Xemplary

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Archive
Name: Xemplary
Date(s):
Archivist: Jeannine, Ruby_phile, Shannara
Founder: Jeannine
Type: archive for alt.tv.x-files.creative
Fandom: The X-Files
URL: wayback link to front page
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Xemplary is the archive for alt.tv.x-files.creative.

In December 1998, Shannara wrote: "Not gossip, I guess, but maybe a bit of tooting my own horn. ;) Callit news. I took over the XFC list when Jeannine decided it was too time-consuming. Ruby_phile and I have set up an archive, Xemplary, for the fiction posted on the list. My design, my coding, my space (in name) for the archive, and Ruby's space and work to put the stories on the pages and in her storage space. Oh yeah, the archive is at http://www.pnx.com/shannara/xemplary." [1]

This archive was co-maintained by Shannara up until around 2003.

About

Controversies

The archive's outspoken hatred of the character John Doggett was a constant source of conflict in the fandom.

Ban of Doggettfic

In March 2001, Shannara banned any fanwork with a focus of Doggett from being archived.

Her original post:
From now on, Xemplary will no longer archive stories which feature or heavily involve Doggett or Reyes. We have enough to archive as it is without adding these new people. For the time being, you may continue to post such stories to the XFC lists, but once the autoarchiving program is instituted (don't know when it will be finished), we will ask that you not post them on the XFC lists. I pay to host Xemplary and I also paid to have ads removed from XFC so our stories could be automatically imported to the newsgroup. I choose to pay this, so that's not a problem, I'm just stating this to explain the ownership status. I understand that Doggett has some fans. Someone might want to consider starting a Doggett-centric mailing list for those looking for stories concentrating on him. [2]

Xemplary's Ban of Doggetfic: Links to Discussion from March 2001 and July/August 2001

There was much discussion, and wank, of which only a small portion is represented below.

Now that you run the world, specifically The X-Files world, will you be able to stop world hunger, end the economic downturn, and bring peace to the earth? Quite the ego! [3]
You know, you'd think we're all guaranteed rights and privileges to Fanfic Archives at birth, or something, and heaven forbid anything changes or interferes. But that ain't so. If an archivist wants to say, "I no longer accept stories that contain the letter "E", s/he may do so. Mind you, it's going to be difficult to find many stories, but hey, it's not impossible. Frankly, Laurie, for my two cents, good for you. It's a smart policy, and a smart idea to implement it now before the ball gets rolling in a big way. [4]
Hear, hear. Any archivist has the right to choose what they archive. This policy was laid out in a polite, non aggressive manner. It's a shame there are those out there who seem to be unable to respond in the same way. Someone once said that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. I think they had a good point! <g> [5]
My God, there are more socks in this thread than the local Hanes outlet!

Of course an archivist can do whatever they like. That doesn't mean it isn't silly.

Here's the thing: at least for the rest of this season, and possibly the movies as well, we aren't just going to have Mulder and Scully investigating X-Files, we're going to have Mulder, Scully, Doggett and Reyes investigating X-Files. Now, I don't know how this new policy works, but doesn't this mean that no one who reads or writes for Xemplary can put up post-ep fan fic for the rest of the season and any movies to come? I mean, I figure some post-eps would probably heavily feature Doggett, at least. There's such potential for interesting Doggett and Mulder interactions, tensions, etc. but now Laurie is telling me that if I want to post to her list, I can't write about that? Pah. I'm outta there.

Look, I don't like what CC has done to the XF any more than anyone else. Robert Patrick's a fine actor, blah blah blah. And, okay, maybe Laurie doesn't want Doggett-centric fic because she's got something against men with pointy ears or some other weird reason. Whatever. As you say, it's her archive. But it's my fan fiction and nobody is going to dictate what I read, or write. There are other lists, and other archives, that foster creative expression rather than trying to stifle it. I'm going to take advantage of those. And that's my right, as an author and reader. [6]
Laurie's entitled to archive or not archive whatever she likes, as owner of the Xemplary archive.

As moderator of XFC, which is a private list, she can also make any decisions she likes about the content of her list. However, I'm somewhat disappointed that she has chosen to take this step.

XFC has been for some time one of the biggest, most inclusive lists around. It's the list that lots of folks used as their primary access to fic, because nearly everything was posted through it. Some people get their fic ONLY through XFC.

Many writers only post through XFC, because of the large readership on it, and because of the auto-forward to atxc (and thus to Ephemeral and Gossamer). [7]
Thanks to the proliferation of the Web, it's not like the old days where no one but a techie could have a web page and therefore archive. Where once you had only Gossamer (and praise it we shall!) you now have a massive variety of personal archives from jokefic to badfic to animalfic and whatever turns your crank. You can find an archive for almost anything imaginable and a few you might not. Stop bleating this crap about "creative expression" and write. ATXC doesn't have any doors on it and Gossamer will archive it. If you run an archive, you call the shots. Period. Believe it or not, some other site will archive the Season 8/9/Doggy/Reyes stories; they really will. I just hate when people panic. good call, Laurie - as pointed out, better said now than when you're out of web space and have to THEN declare a stop. [8]
It's just a shame, in my opinion, that what used to be an all-inclusive list, and one that forwards to this newsgroup, is narrowing its focus. It feels wrong to me for a list called "*X-Files* Creative" to be excluding two characters who will probably end up being the leads of the show.

I would understand if the archivist wanted to pick and choose which stories to include based on story quality within her field of interest. But up 'til now, *any* stories were welcome at XFC and Xemplary, no matter the rating, the subject matter, or the characters included. So I didn't consider Xemplary the kind of archive where the owner decided which stories to include. It's an *auto*archive, isn't it? And if I didn't misunderstand Laurie's post about the policy changes, *any* stories that *don't* feature Doggett and/or Reyes will still be welcome? I'm not quite sure how the new anti-Doggett, anti-Reyes auto-archiving at XFC/Xemplary will work. Does a mere *mention* of either of those names throw the story out? To be honest, I'm not all that interested in Doggett and Reyes myself, not yet. But if and when they are all that's left on "The X-Files," will XFC even continue to exist?

Perhaps I'm just being stubborn, and the fact that I've always associated XFC with ATXC makes me uncomfortable with the upcoming changes. Maybe it's the fact that the archivist is dictating policy change based on what she *doesn't* like rather than what she *does* that bothers me. I assume that Laurie hasn't previously loved every single story that's come through XFC, but she archived them all anyway. [9]
First they came for the Doggettfic
And I did not speak out
Because I did not write Doggettfic.
Then they came for the GunmenFic
And I did not speak out
Because I did not write for the Gunmen.
Then they came for the slash
And I did not speak out
Because I did not write slash.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me. [10]
I'm not on XFC. My stuff is not archived at Xemplary. Laurie has every right to do whatever the hell she wants with - Xemplary - her own archive. I don't think ANYONE here is denying or would deny that. She pays for it. She owns it outright.

XFC, however, is another thing.

People have stated here that Laurie OWNS the list - XFC. Does she?

Back in 1998, when I first started posting stories, Laurie was very new to administrating the list. It had been handed over from someone else just prior to my joining this community so my knowledge of its origins are hazy at best, but I know that for a fact.

Administrating a list that costs nothing to operate through yahoo.groups does not equal owning a list as far as I know, but I admit I could be wrong and if I am I will be more than happy to admit it.

But this is what's going on as I understand it.

Laurie stated she was paying to keep ads away. But she was doing this in order to facilitate her own archiving to Xemplary from the XFC list, correct? How does that make her OWN the list itself? She owns her own convenience for archiving as far as I can see, but this ad exclusion policy is not required to operate the list, which is run through a service that can be accessed for free - albeit with ads. And the ads only really inconvenience Laurie, right? So, she's buying total control over the list's content for what, $5.99 a month?

What a great deal, IMHO!

The XFC list predates Laurie and has been for a long time the primary way many people post and read fic. They use it as a filter, to reduce the amount of mail in their inboxes. It has traditionally, through the participation of its list members, been a place where nearly anything goes and where nearly anything is accepted providing it isn't a flaming attack on any one or any group.

The fact is - and I know from experience - if you don't post to XFC, your readership automatically goes down because it's some people's SOLE source for fic.

This means that as things stand right now Laurie has total creative control over XFC and is - in fact - the managing editor and publisher of the list, just like it was a publication at the newsstand. She can impact the readership of authors and, in this case, story categories and characters. She is, like in the real world of publishing, making editorial decisions, which people in this community traditionally do not like.

People have to decide what to do for themselves. If it is agreed that Laurie OWNS the XFC list (The LIST, not Xemplary, which she DOES own), and isn't just an agreed-upon moderator "elected" or appointed by the list members, then she has the absolute right to censor or ban anything she feels like censoring or banning. If she is merely a moderator, which is an appointed post, then this arbitrary decision should be voted on by the XFC membership and the auto-archive to Xemplary NOT implemented (or Laurie will have to find a way to filter like every other archivist on the planet) if the list members decide they don't want to ban the Doggettfic.

XFC members don't have to lie down and take this if they don't want to. But first, they have to decide what XFC is. Is it Laurie Haynes' personal publication for X-Files fanfic? Or is it a democratic list where the members own it and Laurie administrates. [11]
Just for the record: X-Files Creative was founded and run for years by Jeannine Ackerson, who passed it on to Laurie rather than shut it down when her situation changed and it became too much for her to handle. As Laurie stated in her last followup post, she is changing Xemplary's policy at this time, not XFC's. She does say the mailing list's policy may change in the future. While I am unhappy to see a general list become restrictive in this manner, I must say I agree that as list administrator, Laurie has the right to make changes to the list's policy, just as list members have the right to complain to her about it, unsubscribe, start their own lists, or move to one of the several good, general fic lists available to them. In the event that they choose to leave the list, they will still be able to access the vast majority of the stories that are posted only to XFC by visiting ATXC, Ephemeral, or Gossamer. [12]
I'm not a Doggettfic writer, and I don't plan to ever be. The only fic I will ever write that includes more than a passing mention of Doggett will be the AS8 episodes. However, I have been a list administrator, and this whole thing this past weekend got me thinking about what it means to be a list administrator. Here are some thoughts I came up with on the IWTB list: A list isn't -- or shouldn't be treated as -- a personal fiefdom. A list administrator is not a feudal lord handing down decrees from on high. "Entertain me, or else!" That's simply ridiculous. It's a group endeavor. I have always viewed (and approached my own list administratorship under this philosophy) an administrator as a SERVANT of the list, not a dictator. Once the list is established, the rules set, and people start subscribing, it becomes a public entity, not a private one. Yes, one person holds veto power, but the LIST is reliant upon its subscribers to actually BE a list. An administrator is there to keep the peace and see that the established rules and guidelines are met, not to magalomaniacally change the rules mid-game when she doesn't agree with them. If she doesn't agree with them any more, she should turn the list over to someone who goes. Except for the ability to kick off people who disturb the peace or refuse to follow the established guidelines, a list moderator's authority does not entitle anyone to anything more.

XFC has a HUGE membership and a lot of people rely on that list to get their fic out there. As a former list admin myself (I recently handed over the reins on XFR) I would NEVER NEVER NEVER allow my personal bigotry to dictate how people on my list could and couldn't interact. My personal view is that a list is a group-owned entity. Yes, one person or a small group of people administer it, and they can control its content to a certain extent. BUT ONLY according to the rules established at the outset of the list. Once the list and its guidelines are established, it's done. That's the rules the list must adhere to and they aren't subject to radical change.

[snipped]

If someone complains about the established parameters of the list--tough cookies. What Laurie is doing is complaining about the established parameters of XFC. So likewise, tough cookies. The difference is, she's not just complaining, she has the list management authority to make her prejudices policy. But just because she has the administrators authority to CHANGE those parameters--parameters which have been in place for a VERY long time and upon which subscribers have come to rely--doesn't mean she SHOULD. That's not fair to the subscribers. Changing the rules to DISALLOW fic that has previously been allowed, and changing the nature of a list with an established membership that joined under a certain set of rules and expectations is wrong. The right and responsible (and respectful to the 1300 list members) thing to do is to:

1) turn XFC over to someone who will administer under the already established guidelines 2) stop paying for XFC, since you're right--it is her money and she shouldn't have to use it for something she doesn't believe in or agree with. 3) form a new list with new guidelines which suit her views 4) put her money into THAT list instead 5) let the people who agree with her views and who want a list with those particular guidelines subscribe to that new list

Instead, she is FORCING her views upon 1300 people who don't necessarily share them. And that's simply wrong.

And before you tell me "it's her money, she pays for it, blah blah blah" note that I am not talking about Xemplary. Yes, Xemplary is 100% HERS and she pays for it, so she has the right to do with it as she wishes. But Yahoogroups is free, so the list issue isn't about money. Laurie can easily take the money she pays to remove advertisements from XFC messages and apply it to a NEW list designed under parameters she feels is acceptable and peopled by members who agree with and have sought out those parameters and guidelines, and hand over XFC to someone who is willing to administer XFC under it's original set of rules and restrictions. Let THAT person pay for removing the advertisements. [13]
Personally, I support her choice and enjoy the fact that I can have a "safe" list where I can read what I like to read. As has been said, this is her list to do with as she pleases - there are plenty out there for those who want to read about S8 and the characters involved therein. Heck, if an archivist chose to exclude all stories where Mulder wears white socks, it would still be within their rights. So why can't people accept that and stop bashing her for it? I wish I knew! [14]
Personally, the viewpoints aired over the past couple of days have left me on the fence on this XFC content issue-- but it's been informative. But I don't like the idea of *anyone* telling *anyone* else not to post to the newsgroup, or thinking that they have the right to do so. You don't. The definition of free speech is that you will defend the right of someone else to shout from the rooftops that which you would spend your last breath opposing. You violently disagree with Laurie's policies? You think she doesn't play nice? Make your case. Shout it out. Go for it. But accept that it's a two-way street. I don't care what Laurie's motives were in posting her changes to the newsgroup were, or what anyone says they were. It's her right to post, and it's even related to XF fanfiction, which is the topic of this ng anyhow. Without her doing so, this discussion wouldn't be taking place, and a lot of folks in the community wouldn't know what was going on. Think of this as an opportunity to make your case, which you wouldn't have had if she'd simply posted to her listserv. [15]
Not to get all old-timey on everyone, but man, I miss the old days of XAPEN circa 1998-99 when shippers, slashers, noromos, etc. posted in harmony. Everyone seemed to read everyone despite the classifications because good fic was good fic. Feedback Friday was so much fun, getting feedback on an MSR from a slash writer like Te, and me, the impressionable newbie who barely knew what slash was, reading Viridian5's M/K yumminess and getting my brain expanded a little bit. Or am I just a misty old senior citizen of fic, sittin' on the porch with my Country Time Lemonade, nattering on about the Good Ol' Days? [16]
It's clear you have the *right* to do what you want to with *your* mailing list, but when you use a mailing list that was created FOR freedom of writing and narrow it to your own purposes and tastes, then you've ceased to serve the purpose or the population. It's become a list about What Laurie Wants and to hell with anyone else, right? Right. [17]

References

  1. from The Acid Desk #7
  2. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Laurie Haynes, March 6, 2001
  3. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, X-Files Fan, March 2001
  4. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Toniann, March 2001
  5. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Ally, March 2001
  6. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Jess M, March 2001
  7. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Cofax, March 2001
  8. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, XFDragon1, March 2001
  9. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Robbie, March 2001
  10. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Token24601, March 2001
  11. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy - who owns XFC?, Sarah Ellen P, March 2015
  12. xfc: Change in Xemplary policy - who owns XFC?, Shannon, March 2015
  13. xfc: XFC content changes, Kristel SJ, July 2001
  14. xfc: XFC content changes, Mary, July 2001
  15. xfc: XFC content changes, Toniann, July 2001
  16. xfc: XFC content changes, Dasha, July 2001
  17. xfc: XFC content changes, Kim, July 2001