Slashcast Metachat: 2006 Year in Review

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Slashcast Metachat: 2006 Year in Review
Interviewer: charlotteschaos (Char)
Interviewee: emmagrant01 (Emma), djin7 (DJ), & dramedy (Lauren)
Date(s): January 13, 2007
Medium: online transcript, podcast
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: online transcript; WebCite
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Slashcast Metachat: 2006 Year in Review is a chat with emmagrant01, djin7, & dramedy. charlotteschaos is the host. The focus is Harry Potter fandom.

"Today's meta discussion involves the year-in-review. We've had several exciting things happen this year and we're going to briefly discuss them."

It is a podcast at Slashcast and includes an online transcript.

For more in this series, see Slashcast Interview Series.

Some Topics Discussed


DJ: It's just so awesome to come home from a hard day of shopping and think, "Hey, look at this novel." Which with the Snarry Olympics, of course, obviously, it's Snarry-centric, so- and there was a reason for it. It came about, specifically, to herald the opening- the re-opening of Walking the Plank, which was a Severus Snape/Harry Potter site that had gone down about a year and a half earlier and had been replaced with another website called Detention. And the Detention website lasted a little more than a year before it imploded due to various things, and so the Snarry shippers, without their flagship website, and so a couple people stepped up and decided to re-open the old one. And, uh, we did that and that was what the Snarry Olympics was designed to bring attention to.
Emma: Yea, yea. Lumos was fantastic and actually, we did a show about Lumos a little while back. I can't remember which episode it was exactly, but people can go back through the LJ and look if they're interested. Um, and there was a big slash presence there. I think that there was a sense, at the time and afterwards, that there weren't a heck of a lot of panels about slash, so there were few that were slash-centric. I think a lot of slashers came away from it thinking, "You know, we've really got to make a bigger presence, you know, at the next con." And there's three cons coming up this year: Phoenix Rising, Sectus, and Prophecy. I think the deadline's already past for Phoenix Rising, but I believe that the deadline for Prophecy and Sectus are coming up in February. Everybody who wants to see more slash at the cons, you know, please put in proposals.
DJ: And there's a lot more newsletters for art too. Art has become a huge thing, fan art in fandom. You know, there used to be- you could probably count, two years ago, how many known fanartists there were. I mean, there's so many people kind of really throwing themselves out there and throwing out amazing art that's so different from everybody else's. I mean, it's fabulous, and there's all the newsletters, of course, the hpart dailies and all that, and I mean, they go all over.
Emma: Yea, pod casting really burst out. About a year ago there was just Pottercast and Mugglecast, but people started really getting interested in pod casting. We started in- April 1st, I guess we started and Snapecast came soon after and- If you go to the, if you go to the- there's a link of the post-show post where you can go and check out the Harry Potter Podcasters Coalition. They have twenty HP related podcasts listed there, and there's about thirty more on a waiting list that they're gonna add in their information as soon as they get it all. So there's more than fifty Harry Potter related podcasts that are listed on that site. There's probably a lot more.
Char: And there's a lot of interpretation as to what the Deathly Hallows might mean. A lot of speculation and a lot- leading to a lot of meta, a lot of complaints, which is sort of hard for me to really fathom, since I don't know how it relates, yet, so it's a little hard to say, "Oh I hate that name. It makes no sense." You know, cause I have no idea where it's going.
Emma: I think one thing that it did do, though, is that it got people talking about, okay, about the idea of death. Who's gonna die and how is that gonna affect the fandom? I think that's something that a lot of us are starting to think about and what's gonna happen to the fandom if Snape is killed off, or if Harry is killed, you know, or Draco, or whoever. How is that going to change things? I think that's something that a lot of people are starting to think about.
Emma: [The Slashcasts] definitely adds a new dimension to being in fandom. I think LJ did that. When LJ came along, suddenly we got these little glimpses in people's lives that had a big impact on fandom. But I think, you know, podslash is another thing that's become really popular in the last year. People are reading their fic and posting them to podslash communities. And I don't know if we're going to continue to see that, but it's a whole new way to think about, you know, participating in fandom. It's really cool. It's also really fun to read porn, that's the other thing.
Emma: Yea, YouTube had a really big impact- it had a big impact on popular culture this year. We saw that Time Magazine mentioned it in their Person of the Year publication. One of the things that was really interesting in fandom was that fanvids- it used to be that if you wanted to get a copy of a slashy fanvid, you had to know somebody who knew somebody who could, like, give it to you in a brown paper bag. I mean, that was a long time ago. And then for a while, you know, you had to know somebody who knew where to download it. Find the website and download it and links would be passed around. But now, everything is on YouTube and that changed- I think that really brought vidding into the mainstream of fandoms in a way that it hadn't been before, and so, for example, I just went before we recorded this interview tonight, I went to YouTube and I typed in "Harry Potter, slash" and hit search, and came up with 572 hits. You know, there's probably doubles and triples of lots of things, but that a lot of slashy fanvids. And that's true in every fandom. That's true in like, you go to Buffy or you know, good god, Supernatural, or anything else, and you get a ton of fanvids. And some of them are just sort of- some of them are cobbled together by people who don't know what they're doing, you know, and some of them are copies of really great pieces of art, but fanvids are a lot more accessible now than they used to be, and I think that's had a big impact on fandom.
DJ: I mean- I mean there's fandoms that have been around for thirty years. I don't think that anything in book 7 is gonna end fandom. You know, a lot of people will be disinterested afterwards, but it won't be as all that, it won't be like- the Harry Potter is a freakin' huge fandom. I mean, it's massive. I was involved in the Buffy fandom before this for years, and it was a big fandom, and it's nothing like Harry Potter stuff. It was a drop in a pond compared to what Harry Potter is. So, and you know, you think of Harry Potter, it's probable that it will be around as long as the Lord of the Rings fandom has been.
Char: A lot- [we had] a lot of really interesting wank. We had sort of a rerun wank, so to speak, with msscribe, when some of us found that some of us are not actual people. We learned a lot more about sock puppets...
DJ: Yea, [the MsScribe affair ] was actually a real eye opener for me. I've actually always been a bit of a cynic. I kind of skate emotionally detached from my flist for a good long time and I was confused as to how people can get so attached and close to the people on their flist. I was really, like, "Whoa, what's that about?" But eventually, of course, I warmed up to a lot of people, and you start chatting with people every night and you start to get to know them and you start things together, and before you know it, you're acting like you've known each other your whole lives. And then you find out that it is possible that person also has several other personalities or- msscribe, she had...

Emma: You know, I think that one of the things that's really interesting about that was that is was time for us to have a conversation, I think about- is LJ a public space or private space, or is it something in between? I mean, anybody can see what you post on your journal, but yet, at the same time, you're posting with the sense of having it being posted kinda of privately. And so, like, if a random person comes onto your web journal and, like, flames you for liking slash, you're offended. You're like, "This is my journal. How dare you come into my journal?" Well, it's a webpage - anybody can see it. And so, there was this interesting sort of- I mean, I think we needed to have that conversation about where's the line. You're posting this publicly, so people can comment on it, but at the same time, you have this feeling of it being private, and so where is that line? I think it was a good conversation for us to have, and I think the other thing that's interesting about it is that you see people posting more honest opinions about fic now. It's just become more routine as a result of this, so I think it was a bit of a growing pain, that we needed to go through as a fandom. But I think that the outcome is positive, really.

[snipped]'s that private versus public thing, and to what extent do you have the right to say whatever you want in your own journal, you know, what are the consequences of that. I mean, it's a very interesting conversation and I think- I think it was a good conversation to have. I know some people didn't like it and it kind of burst into this big wank, but I found it interesting, and I hope that it turns into something good for fandom. That we can all be more honest with each other and be more accepting of criticism and that kind of thing.
DJ: Yea, there's lots of people that just- but the review things was basically someone was reviewing, like a food critic or a movie critic. They were just saying, "Okay, this is a handful of fics I've read. I like this for this reason and I didn't like this for that reason." And it wasn't, "Let's make fun of the author, or let's deride them and their usage of passive verbiage," or whatever. It wasn't any of that. It was like, "This is my personal opinion," and I, you know, I don't- just like I like thai food and you don't like thai food. That was really all it was. And so the reason it exploded into such a huge thing was um, of course, was that privacy issue, where you post a fic on five different comms and now one person happens to post a review on it that happens to now get posted on a newsletter. And what I've got now is everybody's looking at this review. So it was more that, I think people didn't want to be, you know, they didn't want to be on Siscal and Ebert show. They didn't want to be...
Emma: But I think this whole issue is a very interesting one. The issues that it brings up for me is, for, you know- I think for women in particular, most slashers are women, and you know, straight, gay, whatever, most of us are female, and I think that one of the things that is great about writing slash is that it's a very female feeling genre. I mean, we kind of write- we write what we want to see, you know, in sexuality. And it's very different from the kind of very visual based porn that a lot of men are into. And so I think, as a woman, it's hard for me to sort of, when a man comes in and says, "No, no, no. You're doing it wrong." You know, my little, you know, my sort of feminist hackles come up and I'm like, you know, "Screw you. I can write whatever the hell I want to write. You know, don't tell me how to write two guys screwing, because I can do it if I want to." I think that was part of that wank.

Char: And if you really want to get into the spirit of it, you know, girls, you can get a strap on and give it a shot.

It also comes down to authorial choices. I mean, like, I could write a very specific sort of story about what it's like to work in advertising, and I could get really into the ____ of doing it, but I don't think that would be very interesting to read, for the most part. You skim over some of the things that aren't going to be so interesting and elaborate on other things that maybe aren't that big a deal in the job, but maybe seem a little sexier if you put it in a different way. And I think some of it isn't just that women might be feminizing guys a little bit, I think some of it is just, it makes a better story this way.
Emma: That's part of the power of slash, too. I mean, there was a big discussion, too, about is slash about gay men or is it about something else? And for some women it's about writing about gay men as realistically as possible, and for some people, it's not. It's something else all together. And that's okay, there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, it can be anything you want it to be, you know. My little message to all the people that might be listening to this is just to say, you know what? If somebody doesn't like the way you wrote your sex scene, if you're happy with it, if it does what you need it to do, if it turns you on, if you like it, great. You know, don't- it doesn't have to be realistic. I mean, good god, we're writing about witches and wizards, and if you're- I mean, you know...
Emma: ... there was a lot of mentions of slash in the popular media this year. It was kind of interesting. When the Closer vid, the Star Trek vid with Kirk and Spock - it's a classic vid from the Star Trek fandom. When that got posted on YouTube, and it made a big splash and it got picked up by Meta Filter and - I'm gonna put links to these on the post-show post - but, and also there was just lots of articles everywhere and people began to become a lot more aware of what slash was in a way that didn't happen before. And that's had a big impact on fandom, I think.