Links roundup for 8 February 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories on fannish technologies in the news that might be of interest to fans:

  • The new site WorldCosplay is making an effort to connect cosplayers across the globe. “Though still in beta, the network already comes in an impressive 12 languages.” WorldCosplay has some differences from existing sites. “There are already three big social network players in the cosplay community: the American based, the Japanese Cure, and the general art site Deviant Art. Since the first two focus on their home countries and the third was never designed to be a cosplay community, Botea said WorldCosplay might have a chance to become the cosplayer’s social network of choice.”
  • Apple’s recent effort to promote textbook publishing for the iPad prompted this discussion of the need to simplify epublishing. “Ebooks have blown open that world of exclusivity — but the ease of use still isn’t there. There’s a long list of tools that try to make ebook creation easier, from big names (Apple’s Pages, Adobe’s InDesign) to smaller ones (Scrivener) to open source alternatives like calibre. But it’s still a complicated enough business that there’s a healthy ecosystem of companies offering ebook conversion services.” Indeed the growing simplicity of online posting and content hosting sites helped fan fiction’s distribution grow enormously, but few sites replicate the print book experience. “But if publishing is dirt simple…how would publishers (book, news, and otherwise) respond to an even greater flood of competing content than the ebook world has already produced?”
  • YouTube was also a milestone, not just in the distribution of video content, but in its revealing look at the diversity of fan-created visual works. However the site is moving away from the amateur creator. As YouTube increasingly promotes partnerships with professional producers “what will happen to the “little guy,” those who make content to share with people—not for profit?” Various critical reactions have sprung up. ““I don’t want my TV to invade YouTube,” commented Porcelanesa on the promo video. “I came here because it was YOUtube, people talking to people and sharing their lives, videos of their kids, their pets, something exciting that happened during the day they wanted to share with someone else. Normal people, like you and me.””

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