eldabe: Image of canal in Venice (Default)
The OTW board is exploding in fire and mayhem!

Well, I mean, if you read the official post it sounds like business as usual, chaos disguised in politely worded sentences and punctuation. Luckily, fandom reporters got us covered.

My take? The board is always going to have to deal with constituencies who don't agree with everything they have done. (See: Unions!) Buuuuuut, on the internet, it's going to be magnified times A THOUSAND.

A lot of people have been (rightly!!) complaining that the OTW board was becoming insular and combative. Which is definitely true. But gosh, you couldn't pay me enough to be a board member*. Make one small mistake, or even just a decision that isn't universally adored, and you will be CRUSHED under the negative feedback spiral.

It can get kinda hard to separate the signal to the noise in that scenario. And frankly, I too would hide behind my star-spangled shield and sing the pokemon theme song to drown it all out. I don't agree with every decision the board made, but I do think they cared. I actually do with them the best.

Going forward, I'm almost considering donating and becoming a voting member. I have zero spare time, but this matters to be and I think this could be a great opportunity moving forward. And everyone is super excited about the potential. But if we really think the OTW should be run and contributed to by everyone, we too have to take responsibility in how we contribute.

The board screwed up. I'm not trying to defend the things they did wrong. I'm just saying it's so easy for the internet (you know, where fandom is) to end up in some very unproductive and damaging communication styles. And it's not always easy to find the blame for fallout.

*Not true. I'm looking at my job options these days AND YOU COULD PAY ME ENOUGH. Just don't make me bill out at 6-minute increments.

ETA: Also, the OTW has some pretty awesome legal staff, I vote we stop saying that stuff that was happening was illegal.
eldabe: Image of canal in Venice (Default)
Swinging by tumblr in the law school library is the most exciting thing I do every day.

IT'S LIKE RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH PORN. Inception fandom has a lot of fanart and manips. ANYTHING can happen.

Mind you, I'm still waiting for the day someone actually reads AO3 over my shoulder while I frantically try to click away right after I open my computer every morning. Got to stop falling asleep reading fanfic.
eldabe: Image of canal in Venice (Default)
I want to post more. So, here is to more posts, less second-guessing, less editing *cough* and the five people left on LJ/DW that aren't in online RPGs.

I realized over this Dragon*con that I'm not remember the usernames of new fandom people as well. I've always had a pretty hard time with names (and faces) and fandom can be kind of an overwhelming place with so many active people that it can be confusing. I normally take a looooong time to get into a fandom, which can give me time to distinguish individuals as I go.

But I've been lurking around Inception for, gosh, over two years now, and I've still only remembered dozen or so names.

I think it's a little bit from the new fandom platforms. I used to remember people using a lot of visual cues, like their default user icon, their journal layout, etc. Tumblr users don't utilize userpics the same way, and the layouts are either super-plain or horrible.

But even more important, AO3! I think the layout to AO3 is fabulous and the downloading options are the best thing ever, but there is very little to distinguish the author while I read. Just the username on top, which I TOTALLY skim by sometimes.

I think there's a cultural shift that comes from putting the fic in a seperate place from the meta, the journal, the messy thought and the unbetaed flash fic. It's not necessarily a bad thing! AO3 is, for lack of a better term, a lot more cleaned-up than LJ. It's easier to find the fic you want and just zoom past all the other junk.

On the other end of the spectrum, tumblr is so jammed with junk that even when I know that people post flash fic or ficlets or dabbles and what-have-you on their tumblr, if I'm not constantly checking and saving (and I'm TOTALLY NOT) I won't find it again. It can feel that if it's not "clean enough" for AO3, it won't get archived.

There's a part of me that even misses the really messy ff.net days, when for lack of anything else, people basically wrote journal posts as Authors Notes at the beginning of their fic chapters. I would sometimes know a lot about the writer's personality, thought process and sense of humor (remember when authors used A/Ns to reply to comments? :D) before even reading the next chapter.

By contrast, AO3 notes tend to be fairly minimal, sometimes to frustration.

Of course, ff.net also had the "lack of distinguishing visual characteristics of the fic layout" problem, and I memorized very few writer names on ff.net, and I was never much active in fandom there either.

But at least people filled out their profiles on ff.net. On AO3 and tumblr, I may never know anything about anyone!


OH! I also want to post about LJ BNF culture. I had some really interesting discussions.
eldabe: Image of canal in Venice (Default)
So, Time magazine highlighted the AO3 as one of the top web sites of 2013. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE AO3. I love the idealism, the ridiculous hoops they put for themselves in the service of trying to make everything fair, the way they are more responsive their userbase than any other site I have ever seen, the info-packed news updates with charts and graphs and colors, etc.

So good for Time, recognizing that!

On the other, hilarious, hand, read this quote from the profile: "…finding [fanfic] you're looking for online can involve sorting through mountain of inadequately tagged and frequently dodgy text. Archive of Our Own makes it easy: it's the most carefully curated, sanely organized, easily browsable and searchable nonprofit collection of fan fiction on the Web…"

THAT MAY ALL BE TRUE. But have you seen the AO3 tags? People use them like tumblr! People write summaries in their tags! People tag things "oh I have too many tags haha." THAT IS NOT A TAG WTF.

LOL Time Magazine. LOL.
eldabe: Image of canal in Venice (Default)
Back when tumblr was just another option instead of the primary and/or only platform People I Want To Talk To Are Using, I started to write a post about Fanfiction on Different Mediums.

So, that was a real essay. Maybe one day I'll finish it. But I've actually read a few nice old-fashined fics on tumblr, where they are doomed to be virtually lost unless they are reposted elsewhere. So I'm going to write these less-organized thoughts instead.

Here's the thing. Livejournal is not an ideal fanfiction platform. We (fandom) have come up with pretty great conventions in the standardized header format to make the fic we publish on this platform nicely accessible. We use linking and lj-cuts to neatly hide our fic so we don't flood our friends with text. We (well, most poeple) make masterlists to make it easy to find fic within blog posts. Some people make separate blog accounts for fanfiction posts. Some people tag their fics extensively.

This is all to try and make fics well organized here and easy to find here on LJ/DW/etc.

But the thing is, the ideal place for fanfiction is still going to be archive sites. )

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