Archive for April, 2010

ning preservation efforts on Fan History Wiki

April 17th, 2010

ning is shutting down its free communities at some point soon.  This move was announced after ning also announced they were laying off 42% of their staff.  Like bebo, there isn’t necessarily many historical artifacts on the service.  Also like bebo, one of the major communities that appears to be there is the fanvid one. A lot of what needs to be preserved includes pages that begin to demonstrate the size, scope and activity type of the community.

We don’t particularly have much time to do that on Fan History.  (And with our staff going away, having family issues, going back to school and work issues… we’re even more crunched.)  So like bebo, our focus will be on screencapping a select number of pages, uploading them and putting them into categories for later historical work.  Our goal is to cap and upload around 100 to 200 pages.  This is about on par with our bebo efforts.  (Though our bebo efforts have a lot more data stored in various databases as  I’ve been collecting it longer related to another project.)

If you’d like to help us screencap and upload, we would really appreciate the help.  If you would like to help us out by adding descriptions and integrating information about this network on to appropriate articles, that would be even more appreciated.  One of the struggles of Fan History is realizing we can’t preserve everything… but that we can still try preserve enough to help people understand what was happening.

hiatus news: fandomnews needs your help finding links!

April 13th, 2010

[info]fandomnews needs your help. At the present, the newsletter is compiled and posted with the assistance of about five individuals. Because of family, school, personal and professional obligations, the amount of time that we can spend compiling and posting will become extremely limited starting around April 20. These pressures are unlikely to ease up until mid to late June.

During this time, we’d love to avoid going on hiatus. In order to do that, we need your help by helping us compile our daily link list. The easiest to contribute is add links directly in our staging area. To do that, follow these simple directions:

  1. To access that area, go to April calendar (or May), click on the date for tomorrow.
  2. Go to the edit tab in the upper left hand corner and click on it.
  3. Find the category that best describes the link you wish to add.
  4. Add the link using the following format: * [URL TITLE (OR DESCRIPTION)] by AUTHOR on DATE
  5. Repeat for all links.
  6. Click the [Save Page] button.

Advice:

  • When adding links, only include links that were originally posted in the past three weeks.
  • When editing, please sort links by date.
  • If there is something going on in fandom where you are adding five or more links about a topic, please feel free to create a separate topic heading.

If you are not comfortable or do not desire to edit links in our staging area, please submit links for inclusion using the same format (* [URL TITLE (OR DESCRIPTION)] by AUTHOR on DATE) by commenting in reply to the most recent post or by e-mailing the links to fandomnews@fanhistory.com .We are looking for daily help.

It would be great if people could “claim” one or more of the following links and add relevant links to our staging area on a regular basis. (Please feel free to add links daily from sources beyond these. The more relevant links, the merrier.)

Stop the keyword follow spam…

April 12th, 2010

I quoted Star Wars: Clone Wars on Twitter.  Some one commented to say the quote was good but they weren’t a huge fan of Star Wars.  I commented back with the Clone Wars cartoon was better than Star Wars episodes I, II, III.  I mentioned cartoons several times and I got a spam follow from @quinnmichaels.   Why?  He likes cartoons and I mentioned them.   He follows over 10,000 people so the value I would get from returning that follow?  Zero.  If I had wanted to follow some one who is never going to read me, I could have done it with out the prompting of the follow.  He didn’t even take the time to read my profile.  If he had, he would have seen the message about @ replying to me in order to get a return follow.  And if he just wanted to collect people who tweet about cartoons with out the follow obligation?  He could have added me to a list.

People like @quinnmichaels need to stop the keyword spam follows.  It is rude.  It is spam like.   I don’t mention cartoons regularly.  I tweet about sports, wikis, Australia, Chicago and Illinois, pictures I take, fandom in general.  Following me because I made keyword mentions of a term he follows, absent the context, while not being able to articulate that and clearly not even bothering to check my profile?  When he has 10,000 followers and 9,000 people follow him?  These are the sort of people killing Twitter.

I don’t hate art.  I don’t begrudge artists the right to market themselves and try to sell their work.  If one were to ask me, I’d be happy to help them figure out how to use Fan History to promote their work.  If they asked nicely, I would probably be happy to retweet them.  If they were on DeviantART and were doing something with charity, I’d probably be inclined to blog about them if asked.  I love helping people and I know how hard it is to make it as an artist.  My not appreciating @quinnmichaels‘s spam following practices has nothing to do with his being an artist.  It has everything to do with his keyword following, while offering zero value to those he follows.

And his current practice is not likely to help him sell art.  If you have 9000 followers based on trying to get followers?  Those 9000 people are about as likely to read you as you are to read them.  If you’re trying to sell on Twitter and you’re not a big brand with a built in audience, you start with a small following.  You’re personal to that small audience.  You selectively follow as you’re more likely to sell one on one than to a huge mass audience… (unless you have a mass following and most artists are not Dell computers or United Airlines).  You ask people who read your blog to follow you.  You don’t just follow random people with no common interests.

That’s social marketing 101.

Geocities vs. Bebo preservation efforts

April 9th, 2010

bebo may be closing.  … or it might not if AOL can find a buyer for bebo.  bebo has (or had) a strong fandom presence.  Some groups have over 10,000 members.  Some videos have had over 30,000 views.  People engaged in various types of fanac on the network.  On bebo, the fanac may have been more discussion based and vidding based than Geocities.  Geocities had essays and picture and sound galleries.  Geocities was also the home to huge amounts of fan fiction dating back to the mid-1990s.  bebo’s community was much more about interaction with others.  Geocities’s community was more about content providing.  (Both had some truly awful levels of design.)

The distinction of what amounts to interactive versus static content makes bebo preservation difficult.  There just doesn’t feel like much worth saving on bebo.  Do we want to save fan fiction on bebo?  No, not particularly as it really isn’t there.  (People linked to their fan fiction hosted elsewhere.)  Was bebo viewed as fundamental to fannish interaction at any time?  No, not particularly except maybe in pockets of Irish and British fandom or sports fandom.

Given the lack of useful content actually preserve, how do we approach that?  The way that I’m looking at is this: We’re looking to define the size and scope of the fandom.  How many people were in particular fandoms?  What tools on bebo did people use to express their fannish interest?  When were these communities active?  What did their group pages look like?  This information can be manually mined and put into a database.  It can also be attained by screencapping search results, profile pages, band pages, video pages and app pages.  Once capped and uploaded, people can look through it, talk with others and begin to get an idea as to how the community function.  That’s the goal: Get enough capped and put into a useful dataset so people at a later date can use that data to explain how the fannish community worked.

And that’s really the difference between Fan History’s efforts: Content preservation and confirmation that existed versus providing insight into how a community functioned.

Fan History Preservation project: bebo

April 8th, 2010

If you haven’t heard the news, it looks likely that bebo will be closing by June.   There was a strong and active fannish community over on bebo.  Sadly, we don’t really have the time to do a full out preservation effort like we tried to do with Geocities.  What we will try to do in the mean time is to create a database of groups on bebo that we can make into individual articles.  We will also upload screencaps of random bebo pages that will be uploaded.  It isn’t much but it can begin to give people a picture of what happened on bebo.  This will be on top of our existing bebo related articles.  If you can help us by improving existing articles and creating new ones?  That would be massively appreciated.  This sort of history is important to remember and document.  Time is limited so it has to be done now.

Project Wonderful performance

April 6th, 2010

We’ve been using Project Wonderful for about two months now. We haven’t done a lot of posting asking users to buy ads to support us. We haven’t contacted people and asked them to buy ads on PW from us. We mostly left it alone, didn’t do much self promotion to ramp up our traffic. (We’ve been busy elsewhere.) How have we done?

Meh. Not well. That doesn’t come close to covering our current hosting. We’d probably be doing better if we had bigger ads and more ads. The fan oriented wikis that I know that us PW get comparable traffic but have more ads and bigger ads. They also actively promote their wikis in ways that we don’t. They also ask their community to buy advertisements. Those three things mean that they come much, much closer to covering their hosting costs than we could ever dream of with our current strategy.

Google security fail

April 6th, 2010

I use Google for e-mail and for analytics.  I also use other features but those are my two big ones.  For the past two days, I’ve had what I consider a pretty significant security issue and I’m not sure where it is originating from.  It is this:

What’s the major problem? I’m not epgeorge007@gmail.com. I have a different e-mail address I use. It doesn’t appear that epgeorge007@gmail.com and I are sharing a common Internet connection. I only log in to Google from my home Internet connection. When I googled to see who epgeorge007@gmail.com was, they weren’t located in the same state. I should not be logged in to their account. When I discovered this yesterday, I logged out. (And then I didn’t log in to another account. I didn’t need to use Google)

I should not be logged in to some one else’s account and I should not be able to view their Google Analytics information. Does anyone have any idea where this problem might be originating from?

Across The Pond, a Queer as Folk fan fiction archive, needs help

April 6th, 2010

Parts of this were cross posted to qaf_coffeeclub and as I emphasize with their needs, I thought I’d crosspost their plea here as I hate to see archives in trouble…

Just an FYI.

Okay fellow Queer As Folk fans … UK Qaf, US Qaf, or both!!! ALL
PAIRING PREFERENCES!!!!

If you want to keep the ATP Archive up and running – please read this
information.

Some of you may know I am an archivist at the Across The Pond QAF
Fiction Archive. It’s been many years of hard work, but not a little
pairing drama…lol (just teasing) – but through it all, there has
always been one place that served as an archive for all pairing
choices and all versions of the show “Queer As Folk”.

Now we all have our own pairing favs, and in some cases, we may also
have our pairing specific archives. But all of us know that there is
value in diversity, and having a wider selection can yield many
rewards.

And now, in the spirit of hope, I’m asking for your help to keep the
archive alive. Please read the information below, and know that
ANYTHING you can give is greatly appreciated.

Since our last donation drive in 2006, our failsafe backer(s) have
quietly slipped out of the fandom, and the Archive has literally been
surviving on air for almost a year thanks solely to the generosity of
our host provider. But they can no longer let things stand as they
are. This has come as news to me, and I’m sure to many of you. So
your help is needed, and needed now – if possible. In that spirit -
please share this request with your other QAF communities on
LiveJournal, Yahoogroups, etc.

Remember – No action = no result. And in this case, that would mean
the end of ATP.

The goal for their fundraiser this year is $500

The money will be used for hosting cost, maintenance for the site, and any overages for bandwidth.

Direct PayPal link

Invitation: RecentChangesCamp (RoCoCo) 2010

April 5th, 2010

Recent Changes Camp 2010: Montréal will be held June 25-26-27, 2010 at the Comité Social Centre Sud (CSCS), located at 1710 Beaudry, in Montréal.

What is Recent Changes Camp, anyway?

Recent Changes Camp was born from the intersection of wiki and Open Space. Since 2006, participants from all over North America and the globe have gathered together for a common purpose: discussing the past, present, and future of the technology and collaborative method that is wiki. RCC is a chance for everyone in the wiki community, something we like to call Wiki Ohana, to meet and have a fun, productive conversation about our passion for wikis of all stripes.

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

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

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

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

http://rococo2010.org/
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114318455249901
http://twitter.com/rccamp
http://identi.ca/rccamp

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