Open Doors Committee, Strategic Planning, Report
The Strategic Planning Committee is pleased to announce that we have completed our second committee report, which is on the Open Doors Committee.
You can download the report as a PDF.
Commercialization of Fans, Fan Videos, Fanfiction, Fannish Practices, Television, News of Note
In the post Fandom as Inhabitation of Negative Space, Tumblr blogger Saathi 1013 addressed the common question "Why don’t fanficcers write original stories instead of fanfic?” She uses the poetic concept of enjambment to explain the differences in thinking between fanfic and original writing. "[O]ne of the cool things about enjambment is that the break is...essentially a half-second of playing conceptual mad libs before your eye tracks to the next line and you finish the sentence...the way the author wants you to. But the thing is, good poets build that moment of unknowing into the meaning of the poem...It’s not just a pause for breath or for emphasis, but it can also be the thing that gives room for the poem to do something special: to ignite from the essential spark of the reader’s imagination, to turn and twist like a living thing, never the same twice."
Fanlore, Wiki Committee, Announcement
The Fanlore celebration trivia contest has now closed and we have winners! They are:
Fanfiction, News Media, OTW Sightings, News of Note
•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, Tag Wrangling Committee, Announcement
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.
Communications Committee, OTW Board, OTW Sections, Report
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.
Journal Committee, Transformative Works and Cultures, Announcement
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.
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, which she will continue with our Accessibility, Design & Technology Committee.
Fannish Practices, Music, Sports, News of Note
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, Commercialization of Fans, Fanfiction, News Media, News of Note
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."