morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
Posted in full at: at January 05, 2017 at 10:04PM

Posted in full at: at January 05, 2017 at 10:04PM


I have been rereading the MsScribe saga today, which I now believe was so much more than an account of fandom because to have been able to write it is to understand fandom as it operated. This is important because we spend a lot of time on this website talking about how fandom should be, not about how it currently exists, as actual fact. Charlotte Lennox’s analyses of fandom, particularly, of how MsScribe was able to manipulate fandom, were very sharp, and talked about things that fannish people were not necessarily willing to talk about. 

A few things struck me as particularly prophetic about this current state of fandom.

  1. The fandom community is completely defenseless against bad faith actors who know how fandom works. 
    1. Consider MsScribe’s meteoric rise. Consider how knowing the right words is the one and only condition to being considered Good.
  2. Fandom operates on a couple of perverse incentives:
    1. Trauma will earn you not only sympathy, which it should, but also earn you authority to speak to a number of topics. 
    2. Trauma had become the only way that you earn authority to speak to those topics.
    3. In the times of MsScribe, this manifested in her story about her accident and her stay at the hospital, but it was very interesting how she trotted out the story in irrelevant contexts.
    4. MsScribe has also claimed to have experienced sexual assault.
    5. Now, this is combined with fandom’s de facto policy of Always Believe. This set of rules on which fandom operates does not mean that Always Believe should be done away with, but that we have to understand that it should come as no surprise that bad faith actors will exploit this rule.
  3. Accusations of racism and bigotry elevate fandom to a higher level of importance than it actually is.
    1. I have a post or two about how fandom is not actually important in the grand scheme of things, so I will not belabor the point here.
    2. Fandom still plays a huge part in the lives of fans, however, so it must be important, right? How do we make it seem more important?
    3. I believe MsScribe’s stunt with the racist and homophobic sockpuppets presages fandom’s abuse of social justice language. This is not a new point, but by elevating shipping wars to the levels of racism and homophobia, people can claim righteousness and justify their overzealous reactions.
    4. The thing is that nowadays, fandom no longer even requires sockpuppets to be made. Offences in order to generate appropriate outrages do not need to be odious neo-fascist statements; they are everywhere, manifest. You need to keep up with the latest non-ablest language, or you’re out. This is why fandom will never be able to surpass MsScribe’s sophisticated level of wankatry–there is simply no need for it.
      1. Separately, it amuses me to no end that fandom remembers Dan Savage as the guy who said some unwise things about asexual folks, and not one of the media dipshits who championed the Iraq war.

So a lot of the dynamics that we’re talking about right now have already been in existence in fandom, literally as early as the first true fandom history was written. Scary, no? But this is also why I completely reject analyses like Devin Faraci’s that paint this generation of fans as particularly “entitled,” as though “entitled” is not the right wing’s favorite bludgeon with which to hit Millennials. I also reject Aja Romano’s lol-tastic version of how fabulous and important fandom is in her numerous, brazenly ahistorical posts for I invite the likes of Charlotte Lennox, who has a real understanding of fandom and its history, as well as a willingness to talk about oft avoided things, to contribute to the discourse instead.

****Coming to you soon, maybe: A long ass post about everything wrong with Faraci’s and Romano’s takes on fandom.

Tags:some of these may be borrowed tags, fandom meta, fandom history, probablyintraffic, DWCrosspost
Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
post-security: public
morgandawn: Fandom is my Fandom (Fandom is my Fandom)

Sometimes I try explaining media fandom culture as follows:

Popular culture is like food. In the past, most of us cooked our own food and ate at home. We followed recipes that were handed down informally from generation to generation. Most of us could never afford to hire a chef or to go to a restaurant.

Then recipe books began to be published. Restaurants flourished. People started eating out once a year, then once month, and finally once or twice a week. Diner food arrived and with it, fast food was quick on its heels. The consumption of frozen dinners exploded. Home cooking was supplanted by prepackaged meals. We ate more and more alone, on the go, and communal family dinners fell out of favor.

Fan fiction, fan art and fan vids are like home-cooking. Commercially produced TV, books, and movies are like restaurant food. The meals prepared by fandom creators are usually based on the commercial recipes. Sometimes we follow the recipe closely. Sometimes we tweak it and add our own ingredients. Sometimes we go totally off script, especially when it becomes clear that commercial food markets have no interest in catering to our nutritional needs or dietary preferences. As fans, we still love to eat out, but mostly we love to cook for ourselves and our friends. What we cook varies in quality. Sometimes home cooked fanfiction is on par with MacDonald's and sometimes it is better than a 3 star Michelin restaurant. But that too is a matter of taste and preference.

But no one in their right minds would argue that home-cooking is illegal. That food is copyrighted and that no one should be able to replicate a recipe at home. That the only "authorized" food is the food that is produced by commercial kitchens, marketed by corporations and served up by trained chefs.

The ability to interact with popular culture - to absorb it, to reshape it, to respond to it - is a basic human need. It is as basic as eating and drinking. We have always sat around the fire telling and retelling the stories of our people. Just as we have always sat around the fire while eating the food we cooked for one another. And hopefully we always will.
morgandawn: base image from annaleeblysse (cookies)
On the need for positive feedback and safe spaces. Things I wish I had understood better in my early years.

"A safe place is fantastic, but my real concern is what happens in real life. Does the butterfly soul understand that fannish validation is bound by fandom and that they may not be able to replicate that kind of feedback in real life......

Real self-esteem doesn't rely on expecting the universe to reflect our desires--that's comfort, perhaps, and at its worst, narcissism. You can tell because people with real self-esteem don't lash out when they're told they're wrong. As I've said, comfort's wonderful and perhaps an integral part of some fans rebuilding their self-esteem, but...

It might come down to hope versus expectation. I think it's great when assumptions are challenged with the hope of change occurring, but expecting fame, wealth, validation, etc., from the universe is bound to land people in trouble. This is especially true of any sort of media, since it is by definition transactional. Every artist has to make the choice whether they want to make what they want to make or receive the type of response they want to receive and often the latter isn't a choice at all. Very few people are lucky and talented enough to be able to express themselves and get the feedback they want. (And frankly, some people are just lucky. Really, sometimes it hurts less to acknowledge that the universe is unfair and do the best you can.)"

morgandawn: (Zen fen lanning Green)
plaidadder posted:

I don’t know how the whole debate about the X-Files’ original demographic got started, so it would be foolish for me to enter into it. But I have been interested to see the information going around about tumblr’s actual demographic breakdown, and to discover that the percentage of people on tumblr under the age of 18 is comparatively small.

I’m 46. I can tell you why I’m on tumblr, and why it makes sense to me that a lot of people in my age range or slightly younger are on it. And yet I too had the impression, when I first signed on, that tumblr was basically a teenagers’ site, and quite frankly felt very weird about that at first. I’m going to talk about what ‘social media’ (we were not calling it that then) was like back in the 1990s when we first started using it, and why I think tumblr replicates some aspects of that experience, and how and why I think tumblr creates the impression that its main demographic is 13-18 year olds. This is all subjective opinion and you don’t have to believe any of it. But you know, old people, we are always trying to share our wisdom. We can’t help it. I know it’s annoying.

Keep reading



For everyone who says that there is no good textual meta on tumblr, I point to the above essay which touches on so many issues, including the perception of age in fandom and tumblr demographics  I quote some excerpts below, but the essay deserves its own entire read:

tumblr is attractive to me partly because it replicates some of those old-fashioned pre-Facebook modes of interaction. Most people on tumblr use pseudonymous handles. Most profile pictures are of something other than the user herself, and usually come from whatever thing the user is a fan of. The same user can set up multiple blogs under multiple pseudonyms. And you can post as much text as you want. It’s true that unless you lead with an image, a lot of people won’t read your text posts because they want to be able to know what fandom they’re about before they invest in reading the actual words, and that’s fair. It also incorporates some features that we all wished we’d had back in the day, including a means of keeping track of who’s reading your stuff. ….

It is also, of course, much newer in its overwhelming preference for images (moving and static) and in the reblogging function (this was not a thing back in the day; the only way to circulate content was to attach it or incorporate it into an email). And when you first sign up it is really difficult to figure out how to have a conversation on it. The new udpate, of course, makes that even more difficult.Anyway. So it makes perfect sense to me that there are a lot of people from my generation of internet users on tumblr…..

…..Most of us who are old on tumblr aren’t here because tumblr recruited us. We’re here because this is where fandom went, and so we follow the fandom. ….. I think it’s great that tumblr is intergenerational. Fandom always has been. And there will probably always be some friction between generations; but we’ll all get through it. We all have a lot to learn from each other.“
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)

Posted in full at: at September 12, 2015 at 12:29PM

Often when I read fandom meta (or any meta) I am struck by how the lack of specifics hamper not only discussion but understanding. 

TL;DR: People are silly.

Fan 1: I refuse to associate with moose. Moose are scary. Moose should not be allowed to roam where they can scare me.

Moose-world: Hey wait, I resemble that remark. I am not scary and I am a free range moose and have been one since the beginning of time.

Fan 2: You are invalidating her feelings and just proving how scary and evil all moose really are.

Moose-world: No, you are being the scary one, trying to whip up hate and anger and exile for all the kind and generous moose that have existed (and will continue to exist). Shame on you, you…you….Moose hater.

Fan 3: I for one welcome people who understand that moose can be scary and that we all need to work together to prevent them from trampling the tender shoots of grass.

Moose-world:  Tender shoots of grass? WTF did that come from?  Are you actually arguing that we have to start floating six inches off the ground?  You realize how crazy that sounds?

Fan 1: A moose bit my sister once.

Me:  Ouch. Moose bites can be pretty nasty.   Perhaps you can put up a sign so that the moose will steer clear. 

Fan 4: You don’t get to tell her what to do. A moose bit her sister once. And it hurt.  Really hurt. It’s not her fault that a moose bit her sister once.

Me: ??

Management:  We apologize for the fault in the subtleties. Those responsible have been sacked.

Tags:fandom meta, it's a scary moose world, be careful out there, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
morgandawn: (Zen fen lanning Green)
I've blogged before about how fandom keeps trying to police one another by invoking etiquette when too often that etiquette is shaped over time by ever changing technology and cultures.herehere and hereThe short version: We do not use technology, technology uses us.) 

I came across today a  comment that spoke to my earlier points. It was responding to the ongoing discussion as to why fans today feel they can blog/reblog content without permission or context.

"I think generations and etiquette have much less to do with it than the technology itself. Tumblr, just like DW or any other social media platform, actively shapes what kind of activity they want to occur by the features they offer and those they neglect.

DW, or LJ before it, presents you first and foremost with a large text box. If you were to find a zine picture you really loved, even if it did not occur to you to ask for permission to post it first, you would probably talk about how you found it, wonder who the author was and if they had a local internet presence, etc. Probably you would put the picture behind a cut (also a habit shaped by technology - slow connections and breaking layouts). Conversation would then proceed within the comments of that entry, and the whole thing would stay relatively secluded - this, IMO, naturally feels much more respectful of the artist, no matter whether the person posting thought anything through beforehand.

On Tumblr, you have a photo post, which will always always show the picture first, and any explanation of what this is and why you are talking about it second. This picture will then be shown to wild strangers via the tagging system, and they can appropriate it, and even remove the last shreds of context by removing the "caption" (just note the name of what all that fannish interaction has now become!), with a single click of the reblog button. Any kind of discussion also necessitates appropriation: you cannot comment on anything without first copying it to your own post! With this kind of architecture, even the same person, with the same original intention, produces wildly different results..."
morgandawn: (Ariel Yes?)
 I need fans with both DW and tumblr accounts to help test the cross-posting recipe and work flow 

Context here

Detailed instructions here
morgandawn: (Fanlore Our Story)
 (Direct link)
fanloremod: (Default)
[personal profile] fanloremod posting in [community profile] fanlore
The Wiki committee has had a busy month working on the usual outside requests (we admit, we do still have a bit of a backlog!), our internal documentation, and some exciting new projects!

First, thank you to those who came to our July editing chat! Among other things, we discussed old school slash, ambitious pages, and Fanlore's own site graphics. (Did you know that we have no copy of Fanlore's original header from when the site was in beta? Fanlore's Fanlore article has been updated to include some of our historical graphics, but we would love to see more of Fanlore's own history preserved! If you were around during Fanlore's early days please do share your memories of the site, and if you happen to have any old images or screenshots we'd love those too!)

During the editing chat we also discovered a couple of old Fanlore-themed icons created by the wonderful [personal profile] kylara that had never been added to ourgraphics page. The page has now been updated to include them, and (as with all the graphics on that page) you are very welcome to use them!

In other news, we have received reports that some newly-created pages aren't being properly indexed by Fanlore's search engine. We're looking into this, and in the meantime you may want to use Google to supplement your Fanlore searches (see Fanlore's help page for more info).

What's to come?

Wiki has been busy planning Fanlore's annual Stub September challenge! See the the official announcement for more information, and stay tuned for the first of the weekly themes tomorrow!

To celebrate Stub September and also provide an opportunity for new editors to ask questions, we will be holding an editing party on Saturday, September 12th at 17:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?) in the Fanlore chat room.

As of September 1st, 2015, Fanlore has 35,761 articles which have undergone 613,239 edits. We hope to see you on the Recent Changes page!
morgandawn: (Default)
Dec16th2014 01:05 pm

Fandom usually jumps into technologiesuses them, and then acts surprised when we realize that we have no clue what we're doing or how the use of the new tech has changed an aspect of our fandom culture. Right now a few authors are posting notices that you need permission to link to their fanworks in "public spaces". Or that they'd prefer their readers comment on their fic where it was  originally posted.  Each author gets to unilaterally define what is public with the expectation that every reader will follow because that is part of the "social contract". So for today Goodreads = public and is not a place to list or review fanfic. Tumblr is OK (for now) because it is not seen as a "public" space.*  

It used to be easier to know what to expect of other fans but the moment we went online, the fannish social contract was voided due to sheer size and complexity of online interactions. Add the fact that new platforms and new ways of interacting keep coming out every 20 minutes and you have a hot conceptual mess filled with poorly understood expectations.

I know that when we went online in the 1990s few of us had any idea  that fans would be publicly posting their porn fanfic** to open access websites (no. stop. think of the children!), displaying their explicit art where anyone could see (blush), and tweeting their love of RPS and knotting fic (OMGWTFBB!).  By those standards, we have all breached the original fannish social contract of keeping fandom a "safe space" simply by interacting with one another in public and online. And I suspect that 20 years down the road, we will again struggle to recognize "fandom" as it continues to be reshaped by technology.

So I would rather see us practice mindfulness and awareness that the tools and platforms we use change us and our culture instead of snapping at one another because we've changed and that we no longer know what to expect from one another.

Because to be honest, I have no clue any more. And I'd be wary of anyone who claims otherwise.

*Keep in mind that most fans don't bother to turn off Google indexing on their tumblr blogs (or their LJ...or their DW..or their twitter or their.....). And even if they do, every time someone else reblogs your content, if *their blog* is searchable by Google it will still be "public". 

**A few of us did have in inkling but we all kept it quiet because we did not want to scare our fellow fans with our crazy visions of the future filled with flying fans sporting jetpack keyboards and tinhats.

edited to add: here is another example of Fandom Meets Technology
morgandawn: (Default)

Filking is a long time fannish tradition. It exists in both science fiction and media fandom, but its roots are deepest in sci-fi fandom.

Here are excerpts from a book of filk lyrics I found in Stacy’s Doyle’s collection last week. The book is called the NESFA Hymnal.


(first up a song about the sadness of waiting for elevators at fan conventions. in the days before smartphones and hotel wifi, someone had to write one to pass the time while waiting.)

THE ELEVATOR SONG ( set to the Beatles song “Yesterday”)

Yesterday, I’ve been waiting here since yesterday.
Now it looks as though I’m here to stay.
Oh, all my plans have gone astray.
And just then, he went past me and went….

Bill Mallardi, Suzanne Tompkins, Jerry Kaufman, and Linda Bushyager
Copyright 1968


(how about a Star Trek themed filk song?)

THE FIRST DAYS OF OUR MISSION (set to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)

On the first day of our mission
The writers gave to me:

A transporter malfunction,
Klingons on the bridge,
Harcourt Fenton Mudd,
Ten million tribbles,
Several lovely yeomen,
A nurse to love the Vulcan,
A smart-assed Russian ensign,
A sword-wielding helmsman…..

Uhura fair,
A Scottish engineer,
An acid-witted doctor,
A Vulcan pointy-eared,
And a starship to roam the galaxy.”



(a filk song finally giving the bad guys of the Tolkien universe some air time)

GIVE MY REGARDS TO ORTHANC (set to “Give My Regards To Broadway”)
Give my regards to Orthanc;
Remember me to Barad-Dur.
Tell all the boys from old Nan-Curunir
That I’ll be there for sure.

Whisper of how I’m yearning

To mingle with the Morgul throng.

Give my regards to Shelob’s lair,

And tell her I’ll be there ere long.”



(and how about those Ents? Catchy tune, eh?)

THE ENTS’ MARCHING SONG (sung to “The Ants’ Marching Song)

The Ents go marching one by one, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching one by one, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching one by one,
To get their chlorophyll into the sun.

CHORUS:The Ents go marching
Round and round and into the ground
And out in the rain and in again.
The Ents go marching two by two, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching two by two, Hurrah, Hurrah!
The Ents go marching two by two!
Does a marching tree wear a wooden shoe?

(Jim Landau and Sherna Comerford)


(nothing changes much in space)

DRUNKEN SPACEMAN (sung to “(What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?”)

What shall we do with a drunken spaceman?
What shall we do with a drunken spaceman?
What shall we do with a drunken spaceman?
Light years out from Terra.

CHORUS: Hooray, and off she blasts,
Hooray, and off she blasts,
Hooray, and off she blasts,
Light years out from Terra.

Put him in the airlock till he’s sober…
Drop him on an asteroid till he’s sober…
Put him through a space warp till he’s sober…
Throw him in the algae till he’s sober…
Put him in the reaction chamber…
Zap him with a phaser till he’s sober…
Dump him on a comsat till he’s sober…
Hang him on a skyhook till he’s sober…
Leave him in his spacesuit till he’s sober…
Haul him by the legs with a running spaceline…
Leave him out in a Martian sandstorm…
Leave him all day in a Lunar crater…
Boost him into orbit till he’s sober…
Abandon him on a planetoid…

Further verses can be improvised until the singer’s pain threshold
is reached, or the listeners stone him to death.


morgandawn: (Default)


Fiction written in the community based on one television series has been printed in pale blue ink on yellow paper, which photocopies as a blank page. Editors and authors would release the work only to people they knew, and then only after the purchaser had promised not to pass the work any further. Secondary readers - those known to the purchasers but not to the editors or writers - could be given the option to read the work in the home of the purchaser, but generally could not receive full access until they became well known in the fan group."


Camille Bacon-Smith, writing about pre-internet fanfic communities in her book Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth
(via surrexi)

Let’s see if I can remember the fandoms that CBS is referencing

The first is….Starsky & Hutch RPS? (no, wait that was The Purple Pages) - named because they were printed on purple paper. There was a Starsky & Hutch gen and slash zine that was printed in blue ink on red paper: Pushing The Odds. You can see images of the zine here as well. So I am drawing a blank on the blue ink/yellow paper fandom.

morgandawn: (Default)

As the drive to raise  money to move BAM Video Vault to its new home continues, the site owner is posting some interesting updates. This one caught my eye: “The annual Digital Music Report released TUESDAY by IFPI has found that “the recording industry is making more money from fan-made mashups, lip-syncs and tributes on YOUTUBE than from official music videos.” - See more at:” 

As fandom grows more mainstream, the more pressure our communities will face from commercial entities that  seek to monetize our culture.  We are particularly  dependent on for profit platforms (tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, twitter etc) to form the infrastructure for our communities. This is one of the reasons that AO3 was built - we need to own the servers if we want to continue to shape our communities to meet our needs and desires.  Supporting alternative streaming platforms like BAM Video Vault is another way of achieving that goal. The current fundraising target is $1000 and they’ve just raised over half of that amount. 

Click here to support BAM Video Vault (aka Vidding Network) by Garfield Stinvil

morgandawn: (Default)
 I keep wondering if there is a place for the text to show up.

adding text below.
morgandawn: (Default)
 ....why the dates on my posts are suddenly days off (both forward and backward).
morgandawn: (Tree Prettty)
 Recently there has been much discussion on the limits of  the tumblr platform to allow threaded commentary and longer meta posts. That usually is followed by even more commentary on the shortcomings of DW and LJ and how things  were not better in the olden days. That is not this post.

Instead, I will be riffing on a possible workflow  to cross-post from tumblr to DW/LJ.  The goal is to encourage more....discussion like discussions. Note: this is sadly not a technical post because neither tumblr nor DW nor LJ allow cross-posting. Tumblr does allow cross-posting to twitter and FB. See Workflow #2 Below

Workflow Method 1 - Dreamwidth To Tumblr Manual
1. When you want to make a meta/discussion post,  start with DW/ LJ.  Write up your meta post.
2. Copy a brief section into tumblr. You can  do this as a text  post or if you have a snazzy gifset, you can include  it as a link inside an image post.  Make the tumblr post as appealing/sexy/snazzy as you can.  The goal is to overcome the normal inertia of leaving a platform.
3. Click on the Add Link button and link back to your DW entry.
4, Add a note about anonymous commenting (if turned on) and OpenID. Make certain your DW/LJ post is unlocked.
5. (Optional) Add a link back to tumblr to allow DW/LJ readers to follow and peek at the tumblr reblogs.

Note: this  is a workflow mainly for text  based meta. Giftset meta you might need to reverse.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Things I missed? 

Workflow Method 2 - Dreamwidth To Tumblr Automatic - Detailed instructions

Instructions Short version
1. Create IFTT Account
2. Use Pre-existing IFFT recipe (IFTT recipe here) 
3. Verify DW settings and make DW post
4. DW post appears on tumblr

Workflow Method 3 - Dreamwidth To Tumblr Automatic
Instructions Short Version
1. Install Mobile "Share On Tumblr" Bookmarklet into your browser
2. Navigate to the DW/LJ post you want to Share on Tumblr
3. Click on the bookmarklet - when the window pops up you can add text and tags and post to tumblr. Note: only a bare bones link will show up. Not the full text or photos unless you manually add them

Workflow Method  4 - Tumblr to Dreamwidth Automatic - more details/instructions pending
(IFTT recipe here)
Instructions Short Version
1. Create IFTT Account
2. Use Pre-existing IFFT recipe
3. Make tumblr post
4. Tumblr post appears on DW

And dear God, someone please come up with a way to automate/streamline/integrate or something to make these platfotms work for us ...instead of us working for them.

edited to add: I am testing If Then Then That to see if I can funnel selected tumblr posts to DW via Gmail. The main problem is that it does not create a link in my tumblr post to DW but will continue exploring.


morgandawn: (Default)

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