Posts Tagged ‘harry potter’

E-mail: Infinitus 2010, Call for Proposals

January 12th, 2010

The following was sent to me via e-mail and I thought it might be of interest to people:

Greetings Past Presenters!

We at HP Education Fanon, Inc. and Infinitus want to thank you for your past involvement with HPEF events and would like to invite you to submit your proposals for Infinitus 2010. Due to popular request, our Call for Proposals deadline has been extended to Friday, February 12, 2010. We welcome submissions from all of you as we are anticipating another amazing symposium and look forward to making you a part of it.

Our CFP can be found here: Please email if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Robin Martin
Chair of Formal Programming
Infinitus 2010

Harry Potter fan fiction on FanFiction.Net

January 10th, 2010

I apologize for the writing quality.  I tend to like to present data.  My analysis and commentary tends to be minimal, stating the obvious and letting the reader speculate as to what exactly the data means.  Insiders can often explain patterns better than outsiders and for the Harry Potter fandom, I’m definitely an outsider.

A friend of mine has been busy pulling data off FanFiction.Net this past week.  He found some rather interesting things:

  • 8,566 Twilight stories on FanFiction.Net with no recorded reviews, 117,578 stories with at least 1 review. 93% of all twilight fics get reviewed at least once.
  • Master of the Universe has28,690 reviews on FanFiction.Net takes gold for most reviewed Twilight story on site.
  • 19 Twilight stories on FanFiction.Net have 10,000+ reviews.
  • The top 3 fandoms by stories on FanFiction.Net: Harry Potter [book] (437,590), Naruto [anime] (221,117), and Twilight [book] (126,590).

After he got that data, he turned to look at Harry Potter.   1.2% of the total stories are missing so there is a certain margin of error to consider.  That said, the average Harry Potter story on FanFiction.Net has 31.8 reviews.  The top ten most reviewed stories have review totals way below that of their Twilight counterparts, which has its top stories with 10,000+ reviews.  Harry Potter’s top stories in contrast have only one story with 10,000 plus reviews.  The top nine fall in the range of 6,200 and 9,300 reviews.  These stories are:


| storyid | title                                           | url                                | reviews |


| 2196609 | An Aunt's Love                                  | |   11532 |

| 2636963 | Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past | |    9307 |

| 4437151 | Harry's New Home                                | |    8827 |

| 4240771 | Partially Kissed Hero                           | |    8676 |

| 2318355 | Make A Wish                                     | |    7626 |

| 1260679 | Realizations                                    | |    7136 |

| 2571676 | Not Your Usual Veela Mate                       | |    7101 |

| 3733492 | The Apprentice and the Necromancer              | |    6646 |

| 3736151 | Better Be Slytherin!                            | |    6506 |

| 2900438 | Unsung Hero                                     | |    6297 |


These stories are not short and were often written over the course of several years.  The average story on this list has 74.8 chapters.  Some of that is a bit skewed as one story has 251 chapters.  If that data point is removed, the average length is 55.2 chapters.  To put this into a different context, the average story is 289,902 words with the shortest one clocking in at a measly 174,735 words and the longest one at 396,525 words.

These stories were generally not started recently.  The earliest was published in 2003, one published in 2004, three published in 2005, one in 2006, two in 2007 and two in 2008.  Half of these stories are complete and three of the incomplete stories look like they are still being actively worked on.

Gen stories look like they have a slight edge in getting large numbers of reviews with four of the stories on this list falling into this category.  Of the remaining six, three are het (2 Harry/Ginny, 1 Snape/Hermione) and three are slash (1 Harry/Draco, 2 Snape/Harry).  If you’re looking to repeat this formula to launch yourself to a huge number of reviews, this may not be a helpful variable to focus on.

The authors of these stories tend to not be very prolific in writing other stories, with the average total number of stories by authors on this list at fifteen.  If you remove the author who wrote 57 stories, the average comes down to ten.  Some of the authors who have very few stories often follow up with missing scenes and rewrites of their work.  These tend to have substantially fewer chapters, and a smaller word count.  As these seem like important variables towards getting high review counts, that probably hurts their ability to get as many reviews on their other works.  A small number of stories though probably keeps their audience focused on their main work, giving them reason to keep tuning in: The reader knows what they like and they likely won’t be turned off by discovering other works by the author that diverge from their primary interest.

Beyond the data regarding the most reviewed Harry Potter stories on FanFiction.Net, story and review data was obtained and made into the pretty chart below.   The total number reviews for a month is based on the date the story was published, not the date that the review was left. So our Harry Potter story that was published in December 2004 with 11,000 reviews that was last updated in September 2009?  All those reviews are counted for December 2004.

There are certain peaks and troughs.  Some of this can probably be explained by the sheer volume of stories leading to additional reviews.  As people lose interest, less stories are written and fewer reviews are given.  Stories posted in 2009 are likely to not have multiple chapters for them to get huge numbers of reviews yet.  Or, quite possibly, interest in reviewing new one shot Harry Potter stories has totally evaporated.

Edited to add: The following chart shows the total Harry Potter stories on FanFiction.Net.  There are some big jumps but no really big ones.

Developing communities on smaller wikis

September 8th, 2009

I originally wrote this for another purpose. I thought it might be interesting to people on my FList in regards to how we run Fan History, how we have gone about doing certain things, what has worked and what hasn’t worked. This has been slightly modified to be more applicable for a wider audience.

Fan History, like other small wikis and multifandom projects, has had a problem with community identity. Most of our contributors don’t as Fan History community members or members of fandom. Instead, they identify as say Batman fans, Harry Potter fans, Twilight fans. This is a problem that we have been working to solve, even as we try to increase identity and participation inside those specific communities. We’ve been most successful at creating identity by doing two things: Having content that interests people that is not specific to any one fan community and by creating large amounts of content that help demonstrate the size and scope of the whole fan community. We’ve found that both solutions, in terms of content development, have been rather successful. Fan History has covered several fandom kerfluffles that have brought brand awareness. The kerfluffles cross fandom lines in terms of interest, principally due to the large number of people involved. Fan History also has worked to improve our definition pages. These articles connect fandoms by offering definitions from different communities, give examples from across fandom and link to panfannish discussions regarding the terms. People can really begin to see how various fandoms are connected. As a result of these kerfluffles and terminology articles, our visitors have poked around a fair amount. We’ve also blown out our content, going from representing roughly 3,000 fandoms a year ago to representing over 36,000 now. We’ve added a over 25,000 articles about specific pieces of fan fiction, added over 50,000 articles about episodes of television, and added over 50,000 articles about LiveJournal community users. All of these articles have helped the fan community understand that Fan History is for them, that it covers topics that are relevant to them, that it is easy to plug in their own knowledge in to our framework with out fear. Both of these strategies have been successful in their own ways. Definition and kerfluffles ways have helped foster a greater sense of fannish community in the whole of the fannish community. They have helped to increase our traffic and our brand identity. Blowing out our content has not necessarily been as successful in terms of fostering community development inside and outside the wiki. It has helped some with our brand identity and it has with our conversion rates in getting people to contribute to the wiki. These solutions, going hand in hand, have really been successful for us.

Beyond content development, we’ve tried several things to encourage community development and to increase the number of edits that an individual makes. For a while, we tried to welcome new members and individually thank IP addresses that contributed to Fan History. We also tried barn stars. These strategies weren’t very successful in terms of converting a one time or occasional editor in to a regular editor. Our admin team discussed the situation, brain stormed ideas where we could be more effective at community building and helping our contributors; in response, we changed tactics. Our policy became to look more closely at specific edits and monitor for certain types and then respond to offer assistance that addresses those edits. One example involves articles about fan fiction writers. In some cases, they have changed their pen names. When we see edits that indicate that they have changed their names, we offer to help them do that or see clarification as to what they are trying to do. We have found that doing to leads to additional edits to an article to improve it once those changes are made and that the individual will frequently come back to more regularly update the article.

When you’re working on a wiki with a small community, you frequently know the one or two other contributors. You were might have brought them on board. It can sometimes be easier to just send them an IM, a text message, drop them an e-mail. This was a problem that we were occassionally facing on Fan History. Our admin team has become rather close. We often feel like we know what other admins are thinking and respond accordingly. We’ve discussed how this can be bad for a wiki. Our communication channels are not transparent when we do that. It might appear like our admin team is a clique, where our first goal is to maintain our status on the wiki and in the wider fan community. The team made a commitment to using talk pages to discuss all manner of things that we are doing. This includes how to avoid drama that may reflect poorly on us, what sort of content we want to develop, issues with templates, where we need a bot to be run to fix spelling or categorization issues and more. We tried to make sure that in discussions with contributors that more administrators were engaging the community. We tried to balance that so it wouldn’t look like we were dog piling on our contributors. This has been rather successful. Our engagement on the wiki has help our community relations outside the wiki because people can see what we are doing, have the tools to more fairly evaluate our decision making processes and members of the broader fannish community feel like they can approach on wiki or off to deal with concerns that they may have regarding our content. It has also helped internally by improving our communications with users, by making it easier to implement contributor feedback and by fostering a sense of internal community.

Wikis tend to need to define the size and scope of their mission, how to create content to meet their mission, policy creation and how they will enforce their policies. Much of this involves internal decision making that will have an impact on external factors. If the scope is too big, it will be hard to develop content or make the project feel overwhelming. If it is too small, the wiki may turn into a pet project that doesn’t have a large possible pool of contributors to draw from. If they create content with complex templates when they are first starting off, that may prove a barrier to entry for some people who read the content. If the wiki policy is too restrictive, people may not feel like they can contribute because they don’t want to break the rules, understand complex categorization policies or how to create stub articles that are acceptable. If it is too open, there is the potential for a lot of drama as people seek to dominate in certain places by sheer force of will. These are issues that we’ve been working on with Fan History. We’ve worked on policies with both the internal community and external community in mind. The point of the policies has always been to serve the community that exists on the wiki, to serve the information and make it as best as we can, and to be accessible and culturally appropriate when dealing with external critics. For content, we defined our scope and then went the automated route to create stub content to make it clear where the borders of our scope was. According to occasional contributors we’ve surveyed informally, it made the wiki feel less scary as they had base content to start from and they had many examples they could pull from regarding what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. For policy, we made a point of having policy discussions on the wiki and rationalizing those steps so that future wiki users could understand our thought processes. While a well developed community of users does not exist, we went outside the community to our acquaintances who were occasional editors. We surveyed their opinions, incorporated their comments in to our discussion. We invited them to participate in the discussion on the wiki. We also listened to external criticism regarding policies and incorporated that feedback as we developed our policy. The results of this that we are the most proud of involve our deletion policy found at . Community develop on wikis for ones that don’t have the good fortune to go viral is hard. This is a lesson that we’ve learned at Fan History.

It takes a great deal of work to be successful. It can be especially challenging to build a community because for wikis, it is often easy to overlook community aspects because wikis so often focus on content. We’ve learned that it takes building content with the idea of how random contributors will feel comfortable editing, actively engaging contributors in a way that will solicit a response, being transparent in terms of what the admin team is doing to avoid feelings of cliques, making organizational patterns easy to understand so as not to confuse your contributor base, not being too harsh when enforcing policies, and thinking about what your internal community building will mean in the wider community that your wiki is part of. We hope that you can take our lessons and learn from them as you develop a community on your own wiki.

Most popular fandoms on Fan History year to date

July 1st, 2009

Half the year has passed so it is time to do an update as to the most popular fandoms on Fan History for January to June 2009. Items on this list list tend to appear for three reasons: 1) Interest in the fandom, 2) Quality content, 3) Good SEO. Because of the latter two, I don’t think that you can draw any conclusion about what is going on in fandom as a result. Hopefully, one day, we’ll be there where you can.

Top Fandoms

  1. Digimon
  2. Naruto
  3. Twilight
  4. Harry Potter
  5. Gundam Wing
  6. Supernatural
  7. The Fast and the Furious
  8. Mortal Instruments
  9. Dragon Ball Z
  10. Prince of Tennis

Top Actor Fandoms

  1. Jorja Fox
  2. Allison Stokke
  3. Russel Crowe
  4. Sara Varone
  5. Megan Fox

Top Anime Fandoms

  1. Digimon
  2. Naruto
  3. Gundam Wing
  4. Dragon Ball Z
  5. Prince of Tennis
  6. Sailor Moon
  7. Bleach
  8. D.Gray-Man
  9. Yu-Gi-Oh
  10. Ouran High School Host Club

Top Book Fandoms

  1. Twilight
  2. Harry Potter
  3. Mortal Instruments
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. Outsiders
  6. The Death Gate Cycle
  7. Lord of the Rings
  8. Sherlock Holmes
  9. Gor
  10. Alex Rider

Top Cartoons Fandoms

  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
  2. Transformers
  3. Kim Possible
  4. X-men
  5. Rescue Rangers
  6. Ben 10
  7. Sonic: The Hedgehog
  8. Hey Arnold!
  9. Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series

Top Comics Fandoms

  1. X-men
  2. Batman
  3. Watchmen

Top Movies Fandoms

  1. The Fast and the Furious
  2. Star Trek
  3. Transformers
  4. Outsiders
  5. X-men
  6. Batman
  7. Star Wars
  8. X-Files
  9. Watchmen
  10. Highlander

Top Music Fandoms

  1. Metallica
  2. Panic! At the Disco
  3. American Idol
  4. Radiohead
  5. Fall Out Boy
  6. Nine Inch Nails
  7. My Chemical Romance
  8. X-Japan
  9. The Beatles
  10. Savage Garden

Top Television Fandoms

  1. Supernatural
  2. Roswell
  3. Merlin
  4. Jon and Kate Plus 8
  5. Star Trek
  6. Gilmore Girls
  7. Beauty and the Beast
  8. Batman
  9. CSI
  10. Doctor Who

Top Video Games Fandoms

  1. Pokemon
  2. Final Fantasy VII
  3. Silent Hill
  4. Final Fantasy
  5. Sonic: The Hedgehog
  6. Zelda
  7. Kingdom Hearts

Three pieces of fandom news

June 29th, 2009

Today seems like a really news heavy day for fandom with all sorts of things with some legal implications.  If you haven’t heard of these stories, you should check out the related Fan History articles or read the sources.

  • China bans gold farming. (source)
  • Harry Potter fans have credit cards stolen after trying to illegally download newest movie. (source)
  • In June 2009, Darryn Walker, 35, from South Tyneside, was cleared of obscenity charges related to a story he published online that the featured kidnap and murder of Girls Aloud. (source)
  • Popular fandoms?

    June 2nd, 2009

    We had a couple of searches to our blog asking about popular fandoms.  That’s kind of subjective and hard to measure but I’ll try to list them again. :)

    Year to date, the most popular fandoms on Fan History based on how many times the article about them have been accessed are:

    1. Digimon
    2. Nartuo
    3. Twilight
    4. Gundam Wing
    5. Harry Potter
    6. Supernatural
    7. The Fast and the Furious
    8. Dragon Ball Z
    9. Prince of Tennis
    10. Sailor Moon

    That list doesn’t necessarily seem accurate.  It probably reflects where Fan History’s articles are better.

    A second way that you could measure the most popular fandoms is based on the total of new stories posted to FanFiction.Net.  For yesterday?  The following list was generated:

    1 Twilight 204 1
    2 Naruto 164 3
    3 Harry Potter 158 2
    4 Bleach 39 10
    5 Supernatural 38 6
    6 D.Gray-Man 32 34
    7 Yu-Gi-Oh 20 243
    8 Maximum Ride 20 43
    9 Death Note 19 7
    10 Pokemon 18 11

    That seems a bit more accurate for popular fandoms and wow! Yay!   It seems to agree some with the most popular list of fandoms on Fan History.  Of course, the list of fandoms that appear there have not been updated since September 2008. :/

    Then there is another way to guess at most popular fandoms.  That’s based on activity levels on LiveJournal.  This list isn’t all comprehensive and because of bot problems?  The list hasn’t been updated since March 31, 2009… but here it is!

    Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
    1 Twilight 14372 1
    2 Meta 7649 2
    3 America’s Next Top Model 2672 6
    4 Pokemon 2470 5
    5 House M.D. 2114 4
    6 Gossip Girls 1628 12
    7 Doctor Who 1624 10
    8 WWE 1581 9
    9 Merlin 1496 14
    10 Lost 1405 19
    11 Harry Potter 1346 8
    12 Bones 1328 7
    13 High School Musical 1220 3
    14 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 1038 13
    15 iCarly 1033 16
    16 Bleach 1020 11
    17 Sailor Moon 995 15
    18 Jonas Brothers 966 25
    19 Naruto 944 18
    20 NCIS 716 23
    21 As the World Turns 709 64
    22 the GazettE 685 20
    23 Gackt 662 17
    24 Ben 10 645 97
    25 Mystery Science Theater 3000 607 29
    26 Slayers 568 21
    27 An Cafe 554 45
    28 Life on Mars 548 32
    29 The Office (US) 528 35
    30 Transformers 519 22
    31 Sports fan fiction 518 40
    32 Soccer fan fiction 515 41
    33 D.Gray-Man 508 52
    34 30 Rock 480 42
    35 Heroes 392 37
    36 How I Met Your Mother 387 46
    37 My Chemical Romance 386 131
    38 David Tennant 382 30
    39 Batman 378 128
    40 Torchwood 353 28
    41 Batman Beyond 352 159
    42 One Piece 342 60
    43 Man from U.N.C.L.E. 339 85
    44 One Tree Hill 336 34
    45 Fullmetal Alchemist 322 47
    46 Ewan McGregor 320 36
    47 Star Trek 319 51
    48 Meta community 317 24
    49 Lord of the Rings 306 49
    50 Dancing with the Stars 306 48
    51 Yu-Gi-Oh 301 31
    52 Stargate SG-1 296 54
    53 30 Seconds to Mars 296 50
    54 Brand New 291 80
    55 Saiyuki 268 43
    56 U2 266 63
    57 Princess Tutu 260 61
    58 American Girls 259 78
    59 Dollhouse 255 39
    60 X-Files 254 160
    61 Top Gear 252 87
    62 Geoffrey Rush 233 103
    63 The Mentalist 230 57
    64 American Idol 217 73
    65 Pushing Daises 215 79
    66 Queer as Folk 211 74
    67 Death Note 203 120
    68 Britney Spears 197 72
    69 Supernatural 189 55
    70 Criminal Minds 185 62
    71 Ugly Betty 182 65
    72 Laurell K. Hamilton 175 171
    73 Law and Order: SVU 172 69
    74 Anita Blake 172 192
    75 The Late Late Show 168 58
    76 Craig Ferguson 168 59
    77 L Word 164 75
    78 The Sentinel 161 68
    79 General Hospital 155 70
    80 Manic 151 201
    81 D’espairs Ray 150 44
    82 CSI: Miami 147 94
    83 Discworld 145 95
    84 Prince of Tennis 143 1020
    85 Neil Patrick Harris 138 108
    86 Christina Aguilera 131 426
    87 Serenity 122 82
    88 Manchester United 122 38
    89 Law and Order 121 119
    90 Blake’s 7 121 166
    91 The Young and the Restless 120 141
    92 Ace Attorney 120 173
    93 Vancouver Islanders 119 105
    94 Shugo Chara! 119 89
    95 Beatles 117 127
    96 Zelda 115 111
    97 Firefly 115 83
    98 Bullet for my Valentine 115 149
    99 Hanson 113 67
    100 Days of Our Lives 113 96

    Maybe you want that information based on another language?   How about Russian?  Then these fandoms are some of the most popular (at least in March 2009):

    Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
    1 Harry Potter 795 3
    2 Watchmen 417 1
    3 Radiohead 140 2
    4 House M.D. 112 6
    5 Firefly 75 14
    6 South Park 71 4
    7 Buffy: The Vampire Slayer 57 89
    8 Hugh Laurie 56 26
    9 Star Trek 43 38
    10 Babylon 5 42 13
    11 Simpsons 38 11
    12 Battlestar Galactica 37 36
    13 Futurama 34 9
    14 Star Wars 27 5
    15 Supernatural 20 21
    16 PFC CSKA Moscow 20 8
    17 Metallica 17 12
    18 Blur 17 42
    19 Terry Pratchett 13 10
    20 The Cure 12 53

    There are probably other ways to measure other popular fandoms but those are the ones that we have to measure popularity.

    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.


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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

    April 2009: Most popular fandoms

    May 1st, 2009

    April has ended and I’m feeling in the mood to blog. So in celebration of April ending and rain letting up and May flowers coming, a list of the most popular fandom articles (based the number of article views) on Fan History for the month of March and a break down of the most popular articles on Fan History for year to date.
    April 2009: Most popular fandoms

    1. Cassandra Claire
    2. The Fast and the Furious – Movie interest
    3. Digimon
    4. Naruto
    5. Harry Potter
    6. Roswell
    7. Gundam Wing
    8. Twilight
    9. Supernatural
    10. Prince of Tennis

    April 2009: Most popular articles

    1. Draco/Hermione
    2. Russet Noon – Referenced on Fandom Wank and elsewhere
    3. Cassandra Claire – Page views down from last month
    4. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive
    5. The Fast and the Furious
    6. User talk:Artistic Revolution – Related to being mentioned on fandom wank.
    7. AdultFanFiction.Net
    8. Caito – Person who posted the wank report on fandom wank
    9. FanFiction.Net
    10. Digimon

    January to April 2009: Most popular fandoms

    1. Cassandra Claire
    2. Naruto
    3. Digimon
    4. Twilight
    5. Gundam Wing
    6. The Fast and the Furious
    7. Harry Potter
    8. Dragon Ball Z
    9. Supernatural
    10. Pride and Prejudice

    The problems of writing personal histories in a wiki…

    April 21st, 2009

    On Thursday morning, a friend of Fan History’s and one of our admins pointed me at another post about the issues with FanLore.  We were really interested in this post because it dealt with similar yet different issues than the ones brought up by nextian.  Like that post, we’ve gone through and commented in terms of how we’ve handled similar criticism, how we handle situations like the one mentioned in terms of FanLore, what advice we have, etc.  We haven’t addressed the whole post and the comments because of length.  (And because we got a bit distracted by other things going on.)  We hope to get back to it.

    A lot of non-fic fandom is languishing at Fanlore. Gamer fandom, in particular, I notice, ‘cos I’ve been part of that for (eeep!) more than thirty years.

    This is a similar problem that Fan History has faced.  And it isn’t just non-fic fandoms.  It is fandoms where there is a community outside of and removed from the fan fiction community.  This was an area we were criticized for about two years.  We were too fan fiction-centric.  We weren’t multifannish enough.  We didn’t encourage the telling of fandom history outside of the fan fiction community.  And those criticisms were entirely valid back then. But now?  We’ve got a whole lot of fan fiction content but we’re a lot less fan fiction-centric in terms of our article scope.  Removing that has been a goal of ours and on our to-do list for a long time. It’s there as a reminder that when we see a timeline for a fandom that says “this fan fiction community,” we change it to “this fan community” or “this fandom.”  We’ve made this a priority.

    That doesn’t even begin to get into the issue of media fandom vs. anime and manga fandom vs. actor fandom vs. music fandoms vs. video game fandoms.  In this respect, I think Fan History was fortunate because we had anime and video game fandoms represented early thanks to Jae, one of our earliest contributors.  She had a lot of experience in the Digimon and Final Fantasy communities, and created a number of articles about them.  We are also fortunate to a degree as my own interests were pretty pan-fannish.  I had connections to the anime and  music fandoms because of my relationships with the folks at RockFic, the guy who runs FanWorks.Org, and the people who run MediaMiner.Org.

    FanLore isn’t as fortunate in that regards.  Their traditions, their interests have always been focused on media fandom and science fiction.  They don’t really have one or two core people who come from fannish experiences outside their own who, organizationally, are equal to other members of that community.  It is easy to have that problem because you tend to go with what you know, hang out with like-minded people, and stay in your comfort zone.

    If you want those other fan communities represented, you have give those fans an investment in it.  You bypass the traditional rules.  You find a BNF in one of those fandoms, offer them admin status, and encourage them to promote the project in their own community.  We did this with the Kim Possible fandom.  We made one their own a fandom administrator, talked to the guy on a regular basis and encouraged him to reach out to his community.  And, to a certain degree, it worked.  If we hadn’t done that outeach, we would not have seen the edits to the Kim Possible section that we have had.  None of our core contributors have ever really been in the Harry Potter or Rescue Rangers fandoms to any large degree.  We reached out on mailing lists, LiveJournal groups, fansites, and fan fiction archives.  We asked for their help.  These folks responded.  Why?  We built a framework which made it easy to contribute.  In most cases, we left them alone to make edits as they needed to so long as they didn’t violate the rules.  They responded more when those articles became useful for them in terms of regularly visiting and linking because people couldn’t get that content elsewhere.

    But I’m not sure what to do with the wiki. It’s… big. And mostly empty, in the areas of fandom that are most dear to me. And I’m not a historian; I don’t remember the details, the names & dates, of the fannish events & memes that I grew to love; I remember vague overview of concepts, and a few bright points of detail, which make for lousy wiki entries. I would like to start entries and allow others to fix them, but the few I tried that with, haven’t worked. I don’t think there’s anyone active at Fanlore who comes from “my branch(es)” of fandom.

    The thing is, you don’t NEED to be a historian to be able to write the history of a fan community.  You don’t need all the dates.   You can write a good history based on general feel.  People can come in later and improve it with citations.  Just describe what you see going on with your gut feeling and explain that as well as you can.  Describe the community and how it operates.  Heck, a lot of this is not citable; how can you cite things like trends in, say, the LiveJournal community?  There is no way to cite, without doing a lot of research and without having access to primary source documents.

    What we hope will happen is that by someone putting what they feel in there, what they intrinsically understand as a community history or how the community functions, someone else will be inspired by seeing that to do the additional research.  Or that someone else will disagree with that and edit it to include their own perspective, and the two different perspectives that can’t really be sourced can be merged.  Or that someone will know some good citations to support what is written.

    The models for doing this have to be different because you aren’t writing a traditional history.  This is not the same as writing a history of the US Civil War.  Much of this involves writing ethnographic-style history.  The methodologies are different than other forms of documenting history.  The practices are different.  Both types of history are different from writing meta.

    This all has an impact on how people contribute.  Administrators need to keep that in mind. The admin team needs to understand the fundamental methodologies involved in writing history.  At Fan History, our admins have spent a lot of time getting a crash course on exactly this.   There have been discussions on our mailing list about the methodologies of writing women’s histories, and how historians use oral histories in their research.  We’ve talked about multiple perspectives and issues of bias in the telling of fandom history.  We’ve discussed research done in fandom by academics like Henry Jenkins and Camille Bacon-Smith, identified areas of bias and how we can learn from that.  We’ve discussed primary sources, secondary sources, historian bias, reporter bias, the role of collaboration in history writing, quantitative versus qualitative approaches and merging the two approaches to get a cohesive history.  The more familiar the admin staff is with these issues, the better they are at analyzing, guiding and teaching others in terms of writing those histories in fandoms where those admins are not involved.

    Knowing all this methodology also helps admins because they can learn when to leave alone historical information where someone doesn’t know the exact dates and might be a little off but are well-intentioned, and when they should step in to correct things that are obviously wrong or intentionally inflammatory.  For example, they can learn to correct when some one thinks they recall something about LiveJournal before LiveJournal actually existed or says something like: “There was never a good mpreg story published in the CSI fandom”.  The grounding in methodology helps to identify when you don’t need sources and when you do.

    We’ve done an excellent job in  a few sections without many sources. does that; no citations but tells history with charity work, with fan fiction archives like FanLib, and with how the LiveJournal community works.  We’ve also done a fairly good job with that on the mpreg article. talks about how mpreg is received in particular fan communities.  No citations.  Are we going to remove them?  No.  If there are issues, we can use the talk page to discuss that.  If people have problems with that, they can toss in {{fact}} or {{POV}}.

    And if you still have issues where you can’t integrate that information, you do outreach.

    I’m a sci-fi fan; I love reading, not watching, my sci-fi input. I love conventions, even though I’ve gone to very very few in the last decade. (So all of my con-based fanlore is decades old. Sigh.) And I want to fill in the blanks for the fandoms I love, but I can’t even get a grip on where and how to start.

    I can totally understand that.   When I started writing the history of fandom, I had similar problems…  though more so the case of I had a lot of historical information that I could cite but all that information was really absent context. I didn’t know how to integrate it in to a historical context where these bits and pieces made sense.  I had lists of Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Star Trek, and Starsky and Hutch fanzines from the 1980s, but no information about how of those zines were received by the readers, what were common tropes, who was writing them, or who the audience was.  How the heck do you put that information into an article about the fandom those zines come from and have it fit in any sort of meaningful way?  A lot of the culture probably changed when things went online.  There might not have been a continuity in that culture when it went online, so totally different cultural practices were created.   And sometimes, you really are left wondering who will care about that Blake’s 7 femslash zine that was written in 1992 other than someone into trivia.  Also, a lot of this might be duplicate historical research that someone already put out in a fanzine list done in 1995 and if only you had access… It is just a mess.

    But at least that information is easy to cite or know.  It might be hard to get a grip on when you’re trying to put it into a big picture and you don’t have a starting place.  The personal, well, I can totally understand that in a different context.   I don’t know when some things happened.  I know I was on staff at FanFiction.Net.  I know I wrote the site’s first Terms of Service.  I know I got into a big fight with Steven Savage over policies.  I don’t know the exact dates.  I don’t have copies of the original text.  I know I founded the b5teens.  I know I got into a giant kerfluffle with some people on another mailing list when I was 16.  Many of the others involved in the group with me back then have left fandom.  I don’t know the dates. I don’t have the texts.  I’m sure as heck hoping that the fan fiction I wrote has disappeared.  Even assuming I knew some of that information, it was still weird to find a starting point.  What seems really big and important to you when you’re in the thick of it is difficult to put into any sort of proper historical context.

    How can you make your own history as unbiased as possible?  People do a lot of stupid things -myself included - and really, who wants to deliberately make themselves look bad?   After dealing with that, how do you cite information when the source is yourself?  Or when you’re documenting history that includes your own involvement?  What event do you start with?  Do you start on the stuff you’re most passionate about, or the place where you can most easily slot your history in? Do you write the history where you can most easily put information into context, or the history where you can best cite your sources?

    And you know, there are no easy answers to where to start when you’re talking about random bits of fandom historical knowledge or your own history. The best suggestion, in personal terms, is to think of your own goals for involvement for writing a history.  Is there a particular fandom where you have a lot of experience and knowledge but no one has really written up a history yet?  Is there an event that you think matters where you feel like you have a unique perspective?  Has someone written information that can provide a framework for your own history?

    Those might be a places to start if you’re stumped. Try to write biographies or histories of the key players that you know.  Timeline specific events in the context of the convention, mailing list, fanzine, IRC chat room, fanclub, social network or kerfluffle.  Create an outline. This information doesn’t need to be ready for “prime time.”  You’re not writing an academic text.  You’re providing information from within the fan community to help members of the fan community and those on the outside better understand it.  Tenure isn’t at risk.  (Though if you’re writing biased material with the intent of making yourself and your friends look better, your reputation in the fan community might be at risk.)   In the early stages, the information that you’re writing or collecting doesn’t even necessarily need to go on the main article about a fandom.  You can keep it on subpages until you understand all the moving pieces and how they fit into the larger fandom picture.  Then, later, you can integrate it into the main article or just create a “see also” in the main article.

    If that doesn’t work for you, there are other places to start.  Find the talk page for an article relevant to the history you want to tell.  Introduce yourself on the talk page, talk about your experiences, cite sources where some of that information can be verified and ask the contributors to the article to integrate that information into the article.  Follow up when people ask questions or explanations.   Using talk pages this way can be helpful in terms of learning the feel of a wiki community and how people expect you to contribute.  They can also help you find someone who is more comfortable in terms of finding a starting place, who can help you focus what you want to do.  Starting on talking pages can also be similar to drafting on subpages like I mentioned above: there is less pressure because things aren’t on the main article and you don’t need to make a judgement call on the merits of what you’re contributing.  Others can do that by chosing to integrate your knowledge and experience into the article.

    Fan fiction culture does not encourage wiki contributions

    April 19th, 2009

    A few days ago, I published a blog entry titled The problems FanLore faces are not unique: Learning from Fan History’s experience. In the course of editing it, we removed some bits that weren’t relevant to what we were responding to.  One bit I thought was still pretty interesting so, lo! The bit reappears here!

    Fan History’s admins all been in fandom a long time, and sometimes this whole issue of doing crosstalk in an collaborative way that anyone can contribute can be intimidating.  In fandom, this just is not done.  With a piece of fan fiction, the process is solitary in creation and when the story is finished, there is no real questioning the process, questioning the organization, suggesting ways to improve the story.  It just isn’t something that is fundamental to our cultural practices.  People don’t ask “Why did you have Harry Potter doing that particular spell in that scene?  Could you use this spell instead?”  If they do that, it tends to be viewed as antagonstic, or questioning the author’s writing ability.  And on the off chance the author and their supporters do agree that something could have been done differently, most of the time the author doesn’t go back and change it.  And if they do?  The audience doesn’t generally go back and read it.  Our cultural practices from the fan community just don’t lend themselves to crosstalk as equals.

    The problems FanLore faces are not unique: Learning from Fan History’s experience

    April 10th, 2009

    At Fan History, we are always looking for ways to improve our content, increase contributions, and improve outreach to the greater community. As such, it is often useful to reflect inward on our own practices and to look outward, to look at other wikis, to see how they tackle these issues, as well as how they are perceived by the public.

    Related to this continual practice of self-reflection and outward examination, Sidewinder recently brought a portion of this LiveJournal post regarding FanLore to our attention. It was instructive to go through and compare the problems that the two wikis have in common, and to enumerate the ways Fan History has been trying to deal with those problems ourselves. In some cases, the challenges are quite similar indeed, though our approaches to dealing with them differ. In other cases, the issues were ones we had confronted before and have worked hard in the past two years to improve upon.

    To quote:

    “On the one hand, Fanlore has a number of excellent, well-researched articles that are resources for discussions, fanworks, and historical projects. It is easy to edit, comes in multiple decent-looking skins, and has gardeners who are fantastically on the ball. On the other hand…

    These are some of the things that FanLore has in common with Fan History. Both are excellent resources for the history of fandom, with some fandoms better represented than others on both. Fan History and FanLore have a number of different skins; Fan History has them available to registered members. Both wikis are easy to edit; Fan History’s templates are designed to give new editors a boost on organizing their materials. And both have “gardeners” or administrators who are involved and easy to contact.

    My chief issue with Fanlore is that it is not, as it stands, a community project. There’s very little crosstalk,

    Crosstalk takes effort and a commitment from those who are editing. It is why Fan History uses talk pages. It is why we ask people if they need help. It is why we create active talk pages to converse on how things are organized. These things need to be done openly, so that users can have input. We’ll admit that we aren’t always excellent at it… but we do try, and this is one area we have worked hard on improving. We know this is important to the success of a wiki.

    Sometimes, crosstalk can be hindered on a wiki. We’ve found this to be a problem at times as some members of the fan community have had limited exposure to wikis. They don’t understand how wikis work. They might not understand the purpose – or even the existence – of a talk page. They might be used to a certain wiki or another project which doesn’t have the same idea of constantly sharing, constantly asking questions, constantly editing, constantly revising. There is a learning curve. As wiki administrators, we need remove those barriers to create crosstalk, to make the users aware of crosstalk. On Fan History, we’re still working on that.  Both FanLore and Fan History need to improve by using methods such as welcoming members, following up with one time contributors, and even changing the text on our talk tab – easy, since we’re using MediaWiki.

    no central LJ comm,

    We don’t have an LiveJournal community, either. We do have one on InsaneJournal that we use mostly for information sharing. The content, though, tends to be mirrored from our blog. Our recent changes are shown on our Twitter and accounts. Our admins are also found on Twitter and they sometimes discuss organizational efforts with a wider community there. But neither our microblogging presence, nor our InsaneJournal presence are in any way really comparable to an off-wiki version of wikiHow’s New Article Boost.

    We also have this blog on a subdomain of our wiki. You don’t have to be a member to read it. If you want to comment, you can, just by filling out the form with your name and website address. You can carry over your disqus presence when you comment. It’s our way of bringing our work to a greater fandom audience than the one found on LiveJournal.

    We feel it is important that major news, discussions and policy matters are discussed on Fan History itself instead of on an off-site community such as LiveJournal. We try to keep those conversations on the wiki, announcing discussions and events on our main page, and then posting about them on the blog to make finding the conversation easier. Wikis need fewer barriers to help fans get involved.

    Other wikis have different means of discussing their organizational and content objectives. wikiHow does their organizing with the wikiHow Herald . On it, they talk about projects they are working on. They highlight featured contributors. They encourage the general community through that and through wikiHow’s forums . A few other wikis on Wikia also have forums where they discuss policy issues, plan article and category improvements, and build a community for their wiki. AboutUs doesn’t really have forums, but they have a GetSatisfaction account where you can ask about policy issues, for article help, and find out how you can get involved in an off-wiki manner.

    the chat has been empty every time I’ve gone in,

    Fan History recently changed its chat server to in #fanhistory. Unfortunately, it seems that the chat at Fan History is nearly empty, too. But chat can really help with community development. AboutUs, Wikia, wikiHow and EncyclopediaDramatica use it extensively. ED has their own server where people occasionally break out of the main room to work on side projects. wikiHow folks use their chatroom on to coordinate patrolling Recent Changes, for writing parts of the Herald, and for discussing improving projects like wikiArt. AboutUs has staff members and community members in their chatroom, ready to help people out who have questions or who are looking for information on how to contribute. It just takes a few dedicated regulars to make it workable.

    and the Issues page is a masterpiece of passive-aggressive “well you
    may be correct but I feel that possibly your face is stupid.”

    Fortunately for Fan History, we seem to have fewer of those issues. We have certainly had articles and sections of the site which have been subject to edit wars and bias concerns, but we have tried to work with the parties involved to create as unbiased a history as possible in these cases. And when a administrator feels personally too close to a subject, that administrator will ask that others with a more neutral stance get involved.

    Among other things, this means that there’s no clear outline of what needs work;

    Well, they are wikis. If you understand wikis, you can’t really outline what needs to be done as this constantly evolves as a wiki grows. You can begin to outline what needs to be done on talk pages, or on how to lists, etc. The trick is less outline, more “How do you communicate with contributors outside the core to understand what their goals and intentions are for contributing to the project? How do you foster them and work them into your existing wiki work?” If someone comes in and makes an edit, you welcome them and ask how you can help them. Or say something like “Hi! Thanks for your edit on Lord of the Rings. We’ve been wanting to see it improved for a while. If you’re planning on sticking around for a while, we’d love for you to help the category structure there. It could benefit from some one who knows the fandom really well making it more fandom specific. [How does your fandom organize ships and what are the standard ship names? We've not touched those articles because we're not sure.]“

    there’s no reward system for putting up a good page,

    This is hard. Most bigger wikis like Wikipedia and wikiHow do BarnStars. But when there are just a few regular contributors, doing that becomes difficult. Depending on who is doing the editing, BarnStars can end up looking like a lot of self-congratulatory work.

    What Fan History tries to do is to thank really great contributors on our main page and on the blog. We’ve also considered doing an extended featured article on the main page as a reward for the editors who do a lot of work on their own People article. There are other ways of giving those who create good articles and make good edits the feedback that keeps them coming back and continuing.

    especially since (as yet) no one is using it as a resource;

    This is a battle Fan History faces all the time: demonstrating our relevance. Something like wikiHow, AboutUs, Wikipedia, PoliceWiki even wikiFur and EncyclopediaDramatica have built-in audiences. Or the wikis have done a great job of demonstrating their relevance. wikiFur pretty much made themselves into THE furry portal through content selection and organization. They’ve worked with the community and created standards for writing articles about members. This has made it easier for the the wiki to serve their community peacefully. AboutUs has developed relationships with sites that provide domain information – to the point where you almost can’t get whois information without stumbling across them. PoliceWiki has done a lot of outreach to photographers and musicians to get permission to use their images and content on the site. Through the years, they have also worked to get those directly involved with the band to contribute material themselves as a way of presenting the most accurate resource for the fandom possible–and building good professional relationships. Getting a wiki recognized as a good resource takes concentrated effort, time and marketing. People need to know you’re there before anything else!

    policy remains unclear in a number of important areas,

    Making policy clear, and changing it when it becomes necessary is important in a collaborative effort such as a wiki. Fan History has been willing to do this, and has opened up policy changes for public discussion on talk pages, linking those pages to the main portal. It is vital to have clear policy on many issues in a wiki, such as privacy, deletion of articles, content relevancy guidelines, overall organization, and these things are best resolved then made clear to the public sooner rather than later.

    such as cross-platform work with Fancyclopedia and the Fandom Wank wiki

    In the past, we’ve cited the Fandom Wank wiki, but that in itself caused a lot of wank, so we’ve discontinued using it as a main source for information on new and existing articles. On a plus side, Fan History is “working” with FanLore by ?]" href="">linking to their articles and citing them as a source in more articles. We have relationships with a few fandom specific wikis such as PoliceWiki and RangersWiki to “mirror” articles relevant to both sites, helping to build cross-community work and traffic to both wikis as a result. We also allow some mirroring of articles with AboutUs. We talk extensively to others in the wiki community, developing positive and beneficial relationships so where we know we can turn for help when needed. This includes having open communications with people who run AboutUs, EncyclopediaDramatica, wikiHow, wikiindex, Richmond Wiki, Wagn, wikiTravel, Kaplak Wiki, Wikimedia Foundation and Wikia. They’ve provided us with assistance on things such as advertising issues, content development, policy creation and letting us use extensions they’ve developed. A lot of this is about becoming a good wiki neighbor, finding areas where projects compliment each other but don’t compete. It fosters the whole idea of the wiki Ohana that is a favorite subject at RecentChangesCamp.

    – and, to my deepest dismay, it is not currently a wiki for all of fandom.

    This may be an unrealistic goal for any overall wiki on “fandom”–at least if fandom is being defined as covering all aspects and types of fandoms, from sports to television to music to video games. Fan History currently has over 4,000 fandoms represented on our 595,000 plus articles. We don’t even begin touch all of fandom. Truthfully, we don’t think that it’s possible to reach and represent every little corner, every tiny fandom. But we’re trying, oh, we’re trying, and trying to make it easier for people to add those fandoms that aren’t there yet. We’re doing a lot of aggressive outreach, building a lot of stub content and getting people invested. The outreach part is critical but frequently, for many good projects outreach doesn’t get done. It takes a huge amount of time away from content development, and from working on the core goals of the wiki. It can be loads of no fun and requires the kind of commitment that people invested in only a small subcomponent of the wiki might not want to do.

    Fanlore is, as it stands, a chronicle of the fannish experience of an extremely small subset of media fans. Have you seen the current incarnation of the Who page? The Harry Potter page? Compare that to the Due South page or the Sentinel page. Though the fandom sizes of Doctor Who and Harry Potter remain enormous, no one is working on them.

    Fan History faced much of the same criticism early on, and still does. Some of our fandom pages and categories are great, and have received a tremendous amount of work–often from one or two very dedicated people. But our own Doctor Who and Harry Potter articles could use some work, too. Still, they are a nice representation of what is possible. It is also why we have “Move; don’t remove” as our mantra because as you develop a history, you learn that things must be placed into context, especially when you have large amounts of data.

    Some of our administrators and regular contributors spend time building up stub articles and categories in fandoms that we know are popular, to try to make it easier for new users to add their knowledge and experience. But it all takes time and effort and only so much can be done in each day.

    And I think that is self-perpetuating. I’ve stubbed out a number
    of pages in large fandoms, including the Who version I linked
    you to above, but it is not rewarding to do some work on a
    collaborative project and receive no … collaboration.

    Fan History, wikiHow, RichmondWiki and AboutUs all have a structure that makes it easy for people to come in and figure out how to add content. We try to have a structure on Fan History where people can easily slot things in with out having to worry about writing and editing large tracks of prose. As a result, creating article stubs that can be filled in more fully later isn’t as big of a problem as it could be.

    As for collaboration, it’s definitely something that smaller wikis have problems with, but when it happens, it can be fantastic to see. We loved watching this happen with articles such as the Rescue Rangers article, the Shota article, the Draco/Hermione article, the Race Fail article and others. And if one or two people are creating content, they end up learning a lot about fandoms outside their own, which is always a plus. Because in the case of Fan History? A lot of what we are about is sharing knowledge with others.

    I am not castigating the other editors for this — that would be somewhat absurd — but I do wonder why I have not seen Fanlore more widely linked to other communities, outside of the one that the founders of the OTW are members of.

    This is not hard to figure out. People will link to an article organically if they see a need to or think contributing will benefit themselves. Fan History’s Draco/Hermione gets a lot of views because it has become a resource for finding old and influential fics. People also link to articles about themselves because they’re excited to see themselves mentioned in a wiki. It is another way that they can promote themselves and their work. One of the published authors on our wiki has seen twenty visits a month on the article about herself, which is an incentive to keep it updated and to contribute to our community. Other people contribute in order to control how outsiders view them. That can be seen on Fan History most clearly with the case of AdultFanFiction.Net and Rescue Rangers. Still others contribute to Fan History in order to promote conventions they are involved with, to try to up the standing of those authors and artists they love, or just for the LULZ. That latter one, we think, ends up indicating a certain amount of success if they think that Fan History is worth trying to get LULZ from.

    We’ve also developed a large amount of links by linking them ourselves. AboutUs?  bebo? Chickipedia? Delicious? Facebook? FanPop? InsaneJournal? LinkedIn? LiveJournal? MySpace? Orkut? Plurk? Twitter?  Wikia? wikiidex? All of these are linked at Fan History. We also developed content that people would want to link to. Articles about the ordinary fan and fleshed out content on topics or relevant content that can’t be found elsewhere. And it is why our desire to get a few interns (are you interested in interning with us? Contact Laura!) is less for the wiki itself than the community outreach because we know doing that will lead to edits.

    Fanlore should have extensive entries on “slan” and “Victoria Bitter,”
    not just Laura and Bodie from
    The Professionals.

    Interesting that FanLore’s most edited article, the last time one of our admins bothered to check, was about Fan History and/or its owner. Here are our top ten most edited articles that didn’t have bot contributions:

    1. Harry Potter

    2. Draco/Hermione

    3. Bandfic

    4. Beauty and the Beast

    5. Supernatural

    6. Digimon

    7. CSI

    8. Rescue Rangers

    9. Doctor Who

    10. X-Files

    We’ve been working to make certain our most edited articles are not our personal loves or the people we dislike. Why? It’s not conducive to building a community. We’ve learned this the hard way, admittedly, so it is not surprising to see that another wiki may be encountering the same issues. That said, being seen as a personal “grudge” site with too narrow a focus is not good for building positive public relations. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to rebuild trust after working the bias out of your more problematic articles.

    I know the only answer to this is “edit it yourself,” but I feel that a stronger sense of community among Fanlore editors would make new editors more comfortable and allow a broader range of articles to arise.”

    That’s a problem every wiki faces. But you have to learn from both your own mistakes and the mistakes of others. Learn what makes other wikis successful and adapt them for your own purpose.

    We wish FanLore nothing but the best of luck in their endeavor. It is a long a bumpy road but one that be filled with tremendous personal satisfaction in creating a great tool for the greater fan community.

    Follow up: Most human revised articles on Fan History

    April 9th, 2009

    The last post was heavy in terms of bot revised edits on Fan History. It is that way because our data collection bots update every day and some have been active since September 2008. This is the last of non-bot, human edited entries on Fan History.

    The following data is cached, and was last updated 18:45, 9 April 2009.

    Showing below up to 500 results starting with #1.

    View (previous 500) (next 500) (20 | 50 | 100 | 250 | 500)

    1. Harry Potter ?(291 revisions)
    2. Draco/Hermione ?(242 revisions)
    3. Bandfic ?(228 revisions)
    4. Beauty and the Beast ?(221 revisions)
    5. Digimon ?(219 revisions)
    6. Supernatural ?(219 revisions)
    7. CSI ?(214 revisions)
    8. Rescue Rangers ?(209 revisions)
    9. Doctor Who ?(200 revisions)
    10. X-Files ?(195 revisions)
    11. Main Page ?(190 revisions)
    12. Cassandra Claire ?(186 revisions)
    13. Organization for Transformative Works ?(184 revisions)
    14. Slash ?(157 revisions)
    15. Doctor Who fanzines ?(138 revisions)
    16. Star Trek ?(135 revisions)
    17. Bleach ?(132 revisions)
    18. Russell Crowe ?(122 revisions)
    19. Star Trek fanzines ?(121 revisions)
    20. AdultFanFiction.Net ?(119 revisions)
    21. Star Wars ?(118 revisions)
    22. Sailor Moon ?(118 revisions)
    23. The Police ?(115 revisions)
    24. Susan M. Garrett ?(114 revisions)
    25. Daiken ?(114 revisions)
    26. Lord of the Rings ?(113 revisions)
    27. LiveJournal ?(112 revisions)
    28. Mortal Instruments ?(107 revisions)
    29. Roswell ?(106 revisions)
    30. FanFiction.Net ?(106 revisions)
    31. Zelda ?(105 revisions)
    32. Duran Duran ?(103 revisions)
    33. The Forever Knight Fan Fiction Awards ?(101 revisions)
    34. Naruto ?(100 revisions)
    35. Msscribe ?(99 revisions)
    36. Avatar: The Last Airbender ?(97 revisions)
    37. Mlina ?(95 revisions)
    38. Lucia de’Medici ?(95 revisions)
    39. Warcraft ?(95 revisions)
    40. Draco/Ginny ?(95 revisions)
    41. Final Fantasy VII ?(94 revisions)
    42. Current events ?(91 revisions)
    43. Grissom/Sara ?(89 revisions)
    44. Canadian Idol ?(89 revisions)
    45. Fan fiction archives ?(89 revisions)
    46. Gundam Wing ?(87 revisions)
    47. Plagiarism ?(86 revisions)
    48. Race Fail 2009 ?(86 revisions)
    49. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer ?(86 revisions)
    50. Xena: Warrior Princess ?(85 revisions)
    51. Twilight ?(85 revisions)
    52. My Chemical Romance ?(83 revisions)
    53. X-men ?(82 revisions)
    54. Thunderbirds ?(79 revisions)
    55. Hey Arnold! ?(78 revisions)
    56. Tikatu ?(78 revisions)

    Most revised articles on Fan History

    April 9th, 2009

    We discovered today that Special:MostRevisions won’t load 95% of the time because it just takes too long to load. That’s what happens with over a million and a half edits. Before we cache it and it no longer updates, I thought I would present to you that list of the top 50 most edited articles. A lot of these are bot updated daily so counting them seems a bit iffy… but that’s neither here nor there. now for the list:

    Pages with the most revisions

    From Fan History Wiki

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    Showing below up to 50 results starting with #1.

    1. Harry Potter ?(291 revisions)
    2. Draco/Hermione ?(242 revisions)
    3. Zoey101 (LiveJournal) size/table ?(229 revisions)
    4. Bandfic ?(228 revisions)
    5. Beauty and the Beast ?(221 revisions)
    6. Supernatural ?(219 revisions)
    7. Digimon ?(219 revisions)
    8. CSI ?(214 revisions)
    9. Rescue Rangers ?(209 revisions)
    10. Harry Potter fan fiction community size/table ?(205 revisions)
    11. NCIS fan fiction community size/table ?(204 revisions)
    12. Naruto fan fiction community size/table ?(204 revisions)
    13. Avatar: Last Airbender fan fiction community size/table ?(204 revisions)
    14. Bleach fan fiction community size/table ?(204 revisions)
    15. Twilight fan fiction community size/table ?(204 revisions)
    16. Death Note fan fiction community size/table ?(204 revisions)
    17. House MD fan fiction community size/table ?(203 revisions)
    18. Inuyasha fan fiction community size/table ?(203 revisions)
    19. Supernatural fan fiction community size/table ?(203 revisions)
    20. Fandom tracking/table ?(202 revisions)
    21. Bones fan fiction community size/table ?(202 revisions)
    22. CSI fan fiction community size/table ?(202 revisions)
    23. Doctor Who fan fiction community size/table ?(201 revisions)
    24. D.Gray-Man fan fiction community size/table ?(201 revisions)
    25. Wrestling fan fiction community size/table ?(201 revisions)
    26. Pokemon fan fiction community size/table ?(201 revisions)
    27. Heroes fan fiction community size/table ?(201 revisions)
    28. Maximum Ride fan fiction community size/table ?(201 revisions)
    29. CSI: New York fan fiction community size/table ?(200 revisions)
    30. Prince of Tennis fan fiction community size/table ?(200 revisions)
    31. Shugo Chara! fan fiction community size/table ?(200 revisions)
    32. Doctor Who ?(200 revisions)
    33. Stargate: SG-1 fan fiction community size/table ?(199 revisions)
    34. Total Drama Island fan fiction community size/table ?(199 revisions)
    35. Vampire Knights fan fiction community size/table ?(199 revisions)
    36. One Piece fan fiction community size/table ?(199 revisions)
    37. Chronicles of Narnia fan fiction community size/table ?(198 revisions)
    38. Bis(s) fan fiction community size/table ?(198 revisions)
    39. Hannah Montana fan fiction community size/table ?(198 revisions)
    40. Katekyo Hitman Reborn! fan fiction community size/table ?(198 revisions)
    41. South Park fan fiction community size/table ?(198 revisions)
    42. Stargate: Atlantis fan fiction community size/table ?(198 revisions)
    43. Code Geass fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)
    44. Criminal Minds fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)
    45. Yu-Gi-Oh fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)
    46. One Tree Hill fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)
    47. Ouran High School Host Club fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)
    48. Sailor Moon fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)
    49. Fullmetal Alchemist fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)
    50. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer fan fiction community size/table ?(197 revisions)

    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

    Fandoms and their musical tastes & trends

    January 23rd, 2009

    So, I have recently fallen in crazy love with Last.Fm. Not only is it a great service for discovering new music, but also tracking my own listening habits, and now, I see, for examining fandom trends and looking at what connections there may be between certain anime, media fandoms and bandoms. This is possible as allows users to create “groups” of any kind, and statistics will show what are the weekly top artists for that group.

    So what are some popular musical artists within certain large fandom groups right now?

    Let’s first look at Twilight. There are currently over 1,200 members of the Last.Fm Twilight group, and their Top 10 artists currently are:

    1. Paramore
    2. Muse
    3. Linkin Park
    4. Carter Burwell
    5. Katy Perry
    6. Coldplay
    7. Britney Spears
    8. The Black Ghosts
    9. Iron & Wine
    10. Blue Foundation

    Not surprisingly, 7 of those 10 artists have material on the Twilight soundtrack cd, explaining their popularity.

    Looking next at Harry Potter, which has a Last.Fm group of over 1,500 members and a fanbase with some similarities in age and makeup to Twilight, we discover some close similarities in musical taste:

    1. Coldplay
    2. Muse
    3. Paramore
    4. The Killers
    5. The Beatles
    6. Britney Spears
    7. Linkin Park
    8. Katy Perry
    9. Radiohead
    10. Fall Out Boy

    6 of the Harry Potter Top 10 are the same as for Twilight, including artists such as Britney Spears and Katy Perry, not on the Twilight soundtrack but popular performers within the teenage/20-something age group. How exactly The Beatles and Radiohead fit in I’m not sure, unless they reflect some of the wider age-range and fannish make-up of Harry Potter fandom? I’ll be curious to keep comparing the data on these two fan groups in future weeks.

    Let’s also look at Naruto, a popular anime which also has a large (1,400+ members) Last.Fm group. Here’s their current Top 10:

    1. Linkin Park
    2. System of a Down
    3. Metallica
    4. Muse
    5. Coldplay
    6. Toshiro Masuda (Naruto soundtrack composer)
    7. Red Hot Chili Peppers
    8. The Killers
    8. Rammstein
    10. Nightwish

    Again we see some familiar names, such as Linkin Park, Muse, Coldplay and The Killers, but there are also some more metal and hard rock acts such as Metallica, System of a Down and Rammstein. So is there a connection between Naruto and metal fandom? I’m curious to know! Has a lot of metal been used in Naruto songvids? Can anyone explain this more?

    Finally, let’s look at the Top 10 artists this week for an older fandom: Star Trek. The Star Trek Last.Fm group is smaller than the others we’ve looked at so far–about 350 members, and the Top 10 artists are quite different from the other groups looked at so far:

    1. The Beatles
    2. Nine Inch Nails
    3. U2
    4. Pink Floyd
    5. The Cure
    6. Depeche Mode
    7. Radiohead
    8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
    9. The Rolling Stones
    10. David Bowie

    The skew is certainly towards much older musical acts from the 60s & 70s (Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, David Bowie…), 80s & 90s (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, U2, The Cure…) Musical tastes for the fandom match quite closely with the time periods when Star Trek itself was perhaps at its most popular. Though there are The Beatles and Radiohead again. Maybe they’re just popular all across fandom? Will the release of the upcoming Star Trek movie bring in a younger fanbase and skew the musical taste of the group more towards currently popular acts?

    Anyway, such are the things I find interesting to look at on Last.Fm currently, and what it may or may not say about the connections between different fandom communities.

    We have LiveJournal stats! So what fandoms are hot on LJ?

    January 14th, 2009

    I’ll get to the title line after first explaining what we’re talking about with LiveJournal stats. If you haven’t figured it out, we love stats at Fan History. We love them a lot. Stats can back up your gut feeling about what is going on in fandom. We’ve been tracking the size of fandom on FanFiction.Net, FanWorks.Org, FicWad, SkyHawke, FanFikion.De and Freedom of Speech for a couple of months and we’re addicted. It showed us that Twilight fandom had a small post movie release bump but it really took about two, three weeks for the fandom to explode. (And the numbers haven’t gone down since.)

    Given this love, we wanted to get more stats. And we wanted our stats to come from LiveJournal and its clones because we’ve always been told that LiveJournal is a hub of fandom activity. How busy is the fandom? How active? What fandoms are more active than others? How do we measure the level of fandom activity on LiveJournal and its clones?

    The method that was chose was to manually create a list of LJ comms based on fandoms. We chose manual because interests don’t really work. You could pick up icon communities dedicated to 100 fandoms where the fandom is unlikely to be represented regularly. We then built a list which we sorted by fandom, by language and by service. Our final list for LiveJournal included 3,092 fandoms. We couldn’t really make it much bigger because we needed to be able to update all these articles in a single day AND the bot would need to access each profile once a day to get the stats we were looking for. The stats pick up total posts, total comments, total members, total watchers and that information is put onto an article about the community in question. All the communities for a fandom are then added together and put on article which measures the total activity in a fandom based on our list for that fandom. Example: Harry Potter LiveJournal community size. After that’s done, those columns are then added together based on language for the community and we get a beautiful list like this list.

    What’s interesting is that Twilight is hot on LiveJournal and it clones AND hot with various fan fiction archives. Harry Potter, second on fan fiction archives, is only 18th on LiveJournal. (This could be because our LiveJournal sample is missing the more active HP communities but I some how doubt it.) Naruto is third with fan fiction archives but 15th on LiveJournal. This could be because anime communities are much better represented elsewhere on sites like CrunchyRoll, AnimeNewsNetwork, anime specific blogging sites, etc.

    When you get out of English, Twilight fandom is well, active but not always active. It was tops on our Finnish sample. It was 8th in our French sample. It was 7th in our Italian sample. It was tops in Spanish. For the other languages, we couldn’t find communities for Twilight to even be included. That’s the case for most fandoms: Non-English representation is tiny. The fandom language communities just aren’t there, even if the language is. (There are half a dozen Slovak communities but none are fandom specific.)

    So that all out of the way, below are the top 100 fandoms on LiveJournal, based on our sample, for yesterday:

    Fandom movers and shakers for LiveJournal on January 14, 2009
    Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
    1 Twilight 6665 1
    2 Meta 1232 2
    3 WWE 1077 25
    4 House M.D. 951 3
    5 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 833 7
    6 Gossip Girls 735 9
    7 Doctor Who 727 4
    8 How I Met Your Mother 473 6
    9 Merlin 381 5
    10 Jonas Brothers 322 13
    11 Bones 300 48
    12 Top Gear 278 45
    13 Darker than Black 221 31
    14 As the World Turns 219 18
    15 Naruto 184 16
    16 30 Seconds to Mars 180 44
    17 30 Rock 168 14
    18 Harry Potter 167 10
    19 Hanson 165 84
    20 One Tree Hill 162 124
    21 Slayers 150 47
    22 My Chemical Romance 134 75
    23 New Kids on the Block 130 156
    24 David Tennant 130 19
    25 NCIS 129 24
    26 Laurell K. Hamilton 125 37
    27 Britney Spears 124 34
    28 Anita Blake 123 36
    29 Life on Mars 118 26
    30 High School Musical 118 12
    31 Ugly Betty 115 33
    32 Avatar: The Last Airbender 115 79
    33 Neil Patrick Harris 113 8
    34 Mystery Science Theater 3000 113 54
    35 Bleach 112 15
    36 Manchester United 111 11
    37 Sports fan fiction 107 42
    38 Soccer fan fiction 107 43
    39 Sailor Moon 98 28
    40 Transformers 94 40
    41 The Office (US) 93 23
    42 Grey’s Anatomy 87 50
    43 Star Trek 83 21
    44 Prince of Tennis 81 109
    45 Torchwood 76 17
    46 Stargate SG-1 76 29
    47 An Cafe 76 20
    48 Ben 10 74 108
    49 Gackt 73 72
    50 Pokemon 71 74
    51 Alice Nine 67 128
    52 Law and Order: SVU 65 71
    53 America’s Next Top Model 62 22
    54 Lost 57 68
    55 24 56 112
    56 West Wing 55 80
    57 The Sentinel 52 46
    58 Vancouver Islanders 51 52
    59 The Big Bang Theory 51 117
    60 The Mentalist 48 73
    61 Saiyuki 48 39
    62 Bob Dylan 48 253
    63 Fullmetal Alchemist 47 69
    64 Ewan McGregor 46 51
    65 Ace Attorney 45 119
    66 the GazettE 44 56
    67 Veronica Mars 44 91
    68 U2 44 162
    69 The Young and the Restless 44 306
    70 CSI: Miami 44 111
    71 Atlanta Braves 44 228
    72 One Piece 43 38
    73 L Word 43 67
    74 Dir en grey 43 30
    75 Futurama 42 703
    76 CSI 42 64
    77 iCarly 40 27
    78 Kingdom Hearts 40 107
    79 Batman 40 78
    80 Speed Racer 39 92
    81 Beverly Hills 90210 39 127
    82 X-Files 37 85
    83 Drake & Josh 37 58
    84 Phantom of the Opera 36 209
    85 Mad Men 36 59
    86 Lord of the Rings 36 101
    87 Hellsing 34 187
    88 Dancing with the Stars 34 131
    89 Backstreet Boys 34 183
    90 The Late Late Show 33 96
    91 Craig Ferguson 33 99
    92 Inuyasha 32 141
    93 Boston Red Sox 29 104
    94 Princess Tutu 27 65
    95 David Bowie 27 110
    96 Bandom 27 88
    97 Sonic: The Hedgehog 25 208
    98 Whose Line is it Anyway 24 95
    99 Supernatural 24 60
    100 Pushing Daises 24 32

    Top fandoms for January 4, 5, 6 on Fan History

    January 7th, 2009

    This is just really interesting to see. The list of popular fandom articles on Fan History rarely seems to coordinate with top fan fiction fandoms, nor with what is on television. I would speculate that we won’t see that until we probably quadruple our traffic and have better links to Fan History from out visitors. :) At the moment, it probably very much relates to which fandom articles we plug.

    January 4

    1. Twilight
    2. Naruto
    3. Digimon
    4. Blade
    5. ABBA
    6. X-Files
    7. Kim Possible
    8. Sailor Moon
    9. Supernatural
    10. City of Bones/Mortal Instruments

    January 5

    1. Demon Ororon
    2. Twilight
    3. Gundam Wing
    4. Naruto
    5. Digimon
    6. Harry Potter
    7. Savage Garden
    8. D.Gray-Man
    9. Supernatural
    10. Bleach

    January 6

    1. Twilight
    2. Harry Potter
    3. Naruto
    4. Anna Semenovich
    5. Alf
    6. City of Bones/Mortal Instruments
    7. Digimon
    8. Dragon Ball Z
    9. Gundam Wing
    10. Allison Stokke

    Twilight fandom… so big! so active!

    January 6th, 2009

    I love data which helps paint a picture of fandom: How big is it? How active are the communities in it? So I was interested when I finally got some data from LiveJournal regarding the size of fandom on LiveJournal. We know it isn’t totally comprehensive but we have a list of 59 LiveJournal communities dedicated to the Twilight fandom.

    Kicking off this year, between January 2 and January 4, these communities had 246 new posts. They had 7,425 additional comments. 278 new members joined these communities and 175 started watching them. That seems really, really high.   The average post is getting 30 comments.  That’s pretty big all things considered.  (Naruto for the sake of comparison is averaging around 6.9. D’espairs Ray is averaging 15.35 comments a post.) The communities are getting a whole lot of new members and are generating a whole lot of conversations, especially when compared to some other services like FanPop, FanFiction.Net and InsaneJournal. The size of Twilight fandom, at its current stage is thus just mind blowing. If there is any doubt that this is the new big fandom, all you need to do is compare it to Harry Potter, where the community list is has 73 total communities that it monitors.

    I can’t wait to get more data to see what is going on in the Twilight fandom!

    The following is a list of LiveJournal communities in our sample of 59 communities:

    49 of these communities are English language based. 2 are Finnish. 1 is French. 2 are Italian. 5 are Spanish. If you know of any communities not on this list which you think should be included, please let me know.

    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

    Twilight, Harry Potter and Twitter! Oh my! (Also venns! I love the venns!)

    December 19th, 2008

    I love venn diagrams. (And data. And numbers. And other ways I can better visualize fandom.) I also love Twitter so I was ecstatic to discover TwitterVen which helps visualize what is going on Twitter using venn diagrams. I cranked it up and made the following chart with the keywords of Harry Potter, Twilight and fanfic.

    Twitter venn diagram showing Twilight Harry Potter and fanfic

    Lo! Behold! Wow! Twilight sure gets a lot of mentions on Twitter. Not surprising. I’ve read a number of people on LJ fandom talk about how Twilight will one day be bigger than Harry Potter. I’ve seen enough of data to know that Twilight fandom NOW is bigger than Harry Potter fandom NOW. What seems really surprising here is that there aren’t more mentions for both terms AND fanfic. Twilight and Harry Potter are mentioned more frequently together than those either with fanfic.

    We have a couple more TwitterVens. If you create your own (upload it!), let us know if you find anything interesting!

    FanFiction.Net vs. LiveJournal community size

    December 6th, 2008

    The bot isn’t finished running yet… but while still compiling, I thought it was worth looking at some of these fandoms and how the size of LJ fandom is beginning to look, how big fandoms look versus eachother and versus FanFiction.Net community size…

    This isn’t yet complete as the bot continues to run. Some fandoms may not have had their communities looked at because they didn’t cross over much with communities the bot has already looked at. There might be some naming issues which still need to be resolved. (Which were corrected when I spotted a few of them.) Some fandoms just didn’t have communities about them in the sample community list. Some categories actually contracted as we did admin work such as deleting duplicate articles and handled Article Deletion Requests… so any fandom which didn’t have over 50 new articles for categories with over 650 articles in them were excluded.

    But overall, this table begins to paint an interesting picture as to the biggest fandoms on LiveJournal. FanFiction.Net column is total articles from FanFiction.Net. LiveJournal column is FanFiction.Net + LiveJournal articles (or new total of articles in the category). Difference column equals total number of members from LiveJournal.

    Did Twilight get a post movie fan fiction total bounce?

    November 25th, 2008

    I have a love affair with numbers and what they say about fandom. I was thus curious if the release of the Twilight movie meant an uptick in the number of stories published. I checked the data (November 19, data not gathered. November 20 data derived by dividing total by two) and it looks like it may have.

    Twilight story totals in days after the movie's release

    The daily average is about 123. 185 stories is a new record for the fandom. The fandom also consistently outpaced Naruto and Harry Potter which the fandom hadn’t done done for that length of time previously. It will be interesting to see if this increase in total stories posted levels off or if the numbers drop back down to pre-movie levels in another week or two.

    Twitter, fandom and me

    November 25th, 2008

    Before I begin this, I need to define what I mean by fandom because fandom and entertainment fans (consumers of popular culture) can often look alike but they frequently don’t act the same.

    Fandom, Members of fandom:

    • Group that shares a common interest in a media product such as Harry Potter, Twilight, Star Wars, Pokemon, Starcraft, etc.
    • Are actively engaged with the product and other fans by having discussions, creating and commenting on other people’s fan fiction (art, vids, icons, costumes, etc.), attending/organizing conventions, organizing campaigns to save/improve the media product, etc.
    • Form relationships based on shared interest where the relationships with other fans are central to their activities.

    Entertainment fans, consumers of popular culture:

    • Do not have a group identity as fans of a show.
    • Are passively engaged with the product by having conversations, commenting on blogs, blogging about the show, consuming the product.
    • Relationships are not at the heart of and purpose of their interactions with others who share their enjoyment of a media product.

    Put simpler: Fandom is about relationships.  Entertainment fans, not so much.

    Which brings me to Twitter and my sometimes confusing relationship with it as a fan.  And after a number of conversations with other fans, this is a problem that a number of other fandom people on the outside looking in suffer with.  What use is twitter for fans?  What use is Twitter for me as a fan?

    I come from fandom out of mailing lists and LiveJournal where relationships are key.  If there is an author I love, I would try to form a relationship of sorts with them.  I might ask to be there beta reader.  I might e-mail or IM them with questions about their stories or what else they are working on.  If they were writing to slowly, I might leave lots and lots of feedback or beg them to WR1T3 M0R3!  I might friend them on LiveJournal to keep up with what is going on with them.  If I get to have a relationship with them, then my enjoyment of the thing for which we share an interest is enhanced.  I have another person to squee with over new episodes, and insure that stories I love will be continued, have some one to unite with against other people in the community I don’t like.  I might also have some one who could attend a convention with me or share a hotel at a convention with me which could make attending that convention cheaper.  I’ve got a friend.  Well.  Sort of.  Once our interests change or if I do something which upsets the person’s ability to enjoy the community or the material, I don’t have a friend any more.  But while we’re both in that relationship, we’re great and we communicate a lot.

    If I want to get “ahead” in fandom, if I want to have greater influence, I form relationships with people who are in the position to help me.  I can make friends with fan fiction archivists, with authors who have huge amounts of readers, with content producers, etc.  And if I want to be able to leverage these relationships for my own benefit, I’ve got to actively work on maintain those relationships in order to maintain my status because they key to staying on top, well, the phrase is “What have you done for me lately?”

    So along comes Twitter.   Twitter is great.  Twitter is love.  For the social media lover in me, I can’t get enough of Twitter.  It means I can follow people I met at BarCamps, keep up with what is going on in the wiki community, possibly get some traffic for the site I run, can network with people who might have leads for work for me, can interact with news organizations in a way that I haven’t before.

    Except, well, for all the great things Twitter does for that, it doesn’t do much for me as a member of fandom.  Fandom is all about relationships remember.  It is one thing to follow a person and comment, but that’s not enough in fandom.  You need to have more focus and extended conversations.  The Twitter format just doesn’t allow for that.  It is too short to adequately share love of the source with or to hold conversations with others.  If you do try to have extended conversations on Twitter, if you’re not providing value to others who follow you, you could lose followers.  Ick.

    One of my friends has other issues which put her off Twitter as a member of fandom. Twitter is very immediate.  You can’t hold conversations over an extended period of time because the format doesn’t lend itself to that.  If I am out on Thursday and miss the new episode of CSI and my friend watched it, we can catch up on AIM or blog about it a couple of days later, when we have the time.  Twitter doesn’t allow that.  And when your relationship is dependent on that shared material, the inability to slow the flow of conversation on your own terms?  It can be bad news.

    Another friend has issues with some of the comments on Twitter being so banal and unrelated to why they care about the person.  They don’t care that you just woke up, that you’re eating breakfast, that you landed at Heathrow, etc.  They don’t care that you are having a conversation with SEO with some one on Twitter that teaches you a lot. (I get this a lot from my fandom friends on Twitter.  Especially when I start having conversations with people they don’t follow.  They’ve considered unfollowing me because I do that so often.)  What are they getting out of their relationship with me when I do that?

    Another issue that comes up is content.  Why follow me on Twitter for news about what I am doing fannishly when you can keep up with that on Fan History’s blog, my LiveJournal or on Fan History’s InsaneJournal asylum?  The information is better, more detailed and easier to follow.  It is easier to keep up to date because the content is much more focused.  The blog is going to be about fandom.  The posts will be once a day.  You’re not going to have to filter around my other random content.  If content is king, then Twitter, unless carefully focused, mostly includes links and doesn’t involve loads of engagement that is off putting, then well, Twitter fails.  Content on Twitter isn’t king when it comes to relationship maintenance.

    So relationships that are dependent on Twitter end up feeling shallow, where they feel hard to leverage for your relationships to faciliate your enjoyment of canon and accomplish your goals in fandom.  Things feel even more confusing when Twitter appears to require a large follow list to be viewed as important on or influential on Twitter (and in fandom).  How can you have relationships with people that are meaningful, that give you something back, when you can’t actively engage people because the “content” disappears so quickly and could easily be missed?  In terms of my fandom relationships, I find I can’t maintain them like I can in other places.  I end up having to play catch up with Twitter by reading their Tweets when daily summaries are posted to their LiveJournals.

    In the end, what this means for me is I, and a number of my fannish acquaintances, haven’t figured out how to use Twitter for our fannish enjoyment. Yes, I know how to use it to promote my projects. Yes, I love it for networking professionally. I understand how to use it to monitor reputations and get celebrity and entertainment news. I’ve found some great Chicago related social media events. Fandom though… still a problem and I can’t see it changing.

    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.

    LiveJournal bot update

    November 6th, 2008

    LiveJournal bot is finally working and has been up and running since yesterday. We’ve just had so many stutter starts with it but emufarmers and the developer finally got everything ironed out. There are a few kinks with spelling errors that I’m not sure where they came from. They are being noted and added to the To do… list for fixing. So far, it has created about 10,000 articles. With out doing a lot of comparisons, so far the biggest addition fandom wise has been Lord of the Rings where over 1,500 articles have been added. Harry Potter in contrast has only added about 500. That is about on par with the Jonas Brothers which added 540 articles. Once the bot finishes and we’ve identified most of the errors in terms of spelling, I’ll post a bigger update and analysis of what’s happening on LiveJournal in terms of fandom size based on our sample.

    Fan History bot creation announcement: LiveJournal bot

    October 29th, 2008

    Fan History is happy to announce the launch of a new bot: LiveJournal Bot.

    Back in 2007, Fan History faced criticism for not being inclusive enough, for the selection of people with articles about them being too random, for being too focused on fan fiction. In March of 2008, we took the steps to address that criticism by launching FanFictionNetBot, which created articles about FanFiction.Net users. More than 470,000 articles later, we’ve found that the response to this was really positive. For every article deletion request we had, there were at least ten people who edited articles about themselves, and who posted/commented about how it was cool that an article about them was on Fan History.

    FanFictionNetBot also helped give us a really good picture of what was happening on FanFiction.Net. Did you know that only about a quarter of accounts created actually had stories posted to them? We were suprised too. Another cool facts we discovered: Harry Potter fan fiction writers on FanFiction.Net average three point three stories per author. (376,000 stories and 112,000 members of the fandom equals 3.3 stories average per author.) We were also were intrigued to discover that the Naruto, Inuyasha, Lord of the Rings, Yu-Gi-Oh, Kingdom Hearts fandoms were the next fandoms up when it came to participation by people in the fan fiction community. We were also intrigued to find that Twilight fandom had so many members; the fandom is quite new when compared to the amount of time that FanFiction.Net has been around.

    It was with all this in mind that we created LiveJournal Bot. Prior to the creation of this bot, we had been adding a lot of this information by hand. This process was slow, tedious and wasn’t helping us to get a really good picture of what was happening in fandom and specifically on LiveJournal. It was also frustrating for us when people would talk about the size of fandom on LiveJournal. Obviously not everyone on LiveJournal is a member of fandom. If you’re trying get an accurate count of the number of users on LiveJournal who are members of fandom, well, the process can annoying. We are also intensely curious as to the size of comparative fan bases on LiveJournal. Is the fandom community for Harry Potter on LiveJournal bigger or smaller than the one on FanFiction.Net? Can we get a number which suggests that fandom actually has a bigger presence on LiveJournal than it does on the fan fiction-only FanFiction.Net?

    After running this bot, we’ll not only begin to answer those questions, but we’ll also have a much bigger, much better, much more accurate and inclusive fandom directory. We’ll also have a better idea of what is going on in music, sports and actor fandoms that we didn’t have before because FanFiction.Net doesn’t allow fan fiction for those fan communities. We’re really excited about these additions.

    Fan History is trying to take privacy concerns seriously. Users who have checked the box on their LiveJournal security settings that minimizes your inclusion in search engines won’t be picked up. The bot is compliant with Live Journal’s policies on search engine inclusion. We’re making a real effort to honor fans’ privacy wishes, so to avoid inclusion in the bot’s search, please make sure you’ve checked the appropriate box in your journal’s security settings. If an article is created about you, Fan History will be happy to delete it if you follow the steps outlined on the article deletion request page.

    As we attempt this, Fan History knows that any numbers we generate are going to be problematic. For example, we’re not creating articles about everyone on LiveJournal. We’re only creating articles about people who belong to a list of roughly 1,600 fandom-based LiveJournal communities representing English, Spanish, Russian and Ukranian language communities. This is a pretty good sample but obviously limited as LiveJournal has a huge number of such communities. The numbers won’t be entirely accurate because Fan History is excluding any LiveJournal user who has decided to not allow bots to access their privacy settings. If an article with the same name as a person’s LiveJournal name already exists, the bot won’t create a separate article or edit the existing one. This means some people will be passed over.

    These steps mean that many of members of LiveJournal’s fandom base will be excluded and our numbers won’t be 100% accurate. In the case of honoring your privacy though, this is something where we’re more than happy to not have the most accurate numbers ever.

    If you have any questions not answered by this post or the LiveJournal bot user page, please feel free to ask them on our blog entry about the bot or by e-mailing support[@]fanhistory[.]com. We’ll be more than happy to answer them.

    Twilight, Naruto, Harry Potter

    September 23rd, 2008

    I love to watch the fandom tracking article on Fan History.  What fandoms are the most active?  When do they become active?  (And if you’re watching, the bot runs at 01:01 every day at GMT.  Knowing that helps these numbers make a bit more sense.)   CSI: Miami has been making a lot of news in entertainment.  Is Horatio coming back or does he finally kick the bucket?  Its appearance on the list makes a lot of sense.   Some of the other ones appearing can be much less obvious or the result of some one unloading a bunch of new stories on the archive. The obvious ones kicking up with the new television season hasn’t done much to dethrone the big three fandoms: Twilight, Naruto and Harry Potter.

    Rank of Harry Potter, Twilight, Naruto

    They just don’t really change.  The story totals might go up and down but these three outpace the rest and do so consistently.  Naruto manages to stay on top most of them time.  I’m not surprised.  Harry Potter and Twilight consistently trade off.  The two have a lot in common: Both are book based fandoms that have a lot of room to play in their universe.  They have movies coming out based on the books.  The authors are out and talking which helps to continue to generate more interest.  The books are complete so canon won’t come in and play whack-a-mole with their stories.  (That’s unlike television where every week, your WIP could be in danger.  Or the story you wrote a year ago could be killed because of a throw away line in a new episode.)  They have fan bases that think that both books are the best books ever.  And they will defend their interest, their books, their canon.  Both fandoms are monolithic.

    I’m eagerly watching to see what will happen.  Is it possible for these fandoms to be dethroned?  What will it take?  What medium and fan culture will the fandom that knocks one of them off come from?  It will be interesting to watch.

    Announcement: Fan Fiction Stat Bot

    September 13th, 2008

    I’m in a really happy, excited mood! Fan History has accomplished one of our goals: To have data regarding fandom size and growth. We view this as an important step forward in telling the history of fandom, understanding fandom and being able to explain what the hell is going on by having some hard data to back it up.

    How are we doing this and what exactly are we doing? The how is Fan Fiction Stat Bot. Fan Fiction Stat Bot has a list of fandoms, of spelling variants of those fandoms, and of urls for fandom directories on a handful of fan fiction archives. The bot accesses those directory pages, looks for the fandom name (or variant), finds how many stories are on the archive in that category, stores that information, does a simple math computation to determine how many stories were added or removed from the fandom and then puts that information into a table. Once every fandom is done, it calculates how which fandoms had the most stories added to them. It then adds this information the the appropriate articles. What we get is a daily list of fandoms that have the most stories added to them and a record of activity in different fandoms.

    Did I mention I’m happy and excited? I am! The bot has only been running two days but we’ve got some data worth speculating about. I’ve seen some discussions regarding how big the Twilight fandom is and questions of if it will be bigger than the Harry Potter fandom. Our list of fandom movers and shakers has Harry Potter but there as the fandom with the second most additions for September 13. It was third for September 12. Twilight was third on September 13 and second on September 12. There isn’t enough data to draw a conclusion yet but we can see that the two fandoms are both comparable in amount of activity in the fan fiction community at the moment. Harry Potter does seem to have an edge in terms of amount of activity because the fandom has people uploading stories to multiple archives. Twilight lacks similar activity, with all the activity taking place on just FanFiction.Net. We really need more time and more data to draw a better conclusion, to get a better idea of what is happening, to better be able to compare these two fandoms… but we have a tool to help us to be able to do it. And that strikes me as awesome.

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