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  • OTW Fannews: Fandom milestones

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 14 March 2014 - 12:26am
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    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: Corporate assembly fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 7:19pm
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    Banner by Diane of a conveyor belt rolling the post title forward

    • Frontline featured a number of fandoms in its documentary Generation Like. "From the agency that’s leveraging the Twitter followers of celebrities like Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) to make lucrative product endorsement deals, to the 'grassroots' social media campaign behind the Hollywood blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, "Generation Like" explores how companies are increasingly enlisting kids as willing foot soldiers in their marketing machines."
    • A "Social Media Week" event featured a panel on “Fueling Social Fandom”. "'You think about fandom not as a one night stand everytime your show is on…it’s a long time relationship,' Fishman said, adding the most important thing for TV executives to do mirrors a relationship: listening."
    • Sugarscape is one of many sites featuring a fanfiction contest but this one is done piecemeal. "The idea is that every day when the story is updates, you'll have the chance to add the next paragraph all over again and by Sunday 23rd February, we'll have the full fan fiction. So even if yours doesn't get picked the first day, keep entering every time the story updates and you could see your writing up on the site!"
    • Kotaku used votes instead to create a 'Fan Built Bot' for Transformers. "Windblade is a rare female Transformer...Some people are vexxed by the idea of female Transformers...we do get an episode where most of the old-timey female robots are destroyed for being female, which doesn't seem nice. In the IDW Comics continuity, Arcee is the result of a failed experiment to introduce gender to Transformers. That doesn't seem nice either."
    • While some fan activities in the news seem more about recreation or transforming the format of a work, the question for many these days may be whether they're part of a corporate marketing effort and to what end.

    What ways of creating fandoms or fanworks have you come across? 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 Fannews: Storytelling platforms

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 9 March 2014 - 8:18pm
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    • 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: Cross-border fandoms

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 8:25pm
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    Banner by Robyn of two stick figures saying 'Fan' and 'Fiction' to one another while standing on a split color square

    • The Manila Standard Today featured some articles on fanfiction, dubbing them "The other side of the fandom." The features explain types of fanfic and their locations online, concluding "Writers are not paid when they write fanfics. They all do it for the fandom, for their readers, and for themselves. Thus for consolation, reading the comments of their reader, knowing someone appreciates their work and waits patiently for the new chapter are enough for them to keep on writing."
    • A spate of stories on Sherlock fanfiction writing in China show a certain surprise about slash but there is also a focus on the significance of it within Chinese culture. "The other part of that equation is that the cultural landscape has shifted, attitudes about gay men, gender roles, and sex have shifted and women have seen this...In a country where gay men are in marriages they don't want to be in, where people are told to act straight, and where gay men and lesbians are even entering fake marriages to get people off their backs and live their lives, the Fu Nv represent an improvement in the country's attitudes toward the LGBT community, even if it is by way of raunchy Curly Fu-Peanut fan fiction."
    • In France some have decided to crowdfund a Sherlock fanfic adaptation of a young Sherlock and John meeting. Asked about the motivation for the project, director Naomi Javor replied "To quote the author. “You don’t need to be gay to like someone the same sex as you. [You must be] In love.” This is the message that spoke to me and inspired me...[I] want the viewers to feel like it gives [sexual] minorities an opportunity to be represented as well. It differs from mainstream media because I don’t need to worry that my network will shut me down."
    • The Fandom Post looked back at 2013 to pick out The (Lighter Side of the) Year in Anime. "Before the first month of the new year is over, we’d like to make some additions to The Year in Anime Awards, which we presented a short while ago. It’s not all just about serious awards for worthy shows. No, the review staff of The Fandom Post also knows when it’s time to kick back and take a less reverent look at the year just passed. Here, our staff members present some individual or specialized 'awards' for outstanding…something or other."

    What fanworks have you seen crossing boundaries? 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 Fannews: Passing judgments

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 30 January 2014 - 9:13pm
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    Banner by caitie of Princess Tiana looking in shock at a frog

    • The visibility of fandom fights is a definite downside of social media. Stylecaster wrote about attacks on singer Lorde and dubbed it "extreme Internet fandom". "'The music and fashion industries nurture teens’ obsessions with one icon after another,' said Epstein—a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific...'No matter how competent teens are, we trap them with their peers 24/7 and don’t let them enter the adult world in any meaningful way. Many get frustrated or depressed or angry as a result, and they exercise power in any way they can. In recent years, social media has become a major power outlet for teens, even though it actually gets them nothing except a little attention. So when Lorde or anyone else for that matter trips up, or at least appears to trip up, they pounce in large numbers. It’s a pathetic way to demonstrate power.'"
    • Writer Ben Koo discusses how the toxicity of regional tribalism in college football sets fans against one another. "The power brokers of college football think they are onto something in nurturing a rising tide of friction, envy, and hate in the college football fan eco-system. Hate has long been an underrated tool for anyone looking to make people watch, care, and pick a side in sports."
    • At Kernel, writer Jack Flanagan manages to indict Japanese culture and fans alike. "[W]hen the internet and Japanese culture collide, these people have that haven to explore worlds far away from the suppressed ones they inhabit, for whatever reason. So, yes: it’s a shame for some that Japanese culture comes down to niknaks and samurai. But the strange and somewhat superficial interest in Japanese culture online is rooted in the need for solace."
    • The Atlantic hosted a spoilery article about the plot of Frozen. "Leslie Fielder...argued that the American novel is incapable of dealing with sex, and instead focuses on violence and death in a prolonged state of boyish immaturity. Yet he could have been writing about the state of American films today where violence gets more audience-friendly ratings than sex from the MPAA in a culture dominated by superhero franchises that are primarily aimed at boys...'We champion the culture of teenage boys every day—giving them all the comic book heroes, sports stars and porn any human could conceivably consume. Can’t we give teenage girls one thing without demonizing them?'”

    What judgments on fandoms and audiences have you seen? 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 Fannews: Home of the tech

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 8 January 2014 - 8:13pm
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    Banner by caitie of the OTW logo being lifted by multiple Twitter birds

    • Tech developers are taking note of people's interest in using all sorts of platforms for storytelling. AuthorBee is targeting those using Twitter clients (or AuthorBee's own web interface) "to create, co-create and curate rich, long-form stories with their followers." Targeting both professionals and amateurs the company states "'A story can really be anything...it can be breaking news, fan fiction or poetry. It can also be a travel log, a Haiku, a hip-hop song or a chocolate chip cookie recipe. What matters is the common interest or passion shared by the contributors.'"
    • Kik, on the other hand, took note of its existing users and decided to market to them. Digiday reported "Behold, the power of boyband fans": "'Kik mentioned that "One Direction" was one of the most discussed things on the app, so we brought that opportunity to Sony Music,' said Eytan Oren, director of partnerships at the IPG Media Lab." Noting that marketers need to pay attention to who is using what and how, another IPG spokesman said "You can’t be a professional and ignore where emerging channels are focused."
    • The New Republic explored the effect Netflix is having on television and the lifespan of entertainment products, concluding that it is following a fandom model. "When you meet someone with the same particular passions and sensibility, the sense of connection can be profound. Smaller communities of fans, forged from shared perspectives, offer a more genuine sense of belonging than a national identity born of geographical happenstance. Whether a future based fundamentally on fandom is superior in any objective sense is impossible to say...Certainly, a culture where niche supplants mass hews closer to the original vision of the Americas, of a new continent truly open to whatever diverse and eccentric groups showed up."

    How have you seen technology affecting 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.

  • OTW Fannews: The power of the personal

    By Claudia Rebaza on Monday, 6 January 2014 - 12:35am
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    • Nico Lang wrote in Salon about why an album is her Thanksgiving go-to. "When Liz Phair was recording 'Guyville,'...she had to pretend that she could find the answers in his music, a way to go forward as an artist. However, Phair knew all you really have is what’s in your own head, and listening to 'Exile on Main Street' on repeat tells you more about yourself than it ever will about Mick Jagger. 'Exile' has become a tradition for me...not as a memento of the past but as part of a relationship that will continue to evolve even as others come and go. We have the traditions that are given to us by historical edict, but the more important ones are those you build for yourself, the constants that remind you of who you are and where you’ve been."
    • Emily S. Whitten had things to be thankful for in her Comic Mix columm. She wrote about the results of a fandom auction to help her with vision surgery expenses. "[B]y the end of the auction, fandom, consisting of some people I knew but many I didn’t, had raised the entire $8,000. Add to that a few other generous donations from friends who had learned of the online fundraising secondhand...and my recovery and medication expenses were covered as well. I could hardly believe it, but there it was. This tremendous burden lifted from my life by the kindness of a community. Seeing fandom come together to help me like that was, and to this day is, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced."
    • The Otaku Journalist wrote about one fan's experience moving to a relationship with someone she was fannish about. Asked "What has been the most interesting part of your transition from fan to girlfriend?" she responded "I am a fan! *punch*...I joke to him that I’m his fangirlfriend. Before and after we got together I drew fanart, wrote a fanfic, read his fan tumblr, and watched each episode when it comes out. I also did a cosplay once, but I’m too bashful for him to see me in it. The only thing that is different is that I know some upcoming AT4W stuff. Not a whole lot, but now I get the excitement of seeing other fans reactions." Dating someone who has fanworks about him is "Like dating anyone, but with more pictures and words!"

    What have you personally experienced in your fandoms? 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 Fannews: Exploring fair use

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 3 January 2014 - 8:40pm
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    Banner by Lisa of a spraypainted wall reading 'Remix'

    • A recent legal spat over the repurposing of a Beastie Boys song brought discussions of fair use to the fore. xojane claimed "The Beastie Boys versus GoldieBlox battle cuts close to my heart because I love the Beastie Boys, and I love companies developing anti-sexist takes on products, but I also love fair use. And in this particular instance, the Beastie Boys are wrong. The celebration of their fight against GoldieBlox is missing a key component of the situation here, which is that the GoldieBlox video, which perhaps not ethically defensible given the expressed wishes of Adam Yauch, could very well be perfectly legal. And you should want it to be, because fair use and transformative works lie at the heart of so much of art, culture, criticism, and society."
    • On the Media's P.J. Vogt cited similar issues in his discussion. "[I]f you side with Goldieblox, you probably see a hypocrisy here. The Beastie Boys built a career on sampling. How can they then turn around and tell Goldieblox their own work can only be recontextualized with permission?" But he sided with the band until "I spoke to an actual expert, Julie Ahrens, Director of Copyright & Fair Use at Stanford’s Center for Internet & Society. She convinced me that Goldieblox is probably in the right here...After all, while the Goldieblox ad is, in fact, an ad, it’s also a legitimate piece of cultural criticism."
    • Reap Magazine also tackled the issue of transformative works and came to a similar conclusion. "What fans create in modern transformative works of art today is really an extension of what artists like Duchamp and Warhol did in the past. And as much as some studio producers, artists and writers would like to control spectator reaction from a legal standpoint, that just is not realistic."

    What fair use discussions do you have to share? 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: Reading fandoms

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 19 December 2013 - 5:43pm
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    Banner by Diane of an open book with a pencil in the center, an OTW logo and the post title

    • Fanworks as an element of fandom activity seems to be growing, even among media outlets that cover fannish topics. Pop Crush decided to poll its readers on "Would you rather read fan fiction about One Direction‘s Harry Styles or Austin Mahone?" while Hardwood Paroxysm began mixing fanfiction and analysis. "Here’s a new feature we’re trying out at the Ol’ Paroxysm. It’s called Fantasy Fiction. One writer, Kyle Soppe, gives you a fantasy basketball update for the week–who’s been good and who’ll be good pickups. Another writer (this week, it’s Jordan White) writes some fan fiction about the week’s players."
    • Meanwhile on the literary front, fanfiction is fitting right in. In a book review of A Little History of Literature in the New Statesman they note that "[t]here is no hand-wringing about the death of the book...[n]or does he bewail the popularity of the fan-fiction websites...These forums for the common writer revive a form of storytelling that, like the Odyssey, “is not commissioned, nor is it paid for, nor is it ‘reviewed’, nor is it bought. It is not, as the term is usually applied, ‘published’. 'Fanfic' is part of an evolving online republic in which writing is not a commodity but a 'conversation.'"
    • Mashable asked about the future of book clubs while discussing Tumblr's reblog book club. "Fershleiser made sure that she chose a book that would appeal to Tumblr readers. `In choosing books, it’s a combination of what do I feel comfortable recommending [to someone] as young as 13, but also will be compelling to adult readers, and what will resonate with the Tumblr community, which skews a little nerdy, a little progressive and a lot fandomy'." Being only online and "moderating a month-long book discussion ...was much more time-consuming than hosting a physical book club. `The challenge is how much time it takes to do right — trying to respond to every question and concern, making sure everyone's being heard.'"
    • Novelist Daniel R. Pike told the TriValley Times about the difficulty of getting published, even if he first succeeded at 17. “Final Fantasy 7 is the reason I went to college to be an English major” because “I started writing fan fiction for that game when I was in high school."

    What fandom reading have you been doing? Write about it 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: Social media wins and losses

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 - 5:01pm
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    Banner by Erin of the post title next to an image of Tom Hiddleston leaping from behind the Tumblr logo to nab the Twitter bird

    • With both fans and entertainment projects utilizing social media, it's important to understand the playing field. Mashable cited Dr.Who for knowing "How to Keep Secrets in a Social Media World" while The Guardian looked at Tom Hiddleston's publicity skills. "Hiddleston though doesn't seem to be going through the motions, which is why it works. Like Jennifer Lawrence, his is an unfiltered realness that is fast becoming the ultimate asset in post-Twitter, post-PR Hollywood."
    • Aside from celebrities utilizing social media to go straight to the audience, Mirror Online's use of a One Direction fan to write about 1D day will likely be one of many efforts to connect to fans' by utilizing their voices in published pieces.
    • Not Literally Productions used fandom's practices to create a parody version of Icona Pop's "I Don't Care," titled "I Ship It", and are offering the single for sale, moving from social media to commerce.
    • The Verge discussed how facilitating more connectivity among fans can backfire. Sony PlayStation 4's 'Playroom' allowed users to broadcast themselves to other gamers. "Sony was seen to be rushing to slam its ear to the ground, picking up current video-game trends without truly understanding them." As a result, "[t]he rise, rapid descent, and subsequent banning of The Playroom on Twitch is a lesson for Sony. Racing to be part of the fastest-growing subsection of the largest entertainment medium in the world is more difficult when the people who inhabit that space already are entrenched, and have their own specific ways of doing things. As for the worrying content: it may just be human nature that given a camera and a means to communicate, we'll do so in a way that is by turns ingenious and disturbing."

    What social media fandom trends have you been seeing? 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.

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