Technology

  • OTW Fannews: Terms in Use

    Von Jennifer Rose Hale am Freitag, 29 August 2014 - 4:57pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Magnifying glass over a dictionary with text that reads OTW Fannews Terms in Use
    • As fandom has become more visible, the terms it uses have spread out into new areas. At this point various bands have written songs titled "Fan fiction" and Australian musician Geoffrey O'Connor has recently titled a whole album "Fan Fiction", while there is also a band with the same name.
    • In one of a constant stream of fanwork contests across the web, Vita.mn discussed their fanfiction entries and made some curious claims. "After weeding out the slashfic (which is to regular fan fiction what '50 Shades' is to 'Twilight')...'Second Player' tells the tale of the Mario Bros. from Luigi’s perspective — only they’re not actually brothers in this otherwise spot-on continuity nod. They’re a couple who fell in love in the days before Pride Parades and Rainbow Road Races, and had no choice but to disguise the true nature of their relationship or face the scorn of the Mushroom Kingdom. If you’re worried that this sounds like slashfic, don’t be. It’s a well-crafted original take on a beloved video-game icon and his less celebrated brother, and it traces their lives together in a way that leaves you rethinking every Mario-branded game you’ve ever button-mashed your way through. The goal of any great piece of fanfic is to enhance the original work, so read 'Second Player,' then go back and play 'Super Mario Bros.' and see if you don’t find it a little more interesting and far more tragic."
    • In an interview with IT expert Taylor Judd about password security, he discussed hacker strategies using a fandom example. "So they'll say, 'Ok it's Joe Schmoe Password123 on Battlestar Galactica fan fiction, the first thing I'm going to do when I see that is I'm going to go to gmail.com and see if that username and password works there." (No transcript available).
    • Of course, fandom is constantly inventing new terms as seen at Richard Armitage Frenzy. "Fandom forensics is when a fangirl (or fanboy) goes into detail mode to solve a mystery. What happened?! When?! Who did it?! Who was there?! Did the tie have a tie clip?! If so, whose was it?!"

    What fandom terms have you seen used (or misused)? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Enabled

    Von Jennifer Rose Hale am Samstag, 9 August 2014 - 5:19pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Industrial machinery with text that reads Fandom Enabled OTW Fannews
    • At Aeon Michelle Nijhuis discusses genderswapping with her daughter. "When I first wrote about my daughter’s Hobbit genderswap, many people said that fanfiction writers were way ahead of us, and so they were: Female Bilbo is a familiar fanfic character. My daughter isn’t the first reader who’s wondered what would happen if a girl stepped into Tolkien’s wonderful, timeless story, and I hope she’s far from the last."
    • Public Knowledge noted that Hasbro is now offering the option of fan-made merchandise through 3-D printing. "Many of these types of fan works are likely protected by fair use. But creating and selling My Little Pony figurines is something that, at a minimum, Hasbro could have tied up in lawsuits for years. To its credit, Hasbro decided not to sue this community of super fans. Instead, they found a way to give them a license to create and profit from their creations. Creators on SuperFanArt can now confidently sell fully licensed versions of their works. The community gets the ability to thrive, Hasbro gets to build good will (and, presumably, a cut of sales), and no one gets sued."
    • NBC News also suggested that 3-D printing might revolutionize the toy industry. "These fan creations are enthusiastically shared on the Internet, kind of like fan fiction, in which people write their own versions of stories that they love. These designs are going to circulate anyway, Liverman said, so companies might as well offer them alongside their own and encourage people to interact with their brand....Charles Mire, founder of Structur3d Printing in Ontario, likens the trend to 'cosplay,' where people dress up like their favorite characters."
    • A The New Yorker featured the reason why The Sims became the first game to represent LGBT experiences, and how this was crucial to its success. "During The Sims’s protracted development, the team had debated whether to permit same-sex relationships in the game. If this digital petri dish was to accurately model all aspects of human life, from work to play and love, it was natural that it would facilitate gay relationships." Instead, "[t]he controversy came this year, when Nintendo released, in the West, its Sims-esque video game Tomodachi Life, a game in which same-sex relationships are forbidden. Characters in Tomodachi Life can bicker, flirt, fall in love, marry, and move in together. But, for many gay people, the game’s denial of same-sex relationships reflected real-world systems that had been built to deny their lifestyle and their biology."

    What fandom-made events or works are your favorites? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Remembering the past

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Sonntag, 13 Juli 2014 - 5:54pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Banner by Bremo of a timeline showing different fannish platforms starting with Geocities and ending with AO3

    • At The Atlantic, Courtney Klauser discussed her education in social networks thanks to fandom. "Looking back, I most miss the personal anonymity; an online existence without photography or video, a time when it was normal not to use your real name, when people could interact without demographic data being harvested for advertisers or shuffling people into neat demographic categories in the name of improved user experience...Yet the online world where I first encountered the pleasures of fan culture no longer exists at all."
    • Corinne Duyvis wrote at YA Highway about lessons learned while roleplaying. "My absolute biggest hobby as a teenager was online X-Men roleplaying...Roleplaying wasn’t fanfiction like most people know it, but it’s probably the most apt comparison—and that’s why it baffles me when people dismiss fandom as a waste of time for writers, or even call it actively damaging. It’s often the exact opposite. Without fandom, I wouldn’t be writing today. I wouldn’t have a shiny hardcover on shelves as of this month."
    • Author Peter David re-posted a poem about fandom he'd published in 2001 about the spread of fandom online. "And the Grynch straight away fashioned 'Fandom Dot Com/ By fans and for fans,' said the Grynch with aplomb/ The fans, they just loved it, they flocked by the ton/ And they told all their friends, and they came on the run/ Created new websites and posted the things/ On Star Wars, Godzilla, and Lord of the Rings/ The theory, you see, was by acting as one/ The fans would not ever be put on the run/ By studio lawyers with frozen-fish faces/ Subpoenas and letters and leather briefcases."
    • Elizabeth Minkel wrote in New Statesman about changing times. "It might be easy to forget that a little more than a decade ago, Warner Brothers was yanking down Harry Potter fan sites without warning, particularly those that 'sent the wrong message', like speculating that a character could be gay. Now media corporations are actively trying to create the kind of spaces for fan engagement that mimic the volume and enthusiasm of what’s historically been built from the bottom-up – organic celebrations of (and critical space to examine) a book or movie or television show or band. Now we’ve got 'official fan fiction partners' of a book or a movie, and even corporate-sponsored incentive – rewards, like access to special content, that sort of thing – to create more content in their spaces."

    What parts of fandom history do you remember? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Shining a Light

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Mittwoch, 2 Juli 2014 - 4:03pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Banner by James of a foggy view of trees

    • OTW Fan Video & Multimedia Committee Chair Tisha Turk gave an interview on "the past, present and potential future of vidding and remix culture, and the murky status of fair use – at least when it comes to monetized remixes on YouTube" as well as her own start as a vidder. Discussing copyright claims on fanwork, she said "One possible analogy would be, if I were making a quilt out of various bolts of fabric I purchased, and I cut these pieces, and I piece them together, and add the backing, and I make this lovely quilt, and the people who made the fabrics show up and say: 'I want a cut.' Or: 'You can’t have the profit, I made the fabric, so hand it over.’"
    • The Fandom Post discussed activism around female characters in Star Wars fandom. "Were we wrong to point out our concerns about the first cast photos? Wrong to express dissatisfaction over the lack of Leia in the first wave from the Disney Store? Wrong to share our disappointment that the Star Wars Rebels announcements included the women last and their action figures won’t happen until the second wave? Perhaps if only one of those things had happened, downplaying the outbreak of concern would make sense. It’s never just one thing, though...Staying silent and hoping for the best isn’t the way to create or support change. We need to speak up each and every time."
    • A post at Teleread expressed concern at how site changes can affect writer and reader interaction. "Nobody should have to deal with that kind of abuse, thick skin or not. And it’s sad that it seems to be coming more and more common. It’s in the same vein as the writer who received rape threats for criticizing a comic book cover. How obnoxious our culture has become. We’ve seen time and again that some people use anonymity as a license to be as nasty as they possibly can. It would be great if Fanfiction.net could restore the ability for authors to block anonymous reviews altogether if they wanted. At the very least, the default for reviews after 36 hours should be rejection, not acceptance."
    • A New York Times interview with showrunner Damon Lindelof explored the long-term effects of fan reaction. "Initially, for Lindelof, this kind of fame was very attractive — he interacted eagerly with the fan base of 'Lost,' stoking their expectations and ruminations about the show’s labyrinthine plot...'The longer you tell a story, the larger the stakes have to be,' he says. 'It’s no longer satisfying to say: Are these people who crashed in this plane going to make it out O.K.? Are they going to fall in love? Are they going to live? Are they going to die? It’s like no, are they going to save the world?' In the end, they did save the world, but the way they did it left some faithful viewers unhappy. Cuse has made his peace with this; Lindelof still hasn’t."

    What aspects of fandom do you want to shine a light on? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Tech and legal developments

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Donnerstag, 22 Mai 2014 - 4:52pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Banner by Bremo of webpages that are mentioned in this article

    • The New York Times Bits blog was one of several places highlighting the work of OTW legal staffer Casey Fiesler, who examined Terms of Service at popular websites. Among them was DeviantArt, Fanfiction.net and "Asianfanfics, a small fan fiction site, whose terms of service provisions, the researchers wrote, allowed 'for the site to essentially do whatever they like with whatever is posted there without any notice or attribution to the creator.'" The report included a handy infographic. A future part of Casey's study will involve the AO3.
    • The Mary Sue posted about using Storium. "As I quickly figured out, Storium is essentially an elegant framework for simming, with the added kick of card game-ish mechanics. For the uninitiated, a play-by-post game (also called a sim) traditionally takes place on a message board or through an email list. There’s a basic premise, and a host who wrangles the players. Depending on the game, players either create whatever characters they fancy, or are given clearly defined roles...The players then take turns writing chapters or scenes, typically tagging other characters to pick up where they left off."
    • Perhaps relatedly, Brie Hiramine asked at Flavorwire if the fansite is dead? "I can’t remember the last time I visited a fan site to read news or discuss anything. And that’s simply because our ever-flowing stream of content means that fan culture is more integrated into our everyday lives (and therefore, our Internet lives) than ever before. People consume fan-specific news on more mainstream platforms, without needing to go to a dedicated site to do so. Thank you, Facebook feed! Thank you, Twitter debates! Thank you, Reddit! And inevitably, the distance between consumer and producer grows ever-smaller."

    What legal and tech developments have you seen that are fandom-related? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Legal Files Amicus Brief in Garcia v. Google

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Sonntag, 20 April 2014 - 5:41pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

    In our continuing effort to protect against online censorship that would harm fans, last week, the OTW filed an amicus brief in the case of Garcia v. Google. The case involves the scope and application of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which together prevent content hosts -- like YouTube, the AO3, and many others -- from being liable for what their users post.

    This case is partly a classic example of "bad facts make bad law," since the plaintiff -- an actress tricked into taking part in the film Innocence of Muslims -- has good reason to want the film taken down. But in response to her request, the court not only applied a tortured interpretation of copyright law (an issue addressed in many other briefs filed with the court at the same time), but also ignored important anti-censorship "safe harbor" laws.

    The court forced Google to not only to take the film down, but also to ensure that it is never re-posted. In so ruling, the court ignored the provisions that protect content hosts from having to "police" what their users post. These safe harbors exist to prevent online censorship, and they are important to fans. Just about every site that hosts fan content depends on them. Just imagine if every allegedly infringing or defamatory fanwork led to a lawsuit, or if fan sites were required to monitor their archives to make sure no one ever posted objectionable material: many of the sites fans rely on wouldn't be able to afford to operate. That's the sort of thing these laws are designed to prevent.

    For that reason, the OTW, along with Floor64 (the operator of TechDirt), filed a brief asking the court to reconsider its decision with an eye to the fact that although the decision may create a good factual result in this particular case, it makes terrible law that will harm freedom of expression on the Internet. As Techdirt explained in its post about the brief, "There is a reason why Congress was so intent on providing safe harbors, recognizing the incentives for broad censorship when you blame service providers for the actions of their users. Judge Kozinski appears to have ignored nearly all of Congress' intent in his ruling, and we're hopeful that (among the many other reasons why his ruling should be reviewed), the rest of the 9th Circuit will recognize that the original ruling has serious First Amendment implications, beyond just the basic copyright questions."

    For those interested in reading more, you can find this latest brief on our Legal Advocacy page along with past filings.

  • OTW Fannews: Writers of all stripes

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Mittwoch, 19 März 2014 - 10:13pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Banner by Ania of a typewriter keyboard spelling out the post title

    • Author Robert Jackson Bennett wrote about how to define fans and how that related to his role as a content creator. "I happened to meet a much more established writer than me...I brought up the sort of weird alienation I felt...I knew in my head that I was writing stuff for everyone, for all kinds of people, something that’s applicable to humanity in general rather than people like me, but it was still odd to see it right in front of me, these people I wasn’t like, and know that I was writing for them. He looked at me and said, 'That’s because they’re not you’re[sic] people. They’re not. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are.'"
    • ComplexTech posted an interview with author Clive Thompson, who may have some insight for Bennett. "[T]he cognitive benefits of the Internet require social work. That turns out to be a problem for the 10 percent of the population who regards social work with absolute horror...If you pie-chart them, a lot of the negative pieces about the Internet are written by novelists." However, he thinks some writers are the ones to watch. "[T]he world of fan fiction is the most technologically explosive thing I've ever seen in my life. Every single technology that has come along, fan fiction people have come along and colonized it and stress-tested it and found the most amazing things...If you're ever wondering about a future technology, just drop what you're doing and find out what fan fiction people are doing with it...whatever it is, it's the future."
    • Such discoveries aren't likely to come from fanfic-for-hire, as Amazon is commissioning authors to launch fandom lines. Orion Books Editor Jo Gledhill advised fanfic writers to know what makes them happy. "[D]ecide whether you actually do want to find a mainstream publisher! It’s not for everyone. If you love writing and you love the support network of fan fiction, don’t think of it as a stepping stone. It’s a huge community with millions of readers, you’ll get some fabulous advice and feedback as your writing develops."
    • Here & Now focused on the value of that network in a story about Harry Potter fan. "Esther Earl was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12, and died in 2010 shortly after her 16th birthday. But in that short time, she developed a network of friends through social media, blogging and YouTube videos. She was a devoted fan of the Harry Potter books and was an active member of the Harry Potter Alliance. At LeakyCon, a convention for Harry Potter enthusiasts, Esther met young adult author and vlogger John Green, who would become a friend. Green dedicated his best selling book “The Fault In Our Stars” to her and said that she was an inspiration for the novel."

    What stories and posts about fanfic writing have been important to you? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom milestones

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Freitag, 14 März 2014 - 12:26am
    Nachrichtenart:

    Banner by dogtagsandsmut of a black & white highway with the OTW logo and ribbons across the post title of Fandom Milestones

    • On March 1, Three Patch Podcast released an episode with Development & Membership Chair, Kristen Murphy, as a guest. They discussed the formation of the OTW and the AO3's million fanwork milestone. Asked about the AO3's popularity she replied, "I think there are a lot of different factors that have helped it become popular. One is that a lot of people just like the features of the Archive, which is awesome! I think another factor is the way fandom has spread out to new platforms, some of which are not very conducive to posting fanworks. Like, if you mostly interact with other fans through Twitter, but you’re a fic writer, you’re going to need someplace other than Twitter to post your fic. There’s something really cool about the fact that fans are spread out in all these different places — Twitter and Tumblr and journals and forums — but there’s this place in the middle where so many of us come together to share our work." (No transcript available).
    • The OTW wasn't the only one celebrating a big milestone in February as Japan's online art community Pixiv passed 10,000,000 registered users. Crunchyroll reported on their celebration activities and listed the top tagged fandoms on the site.
    • RocketNews24 looked at how artists were responding to the gold medal won by figure skater Hanyū. "[F]ans are having fun making their own Photoshop creations including “Hyōjō no Prince-sama”(Prince-sama on Ice)."
    • The music group Emblem got some attention for promoting a fan's story about them on their Wattpad account which Just Jared dubbed 'official fan fiction.' "The guys – Wesley and Keaton Stromberg, and Drew Chadwick – each have their own stories written about them and will be updating it every week!"
    • As Vintage Books was announcing that Fifty Shades had passed the 100 million sales mark, Wired asked if a new publishing model was at hand when it comes to fanfic. "For decades, it was understood that fanzines and amateur press associations were where writers—particularly in genre fiction and comics—got their chops...It’s easy to argue 50 Shades of Grey is an outlier, that its success isn’t indicative of a larger trend. However, since its publication in 2011, the lines between literary and fan publishing have continued to blur."

    What fandom milestones have you seen? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Storytelling platforms

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Sonntag, 9 März 2014 - 8:18pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    • While sites like Wattpad have already demonstrated a large, international reach among young fanfic writers, other companies keep trying to capture that market.
    • The Observer wrote about Movellas which is distinguishing itself by targeting literacy rather than community. "50% of respondents said Movellas had made them enjoy reading more; 70% enjoyed writing more. Importantly, 20% of its users get free school meals (about the national average). Only 25% are boys, which the founders are looking to change with boy-focused publisher promotions and a move into 'story games'...Maybe it's time to stop being sniffy about fan fiction."
    • One boy who came late to writing fanfiction is author Hugh Howey, who was interviewed by Pacific Standard Magazine about his Kindle Worlds experience. However, he's always appreciated it. "I’m...ready to turn 40—but I grew up in a generation of open-source projects and Wikipedia and collaborative programming and the blogosphere. The idea of collaborations seems very natural to me. I also grew up reading comics, where every comic book author is writing fan fiction." Discussing the history of storytelling he continues "It’s interesting that the people who consider themselves purists are really quite modern in their thinking, to think that the novel is an uneditable, uncollaborative work...They have it a bit backward...It’s the other way around."
    • BBC One created a documentary on Fan Armies that focused on Tumblr, saying "Through their fandom, fans are developing skills that will make them more employable in the future." These included not only writing but multimedia skills. "They're really good video editors...they're really good at photo editing." They're also good at promotion. "Even to build these fanpages and have thousands of followers is learning to market something and build something...they can go work for a company and build their social media profile because they know what they're doing and how to do it well." (Transcript not available)

    What stories have you come across about storytelling platforms? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fannish connections

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Dienstag, 11 Februar 2014 - 9:01pm
    Nachrichtenart:

    Banner by Lisa of black pipes creating geometric shapes against a white background

    • Mina Kimes wrote in Slate about how critical football is in maintaining her relationship with her father. "My father still calls me almost every day when he’s driving home from work. We still talk about the news, and the weather, and the pain in his back, which has gotten a lot worse over the years. But mostly we talk about football. I tell him the rumors that I read on the Internet that day. We scoff at the ignoramuses who dare criticize our team—typically East Coast sports analysts—and praise the brilliance of our coach and general manager. We keep talking as I fiddle with my key, unlock the door, and trudge up the stairs."
    • The Hindu discussed the expansion of fandom from those close to home. "Before the Internet invaded our lives, trends and popular culture meant tidbits of information shared by friends and family members. Once a popular series ended, there was no platform to learn more about the characters, new plots etc. The Internet seems to have changed the manner in which we consume new trends of popular culture. From running promotions on social media websites to operating fan pages and Wikia pages on the net, fans are ensuring that the characters they adore live on forever on the Net."
    • Marketers are latching onto the word fan as a way to connect people emotionally to their brands. However, one group long acknowledged as fans are tech fans. The Verge took a long look inside the mind of a fanboy and explored the hostility emerging from brand loyalty. "Once somebody has acquired this level of arcane knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to do but share it with other fanboys. 'Among my close friends and family no one really operates at the same level as me,' says one high school Android hobbyist. Thus, fanboy culture takes place in the comments sections of tech news sites and YouTube."
    • Shadowlocked blogged about the marketing approach being used for The Muppets Movie. Saying the ads target multiple audiences, Calvin Peat explains, "[I]t's not as simple as a binary between fans and critics, as if you're either a fan or a critic; or even a continuum between fans and critics, as if you're somewhere along the line between being a fan and being a critic. Rather, it might be more accurate to consider two dimensions: from high-brow to low-brow, and from appreciation to excoriation."

    What personal or marketing connections have you seen in fandom? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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