Vidder (mailing list)

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Mailing List
Name: Vidder
Date(s): July 21 1997 - present
Moderated:
Moderators/List Maintainers: tzikeh (from founding to 2010), morgandawn (from 2010 onwards)
Founder(s):
Type: mailing list
Fandom: panfandom
URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vidder/
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According to the list's description, it exists:

To discuss all aspects of fannish video: making them, watching them, artistic aspects and technical aspects; a list for those who vid and those who like to watch vids. Our motto: VENI, VIDI, VIDDED: I showed up, I watched TV, I made something of it.

The list started on July 21 1997[1]:

"Hello! There is a new list running for people who like to make or watch fannish vids, called VIDDER. It is a place to hang out and talk specifically about vids and vidding, from recent favorites to old standards, and to exchange technical help and technical talk for advanced vidders, and training for the newbies. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A VIDDER TO JOIN. We welcome anyone who has made tapes, who wants to make tapes, or who just likes watching, and we are open to both gen and slash vidders. We've only recently come into being, so you haven't missed much - and messages you have missed are available to you once you join!" [2]

The list began on the Chicago based MCSNet which was one of Chicago's first commercial internet providers. At some point it moved to enteract.com which was another Chicago based Internet service. Finally, in Dec 1999 it migrated to Onelist which later was bought by Egroups and then swallowed by Yahoo Groups.

The list was most active between 1999 and early 2004; after that, messages began tailing off, and by 2008 a few months had no messages at all. It still sees some bursts of activity, though, and list membership hovers steadily around 1200.

The list spanned the eras of VCR vidding and digital vidding, and the conversations moved with the times.

List discussions

Vidder was (and is) a place to announce new vids or the sale of vid tapes/dvds; to announce (and recruit vids for) vidshows at conventions; to get advice on vidding or help with specific problems; to review vids and vidshows and vid tapes/dvds; to keep up with changing technology and copyright laws.

In the list's early days, technical discussions revolved around VCRs and tapes -- editing decks vs. regular VCRs, jog shuttles and video-insert, stopwatches and patience; Beta vs. VHS vs. SVHS; splicing broken tapes; how to deal with the problems of quality loss with each succeeding generation[3]; and so forth.

As vidding technology moved to the digital side of things, technical discussion shifted to comparisons of software packages (Premiere, Final Cut, Sony Vega, Ulead, Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, etc.); capturing vs. ripping; hardware (computers, capture cards, pass-through devices, cabling, etc.); VCRs and DVD players that handled copy-protection (Macrovision) and region-encoding; exporting vids from computer to tape (and later DVD); aspect ratios, interlacing, the differences between exporting for web and exporting for tape; and so forth.

The list also talked about the more artistic side of vidding, from literalism. v. metaphor to clip timing (and speed of cuts) to song suitability to the use of effects.

And beyond the art and craft of making vids is the ethics of making and watching vids. Ethical conversations range from clip theft to redistributing vids without permission to re-using songs (largely frowned on in the early days of vidding, when only a few shows were being vidded by a relative handful of people; eventually treated as a simple fact of life, in a vidding world that encompassed hundreds of sources and thousands of fans), and beyond.

Amusing Stats

The top 10 posters to the mailing list from 2002 to 2007:

  1. tzikeh, 467 posts
  2. Ann Brill White, 269 posts
  3. Leigh M., 239 posts
  4. Morgan Dawn, 234 posts
  5. Dina Lerret, 225 posts
  6. Killa, 223 posts
  7. Waldo, 212 posts
  8. Diana Williams, 156 posts
  9. Laura Shapiro, 143 posts
  10. Melina, 131 posts

Top 10 subjects from 2000-2007

  1. I'm curious on definitions, 58 replies
  2. Oz vids... my early morning rant, 46 replies
  3. Escapade 2002 vid show, 42 replies
  4. Choosing an original song, 39 replies
  5. Feedback, or lack of it, 34 replies
  6. What's the Longest Vid?, 34 replies
  7. POV changes, 33 replies
  8. omnicient POV, 32 replies
  9. Ethics & Hardware Questions?, 31 replies
  10. Camcorder capture, 29 replies

Top 10 Topic Initiators

  1. tzikeh, 224 topics
  2. Morgan Dawn, 175 topics
  3. Dina Lerret, 87 topics
  4. shalott, 74 topics
  5. Ann Brill White, 72 topics
  6. Waldo, 58 topics
  7. Carol S (vidder), 50 topics
  8. Laura Shapiro, 41 topics
  9. Diana Williams, 38 topics
  10. jackiekjono, 34 topics

Notes and References

  1. The list was announced on July 21, 1997 on the Virgule-L mailing list. Source: Morgan Dawn's notes.
  2. August 8, 1997 post to the Usenet forum alt.tv.quantumleap.creative; archive link. The current list archives on Yahoogroups (which incorporates the Onelist and eGroups messages) goes back to December 1999; digests from the pre-Onelist version go back to September 1999, but clearly don't go back to the beginning of the list, as they begin in mid-conversation.) In 2000, someone reposted a message reportedly originally posted to the list in September, 1997.
  3. With videotape, every time you make a copy, you lose quality. Each copy level is a generation, so first generation is the "master" copy, or initial recording; the first copy is second generation; a copy of that copy is third generation; etc. On top of that, every time you run a tape through a VCR, the tape degrades just a little bit, so quality is lost in both directions.