Archive for March, 2010

All the cool kids are doing foursquare…

March 28th, 2010

… and I want to do it to.  I want to be the mayor of my local Target, which I visit 2 to 5 times a week.  I would also like to be the mayor of my local mall.  I either walk inside the mall for exercise or I walk to the mall for exercise.  I also have taken to walking to my local Starbucks for exercise.  (2.1 miles is better than 1.5 miles to the mall.)   The problem with trying to be the mayor of these places is that I need to SMS my location to these places.  Foursquare isn’t picking these places up and assigning an actual place to them, just counting them as a check in.  I don’t have a data plan.  I can’t afford a new cell phone at the moment and I can’t justify a data plan.  (In both cases, I’m hopefully moving soon and this would be problematic.)

So while all the cool kids with data plans get to check in all over the place, Foursquare makes it impossible for those of us using SMS to change  our grayed locations to actual places.  Foursquare also doesn’t have an iPod application.  Which, fine, whatever… except when I’m using the mobile version on my iPod, Foursquare suggests I download their iPhone application which isn’t compatible with my iPod.  Oh.  And lest I forget, I’m constantly being logged out on the mobile version and it took about four times for me to finally be able to check in.

If I am going some place in rural Illinois, I need to create the location/check to make sure it exists before I go.  I then need to change my location to where I will be in an hour.  I then need to hope that I can manage to get the mobile version to let me login and set my location to that.  I had problems with this when I tried to check in at the Belvidere Oasis.  I tried to check in about five times before I finally gave up.

So all the cool kids are doing foursquare and those of us with no dataplans who rely on wifi devices get the short end of the stick.  It sucks big time and feels like a play to a more affluent and tech savy market.

Crosspost: Fandomnews poll response discussion

March 22nd, 2010

I’ve been busy with various things so writing up a response to our March 9 poll has taken more time than I had planned. Before I get into that though, I’d like to request some help with [community profile] fandomnews. If anyone is interested in either compiling links or posting, please let us know via e-mail at or comment in reply to this post.  We would really appreciate the help!

That out of the way, one of the major reasons we posted the poll was to determine how we should deal with -isms and what sort of content people wanted to see.

73% (or 11 people) said they wanted less sports related content.  Some days, we have a fair amount of it to the point where it dominates fandom specific meta.  Some days, we have very little.   Today we had 4 out of a total out of about 42 total fandom specific posts linked to.  A lot of that content depends on what is going on in the world of sports as sports related meta sometimes feels like it operates on a different time frame than television meta.  Sporting events are often triggers for lots of discussion.  A lot of discussion involves what is currently happening and brings in the past issues in dealing with the present.  Rarely does it feel like a post will be about a situation several months or years ago.  This contrasts with say Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.  That fandom feels like it has a few individuals who are revisiting old episodes and discussions in order to help foster community amongst the existing fanbase.  Going back makes sense given the lack of new canonical material outside comics and video games.  Sports posts will come in waves and it shouldn’t be dominating overall.  We’re trying to strike a balance with that as we realize that fandomnews’s primary audience is media fen.  We’re also trying to make it easy to avoid if you aren’t interested in it by clearly labeling the content as sports related.  The only exceptions are when we feel the issue has enough crossover that we think media fen might be interested.

That said, another reason why we’re not likely to reduce our sports content is that sports content often deals with a lot of -isms.  There is racism (fans calling players racists names), sexism (mens and women’s sports/athletes being treated differently.) xenocentrism (nationalistic issues in sports, religious and cultural issues), and classism (participation, fan base demographics).  There are probably a few more.  These issues in sports, one of the major products of popular culture, often mirror their counterparts television, movies, comics and video games. One that comes to mind immediately is the composition of athletic teams.  There is an excellent blogger who talks about the under representation of Muslim women in sports.  This feels like it mirrors conversations about representation of certain racial and ethnic groups on television.  There are also often conversation in sports about the role of women, what it means to be female and questions about why more people aren’t interested in women’s sports.  This feels like it mirrors some of the discussion around female characters on television, and why more people don’t write about them in fan fiction.  The -isms for sports feel close to the -isms for television and fan fiction.  Thus, we want to cover them.

Added to that, two of the three founding members of fandomnews are big sports fans.  And we like to cover what we’re interested in.

40% of people wanted less music content. (13% wanted more.)  We’d like more music content but we haven’t found it.  Most of what we include at the moment comes from hypebot.  It covers a lot of music industry related news.  A lot of the industry news for music has implications for business practices for small press writers, for movies, for web series, for how the powers that be in other mediums engage with their fan audiences.  It often feels like a sneak peak into how fandom is changing.  And that’s why we probably over-include posts by hypebot.  If people don’t see the connection there, please comment to let us know and we’ll reconsider.

53% of respondents wanted more television and movie content.  I’ll admit to feeling perplexed.  Often our fandom meta section will have almost exclusively television and movie content.  My guess is that people want a wider representation of television and movie fandoms.  If that’s the case, let us know where to check to find that content.  One of the areas we have difficultly involves what is meta and what is an episode or movie review.  Our default treatment is: On LiveJournal or its clones, it is meta.  If it is not, the post is a general review and does not make the cut.  We make exceptions for blogs like DisabledFeminist and blogs by academics (and students) studying fandom.

46% of people want more -isms.  Sometimes, for those compiling, it feels like a whole post is chock full of -isms.  They just aren’t found in the general meta category.  Instead, they are found in the fandom specific section.  Examples of that from today include all the Glee related posts.  Most of them deal with disableism.  The Bachelor posts today deal with racism.  Harry Potter posts today deal with sexism.  There are several more -isms in today’s posts that are less easy to label.  These posts are there; they just may not be easy to identify unless you are interested in a specific fandom.  I’m wondering if the 46% vote is thus an issue of perception because people aren’t looking at fandom specific posts? Any clarity from those wanting moe -isms would be much appreciated.

One of our questions asked how many links people wanted in a post.  The last time, people indicated they wanted 20 to 30 links in a post and that they didn’t mind overflow posts.  We thus modified our posting practices to bring the total links per post down to no more than 30.  There are exceptions.  After three days off, we had so many links that chunking off part of the fandom specific meta discussion seemed goofy.  Thus, it had about 40.  If the total looks close to 30 (like 35), we’ll also consolidate down to one post.

We asked: Should meta discussion posts be separated by -isms under their own -ism related heading?  This is a question that has been bugging us a lot.  We’re not set up to tag posts like metafandom or linkspam.  They use delicious related tagging.  We use mediawiki as our source to compile.  Setting up ways to pull out what is an -ism and what isn’t is thus a bit more difficult.  We’re also sensitive to the fact that how you label something can have an influence as to how people read a post.  43% of people responded to our question with “Maybe.”

When Culture!Fail came up, we knew it was a major -ism.  Or we knew it at least had the potential to be a major -ism as it had some of the issues of Race Fail 2009 and at least one person wrote a post calling this Race Fail 2010.  Given the poll response, we decided that we would try to separate this particular -ism related kerfluffle out.  We’d love feedback on if this type of -ism kerfluffle related separation is a strategy that people find good when dealing with how to include -isms on fandomnews.

In response to, “Do fandom specific labels help you find content you want to read?” everyone answered Yes.  That makes us happy as it confirms that our labeling by fandom is useful in helping people find content they want and exposes them to other fandoms and their issues that they might not otherwise read. As the fandom specific labels feel so successful, [community profile] fandomnews we’ve tried to use that sort of labeling for other news like conventions and fansites.  We think this makes identifying the content type easier so that readers can learn something from the headlines, even if they don’t chose to read the actual post.

The long and short of this: Sports is here to stay.  We’ll try to get more television and movies in but we need a better idea of what fandoms people want to see.  We’re trying to pull out -isms on a selective basis in response to kerfluffles.  We’ve listened to suggested link list length and we’re going to continue with the most popular option of 20 to 30 links a post.

fandomnews poll

March 9th, 2010

[info]fandomnews is almost three months old now. There are 72 followers on LJ, 14 on IJ and 52 on DW. We’re also slowly working on creating a version on its own domain for those who aren’t into LJ or its clones. As this community is still a work in progress, we wanted additional feedback from our community. The last time we did a poll, people indicated they were okay with overflow posts and were looking for 20 to 30 posts a day. We changed and we want to see if people are happy with that.

Poll questions! (Please answer in the comments)

Content wise, compared to now, I want:

  • More publishing news
  • Less publishing news
  • More sports content
  • Less sports content
  • More music content
  • Less music content
  • More manga and anime content
  • Less manga and anime content
  • More television and movie content
  • Less television and movie content
  • More comics content
  • Less comics content
  • More isms related meta
  • Less isms related meta

How many links do you want in an average post?

  • 1-10
  • 11-20
  • 21-30
  • 31-40
  • 40+

Should meta discussion posts be separated by -isms under their own -ism related heading?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

Do fandom specific labels help you find content you want to read?

  • Yes, as I’m only interested in some fandoms.
  • Yes, as I learn about issues going on in fandoms I might not otherwise look at.
  • Yes, other reason.
  • No, as I’m less likely to read meta if it labeled by fandom.
  • No, as I find it harder to find -ism related that I might enjoy.
  • No, other reason.

What blogs/journals would you recommend us checking for inclusion in future posts?

There is a really awesome discussion over on kaigou’s dreamwidth. In the comments, I discussed some of [info]fandomnews‘s internal policies regarding how we handle things. You might find it interesting. If you haven’t, check out our feed list of blogs that we check for inclusion. We’re always looking for more to help make [info]fandomnews better. All feedback is appreciated. For LiveJournal people, we posted a version on my LiveJournal where you can answer these questions.

fandomnews link list

March 7th, 2010

When fandomnews first started, we probably checked 30 rss feeds a day.  Now we check close to 150.  The goal is to check a broad variety of fandom discussion sites to present links that offer a panfannish idea of what is being talked about.  We try to include links from comics, music, sports, television, movie, manga, anime, cartoons and furry fandom.  Given that, we thought you might find it interesting to see the feeds we check regularly.  If there are some feeds you think we should be checking but don’t, drop a comment and we’ll add it to our list.

  • “fandom history” – Google Blog Search
  • “It is What it is”: Fandom, Pop Culture, and Then Some
  • “race!fail” – Google Blog Search
  • “race!fail” – Google Blog Search
  • :: netwoman’s blog ::
  • Access Fandom
  • Airlock Alpha
  • Angry Who Fan
  • Anime Loveu
  • Animology
  • Anti-Oppression Linkspam Community
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender Meta
  • Bibliophile Stalker
  • captain america teabaggers – Google Blog Search
  • Christy’s Corner of the Universe
  • Comic Book Fanthropology
  • Confessions of an Aca/Fan
  • Convention Scene
  • Cult Academic
  • Cupid’s Bow
  • Delicious/hedgebird/meta
  • Delicious/inteligrrl/meta
  • Delicious/Kuiskata/meta
  • Delicious/metafandom
  • Delicious/moonling/meta
  • Delicious/natlyn/meta
  • Delicious/poppy_fan/metafandom
  • Delicious/sheera.duerigen/meta
  • Delicious/tag/metafandom
  • Delicious/ts_newsletter/MetaAndDiscussions
  • Delicious/veronicasowell/metafandom
  • Don’t call me ‘bitch’.
  • Erin’s Research
  • Escaping the Trunk
  • Exfanding Your Horizons
  • Fan Essays: By Fans for Fans.
  • Fan Girl
  • FanaticSpace
  • fandom – Google News
  • fandom deviantart com – Google Blog Search
  • fandom incest – Google Blog Search
  • fandom meta – Google Blog Search
  • fandom research – Google Blog Search
  • fandom – Google Blog Search
  • fandom – Google Blog Search
  • fandom – Google Blog Search
  • fandom – Google Blog Search
  • fandom – Google Blog Search
  • fandom stats – Google Blog Search
  • fanfic “Mary Sue” – Google Blog Search
  • fanfic discussion – Google Blog Search
  • Fangasm!
  • Fangirl Saves the World
  • Fauna Urbana
  • Final Fantasy Noticeboard
  • FWD/Forward» media and pop culture
  • FWD/Forward» television
  • Get your meta on!
  • girls make media
  • Heavy Meta Poisoning
  • House Fanfic Recs and the Housefic Meta Library
  • hypebot
  • Icerocket blog search: fandom misogyny
  • Icerocket blog search: fandom racism
  • Icerocket blog search: fanthropology
  • Icerocket blog search: meta fandom
  • Icerocket blog search: meta fanfic
  • Icerocket blog search: metafandom
  • It’s A Dan’s World
  • Kazza1988′s Blog
  • Manga Xanadu
  • Media Fen
  • Media Production Student Stuff
  • Memorias de una Escriba
  • Meta Roundup
  • meta – Google Blog Search
  • meta – Google Blog Search
  • meta – Google Blog Search
  • Meta Writer
  • metafandom – Google Blog Search
  • MetaFans
  • MyVampFiction
  • MyVampFiction» State of the Fandom with Sarahbella
  • Nine Inch Nerds
  • Nothing In This Community Constitutes Legal Advice
  • oppression – Google Blog Search
  • Partial Recall
  • Personal S.A.
  • Peter Pan Meta
  • Pokemon. Every day.
  • Rabid fangirls and fanboys suck
  • racism – Google Blog Search
  • Research blog, Fantasy, Fandom and Franchise
  • Research Wrap
  • Robot Pilipinas
  • Screenology
  • Sf-Fandom’s WordPress Blog
  • Supernatural Feminist Fans
  • Tell me your thoughts on . . .
  • That’s What She Said! – An Office Meta Community
  • The Crotchety Old Fan
  • The Daily Snitch
  • The Diary of a Music Addict
  • The Fandom Blog – Agri Sublunares
  • The Hooded Utilitarian
  • The Learned Fangirl
  • The Smallville fandom newsletter
  • The Sunnydale Herald
  • Tin Man Meta
  • TrekToday» Fandom
  • TS Talk
  • Twohundredpercent» Football Culture
  • Unspoken» Fannish Life
  • Unspoken» Meta
  • vidding – Google Blog Search
  • vidding – Google Blog Search
  • WALL*E Meta Community
  • Wet Asphalt
  • whedonverse links roundup
  • When Fangirls Attack
  • Women in Games
  • Women Talk Sports | Latest News and Blog Posts
  • Site News
  • Dreamwith Studios invite codes

    March 5th, 2010

    If you want one, the following are ones I was sent:


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