Posts Tagged ‘livejournal’

sidewinder’s picks: The Top 10 Fannish Events of 2009

December 21st, 2009

In the spirit of the season, I decided to look back on 2009 and reflect on what I saw as the Top 10 fannish news stories, events, and kerfluffles of the past year. These are just my picks–what news stories and events did you think were the biggest? I’d be curious to hear other opinions and reflections from different corners of fandom.

10. The 2009 Warnings Debate. Warning debates seem to rise up every year, but the 2009 one was a real doozy. Taking place after a bandom story was posted without warnings, the debate quickly spread through LiveJournal media fandom as everyone took sides on the issue–and a few BNFs found themselves on the “wrong” side of the debate. Still, the debate brought serious discussion of triggers to the forefront, and I have noticed more people being sensitive to the use of–or warning for their lack of use of–warnings on their fic, as well as on general journal postings since then.

9. Dreamwidth Studios launches. After much discussion and anticipation in some circles for months, Dreamwidth Studios finally opened to the public in May of 2009. Initially there was a huge frenzy of support and excitement, with some members of media fandom abandoning (or having already abandoned after getting beta accounts) their LiveJournals for this new service. There was a fair-sized backlash against DW as well, with others content to stay where they were, annoyed by the fracturing of their reading lists and doubtful that fandom would pack up en masse to move to this new service. Time has proven the doubters, perhaps, to be correct. Recently some DW users have been posting about moving back to LJ as the community on DW had not taken off as they had hoped it would, and their corners of fandom are still largely staying where they were on LJ.

8. SurveyFail. Rarely has a metamob so quickly and so effectively shut a person down than when fandom went after “researcher” (and reality-tv “celebrity”) Ogi Ogas. Fandom doesn’t like to be conned or tricked, especially when it comes to media representations of slash fiction fans and writers. SurveyFail was a prime example of this.

7. The Eli Roth saga of doom. Celebrities are increasingly breaking the fourth wall with their fandoms in this internet age, and services like Twitter make that easier than ever to do. But this isn’t always a good thing, as Eli Roth proved when he started interacting with members of the gossip community ohnotheydidnt. Joking about slash fiction featuring his characters and posting pictures of him eating blueberries morphed one night into women (some potentially underage) sending him topless pictures of themselves and engaging in cybersex via MySpace. The incident sent ONTD into a tailspin of wank and lead many to wonder just how far is too far to go when fandom and celebrities mix on-line.

6. Jon and Kate divorce. The reality series Jon and Kate Plus 8 has been a mainstay of sites such as ONTD and the gossip magazines since the series first aired. Spurring lots of fan sites (as well as anti-fan sites), as the couple’s relationship hit the rocks this year, discussion and interest about them exploded on the internet. Here on FanHistory we saw a peak in traffic to our page about the show in August, as this news was breaking.

5. Russet Noon and LadySybilla. Never before in fandom history–and probably never again–had FanHistory, Fandom_wank, and Lee Goldberg found themselves on the same side of the fence: recording the history of (and mocking) a Twilight fan’s attempt to profit off a fan-written novel based in the Twilight universe. This massive kerfluffle exploded as the author, LadySybilla, targeted her critics in kind.

4. The Philadelphia Eagles sign Michael Vick. Despite having a baseball team make it to the World Series two years in a row, Philadelphia is still a football town, first and foremost. And the announcement that Michael Vick would be added to the team’s roster this season was a news story that rocked the city and outraged many fans. It was an especially difficult pill to swallow after the loss of fan favorite player, Brian Dawkins. The debate ran for months–and still continues today, even as the team heads to the playoffs: Should Vick really have been given a second chance? What are fans to do if they love a team, yet have strong moral objections to a player on it? Some sold their tickets for the season in protest; others came around to accepting Vick later in the year. Others still just wait and hope he will be traded away next season so they can go back to rooting for their team without guilt.

3. Star Trek, Rebooted. The release of the new Star Trek film this year managed to revitalize the fandom in a way that surprised and delighted many. Fans of the original series who were initially skeptical by and large embraced the film. The fandom exploded on LiveJournal, producing a huge array of fanworks in a short span of time. However, there was some wank and shipping wars to develop, largely between Kirk/Spock shippers and Spock/Uhura shippers. How this will continue as the new movie franchise moves on will be interesting to see.

2. Michael Jackson‘s death. It was the news story that nearly took down the internet: Michael Jackson, dead at 50. Many websites and social networking services temporarily crashed or were overloaded as people flocked on-line for news and updates. His passing lead many to reconsider the popstar’s life and works, fueling renewed debates over his behavior and legal troubles. It also lead to the formation of numerous new messageboards, communities, and websites devoted to him, and a blossoming interest in Michael Jackson fan-fiction.

1. Race Fail 2009. Unquestionably, RaceFail was THE fandom story (and debate) of the year. Beginning in January over a book by Elizabeth Bear, the situation exploded and raged heavily through science fiction and media fandom for months. Indeed, it would be easy to say that 2009 was basically a Year of Fail, as I speculated back in July in a previous blog post. Increased awareness of race, gender and ability privilege have been promoted again and again as failings have been pointed out, both in commercial media such as books and films and in our own fannish interactions with each other.

So what does that say for the year ahead? How will 2010 go down in the fannish history books? Guess we’ll have to wait until next December to find out.

Bing is following nofollow

August 9th, 2009

According to this post on webpronews, Bing has a bug and is currently indexing material the is rel=nofollow, rel=noindex. Many people in fandom on services like LiveJournal turn those commands on to give themselves a bit more privacy with their public posts by trying to minimize their visibility in search engines. If that is you, and you’re counting on the major search engines to protect your privacy, consider friends locking all the problematic posts on LiveJournal. This way, your privacy is a bit more protected and you run less risk of people you don’t want finding certain content from finding it. Yes, Bing will fix this problem but in the mean time, take it as another wake up call to better protect your online privacy.

Story pages or no story pages…

July 8th, 2009

Recently, we added a number of articles about specific stories on Fan History.  Many of these stories were hosted on Geocities.  We wanted a record that these stories existed because they are likely to disappear.  It gave an idea as to what was happening in smaller fandoms not hosted on FanFiction.Net, in real person fic communities and elsewhere.  Many of the fandoms on Geocities more closely paralelled what was happening on Yahoo!Groups than FanFiction.Net or LiveJournal.  It was important to get that out there.

But we’ve opened Pandora’s Box.  We’ve got all these story pages that we didn’t have before.  After we did that, we added a bunch of stories about Inuyasha.   We had the database.  It was an interesting experiment to try to add those articles.  We were showing some love towards another archive.  (We love to do that.  If you’re in fandom and are looking for a way to promote yourself on Fan History, let us know.)  The articles represented another perspective outside of FanFiction.Net and LiveJournal.  It seemed all good.

It would be really easy to add articles about a lot of other stories on other archives.  We could e-mail fan fiction archivists and ask them if they would be interested in having articles about the stories they have hosted on Fan History.  We could ask individual authors if they could put together an excel file that lists all their stories.  If we wanted to work towards our goal of getting to a million articles, this would be one way to get there a lot faster.

Except, you know, over thinking happens.  Do those pages have value?  (Maybe.)  Are most stories able to help people get an idea of possible trends in fandom?  (You’d need to look at 10 to 100 articles to really know.  Maybe.  Hard to tell.)  Would this be useful for smaller fandoms where it isn’t as centralized and readers may not be as aware of other places to find stories?  (Yes.  Definitely.)  Would this be useful to larger fandoms in the same way?  (Not really, no.) Wouldn’t this duplicate what we already have started with FanworksFinder?  (Kind of.  But FanworksFinder doesn’t work.  And what about stories that no longer exist?  Where is the dating?)    Could it almost become like Yahoo!Answers or fic finding mailing lists where people can easily hunt for stories?  (Yes.  If done right.  Likely not though until Fan History’s audience reached a critical mass.)  Wouldn’t it remove some of the neutrality issues of the wiki if we did this and allowed reviews of stories on the wiki?  (Yes.  Hugely scary issue.)  Would we piss off a lot of people in fandom by linking and discussing their stories with out permission?  (Probably.  Maybe. Somewhat.  Bound to happen.  Scary to think about.)  Would people find this useful in terms of promoting their own work?  (Yes.  If person articles are any indication, lots of people would find them useful.)

There are just so many good arguments both ways.  We’d love feedback from the community regarding this issue as we go forward.

Archive of Our Own vs. FanLib: Why they are not succeeding

June 29th, 2009

I love statistics.  I love analytics.  I love analyzing fandom based on those numbers.  The numbers can provide a framework for telling a story.  In the case of this set of numbers, a group was created back in May 2007 to try to bring greater fan control over certain parts of fandom in response to what they saw as the commercialism of fandom.  The specific commercialism of fandom in this case was FanLib.  There were people who hoped and believed that their new archive could end up being bigger than FanFiction.Net.   It hasn’t materialized and compared to what this group was fighting, they didn’t even measure up to FanLib in terms of the number of stories that FanLib had before it closed.  (Comparing their archive to FanLib seems apt.  Their supporters were comparing FanLib to FanFiction.Net.)    Let’s take a look at the numbers and how they stacked up…

Fandom   ? FanLib, # of stories   ? Date   ? Archive of Our Own, # of stories   ? Date   ?
15/Love 0 January 3, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
28 Days Later 1 January 29, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
4400 9 January 30, 2008 3 June 29, 2009
7th Heaven 3 February 2, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
8 Simple Rules 0 February 2, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Absolutely Fabulous 1 February 2, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alf 0 February 9, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alias 38 February 9, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alias Smith and Jones 2 February 9, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Alien 3 January 29, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Angel 122 February 21, 2008 92 June 29, 2009
Battle of the Planets 25 December 13, 2007 3 June 29, 2009
Bleach 113 January 30, 2008 23 June 29, 2009
Brokeback Mountain 23 December 30, 2007 2 June 29, 2009
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer 234 January 2, 2008 244 June 29, 2009
Charmed 70 August 17, 2007 1 June 29, 2009
CSI 250 December 7, 2007 9 June 29, 2009
CSI: Miami 65 December 19, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
CSI: New York 38 December 19, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Disney’s Gargoyles 3 December 30, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Dragon Ball 4 January 7, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Dragon Ball Z 62 January 7, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
due South 0 June 29, 2007 265 June 29, 2009
Final Fantasy VII 17 December 30, 2007 3 June 29, 2009
Friends 71 August 17, 2007 1 June 29, 2009
Gilmore Girls 220 January 30, 2008 14 June 29, 2009
Grey’s Anatomy 27 December 18, 2007 36 June 29, 2009
Gunsmoke 0 August 17, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Harry Potter 1,740 May 3, 2008 236 June 29, 2009
House M.D. 72 January 30, 2008 203 June 29, 2009
Inuyasha 636 January 4, 2008 1 June 29, 2009
Kingdom Hearts 75 December 7, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Lois and Clark 32 December 28, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Lord of the Rings 130 December 8, 2007 55 June 29, 2009
Lost 49 August 17, 2007 52 June 29, 2009
My Chemical Romance 2 January 30, 2008 3 June 29, 2009
Naruto 1,843 December 18, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
NCIS 18 October 2, 2007 18 June 29, 2009
One Tree Hill 11 August 19, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Pirates of the Caribbean 231 January 2, 2008 27 June 29, 2009
Robin of Sherwood 0 January 7, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Sailor Moon 92 May 23, 2007 0 June 29, 2009
Scarecrow and Mrs. King 0 January 27, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
Smallville 84 January 11, 2008 107 June 29, 2009
Star Wars 330 December 8, 2007 20 June 29, 2009
Supernatural 220 December 13, 2007 241 June 29, 2009
Thunderbirds 240 July 24, 2008 0 June 29, 2009
X-Men 72 January 2, 2008 13 June 29, 2009
Zelda 11 December 15, 2007 0 June 29, 2009

Just how big is their lack of success? 1 Inuyasha story. 0 Naruto stories. 0 Sailor Moon stories.  0 CSI: Miami stories. 0 Thunderbirds stories.

Why didn’t they take off?  There are probably a lot of reasons.  The biggest is probably because the group that founded this archive were never FanFiction.Net type users to begin with.  (Thus, FanLib was never intended for them.)  Switching from blogging software to archiving software was probably a cultural struggle that they weren’t motivated to do because the new archive didn’t have readers and would have distanced them from existing power structures in fandom that they value.  (FanFiction.Net  certainly has a power structure, popular people, ways to propell your status on the site and in fandom.  It just is probably less obvious to outsiders.)  At the same time, the creators failed to market the site.  There was no massive outreach to FanFiction.Net users, to former FanLibbers, to Quizilla users, to LiveJournal users, to AdultFanFiction.Net users. (And when they do market it, it looks like they are trying to use wank to generate traffic.  Just look at their warnings we has! announcement on metafandom.)  As a result, their major pool of authors was severely limited.  The last reason why it looks like they fail to succeed as much as FanLib is they don’t appear to believe in their own product.  People aren’t doing fake LJ cuts to it.  They aren’t delicious bookmarking it on any scale.  They just don’t appear to want to make the time commitment to make it THE next FanFiction.Net.

What’s hot on Fan History for June 14 to June 20, 2009

June 21st, 2009

More Fan History traffic information and looking at what is popular. This edition includes our most popular traffic sources outside search, our most popular articles and our most popular keyword based searches for the week of June 14 to June 20, 2009.

Most popular articles
11,909 pages were viewed a total of 43,428 times

  1. Draco/Hermione – 785 times
  2. Cassandra Claire – 359 times
  3. Race Fail 2009 – 338 times
  4. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive – 329 times
  5. Russet Noon – 233 times
  6. AdultFanFiction.Net – 228 times
  7. Naruto – 200 times
  8. FanFiction.Net – 195 times
  9. Hurt/Comfort – 194 times
  10. Digimon – 175 times
  11. Laura – 144 times

Our most popular pages mostly had fewer views this month. Some of this is probably because we had 600 fewer article views this past week.

Top non-search referrers
Referring sites sent 2,435 visits via 337 sources

  1. animenewsnetwork.com – 301 visits
  2. chickipedia.com – 233 visits
  3. community.livejournal.com – 147 visits
  4. journalfen.net – 126 visits
  5. fanfiction.net – 96 visits
  6. twitter.com – 84 visits
  7. partly-bouncy.livejournal.com – 80 visits
  8. fanpop.com – 78 visits
  9. tvtropes.org – 63 visits
  10. deviantart.com – 47 visits

200 fewer visits this past week from referrers. A lot of this can be attributed to getting less traffic related from fandom_wank. There were a few sources that moved up or down. There was only one site that dropped off and one new one appearing.

Search key phrases
Search sent 11,657 total visits via 8,264 keywords

  1. emo porn – 87 visits
  2. galbadia hotel – 66 visits
  3. naruto wiki – 59 visits
  4. restricted section – 47 visits
  5. adult fanfiction – 46 visits
  6. gosselins without pity – 46 visits
  7. adultfanfiction – 39 visits
  8. draco hermione – 38 visits
  9. sakura lemon – 36 visits
  10. fanhistory – 34 visits

Our search traffic was a bit down this past week. This was by about 400 visits and 300 key phrases. Some terms moved up and other terms moved down.

Oldie but still interesting… Supernatural: Does fandom activity correlate to the release of canon?

June 20th, 2009

I wrote this back in 2006.  If I was doing it again, I would change a great many things about the methodology involved.  Still, feels interesting so I’m reposting it on Fan History’s blog for the sake of posterity.


Begin original post

I had one of those la la la, I so smart and funny moments. I wanted to play with numbers again to avoid things which I should be doing. The hypothesis was that posting volume, community creation and other fannish activity correlated with the release of canon.

Story totals were added by hand based on date PUBLISHED, not last updated. The little table at the bottom is how the totals correlate with total new episodes per month in the USA + DVD releases. (I wish I had Australian, British and Canadian totals. I could not find that info.) No strong correlations there.

I divided the mailing list by 1000 just so it make the visual easier in chart format.

Conclusion: I so wrong. Whoops. No strong correlations anywhere. Not what I thought. It was what the people I other wise bugged and annoyed on AIM thought. It does help to explain the idea though possibly why fandoms continue long after the show goes off the air… because no correlation between airing of stuff and fan activity.

Or simpler: Fandom = Random.

And while at it, Fan History article on Supernatural. Please feel free to edit, add information about the fandom. Charts are cross posted there too.

LiveJournal’s User Advisory Board

June 15th, 2009

I’ve nominated myself for the LiveJournal User Advisory Board. I need 300 nomination support votes to get on the ballot. Please help. LiveJournal’s directions for doing that are:

To support a nominee’s candidacy, you should comment to their nomination entry stating “I support this nomination” or something substantially similar. You may support multiple candidates’ nominations. Nominees need 300 motions of support in order to be invited to be a candidate in the election. Candidates are asked to assist by only unscreening those comments that express this motion of support, and election moderators will help with that process.

Thanks for your support and any help you can provide in getting me on the ballot.

What was hot on Fan History for the week of June 7 to June 13, 2009

June 15th, 2009

It’s another week and I’m in the mood for another post about what’s popular on Fan History. This edition includes our most popular traffic sources outside search, our most popular articles and our most popular keyword based searches for the week of June 7 to June 13, 2009.

Most popular articles
11,848 pages were viewed a total of 44,012 times

  1. Draco/Hermione – 920 times
  2. Cassandra Claire – 551 times
  3. Race Fail 2009 – 423 times
  4. Torchsong Chicago – 383 times
  5. Sakura Lemon Fan-Fiction Archive – 323 times
  6. AdultFanFiction.Net – 282 times
  7. Digimon – 226 times
  8. Hurt/comfort – 225 times
  9. Naruto – 225 times
  10. Twilight – 216 times

Coming in Number 11 is Russet Noon with 206 and FanFiction.Net with 204.

Top non-search referrers
Referring sites sent 2,620 visits via 361 sources

  1. journalfen.net – blog entry about conventions is where the traffic was from – 298 visits
  2. animenewsnetwork.com – 287 visits
  3. chickipedia.com – 232 visits
  4. community.livejournal.com – 179 visits
  5. twitter.com – 83 visits
  6. twilighted.net – 81 visits
  7. fanfiction.net – 79 visits
  8. deviantart.com – 67 visits
  9. tvtropes.org – 61 visits
  10. fanpop.com – 57 visits

Coming in at referer rank 77 was russet-noon.com with 4 visits.

Search key phrases
Search sent 12,029 total visits via 8,537 keywords

  1. naruto wiki – 64 visits
  2. adultfanfiction – 60 visits
  3. galbadia hotel – 53 visits
  4. restricted section – 50 visits
  5. adult fanfiction – 49 visits
  6. cassandra claire – 44 visits
  7. emo porn – 43 visits
  8. fan history – 35 visits
  9. cassandra clare – 34 visits
  10. gosselins without pity – 33 visits

Coming in at the 40th most popular keyword search with 17 visits was russet noon.

Fan History referrer patterns revisited

June 12th, 2009

I was looking through old blog entries and saw Fan History referrer patterns with data from 2008. Since then, we’ve done some work to increase our traffic. We’ve succeeded in increasing the number of visitors to the wiki. We’ve got some new referrers. So time for a compare and contrast. Where have we improved from September 2008 to May 2009? These numbers are based on daily average visits from that referrer.

Sep-08    May-09    Increase
Google                   852          1,427.6    575.6
Yahoo                     144          187.7        43.7
LiveJournal             54            42.8        -11.2
NarutoFic.Org        16            0.0          -16.0
Wikipedia               14           9.2           -4.8
Ask                         11            5.2          -5.8
AnimeNewsNetwork    8        33.0         25.0
Wikia                       8              6.3         -1.7
AOL                          7            13.6          6.6
FanFiction.Net 6             9.1          3.1
MSN                       4               10.8        6.8
FanPop                   3              5.7           2.7
DeviantArt              3             0.6          -2.4
TVTropes                2             6.1            4.1
EncyclopediaDramatica    2    0.7          -1.3
Altavista                   2             1.5        -0.5
FaceBook                  1            2.4         1.4
hogwartsnet.ru    1               2.0            1.0
Total Daily               1,138    1,764.3    626.3

We’ve really increased our Google traffic. This was done by increasing our overall link diversity.  It is why we can take a hit with LiveJournal traffic, EncyclopediaDramatica traffic, DeviantART traffic and Wikipedia traffic and see an increase in our overall traffic.  What you aren’t seeing is our increase in traffic from places like Chickipedia, Twitter, answers.yahoo.com, wiki.fandomwank.com, ident.ca and jumptags.

Same advice as I had in October:If you’re running your own fansite or you have no money to promote your site, our suggestion is to spread yourself out some and focus on all aspects: Link building, quality content creation, quantity content creation, back end SEO optimization.

Top referrers for the first week of June: Fan History Wiki

June 8th, 2009

It’s been a while since we looked at our referrers so here is a list of our top referrers for the period between June 1, 2009 and June 6, 2009. There are a few more referrers not on this list that provided less traffic. These are just our major ones.

Referrer Visits
livejournal.com

302

animenewsnetwork.com

213

chickipedia.com

211

bing

125

journalfen

121

twitter

73

fanfiction.net

67

tvtropes.org

54

deviantart

51

wikipedia

45

fanpop

38

wikia

30

inuyasha-fanfiction.com

28

jumptags.com

25

answers.yahoo.com

18

boards.endoftheinter.net

16

hogwartsnet.ru

15

imdb.com

11

therethere.net

10

wiki.fandomwank.com

10

dearauthor.com

9

savekp.proboards.com

9

cassandraclaire.com

8

encyclopediadramatica.com

8

i-newswire.com

8

identi.ca

8

russet-noon.com

7

wishluv.blogspot.com

7

insanejournal

2

answers.com

1

cwanswers.com

1

There are sites that don’t appear there where we’ve done a fair amount of link building including Mahalo. If you’re looking at them for link building and getting referrers? It probably isn’t worth the time. orkut, bebo, Quizilla, MySpace, Facebook aren’t on there.  We haven’t really done any link building on those sites.  We do have a fair amount of links on FriendFeed but as we are not actively engaged on there, we just don’t get traffic as a result.  Our Yahoo!Answers traffic are from past questions we’ve answered: We’re still getting traffic from them months later.  DeviantART links are all organic and weren’t us engaged in link building activities.

Top articles on Fan History for May 2009

June 1st, 2009

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

Articles

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

Fandoms

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

Ships

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

Kerfluffles

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

Fans

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

Fan Fiction Archives and Blogging Services

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

WisCon: Something Wrong on the Internet

May 24th, 2009

This is the panel on Something Wrong on the Internet. It is hosted by Liz Henry, Piglet, Julia Sparkymonster, Vito Excalibur. Panelists agreed to talk over each other.

(Reporting this as an audience member and reporting on what other says.)

Why harsh on people’s squee? This thing starts off on race!fail references and just kept going. “Really. It is just the Internet.” That it is discarded because we have these conversations in real life, at places like conventions. Internet can be a better place to have some conversations because you can walk away. And you can decide how much time you want to spend on it. Walking away is good because you can think and reflect better.

Some Internet conversations have offline components.

Piglet says she has learned a lot from online conversations. She has learned that she doesn’t hate her body because of these conversations. Don’t be discouraged.

Other people talked. Sometimes, it takes time to learn things. It might take three years before they get the point you made. They might not understand why you freaked them out at the time.

Panel had a hard time with internet conversations that changed their mind. (Then some one came up with that they learned about mock Spanish and changed their mind. )

One did say they learned how ignorant they are on some topics. Sometimes, that can be extremely helpful to learn.

Personal connections can help make learning easier when people are mean to you.

PoC hive mind does not exist. This was something that some one learned.

People learned how to respond when some one accused them of being racist or classist.

Panel discussed Heidipologies. Good example:”I am so sorry people are so hard to trust. I am sorry people are being so mean to me.”

Ruby!Fail is a guy who does porn slides at a tech conference and made people uncomfortable. Pearl Guy did the same thing but he made a good apology. He didn’t repeat. Ruby on rails people said “We need more porn in our slides.” They didn’t get why women were offended at comparisons to porn.

When you fuck up? Online, not comment immediately. Wait a while. Tell people you need to take a moment, stop commenting and formulating a way to response. Locked posts on LiveJournal are key to being an ass hole. Sit with discomfort and try to figure out what you did wrong. Then apologize and mean it, even if you didn’t get it. Don’t say you didn’t get it.

What happens if you do it wrong? Is there a pathway for apologizing? You can give them shit. You don’t need to accept their apology. It is okay. It depends on how people react when you do wrong. You need to shut up. Or you need to explain it and be done with it.

If you never shut up about things, then you will continue to be mobbed.

Can you participate in online drama if you don’t have time to dedicated to it? Answer is yes. You can digest chunks of it. You can toss in comments a few weeks or months after the fact because the Internet is asynchronous. You can also follow by tracking one or two bloggers who follow that subject.

When all your Internet friends are participating, you should participate in the conversation.

Internet Drama is, according to Liz Henry, a form of the news. Twitter is a good place to keep track of some drama online.

Failblog.com is already purchased.

What are the main dramas? (Reference to great blow job wars of 2005 in the feminist blogosphere.) Conversation around that question got derailed.

You have to know the right people in order to know what is going on online. Overlapping but non-identical spheres mean that you can totally miss things like Race!Fail. (And if you don’t know about some of this drama, people would explode.)

JournalFen, Fandom_Wank, Link_Spam on Dreamwidth, metafandom on LiveJournal can help you keep track of fandom drama online.

Asking people before going to a convention what is going is important so you can be prepared for events like WisCon.

Following Coffeeandink is good because you can follow the drama that is going on.

Recent Drama: WisCon picture posting with Rachel Moss was big. Rachel Moss and the_ferret both chances to talk about their experiences with the fail.

A feminist author said don’t talk about some one with out telling them that you’re going to talk about them. Ask them if they want to participate in the conversation. The act of doing that can help change your perspective.

Fail can keep you honest.

Then conversation back to listing recent fail.

Race Fail!

Mammoth!Fail.

Seal Press!Fail.

Seal Press involved publishing feminist bloggers. The publishing house then jumped the shark with their illustrations for the book. They had illustrations like spear chucking African women who were bad. The hero to save them was a white amazonian type female. The press was told all about this and how it was offensive. They didn’t change their behavior or modify their behavior. The press accused people of being jealous of her writing, her awesomeness and her having a book published. It was when she got defensive and whined about it that made the situation and made the whole thing explode a lot worse.

Another time, Seal Press told some black author that the book needed more white people. The publisher trolled comments to explain them.

Another awesome fail was digital colonialism.

Some one asked why white women would read anything about black women?

Seal Press has acted like a jerk face, claimed they were okay because they had a black employee.

Seal Press was weird because she could be an ally in many ways but disappointed people because she wasn’t.

How do you interact with people who fail in some ways? As a feminist, you should probably try to keep those allies, keep those connections even though it is hard. It can take a few months sometimes to get past though hard moments of fail.

How do you handle when say your Guest of Honor does major fail two weeks before the convention? Question from the audience. Conversation then got derailed.

Liz Henry wanted spontaneous panel for mammoth fail.

OSC was invited to a con. Orson Scott Card had done homophobic rants. People were upset. The ConCom realized they could not pull back his invitation. ConCom invited people to discuss it with them. ConCom had some one follow Orson Scott Card around so they could make sure he did not vomit homophobic comments at people. ConCom has to address it in some way. It should be dependent on the ConCom. (The bar is set that anything is better than say “People are over reacting.” It is pretty low.)

In many online conversations, only people who show up are ones that agree with you. This can be a huge thing to overcome. There are ways to do that if you can say find people who can respectfully engage.

Will Shetterly was mentioned. Will Shetterly’s name has an asterick. A panelist do not think that they could have a respectful conversation with him.

One panelist said that if they talk to you in non-macros, it means they think that they can actually engage with the person.

Part of the joy of internet drama is making macros and funny LiveJournal icons. Also great? Bingo cards.

Humor can be really important in defusing some of the major drama.

What do you do when you know and love some one who ends up being a major giant ass hole online? This is the part where one person hates principles and having them. It is really hard to handle that. Sometimes you can call them out. Sometimes you can’t. If doing it, reaffirm that you are still friends, that you respect them and that you are doing that as an act of love because you think they can handle being called out. (and people should be able to take that out. But more often than not, they can’t.)

How does it feel like being the actual target? Total strangers misunderstanding what you did is annoying. Calling out perfect strangers is the spirit of the Internet. How you do that though should be different than people you know.

Hint of a fail is when a person says “There is a mob after me!” Flail is different.

Audrey Lord discusses reuses of anger. People have strong reactions to people being angry.

You catch more flies with honey but who wants flies? Sometimes, there is no way to respond in a way that will make people happy. Even no matter how nice you are. Some people will just respond one way based on their perspective.

Is the goal that some people have zero fail? Are people afraid of fucking up? Do they remain silent for that reason? Do people hope for a fail less universe? If that is true, then it means that no hard discussions are happening. There is less of an opportunity to learn.

You see a gigantic fail happening. You sit on your hands and not post on it. Then you start thinking that yeah. Panelist said that you should ignore guilt. People don’t care. A panelist said that the questioner said that posting about your own ignorance and explain things and linking is just as supportive as many other things.

How not to burn out? This is an issue deepad has had. People are beginning to have conversations in protected spaces as a result.

Burn out happens in all progressive communities. (and with ConComs.) Link dropping can be a way to avoid burn out. You can just find some one else talking about a topic and then point people there. It gets the point across and you don’t have to have the investment.

Shetterly has given his friends an Internet safeword so that people can tell him to back off. That way he won’t be on top of it in an unhealthy way.

You, as an individual, need to be responsible for yourself. Learn when to back off and help your friends by telling them when you are afraid they are going to burn out. Make sure you have people at your back so that it is less stressful and you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Being angry in chat with a safe group is a good way of being safe.

Documenting things can be difficult. How do you document issues that can be contentious. Neutrality is hard. How you document can effect the community that you’re documenting. (No one looks at SF Feminist wiki except Kathryn Kramer.) It can be a challenge. No solution for how to deal with that other than figuring out as you go.

Being the lone voice in the wilderness can be challenging. sometimes, you just need to take a break. But sometimes you can’t take a break because of your job. Then you need a small break, flip out in a corner and then go back. Be aware of the costs. Know stuff that has already happened, talked to survivors. Figure out coping strategies. A good strategy is to bring in a posse but don’t lead them on about why you are inviting them. Warn your posse about the situation, explain that you are swarming and explain to the organizers that you need diversity which is why you are bringing people.

The lurkers will support you.

Understand that you are in it for the long haul when you are the only voice. Don’t think short term.

People get attacked for bringing in people to back them up. Bringing in a posse is different. What you’re just doing is bringing in other people who can provide their own perspectives and to see if the person really had a point or if you are wrong.

One ass hole theory of systems means that you need at least one ass holes so that you can direct shit in the way it needs to go. The point of the ass hole can be to show people what not to do. Deployment of where you put your ass holes can be important. Not at the top as it all reins down.

Suck it and deal with it ARE valid responses. (Course people don’t need to tell you to suck it because the universe will tell you to suck it all on its own.) It is better to have a discussion on why a person needs to suck it.

Having allies who disagree is good because you’re not all minions.

Fear is good.

Lots of articles about this drama in a book sold in the Dealer’s room.

Digital Colonialism. Some guest PoCs and women can be a form of colonialism as they are just co-opted and used. That was an argument in a fail. People were not referred to. They were not informed that this was coming when the blog post was made. They would not stop when told they were being offensive.

Moderate your comments can avoid fail. If Elizbaeth Bear had done that, none of this would have happened.

WisCon panel on self promotion for science fiction authors

May 24th, 2009

At WisCon panel on self promotion for science fiction author. The presenters include Madge Miller, Marrianne Kirby, Catherine Lundoff and Nayad M. They are either professionals in marketing or are published authors.

Advice they have given includes:

Do not rely on a publicist to do it. They work best when you help them with their job.

Self promote with a buddy. It makes you feel less self conscious.

Readings are not necessarily time wise. It might be better to try to do readings with other authors. It can help draw a bigger crowd.

Doing conventions can help make you a more recognizable name.

No one thing is the magic bullet. You need more solutions.

Don’t try to do so much self promotion at once. It can burn you out, especially if you don’t see results. Try to focus on one project at once. That is what professionals do.

Check out who has expertise in promoting. Get advice from them. Use your community to find good ways to promote.

Realistically, most science fiction authors are not going to get a publicist. Think about how you would present yourself at a job interview. Treat things like readings and panels as if they were that. This includes not showing up drunk to your panels. (People do it.) Don’t hog conversations.

Make an effort to fake an interest in other people’s work. Otherwise, you come across as being me me me and can be a turn off. You don’t get the personal connections that way. Personal connections really can help sell the book as those people may go out and tell people how fantastic you are.

If you can pair a book reading with a non-profit event, it can help generate additional interest and help sell the book. It generates good will.

You should almost put on a writer professional cap at conventions. You need to portray almost a different version, almost like acting but more like projecting yourself. This way you can get attention.

Women in American culture get told that self promotion is tacky and icky and they should not do. Women need to get over that. If you put on a professional hat, it becomes easier to self promote.

If you are going to do a reading for the first time, practice with people you like and respect. They can give you good feedback. Start out with something structured to help overcome your own fears. Ask your friends to tell you when you commit your own weakness like stumbling over words, rambling, etc. Non-professionals can give you feedback if you are being boring. Also think about timing of your reading. More than 35 minutes makes keeping your audience hard. Think about breaking up longer readings into parts. Practice your timing. Know when you can stop, look up at the audience and where to pace yourself.

Consider wearing makeup so that you look brighter than life and larger, to enhance your stage presence.

What are bad ideas?

People who do book forts at panels at conventions can be a problem. It is better to be graceful and just flash the book. It is a bit selfish to promote the book the whole time. (Though this may be depend on the panel and why you are on the panel. If you are on a panel because of that book, it can be different. A book fort may be overkill but a single book might not be that bad.)

Many people who feel insecure put others down. They try to stand on the bodies of other authors by putting them down in order to self promote. This can hurt you. It is better to be nice.

Don’t give a speech if you’re on a panel. Moderators should direct traffic and have questions to help steer questions. They should not read four pages of notes.

Advice for people starting out to increase chances of success?

At conventions, sign up for panels you are interested in. The more practice that you get, the more comfortable you will be when you become published.

Online presence is importance. You need a website. Determine where you want your name out. Have a blog. Look at what other writers are blogging about to get ideas for what to write about.

Realize that it takes a long time to build an audience. A year out is a good idea is when to start building. You have a chance to build conversations, to let people know you have a book coming out. Ask people questions. Always be authentic online and in person. Be authentic to who you really are.

Talk about things that you are interested means like minded people as they will likely like your fiction.

Working on a blog, creating a community, talking to reporters as a form of self promotional activity can help you get a book deal. Why? Because you get to make good connections who can help you accomplish your goals. It isn’t necessarily fair that we respond to the people we know but it does help getting published in the first place.

It is never to early to get online. You should get yourself associated with things that involve your audience.

Twitter, FaceBook, LiveJournal, GoodReads are all ways to interact online.

Twitter. Authors can tweet. Read up on the etiquette of tweeting before you start. If you do the wrong thing, people will snicker. Twitter is very real time. If you are going to be on it, you need to really commit to it. Follow people and respond to him. Personal details can really help connect you to your audience.

Twitter can go horribly wrong. Updating shop listings every time you do that can be a pain. Don’t over do the URL plugging. Twitter is an online service that allows you to send 140 characters. Twitter started off as phone but now is on the web. You should ReTweet interesting comments by people you follow. Be good to others who might be able to be good to you. ReTweets asking can get info out to a large audience that say your book is coming out.

You can actually talk to people on Twitter and make connections with people you might not otherwise make. Doing this may result in getting a follow back. Be authentic. Don’t become an annoying fan.

Anti-Twitter panelist prefers to blog. She finds it annoying. The information is not useful to her. Who cares that you walked your dog? Not enough info there to want to follow up on. It is a stylistic personal preference. Digest of Tweets on LiveJournal is annoying. If they didn’t follow you on Twitter, why would they want it in another medium?

Cross posting to Twitter and FaceBook can be annoying. There are different rules and etiquette. FaceBook tends to be less cluttered.

FaceBook is kind of nice as a networking tool. It isn’t necessarily great for blogging on because audience attention isn’t high. If blogging, post it elsewhere.

On a self promotional level, finding these services annoying is irrelevant. It is about trying to reach people in the most beneficial and effective towards meeting your goals. If your audience on FaceBook is helpful, then you might want to update there even if you are not comfortable. Find where you can compromise to self promote. This is what is comes down to. The tool is about getting results, not your personal feelings.

Consensus is that you really, really need to have a blog. Try to develop a readership. Mix up the content to help develop a broader readership: Personal life, professional life, writing life. Good to have blog attached to your website. Why? It helps with Google ranking. It means you can keep adding fresh content to your website. Twitter feed can help keep your content fresh.

If you are not going to engage authentically, then don’t.

One of the highest read blogs was that of a chinese erotic model who updated regularly. Try to update once a day to maintain the audience if you want to develop a huge audience. If you don’t want to blog, consider doing message from the author. Dead blogs are a turn off to the audience. People will drop you from their feeds.

Blogging is a big time commitment. When you’re doing fiction, you may not have the same correlation with blog success. You need to find balance. You need to find what works for your life. Penelope Trunk gives good advice on how to blog effectively. Though Penelope is extremely controversial so take it with a grain of salt.

Race Fail 2009/Mammoth Fail 2009

May 19th, 2009

We’ve largely been watching Race Fail and Mammoth Fail from the sidelines, trying to document what is going on and provide a good resource for people who want information about the topic in as neutrally as possible. We’ve occasionally been checking our search referrer keywords to know where to focus on adding links and out of curiosity as to what people interested in the situation were really interested in. We were intrigued and thought that our blog readers might be too. The chart below includes keyterms related to Race Fail and Mammoth Fail for the period between April 19 and May 18, 2009.

Things that kind of surprised me:

  • People were looking for information on Cassandra Claire‘s involvement in race fail. (I don’t think she’s participated.)
  • Interest is still high regarding Elizabeth Bear’s involvement in race fail, despite the precipitating event being several months old.
  • Interest is not higher in regards to Patricia Wrede and Lois McMaster Bujold.
  • People are still interested in Will Shetterly‘s involvement in race fail.
  • There is interest in finding out more about a boycott of Tor as a result race fail.
  • People don’t seem as interested in what members of the fan community like vee-ecks are saying so much as they are about the professional authors.
  • An interesting small fandom success story

    May 16th, 2009

    Riptide has long been one of my favorite “forgotten” television series and orphan fandoms. It was a fun show lost somewhat under the shadow of The A-Team when it first aired, and eventually killed in the ratings by the hit competition series, Moonlighting. There was a small amount of fiction written for the series in fanzines, but not a great deal (and mostly hurt/comfort), and the fandom seemed to really disappear off the radar in the past decade.

    So imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled onto pier56, a LiveJournal community for the show created last year. I joined it, thinking at first it would probably be like most comms I’ve belonged to for obscure fandoms: sadly mostly dead, with perhaps one or two postings a month–and maybe one or two decent stories to read in a year.

    Well, to my continued surprise and delight, the comm seems to be thriving! New fiction is posted just about daily (and not just by one person). There is active discussion about the series, the characters, the setting, and other information related to the show. It’s a thriving little community for a series which has been off the air for over twenty years, and seems to have come back out of nowhere. Which of course, has left me wondering, so how did they do that?

    It seems the answer lies in a combination of factors. For one, the series has been out on dvd for a few years now–unlike some of my other obscure loves like Brimstone which never has been so lucky to find an official release and therefore is limited in how easily new fans can be introduced to the show. I’ve also been told that one of the community moderators took an active lead in promoting the community–not just through the typical techniques of spamming other livejournal communities and posting banners around, but taking advantage of livejournal’s “interests” feature, and going forth to individually contact people who listed “Riptide” as an interest. The moderator also put time in writing up guides for the show for communities such as ship_manifesto, and has welcomed not just slash fans but writers and readers of other genres of fiction to the community.

    All that said, there still has to be some magical “it” factor at work here, and it’s something I’ve long pondered over after being frustrated that so many fandoms I’ve loved and felt should have gotten bigger and more love never did so. Is it just a case of “Riptide” being a right fandom at the right time for a particular audience of fans? The right person taking up the charge to promote a fandom successfully? Will the community be able to maintain this level of activity for an extended period of time, or will it begin to flounder if the core active people lose interest or drift away? I’ll be curious to see what happens. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of stories to catch up on reading!

    Dreamwidth Studios growth

    May 13th, 2009

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

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

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

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

    Dreamwidth Studios Historical Data

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


    From the keyword vault… 2

    May 7th, 2009

    I really loved doing the last post. We got a few more visits with interesting keywords to our blog.  (The wiki is much better optimized.  We get few hits based on these sort of keywords.)

    what to do after wank

    When I first read these, I thought that these were related to wank, the fannish term.  I had a mental block and didn’t realize that people were visiting the blog looking for masturbation advice.

    Given that, on with the question! If we are talking actual masturbation, when you’re done, you clean yourself up.  Then, if you like Fan History, you visit pages like fandom_wank and slash.  If you’re talking about wanking of the fandom sort, when you’re done, you take a fandom break for a couple of days.  wanking is frequently high stress.  When you’re done, you need time to think, to cool down to re-evaluate, to assess what steps you need to take after that to protect yourself in fandom.

    neil patrick harris icons livejournal

    We’ve got information about a couple of Neil Patrick Harris LiveJournal communities.  We don’t have any icons on the wiki.  You could probably upload a few if you wanted to illustrate information relevant articles.  You’re probably better off searching on LiveJournal for that, rather than using Google.

    dreamwidth greatestjournal

    Dreamwidth Studios and GreatestJournal have nothing to do with each other, other than both having core fandom audiences, being run by one or two volunteers, being run with the intention of living off the money earned from the sites and using modified versions of LiveJournal’s open source code.    The people who run it are not the same.  They have different cultures.  GreatestJournal was populated early by role players.  Dreamwidth Studios was populated by metafans.

    wanking race

    Seriously?  Do people actually have races where two or three people get together to see who can get it off first?  I don’t have advice for that.  I haven’t seen any sort of race to wank to make fandom_wank or metafandom.  If people know of any bets to see who could make one or the other in a wankfest, let me know as it would be enlightening and educational.

    livejournal stats

    If you’re looking for LiveJournal statistics, check out LiveJournal community size.  Sadly, these numbers haven’t been updated in a while because of a problem with our bot but there are three month months worth of data that still make it useful and interesting.

    There are a couple more that I really would like to do.  They require a bit more extensive answers like “why twilight is so big?” and “how do you communicate if service users are upset” so I’m putting that off for a bit.

    From the keyword vault…

    May 6th, 2009

    Sometimes, we get some interesting keyword searches on out blog that look like people need answers that we haven’t answered.  In that spirit, I’m going to address some of those.

    what rating did the fans give the twilight movie and why

    Ratings can best be found on Yahoo!Movies and on IMDB. Yahoo!Movies fans really liked the movie more than IMDB users. If there was a large amount of wank about the movie being awful, it never hit the radar of the people contributing to our Twilight article.

    nicole p. and bonnaroo / nicole p. 104.5 / 104.5 bonnaroo contest

    Looking for info on Nicole P?  And why she’s been getting votes in that contest?  That’s because we’ve been heavily plugging it in several places, including Fan History’s main page.   Go vote please.  We would really love for her to be able to go so she could report on music fandom for Fan History. :D

    star trek fan total members

    How many members are there  in the Star Trek fandom?  I can’t really answer that easily.   There are at least 5,500 fans on LiveJournal.  We can guess that there are over 3,000 on FanFiction.Net for Star Trek in its various forms.  We know there are at least 45 on InsaneJournal.  We also know there at least 43 on JournalFen.   There are probably other places to get numbers but those are the ones we have on the wiki.

    the most obscure fandom ever

    What is the most obscure fandom ever?  That’s almost impossible to answer.  There are a huge number of small fandoms with very few fan communities.  Some of them could be really old, with very little that got translated online.  A good example probably includes Road to Morocco.  You also can have local sports team for sports that don’t have big international audiences.  An example of that includes the Storhamar Dragons based out of Norway.  Most people probably haven’t heard of them.   So in this case, we really need the term obscure better defined.

    fanfiction net – meme’s stargate

    I don’t have a clue.   It might appear in our Stargate article, but skimming it?  I’m not seeing an answer.  Some one please educate me!

    trace the ip address who visited my community on orkut

    I’ve got nothing.  If you can put images in your profile or community, I highly suggest getting a paid account and using LJToys.  I just don’t know orkut well enough to provide better information.

    anime fan art history

    A history of fanart can be found on Fan History’s fanart article.  It really needs more work, and only generally touches on anime so the anime article might be a better source.

    can wanking be beneficial to growth

    We talked about this a lot in this blog entry about generating positive metrics.  Wanking can help provide short term traffic spikes but don’t provide long term traffic stability unless you can do that again and again and again on a consistent basis.  Depending on your content?  That may not be desirable.

    So ends this edition of “From the keyword vault…”  I kind of liked writing this so I may do another edition soon.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation of fans?

    May 6th, 2009

    The summer movie season is about to start with one of the most anticipated releases in scifi fandom in some time: the new Star Trek movie. Trek fandom has been abuzz about it for some time, although the anticipation has been mixed with some anxiety: will the film do The Original Series and its beloved characters justice? Will it sacrifice the heart of Trek for big Hollywood pizazz?

    A more critical question, in my opinion, and one I have heard echoed in some Trek fandom circles, is whether the film can do anything to revive what is, in many ways, a dying fandom. It has been several years since the last Trek series, Enterprise was on the air–a series which in and of itself had alientated many longtime Trek fans and had did little to keep interest strong in the franchise. Trek conventions are few and far between these days, with few (save Shore Leave and Farpoint) except the massive Creation Cons still being held. With the exception of a few still-strong shipping and slash communities, notably Kirk/Spock, fanworks production is greatly diminished.

    That said, there does seem to be some steady growth in Trek livejournal community activity in recent months–perhaps due to the movie? The presence of popular Heroes actor Zachary Quinto as Spock may do well to bring in some crossover fans. But the long-term impact on the fandom will take some time to see.

    I will be curious to see what the buzz about the film is at this year’s MediaWest, which will be taking place at the end of this month.

    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.  http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/CSI 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.  http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Mpreg 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.

    Can LadySybilla and Russet Noon hang on long enough to change fandom?

    April 20th, 2009

    I’ve been following the Russet Noon situation with a lot of interest; it’s like the Star Wars book situation meets RDR that’s been crossed with a Harry Potter Lexicon with a bit of CounsinJean mixed in.

    I’m really curious how this will turn out. The author of Russet Noon, LadySybilla, has done herself no favors in some regards by using Wikipedia for self promotion, engaging in alleged socketpuppeting and alleged  trying to sell the books behind the scenes to bloggers. This falls pretty much into the realms of what happened to CousinJean and the Star Wars writer. Their actions might have fallen into a legal “gray zone”, but fandom pressure came to bear and both were punished so much by fandom that they largely left the fandom field of battle before they could get sued.

    So far in this case, it doesn’t look like LadySybilla has been threatened with legal action. Why? I’m not certain. She might have been and we might not have heard about it. Or the intellectual property owners could be hoping that fandom makes the situation go away, like they did with the CousinJean and the Star Wars book. Or, the intellectual property holders could be scared of LadySybilla having lawyers, like Steve Van der Ark and RDR had at the Harry Potter Lexicon. The last one is the big worry potentially because if LadySybilla has lawyers and is willing to go to court, she could win and then things could become really difficult for the entertainment industry.

    If LadySybilla isn’t pushed to take her book off the market by fandom and if she isn’t sue, she could open fandom’s pandora box. The conventional wisdom is that the Twilight fandom is feral where people aren’t grounded in media fandom’s historical traditions. If they see that some one can get away with this, they might be willing to try to do similar. The flood gates might swing wide open with this and fandom could very well change in unexpected ways.

    So I’m taking the wait and see approach because this is all fascinating to watch play out and think of what might be if LadySybilla can deal with fandom pressure long enough to get her story published.

    If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t go where the spoilers might be!

    April 14th, 2009

    I love E. She is one of my favorite people in the wiki world. I can lean on her when I need support and need advice. I can get her advice when I need a sounding board on wiki policy. I also know that when she and I are in a chatroom together on Sunday night when Celebrity Apprentice is on? I need to ignore the room because I could be spoiled. She loves the show. She chats about it. I don’t like spoilers and I’m not about to rain on E’s right to squee in a room that allows it by telling her to shut it. It just feels like it would be really, really rude and selfish of me.

    I also dislike being spoiled for Amazing Race, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars and Hell’s Kitchen. I know that if I want to be spoiled, I need to avoid places like Twitter when the show is airing. I need to not read my BuddyTV e-mails that do recaps. When they are promoing on The Today Show, I need to turn off the television. If The View is live the day after, I need to be really careful or make sure I watch before hand as some hosts talk about what happened the night before. I can’t read things like friendsfriends on LiveJournal. The potential for spoilers are everywhere and I need to make sure I catch my show as quickly as possible and be diligent in my effort to avoid spoilers.

    If I fail, if I get spoiled, unless I’m in a place that expressly prohibits spoilers and some ass hole posts them anyway, I’m responsible. I put myself in a situation where I could be spoiled. I went some place where I knew there was a potential for getting spoiled and that happened. I’m to blame. There is no one else to blame but me. Me me me me. That’s me. Who is responsible if I go some place where there might be spoilers and I get spoiled? Me!

    If you don’t want to be exposed to spoilers, don’t go where there might be spoilers. If you get exposed to them because you didn’t take proper precautions, blame yourself. Don’t blame others for your negligence. Don’t set a mob after the person who spoiled you because you weren’t responsible.  Don’t wreck some one else’s fandom life because you intentionally exposed yourself to spoilers. Don’t be a total ass hole and not take responsibility for your own actions. How hard of a concept is this to understand that I have to explain it?

    Now, I’m off to finish watching The Biggest Loser so I can read my BuddyTV e-mails tomorrow with out getting spoiled.

    It’s the next big thing! Or, maybe not.

    April 14th, 2009

    Last night I remembered to actually check in on my InsaneJournal account, for the first time in quite a few months.

    I remember when, in the panic and frenzy of Strikethrough and Boldthrough, it seemed as though everyone was talking about how they’d be “leaving LiveJournal for good!”–yet very few, at least from my personal friends list, actually really followed through on that threat. One or two moved completely to JournalFen, which was cool, as I always check my JF friendslist daily because of certain communities and groups there like Fandom Wank and lol_meme that are highly active and have no equivalent elsewhere. A couple others moved to InsaneJournal, though, where at least in my corner of fandom no communities really took off that “required” my following with any regularity. I found reading repeatedly-mirrored posts from some people annoying, so as long as they were still copying all their posts between InsaneJournal and LiveJournal, why keep both on my friendlist? It was easier to just keep following them on LiveJournal. Though I thought about random different uses for my InsaneJournal, I never found the time or real push/need to use it. The #rss feeds I tried to set up on LiveJournal to read the two or three journals of people who’d moved elsewhere didn’t seem to work all that well and were an awkward solution at best. So in the end, I just lost touch with the people who moved entirely to InsaneJournal (though at least in one or two cases, they ended up coming back to LiveJournal after all…) As a separate website/social network, it had nothing compelling to offer me that I didn’t already get primarily on LiveJournal already, where all my non-fandom and wider-ranging-than-media fandom friends had remained.

    So now, here it is some time (almost a year) later, and it seems that everyone is all abuzz about a new journaling site about to start selling accounts, Dreamwidth Studios. At least, everyone in certain corners of media fandom and the metafandom crowd, many of whom are praising the site up to be the best thing since perhaps the beginnings of the internet! And it’s where all the cool kids will be at! No, more than that, it means nothing less than the “parting of ways” of “LJ and fandom”! (Making that assumption, as some often seem to do, that LiveJournal media fandom is the be-all-and-end-all and only part of what constitutes “fandom” that matters.)

    Admittedly, Dreamwidth Studios are making a lot of promises and talking about/implementing features that do give it strong appeal–not just to fandom but to most people who use any of the journaling clone sites. Changing the “friends” feature to differentiate between those you wish to follow and those you wish to grant access to reading your own posts, for one. A promise to operate completely without advertising support. The ability to follow, without needing to use rss, friends on other journaling sites. These are all great ideas and features that make getting an account there very tempting, and I no doubt will purchase the cheapest level account I can to give it a try (and reserve my username, of course.) And yet, the issue remains: if they build it, will people really come? Enough people to create real, active communities? Communities not found or still more active elsewhere?

    A portion of media fandom may begin–and have already have begun–to migrate. But the apparent assumption by some of those moving that all will follow (or at least, all who matter) seems disingenuous, and quite a bit premature. Some people have already been put off by the overwhelming hype being put forth vocally and repeatedly by the site’s most ardent supporters: just like over-”pimping” a specific fandom to the point that some have grown sick of hearing about it before even seeing it or checking it out for themselves. And there is, albeit apparently mistaken, an assumption by some as well that Dreamwidth is part of or associated with the Organization for Transformative Works–which may not be the case, but the fact that some of the most vocal supporters of both groups are the same people has lead to this misconception and turned off some because of their already established negative-or-cautious feelings about OTW. There are those who have wondered if Dreamwidth will suffer from a smalltown mentality, and who worry because the site is apparently run by former members of the LJ Abuse team.

    For me, personally, it just comes down to an issue of where my friends are, and where are the communities I want to participate in. Most of my friends are on LJ, at least my closest friends and the people I share the most interests with currently. I’m not really active in media fandom any longer; my main fandom is music and it took long enough to get some of my music-fandom friends to set up on LJ and find each other there. I can’t see trying to relocate my small communities like xmas_rocks, pinkfloydslash, hungry_4_you–nor having any real urge to do so–when they are just taking root on LiveJournal, and when I’ve seen little indication from members of those communities that they are planning on migrating to DW.

    People who are moving are trying to assure everyone that it’ll still be easy as pie to communicate with them, whatever journaling site you remain based on. But like it or not, whenever you add any new step or barrier to communications–whether it’s having to sign-in via OpenID, or getting a new account, and oh yeah gotta remember that new password too and am I signed in or not and–oh, who cares!–people are going to be lazy and a lot are not going to bother. I’M horribly lazy, and I consider myself reasonably tech savy. But I’m LAZY. So any time you add another step in making me follow you to engage in feedback/conversation/etc, I’m less likely to do so. And I don’t think I’m alone in that. This applies especially to those who are turning off commenting on their x-posts except to go to DW. I can understand the reasons for doing that, in wanting to keep a conversation in one place, but…it has a slightly exclusionary feel to it that I don’t care for, and again, it’s that extra step that makes me less likely to engage. I’ve heard from others who find it offensive and a turn-off to engaging in a discussion they otherwise would have taken part in.

    So…I suspect, what’ll happen is, just like I stopped regularly keeping up with some folks who moved off LiveJournal to InsaneJournal, I’ll probably lose some more folks if they move off to Dreamwidth. But I see the bulk of my friends-list staying right where they are for now–heck, no one outside of media fandom circles on my LJ friends-list is even mentioning DW, let alone talking about moving there–so I’m gonna stay right where the bulk of my real-life/music/rockfic/Philly/etc people are. If for no other reasons than a) being cheap and b) yeah, that laziness again.

    I wish the folks at Dreamwidth well and, certainly, if the site takes off and ends up offering communities that interest me that I can’t find elsewhere, I just might start using the service as a regular part of my on-line time. But there are only so many social networks a person can spend their time on in each day, and each one, for me, has to offer something unique I can’t get elsewhere in actual content. Otherwise it’s nothing but a shiny new toy that may appeal to some, but should be assumed to appeal to all “just because”.

    Fandom privacy: Your journal entries are not private

    April 12th, 2009

    Some parts of fandom treat LiveJournal, InsaneJournal and other public postings on journaling sites as private content. The rational is that this public content is published online for a small select audience, for a group of friends, intended only to stay inside a specific fannish community. When that public information gets shared in public, people can sometimes get really huffy. Witness the most recent case involving coffeeandink during Race Fail 2009.

    Sometimes, we need a really good reminder that what you put out there in public, even if it is shared in the context of the fan community, is public. Today’s reminder comes from a court ruling involving MySpace. WebProNews summarizes it as follows:

    A California court has ruled that a high school principal who sent a copy of a MySpace journal posting to a local newspaper is not liable for invasion of privacy.

    The court ruled that Moreno gave up any claims of privacy when she posted the writing on MySpace. “Cynthia’s affirmative act made her article available to any person with a computer and thus opened it to the public eye,” the court said. “Under these circumstances, no reasonable person would have had an expectation of privacy regarding the published material.”

    So when you’re posting online, in fandom or not, always remember that content posted publicly is not a violation of privacy and take appropriate steps to protect yourself.

    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.

    http://nextian.livejournal.com/263577.html?format=light

    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 identi.ca 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
    chat.freenode.net 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 chat.freenode.net 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="http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/FanLore">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? identi.ca? InsaneJournal? Last.fm? 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)

    I’m growing tired of Twitter

    April 5th, 2009

    It took me a while to get Twitter. And then I loved it. I really loved it. I followed so called power users. I watched other people’s Twitter grades and ranks with fascination. Then decided to experiment with Twitter. And through experimentation, I learned a lot about twitter.

    I’ve also discovered that I’m tired of Twitter. I’m tired of people talking about the number of followers they have. I’m tired of services like Twitter Grader and Twitterholic. I’m tired of people talking up those numbers, and numbers like how many times you’ve been retweeted, and that your value on Twitter and the interest in following you is dependent upon that. None of this matters. Relationships matter. I’ve yet to see some one explain why having 3000 followers where you engage with 0.01% of your followers, post links and retweets gives value back. I’m tired of being what amounts to a recipient of tweet spam even as I engage in it myself because I want to appear in Twitter’s search engine, get more traffic and have a high rank on Twitter’s services because Social Media people think it gives value and I want to believe they know better than me.

    I’m tired of always being on with Twitter. Social media is a performance art. You’re always out there, always selling yourself. If you forget that you don’t have personal relationships with the people that you’re interacting with, you might regret it. If you want to use Twitter to get traffic to your site, attract angel investors, catch the eyes of VC people, try to get a consulting gig, you can’t go off the reservation and babble about how you’re tired, cranky, depressed, broke, dealing with family issues. Your audience doesn’t have the relationship with you to stick with you for that and you look unprofessional. You get more leeway with a personal blog, a LiveJournal account, a FaceBook account. Twitter just is always on and if you’re an introvert, this can be hard to maintain. It is tiring. I’m tired of performing and worrying about my performance being off.

    I’m tired of the idea that Twitter improves relationships and develops relationships. I’ve made a few good connections on Twitter. The ones I probably am most glad of are the ones with kaplak and wikihowl. They are ones I probably would not have made otherwise. But most people on Twitter are people I follow in other spaces like LiveJournal, LinkedIn, FaceBook, mailing lists, on their blogs and IRC, who I keep up with via phone calls, at BarCamps, via e-mail and IM services, through private messages on FaceBook. The relationships that I’ve developed on Twitter don’t always feel that deep and when my friends and acquaintances on other services use those services less and use Twitter more, my interest and ability to connect becomes harder because of space constraints and the noise level between their content. I really wish Twitter did what the implication was that it did. I really wish that I could go back to Twitter about 9 months ago. I really wish that as Twitter exists now, that I felt like I was getting more out of my relationships that use Twitter to facilitate them. They don’t. I’m tired of trying to make the effort while feeling like I should be getting something out of it. I’m tired of people following me for no apparent reason who never communicate with me. I’m tired of the idea that I should be getting more connected with people as I feel even less connected.

    I’m tired of the hype. Biz Stone said on The Colbert Report that Twitter answered a need you didn’t know you had. That doesn’t necessarily say “Twitter is great and serves a useful need” so much as “Twitter was marketed brilliantly.” CNN talks about Twitter. FaceBook changed to look more like Twitter. News people talk about how Twitter will change how news is reported. Newspapers print Tweets. Twitter will change the world! Celebrities tweet from everywhere. Entertainment Tonight covers people who are tweeting while they are being interviewed. I get it. This is like MySpace about 2 years ago. (And we know where MySpace is going.) I kind of just want to be left alone in a world where I can use it with out everyone and their neighbor going on about how great it is. If we could get back to reporting the news instead of reporting on how people are sharing their news, I might be less tired.

    I’m kind of hoping this is a phase and that I will feel better about it later. I really do like Twitter but certain parts of it are just tiring.

    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

    How many fandoms are represented on Fan History?

    January 18th, 2009

    About a week ago, I was asked by some one how many fandoms were represented on Fan History and I had problems coming up with a number. Why? Because Fan History is a work in progress. For some fandoms, we have articles but they aren’t found in a category that makes them easily countable. Some articles don’t have categories because we just have one article in that subcategory so we don’t bother. Some of our articles were created by bots. While we’ve been hard at work trying to make categories, subcategories and build the framework for them, we’re talking over 5,000 categories and that takes a lot of work.

    So that aside, let’s try to get a picture of how many fandoms are represented on Fan History by seeing how big some of our important categories are.

    Misc

  • Fan fiction community size – 2,111 fandoms
  • LiveJournal community size by fandom – 999 fandoms
  • Actors

  • Actor fandoms – 322 fandoms
  • Actor fans – 41 fandoms
    A lot of these articles were created because LiveJournal communities were based on them or in an effort to create articles for people who visit our site through FanPop and Chickipedia. A lot of these fandoms are smaller so high possibility that there are another 100 actor fandoms on Fan History that aren’t picked up because of LiveJournal related bots.Anime
  • Anime fandoms -304 fandoms
  • Anime fandom categories – 374 fandoms
  • Anime fans – 299 fans
  • Anime LiveJournal communities – 20 fandoms
    A lot of anime fandoms are really, really small. FanFiction.Net related bots picked them up. We just haven’t built categories for them because we haven’t always spotted them. And when we do spot them, we’re not always creating articles for them. We found an anime fandom recently where there were over 2000 articles in subcategories but no actual article about the show itself. I’d guess that’s the high number? Add another 200 and you’ll get a feel for the number of anime fandoms.Books
  • Book fandoms – 220 fandoms
  • Book fandom categories – 287 fandoms
  • Book fans – 181 fans
  • Book LiveJournal communities – 13 fandoms
    We’re planning on adding a number of new book fandoms to Fan Fiction Stat Bot, to the tune over over 100 fandoms. That should ratchet up the number of fandoms represented by another 100. There are probably another 100 not showing up because of FanFiction.Net connected bots.Cartoons
  • Cartoon fandoms – 63 fandoms
  • Cartoons fandom categories – 120 fandoms
  • Cartoons fans – 125 fandoms
    I’d hazard a guess of another 25 fandoms floating around the site. This category just doesn’t feel like it has the sheer number of fandoms to draw from to begin with to have a lot of hidden categories and articles.Comics
  • Comics fandoms – 48 fandoms
  • Comics fandoms categories – 59 fandoms
  • Comics fans – 41 fandoms
    Like cartoons, this is a pretty small type of fandom that is compounded in its difficulty to count and create articles for because of all the crossovers canon-wise, with new comics spun off based on characters, etc. There are probably another 25 fandoms not yet categorized in those groups yet.Movies
  • Movie fandoms – 221 fandoms
  • Movie fandom categories – 338 fandoms
  • Movie fans – 265 fandoms
    Movie fandoms might have some additional fan categories to the tune of another 100 or so. Like actor fandoms, unless there is more than 1 article in a category, categories generally aren’t created for it. FanFiction.Net related articles weren’t picked up by Fan Fiction Stat Bot because we wanted to get the bot done faster and generally assumed those fandoms weren’t as active. There are probably 100 to 250 wanted articles for movies on actor-related articles where we’ve listed what fandoms actors appeared in.Music
  • Music fandoms – 377 fandoms
  • Music fandom categories – 383 fandoms
  • Music fans – 67 fandoms
  • Music LiveJournal communities – 33 fandoms
  • Music images – 44 fandoms
    This broad subcategory has had a few stewards and hasn’t had the articles added by bots that the other ones have had. Where it did, most of the categories already existed. I’d guess at most that another 50 fandoms are represented.Politics
  • Politics fandom categories – 1 fandom
  • Politics fandoms – 6 fandoms
    This is one of those main categories that is a mess. There probably aren’t more than 4 additional fandoms. No one has really put the time and effort into organizing and fixing this category so it just isn’t represented. (That should really change.)Radio
  • Radio fans – 2 fandoms
  • Radio fandoms – 33 fandoms
  • Radio fandom categories – 31 fandoms
    This is another neglected category like politicians. It should have more but doesn’t. It might have another 10 fandoms, mostly ones that are part of other mediums.Science fiction
  • Science fiction fandoms – 38 fandoms
  • Science fiction fans – 2 fandoms
    These categories mostly are pulled from other categories like books, television and movies. There are probably another 300 categories but they overlap everything else ,so take that with a grain of salt. We really need someone to sort through and better categorize those shows. Our emphasis on this category so far has been conventions, culture and terminology when building here.Sports
  • Baseball – 10 fandoms
  • Basketball – 4 fandoms
  • Figure skating – 2 fandoms
  • Football – 8 fandoms
  • Football fans – 3 fandoms
  • Hockey teams – 5 fandoms
  • Soccer fans – 3 fandoms
  • Sports fandom categories – 17 fandoms
    Sports fandom is a total mess because you’re not dealing with a major broad category but a category per sport. No one has spent much time improving the organization or working on articles in this area. We have a number of fandoms based on my and Sidewinder’s sports team interests. A few were picked up by LiveJournal bot. It looks like 50 total but better counting and sorting things out from uncategorized categories and uncategorized articles, I think we’d have another 50 fandoms.Television
  • Television fandoms – 457
  • Television fandom categories – 545 fandoms
  • Television fans – 414 fandoms
    As Fan history came out of media fandom with some music and television fans, I’m not surprised this is really large. I’d hazard a guess we have another 150 categories and articles from various television fandoms floating around the site.
    Theater
  • Theater fandoms – 7 fandoms
  • Theater fandom categories – 14 fandoms
  • Theater fans – 13 fandoms
    This is just one of those other neglected fandom categories. Not much there and no one has spent a lot of time updating those articles. I’d estimate another 10 fandoms just because there hasn’t been a goal of adding categories and articles.
    Video games
  • Video game fandoms – 84 fandoms
  • Video game fandom categories – 187 fandoms
  • Video game fans – 159 fandoms
    This category is one of those that has a lot of categories because people helped complete wanted categories based on articles the bots created. Lots of articles missing but categories created. The category was better maintained a year ago when one of major contributors was more active. I’d guess another 50 fandoms here because not the biggest category ever.
    Based on the biggest number of fandoms (besides sports where we just added them up and misc which duplicated a lot of things in our existing categories) for each subheading, we have a total of 2,761 fandoms represented on Fan History. If you add up our total estimates for fandoms that aren’t counted where they are supposed to be, we probably have 3,635 fandoms represented on Fan History.

    That’s a lot of fandoms. And we haven’t even begun to really document many of those are touch all the fan communities that are out there.

  • 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
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    57 The Sentinel 52 46
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    60 The Mentalist 48 73
    61 Saiyuki 48 39
    62 Bob Dylan 48 253
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    67 Veronica Mars 44 91
    68 U2 44 162
    69 The Young and the Restless 44 306
    70 CSI: Miami 44 111
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    73 L Word 43 67
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    76 CSI 42 64
    77 iCarly 40 27
    78 Kingdom Hearts 40 107
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    80 Speed Racer 39 92
    81 Beverly Hills 90210 39 127
    82 X-Files 37 85
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    85 Mad Men 36 59
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    88 Dancing with the Stars 34 131
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    97 Sonic: The Hedgehog 25 208
    98 Whose Line is it Anyway 24 95
    99 Supernatural 24 60
    100 Pushing Daises 24 32

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