 37 58
    84 Phantom of the Opera 36 209
    85 Mad Men 36 59
    86 Lord of the Rings 36 101
    87 Hellsing 34 187
    88 Dancing with the Stars 34 131
    89 Backstreet Boys 34 183
    90 The Late Late Show 33 96
    91 Craig Ferguson 33 99
    92 Inuyasha 32 141
    93 Boston Red Sox 29 104
    94 Princess Tutu 27 65
    95 David Bowie 27 110
    96 Bandom 27 88
    97 Sonic: The Hedgehog 25 208
    98 Whose Line is it Anyway 24 95
    99 Supernatural 24 60
    100 Pushing Daises 24 32

    ReadWriteWeb warns about privacy issues…

    January 10th, 2009

    in discussing what Google warned people about. The basic gist of it is that developers need to be careful with their applications on-line because private information can be leaked because developers don’t properly inform users of how their application works, because users assume privacy when their isn’t and that users and developers need to get their expectations in sync.

    So always be on the safe side. Always assume whatever you’re doing could be made public. Watch where you’re clicking and think before you act. Just because some parts of fandom think that their information is secure, doesn’t mean it actually is.

    Fan History is optimized for strange key phrases… like incest wiki.

    January 9th, 2009

    Over on twitter, I’ve been having some conversations with SEO non-fandom folks about key phrase optimization. The major question I’ve had is would a site rather be optimized to have one keyword as the top search result or ten keywords which appeared as number ten in the search results? The answer tends to be context specific. I’d love to get more opinions on that. What are your thoughts?

    As a result of these conversations, I went looking through Fan History for phrases where we’d been optimized near the top. One phrase that I see about once a day is “incest wiki” which Fan History ranks number 2… right behind Wikipedia. (And ahead of Fandom Wank, and FanLore which are both fandom wikis. And ahead of wikitionary, simple English Wikipedia.) This phrase that we’re optimized for gets us an average of 4 visits a day. (Where the average visitor for that keyphrase visits 2.5 pages per visit.) It isn’t one we were looking for optimization wise but we’ll take it because there is a huge community of incest fan fiction fans around and there have been some large discussions about it that have had an impact on fandom.

    The incest article could use a lot of work because it really isn’t as good as it could be. If you’re knowledgeable about the subject, please contribute.

    What’s hot fandom wise for January 7, 2009 on Fan History

    January 8th, 2009

    Top fandom articles on Fan History for January 7. We’ll see how long I keep this up. :)

    January 7

    1. Naruto
    2. Digimon
    3. Twilight
    4. Gundam Wing
    5. City of Bones/Mortal Instruments
    6. Dragon Ball Z
    7. Avatar: The Last Airbender
    8. Metallica
    9. Hey Arnold!
    10. Pride and Prejudice

    RecentChangesCamp 2009: Your Invitation! (we would enjoy you being here)

    January 8th, 2009

    This is a cross post from the RecentChangesCamp site/wiki.

    “When? Where? I want in!”


    February 20-22, 2009

    University Place Hotel, Portland State University, Portland, OR

    Add your name to the list of attendees.

    We’ll convene on at the Univeristy Place Hotel on the Portland State University campus Friday morning (February 20) and wrap-up Sunday afternoon (February 22). There is no cost to participate other than transportation, just  We may even be able to help you find lodging.

    “Give me more!”

    Recent Changes Camp was born from the intersection of wiki and Open Space. Going far beyond technology, we’re interested in wiki culture and other networks/groups/etc. that share many of the values implicit in it — from cultural creatives, to public participation and free culture advocates. If you use a wiki or you value open collaboration, Recent Changes Camp is created for you. RCC is about openness and inclusion, collaboration and community, creativity and flow. Further down this page you can check out a sampling of sessions we’ve enjoyed in the past, along with pictures and videos from previous events.

    This unconference/BarCamp has been held at least once every year since 2006 (and twice in 2007). Unlike a conventional conference, where everything’s pre-planned and structured, RecentChangesCamp is a gathering where we decide for ourselves what we’re going to get out of it by offering sessions on whatever we want. There’s no agenda until we make it up! Now, that might sound a bit chaotic if you’re never been to this type of gathering, but be prepared to be surprised at how much people can learn and create when they collaborate spontaneously.

    With an emergent agenda, it can be hard to describe specifically what you will get from participating in Recent Changes Camp. In large part, that is up to you to be responsible for. Participants often say greater sense of wiki community, broader sense of wiki way and wiki tools, or more excitement about the our future together as well as inspiration and discovery. Conversations at 2006 Portland RCC generated the wiki-ish tool used to organize 2009 Portland RCC.

    Sessions covering an array of interests

    At Recent Changes Camp, everybody is welcomed. You don’t need to be an expert on anything, and you certainly don’t need to consider yourself a geek. Collaboration thrives on diversity! All you need to bring is an open mind, and a willingness to participate, whether by teaching or by taking an active role in discussions. And, don’t forget, an unconference is what we make it, so let’s make it enlightening and fun.

    Gallery of Good Times

    A 2008 session on structured wiki

    The schedule wall

    John Abbe describing Open Space

    See more photos tagged recentchangescamp at Flickr.

    RCC in Motion

    Documentary of the 2006 RecentChangesCamp, shot and edited in-camera by Geri Weis-Corbley (of the GoodNewsNetwork) to great effect. Part one:

    Part two:

    Video from RoCoCo (Montréal 2007):

    Testimonials and earlier invitations

    • RoCoCo was great! I met a lot of other people working on some really awesome wiki projects who had a lot of respect for wikiHow and were dealing with many of the same issues we’re dealing with here. The conference is user-generated, which meant that the talks were interactive discussions…I highly recommend people go if they get the chance…” —Nicole Willson
    • “It was great, everyone there had the wikiLove and was very pleasant, it really sounded like they all read How to Have a Great Conversation. There was a few unconferences about how we can use technology to obtain other goals, too. Things like activism were explained through technology, even tho it is in its own partly against technology.” —Nadon
    • “I went primarily to meet other wikiHow people, and this was amazing. But what I did not realize was that the OTHER attendees would be fascinating and passionate about wikis and that they would have so many ideas about how to use wikis for all kinds of things. Anyone looking for a little inspiration in life may wish to sign up and attend the next wikiHow event. Great for the creative juices……….” —KnowItSome

    Invitation from: 2008 Palo Alto | 2007 Montreál French (English) | 2007 Portland | 2006 Portland

    So are you going to be there or what? Put your name on the attendees list!

    Wow! 39499 edits…

    January 8th, 2009

    Fan History was created back in May 2006 so it has been around for a while. For much of this time, I was one the only contributors amongst a handful semi-regular contributors. I knew at one point that my edit total was above 15,000 but since my status was changed to bot status (to remove it from normal view on RecentChanges as when I start editing, I can make 50+ edits in a few hours which made finding other edits hard), I hadn’t had an accurate count.

    So last night, I was chatting with some wiki folk and Nick Burrus of AboutUs offered to get me a total count. That count, found here, totals 39449 edits on 17250 pages. Given a rough estimate of 930 days of Fan History’s existence, that’s an average of about 42 edits a day. Lots of wiki work. :)

    A wiki isn’t about one person though. It is about a lot of people who help out. ContributionScores gives an idea of others who help out. Excluding admins, SLWatson made 6201 edits. Followed closely behind is Susanmgarrett who made 6090 edits. Greer Watson made 1787 edits. Maygra made 764 edits. That’s a whole lot of contributing and the admin staff at Fan History is deeply grateful. We wouldn’t be as awesome as we are if you all weren’t helping out.

    Top fandoms for January 4, 5, 6 on Fan History

    January 7th, 2009

    This is just really interesting to see. The list of popular fandom articles on Fan History rarely seems to coordinate with top fan fiction fandoms, nor with what is on television. I would speculate that we won’t see that until we probably quadruple our traffic and have better links to Fan History from out visitors. :) At the moment, it probably very much relates to which fandom articles we plug.

    January 4

    1. Twilight
    2. Naruto
    3. Digimon
    4. Blade
    5. ABBA
    6. X-Files
    7. Kim Possible
    8. Sailor Moon
    9. Supernatural
    10. City of Bones/Mortal Instruments

    January 5

    1. Demon Ororon
    2. Twilight
    3. Gundam Wing
    4. Naruto
    5. Digimon
    6. Harry Potter
    7. Savage Garden
    8. D.Gray-Man
    9. Supernatural
    10. Bleach

    January 6

    1. Twilight
    2. Harry Potter
    3. Naruto
    4. Anna Semenovich
    5. Alf
    6. City of Bones/Mortal Instruments
    7. Digimon
    8. Dragon Ball Z
    9. Gundam Wing
    10. Allison Stokke

    Twilight fandom… so big! so active!

    January 6th, 2009

    I love data which helps paint a picture of fandom: How big is it? How active are the communities in it? So I was interested when I finally got some data from LiveJournal regarding the size of fandom on LiveJournal. We know it isn’t totally comprehensive but we have a list of 59 LiveJournal communities dedicated to the Twilight fandom.

    Kicking off this year, between January 2 and January 4, these communities had 246 new posts. They had 7,425 additional comments. 278 new members joined these communities and 175 started watching them. That seems really, really high.   The average post is getting 30 comments.  That’s pretty big all things considered.  (Naruto for the sake of comparison is averaging around 6.9. D’espairs Ray is averaging 15.35 comments a post.) The communities are getting a whole lot of new members and are generating a whole lot of conversations, especially when compared to some other services like FanPop, FanFiction.Net and InsaneJournal. The size of Twilight fandom, at its current stage is thus just mind blowing. If there is any doubt that this is the new big fandom, all you need to do is compare it to Harry Potter, where the community list is has 73 total communities that it monitors.

    I can’t wait to get more data to see what is going on in the Twilight fandom!

    The following is a list of LiveJournal communities in our sample of 59 communities:

    http://community.livejournal.com/crepusculito/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/crepusculoes/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/early_evening/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/edward_dazzles/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/edwardrosalie/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/emmett_rosalie/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/esmecarlisle/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/forks_high/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/forks_posse/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/jasperalice/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/just_cullen/

    http://community.livejournal.com/lasirius/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/jacobleah/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/ily_taycob/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/latuacantate/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/lion_lamb/

    http://community.livejournal.com/lionwolf/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/loveattwilight/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/modattack/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/musasenelclaro/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/read_twilight/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/sortofbeautiful/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/staytwilight/

    http://community.livejournal.com/tm_switzerland/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twiconawards/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilicons/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_addict/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_adult/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_book/

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_fics/

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_film/

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_italy/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_macros/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_santa/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_series/

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_stamp/

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_videos/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_t00bs/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight100/

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilightcien/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilighters_it/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilightfan/

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilightlims/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilightmanips/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilightxchange/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twi_ficrequest/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilightersanon/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/packnumbertwo/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/ecullendotorg/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/operationplaid/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/her_muse/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/newtonoutfitter/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twilight_fin/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twifin_mods/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/twstoryseek/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/vampires_et_cie/profile

    http://community.livejournal.com/hpvamp/

    http://community.livejournal.com/pattinson_daily/

    http://community.livejournal.com/pattinsonlims/

    49 of these communities are English language based. 2 are Finnish. 1 is French. 2 are Italian. 5 are Spanish. If you know of any communities not on this list which you think should be included, please let me know.

    Most popular fandoms on Fan History for January 3!

    January 4th, 2009

    I kind of had a lot of fun with the top fandom lists for January 1 and 2 so here is the list of the most popular fandoms for January 3 on Fan History!

    January 3

    1. Digimon
    2. Naruto
    3. Pride and Prejudice
    4. Twilight
    5. ABBA
    6. Supernatural
    7. City of Bones/Mortal Instruments
    8. Dragon Ball Z
    9. Prince of Tennis
    10. Lord of the Rings

    Camp Fandom 2.0

    January 3rd, 2009

    Camp Fandom 2.0 Flyer

    The above flyer is intended for printing and sharing! Please pass it along to anyone you think might be interested in attending! :) It should be a great event!

    Most popular fandoms on Fan History this year so far!

    January 3rd, 2009

    Most popular fandom articles so far this year! What is starting off hot on Fan History in 2009?

    January 1

    1. Thundercats
    2. Dexter
    3. Digimon
    4. Naruto
    5. Thunderbirds
    6. Dragon Ball Z
    7. Pride and Prejudice
    8. Yu-Gi-Oh
    9. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
    10. Ouran High School Host Club

    January 2

    1. Thundercats
    2. Digimon
    3. Naruto
    4. City of Bones/Mortal Instruments
    5. Thunderbirds
    6. Prison Break
    7. Beauty and the Beast
    8. CSI
    9. Pride and Prejudice
    10. Sailor Moon

    Oh people! Fake suicides do not get us what we want…

    January 2nd, 2009

    Yay! for Blizzard! A 17 year old idiot wanted Blizzard to do something for him. When Blizzard wasn’t giving the kid what he wanted, well according to a newpaper report, the kid pretended to be suicidal to further his attempts to get what he wanted.

    Blizzard acted pretty responsibly when they reported the kid. Why take a risk with that? Especially when you’re a corporation? It would be a PR nightmare if the kid actually committed suicide as a result of Blizzard’s inaction. And the police were right on the money to charge the kid. Idiots shouldn’t be rewarded for their stupidity and hopefully this lesson will make others think twice about doing the same thing.

    Related wiki articles: Warcraft.

    Announcing paid article services for Fan History!

    January 1st, 2009

    Fan History is pleased to announce Fan History’s paid article services! These services include article writing about and for individual members of fandom, convention dealers and fandoms.

    The cost of an article ranges from $25 for a basic article about a member of fandom to $1,500 to write the history of a fandom and create all the relevant subarticles.

    Why are we doing this? Fan History is trying to generate enough revenue to fund projects we wish to do work on, including doing a better job at documenting the history, documenting trends in entertainment, providing statistical data about fandom to the public, improving our fandom directory, etc. This means that we need to be able to pay developers, pay for our hosting, and compensate people for their time. To meet some of these goals, it also means being able to increase our visibility. To do this, we also need to be able to reserve space at conventions, pay to publish some materials and buy advertising. The funds generated from paid articles will go to cover these costs. We want 2009 to be a year where we really shine and excel, and this is one way of helping us to get there.

    Beyond helping Fan History by buying a paid article, what do you get?

    If you’re a member of fandom, you’ll get increased exposure for yourself and your work in fandom. You may want this service because Fan History administrators and staff are the best at what we do on the site; we can best help you have a great presence on Fan History and you get that to your advantage.

    If you’re a convention dealer, you also get a lot. With a paid dealer article, we’ll write an article about you with the information you want on it and update the article for a year with any conventions you’ll be appearing at. In addition, we’ll update/create articles about conventions you’ll be appearing at to include that information. This can be really important as a number of conventions don’t update their list of dealers in a timely manner or in a way that is easily accessible and timely. With an article, people who might be willing to an attend a convention because you’re going to be there can more easily find that out. It is also another way to market your products and services. You can link to your on-line store and individual products on the article.

    If you want an article which documents the history of a fandom, you’ll also get a lot! With Fan History’s fandom article, we’ll do that research for you to find out what happened and when, and create an article detailing a lot of that. The completed article will begin to let people understand the fandom. If a particular part of the article gets too long, we’ll segment it into a separate article or two. It can be a really great way to give back to your fandom by preserving that fandom’s history and you don’t have to do most of the work for it!

    If you are interested in buying a paid article, payment information is here. If you have additional questions about our service, check out our Frequently Asked Questions!

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