Attention Fanlore Contributors (and Future Contributors)!

The Wiki committee of the OTW is pleased to announce the formation of a Fanlore community on Dreamwidth. We needed a place for people interested in the Fanlore wiki to congregate, talk about pages (cool ones, ones with issues and concerns, plus general “how do I…” type stuff), and just keep in touch with what is happening on the site. We’ve been looking at various options for a place to gather, and Dreamwidth’s open ID option makes it attractive; you don’t have to be a member, but can comment using a free open ID account. (Note: if you do want to be a member of Dreamwidth, some folks in the community have been donating invite codes.) The community is also syndicated on LJ, so you can also keep in touch with what’s going on here.

Please spread the word about the community, and about Fanlore itself. While some areas of fandom (and some individual fandoms) are well covered in the wiki, others are badly under-represented. We will be doing outreach to some of these under-represented areas, trying to get help and expertise, but please help us spread the word. If you know people who have been nervous about Fanlore or afraid they were “doin’ it rong” (offhand assurance: you really can’t do it wrong), please tell them that there’s a place they can go to ask questions, either technical or content-based. Membership is open; everyone is welcome!

20 thoughts to “Attention Fanlore Contributors (and Future Contributors)!”

  1. I’m glad for the comm because, to be absolutely frank, I have no flipping clue how to add to Fanlore. I have read the official pages on the subject and come away saying “WTF?”. And there just wasn’t a place to ask those questions (that I could find) that worked for me.

    I usually feel like I’m pretty good online and handling things like posting to different interfaces and so on, but Fanlore left me stumped. I’d *almost* think I got it and then, wait, wait, no I didn’t.

    Some people suggested I personally go bother one fan or another involved in programming Fanlore, but, you know, I didn’t know these people that well, and what if I was inconveniencing them? What if I didn’t understand what they told me and wasted their time? (An all too common problem.)

    A comm is a much better idea, because then we can all help each other, and only people who *want* to worry over Fanlore stuff at the moment will be reading it or posting.

    1. Yes, this.
      I have a friend who has a site and I suggested that she make a FanLore page for her rapidly growing anime site, but she’s worried about gaining a bad, spammy, or unpopular reputation if she just makes a page out of no where.

      So, is alright to make pages for Anime News Network, or AniDB type sites? I saw there was one for AMV.org and took that to mean yes, but maybe it’s best to ask the higher ups.

      1. Anime is one of our wildly under-represented areas; its not just all right to make a plage–PLEASE make pages for anime sites that represent anime fandom and culture! Pretty please??

    2. Oh, I’m so glad to hear this! Though you really should bother any Fanlore fan that you can grab, me included–we’re all insane converts *g*–but yes, please do ask at the community too. (I swear that editing Fanlore is about a zillion times easier than html.)

  2. This is an excellent idea! I’ve been stalking Fanlore for a paper (and also contributing because it’s addictive!), and one of the things I’ve been looking at is the current lack of community vibe around the wiki. So this is very exciting! 🙂

    1. Yeah, it’s difficult; we thought about having forums, but honestly, journaling communities are much more inter-communicative than forums! But mostly everyone was on LJ and we wanted to get away from fannish dependency on LJ, so we’re thankful that Dreamwidth has provided another viable option; we want to keep fandom diversified.

  3. I saw the note about the comm yesterday on Fanlore and while I think the wiki really desperately needs/needed a central place for folks to gather and discuss the goings on, I’m not exciting about Dreamwidth (or Livejournal, or Insanejournal or whatever). What happened to “We want to own the servers”? It would have been no problem to simply set up a blog belonging to the wiki and I think that would have felt way more inclusive.

    1. You don’t actually have to be a member of Dreamwidth, Livejournal, etc., to use the Dreamwidth comm; you can use your OpenID (http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=62) to comment on any thread at the community. However, OpenID users cannot generate entries, so there will be entries for OpenID users to ask questions and make comments.

      I know you say you’re not excited about Dreamwidth or any of the other journaling services, but I think the likelihood of the OTW opening a blogging service for fans is low; the number of servers needed to maintain group blogging is pretty large, and the software is a lot more complicated that it seems on the surface….

      1. I know all that, but the instances where I signed up anywhere simply to leave a comment are far and few between (and even using OpenID is a “signing up” of sorts). It’s just not worth it, IMO. If at all, I’ll leave anonymous comments, so I hope they will not be switched off. At the moment, for anyone who’s not a DW user or is logged in with OpenID the blog is pratically unusable. Wherever I click, I have to agree to the Age Filter Notice, and that’s more than annoying:(

        1. The only way around the Age Filter Notice is to use OpenID, or an actual Dreamwidth account; the notice might be annoying, but it’s important for legal reasons.

          I have to agree with Jinnie on the point she made below — outreach generally means going to where the fans are, and in this case, the fans are on the journaling sites. It doesn’t make much sense to open a message board at the Wiki, because that only helps people who are already there; part of what will make the Wiki better is if we can draw more people in, and a community on a site of the type most people are comfortable using is a good solution, both for discussion and for outreach.

          (I also must disclaim: I, too, am a member of the Communications Committee, but I’m speaking mostly for myself here.)

          1. I think there should be a sticky post, or something prominent in the info page, or something, explaining that the age filter is for legal reasons, and preferably what those legal reasons are. Because I just tried it, and it’s not just annoying, it’s *insanely annoying*.

            It’s not one notice. It’s endless notices that need to be clicked repeatedly.

            See for yourself: log out of dreamwidth and go here: http://fanlore.dreamwidth.org/ and click the Age Filter agreement saying that you want to see the content. My expectation after clicking a link like that is that I’ll see the content.

            Instead, once you do that, you get taken to the front page, where you see a list of identical posts, each one saying

            ( You are about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )

            — content you’ve already agreed that you want to see, so why is it asking you again? (Rhetorical question *g*) So you click one. And you get *another freaking Age Filter* notice, and you have to agree *again* that you want to see the bloody content.

            Four clicks total, including three levels of “are you sure you’re adult enough to see this content? Really sure? REALLY REALLY SURE?”, just to see one post relating to a non-age-restricted wiki; in my case, my own post cheerfully offering invites to this now-intensely-frustrating site.

            Clicking away back out to the comm brings up all the (You are about to view content…) posts — once again, you need to click basically blindly to open one. And then? You get *another* Age Filter notice. AGAIN. Every. Single. Time. you click a link. So add two more layers of content filtering for each post you want to try.

            Seriously, describing it doesn’t do it justice. Log out and try it for yourself.

            This is going to keep non-journal-based people away — and despite what a lot of LJ-based fandom thinks, fandom isn’t remotely restricted to journaling sites. The only way to make this inviting for people who aren’t comfortable on journals is to make it as open and accessible as possible; they need to at least be able to read casually without being forced to join — and having to log in to the site, even under Open ID, basically counts as having to join it — particularly when the thing they’re currently being forced to join is a non-related third-party site. (e.g., imagine if Fanlore had picked Yahoo groups as its platform, and while technically the posts were public, anyone who wasn’t specifically logged in to Yahoo itself with a Yahoo or Open ID had to confirm their desire to read each post at least twice. Same thing.)

            (Beyond which, there is nothing on any of those notices saying “hey, if you don’t want to see these warnings, get an account!” so there’s no reason for anyone coming in from outside to think “Oh, if I sign up for this service, I bet I won’t see this.” It simply looks like the most annoying service on the *planet*.)

          2. I forwarded this link to the mods of the Dreamwidth comm; someone will more than likely comment with a solution or workaround.

          3. Also — I agree that not all of fandom is based on journaling sites, but a Dreamwidth community the least spammy way to get to the largest number of people that is also easy for non-members to access and use.

          4. the age filter for the comm in general — I think we can probably do without it on the comm as a whole, but we’ll need to keep an eye out for individual posts that may require it.

            (And actually, Fanlore is age-limited — those under 13 cannot create an account under the ToS.)

          5. Thank you! And sorry if I sounded cranky — I hadn’t had any food or caffeine yet, and was boggled at the level of restrictions; I had no idea that Dreamwidth was doing that.

            (And, yeah, sorry, I misspoke there — I meant not restricted for reading; anyone can see all of the content without needing to log in as over-13.)

          6. Thank you:) I didn’t explain it in such a lengthy fashion, because in my naivety I assumed people at Fanlore would know how their comm looked to “outsiders”. Apparently that was not the case, so I hope something can be done about it.

            I agree with many of the points you make! Despite of how my earlier posts may have come across, I’m not at all against journaling sites as a whole. I have my grudges with some fandoms being solely LJ-based (simply because I think journal sites are the worst choice for archiving fanfic), but I see the community factor, of course. The problem for me is a psychological one. If I want to participate in discussions about Fanlore, I apparently have to leave Fanlore, join a third-party site and discuss there. I don’t want to be forced into doing that. That’s my very personal reason.

            However, knowing that users are generally lazy, I think a site should be as open, as inclusive and as easy to access as possible to draw the people that aren’t there to begin with (and from the discussion further up it’s my impression that that’s the goal at the moment).

    2. I can see your point. However, I think that right now, the best way to promote the wiki is to go where the fans already are and outreach from there. DW was chosen over LJ because it is much more open to non-member commenters.

      But personally, I would love to someday be at the point where we could do your suggestion.

      (Disclaimer: I’m a member of the Communications Cmt, but speaking just for myself).

      1. Well, my absolute AOO dream feature would be a blog for every member. Nearly no archive has that and I think it could be really cool. I fear it may be too complicated, but a girl can dream, right?

  4. If anyone would like to join DW to use the Fanlore comm and needs a code, you can email me at lydiabell at dreamwidth dot org.

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