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Hm, I don't think " has few mechanisms for forming communities of taste" is true. I've actually always found it easy to find decent fiction on FF.Net with the mechanisms it provides. First every user has "favorite stories" and "favorite authors" lists, that you can see, so often, once you found one author you like you just have to look at their favorite lists to find more fiction that fits your tastes and so on, just like fans do with delicious bookmarks. And of course you can see the favorites of other readers who commented on stories you like too. Then there are the Community lists that often function like thematic lists around topics, pairings and so on, where the maintainers add stories that fit or that they like (best of such and such). And of course there are discussion forums too, though personally I've never used those. It really isn't that hard to find decent fanfic on, and quite a bit easier actually than in some other traditional automated archives, IMO, that don't have these reader participation and rec possibilities. --Ratcreature 17:55, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

My meaning was intended to be that while LJ makes it easy to segregate yourself along lines of taste, doesn't let you set up a feed that basically brings you the the stories and only the stories you're interested in: in a lot of ways it's like the pre-lj internet-- you find someone who's stories you like, and then you look at their recs, and then if you like *their* stories, you look at their recs, and so on. --Betty 18:38, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
But you get email updates for all stories from authors you like, just like subscribing to an LJ author. And you can subscribe to community and story updates too. Once you settled in a bit, you get the updates from a list of authors you like and don't have to see anyone else. LJ doesn't let you subscribe to topics either. In a lot of ways is just as person-centric as LJ, just for stories only. --Ratcreature 18:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

When did split from FF.Net?

I vaguely remember FF.Net initially allowed original fic too, but not when the two sites split.--Ratcreature 19:46, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Why is it called the Pit of Voles?

Seriously. Voles? --nextian 19:58, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I honestly have no idea. According to Urban Dictionary the Term originated on TWOP forums. --Ratcreature 20:03, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
ETA, some more googling showed gave me the pottersues LJ comm FAQ that claims it was coined by tsukikoushi here: for non-english speakers?

The article seems to focus on the english speaking parts of fandom. Is that a requirement for the wiki or can I add something about how is seen by non-english speakers? The site does have a reputation for being full of bad fic but it's also become a rallying point for fic writers of all kinds over the years, simply because of the lack of prevalent fan communities in non-english fandom.

Man, that would be awesome. International focus ftw! So please go ahead, that would be really valuable information! --lian 14:25, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm all for including non-English fandoms as well, but my only experience as a non-Native speaker is that it's quite hard to navigate, because while it does allow you to post stories in foreign languages, everything else is in English (including abuse reports - nobody to look over the stories). And I think I remember that's war against punctuation actually removed some that were necessary in certain languages. -- Rodo 21:45, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Number of 'N Sync stories in June 2001

On Jun 7, 2001 I sent a mail to a Xena mailing list to take part in a discussion about "Fan Fiction stats". I checked FF.Net before I sent the mail and the numbers I mentioned included that Buffy had more than 4000 stories on FF.Net, Gundam Wing more than 11000, Harry Potter more than 13000, Digimon more than 14000, and NSYNC more than 5000 stories. --Doro 19:20, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I have some FCA-L mail from 2002 discussing the policy changes by, and in September 2002 there was the announcement that they would remove NC-17 fic and music group and reality tv RPF in April, actor RPF already was not allowed then. So the RPF restrictions did not happen all at once. (Actually I don't know if they ever allowed actor RPF in the first place.) --RatCreature 19:51, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Positive fan reaction

You say 'Pit of Voles' like that's a bad thing.

Fact or More Time Spent Than Social Networks --Anenko 19:37, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

FF.Net and the quality of writing --Anenko 20:44, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I added the first one to the pit of voles section! The second one isn't up anymore. I'll try to work the third one into this article or another one soon. - Hoopla (talk) 21:28, 13 July 2018 (UTC)


The sentence "Despite its huge popularity, has a reputation for being indiscriminate in story quality among members of many different fannish circles, including large portions of LiveJournal-based fandom, mailing list-based fandom, the Television Without Pity forums, and Godawful Fan Fiction, all of which are competing archives with a smaller user base." doesn't work for me, because the fandom places and communities listed aren't in the first half are not actually "archives". They are other places where fanfiction may be found. Also the "competing" part is dubious, because much of fandom hangs out in more than one place, so they are not actually in competition with each other for anything but online time (and maybe crossposting effort), unlike two things who try to fill the same niche. --RatCreature 12:31, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Easy fix is replacing 'archives' with 'websites'. Websites compete for attention. When it comes to FFN, it has forums, communities, stories and reviewing. Domains with similar services are competition by default unless it's a niche market. They're not as loud as FictionAlley.Org, which went as far as spamming the site with their ads disguised as stories, but it is reasonable at the very least to spot competition in user time. -Dasgoogle 12:44, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
but mailing lists aren't websites, so the grouping still doesn't work, and forums and LJs technically may be, but are not what you think of when you say fan website either. "fan communities" may work, but then the sentence doesn't make much sense, because they are referred to as fandom circles already, and it seems kind of a tautological cirle. I mean, I'm not sure what the insert wants to say. That fans preferring other venues are peevish because their place is are smaller so they go "but sucks"?.--RatCreature 12:53, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Having users complain about FFN is profitable for LJ, for instance, because it encourages people to leave 'the pit'. Since we're talking of writing here, LJ and that forum site complaining about FFN is a means to get people to move to their place instead. Score for competition. FFN and LJ sports the ability to post fiction. Score for competition. FFN and that forum has message board services. Score for competition. As for mailing lists, they are the ones that don't fit in the rubric, being difficult to compare to any other service provider. They deserve a separate mention, but are still competition. Why? FFN has C2 communities, which are mailing lists to all subscribers. C2 Community example.[1] One can only participate in several mailing lists because time to read things online is limited to 24 hours. It's all about choice, and users do choose between adding to FFN's stats and someone else's.-Dasgoogle 13:07, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
The key word is 'fandom' (as in LiveJournal-based fandom) not 'company'. Whether Livejournal as a company is in competition with other companies isn't relevant as to whether fans on LJ don't like because their fannish circles aren't in competition with other fannish circles. Mostly they co-exist with different degrees of crossover appeal in different fandoms. --Doro 13:18, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the line "all of which are competing archives with a smaller user base" doesn't make sense and should be removed. --Doro 13:11, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Add this info?

Was wondering whether any info from this blog is worth mentioning on FFN's article. A short version is here. -Dasgoogle 13:23, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Songfic ban

"It was when German intellectual property organizations demanded from $1000 to $5000 renumeration per lyric they owned rights to found on unlicensed domains" Is there a reference for this? That would be great! As far as I remember this first became an issue when a German Buffy archive was contacted by lawyers. My impression was that was reacting to the problems the Buffy archive had but that's just from looking at it from a distance and I wasn't aware that they were contacted too. (German law can be annoying when it comes to fanfic archives. had a run-in with trademark lawyers earlier this year and they had to remove all Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic that included the Word "Lichtbändiger", the German word for "light bender", which seems to be a popular trope in fanfic and also a company that produces glasses.) --Doro 14:25, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

question about Twilighted

Was there a specific post or incident with Twilighted that led to the comparison with FF.NET? It seemed odd to me to single out this site on the FF.Net page since there are lots of archives that vet fanfic before allowing it in; the comparison would probably fit better on a Twilighted page unless there's some particular Twilighted vs. FF.NET incident that should be mentioned here.--æthel 16:36, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Oh, and I edited out elitist since it seemed to refer only to Twilighted, but if users characterize their archive as "non-elitist" or describe other archives generally as "elitist", that should go back in somewhere....--æthel 16:47, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Formatting Issues

Added content to the formatting part, but couldn't get to any sources other than my own memory. Would be nice to have someone with better references. --Dasgoogle 18:04, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Site Status

I'm guessing FanLore gets more traffic to this page when FFN is broken. It would be useful to have a "Site Status" line somewhere on the page, so people would know who's to blame, their own computer or the site. Any thoughts? --Dasgoogle 09:47, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm not opposed, but Fanlore doesn't tend to be updated quickly enough to make something like that reliably current. Does FFN have a twitter or a page that shows realtime status updates? If it does, the Fanlore article should link to it. Franzeska 14:33, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll be blunt and state my opposition -- we're not a hosting site for status updates. Please consider using Twitter or an alternate domain of FFN's own. --Awils1 14:49, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually hosting status updates would be wrong, but I think a link to their status twitter as well as the actual site wouldn't be inappropriate, if such a thing existed. Unfortunately it looks like there's no such thing. Cesy 06:29, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree, the link to the site status page itself would be okay, but not hosting status updates ourselves. --Awils1 10:42, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

When did FF.Net change URL style and never implement redirects?

I'd like to document when FF.Net changed their URL style but have no idea when exactly it happened. It broke a lot of recs pages back in the day, and some (especially Geocities ones I've archived) never recovered. Also, they disallow the Internet Archive scraper, which is annoying because there were never any redirects for the old type of URL. --Awils1 10:41, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

From the Tekkaman Blade Forum on FFN: "Hey dude, edit the link to your story. The link you gave won't work because had recently changed the URLs to stories." That was posted Sep 23, 2004. I see plenty of references to the old style of URL in spring of 2004, so I'd say it was that summer or early September. That's the best I've found so far. Franzeska 14:15, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
And just for future reference in case that page goes away, the two types of URL look like this:
A post from Potions and Snitches, dated July 18, 2004: " just posted that they are going to change the url format so I guess I have 2 weeks to change them all. >.< If you get any broken links to stories, just make sure that you have them in the right format which is now and don't forget that last backspace. :)" So I guess FFN notified people in July and made the changeover by early August? Other messages in the thread mention author profile URLs also changing (in early September?) Franzeska 14:22, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Do the Purges need their own page(s)?

I've been documenting this week's M-Rated Purge and wonder if the purges deserve a separate page, or even multiple pages? --msilverstar 03:54, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I think just one page is probably ok. If individual purges had a lot of specific fallout we can write about, some of them could eventually get their own page, but I'd wait until an all-purges subpage was growing too large. Franzeska 18:14, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

nonstandard ways people use features

Buried in this discussion of why sucks and whether AO3 is starting to suck is some commentary on how people use's subscription function as a private bookmark tool: Eh, it's a pretty common thing for people to use their subscription list, which isn't publicly viewable, as a hidden bookmarks for fics we're embarrassed for people to know we liked. [2] I've never had an account at, but this looked like an interesting tidbit to document.--æþel (talk) 00:28, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

P.S. also some comments on useful features that has and ao3 doesn't: [3] I've seen complaints before that ao3 doesn't have a way to filter out crossovers, but I've also seen complaints about's sequestration of crossovers.--æþel (talk) 00:55, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
I used the ffa quote on Searching_for_Fanworks_on_the_Internet#Keeping_Track_of_Fanworks_Once_You_Find_Them.--æþel (talk) 13:01, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

October 2013 site changes

Looks like there were some recent site changes that have fans upset. [4] [5] [6] [7] may also have finally implemented pairings. [8][9]--æþel (talk) 18:45, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

NC17 Ban

I took out this line, because I don't think it's true: "On September 12, 2002, FF.Net announced that it would disallow NC-17 rated stories beginning in April 2003, giving users time to prepare archiving those stories elsewhere." They just outright banned and removed on September 12, 2002, right? --MPH (talk) 21:20, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Membership Size

Membership Size and Statistics sections overlap. Membership Size is somewhat misleading in that it only covers the first few months. Was the goal of the Membership Size section to show the history, or was it intended to include current stats?--aethel (talk) 02:10, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Good point, aethel. I moved the first part of that info to statistics, and noted that it was anecdotal. I like having small picture of the site when it was only three months old, but that could just be the way my brain works. If you don't think it fits there either, we can remove it entirely. --MPH (talk) 13:18, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


I had to do kind of a drive-by expanding of the Features section so I could link to the communities section from another page, but I think this could use a lot of neatening up. I'll try to come back and do it, but opinions would be appreciated! This is really long and not very clear.

I don't think there's enough nesting of topics (eg, "Initial costs and funding" should be a subsection of "history" right?) and also general disorganization causing things like "Its Creator" and "Founders" being two separate sections, very far apart... I also think that much of the information about Xing Li should have its own page. In order to delve more deeply into the topics at hand, we might also want separate pages for:

  • the history of the site in general
  • history of features
  • content policies
  • controversies

Plus I'm not sure that "Pit of Voles" is the first subsection we should have on this page, as that probably establishes a very negative point of view for the article. Thoughts? Hoopla (talk) 21:05, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Alright I reorganized everything so that all the history is under the 'history' section, at least, and there's an expanded section for 'fan comments' although I'm not pleased with that title.

Looking at all the history stuff now that it's all together I think it's not so much that it needs less (except for Xing Li, maybe, he has his own article) but that it needs more summary and context. The quotes 'are' interesting but I think they make the page a little daunting and they jump around quite a bit. I certainly don't know enough about the time or context to fill in the blanks without more research as I don't think I even had internet access when this all happened, and that's likely true for many people viewing this page. - Hoopla (talk) 21:54, 13 July 2018 (UTC)