Posts Tagged ‘fanlib’

FanLib Rehashed?

December 19th, 2009

I stumbled across the article Disney purchased FanLib in May/June 2008, two months before FanLib’s “closure.” which basically grumbles (sounded a bit bitter at least) about how FanLib was bought out by Disney two months before the site owners announced the site’s closing, all the while letting the community to speculated the reasons.

First off, as a web developer and web designer who has sold websites, there are several factors in these type of transactions. If the buyer invokes a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) then the seller cannot say anything other than what the buyer permits. The website owner reserves the right to release or not to release what information they wish to the public.

There really should be no debate, nor banning people because they do not agree with the topic. (which happened to me. No idea as I was stating a fact. Unfortunate I stumbled in a loony bin of megalomaniacs.) In fact, the whole ordeal with FanLib it is OLD news. Time to move on.

Websites are bought all the time. It is unfortunate when a popular site is closed and may be difficult to get over, but it is not to cry about. It is to get over it, learn from the experience, and create a better community. And EVEN if that community were to be bought too, there is nothing to say that another site like it either does not exist. There are plenty of communities that do exist.

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.

Top articles on Fan History for May 2009

June 1st, 2009

Another month ends and it is time for another list of some of the most popular, most viewed articles for May 2009. There have been some notable shifts in what is on here from last month.

Articles

  1. Draco/Hermione
  2. Russet Noon
  3. Race Fail 2009
  4. Cassandra Claire
  5. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction_Archive
  6. Twilight
  7. AdultFanFiction.Net
  8. Digimon
  9. FanFiction.Net
  10. Naruto

Fandoms

  1. Cassandra Claire
  2. Twilight
  3. Digimon
  4. Naruto
  5. Supernatural
  6. Star Trek
  7. Jon and Kate Plus 8
  8. Gundam Wing
  9. Harry Potter
  10. Sailor Moon

Ships

  1. Draco/Hermione
  2. Sesshoumaru/Kagome
  3. Snape/Hermione
  4. Kirk/Spock
  5. Michael/Maria
  6. Harry/Draco
  7. Harry/Hermione
  8. Max/Liz
  9. Takari
  10. Draco/Ginny

Kerfluffles

  1. Russet Noon
  2. Race Fail 2009
  3. Cassandra Claire
  4. Dreamwidth Studios
  5. Race wank
  6. LiveJournal
  7. GreatestJournal
  8. Cassandra Claire’s Plagiarism
  9. Fandom Wank

Fans

  1. Cassandra Claire
  2. LadySybilla
  3. Maya
  4. Caito
  5. Msscribe
  6. Bhaalspawn
  7. Heidi8
  8. Ithilien22
  9. Dot-chan
  10. Minisinoo

Fan Fiction Archives and Blogging Services

  1. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction_Archive
  2. AdultFanFiction.Net
  3. FanFiction.Net
  4. Dreamwidth Studios
  5. LiveJournal
  6. GreatestJournal
  7. FanWorks.Org
  8. RestrictedSection
  9. FanLib
  10. FanDomination.Net

Dreamwidth Studios growth

May 13th, 2009

One of our admins has been updating the totals related to Dreamwidth Studios for a couple of days.  The chart below is a copy and paste from the Dreamwidth Studios article.  There really isn’t enough data to draw any conclusions but short term conclusions are still fun to make anyway.

It looks like between May 2 and May 5, a lot of new people joined and then set about importing the comments from their old LiveJournal posts.  It is the three day period recorded with the most new OpenID accounts appearing. Caught in that net, to date, includes over 334,000 different LiveJournal users.  Wow.  Over on my LiveJournal, there has been some speculation that comment importing has largely been a move similar to that of FanLib, where users were allowed to easily move their content over in order to provide the new site with lots of additional content in order to attract new users.  Comment importing is one form of quick content creation.  (Though FanLib didn’t allow you to import your FanFiction.Net reviews.  They just allowed you to import your stories.)

It looks like the number of active accounts peaked on May 5/6.  Since then, the volume of posting by new members has been lower in terms of actives in the past 7 days and past 24 hours.  To me, this suggests that people surged in to join, to name squat and to see where the service will go.  As we’re talking four days in a row below the high with about 1,000 fewer people updating daily, I’m not quite ready to buy the rational that this is a weekend trend and that the numbers will pick up.  The idea that people appear to be name squatting and not utilizing the service is confirmed for me because less than half of the people who have been active in some way have ever posted an entry.

The total accounts that have been active in some way seems pretty close to the number of people who were members of fandom_counts, a community with roughly around 34,000 people.  I’m really curious to know how much crossover there is between the two that their numbers are so close.

Dreamwidth Studios Historical Data

Date Total Accounts That are active in some way That have ever posted an entry That have posted an entry in last 30 days That have posted an entry in the last 7 days That have posted an entry in the last 24 hours
May 2, 2009 228878 27252 10359 10324 8841 4120
May 5, 2009 286805 34106 14117 14080 12592 5034
May 6, 2009 301085 36333 15603 15564 14077 4845
May 7, 2009 314431 38106 16871 16819 15294 3882
May 9, 2009 321405 38879 17564 17493 13172 2824
May 10, 2009 323769 39087 17786 17710 12115 2912
May 11, 2009 328542 39514 18157 18054 11055 3420
May 12, 2009 334359 39948 18576 18450 10352 3561


March 2009: Most popular fandoms

April 1st, 2009

March has ended and I’m feeling in the mood to blog. So in celebration of March ending and spring coming, a list of the most popular fandom articles on Fan History for the month of March and a break down of the most popular articles on Fan History for the first quarter of the year.

March 2009: Most popular fandoms

  1. Cassandra Claire – her new book came out this month
  2. Naruto – lots of traffic from search
  3. Digimon
  4. Twilight – fandom is really popular
  5. Harry Potter – Fan History has lots of content
  6. Dragon Ball Z – lots of traffic from search, lots of content
  7. Mortal Instruments – last book in trilogy came out
  8. Gundam Wing
  9. Supernatural – fandom has been wanking a lot
  10. Bleach – lots of traffic from search

January to March 2009: Most popular fandoms

  1. Cassandra Claire
  2. Naruto
  3. Digimon
  4. Twilight
  5. Gundam Wing
  6. Harry Potter
  7. Mortal Instruments
  8. Dragon Ball z
  9. Supernatural
  10. Pride and Prejudice

January to March 2009: Most popular ships

  1. Draco/Hermione
  2. Snape/Hermione
  3. Michael/Maria
  4. Taito
  5. Draco/Ginny
  6. Takari
  7. Harry/Draco
  8. Sesshoumaru/Kagome
  9. Max/Liz
  10. Harry/Ginny

January to March 2009: Most popular fans

  1. Msscribe
  2. Cori Falls
  3. Ithilien22
  4. Laura
  5. Heidi8
  6. Minisinoo
  7. Black-Beri
  8. FictionLyn
  9. Capnnerefir
  10. Maygra

January to March 2009: Most popular fansites/fan fiction archives

  1. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive
  2. FanFiction.Net
  3. AdultFanFiction.Net
  4. GreatestJournal
  5. LiveJournal
  6. FanWorks.Org
  7. Galbadia Hotel
  8. FanDominaton.Net
  9. FanLib
  10. InsaneJournal

Keyword peaks for fandoms and fansites on Fan History in 2008

December 31st, 2008

The following are when interest, based on keyword (not keyphrase), spiked in 2008 on Fan History according to Google Analytics…

January 5

January 11

January 13

January 14

January 27

February 22

February 27

March 2

March 8

March 13

March 18

April 17

April 29

May 22

May 27

June 10

June 13

July 6

July 20

July 24

July 29

August 3

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 21

August 22

August 23

September 12

September 27

September 29

October 6

October 15

October 16

October 17

October 20

October 21

October 31

November 6

November 9

November 9

November 11

November 22

November 23

November 28

December 1

December 6

December 9

December 11

December 28

December 29

Don’t do that! TPTB might find out!

November 13th, 2008

I used to read a lot of posts about how certain actions should not be taken lest the powers that be crack down on that fan, and as a consequence, all fans. (And these types of posts still exist.) There was frequently a Chicken Little “The sky is falling!” type pile on when some people were perceived as crossing lines that others felt that would bring down the wrath of others. CousinJean, the Star Wars self published novel, FanLib are three of the more visible examples to parts of the meta community over on LiveJournal.

And guess what Chicken Littles? The sky never fell. TPTB never unleashed that backlash. That whole exercise appeared to be more about social cohesion in a narrow community of fandom than it was ever about a real potential backlash. None ever happened. For all the talk of OTW creating a legal group because FanLib‘s existence was going to lead to a crack down and fans would need protection? No crackdown. TPTB weren’t going to do it. There was too much of a risk that they would lose in court.

When I see that argument these days, I really just roll my eyes. “Don’t do that! The Powers That Be MIGHT FIND OUT AND BRING PERIL TO OUR HOBBY!” Yeah. Right. These days, companies and individuals either actively seek to find out what is going on in fandom or hire out to have some one monitor what is going on for them. Your Harry Potter is 10 and doing Snape who is in his 30s fan art that you’ve posted publicly on a social networking site like DeviantART or LiveJournal or InsaneJournal? They know about it. That people are selling their works at conventions, on eBay, auctioning them off for donations to their favorite charities, that people are raising funds and making money in some form off those works? They know all about that too. And they haven’t done anything major about it in a long time.

So go screaming about how that’s the way things are, that by selling your fanart, the person is going to bring down the wrath of the intellectual property holders down on innocent, non-profiting fans. All you’re doing with that is demonstrating that you’re not cognizant of the existing business climate and its models, of what businesses are doing and affording yourself more privacy than you actually have: TPTB already know.

Fandom as a business

October 27th, 2008

I spend at least two to eight hours a day working on Fan History. On a busy day, I could spend twelve hours day. About a third (1) of that time is spent talking about effective ways to market the site, how to improve the content, policy decisions and revisions that need to be made, how features we implement will be received by certain communities, discussing the risk/reward of these various strategies. My favorite places to have these conversations include twitter where I have access to some great people who follow me who can offer a business and wiki perspective, and via phone, AIM, e-mail or another messenger where I can have one on one conversations with users, with fandom and business people. I also love to have these conversations on my LiveJournal as a result of posting about my insecurities regarding what I’m doing, explaining the process of what I’m doing and soliciting alpha and beta feedback on features and policy we’re launching on a semi-public platform. (2)

I was having one of these conversations (3) recently on LiveJournal about a bot we’re planning on launching soon. One of the issues that came up was that, in making the decision to create this bot and launch this bot, we are going to ruffle some feathers because it goes against the norm in parts of LiveJournal related fandom communities. We decided to go ahead with it anyway because, as a business decision, it made sense. Risk/Reward was weighted. We discussed different, for want of a better term, market segments (groups and cliques? subfandoms? fannish subcultures?) inside of fandom, and their potential reactions to this bot. We also review previous decisions that were comparable, response to that and determined that overall, if we take this step and that step, our response rate should be ninety percent favorable. The ten percent unfavorable are not part of our potential audience, have a negative view of Fan History anyway, were largely informed of the means of protecting themselves in the previous discussions about Fan History. We can afford that as such articles increase our participation on the wiki, help users overcome a barrier for entry by not forcing them to create articles from scratch and get a lot of quantitative and qualitative information which will help us to better understand fandom. That’s how we made our decision. It was a business one.

That sparked further conversation which asked the question: Should fandom be treated as a business? Should business models be used as ways to assist in the decision making process as it pertains to sites, projects and people where the decision is based on a fandom?

There is a good argument for most fans that the answer should be no. Fandom is a hobby. Fans engage other fans and the source material for pleasure. The goals of most fans don’t necessitate a business approach.

But for certain subsets of people involved in fandom, fandom is a business and decisions need to be made based on that model. These people include fans who invest a fair amount of time and money on their sites, convention dealers, convention organizers, fans who have incorporated or report earnings from fandom on their taxes, anyone running a fansite with over 50,000 unique visitors a month, fan artists who sell their work, costumers, startups operating in fanspaces, freelance writers who also are fans, professional bloggers covering entertainment and fandom issues, professional writers and the list goes on and on. There are just a huge number of people who need to treat fandom as a business. These are people who cannot afford make decisions based on their perceptions of how “fandom” will respond, what fannish norms are and act as if they are operating on the same level as the casual fans who have much less of an investment legally and financially in fandom.

Why can’t they afford to do that? Because for a lot of fans who are in fandom for pure enjoyment, they have a general goal of not making waves, of finding ways to participate that don’t create additional strife for themselves, where they can express their love of canon, of finding a ways to enjoy the source more, of connecting with like minded people. Those are great goals for fandom. But if you’re on that other level, your goals are different. They include such things as covering the cost of materials, hosting, travel expenses. They include trying to make money, to profit off or maximize your profit. The goal might include trying to increase traffic, increase media exposure, increase interest in your project. The goal might be to create the biggest information resource, to create the best information resource, to use that information to get a job. These aren’t necessarily compatible goals.

If you’re a fan, you might shut your mouth and avoid controversy at all costs. If you don’t, your enjoyment of fandom might decrease. If you’ve got a financial or business stake in fandom, you might not have that luxury. You might need to wade in to that controversy or find a way to use it to your benefit. It can increase your traffic and your visibility which can help your bottom line. (4) By alienating a certain group, you might gain acceptance by a larger group who will enjoy what you’re doing who might not otherwise have been exposed to you had they not heard about it from the people who disliked the business. From a risk/reward perspective, it makes sense.

If you’re a fan, the rules might be that you might be constrained by personal relationships. You don’t want to offend your friends, alienate people who could help you be happy in fandom. These rules on a micro level mean you can’t say and do certain things. If you’re a business, the rules are different as you’re generally operating on and being judged on a macro level. On the micro level of fans, it is generally viewed as unacceptable to copy some one’s work and to archive it on your personal web space. On a business level, this behavior is generally much more acceptable and tolerated. Google makes copies and derivative copies of most people’s content. Fans don’t react negatively because this is being done by a corporation and the overall good is viewed as worth the loss of control of their content means that they can have copies of their work available should something happen to their own copy. It also makes their and other people’s content much more readily acceptable. The business aspect depersonalizes this and makes it acceptable. Thus, if you’re a fan with a financial stake in fandom, you need to depersonalize these activities and treat your fansite and activities like a business because of the dual standards in fandom. By acting like and treating your fansite like a business, your activities are judged by a different set of standards which more generally are friendly towards probable business models. If you treat it like fandom, you can’t get away with that.

If you are an artist who makes their living off of fan art, it behooves you to treat fandom like a business. Some parts of fandom have real problems with fans profiting off their fan created works. If you immerse yourself in that culture, you are going to have a problem of trying to make money off a community that is intrinsically hostile to what you’re doing. How can you then make a living off your art? If you’re treating fandom your fan art like a business, you find conventions that allow you to sell or auction your work. You find auction sites that allow you to sell this type of content. You create a site which talks about your art experience, has a gallery of some of your work, talks about your inspiration, might have a blog and talks about where you can buy your art. You create art that you think you can sell. You do this by researching what fan art does sell, finding out what fandoms are popular, possibly doing a few free pieces for big name fans so that you can help build an audience, leaving comments in reply to people discussing your work and avoiding places that are hostile to this business plan. You’re open and honest about what you’re doing. You learn enough of the legal defenses so that if some one calls your art illegal that will lead to a crack down on fans who aren’t trying to make money off their work, you can defend yourself. You can still act like a fan and if your art becomes established enough for its quality, you can play the fandom game more on a personal level with out it hurting your bottom line as your audience will be more focused on the product than you as a person. If you do the opposite, if you play fandom games first and then try to become a professional fan artist, people are going to have to get over all your fandom baggage as part of the purchasing decision process… which means tat when you play in fandom, you’ve got to weigh how you behave in that context of losing potential sales. What is the risk/reward for making fandom wank? Make Failure to these tasks will hurt your bottom line.

If you’re a fan who is spending upwards of a thousand dollars a year on your fansite, in creating art, in making costumes, organizing a convention, publishing fanzines, you have the added issue that you will probably have to treat fandom as a business unless you have some other means of income or are independently wealthy. From my point of view, Fan History costs me a fair amount of money to maintain. I have web hosting costs. I have development costs. I have advertising costs. I have legal and incorporation fees. I have taxes. I have networking costs. I’m fortunate in that my job provides me just enough money to cover these costs and my basic living costs that I can afford to spend all this time on Fan History. I’m also lucky because my job is fandom related to the extent that many of the things I do professional connect back to what I do for Fan History as a business. Because I love what I do, I am willing to make the sacrifices I need to in order to see things through. If I didn’t have my job, I would likely be unable to maintain Fan History. Many others who treat fandom as a business have similar issues. Fandom is their job. It is their career. For people in those positions, it is difficult to treat fandom as a hobby, as a source of personal enjoyment. When making decisions, we’re talking about people who aren’t making decisions about what makes them happy but about their personal livelihood. If you have a problem with a person in fandom, good advice might be to retreat and avoid them. If you’re in fandom as a business and you have a problem with a person in fandom, a business decision might be made differently. Why? If you were giving advice to some one about a co-worker or boss who were annoying, always putting you down, who were slandering you, whose activities at work were threatening your ability to do your job, you probably wouldn’t tell them to just ignore their boss and do whatever they feel like because doing so could result in them getting fired. Fandom as a business livelihood is the same. You make decisions differently.

The reality of making decisions in fandom based on business models can feel really cynical if you’re a fan who bases your decisions based on what heightens your fannish enjoyment. If you’re making business decisions in fandom, the whole process can be really frustrating as your actions might not be judged as business decisions but rather as actions in fandom evaluated from the perspective of what facilitates an individual in fandom’s personal goals. How do you handle these two things perspectives existing together? I don’t know… but the easiest way to start is to remember both perspectives exist and for fans to work with people who are changing their perspective.

1. About 1/10 of my time is being involved with Fan History and FanworksFinder as a user. The remaining time is spent implementing various policy decisions, tutoring people how to do them, doing work for pay that relates back to the activities I do on Fan History, publicizing the site, dealing with admin issues, searching for money or trying to keep abreast with fandom news.

2. If you’re interested in what I and what Fan History LLC are doing, then feel free to follow me on twitter or friend me on LiveJournal.

3. This is a locked conversation on LiveJournal. In order to view it, I need to have friended you in order to view it.

4. Which isn’t to say that this is just the purview of people with business interests in fandom. Plenty of fans enjoy controversy and plenty of fans have a stake in creating controversy in order to further their own standing in the community. The purpose in doing those activities is just different and should be acknowledged as such. FanLib benefited from controversy because it increased their potential audience. Some fans benefited from creating the controversy because it helped solidify group cohesion and reasserted their status as important people in the fan community.

Got Readers? A Guide to Gaining Popularity for Your Fan Fiction

July 10th, 2008

“Got Readers? A Guide to Gaining Popularity for Your Fan Fiction” was a post I wrote for FanLib a long time ago. It finally got posted. It is my quick and dirty guide to getting readers for your fic. Since I originally wrote it, I had a few more ideas for how to get readers that could be worked in. They include using twitter, orkut, Yahoo!Answers, bebo and ning. Yahoo!Answers is one that I’ve seen a bit more of recently. (But that could just be because I’m looking.) People post to Yahoo!Answers asking people for help with their story. Having had urls in a few answers over there, I don’t know how much it would help with traffic to the issue being discussed as compared to other options, but it does help increase visibility in the wider community.

A caveat of sorts: Not everyone wants to get readers and if that is the case, promoting your fan fiction isn’t necessary.  (I do very little promotion of my own work for instance.)  If you want readers and you wonder why you’re not getting them, then you should probably do this.  One lesson that fandom constantly reinforces is that it isn’t the best work around that gets the praise and those aren’t necessarily the authors getting book deals.  You have to market yourself if you want to get that book deal and get those readers.

Twilight fandom

June 25th, 2008

Twilight fandom is mad insane. Relatively new fandom that is quickly becoming the most popular fandom on FanFiction.Net. Only eight fandoms on FanFiction.Net have more people who have written in them: Harry Potter, Naruto, Inuyasha, Lord of the Rings, Yu-Gi-Oh, Kingdom Hearts, Gundam Wing, and Dragon Ball Z. Since December 27, 2007, the fandom has added 14,506 stories. The first story wasn’t added until November 28, 2005, seven years after FanFiction.Net was created. The size and growth of the fandom just boggles. Since mid-May, over 250 new authors have joined FanFiction.Net to publish Twilight fan fiction.  That’s roughly one in eight out of every new active author on the site publishing Twilight fan fiction.

And it isn’t just FanFiction.Net that is experiencing massive growth for this fandom. FanLib is too. There were 33 stories on FanLib as of the same date. Now, the category has 637 stories. FanPop has also experienced growth in that same period. It went from 265 fans to 1,662 fans.  

That’s some seriously mad growth. If I was a marketer looking for a large group of passionate fans in fandom, that would be the group I’d be going after as it has the potential to look like Harry Potter with its explosive growth. Momentum should stay with the fandom at least until a good six months after the movie comes out.

How a fandom organization could serve fandom and those fandom fans

June 24th, 2008

Fans and those they fan over frequently have competing interests. This can and does inevitably set the two parties up for conflict. Unlike objects of fannish adoration, fans aren’t unified; there is no group which has networked in fandom, which has worked with fans to organize them. There is no fan group which has stepped up, explained the position of the fans, explained the position of those they fan and offered to mediate the disputes that have happened. Such an organization, one which had respect and support from both parties could prove to be beneficial for business operating in fan space and for fans themselves as it would allow both parties a good platform for their positions with the idea of creating a more open environment where more effective communication can take place. Similar organizations and efforts have been made in other spaces. The most notable of these probably is UStream facilitating a town hall event for Digg users.

In the past year and a half, a number of fan conflicts with those they fan have happened. As an outsider with occasional insider knowledge, both sides have their strong points, valid concerns that get lost in the struggle that both sides go through. The struggle can hurt those who are fanned and fans. Below is my list of conflicts where such an organization could have done the most good for everyone one involved. They are in no particular order.

  • Quizilla: Quizilla is a blogging, social networking community owned by Viacom, run by Nickelodeon’s The N Network. There is a large fan fiction community on the site, thanks to the ability to add stories. The Quizilla incident occurred in early 2008. Quizilla announced that they were removing the ratings system on the site, as adult content was in violation of the Terms of Service so the rating system for such content wasn’t necessary. Quizilla also said they would enforce the rules against posting content featuring death. Many of the users were upset about this as they felt these restrictions, along with losing the ability to customize their profiles, were an affront to their creativity.
  • LiveJournal: LiveJournal is a blogging service and social network. The site has had a number of run ins with fandom in the past year and a half over such issues as what content is allowable on the network, how the abuse team handles fandom related situations, advertisement placement and privacy concerns.
  • FanLib: FanLib is a service which hosts fan fiction, video, and fan art. It also hosts contests for intellectual property holders. Fans were upset over the commercial nature of the project and how the site first engaged fandom on various message boards and LiveJournal.
  • Wikia: Wikia is a wiki host and wiki community. They provide, free of charge, tools for people running wikis to help grow the content of the wiki. In June 2008, Wikia announced that they would be putting advertisements in the content area of some wiki articles on the service. Users were upset because of the lack of notice, how they felt the ads were implemented, the types of ads appearing in their wiki and the disruption to the formatting of articles.here was some talk of the major wikis moving. They list of fandom wikis which were supposed to have contemplated moving included Wookieepedia, Creatures Wiki, and MemoryAlpha.
  • The Police: The Police are a band with a fan club. During 2008, fans were upset with the fan club because they were expecting members to sign up at the same rate for the previous year ($100) without any information about what the club would do for them in 2008 as the tour dates had already been announced, being told concerts were the final concerts only to find several additional shows added to the tour, having good seats for the final show swapped out for bad ones without notifying buyers, asking for members to submit pictures from the tour for a DVD the fanclub would sell with out offering compensation, such as giving contributors a free DVD.
  • TokyoPop: TokyoPop is a manga distributor. In May 2008, some fans were upset over the Manga Pilot program. They felt that the contract involved with the program was not fair and took unfair advantage of contributors.Related Fan History articles: Quizilla, LiveJournal, FanLib, Wikia, Creatures Wiki, ThePolice.com, Tokyopop
  • New posts

    April 20th, 2008

    When I started this blog, I really intended to update more with various comments about what was going on in fandom. And then there was a large period where nothing was going on. FanFiction.Net, FanLib, Quizilla, AdultFanFiction.Net, MySpace, FaceBook, LiveJournal, bebo, none of those sites had really big news as to what was going on. The little news coming out didn’t look like it had any particular trends to it. (So what if FaceBook adds a chat component? It isn’t going to change fandom at all. We’re already using IM programs.)

    The Orphan Works topic was mostly covered by edits I did in the wiki. The only real thing that demonstrated is that one misinformed article, one slightly inflammatory article could inspire a lot of people to be fearful and irrational. That’s typical for parts of fandom. Certain corners did it for LiveJournal, FanLib and Quizilla. That it happened first on DeviantART was interesting but, given that the legislation being discussed was art, not all that surprising. So yeah, that was covered there.

    The Harry Potter Lexicon was interesting. It isn’t really covered adequately by Fan History. (It should be. Anyone who could edit and improve the article and related articles, it would be very much appreciated.) It doesn’t necessarily scream of relevance to the wider fannish community. The whole situation in fandom seemed to be caught in personal issues, money issues, the joy of finally seeing the Harry Potter fandom have some serious wank, and the dismissal of the Lexicon as irrelevant because it was for profit and fandom is not for profit. The people most interested in the situation seemed to people interested in intellectual property law. The situation also didn’t really feel like it would impact fandom that much. Authors who might send DMCA takedown notices will continue to do so. Those who haven’t aren’t likely to suddenly start doing so.

    Another reason I haven’t been updating is behavior patterns are hard to change. I’ve been doing a lot of meta on my LiveJournal. I’ve been doing it for years. Changing that pattern is hard. I’ve really got to start working on that. So starting today, I’ll have a new goal of trying at least one blog entry a day about my thoughts on fandom, trends I see, etc.

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