Fandom Content on Mainstream Spaces

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Stub: This is a total braindump! Feel free to rearrange and sort things out.

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Fandom Content On Mainstream Spaces

...this drama happens EVERY time fandom stretches past its current boundaries and spills over into some space formerly not known for fannish content."[1]

  • what makes Goodread readers different from an AO3 readers when they are commenting about fanworks beyond the author's immediate access?
  • what makes Goodreads readers different from Tumblr readers discussing an author's stories?
  • what makes tagging on Goodreads different than bookmarking on Delicious?

Some conversation: morgandawn -- Fandom Does Not Use Technology. Technology Uses Fandom. (December 16, 2014), Archived version

What is a Fandom Space, What is a Mainstream Space?

  • Who gets to decide what defines a fandom space?
  • differing views of fandom as a "safe space"

Who's Allowed to Talk About Fanworks?

  • Who are "real fans"?

Comments by elf:

  • "people who like platforms I don't, aren't real fans."
  • Fannish clubs at colleges aren't real fandom; only conventions are.
  • Zine fandom isn't real fandom; only fan clubs are.
  • Digital zines aren't real fandom; they have to be on paper.
  • isn't real fandom; anyone can post there--you need to be in a zine.
  • tumblr isn't real fandom; it's just kids pointing and squeeing. [2]

Comments by cathexys:

In your metaphor of going into someone's home and taking things, you are creating AO3 and Tumblr as personal protected spaces. I know I've made that argument for LJ before, when most of us did spider and index block and conversations on here were quite separate from the non fannish world so to speak. But can we still make that argument? Are the GR readers actually strangers or are they merely other fans employing another interface? And, for that matter, are we actually having a private party here when we frequently cross retumblr back and forth with TPTB? [3]

Reviews of Fanworks

  • some fans confuse the upload of fanworks with reviews of fanworks
  • discussion of fanwork reviews as a fanwork themselves
  • can you separate a review of a fanwork from the fanwork itself?
  • the "fairness" of reviewing fanworks out-of-context (not in fan places), and reviewing fanworks as though they were "professional" creations
  • can fans request and expect that other fans not talk about or review publicly posted fanworks?

The Entire Internet as a Mainstream Space

  • the illusion of control

Online Journals and Their Effect on Fan Space and Definitions

  • brief discussion of Live Journal, Dreamwidth... and how they affected fandom; add links to other articles on Fanlore

Tumblr and Its Effect on Fan Space and Culture

  • brief discussion of Tumblr how it has affected fandom, link to Tumblr pages and relevant articles

Comment by cathexys:

"[My fan stories] are not meant for casual public consumption, they are fanworks meant to be shared in a specific and protected community." But then they SHOULD share it in a specific and protected community. Open AO3 and f#$%^& Tumblr are certainly NOT THAT. I'm sure we all remember the debates over the access limitations of flocked communities. The bad side was that limitation. The good side was that the subjects in question didn't fall over their fanfic when they vanity googled. I think what annoys me here the most is that the most vocal opponents are on a platform that is the broadest and most searchable we've ever had. And they themselves constantly copy rather than link material. And to then go and scream foul when the publicly accessible, googleable stuff gets linked? [4]

Goodreads and Its Effect on Fan Space and Culture

Comments by elf:

GR reviews are for readers, not for the author--and I very much want review sites to be comfortable places for readers to say "I didn't like this, and here's why." Even if the "why" translates to "because I'm an immature, close-minded bigot, and this story contained ideas that made me uncomfortable" or "because the author supports [cause I hate] on her website." FWIW, I think posting fanfic on Goodreads is more than a bit ridiculous. But I'm not a Goodreads user; I don't get my book recs or my social activity there. So I'm not comfortable saying "Fandom: they're doing it wrong;" obviously it's not how I do fandom, but if I got to declare who and how is "doing fandom wrong," GR is nowhere near where I'd start. [5]

AO3 and Its Effect on Fan Space and Culture

  • is AO3 a "protected" space?

Comment by stormcloude:

I would argue that AO3 is a protected space. People can lock their fics and disable downloads and remove it from searches, make it private. [6]

The Cyclical Nature of This Subject: What is Old is New Again

Comment by elf:

... didn't we see this whole argument played out in paper zines when the internet was new, and some people were posting fics on usenet? Can we make a drinking game of it? [7]

Comment by Morgan Dawn:

I thought I knew fandom and its cycles until I started working on Fanlore. And then one volunteer began reading and summarizing the scans of old letterzines (from the 70s and 80s) and it was all there. Every topic, every debate, every freak out. Like a huge spiral going upwards and outwards and expanding and expanding. [8]

Comment by elf:

...the same cycle happens over and over. The only reason it hasn't killed fandom is that the new activity *always* brings in more new fans than old ones decide to go into lockdown mode. (Of course, much of the old guard refuses to recognize the new fans as "real enough" until they've had their own "OMG my fanfic is showing up WHERE" moment.) [9]

Legalities and Fandom Ethics/Culture

  • how they may differ

Issues of Control

  • who can talk about what, and where, and when
  • in an ideal world, we'd all comment in context

Comments by cathexys:

I know I get very frustrated when people read my (published nonfiction) work out of context. In fact, I've gotten quite annoyed at GR reviews before. But that can't and shouldn't keep that reader from reading my book from the wrong perspective so to speak. I firmly believe that fanfic should be read within its own context and that it can lose much if not most of its meaning when taking out of that context. But "that context" may be as specific as the inside jokes on Tumblr while it's being written. It may be the fannish mood at the moment after a given episode. Different readers, different fans have all kinds of contextual clues that are not always the same and may be quite different from the author's. And yes, lacking those contexts readers may misjudge the works severely. But who gets harmed by that? Someone misread your story and posts it on a platform for other readers. What is the actual harm? [10]

Where Mainstream Tech Goes, Fandom Doth Follow, and Vice Versa

  • the challenges of maintaining cultures in a bigger world
  • fandom is not an island

Comments by Morgan Dawn:

...there is no way that anyone can know when someone is talking about them online. Or collecting and aggregating data about them, there are entire websites whose business model is linking your personal data in ways you never imagined, it is beyond freaky - there are good reasons the EFF is pushing for greater privacy controls. but this is not Goodreads "culture" - thus is today's online culture. It sits at the foundation of most corporations and businesses. And it is way beyond anyone's ability to control. [11]

Cons of More Mainstream Fandom

  • what do fans gain?

Pros of More Mainstream Fandom

  • what do fans lose?

See Also