FanDomination.Net

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Archive
Name: Fandomination, FanDomination.Net
Date(s): August 2002-July 2009
Archivist: Jim Partin
Founder: Laura Hale and Jim Partin
Type: fanfiction archive
Fandom: multifandom
URL:
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FanDomination.Net was a multifandom fanfiction archive started in 2002 by Laura Hale and Jim Partin.

In November 2002, Laura Hale wrote that "FanDomination.Net is the web site that I run along with Jim Partin, the programmer, three executive staff members, and approximately forty-five Content Managers." At that time, the site had "...four thousand, seven hundred fifty members." [1]

Hale described the site as one that used "Computer Supported Collaborative Learning."

As of August 2009, "FanDomination.Net" is no longer online.

Some Archived Links

Some of the "Latest News"

a 2005-2007 screencap of the Home Page

Some screencap examples of site updates:

The Site's Forum

It is located here.

The last post appears to be in 2008.

A 2002 Paper

Laura Hale wrote extensively about her involvement in fandom, and specifically of "FanDomination.Net" in an academic paper that while undated, appears to have been submitted in November 2002. See: Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite

Ownership, and Hale Accuses Her Co-Founder of Theft

Hale was involved until April 1, 2005 [2] [3] [4] or August 2005. [5]

Laura Hale commented in March 2008:

Michela Ecks founded the site. Early on, Jimmy Partin was brought on as a programmer. Hosting issues became an issue and the site was transfered to a host that was a friend of Jim's. Jimmy Partin then preceded to lock out Michela Ecks all administrative access to the site, to ftp access the site, with held passwords and made it impossible for Michela Ecks to do any maintenance on the site. Jimmy Partin became the archivist for the site through what amounts to the theft. [6]

Principles and Purpose of Creating FanDomination.Net

In 2002, Hale wrote:

FanDomination.Net was founded in April of 2002 with a very definable purpose and a clear set of principles that have been maintained through out the implementation process.

The purpose of FanDomination.Net was two-fold. The first purpose was to provide an automated archive with an over all higher quality of story in comparison to other automated fan fiction archives. The second purpose was to help authors who have not yet mastered all the basic writing skills improve their writing. FanDomination.Net was founded with a clear set of principles. Those principles include no fan fiction derived from books where the author has said no, or the author's policy was unknown. Another one of those principles was that Real Person Fic was to be allowed only if people made clear in their author notes that the story was not true and so long as no one objected to Real Person Fic based on them. A third principle was that FanDomination.Net would accept MSTs contingent that the MST was a critical interpretation of the story and not a personal attack on the author.

The last major principle that FanDomination.Net was founded on was the belief that fans should know who they are writing their derivative works from and should acknowledge this at the beginning of every one of their stories. [7]
From its Terms of Service (undated):

Purpose The purpose of fandomination.net is to provide an automated upload archive for fan fiction in general, and for fan fiction specifically not tolerated or encouraged on other servers. The other purpose is to provide an archive of material that is vetted, at least minimally, for quality issues; this is done to encourage more direct constructive feedback to the author.

Statement of Ethics Fandomination.net was founded based on a set principle of ethics. This affects to a degree the material that we allow. It is our belief that if a professional author objects to people playing in their universe and playing with their characters that we, as fan fiction writers, should respect those wishes. Therefore, fandomination.net does not and will not host fan fiction where the policy of the author is not known or where the author has specifically stated that they will not tolerate fan fiction. It is our belief that people should not be represented in stories about themselves if they do not desire to be in them, or if they do not wish to the object of other people’s fantasies. Therefore, fandomination.net will not host categories for stories where the actors and other celebrities themselves have hinted that they would be offended or upset over. fandomination.net believes that because of the multi-authored nature of television shows, movies, and video games, the rules that apply to an individual do not necessarily apply to a group unless that group’s members have said specifically no. For this reason, we host fan fiction based on the aforementioned mediums. fandomination.net believes that MSTs are a form of parody with no libelous intent. As such, we believe that MSTs are okay to post; however, if a story is a deliberate and intentional slam at the author outside acceptable normal boundaries with material that could be considered libelous, we will feel obligated to remove those stories from fandomination.net. We believe that freedom of speech is an ideal to be applauded but that in the practical realities of the real world, it is not feasible to run a site like this following that ideal. As such, we feel ethically bound to delete stories that violate the terms of service, our statement of ethics, and our statements of legal understanding and feel ethical in deleting stories from our site because of quality issues and because the site is fundamentally ours.

Statement of Legal Understanding

It is our belief that all the material that is hosted on our site is legal. For material such as RPS, there are several legal precedents which lead us to believe in its legality. One of those cases is Comedy III Productions, Inc. (Three Stooges) v. Gary Saderup, Inc. which says that celebrity likeness can be used so long as the celebrity’s likeness is embellished upon, and the depiction of the celebrity is not completely accurate. The other precedent for material such as RPS is Hustler Magazine, Inc. et al. v. Jerry Falwell which has ruled that parodies involving famous people are perfectly and totally legal under the United States Constitution. We believe that fan fiction is legal because it is a form of parody or protected under academic fair use as a form of criticism of the source material. We believe that fan fiction featuring minors is most probably legal in most of the United States but concede that jurisdictional problems may cause this material to be illegal in some areas. It is our belief that if this material were to be brought to a court of law, first amendment protections would probably protect this material. Some state laws regarding pornography are like the law in Illinois which requires the visual depiction of real children in real sex acts. That is to say, writing about fictional minor characters having sex is legal as they are not real and the stories are not pictures, rather they are fictional written descriptions. It is our belief that MSTs are legal because they are a form of parody and satire. If we are shown compelling legal evidence to the other side of the legality of this material, we will consider removing the material. If you are a copyright owner and wish to have material related to your copyright removed, we will attempt to comply. [8]

Its Relationship to "Writers University"

FanDomination.Net was closely entwined with Hale's other project, Writers University. In 2002, she explained:

Writers University will remain a separate and distinct part of FanDomination.Net. This is being done to afford Writers University a certain legal protection should FanDomination.Net face legal action. Another reason Writers University will be a separate site affiliated with FanDomination.Net and not located on its server is so that both sites can support fannish activities with out alienating people who are ideologically opposed to either sites's policies and views. Among the planned projects that will be resources for authors is a scholarship fund for fan fiction authors going into college, and a site with information on the legality of fan fiction with contact information for fannish lawyers who can help fans deal with Cease and Desist letters. [9]

The Site's Introduction

Fandomination was founded in April 2002 in order to address shortcomings found in other uploadable fanfiction archives of the time. Since then, the site has evolved significantly, utilizing ever advancing techniques to maximize efficiency, security, and enhance the users' experience. Fandomination was originally a collaboration between Jim Partin (creator), and Laura Hale. They have moved the site forward through the years, despite many growing pains and setbacks to bring users an enjoyable experience. In late 2005, Laura moved on to pursue other goals, while Jim continues to push Fandomination forward with new features and an even more user friendly layout.[10]

A September 2002 Announcement

Excerpt, see link for much more

Hello fan fiction readers and writers, This is an announcement of sorts for a new automated fan fiction archive. There are a couple of things I should explain first as this site, while a multi-fandom archive, is not a site for everyone because of its ideological base.

While we were creating this archive, we thought about things that we would like to see improved in a large automated fan fiction site. The first thing we wanted to see was a site that was dedicated solely to fan fiction, that excluded poetry and original stories. The other thing we wanted to see was a better feedback method. Words like review tend to cause confusion among reader and writer. Are reviews for the readers to judge if they should read a story? Are reviews for authors to stroke their egos? Should reviews give constructive criticism? Another thing we wanted to see was a higher quality, high caliber of story. We desired to see greater involvement of the staff in running the community, with a bigger presence in addressing concerns, and better author/reader support. We also wanted an archive of fiction that allowed for Real Person Fic, and MSTs. Next, we wanted great support from the pro-author writing community for our craft that is legitimate as any other form of genre fiction.

Fan fiction is stories based on other people's work. Fan fiction does not encompass original fiction though writers of original fiction can be fiction writers. Fan fiction is in ninety percent of the cases not fan fiction poetry. Most poetry falling under the realms of fan fiction is so vague that its wording is often a more universal truth than a specific fannish one. We didn't think a fan fiction archive that is solely a fan fiction should have it, nor did we want it. There are plenty of other places for original fiction authors to post their stuff.

Feedback is all important to our site. We've heard gripes and have often griped amongst ourselves about the feedback - reviewing and feedbacking systems at other sites. We don't think it's built to be particularly author friendly and we feel it creates unfair competition by causing authors to feel like they have to compete for the number of reviews to establish popularity or define themselves as good based on quantity. Other sites have made things difficult to send authors private feedback, one of the perks of posting to Usenet or mailing lists. We've "fixed" both these things by giving each story a threaded message board, and by giving authors a private on-site mail box. The private on-site mailbox allows readers who might otherwise be hesitant to send constructive criticism publicly an opportunity to do so privately. Both methods allow for more fluid dialogue between author and reader, encouraging interaction and hopefully more constructive feedback.

We like well-written stories and firmly, with all our hearts, believe that there is good fan fiction and unsatisfactory fan fiction. We don't believe this is all a matter of taste. If a story isn't spell checked, grammar checked, character's names not spelled correctly, extremely out of character, the story is not good and users don't want to read it. In addition, we don't think readers should be forced to endure some of this material which is painful to read. Our site has created a process to ensure an overall higher quality of story. The staff created a list of things that make for bad fan fiction, and created definitions for what is usually a bad story. Armed with this list, the staff picks categories they feel comfortable reading because they love the canon material. They are then charged with reading stories in that section. If they find a story that is bad or not very good at all, the "content manager" staff member puts the story into holding. The content manager then sends a note to the author saying why they "weeded" their story, i.e. atrocious characterizations, poor spelling, an annoying Mary Sue, and sex scenes that are not realistic. The author is then given a set amount of time to fix those problems in their story and resubmit it. If they choose to do this, the story will be reevaluated. If it still has those problems, they can go a second round of trying to improve. If they fix those problems, the story gets improved. We feel that we should help authors to the best of our ability. That is why we decided to build a front-end feedbacking system. We don't want authors in the dark as to why their stories were removed. This process should ensure an overall better story.

One of the things that makes other sites difficult to use is their lack of reader and author support. Concerns about user interface seem to fall on deaf ears, with little or no explanation given. We hope to remedy this by having a large staff of people who know the site, understand the site, understand its principles, and who have direct and immediate access to those who are in charge. This way, if your question can't be answered by the top two people, some one else on staff can try to address your concerns or is on a mailing list you belong to where they can see your complaints and let the staff know or answer your questions there. We also have a site support message board where the staff or other users can answer your questions. The Internet has a distinct lack when it comes to automated fan fiction archives for Real Person Fic and MSTs. This is included on our site as a result. (If you don't like it, don't read it. We've worked hard to make this material hard for you to access accidentally if you object to this type of material. It shouldn't show up in say the Lord of the Rings section.)

Lastly, we want to create a fan fiction community which is friendly to pro-authors. For this reason, unless a pro-author has given their consent for fan fiction to be written based on their works, we refuse to host it. Fan fiction is a text based medium which can too easily compete with other written material. Pro-authors are also often sole creators of their universes. As such, these worlds are less open to, in our view, interpretation from other view points. Some authors do get very upset when people slash their characters. We don't want that to happen with our site.... If you have any questions regarding our site, please feel free to ask them as I'll try to answer them.

Laura Hale

fandomination.net founder & chief admin [11]

FanDomination.Net Wanted You to Become a Better Writer

For much more on this topic, see FanDomination.Net Content Control and Weeding Guidelines.

From 2002, by Laura:
FanDomination.Net has posted the Terms of Service, which explain the basic process behind content management, quality control, and integration of learning processes. Administrator Weeding (Content Management) Rules & Guidelines is the page which explains in greater detail the purpose of Content Management, how to apply to be a Content Manager, rules for Content Managers, and Weeding Guidelines. This was published to the Internet so that people could understand our motivation for doing this procedure in the hope that people who are already motivated to become better writers will be encouraged to publish their fan fiction to FanDomination.Net. In the same vein, we have created a message board8 for people who have questions regarding the policy so that FanDomination.Net can broker greater understanding regarding the process, creating less fear that authors' stories will be pulled if they are not really well written. By knowing that the process is not as scary as the initial perception may make it out to be, we hope to further motivate people. We also hope integrate the learning process into a community traditionally free of learning by offering further assistance after the content management process happens, and supplemental information regarding the writing and fan fiction. Hopefully, by concentrating on the full spectrum of the writing process, and offering help at all stages in the writing tasks that people will be motivated. [12]
From 2002, by Laura:
How do you motivate those who need to learn to improve their skills without alienating those with the proper skills level? The way this is done is by not assuming any universal skills level when it comes to writing. Content Managers review every story that is published to FanDomination.Net. If a story meets the site's Quality Guidelines, it means that the author has mastered a basic skills level. As such, they do not need to receive additional feedback from us about improving the quality of their story. Sending them praise and telling them they write will is something that will be done on discretionary basis so the authors who do well know that they have written a sound story. This prevents alienation of writers who have mastered the basics. It also serves as incentive to keep writing quality stories. By not forcing educational methods on authors who have mastered the basic skills, these authors should not be alienated. At the same time, FanDomination.Net should be able to address authors of all skills levels, helping them to become authors. [13]
From a 2005 post by Jim on the News Page:
...content management. Our intent from the very begining [fic] was to implement a content management system. Prior to now, we haven't had the time, dealing with other things. Now I do. Once done, i'm [fic] going to recruit content managers to go through all the fics and flag offline all the poorly written material. Users will have the ability to appeal the decision, as well as the ability to change content managers if the users feel they are not being listened to in a reasonable manner. After a fic is fixed such that it passes inspection, it is given a "Happy Stamp" and is available to the public again. There will be several Tiers of Content Managers which users can be bumped through. It will be like the U.S. Courts of Appeals system with myself and Luara [sic] as the final word in any matter. [14]

Motivating the Egotistical and Those Fans Impressed by Quantity, Not Quality

How do you motivate people to improve in an environment where the emphasis is generally not on quality but is focused on ego gratification and quantity? This question is basically the same as the previous question. The major difference in the question is the examination of motives, namely ego gratification, which ties into the quantity issue. The way that FanDomination.Net addressed this motivational issue is to build into the site traditional features for newer fan fiction archives that gratify the ego and can be incorporated into the learning process. One such feature is site mail so that authors can receive comments, critiques, and praise from fan fiction readers. Site mail is incorporated into the learning environment because it is the method that Content Managers use to contact authors. The other feature that panders to ego gratification is a threaded message board for each story. The authors then have an opportunity to interact with their readers, where the authors can discuss their stories with readers. While Content Managers and our experts are not tied into this process, it is part of a collaborative effort that hopefully will lead to authors and readers teaching other. [15]

A C&D

On March 13, 2003, FanDomination.Net received a cease and desist letter for content.

There are two explanations:

Laura Hale stated that it pertained to Andy Pettite, a baseball player. [16] [17]

More information can be found at [link to the purged journal of PurplePopple] but at any rate, FanDomination.Net recieved a C&D from Andy Pettitte's people accussing FanDomination.Net of defamation. Because our site policy is if a real person says they don't want to be featured in Real Person Fic to us or if we find out through other sources that they don't want real person fic based on them, we removed the material. They were concerned about one particular story. There were three other stories featuring this person which we removed too. They were all ToSed for improper disclaimers. RPF just can't say "I don't own some one." It needs to for legal but covering say it isn't true, it's not real, these events never happened. We notified via e-mail all users affected and added disclaimers on our part to every page with fan fiction while still requiring users to post disclaimers. [18]
From Wikipedia, an explanation:
To date, unlike traditional fan fiction, only one cease and desist letter is known to have been issued against RPF: FanDomination.Net received a letter on March 17, 2003 from a representative of the New York Yankees baseball team. The complaint alleged that the story "If There's Gray Hair On The Field, Play With Balls", which depicted a present-day homosexual encounter between former Yankees players Virgil Trucks, Rugger Ardizoia, and Eddie Bockman, all of whom were then in their eighties, was harmful to the Yankees brand and to the reputations of the players depicted. [19]

The letter demanded that libelous materials be removed. The site complied with this request. [20]

Money

"We urgently need to raise $600 before the end of April 2005."
The site was initially paid for by Laura and Jim out of pocket, to the tune over $150 a month. She paid all the costs until around mid-2005. At that point, Jim Partin added adverts to the site. The site originally used GoogleAds but they were accused of using false clicks and their account was suspended. The site later switched to advertisements sponsored by Yahoo. These ads covered part of the costs. As of May 2007, Jim Partin claims the site is still several months behind in payment. [21]
The site had a page for donations:
FanDomination.Net thrives on user support. The site is run by a poor college students and by some one needing a job. We love the site and the site's content. Unfortunately, both of us are on rather fixed incomes only being able to contribute so much a month towards having the site hosted. As the site gets more popular, the bandwidth and the size of the site will increase as will our costs. In order to help ensure that our site is up at all times, we ask readers and writers if they can contribute a few dollars to our site or that we sell off e-bay to support our site. If you can't, no big deal. If you can and you support the ideals of our site and its implementation, we urge you to help.

Because everyone has different comfort levels on the Internet with using different services, we offer several ways to help us. [some suggested amounts: $5 to $40 U.S.]

As we receive more feedback from readers and writers, we will try to expand the number of options for donating to and supporting FanDomination.Net :) [22]
In November 2002, fairly soon out of the gate, the owners had a proposition for paid accounts:

OK kiddos, here is the scoop. while the site was down thanks to lousy ISP, i was designing the groundworks for creating a client to work with fd.net, the biggest thing being it would make posting super easy.

First, some important notes. While anyone will be able to download, modify, or write thier own client based on the specs i will be providing, only paid accounts will be able to use it.

The reasoning, just not enough ppl are donating to get a proper server built. And as i figure this client will make posting much easier, one of the biggest complaints of this site, it will attract more users and we will need a dedicated server.

Why should you assist in a project that is only usable by paid accounts? Good question. First, donating barely cutting it and we now have a $150/mo hosting bill. We also need a new server. Even more important, 10% of monthly revenue will be donated to charity. 5% to the EFF to fight stupid laws like the DMCA, and 5% to whatever laura chooses for writers and stuff.

Paid accounts will be $5/mo once implemented. Features include: Ad Free if we ever need to go to ads. Access to the client. Custom ordering of fics (order by newest, pairing, genre, rating, etc.) Author Alerts, be notified when your fav authors post new works. Contests and give-a-aways. Whatever else i can think of to make life better.

Everyone who has already donated will be credited for thier donations.

Paid accounts are not require, nor will ever be required to use the site. Content will never be restricted for non-paid accounts. No tricks like charging for NC-17 content or anything like that. Paid accounts are only for an enhanced, more user friendly usage of the site and access to the contests.

Notes for the near future, PG-13, R, and NC-17 content will not be shown to users who are not logged in. We are not getting rid of this content. It will display just fine once you are logged in. This is just to keep the kiddies from stumbling across the site and finding naughty stuff and parents getting pissed. Just log in using free or paid accounts and all content will be displayed normally. Also adding permanent logged in status (for free and paid accounts both) so you don't have to be annoyed at logging in.

Now that that is out of the way, back to the important stuff. :)

How Clients will interact with site: XML I will be supplying the XML specs for everything needed to communicate with the site. this will make it easy to make clients for all the OSes, and if you are new to XML, good chance to learn.

Clients: Clients will be both graphical and text based. Text based will use an XML based configuration file a user will fill out. then the user runs the client, it will read the config file and take care of all the uploads.

Requirements of clients: at the moment, not just, just the ability to strip questionable HTML code from files that are HTML formatted, and automatically format ASCII text files to... what did i set for the site...? 70 chars per line? Support for uploading chapters and 1-shot stories.

Nice to have Features of clients: Spell Check Drag & drop whatever else makes you happy...

well, that is it so far. Add any ideas for features, possible suggestions, problems you forsee, security things to warn about, etc.

-Jim [23]
Hale added:

Some comments. :)

The 5%, the goal is to set up a scholarship fund for fan fiction writers who are going into college. This will be available for people going into creative writing, english, journalism, communications, theater, media studies, computer science. This won't be done for a while as it would take a while to set up. If any one has experience with non-profits and setting them up, we can get going sooner but at the moment, totally lacking cash, fundage, etc. to do that... So it's a back burner issue. When we do this, we'll try to get more sites on board with the project as it will benefit more people that way with a greater base.

Nice features for the client would be message board and or mail alerts, ability to read mail through the client, possibly automated alerts for stories posted to a particular category... These are all things that, besides the last one, that are going to be built into the site but it's kind of very nice to have it built into a program like Live Journals :) [24]

A 2007 comment by partly bouncy: "Most archives do not make money. They are losing propositions. They cost money. FanDomination.Net cost me over $3,000. Out of pocket. (Out of student loan money.) If it could have made me money, I would have been ecstatic. It didn't." [25]

Laura Hale's Comments about the Archive

In 2002, Laura Hale wrote: "Even my incredibly large inflated ego isn't that large that I need to do [write simply for praise]. (FD.Net isn't about ego but rather about need of that sort of archive, and meeting my own moral and ethical constraints.) (Side note, though praise would wait... no... Thanks is good.) [26]

A 2007 comment by partly bouncy, complaining about the proposal of An Archive of Our Own: "For FanDomination.Net, I could and did explain every intended feature, how it was to be implemented, the rational behind it from an educational point of view and from the fannish point of view. When I was on staff at FanFiction.Net, I made similar arguments from a fannish perspective. Here is the history. Here is how it works. And for FanDomination.Net, I had to defend all that stuff. Repeatedly. All over fandom. For MONTHS." [27]

Quality Control

Quality Standards: fandomination.net maintains quality standards in order to ensure a higher quality of stories for readers. As such, fandomination.net reserves the right to delete stories for not meeting our standards. The process that will occur for a story deletion for a violation of our quality standards is as follows: 1. An administrator is alerted to or finds a story in violation of our quality standards. 2. The administrator determines if the story is in violation. 3. If the story is in violation, the administrator suspends the story and sends a note to the author explaining why the story was deleted. This might be blunt and possibly offensive to sensitive authors. If you’re easily upset, be warned. 4. The story is set on a timer. The author must upload a revision which is still hidden that fixes the problems that were identified with the story. 5. If the story is not fixed by that date, the story gets deleted from the server. If the story is edited, the story will be rereviewed by an administrator. If the story is no longer in violation of our quality of standards, the administrator will activate the story. If not meeting the quality standards, the story is deleted.

What are the quality standards? The quality standards state that a story should have: recognizable characterizations, decent grammar, decent plot, few spelling errors, no incorrect spellings of canon characters’s names. The quality standards state that a good story should not: be filled with spelling errors, grammar problems, have characterizations where if you changed the name you wouldn’t recognize them, blatant Mary Sues, song fics where the song is longer than the fic, author notes which state that you’ll stop writing if you don’t get feedback, stories with author notes longer than the story, and bad fic. The quality standards judge that scriptfics, and songfics are 99% of the time not in accordance with the quality standards. As such, those two types of stories may be deleted because of what they are. If you are an author and write in those two formats, make sure that you meet all other quality standards because these stories tend to be junk. Please, just avoid them unless you really can write them well.

Content Management Purpose:

Some of the questions that people ask are : Why content management? What is the purpose? Why does FanDomination.Net do this? Isn't this unfair to authors, possibly hurting their feelings, causing them to never write again? FanDomination.Net is not out to hurt people's feelings. We're not out to ruthlessly inflict our standards on other people. Our purpose in Content Management is twofold. The first part is to create a site where people can go and find stories that are generally of a higher quality than other all automated sites. The second part is to educate authors, to create an atmosphere of learning in a community environment. The goal of this is to create a computer/Internet supported collaborative learning process so that all writers who so desire, desire to being shown by their decision to host their fan fiction at FanDomination.Net, to improve will have the chance by going through the Content Management process. [28]

For much more on the specifics regarding The Weeding Guidelines, see FanDomination.Net Content Control and Weeding Guidelines.

Many Years Later, a Retelling

In response to An Archive Of One's Own, one of the two Fandomination founders, Jim Partin, commented on the announcement about the creation of Archive of Our Own.

Thats pretty funny.

Really.

Total ROTFLMAO material.

I've already done this, in 2002. See,i'm actually a programmer, program for a living, and have been for over a decade. I've already created a successful site (that i won't bother to name, you can figure it out)that does 90% of what you want and dream about. Some of the dream portion hasn't been rolled out yet but is about to be in the next couple weeks.

My *cough* little *cough* nameless site started with much the same princepals you espouse. However, since i'm firmly grounded in reality, i saw problems immediately. The group of friends that initially wanted to moderate and such, decided they wanted to stake thier fiefdoms on my site and sandbox thier kingdoms. They 'knew how thier particular fandoms should be run and modeled' depsite the fact that this clearly contradicted any relational (in the DB sense) logic and grossly violated navigational consistency across the site. One area would look totally different and navigate differently from another. Then there were the ego trips. Now, these are good friends of mine and continue to be to this day, but i wasn't going to have my site ripped in multiple directions by fanfic zealotry. So, by the end of the (litera) day, after attempting to appeal to thier logic and failing, i was presented with ultimatum of 'our way or the highway'. Since it was my work that created everything, i pretty much said if thats the way you want it, thanks for your time, have a nice day.

Moral: Too many ego lead to chaos.

Now, the technical side.

Since i'm a Mysidian Genius of programming high availability web based stuff (it's what i'm paid to do), I know all the shortfalls, through both experience and practice, that any large site runs into. I know all the security measures, all the optimizations, all the tricks of the trade. To build something large is going to cost a pretty penny for an experienced programmer that knows what the hell he is doing. Additionally, the larger a site becomes, the more resources it will devour. All the optimization and tweaking in the world will not change that. Server resources are expensive. Bandwidth is expensive. Competent programmers are expensive.

I tried the donation routine for some time. It failed miserably after a couple months. The huge bandwidth and resource charges started coming out of my pocket. I made a crucial decision to either shutdown, or find another way to finance the costs. My choice? Unobtrusive ads. The site pays for itself now and occaisionally gives me a free lunch every couple months.

Welcome to the cold facts of the real world.

Btw, happy new updates to my *cough*little*cough* site coming up soon for a total makeover :D Yes, the site is not dead as many think, I just have real world priorities such as I dunno... a JOB, and um... a FAMILY. You know, things any sane person would put in front trivial matters like a website. But yes, massive new updates have been percolating over time.

P.S. Why does a fic reader/writer need to be on thier board at all? Do they have an investment in the operation? Also, why would there HAVE to be a female on the board? That seems pretty sexist to me to REQUIRE one to be 'legitimate'. Are you saying that males are incapable of truly understanding the nature and intricacies of fandom? Sounds like a bunch of feminazi horseshit to me.

-The Great Me of the Saturn Necklace, Jim [29]

Some Stats

Fan Comments

General

"This place might have even less than nFiction; I haven't looked too far into it. No search feature at all, and a lot of their features have bugged-up scripts and don't work properly. On top of that, it kind of looks hard-pressed for money donations. I'm really not sure what to say about the rest... I'd stick with nFiction."[33]
"When I turned 13, I came across the late Fandomination.net. The music communities were tight-knit and competitive — those that made it to the “Most Popular” tabs were untouchable saviors. However, the works were tiresome, often male-male stories.

I decided what greater time then to start a new kind of story, and post it. As my tastes in music became more angsty, I started writing a From First to Last(starring Skrillex before he was Skrillex) story. It revolved around a young girl named Autumn, her daughter, Sadie, and a love triangle between two of the FFTL guys who may have fathered her daughter. Cameos were made by Pete Wentz, M. Shadows, Davey Havok, and Bert McCracken.

I decided on the username MrsGeeWay (which I pronounced Ms., because even then I was a pre-teen feminist), and typed up my first chapter in their CMS. After reviewing it several times, I closed my eyes, clicked submit, and then went to bed.

When I woke up, I had 20 emails in my Fandomination.net inbox, praising my first chapter.

It had to have been a fluke, I thought. But I uploaded another chapter the next day, hit submit, and went to bed.

Double the messages.

“You write so well!” one message read.

“This is the best fan fiction I’ve ever read!” read another.

“I’m a huge fan!”

The messages fed my 13-year-old ego. I was on some next level shit.

So I began writing more in my crummy little notebooks, retiring to my bed early to scribble in them under the covers. After school, I’d head downstairs to type up my fancy fiction, thirsty for the praise.

I started adding pregnancy scares, kidnappings, and breakups to my plots, getting messages in all caps about how addicted they were to my story. Many stories were rated PG-13. That was boring. My story was rated R. I started thanking some special fans at the top of each chapter like all the other popular fan fictions writers before me.....

.....As I wrote through my 14th year of life, I started feeling ashamed. What was I doing? Shouldn’t I have friends instead? What would they think? I left hints before posting chapters, implying that the story would end soon. Emails flooded my inbox, begging me not to stop — their lives would be ruined. They lived for my story......

......As my 16th birthday rolled around, no longer was I an emo child. I had evolved into a top-40s loving swan, trading my black cuff bracelets and chain wallet for lipgloss and a short kilt. The reign had ended. So did Fandomination.net a few years later when it became a health food site."[34]
"I am so incredibly pissed at ff.net. After all the hard work we have put into these stories...they shut down band fics and NC-17 writings. Well, I know that many writers will be leaving this site and I hope the makers of this site get a slap in the face. And I hope it really really hurts. Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed my stories. I have so much love for you all. A writer on this site has suggested trying fandomination.net. They are currently switching servers because 800 people joined their site between the 12th and 14th. Take that ff.net! So anyway, fandomination.net will be reopening the 17th so everyone go there!"[35]
"In which fandomination is down I swear, if http://www.fandomination.net doesn't come back up soon I'm ready to die. That's where all my GC and SP fanfiction is and I'm dying without it. Sure fanfiction.net has some really good tv show stuff but I NEED MY GC! Lol. Anyways thats all i have to say about that. Fandomination.net, get our ass working again right this instant. Soupfiction.net doesn't even compare and I need my daily fix. :-("[36]
"Fandomination.net - My most recent favourite for all my fanfiction needs. Since the downfall of fanfiction.net, I've come to love this site. Although it's not fancy, fandomination.net allows writers more freedom to express themselves and to write about what they love. Check out my fandomination.net profile!"[37]
"I'd put up the link to my HP fic, but with the Fanfic.net [38] problems . . . . I'm uncertain as to whether or not I'm going to keep stuff there. But as I stated before. . . . I've been there so long, I hate to leave it. But, if FanDomination can prove itself to superior to Fanfiction.net, I will renounce the later diseased unit for the former good one."[39]
"Has anyone read Fandomination.net's weeding guidelines for stories? Part of me thinks that it's an interesting concept but I can't see how on earth it's going to work in practice. Basically, Fandomination.net is intending to operate a quality control policy on the fics that are archived there which, as it is an open submission archive, will involve nominated 'weeders' going through posted stories and ensuring that they meet these criteria. Now this is not a rant about Fandomination.net or a go at their policies, just a musing about this type of effort generally.

I looked at the criteria they have and found myself nodding knowledgeably, but then caught myself and wondered whether it was a good idea at all. The problem, as I see it, is that any determination of 'quality' is necessarily subjective, and just because the subjective criteria or measures of quality drawn together by the Fandomination.net staff tallies with my particular fanfiction prejudices does not mean that it's the only valid interpretation out there, or that applying them across the board is a good thing.

It doesn't help, of course, that the terms of service, these very weeding guidelines and much of the administrative information across the site is riddled with typos, confused homonyms and poor grammar. (Okay - so that's a little bit of a dig, but I for one would take their efforts in quality control more seriously if someone had actually beta'd the site never mind the stories.)

The problem, to my mind, is that the weeding guidelines are made even more subjective as the caveat 'unless it's good' has been added to so many of the 'badfic' indicators. For example, mpreg is not allowed to be archived, because so much mpreg is very badly written. Well, I'd agree with that - in fact the only mpreg fic I came across in the Stargate fandom had me running screaming from Area52 three years ago and not coming back for two. I loathe that whole series with a passion, with its travesty of a Weepy!Maternal Daniel and Asshole!Only Wants Baby When It's Gone! Jack, but others love it. Maybe it's just their kink, and if it's your kink does quality come into it at all?

However, it's allowed if it's 'good'. But what constitutes a 'good' mpreg fic? Is there such a beast? I have my doubts, but then I remember there was some Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon mpreg fic which, while I wouldn't seek out or even read again, didn't leave me wanting to put my boot through my monitor and then gouge my eyes out. And if there is, how would a weeder spot it if they're coming to the whole process with the ingrained response of 'all mpreg is badfic'?......

.... I've even written songfic once - Blue Moon in the New Pros fandom and, strangely enough for someone who twitches as badly as I go when those dreaded words are mentioned, I think it's one of the stories I'm happiest with......So, if I decided to archive Blue Moon on Fandomination.net, in my ever ongoing pimpage of New Pros as a fandom ::g::, will it be given the benefit of the doubt, or will it be summarily removed because it is that dreaded beastie? In short, will human nature kick in again?

What I also find interesting, in addition to all of these 'this genre is riddled with badfic so stories will only be accepted if they meet this vague definition of 'good, is the genres that are missing, and again I can see my own prejudices reflected back to me.

.....there are probably as many bad BDSM stories out there as there are bad songfics, so why isn't this included in the list of indicators of badfic with an 'only if it's good' caveat? It's not mentioned at all and yet, to my mind, even if I'm willing to suspend disbelief more because of the kink factor ..... there are an awful lot of BDSM stories that suffer from poor characterisation or explanation of how the parties involved ended up in this type of relationship, or why they feel the need for pain/to cause pain in a sexual sense.

Hurt comfort - bloody brilliant when it's done well (Pough, Poss), painfully bad when it's not (DawnC's Suicidium somes to mind, which started off promisingly enough then descended into 'how many ways can we hurt Danny today?'). Angst... good angst comes from genuine situations and genuine fears and emotions, not manufactured conflict (someone should have told M&M that). Again, not a sausage, unless they're covered by the whole 'badfic' category, with veers into 'poor characterisation' and other sundry assorted no nos.

So, while I look at the weeding policies, and even as I'm nodding, there's part of me that is sitting there wondering if the whole process is going to be inexorably flawed from the start, whether good intentions are going to come to naught while people descend into wrangling about what's 'good' versus what's not. Of course, at the end of the day it's their server, paid for by them and those who've chosen to support them (including me), and they have the right to impose whatever quality controls they like. It's just that another part of me, the one Cole categorises as 'bleeding heart liberal' ::g::, wonders whether there shouldn't be room in the sandbox for everyone, since no one is forced to read anything.

And then I remember why I avoided Fanfiction.net like the plague (put off simply because of the sheer amount of dreck on there), and wonder if at least an attempt at quality control isn't a good thing, even if it fails."[40]
"It's the very old debate about what makes a story good, and is everything subjective? I do have myself some pretty strong standards concerning fics, and sometimes I am tempted to talk like *this* and *that* makes a good fic or a bad fic, but with thoughts, it's a very dangerous ground. I think maybe the problem with such an archive is that the standards they want are shown as what *is* good fic. I think this attitude is a bit annoying, and I am not sure I would go to such an archive for that reason. I mean, saying that for you those are good fics and you just want to put that kind of story up would be less twitchy I think.. it's like a rec list. Do you blame someone for writing a rec list based on his/her strict standards? You read the rec if you have the same tastes as the writer and you don't if you don't agree. I think it could be interesting to form a community of people that have written detailed recs, and link them all together. The person could write briefly on their rec page the basic standards of what makes for him/her a good story. This way, people would know the thing right away and it could be an interesting way of finding good fics."[41]
".....it is their server and they are perfectly entitled to impose whatever quality criteria they like, however it's also an open and automatic cgi and javascript based archive which means that anyone can come along, register as a member and upload their stories. Anyone at all. So isn't imposing quality criteria a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted?

I could understand if they were running a traditional archive, where the archivist handpicked stories from various fandoms which met their definition of 'quality' but to let any Tom, Dick or Harriet upload what they like, and then have 'weeders' come along and remove stuff afterwards seems to me a completely ineffective way of ensuring quality, and because there will have to be a number of weeders (as the archive grows) you will have many different definitions of 'quality'. And, as I said, the guidelines for weeders I think are rather vague and not particularly helpful.

I just think the whole exercise is doomed to fail from the start, personally. And it's likely to cause a lot of upset too. It's one thing not to be invited to have your stories included in an archive. It's another thing entirely for someone to come along, decide that what you've already uploaded isn't good enough and remove it. It's akin to public humiliation apart from anything else and I strongly suspect that those people most likely to get caught up in this are going to be largely young." [42]
"There definitely seems to be a growing trend for internet archives to stamp down on which stories are accepted.

I can understand why archives want more control over what they accept (improves their rep and gives them an excuse not to host crap fic) and I can also understand that the owners of the archives have personal preference (as evidenced by the NC17 debacle on the other large fanfic archive). What annoys me is when they promote themselves as an open archive when obviously they are not. Why not just put a huge disclaimer saying they reserve the right to refuse stories? All this analysing and explaining down to the Nth degree is asking for trouble - at the end of the day it's their archive and they will only post what they agree with. Justifying 'weeding' is daft - one person's weed is another person's Orchid :)

It would kind of be nice to know that there are archives out there that have certain standards of writing and storytelling (contradiction moment coming up :)). But that would shut out the 'bad' (according to the archivist) fic. And bad writer doesn't just mean a person with bad taste or a 'I don't care about my writing' attitude. It could also mean a new writer - we are after all enthusiastic amateurs *vbg* And I know I would be gutted if I submitted something and it got chucked out. I must admit I can see why people set up archives for their own stuff..."[43]
"Why not just put a huge disclaimer saying they reserve the right to refuse stories? All this analysing and explaining down to the Nth degree is asking for trouble - at the end of the day it's their archive and they will only post what they agree with. Justifying 'weeding' is daft - one person's weed is another person's Orchid .

I suspect it's because they're an automatic archive. Anyone can come along and upload stories to their server. The only way they can clamp down on what stays there is by removing something once it has been uploaded - something I think is doomed to failure and will lead to acrimony. As I said to [livejournal.com profile] LEREFUGE above and as you've mentioned, it's one thing not to be asked if you want your fic archived on an archive that cherry picks stories and only hosts 'the best'; it's another thing entirely to have your stories removed from a public archive for not meeting these rather vague 'quality' indicators. And as the archive grows, and there are different weeders, the definition of what is 'quality' is bound to vary.

I think, to be frank, it would have been better for them to have taken a hard line and stuck to it; no mpreg, no songfic, no author insertion (although Mary Sues are more difficult - what one person sees as an obvious Mary Sue another sees as just an OFC). As it is, these vague 'unless it's good' caveats don't help, IMHO.

And those weeding criteria aren't exactly easy to find either. I got the link from their forums. How many people will venture into there unless they are insatiably curious (me ::g::) or simply have a problem with using the system?

Like I said - I think the whole thing is doomed to failure, and probably a lot of acrimony too unfortunately. I don't think it is possible to have an open archive like that and have quality criteria. I, personally, think the two are pretty much mutually exclusive. I mean, how many of the 'bad' writers (i.e the ones you and I would run screaming from ::g::) will actually look objectively at their work and think 'this isn't good enough'? If they thought that they probably wouldn't be posting it in the first place... I would hope :)[44]

From the FanDomination.Net Forum

Is it just me or is anyone else fed up with the sloppy antics of this site. I could't believe how rude Laura was to us on the home page. She shouldn't forget that its these amateur writers who share a love for fan fiction that keep this site alive. Everyone makes mistakes...yes Laura even grammatical ones...just take a look at your "Help Supoort FD.n " Sign. Personally I don't want my fics associated with this site and its uncouth creators. Thank you for your time, Samantha [45]
I normally do not do this, in fact I don't think I've ever done this, but I have an announcement to make:

It appears that this site will (most likely) be gone for good soon, and I'm aware that this affects many of us, readers and writers alike. I know I'm not alone in wondering, 'Where will everyone go?' It's a possibility that many of these great authors will dissipate from the online fanfic world, what with a lack of other places to go and post, and some just can't be bothered with looking.

Help is on the way.

I've spoken to several other members of the site, who have said that they would be willing to help with starting up another site..

If you would like to help out, contact me at [email address redacted] and I'll talk to the others, hopefully, we'll all figure something out.

If you'd like to be notified when we come up with another site, e-mail me and I'll add your e-mail to a list and we'll let you all know what's up.

Let's not lose a good thing because the site is shutting down, it doesn't have to end!

-Miki [46]
[regarding a lack of a author and title search function, and odd fiction formatting issues]: We're working on getting the site to implement a search funcition in the future but we have other things we need to fix. Authors who are having formatting problems, please tell them via site mail or on their message board how to FIX those problems or post them to the help board. As I see those problems, I mail the author with my contact info telling them if they don't know how to fix it to let me know. So if the story isn't formatted correctly, it's author error, not site error. [47]
I wanted to know if there was anyway you guys could fix it so that stories can be switched from alphabetical order to date posted or by it's rating or something? It's really hard to sort through everything and find the new stories, even with the new updates posted on the home page, since the new updates aren't under a specific genre. [48]
The site is cool and all, but there are a few more things that will make the site better IMO.

1. The ability to block specific authors from sending feedback to your fics. 2. The ability to block specific authors from sending you site mail. 3. The ability to delete message board entries you don't want.

Those features would be cool IMO. [49]

References

  1. from Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  2. "I also ran an archive with a lot of RPF... huge amounts of it. Probably meh uhhh 30,000 stories? *shrugs* I only "quit" two weeks ago due to personality issues, wanting to preserve a friendship and I can't get my name off the site. *gr* That's why I can discuss that C&D for FD.Net so well." -- comments at a Fanthropology; post
  3. "FanDomination.Net, my baby that I was forced to abandon [it]..." -- comments at Archives and not wanting to say "but"; Archive
  4. "In April 2006, Laura officially quit the site and her name was finally stripped from the site because she could not complete admin tasks, was not allowed to access the server and was being told conflicting stories regarding the money situation." -- FanDomination.Net at Fan History Wiki
  5. "In August of 2005, Jim took over sole control of the site." -- from FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  6. FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  7. from Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  8. Terms of Service
  9. from Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  10. About Us, Archived version
  11. a post at Writers University Journal, Archived version, September 2, 2002, also at alt.toys.transformers.fanfic, September 11, 2001
  12. from Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  13. from Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  14. Latest News: April 21, 2005, Archived version
  15. from Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  16. FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  17. comments at a Fanthropology post
  18. comment by PurplePopple at FanDomination.Net recieved a C&D so cross your disclaime in Terms of Service Forum, Archived version, March 18, 2003
  19. Real person fiction, Wikipedia, accessed October 16, 2015
  20. FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  21. FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  22. Support FanDomination.Net
  23. Details on the project
  24. Details on the project
  25. Archives and not wanting to say "but"; Archive
  26. Re: Cassandra Claire -- Fan Fiction Ethical & Legal Discussion Board, Archived version, a comment at Fan Fiction Ethical & Legal Discussion Board on September 10, 2002
  27. Archives and not wanting to say "but"; Archive
  28. from Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net; WebCite
  29. Jim's repy at An Archive Of One's Own, May 18, 2007, see that page for more, Archived version
  30. Fanlib Story Stats for June 13th
  31. Story Wars. Reminds me of FanLib in a bad way.
  32. freifraufischer
  33. Head off to better places. :(: anti_ffdotnet, Archived version
  34. IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Was One of the Most Popular Fan Fiction Writers on the Internet — By the Age of 13, Archived version
  35. Daisuke'sGirl, Archived version
  36. dont pretend you know, Archived version
  37. dearjoan..., Archived version
  38. This fan is probably referring to FanFiction.Net, a common mix-up.
  39. quean_of_swords, Archived version
  40. alyse, Archived version
  41. comment in alyse, Archived version
  42. comment in alyse, Archived version
  43. comment in alyse, Archived version
  44. comment in alyse, Archived version
  45. Why so rude? in Suggestions Forum, Archived version, May 24, 2004
  46. Attention Everyone (We don't have to lose the site, etc.) in Suggestions Forum, Archived version, January 10, 2005
  47. comment by PurplePopple: There's no search? in Suggestions Forum, , October 8, 2002
  48. There's no search? in Suggestions Forum, , June 13, 2003
  49. Features for an anti flame war strategy in Suggestions Forum, , September 29, 2002