OTW Fannews: Fandom milestones

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Banner by dogtagsandsmut of a black & white highway with the OTW logo and ribbons across the post title of Fandom Milestones

  • On March 1, Three Patch Podcast released an episode with Development & Membership Chair, Kristen Murphy, as a guest. They discussed the formation of the OTW and the AO3's million fanwork milestone. Asked about the AO3's popularity she replied, "I think there are a lot of different factors that have helped it become popular. One is that a lot of people just like the features of the Archive, which is awesome! I think another factor is the way fandom has spread out to new platforms, some of which are not very conducive to posting fanworks. Like, if you mostly interact with other fans through Twitter, but you’re a fic writer, you’re going to need someplace other than Twitter to post your fic. There’s something really cool about the fact that fans are spread out in all these different places — Twitter and Tumblr and journals and forums — but there’s this place in the middle where so many of us come together to share our work." (No transcript available).
  • The OTW wasn't the only one celebrating a big milestone in February as Japan's online art community Pixiv passed 10,000,000 registered users. Crunchyroll reported on their celebration activities and listed the top tagged fandoms on the site.
  • RocketNews24 looked at how artists were responding to the gold medal won by figure skater Hanyū. "[F]ans are having fun making their own Photoshop creations including “Hyōjō no Prince-sama”(Prince-sama on Ice)."
  • The music group Emblem got some attention for promoting a fan's story about them on their Wattpad account which Just Jared dubbed 'official fan fiction.' "The guys – Wesley and Keaton Stromberg, and Drew Chadwick – each have their own stories written about them and will be updating it every week!"
  • As Vintage Books was announcing that Fifty Shades had passed the 100 million sales mark, Wired asked if a new publishing model was at hand when it comes to fanfic. "For decades, it was understood that fanzines and amateur press associations were where writers—particularly in genre fiction and comics—got their chops...It’s easy to argue 50 Shades of Grey is an outlier, that its success isn’t indicative of a larger trend. However, since its publication in 2011, the lines between literary and fan publishing have continued to blur."

What fandom milestones have you seen? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Wanted to suggest that you guys (the archive and the journal, especially) participate in the Digital Public Library of America and the Digital Preservation Network. A lot of fanworks and the academic materials they generate are written by segments of society that are less welcome in traditional publishing, which is the sort of thing that is more likely to make it into preservation streams. In 500 years, we do NOT want our descendents to be in the position we're in now regarding say, women composers, where we say, "I guess there weren't any," only because women composers worked outside of the typical preservation streams of the time (private salon performances).

It's important that cultural resources like fanworks and self-publishing (more commonly used by historically disempowered populations) are inserted into the cultural preservation stream. If they aren't, the image of cultural creativity that we bequeath to posterity will be very lopsided.

Our Journal and AD&T committees have said that this not something they feel they can participate in at this time, especially given our current resources. However, I have passed along this information to our Open Doors Committee, whose focus is preservation issues, as this may be something they'd like to investigate.

I just had a further update from our Open Doors chair. We're happy to report that our partner university library at the University of Iowa is already connected to DPN, but the OTW is not able to commit to the DPLA. While the DPLA is a phenomenal project, and some in the OTW are familiar with it, it does not fit well with what our organization does and they are not working with the kind of archives that we are.