OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: pod_together

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

klb and Paraka are the mods for the pod_together community. klb has been active in podfic fandom since 2009 and has helped create and run a number of challenges and events, including pod_together, the Awesome Ladies Podfic Anthology, and theatripod.

Paraka joined online fandom in 2003 via vidding before discovering podfic in 2006. Her first podfic was posted in 2008 but she really got going in 2010 when she started running challenges, creating comms, talking meta, and hosting other podficcers on her website parakaproductions.com. Today, they talk about getting into fandom, the beginning of pod_together, and the collaborative nature of the community.

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

klb: I always had a tendency to feel fannish about various canons (getting really invested, always wanting more and wanting to spend a lot of time talking and thinking about the characters and worlds), and sometime in high school that tendency led me to the X-Files fanfiction website Gossamer Project. I couldn’t believe how amazing fanfiction was—I never wanted to stop reading it!

paraka: I also tended to feel fannish about things before officially ~discovering~ fandom in university when my roommate introduced me to Queer as Folk (US) and vids. It was the first time I had regular access to high speed internet and the time to browse and found myself obsessed with fanvids, then later fanfic, then later still podfic.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Judith Fathallah

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Judith Fathallah is presently a postdoctoral researcher at Solent University. Her first book was Fanfiction and the Author and she is currently working on a second book, provisionally titled The Genre Fandom Shaped: Emo, New Media and Genre. Today, Judith talks about her article in Transformative Works and Cultures.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

In 2002 I was fourteen. My family had recently gotten dial-up internet at home. I was allowed about an hour a day online which I mostly used for AOL messenger and MySpace. Through MySpace I discovered some of the bands which are still my favourites to this day, and started to find community around them with likeminded teens – even including a couple who went to my school!

I was quite an unhappy teenager and found MySpace a huge help in meaningful socialization. But I probably discovered Fanfiction.net from Googling things to do with Lord of the Rings, which I was then obsessed with. It absolutely blew my mind, because like a lot of us, I’d been writing fanfiction since I was six or seven, without realizing it had a name or that anyone apart from me did it. (Except for when I managed to persuade my older brother to produce for me more stories featuring Sonic the Hedgehog. Which he never finished, incidentally.) (more…)

5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Solovei Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Solovei, who volunteers as a staffer in our Tag Wrangling Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

Tag Wrangling volunteers make sure that readers can find the works they’re looking for, while also being able to tag their works however they want! We’ve seen just about every variation of a ship name you can think of. Usually with tagging systems, it’s either a free-for-all or a strict set of allowed tags, and Ao3 has somehow managed to find a very interesting medium in between those two! I think the tagging system on Ao3 is amazing – I have yet to see something like this work anywhere else.

On top of my regular wrangling work, I am also a Tag Wrangling staffer, which means I do a lot of the administrative tasks that are required for other wranglers to do their work: everything from looking at incoming applications, scheduling and conducting training and regular check-ins, to processing hiatus and retirement requests.

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