Archive for August, 2009

Marvel to be acquired by Disney

August 31st, 2009

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

f/m instead of m/f ?

August 31st, 2009

Yesterday, I was chatting a Fan History admin about this fan fiction dictionary. It is a nice little dictionary… but it has one thing that really stands out as different from every other fan fiction dictionary I have seen: It uses f/m instead of m/f as the norm. Is this the norm in the Superman fandom? Is it specific to just this site? Is it specific to comics fandom? The whole idea seems to flip some gender understanding of how we organize things in fandom on its head. The definition list also seems to indicate that femslash is the norm for the fandom and that m/m is not dominant or normative.

I’d really love an explanation for this. :D

Fanzine history on Geocities

August 30th, 2009

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

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

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

Thank you for your help.  We really appreciate it.

What’s new with The Police?

August 29th, 2009

It’s now a little over a year since the end of The Police‘s highly successful 2007-2008 Reunion Tour. So what are they all up to now? It’s interesting to see how the three members of the band have (or haven’t?) been keeping busy since then, perhaps using the tour as a launching pad for new projects of various kinds.

Cover of Stewart Copeland's

Stewart Copeland seemed to take very little time to rest at all before jumping into numerous new endeavors. During this past summer, he did a brief tour of Italy with his “La Notte Della Taranta” ensemble and also appeared at the La Jolla Music Festival in California to premiere a new piece of music. September will bring the world premiere of Ben Hur Live, a musical/stage spectacle which Stewart composed the music for (and for which he will be doing the live narration at the London premiere performances.)

As if that’s not enough, he’s also been hard at work on an autobiography. The last member of the group to pen one (even original guitarist Henry Padovani beat him to the punch with his book “Secret Policeman”!), Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies is set to be released by HarperStudio in September. Talk about keeping busy! In a recent interview, Stewart admits he hasn’t been taking calls for movie soundtrack work for three years now–which had been one of his major areas of work before the tour for a long time. So it seems The Police tour has done great things for his visibility and ability to pursue lots of other projects of various kinds.

Sting has also kept somewhat active, but in perhaps a less prolific way. He performed several one-off concerts this year (a charity event in Toronto and at Foxwoods in Connecticut). In October he will be releasing “If On A Winter’s Night…”, a collection of mostly traditional music from the British Isles with a few reworkings of his own older material. He also has a performance scheduled with The Philadelphia Orchestra in January of 2010. When he may have an new album of truly “original” material is unclear; he hasn’t released one since 2003′s Sacred Love.

And Andy Summers? Well, he seems to have returned to his other passion besides music: photography. His official website lists numerous exhibitions featuring his photography work which has shown through the year in California, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and Australia. An associated book of photography, Desirer Walks the Streets, was published by Nazraeli Books in March.

Of course, some fans are still holding out hope for a new Police album some time in the future. The possibility of such seems quite slim, given the disparate interests and pursuits of the band members these days. But who is to ever say for sure? Most of us fans thought a reunion tour would never, ever happen, and then we spent the bulk of two years following them around the world.

Myself, however? I’m kind of more hoping Stewart gets Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio back together for an Oysterhead reunion!

Possible Movie in the Future for The Mortal Instruments Series

August 28th, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

CC-BY-SA3, Transformers Wiki and consequences

August 27th, 2009

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

ANGELINA JOLIE OR MEGAN FOX? SUPERFAN.COM INTRODUCES FACEBOOK “BATTLES” APP

August 27th, 2009

I got the following e-mail from Superfan. I thought it might be of interest to some of our readers so here it is…

http://apps.facebook.com/superfan/battle

ANGELINA JOLIE OR MEGAN FOX? SUPERFAN.COM INTRODUCES FACEBOOK “BATTLES” APP

Put Celebrities, Brands or Friends Head to Head and Let the Battle Begin

We all have different opinions. And sometimes you just have to know what your friends think: Red Sox or Yankees? Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox? ‘Harry Potter’ vs. ‘Twilight’? Your friend Bob or your friend Bill? Now Facebook users have an easy, fun way to find out, with the new SuperFan.com “Battles” app.

SuperFan.com, the new fan-driven online community and social game, is helping Facebook friends ignite their passions by enabling two Faves from SuperFan.com (in categories including music, celebrities, TV, movies, characters, sports, video games, books, brands, schools, charities and places) to Battle head to head, with a list of pre-populated questions like “Who is more awesome?”, “Who is Sexier?” and “Who is Smarter?” They can also create their own questions, and even choose two of their Facebook friends to “Battle,” settling once and for all if Bob is hotter than Bill.

Facebook users can vote on each Battle, see the overall voting results and see how each of their friends voted. They can also create and share Battles with their friends to ensure their Fave wins, a must for hotly contested Battles like “Ohio State vs. Michigan,” “Barack Obama vs. George W. Bush” or “Apple vs. Microsoft.”
The “Battles” app was conceived and developed by SuperFan.com founder Rick Marini and his team, all key architects of the original, and hugely successful, viral quiz engine Tickle.com. SuperFan.com’s blue-chip advisory board includes Blake Commagere, creator of the very popular Vampires, Zombies and Causes Facebook apps. The SuperFan.com team has several other innovative apps in the works.

About SuperFan.com
SuperFan.com is an online community where fans can tell the world what and who they love, be matched with others who share their passions, be introduced to new favorite things, and – through an innovative social game – amass Credits to become the world’s top SuperFan for just about anything imaginable.
SuperFan.com’s San Francisco-based founder is Harvard MBA Rick Marini (http://superfan.com/rick). Marini built the Webby-Award-winning, quiz-driven Tickle.com into a global top 20 site with over 200 million registered users, then sold it to Monster Worldwide in 2004 for over $100 million.
The SuperFan Board of Advisors includes Internet leaders Shawn Fanning (founder of Napster and Rupture), Philip Kaplan (founder of F’d Company and AdBrite), James Currier (founder of WonderHill and Tickle) and Blake Commagere (creator of the Vampires, Zombies and Causes apps on Facebook).

http://www.superfan.com
http://superfan.com/about/features
http://superfan.com/explore/faves

Congrats to wikiFur on their move!

August 27th, 2009

A few days ago, wikiFur completed their move from Wikia to their own servers. It apparently was a long and difficult process, which is why most wikis hosted there don’t leave. Where did they move? They provided details on their news page, saying:

The English WikiFur is now hosted on a high-bandwidth server offered by French WikiFur administrator Timduru.

This server is currently used to stream the Funday PawPet Show and FursuitTV. It also hosts a variety of fursuit and animal-related websites and galleries, including WikiFur’s other language projects. Its resources (network bandwidth, CPU time, memory and storage) are not taxed by its current operations; there should be plenty for the English WikiFur even in the middle of its current streaming duties.

(For geeks: The server is a Conroe 3040 dual-core system with 4GB RAM, 1TB+500GB+250GB disks, a 40Mbit/sec+ transfer rate and a 3TB/month maximum bandwidth usage, of which about half is currently available. It runs FreeBSD 7.1, and is hosted by ThePlanet in Austin, Texas.)

Several other options were considered, including commercial shared web hosting and virtual machines. The use of an existing dedicated server under the control of a WikiFur administrator won out, for reasons of easy administration, features, cost, and potential for future expansion.

They have an excellent tech team with GreenReaper as their lead so they are unlikely to have problems that another wiki that moved off Wikia had. wikiFur provides a valuable service to the furry fandom and I wish them nothing but the best. I hope that with their new location they can continue being the bedrock to the community that they were before the move.

Wiki adminning: Different strategies to deal with conflicts

August 27th, 2009

We’ve been busy watching our recent changes on Fan History. An incident recently came up and we had a fair amount of behind the scenes discussion on how to handle it. After exploring our possible actions, we analyzed where our desires to take these actions came from. They can best be summarized as follows:

  1. Desire to thoroughly document a topic, be completely truthful, provide multiple perspectives and be as unbiased as possible.
  2. Desire to behave ethically, enforce our policies in an ethical and consistent way, and to adhere to the norms of the community of which we are a member.
  3. Desire to avoid drama, possible negative publicity for the wiki, and personal attacks aimed at our admin staff.

This situation is one that many other wikis are likely to deal with. The problem with these motivations is that plan of action for each requires a different response. The plan of actions will have different outcomes when implemented. The desire for the first will almost certainly run afoul of the third one. The desire for the second one could likely piss off both sides who will see you as negating the first one and resulting in the third one not being met. It is a messy situation to be in. When you’re faced with a similar situation, our advice is to write down the pros and cons of implementing a strategy based on each desire. Examine those pros and cons and then implement the solution that will allow you to sleep at night. There is no right answer.

DragonCon is coming! Are you excited yet?

August 26th, 2009

I know I am! DragonCon is the largest annual convention that I attend regularly (as an artist, vendor, and also just a “plain” fan). This year I’m especially looking forward to getting to see two of my old favorites from The A-Team, Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict, who will be there. I’ll be curious to know what they’ve got to say about the latest rumors around a new movie, such as the possibility of Chris Pine taking on the role of Murdock.

I know there’s also going to be an effort to stage the largest “Thriller” dance in tribute to Michael Jackson ever, which ought to be a scream (in more ways than one).

If you’re going, please be sure to find the Spacial Anomaly Gallery table in the dealer’s hall to stop by and say hello! And remember, as always, your help in sharing your experiences at the con here in the wiki during and after the con are always appreciated.

Gaming the Twitter system… or how not to market on Twitter

August 24th, 2009

There are ways to market yourself on Twitter and to market your brand. My preference as a user of Twitter is if I mention a brand, they comment at me. I don’t necessarily want them to follow me with me following them in return. My comment is probably a one off and I likely won’t mention them again. There is no reason to watch me. There is no reason for me to follow them unless I want to get marketed at.

I don’t want random brands commenting at me using @ replies. There was some spammer who was @ replying to lots and lots of people with info on their Blackberry application. The problem? I’ve never mentioned Blackberry on Twitter and I don’t own a Blackberry. That’s really annoying and Twitter should really crack down on those more.

The one that also annoys me is the brand, personal and business, gaming for followers. The most recent one I’ve run across is EcoInteractive. They have something like 64,000 followers. They follow something like 67,000 people. This is some one gaming the system for followers. (I wrote exactly how to do that on this wikiHow article.) (It is a big myth that you get followers because of great content.) EcoInteractive goes around and follows people and hopes that they get follows in return. According to EcoInteractive, this is nominally because of shared interests. When pressed repeatedly on Twitter, EcoInteractive sadly could not come up with a reason why they followed me. I don’t tweet about environmental issues. I’m not interested in following people and don’t follow environmental related Twitter accounts. The lack of being able to point to tweets, blog posts, a website I list relating to that make EcoInteractive’s actions abundantly clear. This is seriously annoying. I get the e-mail that EcoInteractive is now following me. EcoInteractive has so many followers that I clearly won’t be able to establish any sort of relationship with them because EcoInteractive has 67,000 people they watch. Are they EVER going to read my content? No. It isn’t possible to follow that many people and maintain relationships. Does EcoInteractive have a tweet stream that I want to read? No and if they did, I would have followed them to begin with. EcoInteractive is engaging in the wrong sort of brand building. EcoInteractive is engaging in possibly destructive brand building, especially when EcoInteractive can’t articulate why they followed me and when they have so many followers to begin with.

EcoInteractive and others like EcoInteractive are one of the reasons why I like Twitter less and less. I don’t mind being marketed at. But this brand and similar brands don’t give a shit about who they are marketing at just so long as they can improve their metrics. That’s dumb and it isn’t how you market on Twitter because then you piss off people like me and it does more harm to your brand than good.

And frankly, Twitter should start punishing people and brands with over 10,000 followers who are clearly trying to game the system by following others first with the hope of getting an auto follow in return.

Yes, FanFiction.Net is having problems

August 9th, 2009

Yes, FanFiction.Net is been having problems. Reports on various message boards have indicated these problems have been going on for over two days. People have not been able to connect. When they have been able to connect, they have been unable to review, to post or get alerts e-mailed to them. Lots of people are frustrated but not much we as users can do. :(

Bing is following nofollow

August 9th, 2009

According to this post on webpronews, Bing has a bug and is currently indexing material the is rel=nofollow, rel=noindex. Many people in fandom on services like LiveJournal turn those commands on to give themselves a bit more privacy with their public posts by trying to minimize their visibility in search engines. If that is you, and you’re counting on the major search engines to protect your privacy, consider friends locking all the problematic posts on LiveJournal. This way, your privacy is a bit more protected and you run less risk of people you don’t want finding certain content from finding it. Yes, Bing will fix this problem but in the mean time, take it as another wake up call to better protect your online privacy.

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