This week I did a conference call with wikiHow. All users were invited to attend and the call was advertised on wikiHow’s forums and in their chat room. I like these things a lot. (I just felt a bit uncomfortable “attending” as I am not an active contributor. I mostly hang out on chat and edit when asked. I’m there for great wiki community support and because I believe in their project.) It is interesting to hear part of their call and to get insight into their thought process for implementing features and design. I don’t get to do as much of that with Fan History because we lack the technical skills. The parts that I participated in talked about things like placement of how to contribute on their main page, how to offer live support, if their current chat room is an effective option, how to advertise that. There was also some mention of the new skin. If you’re a contributor to wikiHow, or want to see how a large wiki works, try to get in on another one of their calls.
Archive for October, 2009
Most popular articles for October 2009. (Yes, two days early but I want it done because plans for the weekend.) Some patterns have changed from a year ago but mostly, what has always been popular continues to be popular.
- Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive
- Yu-Gi-Oh Card Maker Wiki
- Cassandra Claire
- Fan fiction archives
For the month, we had 36,101 pages that were viewed a total of 167,509 times.
Through the years, many individuals and companies have been come face to face with cease and desist orders over copyright infringement. Zazzle, a type of CafePress website for users to be able to create their own designs and sell them on various bobbles and clothing was sued by Summit Entertainment for selling Twilight swag.
Courthouse news mentions it in their article Moviemakers Sue Site Over ‘Twilight’ Swag
Though the main event this Halloween season seems to be Ms Marmite Lover.
Then Warner Bros sent their own ceast and desist letter to a blogger by the name of Ms Marmite Lover who wanted to have a Harry Potty Dinner in her home for the cost of recooping the fees of the meal. She has placed the ordeal on her site and changed the name of her party, but still drew up drama to try to get support for her idea. Her blog entry, Generic Wizard night illustrates the issue, but also boiled over to Guardian.co.uk in her article – Harry Potter and the chamber of lawyers. It was even mentioned in the BritishBlogs.co.uk site in the article Muggle lawyers ban Harry Potter feast
Some of the commenters tried to tell her through her site and the Gaurdian site that if her feast had been not for profit, it would have been no problem and there was no reason to pitch a fit to the public if she changed the name already. Yes, even if it might sound ridiculous, it is unfortunate that society has come to horde anything in the name of money.
Some reactions to Ms Marmite Lover and the Case of Copyright Infringement:
You might have to wonder if Halloween just might end up ruined with all the greed amok…
written by Nile Flores (@blondishnet on Twitter)
We’ve received several visits to Fan History from people looking for information about Michael Jackson content that was archived on Geocities. We have a fair bit. It can be found in the following locations:
- Michael Jackson stories (info on 18 stories archived on Geocities)
- Michael Jackson fansites on Geocities (info on 7 sites. More to be added as we process our data.)
- Michael Jackson images (screencaps of several fansites hosted on Geocities. Some have not been made into articles yet.)
If you know of any Michael Jackson specific efforts to save info on Geocities, let us know!
Like most people, we’ve been pretty busy doing things in life that need to get done. We worked really hard to get some Geocities preservation work done. The site closes down tomorrow. We’re not happy with what we got preserved, even as we are. Doubled edged sword that.
We did a manual look through and found information on about 5,000 stories archived on Geocities. We screencapped and created articles about over 500 sites. We added definitions from around 50 pages on Geocities. In the final days, we created an extension so that people could look at the page and fill out the form, updating wiki articles about the site.
And in the past five days, we really kicked it into over drive. We extracted information about 9,000 fansites mentioned on DMOZ. We screencapped about 5,000 of those pages which contain related meta data. We screencapped another 500 or so pages based on Google search results. We downloaded about 1,000 text files related to fandom. We saved about 10,000 search results from Google that mentioned fandom related terms on pages hosted on Geocities. Some of this information is just garbage. Early SEO efforts used random keyword seeding on the bottom of pages and that still pulls up on search, especially 500 deep. Some of the screencaps are undoubtedly 505 errors. Others, especially ones based on Google searches, are probably not fandom related. Lots and lots of potential garbage sorted in with potentially useful information.
The problem now is: What do we do with this data? The screencaps, the google search results, the DMOZ information? How do we sort through it, cull through it, put it on the wiki? Do we just mass upload everything and sort the potential garbage out later? Do we just slowly try to work out things now?
We’re looking for ideas on how to handle that. We’re also looking for assistance in implementing any ideas. Any help you can provide us with post Geocities closing is most welcome.
I love the people who help make Fan History awesome with their work. Some of our back end work is done by non-fandom people who come from the wiki community who see the value of our work. One of those people is Lewis Collard. He did a fair amount of automated screencapping that we need to get uploaded on Fan History.
He’s written about doing this and has a fair number of screencaps over on his blog. It is a really great entry and well worth reading. It nicely summarizes some of the major html trends from those early days. Go and check it out.
Well apparently the Twitter world is laughing at the hoax about Kanye West kicking the bucket in a car accident. This may have been done in response to a video by Spike Jonze which depicts the entertainer being killed in a car accident. Since this, the video has been pulled.
Since then, Twitter fluttered about with the trending topic RIP Kanye West, it has remained in the top list for more than 24 hours. Some tweeps jokes that the incident about the Balloon Boy was a better hoax. In fact, it only became a hoax after West’s girlfriend Amber Rose set the record straight, and even Los Angeles Times covered it in their article -
Amber Rose ( @DaRealAmberRose ) debunks ‘RIP Kanye West’ Twitter topic. On Idolator, they still have a screenshot of the photoshopped piece in their article Kanye West: Not Dead that says “Rapper West Dead at 32.”
So, anyone laughing? Kanye is not and apparently has not even acknowledge the hoax as nothing has been said as of yet. The only thing is that the Balloon Boy incident has been doing better as the RIP Kanye West trending topic is finally filtering itself out of popularity.
“Whoever started the RIP Kanye West hoax…Imma let you finish, but Balloon Boy had the best hoax of all time.”
- Pulled from trending topic Balloon Boy on Twitter.
Are there going to be anymore incidents with Kanye in the near future to surprise the media and fans? He already has been called a “jackass” by President Obama after his drunken interruption toward Taylor Swift’s VMA’s in September 2009.
How are minor league teams leveraging social media? This is my perception of that and is based on an e-mail I wrote. It has been altered slightly to make it more a blog post.
From the teams I am familiar with, as a fan and having talked to some people involved with local teams, the emphasis when it comes to online presence is e-mail marketing. They get people to subscribe to their announcement lists when they buy tickets online, do post game follow ups with people who attended to ask them to attend another game or survey their experience at the game. That’s really good with soliciting feedback, and getting people who just saw a game to commit seeing another one.
When it comes to e-mail marketing, some teams are more successful than others. Not all are as compliant as they could be in regards to US laws regarding CAN-SPAM. One team does not make their e-mails that viewable for people who don’t view images with e-mail; their e-mail announcements to subscribers contain just one big image.
Many teams use Twitter. The Chicago Red Stars, a local Chicago team in the women’s professional soccer league, live tweet their games. They also @ reply to people who mention them, often mentioning deals on ticket packs. Other teams are doing similar strategies with Twitter. The teams with a better, comprehensive social media strategy are duplicating or promoting the content from their other online presences on Twitter: They link to YouTube, Facebook, what their players are doing in the blogosphere, encouraging people to follow players.
Teams use YouTube to brand themselves. They have their own channels where there are interviews with players, clips from games, clips from television coverage of their team, commercials for the team, advertisements for team apparel, etc. The teams most successfully leveraging this space are ones that have detailed descriptions on their videos with keywords that will attract a wider audience. (YouTube is the second or third largest search engine out there in terms of volume of search.)
Facebook Fan Pages are also a popular tool used by teams. They have some content duplication with Twitter and Facebook but other content too. They mention training camps, opportunities to meet with the team during the off season, information on player signing. They talk about what players are doing during the off season, like playing for the national team or training/playing with other clubs. They might give health updates. They mention changes in the front office and other news around the league. They link to blog posts that
Teams are still using MySpace. (Facebook hasn’t killed it and the demographics for the site are different for both the US and Australia. It is the 13th most popular site in Australia.) Most of the updates that teams do are blog entries. Some of these are press releases. They are also using the space to upload videos and photos, sharing the same content from Facebook and YouTube. The better teams are making sure there is some original content on each network they use.
Some minor league teams are also creating, or their fans create, a presence on LinkedIn in order to network. The level of activity on these networks tends to be smaller. The goal is to allow fans to network. These groups tend to be smaller.
Those five networks, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, tend to be where most teams place an emphasis. It makes sense as these are the most main stream places to capitalize on the largest audience. People on those sites, with the exception of LinkedIn, tend to expect that there will be a presence for those teams. There are several networks that aren’t being leveraged that teams should consider and that they may not because most social media people define those places as the Internet and stop. These networks include Flickr, LiveJournal, bebo, Ning, orkut and tagged.com. Each has advantages that an online presence can help.
The teams that are most successful in using those networks are ones there they have the same style of writing across all their networks: Professional and friendly. Teams that are successfully using social media to attract and keep an audience that they want to convert into regular attendees to matches also brand their logos and colors consistently across the different platforms they use. If they can’t use their own background, like the case for Facebook and LinkedIn, the accounts have their own logos showing for all posts they make and wherever else they can brand. Teams successfully using social media are also updating regularly, even during the off season. There is generally new content on all their networks at least once a week, if not more. Those three things are important: Consistent writing style, consistent branding and regular updates.
Before I go further with this post, I want to publicly apologize to Fan History’s awesome tech guy, emufarmers. Through my own actions, I dragged him into this little drama. I wish I hadn’t as I respect him more than that.
James Mitchell and Juris Informatica is looking to hire a Mediawiki Administrator. I found out about this when Elizabeth Peterson contacted me on LinkedIn about this position, asked me if I might be interested in the position, and if I could e-mail answers to those questions to them. Parts of the section above those questions set off alarm bells, like being paid on commission but this type of job is not a paid on commission one. Because I wanted that sort of professional experience, I applied. I got called back with in about 10 minutes, before I even got an e-mail.
Weird. But whatever. I’ve had that sort of contact for a job interview before.
The guy who called me was not Elizabeth Peterson. It was James Mitchell. He wanted some one who had a bit more tech side. I’d thought, based on my resume, my LinkedIn profile, that it was pretty obvious that I didn’t have that and that from the personal LinkedIn solicitation, they would have known this already. Nope. Not true.
Whatever though. He wanted to know who I worked with at Fan History to do our tech stuff. I told him who. It was indicated to me that he would only work with me if my tech guy was on board to do work, so I gave him that information so he could contact my most awesome tech guy. (Rude on my part. Sorry emufarmers.)
I then got in touch with my awesome tech guy and a few professional acquaintances. One of them pointed out that WOW! Mr. James Mitchell, the guy who runs a legal website, asked an illegal hiring question: Am I married? Do I have children?
Another pointed out that the guy talked about working on commission based on getting leads for lawyers where they win a settlement. (Read: Work for free for a long time on some one’s site, where the pay out might not be for two years if the case goes quickly. Get zilch in the mean time because your time isn’t realy worth anything.) And he wants you to be independent finacially… while he’s busy not paying you:
Entrepreneurial Mindset. Obviously anyone who joins us has to be somewhat entrepreneurial, in that they receive a cut of revenues. We look for people that realize that even when you sell your time for $75 or $150 an hour, you are still a slave to the clock and you are never going to make serious money. We want people who are financially ambitious, who are looking to retire five years from now, and realize that by obtaining equity in highly profitable Web sites, one can reasonably soon end the tyranny of working for clients.
Financial Resources. They can afford an entrepreneurial work situation, both financially and psychologically — i.e. they can afford to work without a salary and instead receive a percentage of the profits of the Web sites they participate in. Our partners need to have some level of financial stability in their lives. Our approach involves some level of delayed gratification in exchange of extraordinary wealth down the road. (Note — Our partners do not invest any money, as the Firm pays all expenses. They do invest their time.)
If this was a sales job, cool! But the indication was that this was for content development. (Which is in itself a form of sales, but a different type of sales. And most sites I know that sell based on traffic you generate for them don’t pay off 1, 2, 5 or even 10 years down the road.)
All flags but I talked with Fan History’s tech guy and the working professionals I knew. I figured I could stomach the illegal hiring question issue, the reads like an arrogant ass… if he would be flexible enough to pay me a base salary based on time instead of that. If he is so sure that this is going to make millions, if he really needs my expertise, then it would be doable.
Except when he called me back, the first thing he did was insult my team member. Sorry. No. “I want you to do business with me. I want you to work for me. So you know what? I’m going to insult the people you do business with, and put them down.” Because that is how professionals work and how they get business.
He went through his spiel while I patiently listened. He’s going to scrape Wikipedia. He can do this legally he informed me. No one is really going to notice that he did that. They’ll just go ga ga over his content and because they are non-college educated people (because they are the ones with the biggest legal problems who are going to use the Internet and too stupid to realize that his content is Wikipedia duplicate content), they will be more likely to go with one of his lawyer leads as a result.
Which ignores the fact that Google doesn’t like duplicate content, punishes some scrapes like that, etc. It also engenders ill will from the wider wiki community. It slaps at your own credibility because you can’t create that type of content.
The conversation went on about how easy it was to automatically create content like that. Awesomeness. Then he told me how he happened to contact me: He or some one he hired built a bot to scrape all the members of the groups that mentioned Mediawiki on LinkedIn. Then an account was set up to automatically contact all those people to let them know about the job, using personalization to make it seem as if a person contacted them. It sounded like he was saying thatElizabeth Peterson didn’t actually exist. Special. That sort of usage of LinkedIn activity sounds kind of unethical and black hat. I like my SEO and other online activities to be white hat.
Did I mention that somewhere along the line he asked me about my personal life? My living situation? If I was married or if I was involved with some one? He repeatedly the illegal question that appeared on the application. He wants to make sure that you don’t have them so that when you’re taking a shower, his example, you will be thinking about your work and how you are going to make him and yourself a lot of money.
James Mitchell really wanted me to do content creation for him to generate leads. I’m passionate about many things but making money and generating content with that as the soul focus is not my passion. (And most of the books about start ups I’ve read talk about how successful ones are where people are passionate about what they do, not passionate about making money for the sake of making money.) I expressed to him that I was concerned that he would, you know, rip me off with payments. I would only work for salary. He assured me that he wouldn’t rip me off. I could trust him. Why? Because he needs me to make him money so he has no incentive to rip me off. (If I’m going to make you millions, why can’t you salary me? It is a sure thing for you and you can underpay me the value of those leads.)
Wrong answer dude. So let’s review the lessons on how to not hire a Mediawiki Administrator:
- Ask hiring questions that are illegal;
- Insult team members of the person you are hiring, persons that the person you are hiring thinks highly of;
- Ask the person to do work for you with the promise they will be paid for the leads they generate that could be, by your own admission, years down the line because of how the legal system works;
- Admit to ethically dubious behavior as part of your business plan;
- Tell some one that you have no incentive to rip you off because you need them to make you money.
The take away? Do not interview with James Mitchell.
The following is an extract from a conversation on ThoseinMedia on LinkedIn regarding the paper I wrote, MLB Game Attendance and Alternative Social Network Group Engagement. I posted it here because it goes into a bit more depth with the analysis and thought it was interesting.
Our Geocities preservation project is moving right along. We have information on over 1,000 pages. We know there is a total of over 700,000 individual sites on Geocities. We still need your help… If you aren’t sure about creating pages from scratch, consider editing one of our existing pages and improving that. The following list is our most popular articles so far that could use some help:
I feel like it is that time again. It is time to blog about Twitter. If you don’t know, I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I had as many as 325 people I followed before I culled it down to around 276. I like to follow people on Twitter who share a common interest, share common geography, that I have met personally, that offer news I chose to opt in to, that I want to network with. With the exception of a few news related accounts, I don’t follow people who aren’t likely to interact back with me.
I don’t mind following people who follow me. I like a balance of follows to followers. Too many follows and too few followers means likely spam bot is one reason. I also like people with fewer followers. My general assumption is if you have too many followers, you’re just gaming for autofollowers, people to market your company or personal brand at, where you have zero interest in me personally. My litmus test for following back people with 1,000+ followers is thus sending DMs to those folks and thanking them for the following and asking for an @ reply with why the followed me. (And if they don;t want to do that, it is easy enough to find out how to contact me.) If you can’t do that, it is a clear sign of some one gaming for autofollowers. The following is a list of people who failed to respond and thus are gaming for autofollowers:
IPBFree went down this morning and have been down for several hours. They host a number of fandom based message boards so this is problematic for fandom. We hope it gets back up.
We’re still looking for help with our Geocities preservation project as it heads into its final days. One new tool we have to make it easier for you to contribute is Fanfox. It is a Firefox extension that loads as a sidebar tool. It has a list of urls, and the page title for that url. You click on the url in the upper left hand corner of the sidebar. In the main page space, the url loads. Look at the page, fill out the form in the sidebar and click submit! There. You’ve helped preserve the history of a page located on Geocities.
If you’re really interested, let us know and we’ll add a lot more urls. We just haven’t so far as we haven’t wanted to take time away from our other Geocities work.
Well, it looks as though science fiction fandom is about ready to engage in another major round of Fail.
Reactions are just beginning to spread all over the blogosphere from professional writers’ sites to the meta-areas of media fandom. We at FanHistory are trying to do our best to keep up to date on discussion links as they are posted, but please do help us by contributing to our article on the matter if you can.
Yes, it does appear that FanFiction.Net is down again and has been for at least five minutes. They’re generally pretty good at getting back up again so don’t panic!
This is a cross post from Fan History’s InsaneJournal asylum.
At Fan History, we’ve been busy trying to preserve the history of fandom on Geocities. This is extremely important and we’ve hard at work since the news came out in July. This task would best be accomplished by a group of people, where different fandom projects were being coordinated. To this end, Fan History has tried to reach out several times to the folks at the Organization for Transformative Works for assistance. We’ve sent them e-mails, tweeted looking for people to get in touch, made posts on our LiveJournals asking people to help us get in touch with them. Most recently, we commented on their LiveJournal community.
So far, all we’ve received in return is aching silence. Our replies are not returned. Time is quickly ticking down. It is likely that Fanlore and Fan History are overlapping in some areas and completely lacking in the same areas. This makes no sense to us at Fan History. We need to put aside our personal differences, work together for one big last push in the 10 days before Geocities closes. We need to coordinate to preserve this history of fandom, so that there will be a record of it, so that when people talk about fandom during the late 1990s and early 2000s, we have good secondary sources to cite as our primary sources are disappearing. It is important. We need to work together.
Yes, there has been bad blood between Fan History and some of the people at the the Organization for Transformative Works. It needs to be put aside for the greater good. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away from Race Fail: Principles can and often should trump personal loyalties.
So if you know some one at the Organization for Transformative Works, please ask them to finally get in touch with us. We would love to work together for one last push to preserve the history of fandom on Geocities.
Fan History has used some automation to help create articles about fansites and fan fiction archives. (This is outside the fabulous job that Sidewinder has done by manually adding this information.) All of these articles have (Geocities) in the title so that we can readily identify these articles. With the end of Geocities fast approaching, we could really use some help with what are our most popular articles of this type to date. Screencaps would be awesome. Adding information to the timeline, who maintained them, where the sites are moving to (or if they aren’t) is really important to get. Because of the interest in these sites, improving these would be nice to have as a priority.
The_Ultimate_Tekken_Fanfiction_Archive_(Geocities) is our most popular article with (Geocities) in the title.
The following also have views:
Any help improving these articles would be very much appreciated. We need to save our history before it is gone forever. Things like screencaps are important for understanding trends. (Passions sites tended to be purple. Just writing the history of a site? You don’t get that detail.) Please help!
Fan History Wiki once again has ads. Thanks to the folks at Transformers Wiki for providing us with the skin. We are extremely grateful. Fan History is using ProjectWonderful. The skin was specifically designed for them. They have a lot of fandom related companies who buy advertisements.
Why are we back with ads? Fan History Wiki generally operates as a no-profit business. That is, our primary goal is to cover our costs, to basically behave and do good things like a non-profit organization while organized as a sole ownership LLC. We didn’t do this in order to make money, but rather to cover our costs. For Fan History’s history, the site has almost exclusively been paid for out of pocket by me, the founder of Fan History. Changes in my circumstances have made it in my monetary best interests to see if some of the considerable cost of hosting cannot be recouped to make my life a little bit less stressful. This solution is preferable to the alternatives. If I get to the point where the monetary picture changes substantially, we will go back to being advertisement free.
In the mean time, I’m going to squee over our new skin and think about what image changes need to be made.
Are you passionate about fandom? Do you love to see how celebrities are interacting with fans? Do you check our how professional authors treat their fans? Do you ever read blogs by professional athletes and musicians to see what they think about their die hard fans? Do you want a unique experience with a no-profit start up corporation where you can do something with your obsessions?
Company Background: Fan History LLC is a developing entertainment company focused on our core products of an wiki and a fan fiction, fan art and fan vidding link site. Fan History was founded two and a half years ago and incorporated 6 months ago by Laura Hale. In that period, Fan History has grown from a wiki with a few hundred pages and 200 visitors a month to a become a wiki with over 800,000 pages and getting over 55,000 unique visitors a month. We offer fans and entertainment related companies information that cannot be found elsewhere including a history of fan communities, the Internet’s largest directory of fans grouped by community, metrics data regarding the growth of fandom community and more. To learn more about our company and our sites, visit http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Fanhistory.com:About .
Role Description and Responsibilities: Fan History LLC is currently seeking candidates interested in a part-time fandom Journalist/Report position. This is an unpaid volunteer position that can be made into an unpaid internship position. It is virtual so much of the work will be done remotely where you will interact with Fan History LLC’s team via e-mail, instant messenger, phone, and face-to-face depending on location.
The primary responsibility of the Fandom Journalist will be to document major in fandom news stories. As such, the Journalist will be responsible for assignments and projects that include:
- Monitoring major fandom related news sources including:
- Henry Jenkin’s blog
- Linkspam on Dreamwidth
- Fandom wank on JournalFen
- Unfunnybusiness on JournalFen
- Sf_drama on LiveJournal
- Ohnotheydidnt on LiveJournal
- Metafandom on LiveJournal
- Creating and updating articles about breaking fandom related news stories.
Fan History LLC is seeking some one knowledgeable about popular culture or fandom with the following qualifications:
- Experience editing wikis,
- Uses social media,
- Detail oriented,
- Ability to distance self from topic reporting so reporting is unbiased,
- At least intermediate writing skills, and
- Willingness to learn about different fan communities.
This position reports directly to the Founder. This is an immediate opportunity and we are seeking candidates that can work a minimum of 5-15 hours each week. The weekly schedule is extremely flexible and can be developed around a candidate’s availability. This position requires a minimum of an 8-10 week commitment.
If you are interested, please contact Fan History’s founder at firstname.lastname@example.org .
InuYasha: The Final Act (link is to the Official Japanese site) will be an adaptation of the last 21 books of manga-ka Rumiko Takahashi’s InuYasha series. This has been a long await since the Takahashi finished the manga in June 2008.
There is already an increase of activity noticed in fanfiction sites such as the InuYasha sections of Fanfiction.net and AdultFanfiction, as well as InuYasha-Fanfiction.com, Dokuga, and Eternal Destiny.
Prominent InuYasha fan, and site owner of the InuYasha scanlation site called AdInuYasha.com, Urd-chan posted the updates all over her Deviantart account on September 5th, 2009 with her article New Inuyasha series to begin in Japan!, and a followup on September 30, 2009 with her article New IY anime to be simulcast by Viz. She also posted to the popular Yahoo! Group, adinuyasha.
You can preview the English subtitled version of InuYasha: The Final Act at Shonen Sunday.