An Archive Of One's Own (post by astolat)/Comments

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There were 627 comments posted to An Archive Of One's Own (post by astolat) between May 17, 2007 and June 3, 2007.

Topics Covered

  • how to structure the project, use open source
  • Thoughts on quality control, ranking, etc.
  • Various features that might be cool to have
  • "Post here and at LJ" feature
  • Locking and bookmarking
  • Administrivia to consider, project planning, etc
  • Ads or no ads?
  • Site/server/entity ownership thoughts
  • Tagging of stories, recs and "web 2.0" stuff
  • Launch project as an aggregation service
  • Wise words on planning
  • Historical preservation of lost fic
  • Disclaimers, playing nice by fic-averse authors, moderation, and a reply regarding fanfiction.net
  • Fanfiction.net and becoming a victim of one's own succss:
  • Problems archiving chan
  • Length limits & WIPs
  • Attracting Users & FF.net - If We Build It, We Will Come
  • Contacts with FanLib admins
  • Existing automated archive software
  • Badfic & rec tags
  • Posting to own site & archive
  • Ease of posting interface
  • The Archive at the End of the Universe - Pros & Cons
  • Fiction ranking system
  • Reservations about public exposure & searchability
  • Age restrictions for access & problems
  • Fandomination website experience
  • Need for multi-fandom archive

Excerpts

From Page One

  • "Every time I see big shiny celebrations of fan culture that completely ignore 40 years of women's creative work, I want to not only let my freak flag fly, but march up and down the streets with it -- and then something else (lately fanlib, but it's far from the first) reminds me that getting out there without doing it on our own terms is only a small part of the battle. It seems like a fan-culture site that gets our culture while really making the most of the internet as it is now (as opposed to publicizing fan work just for the sake of ad dollars or eyeball-share or whatthehellever)... oh, yes." -- gchick
  • "RSS feeds? The main difficulty I see with this type of site is social engineering. That is, there already is a highly-trafficked all-fanfic site--and it's a byword for badfic. (The current restrictions on adult content don't help, but they didn't give fanfic.net its reputation.) I think overall posting to archives is down these days, in favor of LJ. Whether that's good or bad, that's the way it is. People often don't seem to want to take the trouble to post to (or don't want to be associated with) sites that "everybody" doesn't post to/read. So, for this to be more than a shell, you would really need to reach out to opinion leaders in a number of big fandoms to get them to post there and thereby legitimate it. Now, you're one of the few people who has the social network to pull that off, but it's no small task." -- harriet spy
  • "In my mind, this doesn't sound like reiterating LiveJournal. I'm one of the folks who almost never posts outside of LiveJournal anymore but could definitely go for something like this--it's combining all the best features of archiving and LJ at once. It wouldn't just be the search feature that would make things more user-friendly; it would be the tiers of organization that would appeal to me. As a panfandom reader using LiveJournal is just a pain in my ass, but I do it because there isn't really another option. More than that, if there was an option for site-wide tag searches, that would integrate a lot of the best features of del.icio.us. I'm having a hard time seeing any downsides to it other than the 'getting off the ground' phase where people ask themselves 'Ugh, do I really want to go back and re-post all my fanfiction here?' Because that would the major hump to get over, I think, in regards to converting some folks to this new system. Or maybe I should say to converting me. *g*" -- tracendenza
  • "My personal version started as a fantasy for a good, central rec site - because of my frustration with the lack of commenting/reviewing space on delicious, which is a great but insuficcient reccing tool. I was influenced by what epinions had done back in the day, the possibility to click a "I trust this person" little thumb-up button, which would build, in time, trust-networks, and allow newcomers to find popular reccers as well as popular fics (two different things, right?)." -- anatsuno
  • "I think this is needed and long past needed. There are of course huge fanfic archives out there like ff.net, but the bigger and more public the site, the more restrictive it is, the more stuff around the edges gets cut off. I don't WANT the public face of fanfic to be only the most easily palatable stuff, with the smut and the kink and the controversial subjects marginalized and hidden under the table. And I particularly don't want to see us all sitting around feeling frustrated while this fabulous community is commodified out from underneath us." -- fairestcat
  • "It sounds like a cool idea...but I'm thinking you'd need a dedicated server and a lot of donations to offset the cost of that to pull this idea off. If you think about it, you're proposing something that would be akin to the size of 'The Pit' (fanfiction.net), if not larger. And even they can't survive without advertising revenue..." -- anjack j

From Page Two

  • "I'd love to offer whatever support I can for this. This is exactly what I was thinking we needed as an alternative to FanLib - a 'fan co-op', as it were :D...My main concern is getting fans on board - as in, getting people to actually post their fic! Fanfiction.net used to fill this bill more before they banned NC-17 fic (and started banning people willy-nilly and putting up popups, etc). Then people started using LJ more, and now we have a billion microcosms of fic people and communities unwilling to share space in wider forums. I think getting people out of their comfort zones will be the biggest challenge." -- angstslashhope
  • "I was just thinking about this concept the other day--I thought about making on post on my LJ with a poll that anyone could check, something like "I read and enjoyed something on your journal" as a way for lurkers to say thanks without having to leave a comment. So I think there's definitely been a need for this kind of feature for a lot of people and extras like this alone would probably help generate interest in posting work at this archive." -- tracendenza
  • "I don't know Xing, and don't want to bash on him personally. But there are ads on the stories, so the site is collecting money for fanfic, and there is no transparent clearly posted policy on the site that conveys his philosophy (whether he is trying to avoid a profit) or even who he is -- I went looking after I saw fanlib, and I couldn't find anything about the owner. The lack of universality is only one of the many problems, and honestly, I literally cannot tolerate using it. It just doesn't offer enough features for narrowing down the volume of stories." -- astolat
  • "on the whole 'costs' side of things... Just thinking about the way it works with NP organisations. Could it be supported with organised philanthropy rather than sponsorship/advertising? It could be like livejournal - where a paid account gives you some extra features for a nominal fee. Or, you could have 'patrons' - people who give regular donations, or one-off donations over a certain amount, or something like that... they could be listed somewhere on the site, if they wish? or something? I think a plan for sustaining the project financially would be needed from the get-go, at any rate. I was going to offer to host it, but I think ultimattely, if it ends up as big as we hope, having its own independent 'account' with a webhost would work out better in the long run. transparency with finances is obviously something else important to keep to the fore, so." --mangstslashope
  • "While I will never be volunteering for project management (possibly ever) again, I think this is a seriously cool idea. Fundraising, promoting, providing my $0.02 from smaller projects, and archiving my own stuff there? That, I can do." -- shrift
  • "Definitely a cool idea. I'm not much of a feminist, but seeing a group of men try to take over what has been a comfort zone for women to express themselves is really disgusting." -- aesvir
  • "My feeling is the gatekeeping needed to keep out badfic costs more than it is worth. I think if you provide filtering mechanisms that let people find manageable lists of stories they are really interested in (narrowing down by fandom, pairing, category, particular features), and sort them by (admittedly imperfect) criteria like #comments/recs/hits, while ALSO providing mechanisms to give exposure and encouragement to new writers so those imperfect measures don't bury new people, that really, any quantity of badfic can be managed. Also, frankly, I suspect that the presence of higher quality fanfic as examples within the archive would all on its own help badfic/newbie writers improve rapidly. The problem with ff.net is there are no real mechanisms for winnowing out badfic." -- astolat
  • "First, it's important to note that capital is coming for this space whether we're here or not. I agree with you that it's worth staking our claim to it, but don't think that'll stop the FanLib's or any of the major entertainment companies my firm works with from trying to figure out how to "monetize user-generated content," and doing a better job of publicizing their version of it than we could. This doesn't mean I don't think it's worth doing -- I've been frustrated by how little the media fan community has done to claim its own space in the face of this onslaught. Just a caveat. Second, I did information architecture for another fannish project and it was the most insanely frustrating project I've ever been on because while design is at its best collaborative and iterative, it's *not* a community process. Regardless, I'm willing to be a resource in feature scoping and interaction design for this, because I'm clearly insane. The two pieces of advice I would take out of that for this venture are (a) open-source tools, now and always -- there's no reason to reinvent the wheel, and it lets you route around divas or people who can't work on it for offline reasons all of a sudden; and (b) whoever takes on managing it needs to also let people take leadership of their own areas." -- corinna 5
  • "This sounds fucking fabulous. And I mean, ALL of it. The whole "free" culture of fan fiction just absolutely does it for me in a way no commercial enterprise seems to do. I'm there on my own time, creating solely for pleasure, sharing, communicating, leaving profit motive behind. And I find that simple fact immensely stimulating and joyful. As long as it doesn't infringe my ability to do this, I don't at all care what other entities do about it, except for being of the opinion that the new fanlib thing may cause us a lot of problems." -- stungunbilly
  • "I can see a few potential pitfalls with a massive, all inclusive fanfic archive, though. One is fandom participation (as mentioned above); I've noticed that most of the authors I 'regularly frequent' have their own sites (or archive their fic through a livejournal system of some kind). Whether that be because they tend to be more mature (and have the income to pay for a website/paid LJ account/hosting), or because they have written enough fic to justify that kind of labor and expense, I don't know. The question is, would they go through the extra steps to post their stories somewhere else in addition to their own sites, which they're already devoting a lot of resources to? Even if they start out strong, are they liable to stick with it? The second reservation I have is about the sheer quantity of fanfiction being produced these days, especially in the high volume fandoms. That would need a LOT of space, and a LOT of bandwidth. User donations are awesome but tend to be sporadic; my time in the dotcoms taught me that every time your site goes down you lose huge number of viewers and participants. The logistics of such a site would be pretty extreme. Keeping it to text only would definitely help, but if it really gets flying, I can imagine that the costs might get pretty big. And third, I love fangirls, I love FANDOM, but there are a lot of people here who...how do I say this delicately?...are less than entirely responsible and reliable, and don't necessarily play well with others. In the event of some explosive drama or wank, would there be a system set up of people who would make sure the archive kept running? Would there be a person or people who would make the day to day decisions about this archive, or would it be run by committee (and what happens if two of the committee members start feuding)? Who makes the decisions about look and feel, access policies, IPs to band and not to ban? What would happen when someone pitched a huge screaming fit about [issue x] as it related to the archive? Because I almost hate to say it, but if there's one thing many fangirls are good at, it's pitching huge screaming fits about their fandoms and events going on therein. Between for-profit Real Person Fiction hitting the mainstream these days (the book Starfucker, for example), and the fair usage language I've seen thrown around pretty strongly, I believe that we SHOULD take a stand on the legality of fanfiction. And this would be such a great way to do it. I would definitely support it financially, if it got up and running!" -- apetslife
  • "Well let's think about why so many people have their own sites these days. The main reason I stopped bothering with archives and switched to LJ and my own web site was because I became so multi-fannish, and there was no broad, multi-fandom archive I wanted to use. I toyed with Skyehawke for a little bit, but it wasn't all that user friendly, and I didn't feel like it got enough traffic to make it worth my while. If this project really got off the ground, I wonder if people wouldn't start abandoning their own sites in favor of it. Like you, I find my site a pain to maintain. Sites that have a posting interface that does most of the work for you are much easier to use." -- pun
  • "I like having my own site. I like having complete control of my fic. And it makes a lot more work to post things in multiple places. I have to do that with some fic (stuff I've done for ficathons or whatever, that requires one to post in their area or on their site) but if I was forced to choose between "whopping great site controlled by someone else" and my own site, I'd choose my own site. All that being said, though, I wouldn't mind participating as an author if I was allowed to just post links to my stories. I like the idea of an "aggregating" archive which has been mentioned elsewhere in this discussion. Yes, you have the broken-link problem. But maybe authors could be emailed if their links were broken, and it would be up to them to fix them." -- kerravonsen
  • "Speaking as an author who's been doing websites for a bit, and has a personal page for her fiction, I can say I definitely would post to another archive. I do so now for one specific reason - visibility. I love having my own site as a nice little hole-in-the-wall that I control, but if you (really) want to get your fiction out there to the 'greater viewing public', you have to post it where the viewers are. I admit, I still have stuff on FF.net... and some of it violates their ToC because I do write adult content, but it's there because that's where fans are.. and I post to smaller archives and livejournal and fanspecific archives because I know people go there." -- gryvon
  • "That sounds like a great idea (I miss central archives!), but you'd need someone to put herself on the line legally and financially in a big way, and that could be tricky. If you don't limit which fandoms people can write in, you're volunteering to be sued, sooner or later, and I'd hope that no one would go into that blindly. The technical side, I'm sure people can easily cover, although I suspect you'd have problems with donations after a certain amount of time had passed." -- elz
  • "Quality is a very elusive concept. I am sure there are sections of fandom where my own writing, or the writing of anyone posting in this thread, is considered unworthy of publishing. Who will establish the guidelines? Who will make sure that such guidelines are being enforced fairly? Who will deal with the ENDLESS SUPER DRAMA that arises when people feel that the rules are bad or not being enforced evenhandedly? If you don't believe this drama would occur, I invite you to study the history of the moderated HP archives." -- harriet spy
  • "I don't like chan myself. But in a way, that makes me more rather than less leery of tossing it -- because a lot of times we are happy to find excuses to block out the stuff we don't like, even when there is not all that compelling a legal argument. I don't know the law even in the US on it, and so can't really talk about that specifically in the absence of good concrete data (no offense -- but I am by default always skeptical about being cited fragments of horror-story test cases. I would want to see the text of the law and the actual decision, and ideally have it explained to me by a knowledgable lawyer). Hypothetically, it is certainly possible that investigation (which I am all for having done) would show that this one particular category added so much additional legal jeopardy that it was not worth the risk of hosting it. However, we have to keep in mind that there are also many legality arguments to be made against many other categories (RPF, nc-17, etc), if we consider all the countries where readers may be located. Also we would have to figure out just what the legal boundaries of the disproportionately risky category was -- I think of chan as "adult-minor" relationships; there is also the question of stories about kids having relationships among themselves, the distinction between older/younger kids, explicit stories vs. G/PG rated ones etc. On a practical level, the archive would want to ask authors to extensively label their stories anyway, for searching/sorting purposes, so it would be easy to create searches where individual users could avoid seeing any particular category of stories that might be illegal in their own country. It would also be good if people could set preferences in their profile so they automatically weren't shown stories of any particular types they just didn't want to see at all (hey, maybe we can get rid of pairing wars while we are at it! we can only dream *g*). The archive and the nonprofit running it clearly should be set up in a country with less restrictive laws, and which does not make site owners liable for content posted by users." -- astolat

From Page Three

  • "Oh, I love this idea so much. I've been wanting something like this for a long time, and I would so help with it if I had, you know, any actual skills that would help. But since I don't - OMG, I would so buy a charter membership in this. It is really past time for fan fiction to stop hiding and start being, and I think this would be a huge step in the right direction." -- thefourthvine
  • "I've been wishing (and asking) for an archive like this for almost a decade now, but it's always seemed too much for anybody to handle. Maybe the times really are changing? *crosses fingers*" -- bethbethbeth
  • "I haven't the time to help run this kind of thing - but would happily donate money - as long as it's not one of those paypal buttons which are a rip-off. Fandom [can] feel so fragmented at times - it would be brilliant to get our act together and [organise] as only women can. :-)" -- gillianinoz
  • "Wow. This would great. I can help fund it. I have no web programming skills -- I still code html by hand, but I do know a thin[g] or two about project management and would suggest a formal board of advisers rather than one or two people running the whole thing." -- meri oddities
  • "The main reason I rarely post on ff.net has nothing to do with it being "The Pit" and everything to do with jumping through hoops. First, log in, because we at ff.net think you're a moron who can't manage your own account security, so we log you out after 3 days. Now, upload your document. No, you can't format scene breaks the way you want; suck it up. Now, click new story. Oh, first read the guidelines we haven't changed since 2005, because you're a moron who can't be trusted not to break our precious guidelines which we don't enforce anyway. Now, pick your document. Write a summary without access to the primary bit of punctuation fanwriters use to denote pairing. Post. Ooops, you found a problem? Well, you can't edit the chapter; delete it and start the hell over. *sigh* Easier by far to just post to my own website." -- dragovianknight
  • "The more I think about this, the more I like it, I have to say. Disjointed thoughts: 1. Money, of course. Can you really support something this size on donations? My gut says no -- and I'm not a project manager with budget experience, but my reflex was to say "it'll never fly" and walk on; even if it would work on donations, are enough people going to have faith in that to build a userbase?... 2. Legality. What's going to happen when a C&D comes in? Who's going to pay for it, who's stand up in court for it, and are there any big-pocketed foundations out there that would be interested in joining in on something like that? 3. Good project management is key (she says, as someone who's been badly managed before)! Also people with training in designing high-volume websites -- it's almost certainly going to have to involve some fen with industry experience in this. Ye Olde MySQL won't do. :) ...." -- cmshaw
  • "Can you really support something this size on donations? You really can't; every site I know of that's tried it has moved to either a subscription model or an advertising-based model once they get past a certain size. There are problems inherent in both, obviously, but the subscription model (or a combination of subscription + ads) scales a little better; there's a valley in the middle of activity/pageviews vs. systems resources cost where the amount of pageviews doesn't generate enough revenue to back up the system resources necessary, even if you squeeze every last penny out of your systems architecture. Problem is that the psychology of humans, particularly internet-equipped humans, is geared towards not paying for things unless they get something out of it. (And sometimes not even then.) Most sites targeting a specific interest group, like this would be, can raise money to cover startup costs but go under within the first year." -- synecdochic
  • "I must agree, you will never support a project like this through donations. I've tried. This kind of project starts off well, in fact we got three years of hosting at Globat out of it, but interest wanes, and the larger the group of people involved the more arguments and in fighting. The only way I can see around that is to charge people a nominal membership fee, but then that has it's own enormous set of problems." -- trishabooms
  • "Donations are great, but they're not self-perpetuating. I think we should take ad revenue, with all ads being reviewed by an advertising review board. None of the crappy ads that most sites host, but I might like to advertise my new book. You might, too. Members might want to know that a new SGA book has just been released, etc. What about the media? An ad for a movie or the release of a new DVD would hit its target market bang on if it were on our site. Surely Paul Gross and David Hewlett can't be the only people in media who are clever to mine fandom while treating us with respect. Once we have numbers and memberships, numbers, etc., organizations will pursue us and offer discounts, etc., as they do for other large organizations and associations. We've just lacked a cohesive physical presence up till now." -- stormheller
  • "We could keep the option [of ad revenue] open if it turns out to be necessary, but honestly I think it is totally feasible on a donation basis. For comparison's sake: the entire Yuletide archive uses roughly 0.1% of its bandwidth allocation on a cheapo $8/month dreamhost account -- 3 GB out of 3000 GB. Now, a site like this would be orders of magnitude larger, yes, but there is already orders of magnitude of space left over right there! And it is getting cheaper and cheaper. I mean, AMV.org manages it just on donations and they host *vids* -- which just eat and eat and eat server space bandwidth. I would be more inclined to see us try and raise a ton of money up-front for an endowment that could pay for the day-to-day expenses, to ensure an ongoing cash flow, rather than go to advertising." -- astolat
  • "There's a lot that I love about this idea. A lot. Not the least is that it runs counter to FanLib's commercialized model of consumption - instead placing the archive solidly within the tradition of by-fen-for-fen-not-for-profit-interaction. I think that getting more folks to archive their fiction is a wonderful thing, whether it's in fandom specific archives or in your proposed mega multi-fandom archive. From a reader's perspective, I also appreciate your thoughts regarding length limits and WIPs. (Length limits are the main reason that I so dislike e-Fiction based archives.) However, I have major reservations about your statement: allowing ANYTHING -- het, slash, RPF, chan, kink, highly adult -- with a registration process for reading adult-rated stories where once you register, you don't have to keep clicking through warnings every time you want to read I despise chan for a multitude of reasons, both socio-political and personal. An archive that includes chan is one that I would not personally use or support - no matter how much other wonderful content is available. I don't subscribe to the belief, in fan fiction or in any other area, that you must allow everything to justify the existence of some things." -- taverymate
  • "Solely from a legal perspective - nevermind a cultural perspective - I think there is a strong dividing line between chan and absolutely everything else, because a child under the age of 14 or so simply is not capable of consenting to sex because they *cannot* understand what sex is. And I don't think it belongs in an archive, even a completely free for all one, because of that simple fact of a lack of consent. It's pretty hard to legally have issue with two consenting adults doing something - or teenagers, even, or even an unconsenting adult, so long as it's fictional. But the involvement of children makes the whole thing a little different - I'm with other people. Kinky stuff, adult stuff, wild and crazy jello sex in the middle of a mall? Sure. By all means. It's personal taste. Chan? Not so much." -- setissma
  • "I would rather that if an archive shall exist, that it would wait for a court case before pulling anything (assuming that the archive is to originate in the U.S.), if anyone is willing to pay for lawyers." -- anextropian
  • "The archive would have to be international. Fandom is not an anglo-phonic phenomenon, and the archive would have to support all languages, including such things as Japanese, Arabic and Klingon. For-profit entertainment produce new source every day. We need to keep up with that by making the archiving software extremely flexible. Adding fandoms, controlling our submissions, networking and yet a central interface for ease of use. LJ has done a lot for fandom the past couple of years. It's grown into the biggest outlet for fanfiction that we currently have, and there's a reason for that. People like the social part. The new archive, while perhaps allowing cross-posting to LJ anyway, should certainly make it easy to connect to other authors and/or readers. But the one thing that LJ lacks (oh does it ever -_-) is a concise and powerful search tool. The new archive has to make it easy for people to find exactly what they want, even in very specialized areas." -- suaine
  • "I've operated a not for profit website used by millions for nearly a decade. It has a fatal flaw: I own it, the community doesn't. Any time I want, I can take my toys and go home, leaving everyone in the lurch. Before any money is spent on a fanfiction archive, before a domain name is registered, something needs to be done so the archive can be owned by a group, not an individual. Possibly an LLC? I know nothing about this topic. Only enough to know it can be a problem. Example: www.henneth-annun.net. It's run by a committee, but one person owns the domain name and the servers. Let's just say it's not a democracy. So the first step is figuring out how ownership will be structured, and then putting it in place. Only then should everything else go forward. This isn't terribly sexy, but it is vital." -- stewardess
  • "One wacky idea for brainstorming: maybe we could grant "shares" in an archive LLC/nonprofit to people based on how much work they put into building it and supporting it -- shares for posting and commenting, for coding or doing support work or either donating/buying stories in fundraisers -- all sorts of stuff like that. People could vote their shares annually to elect a board of directors/advisors, which would then be responsible for oversight on one person in active charge, who would have final decisionmaking power on a day-to-day basis, but could be replaced by the board if necessary, if they gafiated, died, quit in a huff, started abusing power, etc. (Really, that person in active charge should probably be a paid position, when/if funds would allow.) Shares could "age out" over time maybe -- so someone who gafiated five years ago with a million shares couldn't suddenly come back in and start dragging things over to their liking. Possibly just through being diluted? I am speaking without enough real knowledge of corporate setup and processes, but I am pretty sure mechanisms like this *could* be set up." -- astolat
  • "I'm more a fan than a businessman. A group working on a project sounds great. Effort = shares? curious. I think this needs far more discussion as both favoritism and factions are problematic." -- itanshi
  • "The "possibly millions of stories"? Make that definitely millions of stories. If the archive should be a true anything goes, all fandoms, all stories type of archive for the whole world, there'd definitely be millions of stories. Just take five of the larger fandoms here on LJ and browse the interests. I'm surprised there isn't a Harry Potter/random household items OTP fanfic community (yet). If you go early ff.net style and allow anyone to post anything in any fandom, everyone and their neighbour will want to put their stuff up. Donation-supported. I don't say I know everything about websites and what all is involved in having and maintaining one, but to operate based solely on donations is never easy. Ads would solve that problem and add three others...." -- seraphina snape
  • "I have been against the whole concept of FanLib from day one as it's just a prelude to The Man selling us back our own work at a profit, and I'm sick of a group of boys who can't even be bothered to punctuate claiming to be collecting "the best fanfiction out there" and trying to become the public face of our community." -- geekturnedvamp
  • "Let people rate fic. 1 to 10, 5 stars, or whatever, based purely on whether they liked it. ALSO, let people give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down rating to reviews and/or recommendations -- sort of like the "this answer was/wasn't useful" that you see in techie forums where the assumption is that there's a concrete question at stake rather than a social bond. Reccers who are highly trusted have more influence on the overall ratings; people have a built-in incentive to recommend fic, and thus to stay engaged in the community. Then, make my recommendations based on something like the following -- Highly rated stuff gets points. Stuff that's highly rated by very trusted recommenders gets bonus points. Stuff that's highly rated by people that I've friended (or whose recommendations I've consistently agreed with) gets extra-special-bonus points. The more I participate, the more my recs are tailored to my tastes (predictions based on my past preferences get the most weight); among the stuff that's new to me, there's enough extra weight given to trusted reviewers that the amazing unpunctuated Mary Sues of the world drop lower on the list; since things aren't excluded up front, I can still search for whatever obscure thing I have a weird hankering for (and maybe even bump it up a few notches, when it would be off the bottom of the last page if the ratings were just based on popularity)." -- gchick
  • "You also see that sort of rating of reviews on, I believe, Amazon. I don't know if people would go for it, but, on a user profile page/author homepage/whatever, it might be useful to have a "stories this person liked" section. If we really want to go into "Lord Help Us" land, put a "discuss this story" option under each one, to start conversations linked to that reader and that story. Would help with the community aspect." -- debetesse
  • "Something that would NOT hide from google or any public mention, and would clearly state our case for the legality of our hobby up front I'm the only person in fandom totally turned off by this idea, I guess? My gut reaction, however, was to be completely surprised both that you suggested it, and that other people are embracing it. After reading the comments, I guess it really is just me. Which doesn't change my mind at all, but what this does tell me is that I'm out of synch with fandom at large, and that's surprising to me, too. And kind of sad. Ah well." -- destina
  • "Like you, I positively hate the idea of anything getting tracked by search engines, simply b/c then it's not in your hands any more and on archive.org forever! No way to delete down the road without traces. But several people have brought up the idea that the user can control what level of security her stories will have (public&googable, public&robot/spider blocked; community only), so that every contributor can decide herself (just like we can here on LJ except for the community option) I think that might be a compromise???" -- cathexys
  • "I don't want the majority of my writing showing up in general search engines either, legal or not." -- sidewinder
  • "I don't mind the google-ability (I don't block searches), but the centralizing of the fannish infrastructure--well, already we have debates breaking out on chan, remixes, etc. At least we can trust Six Apart to be relatively non-invested and to reign with a light hand; I'm not sure we can say that about ou[r] own." -- alixti
  • "I wouldn't use it, and I wouldn't donate. The very idea of putting my name to something so public and so huge is, god, I'm just not willing to even consider it. I'm skittish about archives and public posting already. For me, a community becomes ever more attractive the smaller it is. I don't like big forums." -- littledrop
  • "On an *individual level*, I would never want someone forced in any way to go public if she herself was not comfortable doing so. I think that the locking options described elsewhere in the threads will be an important option to provide people within this project, so every person can manage her own personal exposure. The reality is that we are already increasingly out in public thanks to things like del.icio.us. IE, if you post your fanfic in unlocked LJ posts, if someone else links them on del.icio.us, then searching on del.icio.us will see your stories, even if your own LJ is blocked from google. And del.icio.us search pages do come up on google. Google for "supernatural sam/dean fanfic" and you'll get some del.icio.us pages right on the front page. Recs pages sometimes have the same results, but many fannish recs pages also block google, so it hasn't been out to this degree before. So anything unlocked nowadays is pretty much ending up out there, and it is extremely random who is getting exposed (although popularity on delicious is a big factor). A central archive with a broad variety of locking features (allowing you to lock your stories to all registered users for instance, and not just to an actively selected group of friends) would actually provide *more* security against public notice than posting on LJ and relying on an obscurity that exists less and less (as people are developing better tools intended to route *around* obscurity). That's on the individual level. On the *group* level, we are again being dragged public whether we want to be or not by sites like fanlib. And I personally don't want these places to be the front door to our community and hobby. I don't want reporters making the executives of fanlib into our spokespeople. I don't want them making money off of us and off the original creators. I DO want to get that fourteen year old who is looking for fandom and fanfic, and get her to a community that is not looking to exploit her. The only way to do that is to have a public and publicized front door created by and run by us. No individual person's content should be made public without their active consent, but the shared front door areas should be out there getting google hits and drawing new people in." -- astolat

From Page Four

  • "As a reader I'd love all these cool features you propose in an archive! Especially the tag and search functions and options for easy download. One of my main annoyances with many archives is that I can't easily save a story in a single file to read. I'm okay with chapters when I read online, but sometimes I like to read on a PDA and while converting a single plain html file for my (elderly) PDA is really quick and easy, having to c&p twenty chapters isn't, also saving fic in general is much easier in one file." -- ratcreature
  • "I haven't read all the comments, so please forgive if this repeats what has been mentioned elsewhere; also, I have no coding background, so ignore this if it's stupid. Wouldn't it be easier, instead of creating an archive, to create a fanfic search engine that connects to all the sites that already exist? I don't know that it's possible to do searches across multiple sites -- I have no idea how google works -- but maybe we could generate a list of index terms tied to the address where the story or whatever happens to exist, which would come up on a list for the searcher. So if you typed in "Rodney Atlantis transformation fic," you'd get a list like google with stories in which he's turned into a dolphin or a dinosaur or a baby turtle or a plant, wherever those stories happen to be -- FFN or an LJ comm or the author's personal website. The listing would include information like author and title, when it was first posted, gen/het/slash, ship, any warnings, and so on." -- cynonymous
  • "As a writer, I would really love not being forced to classify my stories according to a predefined taxonomy as the price for posting to an archive. In my dream archive, the prevailing taxonomy would be self-adjusting, so that as some tag or term accreted users the engine would note that and whoever was curious could look and see who was using what terms both to search (readers) and to label (writers). I would absolutely love it if all fans could have visibility at that level. As a reader, I would also love being able to search for, say, the least-recced stories as well as the most-recced, for example. I guess what I'm reaching for is a wish that anyone who wants to could see in broad quantitative terms what's going on with readers and writers on the site--what choices people are making and what new things they're coming up with. That's more or less how I'd like to make my discoveries as a reader and find my place as a writer. Thanks for your leadership on this. FanLib really chapped me." -- rez lo
  • "Given how we can't even agree on what gen and slash is, I think it'd be more useful to have traditional categories and offer other/uncategorized/... as an alternative everywhere. I definitely could live without lemons and wombats and whatever else has recently been invoked for ratings :D Then again, there could always be the freedom that exists at imeem right now. There were clear posts recommending standardized tags, but noone's forced to use them. Otoh, I check every couple of days for new vidding tagged entries...and only yesterday realized that an SGA vidder I like had uploaded ages ago...she hadn't used the standard tags!...look at tags...that can get messy real fast . i still think a selection with an other option and the possibility to request additional one might be more useful *shrugs*" -- cathexys
  • "...as a writer I'd rather classify my stories according to a taxonomy that I think is actually descriptive of them, and run the risk that fewer readers will find them. What I've found my choices are so far, though, mostly, are either to comply with required taxonomy or be unable to post. I'd guess I'd rather have less order and more inclusiveness. And I'd absolutely love to be able to see what's going on overall--get a bigger picture. That would be meaningful to me as a fan, to be able to look beyond my own recs page, or my friends' or their friends." -- rez lo
  • "I don't see why we can't have both! A fluid tagging system layered on top of a fixed taxonomy would imo be ideal and provide a lot of this added flexibility. I do think that for an archive on this scale, a base-level fixed taxonomy is critical for ensuring readers can get to a manageable base set of stories to consider reading. Imperfect, yes, but it's like democracy: the worst system except for all the others. I would suggest having "caveat lector" and "deliberately uncategorized" options in this taxonomy, so people could choose to keep their stories out of the categories. Readers can then choose whether they want to see those stories listed, based on whether they are in a sort of casual browsing frame of mind or whether they are looking for something very specific." -- astolat
  • "I think that a controlled vocabulary is the way to go if there's going to be any real hope of finding what you're looking for, *but* that doesn't mean that it has to be inflexible. We'd need to create a good thesaurus - in the information technology sense - and then allow for users to create their own narrow terms which link back to the broader terms we defined." -- dr jekyl
  • "Allow filtering by age of poster. So you can automatically hide all fics by under-18s. Or search for fics by under-13s, if your goal is to share them with your kids to show them what other kids can do. This, I think, would do a lot to avoid the pit-of-voleness that is FF.net. Of course, this unfairly penalizes some good young writers, and unfairly privileges some bad older writers, but I know I would feel more comfortable flaming the shit out of a bad writer if there was a mark by their account name indicating that they are an adult. Here's a possibility, but I don't know how workable it is. Starting with your seed crystal pool of good writers, use "trusted writers" to rate fics the way that DailyKos rates posts as excellent through trollish. Only trusted writers have the ability to apply this rating, you get trusted writer status by getting enough high ratings, and abuse of ratings can be raised with the moderation board as an issue (say, an excellent writer has a horror of mentor/student pairings and is going around bad-rating all Harry/Snape fics, Buffy/Giles fics and the like... this would be an example of abuse.) Then readers can search using the rating as a criteria. FF.net started with ratings, but since they never did anything to ensure the quality of the *raters*, they ended up having to get rid of the feature. If we use this sort of model, we might be able to have a filter that doesn't merely rely on the poster's age to get rid of the voliness." -- alara
  • "spec first, then design, then code. Have your first two years' worth of development planned before you even start, and know the roadmap for the next good long while (even if it's just in a vague "yeah, we want to add that" kind of way) before you open to the public. It's the only way you can avoid the Giant Feature Creep and the cobbled-together feel of many sites. This, above all else, is what does in many emerging sites: the urge to add the kitchen sink. (Also, don't be afraid to say "no" to requested features if you don't think they'd work out either technically or socially -- but don't reject all suggestions just because they don't fit into the roadmap; your users can and will surprise you.)" -- synedochic (very small excerpt from a much longer project management list)
  • "an interesting parallel to the legality issue is the doujinshi phenomena in Japan (doujinshi being self-published, small run comics that often derive from other, commercial works. A *wide* range of material is covered - drama, gags, porn and romance featuring both straight and same sex couples, etc - and creators hail from all sides of the gender line). Doujinshi artists publish in relative freedom - there are conventions, events, and second hand shops focused openly on their work - and, while I don't have sources on hand, I'm fairly sure the practice is generally considered legal (it's a non-profit activity, promotes interest in commercial products, trains up new generations of artist who often turn commercial, etc). While there are cultural and legal differences I think, should our argument be framed in a similar way (we're not hurting, we're helping), fanfiction could not only gain legal recognition, but come to be supported by the larger commercial world (Not in a creepy, corporate sponsor kind of way, but in that they happily let us go about our business. And yeah, with the west's current state of paranoia over copyright issues, this might be wishful thinking). That done, I've got to say that the whole uberarchive idea is insane, and if anyone can pull it off anyway it's fandom. As a reader, the concepts being tossed around upthread inspire greed of the basest sort - I *want* these things available, the search engine and recommendations (reminds me a bit of Amazon.com's extensive review/recommendation/tagging/listmania system - are they someone who could be used as a model?) the gathering off acafen and writing resources [glee] - and am willing to do what it takes to make it happen." -- fx
  • "One of the major wanks that always crops up when it comes to categorizing fiction for archives is that some writers don't want to warn for deathfic because it spoils important plot points, and some readers don't accidentally want to stumble over it ever ever EVER OMG. Maybe it would be a good idea to have some sort of tag that those writers could click that amounts to "I'm not saying there's death in my stories, but if there was, I wouldn't warn for it". (I don't really know how you'd express that in one or two words. "Caveat lector"?) That way, readers who want to avoid deathfics would know that they need to be careful around that author, the author could avoid the enraged comments of "Thanks for ruining my day! Warn, dammit!", and nobody would need to be spoiled. (All that in addition to a plain old "deathfic" tag for the people who do like to warn, of course.)" -- neery
  • "Personally, what I'd love to see would be the ability for both authors and readers to tag stories, and the ability to turn on or off reader tags viewing. Having a 'caveat lector' tag would be a lot quicker to do though." -- franzeska
  • "I would really hate for all reading to move from LJ to this archive, but suppose it did, the thing I'd hate to lose most would be the possibility for reader/writer interaction through comments. Currently, archive comments don't really allow that. On some archives you can reply to comments and say thank you or whatever, but they can't reply back to you and there's not really the possibility for more than just that one interaction. So a comment system more like LJ's would be great." -- kyuuketsukirui
  • "I prefer LJ to any other format for this reason and often enjoy reading the comment threads more than the story! Archives always strike me as soulless places by comparison." -- zebra363
  • "I always post first to my LJ, and then, when I'm reasonably sure the story *really* is as good as I can make it, to my own website and to assorted archives, depending on fandom. And yes, I even post to ff.net - can't hurt to raise the quality there a bit. ;-). LJ is nice for immediate feedback etc., and the rest are great to provide easy access to my fic for readers who aren't on LJ, don't know my LJ, don't read my LJ, or simply get into a fandom long after I've posted a fic for that fandom in my LJ. Making fic easily accessible for readers (in a technical sense) is a virtue, IMO, and LJ is *not* very accessible. I have to admit I really don't see what the problem with posting a story to an archive in addition to one's LJ is. It seems to become more and more unpopular, but I really think that's a shame. Call me oldfashioned... I like having loads of fic in one place, nice and central. I also really like being able to still easily find a fic years after it was posted. I've been reading vastly less fic since fandom moved to LJ, really. It just takes too much effort to find stuff, most of the time." -- hmpf

From Page Five

  • "*wipes his eyes after riotus laughter* 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... [snipped] ...Welcome to the cold facts of the real world... [snipped]... 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." -- teh jimmeh
  • "as someone who is involved in numerous open-source projects and shared online databases of vast size, I can say that the donation model does indeed work. There's a bootstrapping problem with the donation model, though. In order to get enough donations to support the venture, there have to be enough widely committed people who see the benefit to donations. As somebody said above, astolat is one of the few people who actually does have the social network to bootstrap this project -- involve enough BNFs from day one and have them encourage people to contribute, and it can work." -- jadelennox
  • "The problem with donation models in fanfiction is that too many of the participants have no income or severly limited income, I.E. Kids, the unemployed, etc. Sure they might be able to donate once or twice, but thats it if at ALL. Most cannot donate even once. They definately cannot donate over a sustainable period of time. It's a sad truth that I wish wasn't the case. With open source, programmers and users of the open source, tend to actually have money. Fun stuff to have. Therefore you can have smaller numbers that are capable of donating more." -- teh jimmeh
  • "I have experienced how far they are willing to support thier fandom, which is sadly, not much after a few months. My site takes in pretty much anything already. Initialy, i had decent donations, but those dried up rather quickly. After a year, it was entirely out of pocket. I floated to my very large base of users options for them to consider to keep the site going. Overwhelmingly, 95% either could not donate, would not donate, and where totally aghast to a subscribtion type of service of any type, regardless how small it was. They also loathed the idea of ads. Faced with this, i chose the least intrusive method of handling the costs since donation don't work. Ads. The ppl here seem aghast to that as well, sadly, and are putting forth thier best proletariot faces forward with thier communist and socialist ideals in a capitalist environment of resource commodities (bandwidth and server horsepower). The ppl here also appear to sadly think that they can blatantly rip off other ppl's IP or personal identity (with RPF) with abandon and have no fears of legal reprocussion. My site (still nameless so as to not selfpromote and my insights lose percieved credibility) strives to maintain a happy balance... [much snipped]" -- teh jimmeh
  • "...there are other resources involved besides developer time, maintainer time, bandwidth, and hardware. For example, one of the resources in the fannish economy is name recognition. Conversations about BNFs usually devolve into ranting and anger about their eeevil and omg!silencing effect on the little gal, but the fact is that name recognition is an enormous commodity in our economy. astolat and her friends are extremely important among a segment of fandom which contains many adults, many people with money, many people with programming and project management skills. Moreover, where are you talking about people who have contributed enormous amounts of time, labor, and bandwidth to fandom (Yuletide doesn't run itself!), so they have credibility." -- jadelennox
  • "Jim, if you feel the project and those of us discussing it are stupid and doomed to failure, you can leave and let us fail miserably on our own. If you would like to participate in the discussion and share your experience, you're very welcome. However, the use of "feminazi" and the tone of your post, starting with the mocking laughter, seem to be deliberately nasty, and that's a major turnoff in speaking to you. If you feel offended because we seem to be dismissing your efforts, or defensive because you yourself are a guy involved in this space, please note that I at least had never heard of fandomination before this, so nothing said has been meant negatively towards you or your site. And I (and suspect most of the other people talking here) don't have anything whatsoever against guys participating in fanfic fandom. After even a cursory glance at fandomination and your policies, it's clear that it is NOT a corporate site but a fannish labor of love. That makes it very different from FanLib, which is run by a large board of executives from the dot-com sector who themselves are not interested in fanfic except as a way to make substantial profits off the labor of a community that is almost entirely made up of women. It's the deliberate and gendered exploitation by outsiders that bothers most of us." -- astolat
  • "Personally, I don't think an archive relying on donations will work smoothly. Either you bring in the movie to run a website like that or you have to look for other means. But from what I've heard, getting people to donate is a pretty tough thing." -- vamp ress
  • "I'd be proud to donate money to this project. I'm loaded." -- tex
  • "My wallet is all yours." -- miss pryss
  • "Running on donations only--it's a great ideal, but sadly it rarely seems to work out in the long run. You'll get a handful of people who will happily contribute, and a heck of a lot of freeloaders (plus people who may like to contribute but have no easy way to, or claim as much). I have some dim memory of that being the case with fandomination, for instance, when it first launched. Server demands could start to get really hefty as the site grows. The *quality* level of hosting you might want to avoid downtime and service issues may require better-than-bargain hosting prices as well. There might eventually come a time where a certain small fee would have to be charged to users to keep things running efficiently, or else the entire financial burden is going to end up falling on a small group of folks." -- sidewinder
  • "While I like the idea of a bigger, better, fan run archive, I'm not sure it's the best way to go. I've poked around with 'building a better archive script' a bit- and while I think it's very doable, I'm not sure an all-inclusive site that really succeeded would end up being anything more than FFN with porn and a better interface. Folks already have so many places to post- FFN, AdultFFN, multiple LJ communities, fandom specific/pairing specific sites, their own LJ, their own site. I think it would be difficult to become THE fanfiction site- even with an excellent new script to run it. And it would be costly and bring some vulnerability having that sort of concentration. And then- well, your FFN with porn and a better interface. Having played with some of these ideas a fair bit- an alternative might be a more 'web services' approach. I played with pulling RSS feeds for fandom rec sites into a database and making that searchable. Was a simplistic approach and not what I'd suggest. But it was handy for me as a way to quickly search for rare fandoms. I stopped showing it publically due to concerns I was effectively 'stealing content'- and it was limited in scope. But it is one approach. Probably a better approach- have it be a sort of 'Digg/Delicious' web service built specifically for fic. [much snipped]... I like the idea- I'm just not sure a new and better archive is the best way to go at this. Web services might be worth considering." -- forked
  • "I am not completely convinced of the Web 2.0 model, especially in fandom. And del.icio.us is actually already working pretty well as a fic-finding service and a popularity ranking tool. A central archive (as long as it's well-run and backed up regularly by multiple people) would provide two major benefits: a stable repository and a consistent interface/format for reading. My experience with link-only archives is that the links die so fast that they very quickly become an exercise in frustration. You can of course automate the link-checking, but then you're losing a lot of what I personally would hope to preserve with an archive like this, the history and full scope of work being done." -- astolat
  • "I'm less a fan of del.icio.us, but think it has potential. You're dead on about the big negative being the transitory nature of links. Even on my small rec site, hunting dead links is a major PIA when I'm being good about it. And it is SUCH a bummer to have a fic you love go 'poof'- I've considered starting an archive on my rec site for invited authors- and to get an invite you have to be rec'ed. The sole reason would be to have some public backup of the fics I love- reducing the 'poof' factor. But a lot of the folks I rec have their own sites, their own journals, and already post to at least 1 main archive for their fandom. I figure the odds of them wanting to dink with posting to yet another site are low. Hence some of my worries about uptake for a new archive. Granted- not a good comparison to a truly BIG all-inclusive archive, but still... I hope that if the archive is a go, it's a big success. It would be nice to have a good alternative to FFN. I just suspect it may be an uphill battle." -- forked
  • "That launch project would be cool, especially if it also allows to tag fanart or incorporates that in the search infrastructure. I've been really frustrated by how hard it is to find fanart. For fanfic there's lots of archives and rec pages, but fanart often doesn't even come posted with a header for meta data and easier tagging like fiction, and in my experience even fanart LJ communities use the memory and tagging options for organization much less often than fic communities, so there's no way to filter even if you managed to find an art community for your fandom. It would be great if such fandom 2.0 project would allow importing not just from del.icio.us but from other tagging systems as well, for example I've been tagging LJ fanart I come across with Simply because they have better logical operators than del.icio.us." -- ratcreature
  • "If this happens I will participate and I will offer my skills (usability and user-centred design), but I admit I am doubtful of its success for a huge number of reasons that boil down to: 1. This has been attempted before, and has not been achieved yet. I see how this differs from prior efforts but I'm not sure it will differ enough, or can ever overcome the myriad reasons why other efforts were apparently unsuccessful. 2. I see this as a wank magnet for so, so, so many issues. Distributed fandom gives us space to ignore and avoid each other, in cases where that's the better part of valor. A central archive also centralises fandom's rifts, faultlines, minefields and ideology clashes into nuclear clusterfuck potential (possibly see see point 1). 3. A lot of people are keen to volunteer, which is wonderful, but I suspect those who have the best project management, systems architecture, programming, interaction design, information architecture and ongoing management skills and experience are going to be in demand in more places than just fandom, and thus unable to make the kind of commitment they know it takes. I know many of those people will gladly make themselves available in a consulting and advisory capacity, but those make-or-break skills and experience are needed in the thick of it, and anybody with them will probably, like you, have a full plate already. [much snipped]" -- julad
  • "There's some debate in the thread above about whether it should be delicious or something else. I tend towards delicious simply because it's been around the longest, is the best known, and has the most development/plugin infrastructure (that I know of-- I haven't researched this). However, with the ease of importing/exporting/replicating across these sites it probably makes sense to look at the options. I know there are a few fannish delicious bookmarkers who do a huge amount of bookmarking with very elaborate tag structures. Is there much communication and collaboration between you all? Are there markedly different approaches to tagging fic? Do you debate pros and cons of particular approaches? Basically I'm trying to stay focused on how we can add to, not replace, existing fannish infrastructure, so I'm wondering just how much infrastructure already exists around delicious." -- julad
  • "I fully agree with Julad's point about the clusterfuck potential and fandom's faultlines. There are reasons why we disperse into separate fandoms." -- lobelia321
  • "...the thing that so often kills projects both in fandom and RL is overambition." -- corinna 5
  • "...this kind of project requires volunteers, and I'd like to toss my hat into the ring. My coding skills are pretty much non-existent, but I learn quickly. However, I have a fair bit of project management experience, and my communication skills are in fine shape, so I could do PR, media relations, writing text for the actual site, etc. Please let me know if there's anything I can do, because the fannish community has done a lot for me over the years, and I'd like to give back by helping create space of our own." -- shoshannagold
  • "I'm working on creating a search engine and rec repository for Harry Potter fanfic. If it's successful, I would definitely consider expanding it to include other fandoms. Mainly I've focused on creating a fixed metadata structure for stories, including everything from main characters and pairings to genres, time periods, and warnings. Story entries can be created and edited by human users, or aggregated from a robot parsing another archive (I'm working on the parsing right now). In the Harry Potter fandom alone, we've got a huge number of archives already that cater to different parts of the fandom. This discussion is giving me a lot of ideas about how to structure a rec system, which I haven't started writing yet. Early on I ditched the idea of ratings out of fear of wank. It could be wanky enough encouraging reviews that are geared towards other readers, rather than the author. Obviously, people have different opinions, so recommendations based on social networks and people with similar taste are going to be a lot more useful than general ratings anyway. I'm thinking that a good system would be to let users bookmark fics and attach their own tags, which could be used to sort bookmarks into different categories and rec lists like delic.io.us. Then maybe some sort of feature to make other users friends, or trusted opinions." -- redhotswing
  • "While I can see that requiring registration to view adult content would allow you to get rid of annoying click-through warnings, I also think it would limit the usefulness of the archive in the sense that it would discourage people from linking to the archive copies of stories in recs. I know on my own recs page, I won't link to a copy of a story in an archive that requires a password if there's any other option, because it's such a pain for people. I wonder if it would be possible to combine the two systems: display "click only if you're over 18, there be sex here" warnings to people who aren't logged in, and go directly to the actual story if you are logged in? That would let registered users have a smoother reading experience while still making it possible for people to browse in from elsewhere without having to register for the site before they can read the single story they were interested in." -- penknife

From Page Six

  • "Oh god. I like what you're saying, I really do, but I think it's actually impossible to achieve. The biggest problem is the revenue, and after that, there's the content issues, and the structure issues, and the fact that it's not possible to make every fanartist happy -- there have already been a number of objectors for whatever reason. And then just the simple reality that it would probably take a huge amount time away from anyone who took it on, and those who would have the time don't have the money, and those who have the money will want something right away and won't allow for teething. Fandom as a whole is just too anarchaic to allow something like this to last -- it would dissolve into wank. There have been attempts at central archives before (some single fandom, some pan-fandom), and either they sit nearly empty, or they do dissolve in wank. It's lovely, it's a lovely thought, but it would never work. " -- starbrow
  • "I don't know - a massive, multi-fandom archive has actually worked before. For all its many faults, fanfiction.net stands as an example of fandoms getting along, to a greater or lesser extent, by completely ignoring each other while being housed in the same place. Call me an unrealistic optimist, but, while a fan-run archive would be open to a lot of wank because it's fan-run, it might actually be possible to contain the wank if we recognise and plan for the fact that some level of wank will always be present. But you're correct in that it's impossible to please everyone. The aim, therefore, should be to define a target market and then try to please as many people from it as possible. Once that market is established, you can look at branching out." -- dr jekyl
  • "Being somewhat of an oldschool type fan (I came in when TXF was going out, which I know makes me a knock-kneed newbie compared to some) I have a high emotional attachment to central archives. I love them. I find them very useful. I've missed them in every fandom I've been in that hasn't had one. But the idea of "an archive where you can post anything" is not something I want to be part of. I won't have my stuff on an archive that keeps RPS. I have serious issues about putting my stuff on archives that include chan-as-kink... I'm really not happy about archives that are incest-happy, or rape-fic happy, or the like. I think that making an archive that collects Anne Rice fanfic is begging for trouble, of the legal, archive-shutting down sort. And so on.... if one of the stated purposes of this archive is to show the non-fannish world what we have, to gather and promote our hobby, to make people take us and our hobby seriously - - then what are we gaining by putting hottopic/questionable/illegal content on the archive? Is chan, rps, and nc-17 (however you define nc-17) what we-as-fans want as part of "our best face forward"? *waves hands* I am well aware that what different people think of as 'quality' varies, and that is going to be an issue. But I'm thinking that any attempt to include 'everything' is going to result in something that few people will want to be associated with, not more. The old line goes - If you try to please everyone, you'll end up pleasing no one. *shrugs* It'll be interesting to see what comes of this." -- hossgal
  • "...this archive astolat has proposed will be about "voting with our feet" in a way; we'll either support it or not, depending on our individual ideologies. The hope is that more people than not think it's a good idea. I certainly do." -- cupidsbow
  • "I was there on the ground floor, more or less, with ff.net, and I've watched it evolve over the years. It's largely been a victim of its own success. In the beginning, ff.net was basically what's being advocated above. In 1999, when most fic was still on individual people's websites or mailing list archives, when only a few fandoms were big enough to have their own widely-read archive (e.g. SG-1 with Heliopolis) ff.net was pretty damn cool. Nobody really knew how a large, multi-fandom archive should be put together, and the system that Xing & co. came up with for ff.net was straightforward, workable and very usable. It didn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but you could upload your stories and generally find what you were looking for, and just about EVERYTHING was represented on there. But, like I said, it's been a victim of its own success. Its high profile outside the fanfiction community means that the administrators have taken more and more CYA steps -- first banning adult fanfic, then changing the default view so that mature-rated stories don't even show up -- until the site is basically catering to a young-teen audience. The tons of bad fic on the site have meant that it's increasingly difficult to find the gems (and there *is* a lot of good fic to be found) and the site is starting to be abandoned to the preteens, novices and badficcers because new writers come in already knowing about its reputation and not wanting to post there.... [much snipped]... I just don't think it can be done. I mean, even if someone tries to do the next generation's ff.net -- and I'm sure someone will at some point -- it'll ultimately get weighed down by the same problems." -- sholio
  • "I'm worried that there's going to be a huge influx of energy and talent and effort, and the end result will be an archive which will basically be the ff.net of 2010 Would that really be the worst thing in the world? IMO, any archive is doomed to eventually become outmoded. That doesn't necessarily mean it's not worth it to create new ones. Maybe it will be the ffn of 2050 instead. You never know. a huge multifandom archive at this point in time is kind of going against the current trends in fandom I agree, but if this project gets popular, it may well be influential enough to set fandom trends instead of following them. I've seen a lot of debates suggesting that the format of LJ is largely responsible for the rise of drabbles and the lack of novel-length fic these days. Whether or not that's actually true, I know I find the lj format less than ideal for posting and reading longer fic." -- franzeska
  • "Even if the new archive doesn't end up as the be-all and end-all of archives, there's still no reason why there *can't* be another archive out there, especially a big inclusive one. As a reader, I think it'd be awesome to have another place to search for fic. But as a fic writer, I'm sure I can't be the only person who suffers from (for lack of a better way to put it) "archive fatigue". Right now I post stories in three places -- Livejournal, my own website and (some of them) at ff.net. I don't post to the fandom specific archives for the fandoms I'm in, because I just don't have time to learn a bunch of new upload interfaces and then keep a bunch of different sites updated, keep up on comments, etc. I'm not saying "OMG no one would come!", because I really don't think that's true; however, speaking for myself, I'm not sure I'd put in the legwork to archive my work somewhere new when I already have a readership at the other sites where I post." -- sholio
  • "Some things to consider; You will need to have policies implemented for flaming and trolls. Negative reviews versus constructive criticism, also needs to be addressed because if you look at other fic archives this is where people get upset. People dislike it when say on fanfiction.net people create false accounts so that their flames can not be deleted. People dislike it when say on mediaminer.org Authors abused their power to delete any fic that contains the slightest element of criticism. You'll also need to be able to handle SPAM-Bots, not just for advertisement, but an example that has occurred on adultfanfiction.net recently - An author was spammed by the same review over 200 times, forcing them to no longer accept reviews for that fic. I believe that the most significant problems for most fanfiction archives are related to publicity and people skills. You will also need to get people to participate into making the site, from an archive into a community. I believe this is the only way you will be able to keep the site going for a long period of time - you want people who won't just be there when you start, but will be there the day after that and the day after that and give people reasons to keep coming back....It may be worthwhile having an opt in, opt out type feature with advertising because I do not believe it is possible to keep a large site running solely on donations... Unless you have a membership base that is phenomenal rather than large - like say 4-chan. Generally you can only expect around 5-20% of your userbase to donate, and even then it may only be small amounts. " -- delta iota
  • "I'm more than willing to support this project with donations, but the only way I'd be willing to post my own fiction to it would be if it had total freedom of content. I do appreciate that US child pornography laws have taken a turn for the moronic (and frankly immoral and thought-police-y if you ask me) in recent years, but my only interest in a central archive as a writer is in having one place to post absolutely anything I will ever write. If there are content restrictions, even if they aren't things that would normally affect me (I'm thinking chan and RPS here), I just won't be interested in archiving my work. Host it somewhere strange if you have to, set up some kind of legal dodge if you have to, but don't promise a central archive if you can't actually deliver on that... My impression is that very little is illegal to publish in books in the US. Our normal child pornography laws pretty much exempt the written word, which is absolutely not the norm worldwide, but which I heartily approve of. Internet law is not so lenient, at least based on recent cases, but I'm no lawyer. But even aside from all that, writing about underaged sexuality has always been a huge part of fandom, especially anime fandom, and I hate seeing fans try to deny that. Disapproving of it I can certainly understand, but if we're going to own up to the mpreg and the tentacles and the rapefic and all the rest of it, let's not whitewash our history on this one particular point." -- franzeska
  • "There are those of us out there that work in schools or day cares or other institutions where we are held in a position of trust with regards to children. Chan can get us fired. Hell, while it's all well and good to complain about puritanical US laws, remember that in places like Australia or Canada, chan is indeed deemed child pornography and can get us arrested and labled as a sex offender for the rest of our lives. As someone who does a) live in Australia and b) has and does work in a position of trust, I don't really want to take the risk of being associated with material of such dubious legality. My name on an archive that contains chan could haunt me for the rest of my life – guilt by association, no matter how many times I say elsewhere that I don't read chan myself. For that reason, as well as my own personal feelings that chan is icky, I will not have anything to do with such an archive." -- dr jekyl
  • "regards to fan history and creating an archive that will be the be-all and end-all of fanfiction archives, something I haven't seen brought up is the question of 'lost' fanfic and dead fandoms. There is a lot of great work out there that isn't really archived at all - it's lost in the depths of usenet, on the pages of zines or only viewable by getting lucky on the wayback machine because the authors' sites are now defunct. Likewise, there are fandoms out there with few to no people still actively participating in them, where the established bodies of work are slowly being lost through disuse and disinterest. Few fandoms are lucky enough to have something like the alt.startrek.creative archives, where for 15 years work has been continuously captured and preserved for posterity. Would it be worth the time and effort it would require to reach out and try to collect and preserve at least some of this work that will otherwise be lost?" -- dr jekyl
  • "You hit one of my big concerns lately. I deeply care about all fic that's been lost in broken links and old link-based archives. I can't find the stories I used to read back in 1996. They're gone, the sites are gone, and the emails addresses of my old friends have changed. I wish some site would try to preserve more fic, but one of the problems is authors need to volunteer their work for archival. I can't imagine people would be happy if we load their stories to an archive without their permission. If we're able to get permission by some method, then I think it's a good feature to include in the new archive. Save the fic! There's a lot of good stories being lost." -- angelofsnow
  • "That's the biggest hurdle when it comes to time and effort. Not only do you have to find the stories, which means trawling the hidden depths of the internets, you've got to locate the authors. People change pen names, change real names, get new e-mail addresses, leave fandom entirely... You'd need some dedicated volunteers to research. Author consent is a dicey issue. I personally have mixed feelings about getting author consent. On one hand, I'm not sure if I'd like it if some archive, no matter how good its intentions, posted my work without asking me, even if they gave all due credit. On the other, most of the material we're talking about is available somewhere online already without explicit author consent, though it is very difficult to find, and the archive would merely be acting as an aggregator. It’s also something that you can bet your bottom dollar that collecting lost fic is something that FanLib or any other commercial archive wouldn’t even think of doing. There’s a lot of effort but little reward for them. For us, the effort is slightly less as we have established, though outdated, contacts with many missing authors, and it can also be argued that we benefit more because, collectively, lost fic is part of fandom history and heritage. Which we seem to be into, on and off. I wonder if there's some responsible way around the issue that would allow for capture of items that would otherwise be lost when location of the author proves impossible. Some sort of Dead Fiction Office, where unclaimed fic is hosted with the understanding that it will be instantly removed if a claimant emerges." -- dr jekyl
  • "I think fandom, as a whole, would benefit greatly from preserving its roots (which is why I love FanHistory.com). I think it would be an invaluable service to collect fic from the now scattered personal web pages and old mailing lists. It would be even better if it could collect some of the old zine fic. That's not really available for many new fans to enjoy." -- angelofsnow
  • "That could work. I think it's important to preserve lost fics as part of our history, a bit like the Foresmutter's Project in Star Trek, but for all fandoms." -- zellieh
  • "Well, it may be possible to take over entire archives as long as it's still possible to contact the archivist, on the fairly reasonable assumption that if the authors submitted their work to the archive they probably won't object to continue having their work in essentially the same archive if that archive simply changes maintainers." -- hmpf
  • "Fannish preservation is most definitely worth the effort! But the size of the task is, quite frankly, mind boggling considering such widely scattered fan creations, spread out over the last forty-plus years in a variety of media (print, tape, digital). To put such a project under the same umbrella as Shalott's proposed centralized archive - already a mega project on its own - might prove the straw that breaks the camel's back. Though it would be extremely useful to have close ties and share resources (people, knowledge, connections and networking for contacts). You'd have to break down preservation efforts into manageable chunks within fandoms; trying to tackle everything at once would be an unmitigated disaster. Folks would need to keep in mind that it would be a multi-year (if not multi-decade) project. However, you'd want to be able to produce tangible results within a short period of time so that volunteers didn't become dispirited and burnout facing a never-ending task. And historical preservation really is a never-ending race against time with inevitable losses. *wry grin*... [MUCH snipped]...Lest I leave the impression that the task is hopeless, it's not. It's difficult and daunting but not impossible. There have been and continue to be a variety of fannish preservation projects across many fandoms. Not surprisingly, older fandoms are more conscious of the need and often have multiple preservation projects, large and small." -- taverymate
  • "The folks at the Horvat Collection at the University of Iowa Libraries are very interested in fannish history, but so far as I know, only hard-copies. I've been talking with them about some materials I want to donate; I should ask whether they have a policy on electronic materials." -- cofax7

From Page Seven

  • "I haven't managed to read all the comments, but I think one thing that's important is that you not use the MPAA rating system for your archive. The MPAA are apparently possessive, and although they might ignore individuals, a (potentially) large and high-profile archive could become a target for their lawyers. Also, if you really intend to create a multi-fandom, all-inclusive archive, then it should be international, which means it should be easy for non-native English speakers and non-Americans to use, which lets out American ratings right away." -- zellieh
  • "Focus. Focus. There are a lot of bright ideas here, and folks are bursting with energy, and there's lots of stuff that would be cool, but remember what sparked this off: fanlib.com. The most important goal, so far as I can see, is to show newbies and mundanes what real fandom is, what the best of fandom is; to be a gateway to the creative energy that fandom is. For that goal, I think a site that connects other sites might work better than yet another archive. Because no matter how big, this archive isn't going to replace existing archives (especially venerable and well-run single-fandom ones like gossamer.org, Cascade Library, Heliopolis and Henneth-Anun. [1] Where does that leave us? Would authors have to choose between archives, and risk missing out on audience? Or have twice as much work because they have to submit to multiple archives? Then we have the trouble that some authors would refuse to participate if any of the content was restricted, and other authors would refuse to participate if certain kinds of content wasn't restricted. I don't know how we can get a win-win out of that dilemma." -- kerravonsen
  • "Hi. I found this entry through bookshop linking to it and I have to say, what a wonderful, wonderful idea. I've been dying for someone to create a "perfect" version of Fanfiction.net. Something that actually WORKS and has no restrictions and is a safe place for fanfic writers and readers. It would be Heaven, and I'd create such a site myself if I had the time, know how or money. But if anyone does attempt to get something like this off the ground, I'd be happy to throw up to $5.00 a month into a donation pot for the site. I think fanficcers have desperately needed something like this for years, and to see it become reality and actually succeed would be awesome." -- missscarlett
  • "Lots of people are in favour of a links-based archive. I'd just like to say that I'd prefer a real archive, so that it could help to preserve fic for the future. The wayback machine doesn't cover everything, and fan's websites are going down all the time as people leave fandom. Also, someone earlier was talking about fundraising, and I thought, why don't you do a zine or an e-zine? That way people who can't contribute lots of money or technical skills could still help by providing stories or buying the zines. It would also help with the crossover into RL & off-LJ fannishness, and work as a kind of free advertising, too, if the zines had a link back to the archive. Plus, maybe you could ask creators to lock some of their creations down in the archive itself for a short period of time, and have them only be available to subscribers during that time? (Or even ask all creators to wait a few hours before their stuff becomes available to all.) Then you'd be able to provide a simple premium service, and if you kept the yearly readers subscription below $5, lots of people would be willing to subscribe to get access." -- zellieh
  • "I love this idea, because searching for new, good fanfic is one of my biggest aggravations sometimes, but I definitely think that the idea of a central linking site has more likelihood of happening than an actual archive, simply because of the difficulty that would go into something as big as that archive would be. I would participate in any way I am capable, that I can tell you. I'm no programmer, but I'm free for about two months this summer for grunt work if you need me." -- tahariel
  • "Personally, I think I'm even more psyched about the possibility of coming up with good ways to index, search, tag, rate, etc. fandom's existing archives than I am about building a central archive itself. We need an inviting, accessible gateway to the world of fanfic, but the gate doesn't need to *be* the world." -- loligo
  • "Don't non-corporate multi-fandom archives already exist? Ignoring the Pit, there's still MediaMiner, and I even have an ad-free all-fandoms archive of my own at dotmoon.net. It doesn't have all the features you specify but I'm constantly working on adding new things. Why the extra effort of building a new site from scratch? I guess I'm just a bit unclear on how this project is supposed to differ from existing sites." -- dejana
  • "Perhaps if there was an option for fanfic to be translated [with an extensive staff of translators] as that would totally expand fanfiction beyond belief. I suppose if said site goes mega HUGE it would become a problem, but for those savvy in languages or looking to do so... this could be something to hone their language skills in. :D Plus, fanfic would be totally international." -- zodiacstaruser
  • "I don't think that even a site as nifty as the one your dreaming of would entice me to leave the comfort of LJ-based fandom, though reading your responses, I'm not sure if I'm in the minority. Not to be a downer -- I'd love for something of this magnitude to succeed, and my opinion is open to change after a site is up. I just like keeping under the radar, being able to self-filter things I don't want to see, and most importantly, the social aspect of a network-based fandom. It allows for such a mixed medium of fan works too -- art, vids & etc. I like being in control, and honestly, don't see why it has to change. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? I like trolling del.icio.us adultfanfiction.net and fanfiction.net for stories outside the norm of my f-list. I even google -- I realize I could be eating my own words if your archive facilitates searching in a way that far surpasses mine, but I really don't have a need for it right now. I'm satisfied in my current fandom experience." -- storyteller
  • "...there's some real hurdles to cover on a technical side. Programming's one of them. Huge coding job. Easiest way to do it might be to take an existing CMS and modify it-- but it's still a big job. Second hurdle would be servers, and paying for servers. If this site took off and approached ffnet in size (or even a fraction of ffnet in size) you're talking loadsharing with multiple servers. I have recently learned just how complicated and expensive loadsharing with multiple dedicated servers can be. Think three figures per month for a few servers, go up from there. Bet ffnet's hosting bill is solidly into the four figures per month, if not higher. Then you have to *pay* for the site. Means, likely, forming a nonprofit to handle the money. Which means a board of directors, and politics, and people who fight with other people, and fans who disagree with the board's decisions, and lots of wanking. Guaranteed. And do you pay your board if it gets to be a full time or even significant part time job, or do you risk having unpaid volunteers burn out spectacularly? Then there's funding. Either you run fundraising drives or you have ads. Both have some serious issues. It can be overcome, but eesh, it'll be a headache." -- ljmouse

From Page Eight

  • "Wow, I know it's up to 8 pages already and you're probably under a deluge, but I had to add to the Fandom Hive Mind and say "OMGYES!!". I saw the FanLib wank around but have been busy and didn't quite get what was going on until I hopped and skipped around a bit and ended up here. So many fabulous ideas!! I'm particularly enamored of the tagging, rec list creation, mentoring, and beta stuff because they're community building blocks and would be very cool if developed. It has a personal connection: when I first entered fandom, it was largely an accidental trip into the Smallville Slash Archive. I spent three months reading a huge chunk of fic without ever commenting primarily because the notes begged for comments right after naming off these mystery beta readers. It was obvious there was some kind of inter-web in place but because I had no idea what LJ was then, I felt like an outsider looking in. Why would they care what I, a stranger, thought of their stories? Archives are wonderful, but it's often how things interweave and connect that make things really spectacular and something that marriages both would be fantastic. Like non-profit Flickr for (♥) Fandom. *g*" -- blue meridian
  • "Am I right in thinking that this is part of the coming-out of fandom? Some people have expressed distaste for the idea of greater visibility, but I think They [potentially everyone from culture studies professors to the MPAA's lawyers] are coming for us whether we want it or not, and I don't see how our archive can compete with FanLib without some attention whoring. So, in order for the archive to be attractive to writers, it will need to offer some support for the more shy/closeted, but the overall design philosophy needs to reflect openness and accessibility, yeah? And here you can count me an enthusiast for the idea of allowing writers to lock certain stories so that they can only be read by people who are logged into the site." -- lipsum
  • "A suggestion in re. quality control (which may have already been mentioned?): implement invitations. Give each user a finite but not small number of invitations (like, 20 or something) and make sure that in the profile page of each user is a link back to the person who referred them. That way, invitations are given to people who already have someone willing to back their work. It plays into the reputation aspect of fandom, while maintaining differences in taste. The obvious problem, though, is that this could lead to a somewhat elitist vibe or trading invites for favours, and I'm certain that's not what you're going for. :/" -- moveablehistory
  • "And as soon as you implement any kind of "quality control" from the outside in, a lot of people will eschew the archive out of principle. I think it's probably best to go with a melting pot approach, the way fandom itself has been running for years, and let people sort out what they do and don't like or want to read on their own. The idea is to make it available and central - not to try to control some never-to-be-agreed-upon ideal of quality control. (Big picture.)... if the archive wants to truly be "the" central portal to online fandom, it probably ought to let everyone who wants to post be allowed to do so and, while I agree with you in the most heartfelt way imaginable that some kind of spellchecking would be nice *koff*, I think that it's probably not worth the hassle of implementing AND quality/quality control, as an issue, is self-limiting for a project of this type. Word of mouth will get you through an archive eventually, and if you're new to "fandom" or to fanfic, you may have to read a lot of crap in order to learn to recognise the good stuff. I know I did. Full disclosure: I'm a libertarian. One of the things that has always bothered me about the "quality" debate in fanfic is that there are no objective standards of "quality." If those objective standards were established, and agreed upon, prior to their implementation at such an archive by the majority of fans in fandom, one could argue that the community had set its own standards. However, given the Hydra-like (and inherently anarchic) nature of fandom qua fandom, "quality control" already exists in the form of communities, rec pages, and private/invite-only archives. (The free market of idea exchange, in other words, is already at work in fandom.) " -- aukestrel
  • "We have a lot of excellent designers in our ranks, and there are numerous places on the web like CafePress where we can get our own merchandise made and sold. It could be an easy and fun way to generate some extra cash for the project. I'd buy! We might even consider a contest or something to settle on a particular group of designs." -- rishabee
  • "I think the problems with actually doing it are, depending on just how big it gets and how quickly, you are going to need a dedicated server and you'd need a good plan for expanding space etc if it suddenly gets maxed out by more users than you'd expected. Of course now I've read through more of the comments I see there are people giving actual advice on this and legal stuff. Ah the joys of writing my comments as I read through all the others... ;P Secondly, legally how do you protect people? In some ways I get what Fanlib was attempting to do, trying to take out the problem of users maybe turning round and saying oi that show stole my idea but taking writers rights away isn't a good way to go about it. Except how do you deal with the possibilities of either a rather silly user claiming some TPTB read their story on the site and stole it, or the site/a user getting sued/a cease and desist from an author? I think maybe a pledgebank idea could work, both for costs of setting up the site and for legal funding if it/anyone gets into trouble. If you could work out the start up costs and make a pledge based on that. I really think pledge bank could work well and depending on how much you need for basics maybe you could raise enough to pay some professionals as a dayjob - depends just how many people got onboard the pledge. One or a few people don't stand much chance but try suing 100's if not 1000's of people and it's a bit more of a challenge. It wouldn't be fair to ask for a pledge towards that, or agreement to share legal responsibility, in order join the site/be a member but having that as an option hopefully a good number of people would and it could help things out. Either way, it'd obviously do good to collect a few (copyright) lawyers to help on the site." -- missyvortexdv
  • "In regard to filtering out the bad from good, I do wonder if there's any AI's that could be used to judge grammar (and mispellings of major character names ;) ) and maybe rejection could be based on % of adherence to good English grammar. Mind you, it's have to be a darn good algorithm and since there's artistic license there'd need to be very good testing to see what got flagged as too bad grammatically and balance it appropriately to only filter the pretty bad as opposed to people who maybe little a beta or have a different style that doesn't follow standard grammar but still works okay. The % might have to be set really low but it could help, just problematic for language support and I guess reading other posts it might not help with legal issues of screening content." -- missyvortexdv
  • "I've scanned the list of relevant links and I couldn't see anything about this. I was thinking that one of the biggest problems for new people in a large archive is walking in blind. Is there a place for rec-lists in the archive? Fiction Alley is massive and what they do there is have a forum where people can post recommendations. It's a little cluttered, but it's one (democratic) idea." -- icarusancalion
  • "Hosting fan mixes or vids would be opening the site up to more legal issues, probably the RIAA trying to sue you, but having listings linking to them hosted elsewhere would be nice, as would other fan arts as other fannish media stuffs are harder to find compared to fic. I'd love to be able to come to one site and see everything fannish, not just wordy things. Plus those things could always come later on the dev plan but they would be fab to see at some point." -- missyvortexdv

From Page Nine

  • Thank you. This is like a lifeline, as the thought of people who don't even try to understand and certainly don't care about our... hobby? Thing? What we like to do. Of those people being the arbitrators of our world? It's not to be borne. We might not always all agree with each other, and the fandom road is anything but smooth, but in our hearts we're all part of the fandom community. We care about it, even when we don't always agree with everyone involved in it. But there's a condescending, patronising guile to that lot's responses to the fandom communities' criticism that bodes ill; it makes me slightly ill that a bunch of fools, who haven't the common sense to feel out their market before making their play, are in in charge of *anything*. The only way to avoid them, or someone like them, getting their piggy snouts into our business is to do something about it ourselves." -- palebluebell
  • "I am all for taking the "face of fandom" away from people like Fanlib. Having read the comments, I do have a concern, though. If anime/manga based fandoms are going to be welcome, which I hope they are, I would request that filtering, rather than banning, chan be strongly considered. The thing is... see, we usually don't even use a label or name for this because it's so darn prevalent in the source texts. I mean, in Sailor Moon, the central Eternal Romance (with strong intimations of consummation) is between a middle school girl and a college boy, and several of the peripheral romances follow the same pattern.... Those are just the examples off the top of my head. And that doesn't even touch on the "it's suggestive, let's pair them up" material. In all the above cases, these romances are utterly unreal (psychologically, physically, etc.), but they do fit the age definition for chan. And age seems like the only vaguely reasonable way you could effectively define acceptable versus unacceptable stories. If adult/minor fic is banned, large swaths of anime/manga fic will be excluded by default. *wry* And most would probably be shocked that anyone could object to their fluffy Tsuzuki/Hisoka partnerfic." -- branchandroot
  • "There are nine pages of comments and I haven't read them all, so forgive me if this has been mentioned: I prefer archives that allow links to the story on the author's own website as well as uploading of story files. I feel safer knowing I have the ability to remove my stories from the web (more or less, Wayback Machine not included, etc.). I know that also creates an issue with the website disappearing or links getting changed. On the other hand, that wouldn't be a huge problem if you had a way of tagging links so that they can easily be found and validated by a team of volunteers--or a program, maybe." -- kaethe
  • "You say that you want this archive to preserve and transmit fannish "history and tradition." This is a great idea, but there are a LOT of different fannish traditions, and I really hope that you make an effort to include all of them. As a largely gen-only fan, I personally would find it somewhat disappointing if the Face Of Fandom Archive ended up being the Face Of LJ Slashers. I know that The Sentinel has (had?) a very large, enthusiastic gen/smarm contingent, and at least back during Season 4, so did Stargate SG-1. It would be nice if you could reach out to some of these people and try to get a really representative team working on the archive." -- ex eurydice1741
  • "I'm sure everyone would love to see a diverse group working on this. (Though if they're going to be working on the technical side, I don't think reading/writing preferences are very significant.) Personally, as one of the aforementioned lj slashers, I don't actually know a diverse group of fans, and I don't know where to go find such a group. Please feel free to point your non-slasher friends to this post. If the archive has a nice format and is easy to use, I assume that it will interest all kinds of people. Is there something in particular that you think we should be doing to reach out to people? For that matter, is there something about this post that you find unwelcoming to gen readers/writers? I thought it sounded pretty inclusive." -- franzeska
  • "It's not that I thought the original post sounded exclusive, it's just that I wondered if the recruiting and planning would spread outside the section of fandom where it started. (And I thought it sounded a little like it was assuming there's a single fannish culture, which there isn't.) Now, there will be a certain group of fans who refuse to participate at all in an archive that houses chan and RPS, but that isn't your fault, it's just that you can't please absolutely everyone. And these days, I suspect that contingent will be kind of small." -- ex eurydice1741

References

  1. In September 2014, it was announced that the site would retire and be taken offline at the end of the year. -- All good things come to an end, 13.9.2014