News of Note, Fanfiction , News Media, OTW Sightings
•The Kindle Worlds story didn’t just result in hundreds of media outlets running pieces on the story, but also quite a few requests to the OTW for comment. While some have been previously linked to and some have yet to be published, several more have made an appearance. The Verge talked with OTW Communications staffer Nistasha Perez about the Amazon’s new move as well as similar efforts to commercialize fanfiction in the past. “In 2007, former Yahoo executive Chris Williams decided it was time to make money off fan fiction. ‘I work for a brand-new fan fiction website called FanLib.com and my colleagues and I want it to be the ultimate place for talented writers like you,’ read an email sent to hundreds of authors.” But “[a]fter barely over a year, FanLib’s infrastructure was bought by Disney, and the fan fiction archive was quietly shut down. Six years later, media powerhouse Amazon is giving the idea another try.”
Archive of Our Own, Announcement, Tag Wrangling Committee
Good news for everyone in non-English-language, non-Latin-alphabet fandoms - our fandom tags will now include titles in the actual language, not just transliterations!
Tag Wrangling policy has always been to make our fandom tags in the form "Original Language Title | Translated English Title". However, due to limitations in the Archive code for writing systems such as Chinese, Cyrillic, Hangul, and Japanese, we've used transliterated titles, rendering those languages into the Latin alphabet. This has caused problems because there are multiple transliteration systems in use. Since users have to guess which one we're using, and because in many cases the transliterated titles are never used by anyone in the fandom, the tags aren't reflective of real fannish practices.
OTW Board, Communications Committee, Report, OTW Sections
We are pleased to announce that the OTW has published its 2012 Annual Report (in PDF here or in HTML here). The report provides a summary of our activities during the past financial and calendar year, our financial statements for 2012, and our goals for 2013. This is the sixth annual report of the OTW (see previous reports).
The 2012 Annual Report highlights successes and achievements from across the organization and challenges we faced during the year. Building on the success of 2011, 2012 saw even more growth in our projects, membership, fundraising, and reach.
Announcement, Transformative Works and Cultures, Journal Committee
Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) today released issue No. 13, “Appropriating, Interpreting, and Transforming Comic Books,” guest edited by Matthew J. Costello, Saint Xavier University, Chicago. Both comic books and films based on comic book properties are addressed in this issue. Following its regular format, this Open Access Gold online multimedia journal has collected scholarly essays, personal essays, book reviews, and interviews that seek to bridge fan and academic writers and readers.
Announcement, Fanlore, Wiki Committee
The OTW would like to remind everyone that its fandom wiki project, Fanlore, will be passing a new milestone in the next week. To celebrate, we will be holding a trivia contest that begins in 48 hours and are inviting everyone to participate!
OTW Board, Announcement
The OTW Board of Directors regrets to announce the resignation of Board member Maia Bobrowicz, effective immediately, for personal reasons. She first joined the OTW staff in 2008 and served as Chair of the AD&T committee in 2009 before being appointed to the Board in December 2012. The Board is deeply grateful for Maia's years of dedicated service, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.
News of Note, Music, Sports, Fannish Practices
Journalists and bloggers who have come across only a few works about fandom have a tendency to make broad claims about those documents. Case in point, Irish Times writer Brian Boyd who says that the new fandom documentary Springsteen and I is "the first feature of its type to de-stigmatise fandom and celebrate it as a meaningful and healthy form of behaviour." However, fandom studies are going on continuously, as Canada's Metro notes in a recent feature on a graduate student who is researching female fans of Saskatchewan Roughriders. Not all examinations of fandom need to be a form of defense, either, since negative behavior can itself be informative to either fans or their culture at large.
Business Models, News of Note, Commercialization of Fans, Fanfiction , News Media
The first wave of Kindle Worlds press coverage mostly quoted from Amazon's press release with a few reaction links. Follow-up articles proved to be more critical and more aware of fannish perspective. The Millions asked Will Kindle Worlds Commodify Fan Fiction?. "It is fitting, perhaps, that the same week as the Yahoo/Tumblr acquisition, Amazon announced a project entitled 'Kindle Worlds.' It feels like more of a broader trend than a coincidence, because the Kindle Worlds endeavor is about an organization inserting itself from the top down. 'Worlds,' we learn, are Amazon-ese for fandoms."
By contrast "There is an enormously freeing diversity in the world of fan fiction. I don’t mean that the writers are diverse — they are mostly female, and surely there must be socioeconomic implications in the ability to sustain such a hobby...The possibilities spin off into exponentially increasing permutations, spurring weird stuff and beautiful stuff, quite often fiction that’s better written than the source material that inspired it, creating fandoms that are so broad and varied and encompassing that a person can usually find whatever they’re seeking within. If not, well, that person may as well just write it herself. If that’s not the most accurate reflection of the rest of the internet — the organic, cultivated internet, grown from the bottom up, with no contracts, no exchanges of cash — then I don’t know what is."
News of Note, Fandoms
The Washington Post Reader Express met with fans, including some OTW staffers, at last month's Awesome Con in D.C., then wrote about the "Unforbidden Love" expressed in fanfiction. "Fan fiction is like methadone to a heroin addict, offering a come-down from the high of the original creation. It’s a rebound relationship, filling the gaping hole left when a favorite series ends (or starts to suck)." Although the AO3 is mentioned as a fanfic resource, the article incorrectly states that people must sign up for an account to read its content, rather than to publish content on the site. A bonus for readers? Slashy fanart created for the article.
Volunteering, Volunteers & Recruiting, Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee
Thank you to everyone who responded to our calls for Testing Volunteers, Web Developers, and Internationalization & Outreach Committee Members. The chairs of those respective committees are reviewing information that was submitted and will be contacting individuals over the next couple of weeks.
Today, we're also excited to announce the opening of applications for:
- Web Committee Documentation Lead - Applications Due June 11th
We have included more information regarding the role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.
All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist firstname.lastname@example.org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.
If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.