Category talk:Fans

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Do fan names like Bohemian Weasel or Big Pink get sorted in the same way as, say "Mary Smith = Smith, Mary"? --Mrs. Potato Head 21:19, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I would say no. I don't think there's a guideline written out, but it wouldn't make sense when there's no discernible surname. --æþel 21:44, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking, but wanted to double check. --Mrs. Potato Head 22:25, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

a proposal

I was default-sorting fan names and had this thought. Maybe I should quit. Because the default sort idea is based on the idea (Western European...) that a fan has a "first name" and a "last name." That, and the premise of the default sort with fan names doesn't really work for a lot of pseuds and online names and the just plain unknown: "Candy Apple," "Carol S," "Barbara Green Deer," "Riley Cannon," "Captain Jinx," "Helena Handbasket"... who am I, or anyone, to make an assumption about someone's name and how to organize them? Is there any reason why we can't simply list fans alphabetically by the first letter of whatever their names start with? --Mrs. Potato Head 14:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I am cool with alphabetical-order-by-first-name. We can put a note on the category page. Any objections?--æþel 00:44, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
ditto on cool. --Sk 01:23, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

a notion

This weekend's very special idea re fanlore: how crazy would it be to create optional categories to (optionally!) add to fans' profile pages? So that if you were browsing the fan category trying to find reccers, you could click on the category reccers, and see all the ones that someone had categorized as reccers (and vidders, and reviewers, and fanartists, and writers, and podficcers, and metawriters) -- and add all relevant categories to a fan's page, if you were making or working on a page. At least, that's something I every so often think of as "ooh, it would be neat if I could find that" when browsing fanlore. Or has that been considered ages ago and deemed unworkable or against the fl spirit? --Sk 01:23, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I feel like I suggested this myself at one point, but it didn't gain traction. One issue is that it is harder to define fan "type"--if someone posted a rec to their LJ once, are they a reccer? Meanwhile, there is already a way to approximate a reccer category:
whatlinkshere. And the vast majority of the fans listed are probably fan writers, so that would be a less useful (and tedious to keep updated) category. In general, I think there's a reluctance on Fanlore to categorize pages about people the way we categorize pages about activities or fanworks. --æþel 03:29, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Subcategories for Fans (a modest proposal)

Previously controversial & gardener approval is necessary for making non-fandom categories

Proposed Categories

-- Error cascade (talk) 19:41, 30 June 2020 (UTC)


So, I really, really, really want to make more subcategories for types of fans, because right now we have 3,101 pages for fans with no clear way to browse them directly (as compared to running across internal links in random pages on fanlore) as a reader other than the three subcategories that are there.

Since Category:Cosplayers and Category:Podficcers are already subcategories of fans, I was thinking we could create categories about types of fan that are easily defined. I see metawriter and reccer as ambigious, since many people do them occasionally (as æþel pointed out above, 8 years ago ;) )

So, a rough proposal if anyone is on board with this:

  • Category:Fan Writer (subcategory:Print Zine Fan Writer ?)
  • Category:Fan Artist (subcategory:Print Zine Fan Artist)
  • Category:OTW Board Members
  • Some sort of category for fanac, maybe Category:Fan Club organizer and Category:Convention organizer
  • Category:Archivist
  • Category:Vidders
  • Category:Fan Film makers (if there's enough in the fan pages to make a category worthwhile)
  • Category:Zine publisher

-- Error cascade (talk) 05:04, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

My only hesitation with this idea is that you have fans that do multiple things, I'll us myself as example, I write, I create art, I vid, I create gifs, and I've moderated challenges, that would be a lot of categories at the bottom of my theoretical page. Now, I know some fans only do one thing, like write or vid, but it not unusual to find fans, that are heavily involved in fandom, who take on a large variety of roles. I'm not completely against subcategories, I just think this something we should keep in mind. -- Kingstoken (talk) 09:47, 27 June 2020 (UTC)
Still a valid concern. I went and flipped through a bunch of random fan pages though, and it looks like most people are listed as 1-3 types of fan in their info box, which seems like a healthy number of categories. I also think there's a little bit of room for best judgement, so if someone does 4-8 types of fannish activities, the editor can just categorize them by the ones they're best known for/are emphasized on the page. -- Error cascade (talk) 18:01, 27 June 2020 (UTC)
We could leave off certain common categories of fan-type and focus on more unusual/identifying (on fanlore at least) ones. If most people documented on Fanlore have written a fanfic or a meta post at some point (without necessarily considering themselves A Fic Writer or A Meta Writer), then maybe we don't need a category for that (yet), but that doesn't mean we can't add Convention Organizers, OTW Board Members, etc. Category:Print Zine Fan Artists seems especially useful, given that those pages may be where most of the discussion of their art is located/linked. (I see Fan Writer as somewhat ambiguous.) (We do have Category:Zine Publishers already.)--aethel (talk) 17:23, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, leaving off the super common/ambiguous categories seems like a good approach. I still think it might be useful to have a broader fan artist category on top of a specific Print Zine Fan Artists category, because documenting fan art history can be tricky. Idk, I could make another list of potential categories and we could all just say yes or "I see an issue with this one..." -- Error cascade (talk) 02:54, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

Probably Categories:

  • Category:Print Zine Fan Artist
  • Category:OTW Board Members
  • Category:Convention Organizer
  • Category:Fan Club Organizer
  • Category:Archivist
  • Category:Vidder

Less Certain Categories:

  • Category:Fan Artist
  • Category:Zine Ed
  • Category:Beta Writer
  • Category:Moderator
  • Category:Acafan (unless that's listed elsewhere)
  • Category:Fan Film Maker (doesn't seem to have a presence on fanlore really)

-- I think this sums up where we are in the decision making? -- Error cascade (talk) 03:12, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

I would pluralize everything. Also we do have Category:Academia where academics are listed. "Beta Writer" > should this be Beta Readers? Zine Ed > Zine Editors for clarity? Otherwise, it looks good to me (I'm not a gardener).--aethel (talk) 18:34, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
This is a really fascinating discussion - thank you for starting it, Error cascade! It's definitely worth exploring ways that we can make fan pages more nuanced and easier to navigate.
I have a concern about the possibility of an "OTW Board Members" category. Compared to the other categories, this one is never going to be particularly large because the OTW Board only has seven (or nine, in previous iterations of the Board) members at any one time with two or three new members joining the Board each year, some of whom have already served terms in previous years. So this will by definition be quite a small and slow-growing category.
My other concern is that categorising fans as Board members on Fanlore reinforces the notion held by some fans that these fans have permanent sway over the direction of the OTW. Many previous Board members are thought to still be influential in the OTW even though most have stopped volunteering with the OTW altogether and definitely don't play a role in deciding the OTW's direction once they're no longer with the Board. So I am leery of adding a Fanlore category for something that will encourage fans to think that once someone serves on the Board, they are a Board Member in perpituity and always have that influence when it's not the case. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 21:55, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't think the size is too worrisome considering it still passes the 10 pages in a category mark by a fair amount. My reasoning in putting it on the list was that 1) it's really easy to define 2) Having an easy access list would be a good fannish history resource. But we do already have a Organization for Transformative Works/Board of Directors list, so it's not too crucial that there's a subcategory as well.
As for the fandom politics of it, I see why that could be concerning. We could always add a clarifying note about present and former board members to the category subpage to hint people in the right direction. I'm not sure how concerning that is, because as a wiki the goal is to be fairly clear and accessible, but I'm not sure to what level anyone can reasonably prevent misinterpretation. -- Error cascade (talk) 03:08, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

Other Potential Categories

  • Category: Meta Writer
  • Category: Exchange Runner (Not sure that's the best phrasing, though. Fic Fest runner? What would you call people who organize Big Bangs?)
  • Category: Website Host
  • Category: Reccer (someone who maintains a collection of rec lists, and points people to them, not someone who includes recs in their blog activity)
  • Category: Vender (or Dealer, at conventions)
  • Category: OTW Volunteer
and the controversial ones:
  • Category: (specific fandom) Fan
  • Category: (pairing) writer

I'm not sure we should have the last two - that gets messy. (I've written in more than 50 fandoms, generally 1 fic each. I shouldn't be listed as a "(fandom) writer" for each of them.) OTOH, there are people who are well-known for writing in a small handful of fandoms, and it would be nice to see a list of Drarry writers - and might encourage people to add pages for writers they know, who aren't listed yet. Maybe we set a minimum activity level for fandom or pairing-based activities - must have done 10 or more of the thing, or something like that. (For "Website host" - had a website with more than 10 total pages. OTW volunteer: 10 months? (probably not) That one might be like zine publisher: doing it once puts you on the list. -- Elf (talk) 10:36, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

Some thoughts - Reccer, Meta Writer, BetaReader: Rightly or wrongly, I see these roles as be synonymous with fic writers. I wouldn't support the inclusion of these roles yet, as I feel it would require an overview of an individual fans work and in a lot of cases, I think their body work would suggest a Fan Author category instead. And as we're not currently considering Fan Author, then I don't think we should include these categories (yet)
Exchange Runner: I think this is covered under our definition of Moderator. Would that be acceptable?
Website Host: I think the term I'm more familiar with is Website Administrator. Are these the same thing? We would need a definition of what is a Website Host/Administrator before considering adding that as a category. I also see Archivists as been a subcategory of Admins (in my definition, at least)
OTW Volunteer: I'm not in favour of this one, but it has more to do with how the inclusion of this subcategory could impact the content we put on fan pages. Many volunteers work under their fannish pseuds. I do not want to see pages that are an account of their fannish activity and their volunteer work, as this could make it very easy to out a fan if they ever run for the Board under their legal name.
Category: (specific fandom) Fan: Not yet, for the reasons I outlined here. It's really subjective and I think setting a minimum activity level will end up excluding fans who consider themselves part of that community.
Category: (pairing) writer: No. That would make it easy to target hostile editing at fans who are perceived to be wrong shipping. --Auntags (talk) 12:21, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
Not at fan of Category: (pairing) writer or Category: (specific fandom) Fan for the same reasons Auntags brought up. I think Moderators is the preferred term for people who run exchanges, at least in any challenge I have ever participated in, if you wanted to be more specific you could call them Challenge Moderators, to distinguish them from moderators who run journal communities and the like. I don't think Beta Writers should be a category, like you do get some fans that are willing to be betas for a variety of fandoms and any fan that needs them, but from what I've seen most writers develop a close working relationship with their betas and those betas only work with that writer and a few others -- Kingstoken (talk) 16:02, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
I think the points raised about Beta Reader as a category are valid and a good sign that we shouldn't embrace that as a category (at least not yet).
On the thorny issue of linking fans to fandoms and pairings, I think any attempts to define whether or not a fan is part of a fandom will be a mess for the reasons User:Elfwreck brought up. I don't support the idea of added fandom/pairing categories to fanpages. I think if we do ever try to link fans to fandoms, a potential solution might be to make a list of of particularly notable fans (not a comprehensive list of every fan) for each fandom as a page. (But, I don't want to get too side logged into that hypothetical scenario (if anyone wants to shoot the sh*t about that, we should probably take it to a different page/section). So it looks like the remaining thorny issue is how to classify running websites. I think moderator covers big bangs quite nicely, but I'm not sure what the best terminology is for website hosting/admin in general. -- Error cascade (talk) 03:08, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
On the one hand: fandom or pairing categories gets messy. On the other... right now, we have over 3000 individual fan pages with no categories. I'm leaning toward the idea that several dozen messy categories might be better. I'd like to find zine publishers and convention staffers and vidders and game modders; I'd also like to find Star Wars writers and MCU fanartists and Snarry fans. I get that it'd be tangled, and we'd probably need a policy like RO3 for making a category. (Needs 7 pages? Need 10 pages to make a new category of fans?) But I'm willing to hold off on the idea of fandom or pairing categories, and see if things get better when we bring in categories based on activities other than writing or beta-ing. --Elf (talk) 05:31, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
Right at the beginning of Fanlore it was discussed wether fans should be categorized by fandom and the answer was no (See Help:Fandom Categories). Fans are real people and categorizing them by something they might have liked at some time and might no longer be afiliated with is a messy approach with a lot of conflict potential. And the harassement! Pointing antis to Snape/Harry fans or whatever pairing's fans are currently vilified as perverts is probably not a good idea. Also, fans can be active in a lot of fandoms, that doesn't make them fandom x anything. However, we do categorize people. Fans is a subcategory of people. Also, Fans does have subcategories of its own. At the moment that's Category:Deceased‎ (234 P, 4 F), Category:Cosplayers‎ (11 P) and Category:Podficcers‎ (50 P). "Deceased" is uncontroversial, a person is either dead or they are not. "Cosplayers" and "Podficcers" have both in common that they describe a role that is more rare than writing or art, so there might be a heightened interest in pointing out these roles. That doesn't change that these fans probably also have other roles that are not categorized which creates the question how to deal with that. It might be helpful to point out that when adding subcategories there is no need to be comprehensive about it. Just because 15 pages (See Help:Fandom_Categories for requirements for creating an new cat) get a specific subcat it doesn't mean the other 3000 have to get one too. This is also why I suggested subcats for characters (Category talk:Characters). Adding subcats for specific types of characters that make it easier to find these characters and fannish activity around them wouldn't mean that all other characters whould have to be sorted in new boxes too. That would be prohibitive. ("You can only focus on what you want if you deal with these 2000 pages right away too.") --Doro (talk) 10:26, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
Huh. Didn't mean to leave this convo dead for so long, but RL stuff made the idea of digging into categories less fun. Anyways, to build off what Doro was saying, I am still quite firmly in support of making some more subcategories, but I guess I'm hoping to keep it pretty simple. I guess right now I see the relatively simple (potential) categories as: Moderators, Convention Organizers, Fan Club Organizers, Fan Artists (further subcategorized as Print Zine Fan Artists). So far, no objections have been raised to any of those.
On the more complicated side: I would still like an archivist category, but I do think we'd need to decide if we're discussing any other Webspace maintenance fanac categories (like web host/web admin) first. The other problem is some archival action is technically covered under moderator as well. I'm thinking specifically of Trekiverse, which was so large it had some people moderating the archive. I do like the idea of vendors/dealers/convention staffers at cons, but I think we'd need a single term for that. Zine Editors also seems to be fairly distinct, but I'd like other's perspective on that. Also User:Elfwreck metioned game modders, which is a cool, distinct, and pretty easily defined category, but I'm not even sure if we have 15 fans listed as that, so I'd propose putting that on the back burner?-- Error cascade (talk) 04:08, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for contributing to this discussion. The subcategories we will be creating to start off with are: "Challenge Moderators", "Convention Organizers", "Fan Club Organizers", "Fanartists", and "Fan Film Creators". If you have any thoughts on the other subcategories please share them here to help us reach a consensus. If you have other subcategories in mind that have not already been suggested, feel free to suggest them yourself!-- Satsuma (talk) 22:07, 29 November 2020 (UTC)