Archive for June, 2009

Using Twilight to promote another fandom?

June 30th, 2009

This morning I received an interesting email from one of the fan groups for Fiction Plane, an alt/rock-group which has been around for a number of years of which I am a moderate follower. Fiction Plane opened for The Police on the first half of their world tour in 2007-2008, perhaps not unsurprising given one of the members of the group, Joe Sumner, is Sting‘s son. While that tour did manage to boost their visibility to the public, it didn’t really do much to get them on the charts or bring them widespread success, at least here in the U.S. where they maintain a loyal, but not especially large following.

Well, some fans are trying to think of creative ways to promote them, especially with a new album due out later this year. And what they’re proposing is a campaign to get a Fiction Plane song on the soundtrack for the next Twilight movie, “New Moon”. They’ve created a Facebook page for the campaign as well as having a thread about it on one of the main fan sites.

Undoubtably, the widespread phenomenon that is Twilight brought a big boost to the popularity of the bands featured on the soundtrack of the first movie. When I looked at statistics for the Twilight group earlier this year, many of the most popular artists within that fan community were those featured on the soundtrack album. That said, are the demographics for Twilight compatible really with Fiction Plane fans? I’m not sure. My experience is that FP fans tend to skew older. They’re not so much a band that appeals greatly to the teen, tween, and young adult crowd the way Twilight does. I don’t know that I would hear their music being really compatible on a soundtrack with, say Paramore. But, I could be seriously mistaken on that, so who knows.

I think, more importantly, Fiction Plane fans need to come up with a serious plan if they want to make this happen. An on-line Facebook group isn’t going to do the trick, and as the film is due this November I would have to imagine much of the negotiation for soundtrack music may already be long completed (perhaps they’d be better aiming for “Eclipse”?) Petition drives can be effective but only when well organized and focused on the proper individuals — and truly huge in volume. Big enough to get media coverage. The cynical part of me is far too convinced that getting on the soundtrack for a sure-to-be blockbuster like “New Moon” is something that takes a good deal of record company and corporate dealings and is driven by demographic studies far more than fan-driven efforts. That said, I wish them well — I just hope these fans don’t get too disappointed if they find that a grass roots campaign like this is up against huge entertainment industry hurdles.

Three pieces of fandom news

June 29th, 2009

Today seems like a really news heavy day for fandom with all sorts of things with some legal implications.  If you haven’t heard of these stories, you should check out the related Fan History articles or read the sources.

  • China bans gold farming. (source)
  • Harry Potter fans have credit cards stolen after trying to illegally download newest movie. (source)
  • In June 2009, Darryn Walker, 35, from South Tyneside, was cleared of obscenity charges related to a story he published online that the featured kidnap and murder of Girls Aloud. (source)
  • Archive of Our Own vs. FanLib: Why they are not succeeding

    June 29th, 2009

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

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

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

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

    Privilege!Fail has shorter life expectancy because emotional stakes are so high

    June 29th, 2009

    People on unfunnybusiness, lcsbanana’s blog and elsewhere have been making comparisons between Privilege!Fail and RaceFail!09.  The tactics used by the racists and the anti-warning supporters have been scrutinized and found similar.  (Some onlookers are saddened that avowed anti-racists are attacking sexual assault survivors and their allies using the tactics they recently so heartily condemned.)  But an important comparison has not been made: how long it will take/has taken for each discussion to wind down.

    I think Privilege!Fail is going to end really soon… if it hasn’t already.  Liviapenn is never going to apologize; she won’t need to.  zvi-loves-tv only needs to wait another week, maybe less, before everything returns to the status quo.  Unlike Race!Fail09, nothing will really change and the audience will be smaller and much more self-contained.

    Why?  Race!Fail09 allowed a certain degree of emotional distance.  For all the rage that poured out, it was easy enough to step back and think logically.   You could be dispassionate about it.  Privilege!Fail allows no such detached intellectual analysis.  For one side, the whole issue involves emotion, deep gut-wrenching responses to the worst kinds of violation.  And if you’re on that side, you just can’t sustain the response.   It is exhausting.  For some survivors, the whole discussion is potentially triggering, making it detrimental to their mental health.   The only way to really prolong the discussion is to continually feed the rage… and really?  That’s not the sane or emotionally healthy thing to do.

    So Privilege!Fail just isn’t going to last as long. The emotional stakes are far too high.

    Pictures from Chicago’s Pride Parade

    June 29th, 2009

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

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

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

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





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


    The football like object is actually the ball from rugby.  I believe the float was for the professional rugby team in Chicago.

    Some of the volunteers from Lisa Madigan’s float.


    Illinois Lottery float.



    People waiting in the holding pen.

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


    Lisa Madigan.


















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


    It doesn’t seem possible that you could get that many people packed in like that.  It was wow, awe inspiring.



    Notice the people sitting on the portable toilets.




    Equality Illinois.


    Young and old attended this.


    More people sitting on portable toilets.





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



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


    The halfway mark?



    The police.







    The Green Man.




    Hiding the protesters.


    The protesters.



    A political message.


    A peek through…

    SEO advice: Commenting on blogs

    June 29th, 2009

    This topic came up on and it is a common topic for people looking to improve SEO. It is important to know about because if you’re running a fansite or fan fiction archive and wanting to learn SEO through link building, this method is probably one of the first one’s you’ll see.

    Commenting on blogs can help increase your traffic in two ways: 1) Click throughs on your name or from links in your comment. 2) Search engines if the links are not rel=nofollow.  For the second, the advice is that the more you comment on a diverse range of blogs, the more search engine juice you’ll get and the more visits from Google you’ll get.  Bad SEO people encourage you to comment as much as possible where ever the links are rel=follow.  What these bad SEO people fail to tell you is that doing so can actually hurt your SEO because you may end up on blacklist as a spammer.  People report spam to services they use like akismet, disqus, etc.  They develop their own internal blacklists.  Your hard work commenting will go to waste as comments disappear.  You risk worse for your site.

    If you want to avoid the possibility of going into a black box because of your commenting, remember the following advice:

    1. Read the article that you are responding to and respond accordingly.  Title isn’t enough to demonstrate that.  “This was interesting.  I will read more of your blog.”  is generally a sign that a comment is a spam comment and that you haven”t read the post.  (If you want to say that, e-mail the author of the blog.)
    2. Comment once in reply to a particular blog unless you’re willing to do a lot of number 1.  Several comments of  “This is fascinating.  I learned a lot from it.”  That is a great big signal that you’re not reading and you’re spam commenting.
    3. Reply with your real name.  If you comment with “Gold 4 Warcraft” instead of “John Doe,” people will REALLY think you’re link baiting/spamming and delete your comments.  If you really want to optimize for “Gold 4 Warcraft,” then blog commenting with that as your name is likely not the SEO method you want.  Comment as if you’re a real person.
    4. Watch what referrer you use to visit a blog with rel=follow. An easy way to spot comment spam is if a person self googles to see if their newly created link shows up, if the visit came through Disqus (and has 100 similar comments to their names) or includes SEO or other search terms that indicates that you are looking for a chance to link bait.

    If you want to comment for SEO, follow that advice so that your time is not wasted and you don’t get punished for spamming.  If you are paying some one for SEO and they advice blog commenting and don’t follow the above advice, fire them and get your money back.

    Michael Jackson

    June 27th, 2009

    I was — I am – a child of the ’80s. It’s a label and designation I embrace with a certain pride and a lot of fondness for the arts and culture of the decade, no matter what later generations have to say about it and how much it may be looked at as “cheesy” and “superficial” today.

    Even so, I was shocked by the extent to which Michael Jackson‘s passing this past week affected me. I cannot claim that I have considered myself a “fan” of his since the 80s, yet there is no denying that during my early teen years, he was legendary, and one of the primary entertainment figures of the time.

    I was too young to appreciate “Off the Wall” when it came out (although that appreciation would come later in my adult years when it became the only MJ music I would regularly hear and listen to on our local radio stations, and still say, “Damn, that’s good.”) But I can distinctly remember the impact that “Thriller” had upon its release. I remember when Michael first did his moonwalk on U.S. television. I remember how myself and all my classmates tried to imitate it for weeks afterward. I remember how the premiere of any of his music videos was a major television event. I remember when it seemed no album could ever top “Thriller” and, in some ways, if one looks at the charts, no album ever has.

    And yet, like many others, I became disillusioned with Michael in the years that followed. By the time “Bad” was released, he was already becoming a bit of a “joke” to some, a joke I laughed along with. I had passed into my later teen years and moved onto other music; in time, Michael’s music had become overshadowed to me by his weird behavior, the plastic surgeries, the accusations of child abuse and everything else. Michael was not someone who I thought had “relevance” any longer, but had become just a sad case of too much fame being gifted to someone who wasn’t equipped to deal with it, for whatever reason.

    And yet, since the shocking news of his passing a few days ago, I’ve been struck as has, I think, many out there who had dismissed him for so long as nothing but some kind of sad joke. It’s as if we’d collectively forgotten how important he was to the way the music industry had evolved and changed; how incredible a performer he’d been; how much skill and craft could be found in his music. It was an eerie experience living in a big city where, from that afternoon on Thursday through even now, days later, every car driving by on the street seemed to be blasting “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, or “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough”. Storefronts all through my neighborhood put up makeshift tributes and posters; everyone sitting out on their porch or steps had some commentary to make about Michael. I started listening to the music again for the first time in decades and was struck by how timeless so much of it was; I rewatched performances and was immediately transported back to the first time I’d ever seen them and my awe for what he was able to do. I felt tremendously sad for what was now lost, while at the same time I felt guilty for being yet another “bandwagon” jumper instead of a so-called “true fan” who had been with Michael all of this time.

    And yet, the debate rages on about how his personal life must or should be reconciled with his artistic one. Some feel that the two cannot be judged separately; that his artistic legacy is forever tarnished or ruined by the things he did and/or was accused of doing (with or without concrete proof). Yet in a time when issues of childhood abuse and trauma are on the forefront of fandom thought, can we honestly criticize Michael Jackson’s actions without considering how his own suffered abuse no doubt shaped his later life and reported actions? I’m not sure, yet I don’t want to free him from all blame for his actions, either. Can we negate the influence he had on generations for his music, when in fact many classical artists universally revered today in academic circles would be condemned by the public for their personal behavior if it were revealed in the tabloids the way MJ’s was?

    These questions are not raised to negate the severity of issues of child and sexual abuse, should they ever be concretely proven in MJ’s case. I only mention them as this is a man who has left a very complex and not at all neat and clean legacy. The same could be said of another music legend whose passing several years ago left me seriously affected, Warren Zevon. Warren was a raging alcoholic; someone who was regularly abusive to his friends and lovers; someone who suffered from severe mental problems, who according to articles and a biography by an ex-lover was pretty far from an admirable person. And yet, I cannot not love his music; I cannot deny the positive influence it had on my life regardless of his personal behavior. I cannot deny the pleasure I had from seeing him perform live on numerous occasions and how much I still love him today for his work, even if for nothing else.

    Perhaps only time will be the judge. Perhaps it will only be in decades or even centuries that we are able to state who were truly the legendary and influential artists and creators of our time. I just have a feeling that Michael is going to end up on that short list, and I feel it was tragic that it took such a turn of events for many of us to realize this.

    Privilege wank: Where sexual assault victims are not the real victims

    June 27th, 2009

    I’ve seen and dealt with a great deal of fandom drama.  When you’re an active participant in the community, it is just hard to avoid.  I sat out Race Fail 2009 because what could I say?  The extent to which I commented involved analytics relating to it.  It just did not feel like my place to speak out because I did not want to offend and I felt I could learn more by reading.

    But now we have privilege wank.  Actually, it is more like Privilege!Fail.  What is the privilege in this case?  Well, according to aukestrel, being sexually assaulted and a rape victim makes one privileged.  And this then became worse when some people like zvi-likes-tv appeared to imply that being a member of that class was voluntary.

    Before I get into it too much more, some back story. There were two cases of stories being posted with out warnings for rape.  In both cases, people asked the authors of those stories to post warnings because those stories were triggers for victims of sexual assault.    Both of  those authors complied but one grumbled about how she had to give in to a reader like that.  Another person took exception to that and posted a criticism of the author’s actions.  And it all went down from there with what started out as Warnings Kerfluffling before it got to the point where… well…  Let’s have some of these quotes speak for themselves:

    1. One could argue, however, in this discussion of victim “privilege,” that the hurt might in fact be the result of dismantling of that privilege. I’m not saying I am arguing that. But in our current culture – in which apparently this victim, and her emotional well-being, is placed above and beyond courtesy, respect, and even common sense – and to abuse other women in fandom because they do not elevate the victim or place her rights above their own – it could be argued that cyatnite is, in fact, dismantling a privilege.

    2. I don’t think they want to think of those who disagree with them as “women.” They want to dehumanise and abuse them; they want to take away their “humanity” so that they can feel justified in saying things to them that they would never say to another woman in real life. (At least I hope not.) They want to abuse people for holding the “wrong” opinion, even though they can’t really articulate what the “right” opinion is, just that it’s compassionate, displays empathy and consideration, and is a recognition that we belong to something larger than ourselves. I have seldom been so dismayed at the actions of fans as I have been in this post, and I’ve been in fandom for 10 years. I do not know cyatnite (had never run across her before tonight) but I am honestly appalled and even disgusted at the personal attacks she was subjected to for simply having a differing opinion on this subject. One hopes that, should impertinence display a differing opinion with her followers in the next few weeks or months, a similar “compassionate” and “correct” response is not the outcome.

    1. Perhaps it’s best to note that the lack of a specific warning of the sort you and others advocate might be a good enough reason to just not read that story. How much of a hardship would that be? It would also show sensitivity to the writer who worked hard to write a story filled with surprises, and to readers who enjoy being surprised. Works both ways, you know.

    5. I’m wondering if what we’re seeing here is a form of free-floating rage. It’s not uncommon for survivors of trauma to manifest this. They’ve never been able to confront their abuser and direct their anger toward him or her. They may also experience self-hatred; it may not be appropriate, but many victims of rape, especially, have been socially conditioned to accept some level of responsibility for the horrible thing that happened to them, and women carrying that awful baggage around with them might well hate themselves for it on some level. All this externalization of blame seems to me a warping of the otherwise healthy process of letting go of any sense that they brought the abuse on themselves. There’s some pretty serious pathology going on here on a community-wide scale. I wish I understood more about it, or that I had access to the therapist I can no longer afford, to get a better handle on it.

    I’m just disgusted.  I’m speaking only for myself and not for Fan History or any other admins… but I’m beyond disgusted.  I’m repulsed at the total lack of sympathy and inability to take 10 seconds to prevent a segment that is too large in our community from being inadvertently harmed by the texts that our community published.    We should not lose sight of that when see members of our community supporting anti-warning for rape, underage and BDSM positions while attacking victims of sexual assault for being fragile snowflakes who shouldn’t be online.  We need to focus on the fact that many members of our community are victims of sexual assault; they’ve been violated.  In many cases, they have doubted themselves.  They aren’t trying to exploit fandom for attention.  Rather, they are trying their damnedest to go on each day surviving something of such horror that I cannot even imagine it.  It takes ten seconds of our time, if we’re writers of fan fiction, to warn for rape, non-con, BDSM and underage. (That’s all that is being asked for.  No warnings about cutting Blair’s hair.  No warnings for the color orange.  No pairing warnings.)  By spending those extra ten seconds, we are being good members of the community.

    And that’s what we should strive for. If, by using this one small, quickly-made addition to our fics, we can keep from triggering someone who has been violated, why shouldn’t we do it? It just feels like the ethical thing to do.  I’d want the same from others and I’d do the same for others because fandom is a community.  In many places where we publish fan fiction, it is a wonderful community full of supportive women whom we can count on inside fandom and out.  This one small thing requires no work and helps prevent harm to large numbers of people in our community.   I fully support warnings for rape, non-con, underage and BDSM.  I hope you do too.

    And if you don’t and you’re on my FList on LiveJournal on I follow you on Twitter, let me know so I can unfriend/unfollow you.

    Animethon: An ANIME convention that’s only for the non-yaoi/non-yuri people

    June 27th, 2009

    Whether you like it or not, yaoi and yuri are fundamentally part of the Anime community.  You can’t remove it.  (Though white washing it out of American translations of manga and when dubbing anime into English has been tried.)  It is not going to go away.  So if you’re going to run an anime convention, you have to deal with this reality.  Unless the event is explicitly billed as a child friendly event with no adult content allowed, members of the anime community are going to expect that yaoi and yuri are going to be tolerated.

    Sadly, Animethon‘s organizers failed to get this message.   Rather than claim to be a convention that is child friendly, the organizer decided that the convention would be anti-yaoi by prohibiting same sex kissing for cosplay events on stage.  Heterosexual kissing was still allowed.  She wasn’t discriminating against gays and lesbians because she has gay and lesbians friends and she likes them.  (Thanks but no.  That’s a cop out.  I have Gay friends =/=  I am tolerant.  It is insulting to our intelligence.)  When called out on it, she finally decided to allow same sex pecks on the cheek because heterosexual friends of the same gender give pecks on the cheek.  That’s her ode to tolerance.  Makes her a special kind of fandom snowflake where heterosexual same sex kissing is okay but homosexual same sex kissing is not.

    She then spelled it out quite clearly: Animethon is not the place for large population in the anime community who like, read and watch anime and manga.  If you want that, go to Yaoicon.  (Because anime isn’t about the gays and lesbians and yaoi and yuri.)  Frankly, I think that’s a good idea.  If there is anyone in Alberta, Canada thinking of going to Animethon, don’t and tell the organizer why.

    Chicago Bandits are win!

    June 23rd, 2009

    I’ve been meaning to post this for the past week but life got in the way.  On June 13, I attended a Chicago Bandits game.  I’d made a deal with a friend that I would pay for Bandits if he paid for Red Stars tickets.  I was looking for an alternative to the Chicago Cubs because well, I’d gone to five games this season and the Cubs won twice.  The games are also a bit expensive to attend.  I also wanted to support women’s professional athletics.  This team seemed to fit the bill all around.

    And you know?  I had a great time.  I got my picture taken with the mascot.  The game was affordable. ($10 for our tickets.  Cheap food.  No parking fees. Not much gas spent to get to the game.)  Our seats were awesome.  The crowd was enthusiastic.  Fans had a good sense of sportsmanship that can be absent from Cubs games.  They cheered for both teams when good plays were made.  (Which was confusing as there were strange silences on occasion when people realized they had cheered too enthusiastically for the opposing team. But still?  How can you fault that sportsmanship?)  The quality of play was excellent.  There were Olympians on the field.  It was a lot of fun.  The whole experience was made of win.

    So if you get the chance, check out their website and attend a game. If you don’t want to go to a game by yourself, let me know and maybe we can go together. :D


    June 23rd, 2009

    We’ve created a Help page for fanzines.  It really needs some additional work in terms of categories, titles, etc.  We wanted something up officially to address concerns have have appeared regarding preservation movements around media fanzines.  The following is our current version.


    The purpose of Fan History’s fanzine articles is to preserve the history of fanzines in the community. Fanzines have long been an important part of all areas of fandom: music, media, science fiction, sports, and punk, just to name a few. Fanzines provide a window into a specific time in fandom history; trends in writing, art and discussion; as well as many other aspects of fandom life and creativity which can be important in understanding the history of fandom.

    That said, Fan History recognizes the issues that can exist in providing documentation of materials that may have been meant to be transient in nature, or may include information considered sensitive that creators and contributors may not wish to be publicly accessible today. Our policies regarding fanzine articles, artwork and content have been designed to provide both freedom of contributors to add information they consider valuable to fannish history, as well as avenues for creators to request removal of material they do not wish to have listed or archived electronically in any fashion.

    Our promise

    Fan History promises to never digitally provide the majority or entire contents of a fanzine on Fan History without consent of the fanzine publisher. If a publisher and individual contributors specifically wish for their materials to be archived for posterity, we can work with those individuals to provide hosting of such content. In general, however, our fanzine entries include a brief description of contents (including a table of contents when available), cover art (when available), publication history, a description of its relevance to fandom, and fan reactions.

    Fanzine article deletion

    See Help:Article deletion#Fanzine article deletion request.

    Fanzine cover art deletion

    See Help:Article deletion#Fan art and fanzine covers.


    A template for fanzine can be found at Template:Fanzine. To use this template, search for the fanzine title. If it does not exist, click on “Create this page.” In a different window/tab, click edit on Template:Fanzine. Copy and paste the contents of Template:Fanzine to your new blank article. Fill out as much information as possible.

    Admin: Update on Fan History’s deletion policy

    June 23rd, 2009

    Fan History recently clarified our deletion policies in response to on wiki deletion requests related to fanzine covers.   The following is the current version that is subject to change as we continue to evaluate and refine our policies.  If we make any major changes to this, we will make a new post.

    Fan art and fanzine covers

    Fan art, including fanzine covers, presents an issue of specific concern at Fan History. We believe that fan artists should have control over where their work is hosted, yet wiki contributors may feel that the inclusion of a piece of fan art is important in an article when documenting fannish history. (“Fan art” as Fan History defines it for these purposes includes but is not necessarily limited to photomanipulations and original hand-drawn or digitally-created artwork of fannish content. Please note that simple screencaptures, magazine/article scans, and other images which have not been significantly altered from another copyright holder’s image, video, or other property is not considered “fan art”.)

    Likewise, Fan History believes that we can complete our mission of documenting the history of fanzines in fandom without copies of fanzine covers. We also believe that, in general, we comply with fair use when we upload copies of covers. These covers can illustrate the contents of a fanzine, artist styles during certain time periods, help people understand who fan artists were that were active in fandom. Because of this, we allow users to submit fanzine covers.

    We will honor requests that fanzine cover art and other types of fan art be deleted. If you are the creator of a piece of fan art to be deleted (or the publisher of a ‘zine which included a piece of fan art) you should complete the following steps to have any uploaded images removed:

    1. E-mail The e-mail should include:
      • Links to all cover/fan art that you wish to be deleted.
      • Some proof that you are the artist (or publisher for the fanzine including the piece of fan art).

    After you have made this request including the necessary information, please allow up to two weeks for an administrator to respond. The administrator will delete the images. If an article includes the image, it will either be replaced with an image saying the cover art has been deleted at the artist’s request or the image link will be removed from the article. After the administrator has completed these steps, you will receive an e-mail confirming this. (You can also monitor the wiki to check for these changes.) Please note that, as with article deletion requests, it is up to the creator of the removed image to monitor the wiki to see that the image is not re-uploaded at a later time, and to submit a new deletion request if it is.

    Fanzine article deletion request

    If you are the publisher of a fanzine, you may request an article about your fanzines be deleted. The process is similar to that of people article deletion requests. This is done as a courtesy to the fan community. Requests will be honored depending on the availability of Fan History’s staff and the rationale behind the reason for requesting deletion. Please allow up to two weeks for a response from the administrators upon submitting a request.

    1. The publisher of the fanzine featured in the the article in question sends an e-mail to The e-mail should include the following:
      • The url of the article(s) that the person is seeking to have be deleted. Without this information the administrators may not be able to find your entry.
      • Proof that the person is the publisher of those fanzines.
      • A rationale for deleting of the article(s).
      • An acknowledgment that the publisher understands that Fan History is a wiki that anyone can edit, and that it is their job to monitor the wiki to make certain no one creates a new article on the same subject, as it is not the administrators’ job to do so.
    2. After having e-mailed the deletion request, the deletion requestor must add the following text to the talk page (see the “talk” tab) of the article to be deleted:
    {{Fanzine ADR}}

    This will add a text box that looks like:

    The publisher of this fanzine requests that wiki contributors not recreate the article.

    The publisher that made this request understands that Fan History is a wiki and that anyone can recreate the article using a different title. They ask that you do not. Please respect their wishes or contact them for additional details.

    . After you have done that, type (or copy and paste) the following message:

    I am the publisher of this fanzine and I have requested that this article be deleted from Fan History. I ask that other contributors to the wiki please respect my wishes to not be included. I understand that this is a wiki and that other contributors may choose to create another article about me or reference this fanzine elsewhere in the wiki. Because of that, I understand it is my job to regularly check that no one has created a similar article against my wishes. –~~~~

    After both of those steps have been completed, the rationale for deletion and importance of the fanzine in fandom history will be reviewed. Depending on the rationale involved, the article will most likely be deleted. If the rationale is deemed insufficient or the fanzine has been determined to be too important to the history of fandom, the article will not be deleted. If that happens, the following template will be placed on the article page:

    This article is not eligible for deletion because it does not meet ADR requirements.

    Please see the talk page for this article for additional information detailing what made this article notable. If this article is about you and you have questions, please see your talk page or e-mail support[@]fanhistory[.]com.

    The ADR request will be removed from the talk page and there will be additional comment on the talk page explaining why.

    Can you explain notability some more?

    Fan History has a policy not to delete articles about fans who are determined to be notable. The definition of notable is up to the discretion of the administrator dealing with the deletion request. In most cases, administrators consult with others before determining if a person is notable.

    General guidelines: Not notable

    • A fan is not notable if the article is was created by a bot and has had no edits to it since,
    • A fan is not notable if they are not mentioned on other articles on Fan History,
    • A fan is not notable if they have very little google exposure, and
    • A fan is not notable if they have fewer than 20 fans, “followers” or “friends” on services like Twitter or LiveJournal.

    General guidelines: Notable

    • A fan is notable if they have been featured on fandom wank,
    • A fan is notable if they have been mentioned by mainstream media, and
    • A fan is notable if they have more than 1000 followers on a social media service like Twitter or LiveJournal.
    • A fanzine is notable if there was a major kerfluffle around it.
    • A fanzine may be notable if it won an award like a FanQ.
    • A fanzine may be notable if it is represents a trend in fanzine production, content or because of the contributors.
    • A fanzine may be notable if it has been cited and/or mentioned in a professionally published book or academic article on fandom.

    When there is a question regarding notability, the practice is to error on the side of non-notable.

    Question and answer:

    June 23rd, 2009

    I recieved an e-mail.  It basically asked the following question: I want to contribute to an article but I’m hesitant because I might be biased.  How can I still edit?

    My answer:
    1.  Comment on the talk page before editing to say that you’re trying to be as neutral as possible and ask others to help check your edits to make sure they are neutral.  (It demonstrates good faith on your part and is  signal to admins that you’re trying.)
    2.  Where you know you can’t be unbiased, create a section that says “MY NAME’s perspective’, at the top of that section, put {{MP}} and follow the directions outlined at .
    3.  When you’re editing in, comment using <!– to explain what you’re doing in the article’s source code to explain your opinion in the text.
    4.  Screen cap and cite everywhere to make your point.  If quoting, try to avoid taking things out of context.  Try to quote primary sources when you can.
    5.  If an administrator comments on the edit, respond back and try to work with them.  If some one later has an issue with the edits, we’ll have a record of what happened.  It makes resolving potential conflict easier.
    6.  Don’t fret too much if you’re concerned about bias.  People who are self aware of bias and work towards trying to make sure they are not being biased tend to be less biased.

    More about Fan History’s fanzine section

    June 22nd, 2009

    This was an e-mail I sent elsewhere.  I’ve reposted it minus the introduction and the quoted text.

    Recently, Fan History received a couple of fanzine cover deletion
    requests. We had a policy on the wiki which for fan art was e-mail us
    and prove that you’re the artist and we’ll delete the fan art. It was
    not very detailed. We’d never really had an issue with this material
    where we felt we needed to clarify our policy regarding that. The
    deletion requests gave us reason to clarify both our policy in regards
    to fanzine related articles and fanart. 1.6.1 Fan art and fanzine covers
    > is our fanart and fanzine cover policy. 1.7 Fanzine article
    deletion request
    > is our fanzine article deletion policy. Summarizing
    them: If you are a fanzine publisher or fanartist, drop us an e-mail and
    we’ll delete the cover. In regards to fanzines, if the fanzine is
    non-notable, we’ll probably delete it if you can give us a good reason.
    We know that many people published them in pre-Internet days before real
    name issues were as problematic as they can be now. We’ll try to be as
    accomodating as possible.

    Fan History has a fair amount of information about fanzines already.
    That can be found at
    <> . There is
    probably information about 2,000 fanzines on Fan History. We’re really
    proud of our Star Wars
    <> , Star
    Trek <> ,
    Forever Knight
    <> ,
    Doctor Who <>
    , Rat Patrol
    sections. Many articles have cover art, publishing histories, summaries
    of fan responses to the fanzine, links for more information, etc. What
    these articles don’t have and will never have is the complete fanzine in
    image format unless we’re given permission to redistribute a zine in
    that fashion. In one or two cases, (I’m thinking a Led Zeppelin
    drawerfic type zine) we may have extracts of a few pages. We’d argue
    these are fair use and if called on them, we would remove them. We’re
    just not set up to be a redistributor of fanzines in image format. Our
    mission isn’t to do that and we don’t have any intention of doing that.
    (And most especially not charging people to make copies. I’ve seen
    enough of the discussion on mailing lists regarding the reprinting of
    fanzines with out permission to know some people find it repulsive and I
    don’t want Fan History associated with that.) Our mission is to
    document that these fanzines existed, this is what the cover looked
    like, these fandoms were involved with the zine, these people were
    involved in the production of this material.

    We’d also like to think that for fanzine publishers and authors with
    material in fanzines that we’d be useful to you as another place where
    you can promote your fanzines. We don’t have a problem with a fanzine
    publisher coming in and including links to where you can buy the fanzine
    online, what convention the publisher will be at and selling the
    fanzine, etc. Commercial links like that, as long as they fit in to the
    article and follow our rules <>
    are more than welcome.

    If you have any questions about our deletion policy, our fanzine section
    or anything else regarding Fan History, please feel free to e-mail me at
    laura@… or one of our admins at support@….
    You can also reach us by commenting on the talk page for articles or
    categories you have questions for. In fact, we’d almost prefer the
    second because if you have questions, some one else might have the same
    one and clarifying our policies through the use of talk pages helps out
    everyone in fandom. (And it holds us more accountable because our
    actions are then part of the public record.)

    Thanks for reading.


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

    June 21st, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

    1. – 301 visits
    2. – 233 visits
    3. – 147 visits
    4. – 126 visits
    5. – 96 visits
    6. – 84 visits
    7. – 80 visits
    8. – 78 visits
    9. – 63 visits
    10. – 47 visits

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

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

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

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

    The A-Slash is looking for a new archivist

    June 21st, 2009

    The A-Slash, a really great little group of A-Team slash writers, is looking for a new volunteer archivist for their website. The list is low volume (less than 20 active members) and dedicated to quality writing. The maintainer would be happy to take on an assistant who would be willing to get the archive up-to-date, as it hasn’t been updated in 2 years to reflect new postings on the yahoogroup. You can contact the maintainer if you might be interested in helping out and learning more about what would be involved.

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

    June 20th, 2009

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

    Begin original post

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

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

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

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

    Or simpler: Fandom = Random.

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

    Yes, Encyclopedia Dramatica is down

    June 17th, 2009

    It is down.  We know.  The folks who run Encyclopedia Dramatica is down.   They have been hard at work bringing it up.   Please be patient and give them time. :)   If you want updatesm you might want to check out their chat room on IRC.

    While at it, yourwiki has been a bit slow as some one uploaded over 1,500 images this week.  They are hard at work too.

    Check out WhatPort80

    June 17th, 2009

    This is another case of being a bit sloth like.   I promised to plug WhatPort80 and it has taken me a while to do that.  WhatPort80 is another wiki site.  On their about page, they describe themselves as:

    WhatPort80 is a collection of internet information for your reading pleasure. All material submitted should be work safe. Any non-worksafe images or language will be deleted. If you’d like to contribute to a wiki that allows Non-worksafe content, Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Dramatica may be more to your liking.

    They really push the limits of what is work safe and what is not because some images are highly suggestive using objects/fruit and flesh colored clothing.   Still, it is very damned cool and has a lot of great potential.  One article I really like is Lulz because I like the caption below the image.  The jokes feel accessible to me and where I am online.  Please check them out. :)

    June 16th, 2009

    I love irc.  I love  There are a number of wiki related chat rooms on there and a month or so ago, an acquaintence introduced me to  It is a wiki hosting company that is run by a couple of friends.  At the moment, they are pretty small and they aren’t focused on making money.  Rather, they are focused on offering great support that being a small wiki host allows them. is a traditional wiki farm of sorts in that there is a shared user base across multiple wikis.   This is similar to how PBWiki and Wikia work.  This can be great for community building on your wiki because there is a larger pool of contributors from which you can edit.

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

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

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

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

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

    Update: Permabanned users policy change

    June 16th, 2009

    We’ve had a couple of instances in the past where we have permabanned users.  We haven’t really formalized this policy to give us flexibility and to allow for our administrators to try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  What this means in practice is that people get one or two  bans that last two weeks each.  The second or third violation of Help:Rules[?] results in a permaban.  Most permabans are as a result for article blanking, where the individual has been told not to do that. In cases of what look like automated spam bot link baiting or behavior that is truly egregious, people may also be permabanned.  Accounts that we can prove are sock puppets trying to get around a ban also may be permabanned.  Flexibility is helpful because we may screw up and we can undo our actions with out being locked in to a procedure that may not be appropiate for a situation.

    Previously, we had not kept a list of permabanned users because there just did not appear to need to be a reason to.  When we permabanned users for repeated rule violations (like blanking or malicious behavior), an administrator had generally commented on relevant talk to let the individual know.   Recent events on the wiki have caused us to re-evaluate how we handled this situation.

    In the future when a user is permabanned, their user page will appear in a special category and their user page will have an article box put on it that explains that the user was permabanned.

    If anyone has any questions or suggestions regarding how to handle these situations, please let us know.

    Update: Article deletion procedure changed for administrators

    June 16th, 2009

    We’ve changed our policies in regards to how administrators handle deletion requests.  Most people submitting article deletion requests won’t be effected by this uness they are notable.  For the record, a copy of the parts of the procedure that have been revised are:

    If the user has not completed those tasks and is non-notable, e-mail them back with directions as to what tasks they need to complete before the deletion request can be honored. You may need to provide the user with alternative means of contact so you can verify the deletion request comes from the person that the article is about. This may include giving your FanFiction.Net or LiveJournal contact information for verification purposes. If you do not have that account type, see the list of official Fan History profiles on the Fan History administrator community and ask them to contact you there.

    If a user has completed all the tasks and is non-notable:

    • delete the article on the wiki,
    • lock the article so that no one can edit the article, and
    • e-mail the person who made the request to tell them the article has been deleted. The e-mail should make the following points:
      • the user should regularly check the wiki to make sure no one has mentioned them elsewhere or recreated the article under a similar name,
      • Fan History does not monitor to make sure that they are not mentioned elsewhere in the wiki or that someone has not created an article with a similar name, and
      • the user should feel free to contact you regarding any additional concerns they have about the wiki.

    If a user has completed all tasks and is notable,

    • edit the article to include {{Not eligible}} at the top of the article,
    • comment on the talk page to explain why the article about the individual is not eligible for deletion,
    • contact the individual via e-mail to explain that the article will not be deleted. The e-mail should make the following points:
      • the individual has been determined to be notable,
      • because it is not eligible for deletion, Fan History will work with the individual to make the article work better for them with the understanding that the core contents remain and will not be deleted, and
      • the user should feel free to contact you regarding any additional concerns they have about the wiki.

    Things to remember:

    If you have any questions about this procedural change, please let us know.  The reason for the change is to create a formal procedure for addressing articles about people that are notable, where articles are not eligible for deletion.

    LiveJournal’s User Advisory Board

    June 15th, 2009

    I’ve nominated myself for the LiveJournal User Advisory Board. I need 300 nomination support votes to get on the ballot. Please help. LiveJournal’s directions for doing that are:

    To support a nominee’s candidacy, you should comment to their nomination entry stating “I support this nomination” or something substantially similar. You may support multiple candidates’ nominations. Nominees need 300 motions of support in order to be invited to be a candidate in the election. Candidates are asked to assist by only unscreening those comments that express this motion of support, and election moderators will help with that process.

    Thanks for your support and any help you can provide in getting me on the ballot.

    What was hot on Fan History for the week of June 7 to June 13, 2009

    June 15th, 2009

    It’s another week and I’m in the mood for another post about what’s popular on Fan History. This edition includes our most popular traffic sources outside search, our most popular articles and our most popular keyword based searches for the week of June 7 to June 13, 2009.

    Most popular articles
    11,848 pages were viewed a total of 44,012 times

    1. Draco/Hermione – 920 times
    2. Cassandra Claire – 551 times
    3. Race Fail 2009 – 423 times
    4. Torchsong Chicago – 383 times
    5. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive – 323 times
    6. AdultFanFiction.Net – 282 times
    7. Digimon – 226 times
    8. Hurt/comfort – 225 times
    9. Naruto – 225 times
    10. Twilight – 216 times

    Coming in Number 11 is Russet Noon with 206 and FanFiction.Net with 204.

    Top non-search referrers
    Referring sites sent 2,620 visits via 361 sources

    1. – blog entry about conventions is where the traffic was from – 298 visits
    2. – 287 visits
    3. – 232 visits
    4. – 179 visits
    5. – 83 visits
    6. – 81 visits
    7. – 79 visits
    8. – 67 visits
    9. – 61 visits
    10. – 57 visits

    Coming in at referer rank 77 was with 4 visits.

    Search key phrases
    Search sent 12,029 total visits via 8,537 keywords

    1. naruto wiki – 64 visits
    2. adultfanfiction – 60 visits
    3. galbadia hotel – 53 visits
    4. restricted section – 50 visits
    5. adult fanfiction – 49 visits
    6. cassandra claire – 44 visits
    7. emo porn – 43 visits
    8. fan history – 35 visits
    9. cassandra clare – 34 visits
    10. gosselins without pity – 33 visits

    Coming in at the 40th most popular keyword search with 17 visits was russet noon.

    A sad loss to slash fandom

    June 15th, 2009

    I was very sad to hear the news late last night that Minotaur had passed away.(Link to info.) He was a fixture at many of the slash conventions I’ve attended in the past ten years; I first met him at a ConneXions con where he hosted one of his panels on gay sex for slash writers, inspired by his ever-popular Sex Tips for Slash Writers website. I just remember the room being packed-to-overflowing, and also full of much laughter and enjoyment as was generally the case in his company.

    His contributions to slash fandom will be remembered for many years, and his presence sorely missed.

    Fan History referrer patterns revisited

    June 12th, 2009

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

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

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

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

    First there was Torchsong Chicago. Now there is TwiCon…

    June 11th, 2009

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

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

    Torchsong Chicago:

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


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

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

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

    Wagn: Help Wagn out!

    June 10th, 2009

    I  got the following e-mail and thought I would pass it along as the folks at Wagn are beyond awesome. :D

    Will you help bring more attention to Wagn and healthy organizing patterns?

    Here’s how to get the word out (links and resources below):

    Thanks for being part of our launch!

    – Ethan, Lew, and John

    About Wagn

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    J&N: A Love Story by Rachel Plotkin

    June 9th, 2009

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

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

    Sports fan fiction fandom

    June 9th, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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