White Collar Weekly Roundup

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Newsletter Community
Name: White Collar Weekly Roundup
Date(s): 2009-2013
Moderator: Contained within the Dreamwidth White Collar community which is moderated by snakeling
Founder: noracharles
Fandom: White Collar
URL: http://white-collar.dreamwidth.org/?tag=!newsletter

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Contents

The Weekly Roundup is a virtual community that is contained within the Dreamwidth White Collar community. The Roundup is a weekly newsletter post, currently posted every Friday, that links to White Collar fanfiction, fanart, vids, meta, news, episode reactions, screencaps, icons and other graphics.

Format

The newsletter is unusual in that it contains content from Dreamwidth, Livejournal, fanfiction.net and the Archive of Our Own (the Firefly Signal has a similar setup). The Roundup does not require fanworks to be rated, or to have pairings or genres listed in the header. The entire header that is provided by creators for fanworks is included in the roundup when possible, allowing fans to see warnings, summaries and other information before they click. The downside of this format is that the Roundup is not spoiler-free.

The Weekly Roundup also has a fairly unusual format in that it lists all pairings for fanworks separately and takes advantage of the collapsing cut-tags feature at Dreamwidth to allow readers to read the newsletter from their Reading page, seeing only the sections they want to, without having to open the post itself.

Fanworks that fans post at multiple locations are listed multiple times, allowing readers to choose their preferred location to enjoy the work. Fanworks with multiple pairings are listed in each category, ensuring that fans can find the things they are interested in seeing. The downside of this format is that the Roundup often looks like it's got more content than it truly has and readers who want to scan through multiple categories may see the same link over and over. It does, however, eliminate the need to categorize fanworks by genre when fans don't always label their works and not all of us agree on what gen means or if femslash should be included with slash.

In early 2011, the Roundup began including RPF works, but because the main Livejournal comm for White Collar RPF is locked, very few works are listed in that category.

Technical Evolution

The newsletter started with noracharles posting some Dreamwidth links for White Collar fans in the community.[1] The scope gradually widened to include all four platforms and volunteers were recruited to collect the links and construct the newsletter.

Diigo was used to collect links, and much experimentation with automation of posting was conducted. The original format of the newsletter was worked out in Googledocs and early editions were constructed by hand in HTML in Googledocs as a group project. The hand-coding allowed the location of the links to be identified with each site's favicon, giving a visual cue to readers and a pleasant look to the list.[2]

Switching the tagging of the fanworks to Delicious in conjunction with Diigo allowed for greater technical flexibility for automation. murklins, a veteran of fannish coding projects, produced a PHP script and provided hosting for it that allows the Roundup to be auto-compiled and posted in a matter of minutes. The streamlined process has removed the time-consuming and error-prone job of hand-coding, but also eliminated the useful favicon identification of links.[3] The newer version of the Roundup links to the Delicious tags allowing readers to search via the White Collar Roundup Delicious if they wish.

Because of the duplication of works tagged across multiple platforms, trying to distill meaning out of the Delicious tag counts can be difficult. There is certainly more Gen fanworks than any one particular ship, and the two most popular ships of Peter/Neal and Peter/Neal/Elizabeth are very close in representation.

References

  1. Fic and vid linkspam the first post tagged !newsletter, posted November 17, 2009, accessed March 31, 2011
  2. The December 4, 2009 edition of the Roundup, accessed March 31, 2011
  3. The March 25 edition of the Roundup, accessed March 31, 2011
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