Links Roundup: Things of Interest To Fans

AfterEllen has an article on femmeslash and fan art called Fan Art Empowers Queer Women, written by Danielle Riendeau. There’s links to some great stuff in Buffy, Xena, the L-word, etc. as well as vids. Well worth checking out.

Avi Santo’s latest contribution to in media res, a blog in which different scholars curate short video clips, is called, From ‘Heroes’ to ‘Zeroes’: Producing Fan Vids without Fans and talks about how the Heroes PR department have been creating promotional materials that look like fan products but without the hassle of dealing with actual fans. Santo asks, “What happens when fans realize they have been replaced by marketers schooled in their practices?”

Political Remix Video continues its series profiling vidding as a form of political remix; check out their new entries on Laura Shapiro’s vid Wouldn’t It Be Nice? and thingswithwings’ vid The Glass.

Henry Jenkins, in collaboration with Xiaochang Li, Ana Domb Krauskopf with Joshua Green, has been writing an eight part series on spreadable media. Of particular interest to fans might be Part Four, Thinking Through the Gift Economy, which specifically takes fandom as its model, and talks about how fans have tended historically to resist the commodification of our labors of love.

Gillian Carr, writing in Capital Arts Online, a culture magazine written by Carleton University’s journalism students, has done an article called, Remix: The new DIY cinema that discusses fan vidding, political remix, anime vidding, machinema, and other remix forms.

February, 2009 Newsletter, Vol 25

Welcome to the first newsletter of the new year! All the OTW committees have re-formed, and we’ve got a couple of new ones, too. Find out what the various committees have been working on. Get an update on the archive! (Find it all under the fold!)

ADT/Archive Development: AD&T hit the ground running this year. Black_samvara took over from Naomi as Chair. We welcomed new Members to the Committee, new volunteers and formed a new team. We also gained an Archivist who is working with us on our documentation. Our big news is that we are releasing new code this weekend and we are very excited. The Archive of Our Own is currently on revision 953 and the Test Archive is on revision 1077 which represents a massive amount of coding work. We have a huge list of bug fixes and 2 brand new pieces of functionality.

The Archive’s translations interface has been built and we are delighted to be able to finally offer this to the Translation team who have patiently worked with us to build it.

Tag Wrangling is coming! We heard your feedback about tags and we have a very cool solution. After a lot of discussion, some nifty coding, hard work and the promise of vast chocolate bribes we are proud to launch the Wrangler interface. Tag Wrangling is a role that any Archive user can volunteer for. Wranglers can manipulate tags and create relationships between them so we can now fix all those niggling tag issues. We love this because it spreads the work out across many hands and means the tags can be updated as a fandom grows and be changed by members of the fandom itself. Please don’t feedback about tag related problems until April, we need to give our new Tag Wrangling Team a chance to do their thing!

We have been reading all your wonderful feedback and are working on compiling a Known Issues list. As a result of this feedback we are also working on a re-build of the ‘work’s and ‘fandoms’ pages into a coherent ‘browse’ design.

Board: The Board welcomes its two new members–Sheila Lane and Rachel Barenblat–and spent most of December and January putting together our fabulous new 2009 committees! We also held a live telephone/Skype/online training session for Chairs on Thursday, January 29th and recorded the audio and video for posterity. We are planning to have OTW-wide meetings during the last weekend of every month, and are working to help the individual committees set goals for 2009. Goals already discussed include: the upcoming DevMem drive, a move to colocated servers, the Zine Preservation Project, the 2008 Annual Report & deploying the next revision of the Archive.

Communications: The OTW is proud to announce the formation of a new Communications Team which combines the roles of the old “Community Relations” and “PR” teams. We’re trying to run a little bit more like a newsroom, and the various team members have been assigned to “cover” various OTW committees and projects in terms of handling their internal and external communications, generating press materials, and otherwise helping to promote the work they do.

Development/Membership: We’ve been gearing up for our March Membership drive (March 9-16), which includes exploring new software to streamline the process of donating to or joining the OTW (or renewing an existing membership). We’re excited about unveiling this new process, and we’re very grateful to our webmasters for being so helpful and patient. As always, we’re looking out for ways to reach out to new fan communities and people who may not have heard of us; to that end, the OTW will have a presence at both Escapade in March and Muskratjamboree in April. We also recently added some new people to our committee: welcome, Shoshanna and Monica!

Elections:This is the slow season for Elections, and we are taking full advantage of it for the moment, taking care of housekeeping and letting our new members get up to speed on last year’s policy and implementation decisions.

Financial: The Financial Committee is currently working on drafting the 2008 annual report, contacting committees to set the 2009 budget, and setting goals for the remainder of the year.

Journal: Issue two of Transformative Works and Cultures has gone through copyediting and final layout as planned, and is on schedule to be published on March 15. The team is already hard at work on issues three and four. We are also proud to announce two new team members, Tisha Turk and Lorraine Dubuisson: Welcome Tisha and Lorraine! Our current editorial line-up is now including an Interview team, to better follow this successful rubric.

Legal: Over the winter break, the Legal Committee was pleased to be able to prepare and submit a Reply Comment in support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s DMCA exemption proposal for noncommercial videos that do not infringe copyright. We hope that this will lay groundwork for future developments in this area. Otherwise, we continue to provide advice and support to other Committees as needed, having recently advised DevMem on acceptance of donations, and the Webmasters on licensing terms of relevant software. And as ever, we attempt to respond promptly to queries from the public as they arise.

Open Doors: Open Doors is close to announcing the very exciting terms of a Zine Preservation project: a partnership between OTW and a major university library. Stay tuned for details!

Translation: We’ve began the translation of the new and very cool content on the OTW site concerning vidding and vidding history. Older site content is being updated by our different language teams, as we go over each page following the cool graphs created by our fearless leader, lian.

Vidding History: Vidding History is proud to announce the Vidding History Project page, which features links to a Test Suite of Fair Use Vids, the documentary videos about Vidding OTW produced for MIT’s New Media Literacy project, a link to the ongoing Oral History project, and links to other press and resources. We’d also like to thank our awesome Webmasters for their help in putting these pages together!

Webmasters: The Webmasters are working closely with Development & Membership to prepare for the upcoming membership drive. We recently worked with Vidding History to set up their new project pages, and we’ve been going through the site with a fine-toothed comb to make sure our content is up to date for 2009.

What details would you like to know? You can contact the OTW Communications team using our template at: http://transformativeworks.org/contact/communications.

Remix Culture event in NYC

Fans and others interested in remix culture might want to check out this event: Lawrence Lessig + Shepard Fairey + Steven Johnson speaking at the New York Public library on Thursday, February 26, 2009. Tickets will probably sell out fast, as we’re not the only ones who love these guys.

We do however note with some disappointment, in the direction of WIRED and the NYPL, that–as great as these guys are, they’re all guys. In fact, they’re all white guys. Considering the idea here is that we’re going to be “guided” through “emerging remix culture”, and considering how much of remix culture came out of–not only fandom, but hip hop and sampling–it’s problematic that there are no women or people of color on the program.