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|Sunday, July 11th, 2010|
We should be back!
I was told by our tech team that they deleted 11 gig of logs and we're back in business! Yay!
|Saturday, July 10th, 2010|
Fan History is down!
Yeah, we're down. Our server ran out of space and we're busy poking our tech guy to see if we can't get a response from him to fix this problem. I haven't heard back yet and we're dealing with three different time zones: Eastern Australia, Denmark, Mountain USA. Ouch and embarrassed. :(
|Thursday, April 8th, 2010|
Fan History Preservation project: bebo
If you haven’t heard the news, it looks likely that bebo will be closing by June. There was a strong and active fannish community over on bebo. Sadly, we don’t really have the time to do a full out preservation effort like we tried to do with Geocities. What we will try to do in the mean time is to create a database of groups on bebo that we can make into individual articles. We will also upload screencaps of random bebo pages that will be uploaded. It isn’t much but it can begin to give people a picture of what happened on bebo. This will be on top of our existing bebo related articles. If you can help us by improving existing articles and creating new ones? That would be massively appreciated. This sort of history is important to remember and document. Time is limited so it has to be done now.
|Monday, April 5th, 2010|
Invitation: RecentChangesCamp (RoCoCo) 2010
Recent Changes Camp 2010: Montréal will be held June 25-26-27, 2010 at the Comité Social Centre Sud (CSCS), located at 1710 Beaudry, in Montréal.
What is Recent Changes Camp, anyway?
Recent Changes Camp was born from the intersection of wiki and Open Space. Since 2006, participants from all over North America and the globe have gathered together for a common purpose: discussing the past, present, and future of the technology and collaborative method that is wiki. RCC is a chance for everyone in the wiki community, something we like to call Wiki Ohana, to meet and have a fun, productive conversation about our passion for wikis of all stripes.
Going far beyond technology, we're interested in wiki culture and other networks/groups/etc. that share many of the values implicit in it — from cultural creatives, to public participation and free culture advocates. If you use a wiki or you value open collaboration, Recent Changes Camp is created for you. RCC is about openness and inclusion, collaboration and community, creativity and flow. Further down this page you can check out a sampling of sessions we've enjoyed in the past, along with pictures and videos from previous events.
This unconference/BarCamp has been held at least once every year since 2006 (and twice in 2007). Unlike a conventional conference, where everything's pre-planned and structured, RecentChangesCamp is a gathering where we decide for ourselves what we're going to get out of it by offering sessions each morning on whatever we want (and of course ad hoc sessions can form at any time). There's no agenda until we make it up! Now, that might sound a bit chaotic if you're never been to this type of gathering, but be prepared to be surprised at how much people can learn and create when they collaborate spontaneously.
With an emergent agenda, it can be hard to describe specifically what you will get from participating in Recent Changes Camp. In large part, that is up to you to be responsible for. Participants often say greater sense of wiki community, broader sense of wiki way and wiki tools, or more excitement about our future together as well as inspiration and discovery.
At Recent Changes Camp, everybody is welcomed. You don't need to be an expert on anything, and you certainly don't need to consider yourself a geek. Collaboration thrives on diversity! All you need to bring is an open mind, and a willingness to participate, whether by teaching or by taking an active role in discussions. And, don't forget, an unconference is what we make it, so let's make it enlightening and fun. http://rococo2010.org/http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114318455249901http://twitter.com/rccamp http://identi.ca/rccamp
|Monday, December 28th, 2009|
Our history on Fan History in 2009 This is a crosspost from Fan History's official blog. There has been a little bit added at the end to reflect what we've been doing since we originally wrote this.
We’ve covered a lot of history happening in 2009 and made a fair amount of history for ourselves. This is a year end summary of some our own history for the year. We’ve done a fair amount and are excited about the possibilities for the new year.
During the early part of January, Fan History’s staff was busy creating an awareness campaign for our project on LiveJournal and InsaneJournal. We were also trying to get people involved in editing the wiki, to help improve the quality of articles related to their fandom. This was a continuation of an effort started at the end of 2008.
In early February, we were happy to announce that January 2009 was, to date, our highest monthly traffic and all of it was wank free. This was important to us as we had been criticized in the past for trying to use wank for traffic. We felt this validated that we could successfully get traffic and did get traffic wank free.
Organizational issues have always been an issue on Fan History. Periodically, our staff creates flow charts to explain how we organize things. We created one using Superman fandom as an example. This chart was created to address the problems of fandoms of the same name having multiple canonical sources in several mediums.
On February 10, Fan History posted a listing for internship opportunities with the wiki.
In late February, Fan History’s admins and community discussed changing the article deletion policy.
During the early part of March, Fan History’s contributors were actively working on improving a link list related to Race Fail 2009. The activity around these articles petered out around March 15, when things during that situation quieted down. We were really pleased with the reception that the articles related to Race!Fail recieved as our goal was to provide an unbiased and thorough reporting of the events that took place.
On March 17, FanworksFinder was effectively closed down. The underlying software was pligg and was extremely vulnerable to spam. The quantities that were coming in, and the number of spam registrations, made it a hassle to hand currate that problem away. Rather than take the site down, the registration and link submission pages were disabled. Despite looking, we could not find a developer to help fix this problem.
During mid-March, Fan History’s admins discussed our real name deletion policy. Comments were invited from the community. These changes made it easier for everyone involved in removing people’s real names from the wiki.
Fan History tweaked our article deletion policy in mid-March. This was done to clarify some issues.
On March 18, Fan History changed the network that the IRC based channel was hosted on. The switch was made to irc.freenode.net because of freenode’s dedication to open source projects and because other important wiki chats are located there. That includes AboutUs, wikihow, Wikipedia, Wikia, RecentChangesCamp, Mediawiki and YourWiki.
Fan History’s admins had been nervous and repeatedly saving small changes because of losing edits. At RecentChangesCamp, they became aware of a drafts extension that wikiHow had developed. wikiHow provided us with a copy and emufarmers tweaked and installed it.
Around April 8, the Race!Fail situation blew up a bit again and Fan History’s contributors were once again editing related articles.
On April 21, after private information was accidentally re-included in an article, drafts were disabled on the wiki.
In mid-April, the announcement was made that Geocities was closing down. In response, we created the Fan History Geocities Preservation Project. The goal was to document the etymologies of terminology using definitions found on Geocities, screencap fansites on Geocities, create a list of stories archived on Geocities, and get lists of fanzines that could only be found on Geocities.
Privacy guidelines on Fan History were tweaked on April 21. This was in response to the situation involving Russet Noon.
In late April, Fan History added around 13,000 stub articles about movies and movie fandoms. This attracted a number of contributions from one or two of our regular contributors.
On April 29, Fan History added over 1,500 articles about fanzines. Areas that saw an increase in articles included the following fandoms: soccer/football, rugby, basketball, Rat Patrol, due South, Sentinel, Star Wars, furry fandom, Punk, music, and Indiana Jones. This meant that Fan History now had one of the most comprehensive listings of fanzines on the Internet.
Around May 4, mammoth!fail, involving Patricia Wrede, kicked off and Fan History’s contributors and admins were once again busy editing Race Fail related articles.
Part of LiveJournal media fandom were very interested in Dreamwidth Studios. The blogging service opened to the public in May and Fan History was busy getting stats on total number of active members for most of the month. This manual stat gathering continued into June.
On May 15, after re-evaluating admin editing practices, drafts was re-enabled.
Between May 23 and May 26, a bot created by Lewis Collard for Fan History Wiki created a number of articles about episodes of television shows. The purpose of these articles was to help people define activity in a television fandom that took place in response to an episode. This information could then be integrated into articles about a show’s fandom. It was also viewed as another tool to help contributors promote their own works as an incentive to contribute to the wiki.
On May 27, Nile Flores joined Fan History’s admin staff. For a while, she was doing most of our tweets on our Twitter stream.
For a while at the end of May, Fan History was the the largest non-Wikipedia, non-modified MediaWiki install wiki that was not a Wikimedia Foundation project. Or at least according to the list kept on s23.org. Fan History would later be displaced when a few other wikis were added and other wikis grew.
In late May, Fan History saw increased interest in Michael Jackson in response to his comeback tour in London. We also saw an increase in interest in our AdultFanFiction.Net article.
During June, some people involved with Race!Fail came in to update their own links and clarify their own involvement during the situation. This included Kathryn Cramer, Will Shetterly and Greg London. The edits that these contributors made were neutral accountants of their own involvement and we were happy to see them contributing.
In early June, interest in Naruto related articles spiked. Some of this was connected to the Naruto related articles we added.
On June 14, Fan History changed the procedure for how administrators handle deletion requests.
During mid-June, Fan History’s founder ran for LiveJournal’s User Advisory Board. She cited her experience with Fan History as a good reason to support her nomination. She didn’t get the 100 votes to make the ballot.
On June 25, Fan History created a Facebook fan page. It was subsequently mostly forgotten after that.
Michael Jackson died on June 25 and Fan History saw a huge spike in our Michael Jackson related content as a result. Traffic for Michael Jackson fan fiction related search terms would remain consistent at about 10 to 20 visits a day for the rest of the year.
At the end of June, Fan History’s founder lost her job. This was stressful as this employment helped cover Fan History’s cost out of pocket.
On July 7, Fan History was the feature site of the day on AboutUs.Org. AboutUs is one of the biggest and most influential wiki sites on the Internet. Advice from their founder and employees have been influential in helping Fan History formulate its own policies. This recognition from them was awesome.
In mid-July, two of Fan History’s stat bots died. They kept track of daily posting levels on fan fiction archives and various LiveJournal communities.
During July, Fan History experienced record traffic. This was the result of several factors including Michael Jackson passing away, being featured on AboutUs, having been mentioned on Mashable, and continuing traffic to our Race!Fail related articles.
In late July, there were a few really high traffic days to Fan History’s Cassandra Clare article and The Police article.
August continued with the pattern started in July: A major increase in traffic. After August 8, traffic slowly began to wane but still continued at levels higher than earlier in the year.
In mid August, there was a huge increase in interest in Fan History’s article about Draco/Hermione.
In late August, we saw an increase in traffic to our Jon and Kate Gosselin related articles. Much of this can be attributed to increased interest in the couple because of their divorce announcement.
In late August, SurveyFail kicked off on a large scale. We started covering it on September 2. It was linked to extensively.
Fan History makes a point not to tell people that we link to them when covering emerging fandom kerfluffles. This is because we believe that doing so has the possibility of derailing conversations. On September 4, we blogged about this.
On September 8, we created an official Dreamwidth community. This was to complement our InsaneJournal asylum. We just were never very good at updating it. That same day, we also blogged about developing communities on smaller wikis.
During early and mid-September, Fan History’s admins discussed notability as it pertains to the wiki’s deletion policies. Input was sought from the community to help make the policy as compliant with the multiple and often time conflicting views of fandom. This was in response to an article deletion request from a participant in Race!Fail.
On September 20, we blogged about why we would not be joining Wikia. The gist of it is that Wikia promised us they would host us, demanded that we turn over our domains, would create a situation where would could not back out… oh and wouldn’t pay us for any of that. We’re not running Fan History with the idea of getting rich. (The site costs us more money than we’ve ever made off of it.) But if we’re going to give Fan History to some one, we want something in return.
On September 22, Dandizette published an with Fan History’s founder regarding Geocities preservation efforts.
On September 25, Fan History published its first of three white papers that would be published this year. This paper was titled “Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings” (appendix) In it, we used data that had been gathered on Fan History to show that fan fiction posting levels is predictive in terms of Nielsen Ratings. This white paper was mentioned on Y!Pulse.
LambdaFail took place during September and Fan History covered it. linkspam, an anti-oppresion community on Dreamwidth Studios, had also been covering it. elfwreck, one of the communities admins, had been accused of oppresion by taking the side of heterosexuals. This accusation sent the community in to hiatus. In response to this situation, our admin staff offered to step in and help provide links to oppression related kerfluffles. We got turned down because we were too unbiased. linkspam never found anyone else willing to take it over who was biased in the right way.
On Ocotber 5, we started another experiment with ads on Fan History. We were using Project Wonderful again and a skin given to us by Transformer Wiki. The skin caused some problems but as the founder had some money issues, this was viewed as an okay tradeoff in the short term.
In October, Fan History talked to a major wiki site about the possibility of being acquired by them. Fan History chose this particularly wiki because the staff felt that they shared Fan History’s values in terms of community and content. While it did not happen, the staff felt they learned a lot and it reaffirmed the direction that Fan History was going.
In mid-October, LiveJournal media fandom did fail again with the science fiction community. Fan History covered this on the with with The War on Science Fiction and on the blog.
On October 14, we published our second white paper, MLB Game Attendance and Alternative Social Network Group Engagement. The data and information gathered from this white paper was integrated into the wiki in our baseball category.
On October 26, Geocities closed. It formally brought to a close Fan History’s preservation efforts. During the last few days, Fan History’s admin and volunteer team were busy trying to screen cap sites, and encourage people to use a Firefox extension to help easily update articles about Geocities fansites. Lewis Collard provided us with a list of Geocities fansite from the Open Directory Project. This list was then converted in to wiki articles. All told some 10,000 articles were created. Creating the category structure for these articles went on well in to December 2009. Fan History owes a huge debt of gratitude to Lewis Collard and Illyism from wikiHow for their help.
In late October, we added over 2,500 stub articles about wikis hosted on Wikia.
During early November, Fan History saw a spike in interest in Russet Noon. Our admins looked into the situation, updated the article about the novel and blogged about it. If you’re curious, it looks like Lady Sybilla has deleted much of her online presence.
On November 10, we revisited organizational patterns on Fan History. This time, we looked at it on the blog. Two areas we looked at was fan fiction archive category structure and blogs. This identified some problem areas and inconsistent categorization problems. These have been
In the second week of November, we discovered that back around September, a Fanlore contributor had uploaded several images licensed only to Fan History to that wiki. They had also lifted, unattributed, several articles about fanzines from Fan History. This was both annoying and extremely flattering. The flattering part was because members of the Organization for Transformative Works had been extremely critical of our work on Fan History and had questioned the credibility of the wiki. That they were now taking our work and using it word for word, even if uncited and in violation of our copyright, it was still extremely flattering. It meant that we made it.
In mid-November, Fan History’s domain was unblacklisted from Wikipedia.org. This was done on the promise that Fan History’s admin staff would not link spam Wikipedia again. We made this promise, had a Wikimedia Foundation contributor and staff member vouch for us and it was done. This had been a bit of a sore point when it came up durin the Russet Noon drama. Still, as we had wrongly link spammed, we understood why it had been done.
On November 18, Fan History started the formal proposal of trying to get acquired by the Wikimedia Foundation to address our back end issues, front end issues, credibility issues and monetary issues. Fan History been in contact with people at the Foundation before this to discuss this possibility. The expectations were none, as Wikimedia Foundation had never acquired a project before. The thought was to offer ourselves more as a case study for how they could handle this in the future.
In mid-November 2009, Fan History ended its experiment with Project Wonderful ads on wiki. In the two months the ads had been on site, the wiki ended up earning $22.00. The only place that Project Wonderful ads remain on Fan History is on the blog. There, they currently earn about $0.02 to $0.04 a day.
LiveJournal statistics were gathered on November 17 and November 30th. The data was written up in meta posts on Fan History’s blog on posts like What does the OTW look like? and lion_lamb: A sneak peak into the composition of the Twilight fandom. Charts and graphs from this data also slowly worked its way in to the wiki.
In late November, we were sad to see emufarmers go. We brought on ShakataGaNai who did a fresh install of Mediawiki, fixed some problems that had existed for a while like our missing RSS, our skin, inability to login in to the blog, integrating ads into our skin, etc. This was pretty exciting for Fan History as backend issues were causing considerable stress.
Twitter became more important to Fan History as efforts were made to tweet news and interact more starting in late November. Most of this work was being done on @fanhistory and @fanhistorywiki.
In early December, Fan History switched to Amazon Associates in another experiment at trying to make the wiki more self funding and less of a finacial strain on the founder. A few days later, Fan History added a donation button so people could support the wiki via paypal. After that, search links for Amazon were placed in the right hand corner of articles.
On December 8, Fan History published a case study with recommendations for how the Wikimedia Foundation should handle their procedure for requests to be required in the future. This was published on Fan History’s blog and on the Strategy Wiki.
By mid-December, the images and articles with problematic copyright issues from Fan History had been removed from Fanlore Wiki. This was gratifying as trying to figure out how to lodge a copyright complaint on their wiki was confusing.
On December 12, Fan History changed its copyright to CC-BY-SA. This was done in response to advice on the Wikimedia Foundation mailing list and after some mentions about the possibility and discussion on Fan History’s blog. The switch made us fandom friendlier.
On December 14, Fan History added Bugzilla. This made the reporting of errors on the wiki much easier and also heralded in a new era of addressing some of back end problems.
On December 17, Fan History’s admins launched a LiveJournal/InsaneJournal/Dreamwidth Studios based Fandom Newsletter. The purpose was to try to aggregate some of the meta discussion and news events happening in fandom to a wider audience than the one currently found on the wiki. A lot of this type of link collection was already being done on the wiki itself on fandom specific pages so it felt like a natural fit for our admin team. At the same time, some of the prominent communities on those services doing that had stopped updating regularly or were limiting their content. This included metafandom and linkspam.
On December 18, Fan History finished adding roughly 77,000 articles about sports teams around the world. This continued a larger project the wiki had launched to expand our scope beyond fan fiction and LiveJournal based fan communities.
During mid-December, Fan History Wiki became the second largest non-modified Mediawiki install that was not a Wikimedia Foundation project or Wikia wiki according to s23.org.
In late December, Fan History refined our policy about pen name changes as most people were not reading Help:Pen name changes. If the changes by a contributor reflect a change in pen name, admins, when patrolling and spotting this, will automatically move the page. Admins also made a slight policy to make real name removals by deletion and edits less visible when people submit real name removal requests. This was done because some removals were showing up in our Twitter feed and on Recent Changes. That kind of goes against some of the purpose of removing real names.
By the end of December, Fan History Wiki had over 30 active contributors for that two week period. This was the time period with the most contributors all year.
|Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009|
Australian Football League on JournalFen This is a cross post from Fan History's blog.
, JournalFen is a LiveJournal clone. It has a smaller active user base than DeadJournal with only 95 users updating
in the past 24 hours on December 22, 2009. JournalFen has 250 users that list themselves as being from Australia. Surprisingly, according to Alexa
, JournalFen is ranked 2,385 in Australia and accounts for 19.7% of all traffic to JournalFen.
I'm currently exploring the size and shape of the Australian Football League
community on LiveJournal clones. This piece explores the community on JournalFen. To find the size of the AFL community on JournalFen, I went to the Interest Search
using AFL and each current and past team in the AFL. Three people listed the AFL as an interest. One was born in 1975, one in 1991 and one did not list a year of birth. One is from the ACT, one is from Victoria and one does not list a state they are from.
Unlike DeadJournal, JournalFen attracts a large audience specifically for certain communities that sometimes do not allow anon commenting. Users are thus incentivized to register but, because of the small size and lack of audience, not necessarily to utilize it for their primary blogging space. This may explain why the three people who list AFL as an interest have last updated, at the earliest, 189 weeks ago.
People listing teams as an interest is comparable to DeadJournal: Three teams have people who list them as an interest. Two, Fremantle Dockers
and Sydney Swans
, have one person each who list them as an interest. One, the Hawthorn Hawks
, have two people who list them as an interest; one is listed under Hawthorn and the other under Hawthorn Hawks. This actually represents a total of three people because one user lists two teams as an interest. Two of the people who list teams also list the AFL as an interest.
For the Fremantle Dockers, the person does not list a state and lists 1987 as a year of birth. For the Hawthorn Hawks, one person is from the ACT and lists 1975 as their year of birth. The other one is from Victoria and lists 1991 as their year of birth. For the Sydney Swans, the person is from the ACT and lists 1975 as their year of birth.
The community for the AFL is tiny. It is hard to draw any conclusion about it as it only has four people.
Australian Football League community on DeadJournal This is a crosspost from Fan History's blog.
DeadJournal is a LiveJournal clone. It isn’t very active. Only 279 accounts were updated in the past 24 hours. Despite this, Alexa indicated that this particular LiveJournal clone is more proportionally more popular in Australia than in the United States, where it ranks 37,038 compared to 100,135. Australian visitors account for about 6.1% of all visitors to DeadJournal.
I was interested to see the size and shape of the Australian Football League community on DeadJournal. To do this, I went to the Interest Search using AFL and each current and past team in the AFL. 13 people list AFL as an interest. Not all of these individuals are necessarily interested in the Australian Football League. The AFL also stands for the Arena Football League, a defunct indoor American football. It is possible that people listing AFL as an interest could be referencing this league, especially as the league formally folded this year. (It was in hiatus the previous year as a result of the economic downturn.)
Of the 13 people listing AFL as an interest, only two were Americans. Three people did not list what country they lived in. The other eight people were from Australia. Of these Australians, two were from Western Australia, two were from Victoria, two were from South Australia, one was from Queensland and one did not list a state.
Six of the eight Australians listed their year of birth. The mean, median and mode year of birth for these DeadJournal members was 1985. That puts their age at around 24 years.
The DeadJournal people listing AFL as an interest are not very active on the service any more. The most recent update of a journal by some one listing AFL as an interest was 66 weeks ago. That is 15 months ago. The mean last update for these 8 users was 309 weeks or almost 6 years ago. The median last update was 345 weeks or 366 weeks or 6 years and 7 months ago.
The community for specific teams is even smaller than general interest in the AFL. Of the sixteen current teams and three former teams, only three teams have people listing them as an interest. These teams are Collingwood Magpies, Port Adelaide Power, and the Western Bulldogs. Each of those teams has one person listing them as an interest and none list the AFL as an interest. All of those fans are from Melbourne, Victoria. The most recent update was for the Collingwood fan, who last updated 323 weeks ago. The Collingwood fan does not list a year of birth. The Port Adelaide Power fan lists a year of birth of 1987. The Western Bulldogs fan lists a year of birth of 1986.
The community for the AFL, based on interests, is small, young, Australian based and has been inactive for over three years. It will be interesting to see how this LiveJournal clone compares to others like Blurty, Dreamwidth Studios, InsaneJournal and JournalFen.
|Saturday, December 12th, 2009|
Fan History Wiki copyright switch: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (”CC 3.0″) This is a crosspost from Fan History's blog.
We've been doing a lot of backend improvements on Fan History. In the course of fixing things up, we've been looking at other fundamental issues to our going forward and excelling at our mission. One of the things that we realized was that we needed to make a switch in our copyright policy. We've chosen to go with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 ("CC 3.0")
. We feel that this will help us in several areas:
- Be able to use text contributions from other CC 2.0+ licensed projects. This includes Wikipedia, Wikia, and many, many more.
- Have a more secure legal position. The enforceability and legality of our current copyright is a big potential issue. This would solve that problem by using a recognized, legal copyright.
- Become future compatible. CC 3.0 will automatically upgrade to the latest version.
- Help attract new contributors from other projects. People expect a certain license type if they want to be involved. Our current one is discouraging to some people in the wiki community.
If you have any questions about what this switch will mean, please read the rational for this
. If you made any contributions and object to this change, please comment on the page with refuse and we'll work with you to reach some sort of resolution. If you have yet still more questions, comment here or on the talk page for the license upgrade switch
|Tuesday, December 8th, 2009|
Case Study: Fan History’s Proposal For Being Acquired by the WMF This has been reposted from Fan History Wiki's official blog.
In November 2009, Fan History Wiki approached the Wikimedia Foundation about possibly being acquired by them. The motivations for this on the part of Fan History Wiki were to help the project continue with and grow its mission. The choice to approach the Wikimedia Foundation was based on relationships developed by Fan History’s founder at events like RecentChangesCamp and through interaction in #wiki on irc.freenode.net.
Fan History approached people connected to the Foundation, put forth a proposal, posted the proposal to the Foundation mailing list and to Strategy wiki. The process broke down because of some problems. This included lack of an established procedure for the acquisition process, communication problems and expectation issues.
There are several recommendations that Fan History Wiki would make to the Foundation on how to fix this process. The first is to decide if the Foundation is actually interested in new projects or acquiring existing projects. The second is defining the roles of Meta-Wiki and Strategy wiki. The third is to create a list of staff members who would handle acquisition related requests. The fourth is to create a clearly established procedure for how to handle this process.A copy of the complete case study can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/FHproposal.pdf.
|Tuesday, November 17th, 2009|
What does the Organization for Transformative Works look like? This is a crosspost from Fan History's blog. Please feel free to comment either on this post or over on the blog.
The Organization for Transformative Works
is a fan advocacy group that runs Fanlore
and An Archive of Our Own
. They were created on LiveJournal and most of their early and continued support continues to come from that community. Much of that has to do with the reasons they were created: The group perceived Fanlib
as a threat to fandom as a whole, and had issues with how LiveJournal
treated its fans..
After having done a bit of an analysis of the Twilight fandom as represented by lion_lamb
, I was curious to see how otw_news looked, especially when compared to lion_lamb
. How similar are they in terms of age, length of time on LiveJournal, the number of friends, the number of posts, etc. In the past, the group's members have talked about doing advocacy on behalf of fandom to change media perceptions of fans. The goal looked like they wanted to present their demographics as the norm. That is what I am looking for here.
The Organization for Transformative Works's founders and supporters were also vocally critical of LiveJournal's commercial aspects, and discussed the need for a non-profit site that would cater to fan interests while being less susceptible to pressure from advertisers. The actions by LiveJournal taken during StrikeThrough 2007 were one of the prime examples cited by this group to rationalize this position. Many people talked about giving up paid accounts, not using Plus accounts, etc. Given that history, I am curious as to the behaviors of the organization's supporters in the almost two and a half years since the groups founding: Are they more likely than Twilight fans to use basic accounts, less likely to give money directly to a company whose ethos runs counter to the group's founding principles
The methodology for gathering data for this analysis is the same as the one for for lion_lamb: A sneak peak into the composition of the Twilight fandom
. The community looked at is otw_news
. The data was gathered on November 15, 2009 and pulled from publicly available profile information for people who both watched and belonged to the community. This means that 1,784 journals are included in the sample. When looking at this data, you have to remember that not everyone lists factually correct information. For this data, we assume that the obviously wrong data balances out in the end. (People list themselves at 100 and people list themselves as 5 years old.) This is the same methodology used for lion_lamb and we assume the error rate between the two is the same.
One of the first things to look at is age of the membership of otw_news
. The chart below includes the total number of people who list themselves as having been born in that year.
The average year of birth is 1975, with a median age of 1979.5 and mode of 1984. In terms of fandom, this is not a young group: The average member is about 35 years of age. Even if we assume that the mode year is more representative of the group, that still places age at 25. If we try to correct this data for error by removing 10 from each extreme of high and low years of birth, our year of birth average only increases to 1976.7, and the median and mode stay the same. If we remove 10% of the extreme from the sample, or 30 from each side, we get an average year of birth of 1977.3 with median and mode remaining unchanged.
Assuming that our group of 11,000 Twilight fans on lion_lamb
are representative of fandom on LiveJournal, the average year of birth is 1985.6, median year of birth is 1987 and the mode year of birth is 1989. If we try to correct for error and remove the extreme 10% of the sample, fans who are claiming Edward Cullen's birth year as their own as well as fans who claim an impossibly young age, lion_lamb has an average birth year of 1986.5 with median and mode remaining unchanged.
When we compare the membership of otw_news to fandom, Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters are on average almost ten years older than their counterparts in the rest of fandom. If we assume that median is more representative, we are still looking at a an eight year difference. Mode is the only one where they are close, and even that is only by three years. In the case of fandom as a whole, the average is right out of college. The after college life experiences are very different in terms of forming our perspectives so these three years are critical and do demographically separate the two groups.
It just cannot be said that the Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters are representative of fandom based on their ages.
The other important demographic issue for LiveJournal based fandom is location. Some 1,111 members of otw_news list the country they live in. 6,330 members of lion_lamb list the country they live in. Both have garbage entries for places where people obviously do not live, places like the Romulan Neutral Zone, the Vatican City, Jesus's home town or the North Pole. In both sets, people listed cities or providences instead of countries. This data was removed. We are assuming that the members who do not list their home countries are represented proportionally by those that do.
The Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters represent 41 countries. 63% of the membership are from the United States, 11% are from the United Kingdom, 7% are from Canada, 6% from Australia, 4% from Germany and other countries all have less than 1%. The top five countries population wise represent 91% of the organization's total population. The other 39 countries represent 9% of the organization's total population.
lion_lamb represents 112 countries. 54% of their membership is from the United States, 6% from Canada, 5% from the United Kingdom, 5% from Australia, 3% from Germany, 2% from the Philippines, 2% from France, 2% from Italy, 2% from Mexico. The top five countries represent 73% of the community's total population. The other countries represent 27%.
The Organization for Transformative Works over represents for Americans, with about 10% more Americans the lion_lamb. The Organization for Transformative Works members and their supports also over represent for Brits, Canadians, Australians, Germans. They under represent for the Philippines, France, and Mexico. The top five countries by membership over represent by about 20%. It cannot be said that the national representation of the Organization of Transformative Works is representative of the fan community on LiveJournal.
There are some other issues regarding how representative patterns for the Organization for Transformative Works are when compared to the whole of fandom on LiveJournal with lion_lamb being defined as fandom.
For year of registration, lion_lamb had the median and mode of 2008 for registering. The average registration year is 2007.07 in comparison. Members of this community are updating, with a last update year average of 2008.66, mode of 2009 and median of 2009. Compare this to otw_news, where the average registration year was 2004, with the median also being 2004 and the mode being 2003. Members and supporters of the Organization for Transformative Works became members of LiveJournal much earlier. Three years is a lifetime on the Internet. This is another example of otw_news follows not being representative of fandom on LiveJournal.
otw_news members have posted an average of 858.6 times, with a mode of 492 and a mode of 1. Compare that with lion_lamb members who have posted an average of 132.25 times, a median of 11 times and a mode of 1 time. Again, the Organization for Transformative Works members and supporters are not representative of fandom on LiveJournal.
These patterns hold true for other variables such as number of friends where otw_news members have almost 50 more on average and almost 95 in terms of median. It holds true for tags, memories, and virtual gifts. In all cases, members of otws_news have much higher averages than their fandom counterparts.
All of this reaffirms the same idea: Members and supporters of the Organization for Transformative Works do not represent fandom in that they are demographically distinct from fandom on LiveJournal. otw_news members also differ from their fandom counterparts in that they do not use LiveJournal the same way: They use LiveJournal much more actively in their personal space than the rest of fandom.
That concluded, the next issue is LiveJournal account status. The issue of paying LiveJournal was a big one. Around the time that Strikethrough
happened, LiveJournal offered permanent accounts for sale. Some people affiliated with the later founding of an organization like OTW advocated that people unfriend those who bought permanent accounts. Other people openly talked about allowing their paid account status to expire as a method of expressing unhappiness with the site. Two and a half years later, what is the status of members and supports of the Organization for Transformative Works in terms of paying for LiveJournal?
otw_news members pay or have paid for their accounts. 36% have Paid Accounts. Many (15%) have permanent accounts, where they paid at least $150 for this status. A smaller percentage (18%) have plus accounts, which offer additional features in exchange for viewing additional ads.
When compared to lion_lamb, otw_news members way over-represent in paid accounts and permanent accounts. Despite the issues of Strikethough, not all of which have been resolved, people affiliated with the Organization for Transformative Works are much more willing to pay for LiveJournal than their fandom counterparts. Still, there is some obvious shift from the group, where people are willing to sacrifice functionality in order to view fewer ads and thus potentially give LiveJournal less income; there is an 18% difference in basic accounts from otw_news to lion_lamb.
Are the buying habits of a cross-fandom section, and their choices to expose themselves to additional ads, consistent with the attitude expressed by members and supporters during the time they lambasted LiveJournal's beholdenment to advertisers? It is hard to make a conclusive judgment based on the data we have available.
|Saturday, November 7th, 2009|
How to be a good fandom report (on Fan History) This is a crosspost from Fan History Wiki. We are crossposting it to our blog as we'd like to expose it to a wider audience because we think the information contained in it might be useful for other wiki projects and for people to better understand how to do a good job at telling the history of fandom events that are happening in the moment.. Please feel free to comment here, or on the talk page for this article to help improve it. Please also feel free to edit the on wiki version to make those improvements.
Help Fan History improve, be more comprehensive and cover breaking fandom news. Covering major fandom news in the moment, as they happen, is important because articles can be used as quick reference guides for people who are curious as to what exactly happened and this information can be difficult to follow without a good, overall guide. It also helps with the preservation of material that may later disappear (via deletions or expiration of links) and allows for current events to be put into a historical context.
We need your help to cover breaking fandom news. In covering breaking news, there are three things you should keep in mind:
( Sources, naming conventions, how to write, avoiding bias )
- Strive for being unbiased. Where bias is hard to avoid, present multiple perspectives. Ask for help from other editors to review and remove what might be biased language.
- Strive to tell a cohesive narrative. In quickly evolving events, it is crucial to understand how and when things evolved.
- Be organized. Compiling a link list is often the best way to begin.
|Wednesday, October 28th, 2009|
Michael Jackson fandom on Geocities
We've received several visits to Fan History from people looking for information about Michael Jackson
content that was archived on Geocities.
We have a fair bit. It can be found in the following locations:
If you know of any Michael Jackson specific efforts to save info on Geocities, let us know!
|Thursday, October 15th, 2009|
|Wednesday, October 14th, 2009|
MLB Game Attendance and Alternative Social Network Group Engagement
In 2009, the New York Yankees averaged the second highest per game attendance of any team in Major League Baseball. On LiveJournal, there was only one team with more communities dedicated to it, only one team with more total members of those communities, and only one team with more posts and total comments. On bebo, the Yankees had more groups dedicated to them, more total members, more total profile views and more total loves than any other team. The Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland Athletics have the lowest average per game attendance in Major League Baseball. There are only one or two communities on LiveJournal, LinkedIn and bebo dedicated to these teams.
Social media is an increasingly popular tool to connect with others who share your same interest. Sports fans, baseball fans, fans of Major League Baseball teams are participating on social media to do just that. They are on popular social networks like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Sports fans and Major League Baseball fans are also on less popular networks liked bebo, BlackPlanet, CafeMom, Dreamwidth, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, orkut.
The less popular networks are not examined as often ones with greater traffic and more media attention. The discussion regarding social networks, and the sports and Major League Baseball communities located on these sites is even less. These sites are worth analyzing to answer questions such as: Is there a relationship between the number of communities on social networks and a team’s at ballpark attendance? Is there a relationship between the volume of activity on these networks and ballpark attendance? Is there a correlation between size of a community in members and attendance? MLB Game Attendance and Social Network Group Engagement seeks to answer those questions and a few related ones.
The results show that baseball communities dedicated to Major League Baseball teams are large and well established on several social networks like bebo
, LinkedIn and orkut
. There is a community presence on other networks including biip, BlackPlanet, Blurty
, CafeMom, DeadJournal
, Eons.com and InsaneJournal
. Community does not exist on BIGADDA, buzznet, cloob.com, DontStayIn, Inksome
Where communities exist on a network, so does a correlation between the size of that community by team using the average number of people attending games featuring that team and using the percentage average game attendance. In general, the more people on average attending a team’s games, the larger and more active social network community around that team. There is a predictive value where you can determine the size of a community or average attendance based on the other variables.A copy of MLB Game Attendance and Alternative Social Network Group Engagement can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/baseball.pdf.
|Wednesday, October 7th, 2009|
Putting aside our differences for the greater good of fandom
At Fan History, we've been busy trying to preserve the history of fandom on Geocities
. This is extremely important and we've hard at work since the news came out in July. This task would best be accomplished by a group of people, where different fandom projects were being coordinated. To this end, Fan History
has tried to reach out several times to the folks at the Organization for Transformative Works
for assistance. We've sent them e-mails, tweeted looking for people to get in touch, made posts on our LiveJournals asking people to help us get in touch with them. Most recently, we commented on their LiveJournal community
So far, all we've received in return is aching silence. Our replies are not returned. Time is quickly ticking down. It is likely that Fanlore and Fan History
are overlapping in some areas and completely lacking in the same areas. This makes no sense to us at Fan History
. We need to put aside our personal differences, work together for one big last push in the 10 days before Geocities closes. We need to coordinate to preserve this history of fandom, so that there will be a record of it, so that when people talk about fandom during the late 1990s and early 2000s, we have good secondary sources to cite as our primary sources are disappearing. It is important. We need to work together.
Yes, there has been bad blood between Fan History
and some of the people at the the Organization for Transformative Works
. It needs to be put aside for the greater good. That's one of the biggest lessons I've taken away from Race Fail
: Principles can and often should trump personal loyalties.
So if you know some one at the Organization for Transformative Works, please ask them to finally get in touch with us. We would love to work together for one last push to preserve the history of fandom on Geocities.
|Tuesday, October 6th, 2009|
Repost: Please help edit our Geocities fansite articles! The following is a repost from Fan History's blog.
Fan History has used some automation to help create articles about fansites and fan fiction archives. (This is outside the fabulous job that Sidewinder has done by manually adding this information.) All of these articles have (Geocities) in the title so that we can readily identify these articles. With the end of Geocities fast approaching, we could really use some help with what are our most popular articles of this type to date. Screencaps would be awesome. Adding information to the timeline, who maintained them, where the sites are moving to (or if they aren't) is really important to get. Because of the interest in these sites, improving these would be nice to have as a priority.The_Ultimate_Tekken_Fanfiction_Archive_(Geocities)
is our most popular article with (Geocities) in the title.
The following also have views:
Any help improving these articles would be very much appreciated. We need to save our history before it is gone forever. Things like screencaps are important for understanding trends. (Passions sites tended to be purple. Just writing the history of a site? You don't get that detail.) Please help!
|Monday, October 5th, 2009|
Changes in Fan History's skin: Ads now included. Fan History Wiki
once again has ads. Thanks to the folks at Transformers Wiki
for providing us with the skin. We are extremely grateful. Fan History is using ProjectWonderful. The skin was specifically designed for them. They have a lot of fandom related companies who buy advertisements.
Why are we back with ads? Fan History Wiki
generally operates as a no-profit business. That is, our primary goal is to cover our costs, to basically behave and do good things like a non-profit organization while organized as a sole ownership LLC. We didn't do this in order to make money, but rather to cover our costs. For Fan History's history, the site has almost exclusively been paid for out of pocket by me, the founder of Fan History. Changes in my circumstances have made it in my monetary best interests to see if some of the considerable cost of hosting cannot be recouped to make my life a little bit less stressful. This solution is preferable to the alternatives. If I get to the point where the monetary picture changes substantially, we will go back to being advertisement free.
In the mean time, I'm going to squee over our new skin and think about what image changes need to be made.
|Friday, October 2nd, 2009|
Help Wanted: Fandom Journalist/Reporter This is a repost from Fan History's blog.
Fan History LLC
Are you passionate about fandom? Do you love to see how celebrities are interacting with fans? Do you check our how professional authors treat their fans? Do you ever read blogs by professional athletes and musicians to see what they think about their die hard fans? Do you want a unique experience with a no-profit start up corporation where you can do something with your obsessions? Company Background:
Fan History LLC is a developing entertainment company focused on our core products of an wiki and a fan fiction, fan art and fan vidding link site. Fan History was founded two and a half years ago and incorporated 6 months ago by Laura Hale. In that period, Fan History has grown from a wiki with a few hundred pages and 200 visitors a month to a become a wiki with over 800,000 pages and getting over 55,000 unique visitors a month. We offer fans and entertainment related companies information that cannot be found elsewhere including a history of fan communities, the Internet’s largest directory of fans grouped by community, metrics data regarding the growth of fandom community and more. To learn more about our company and our sites, visit http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Fanhistor
y.com:About . Role Description and Responsibilities:
Fan History LLC is currently seeking candidates interested in a part-time fandom Journalist/Report position. This is an unpaid volunteer position that can be made into an unpaid internship position. It is virtual so much of the work will be done remotely where you will interact with Fan History LLC’s team via e-mail, instant messenger, phone, and face-to-face depending on location.
The primary responsibility of the Fandom Journalist will be to document major in fandom news stories. As such, the Journalist will be responsible for assignments and projects that include:
- Monitoring major fandom related news sources including:
- Fandom wank on JournalFen
- Unfunnybusiness on JournalFen
- Ohnotheydidnt on LiveJournal
- Metafandom on LiveJournal
- Creating and updating articles about breaking fandom related news stories.
Fan History LLC is seeking some one knowledgeable about popular culture or fandom with the following qualifications:
- Experience editing wikis,
- Ability to distance self from topic reporting so reporting is unbiased,
- At least intermediate writing skills, and
- Willingness to learn about different fan communities.
This position reports directly to the Founder. This is an immediate opportunity and we are seeking candidates that can work a minimum of 5-15 hours each week. The weekly schedule is extremely flexible and can be developed around a candidate’s availability. This position requires a minimum of an 8-10 week commitment.
If you are interested, please contact Fan History’s founder at email@example.com .
|Friday, September 25th, 2009|
Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings
On January 15, 2009, CSI
had one of its highest rated episodes all season. On that day, people published 26 new pieces of fan fiction, the most stories posted on the same day as an episode had aired. On September 25, 2008, CSI
had it third lowest ratings day all season and people posted zero new stories on that date.
Fan fiction is a really popular outlet for fan expression of interest in television shows. The stories are creative, explore plot lines in the show and, according to many fans, help market a series in a positive way. Fans often argue that their activities mirror larger interest in a show, and that producers should pay more attention to them and cater to their fannish interests as the example provided seems to demonstrate. Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings tests this fan theory and answers the question: Does the volume of fan fiction published in the period around when an episode airs correlate to Nielsen Ratings?
To answer this question, fan fiction daily posting stats were gathered for the one week period around television shows where fan fiction communities existed and Nielsen Ratings were available for that show. The fan fiction data was compiled from six archives: FanFiction.Net, fanfiktion.de, FanWorks.Org, FicWad, SkyHawke, and Freedom of Speech Fan Fiction. The Nielsen Ratings data included over 720 episodes representing thirty-nine shows. Once this data was compiled, it was analyzed using Pearson’s Correlation and linear regression.
The results confirmed what many fans already suspected: Levels of fan activity, specifically in terms of the production of fan fiction, mirrors interest specific episodes of television. Fan fiction can be used to predict Nielsen Ratings. The predictive value is strengthened in several cases when it is broken down by network, genre or specific television show. The best networks for predicting Nielsen Ratings are CBS, The CW, Disney, Fox and USA. Comedy, crime comedy, crime drama, medical comedy and sports drama are the best genres for predicting Nielsen Ratings. The strongest correlations for television shows for predicting Nielsen Ratings are Burn Notice
, Eli Stone
, Friday Night Lights
, Gossip Girl
, Grey’s Anatomy
, Hannah Montana
, Law and Order: Criminal Intent
, Prison Break
, and Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles
This information is potentially valuable to parties with a vested interest in a television show’s performance. By analyzing content patterns around periods with high volumes of fan fiction and high Nielsen Ratings, comparing that to periods of low posting volume and lower Nielsen Ratings, producers can make changes to maintain high interest amongst fans. Non-American television networks and advertisers can better predict how their shows will perform. This method of analysis can help organizations save money as it is cheaper to monitor and track than other analytic tools.
A copy of Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/FanFicNielsen.pdf . The appendix can be found at http://www.fanhistory.com/FanFicNielsenAppendix.pdf .