[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Another short blurb, from Rafat Ali of paidcontent.org, says Disney HAS bought FanLib for its crowdwriting software, the my2centences part of the business, dumping the flatlining fanfic archive.

He puts it this way: "Disney will be completely retooling FanLib with a focus on its own properties, instead of fan fiction and other networks’ TV shows and movies."

Ali does not seem to be aware that FanLib had two segments: the fanfic archive, and the crowdwriting software used for corporate marketing campaigns.

As soon as the Disney buyout rumor appeared in early June, FanLib members speculated in the forum that Disney would close the multi-fandom fanfic archive and focus on Disney's intellectual properties. It is a pretty obvious move, if the Disney buyout rumor is true.

Pirates of the Caribbean, a Disney property, was one of the largest fandoms at FanLib, based on the number of stories posted.

Rafat Ali has been the only source of the Disney rumor since the beginning -- every news article links back to him. As recently as a week ago, he reported the Disney deal might be off, so whoever is feeding him information can't be too close to the action.

The Mimbo brothers (Chris and David Williams) remain silent on the reason for FanLib's closure.

Disney has been buying up social networking websites (Club Penguin may be the largest) for years, and has rarely commented on its purchases. However, if the rumor is accurate, we can expect to see a Disney crowdwriting offering in the future. Since Disney already has a huge online presence, it could incorporate crowdwriting into an existing site.

Edit: Another reasonable hypothesis for FanLib's closure from [livejournal.com profile] alicornmoon, dated July 25th: Disney was set to buy FanLib, but the deal fell through, prompting FanLib's venture capital backers to pull the plug.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com

FanLib has put up their See ya page, and it prominently features our old friend Pinata.

*boggles more*

I have nothing. Except a screencap.

[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Los Angeles-based FanLib.com, an online site focused on "fan fiction"--fan created stories based on popular characters and movies--has shut down. According to a notice on FanLib's web site, the site will shut down on Monday, August 4th. No reason for the shutdown was given. Fanlib was backed by $3M in venture capital by H.I.G. Capital. paidContent.org's Rafat Ali speculated in a story earlier today that a deal for Disney to purchase the site had fallen through; paidContent had reported a possible deal for the firm by Disney in June.

From SoCalTech. Also: story at paidcontent.org.
[identity profile] topaz-eyes.livejournal.com
Check this link:


Now compare this to fanfiction.net: http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.fanfiction.net

Uhm. Quite the return on a $3 million investment, y/y? /sarcasm
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
...because I am already feeling nostalgic.

FanLib was dismal and depressing, but did we let it get us down? Heck, no. Most of the time, I was laughing so hard I lost beverages. Some of my favorite memories:

1. The Mimbo Brothers (aka Chris and David Williams, FanLib founders) get their asses kicked by a moderator at lotrfanfiction, and learn nothing from it.

2. [livejournal.com profile] icarusancalion reveals FanLib's hilariously inept attempt to recruit her as a fanfic author.

3. [livejournal.com profile] telesilla takes apart the FanLib FAQ, prompting FanLib CEO Mimbo (Chris Williams) to make a spectacular fool of himself in her journal. The Mimbo brothers look even more idiotic when they revise the TOS and FAQ (repeatedly) in the dead of night.

4. [livejournal.com profile] lizbee writes the first Pink Guy/Blue Dude fanfiction, based on FanLib's bizarre marketing, and wins the Internet.

Read more... )

Got a story? Please share. Because Life Without FanLib is where the stories continue.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mirabile_dictu:

Dear Friends,

FanLib.com was founded on the belief that fan creativity is a true art form that deserves a first-rate showcase for cultivation and celebration. Over the course of the past fifteen months, you have triumphantly confirmed this notion with an astonishing display of talent, enthusiasm, imagination and camaraderie.

So, it is especially difficult to announce that FanLib.com will shut down on Monday, August 4, 2008.



Edit: Will there be lolcats?

Edit: There are rumors that Disney purchased FanLib, and is shutting down the fanfiction archive portion because it would be a "liability." I doubt the rumor -- if FanLib sold their business at a profit, they would be happy to publicize that fact. There is also no reason for Disney to keep quiet about it.

Edit: Because the "FanLib is shutting down" announcement briefly disappeared due to what seems to have been a coding fuck up, I'm putting the full text of the announcement here behind a cut. )

[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
A recent editorial on the Helix/Sanders disaster brings up FanLib's founders as an example of how to totally screw things up when dealing with online fandom: Do Not Tease Nor Feed The Fans at FireFox News.

Quote: If you behave like an ass fandom will notice that you are braying.

This is at least the fourth time I've seen FanLib appear as a disaster anecdote. It seems their reputation as blunderers will be their most lasting legacy.

[identity profile] portiaeins.livejournal.com

Anyone else get an email from someone named "Jasmine Rogue" inviting people to join "myfandom.com?"  She stated that she had been collecting email addies either from fic writers she liked or from comments that impressed her.  I kinda feel I probably don't fit in either of those columns, so it's very weird.  It reminds me of the whole Fan Lib thing, but I don't really know.  The email came to both my "fandoms" persona and my private email, so that ups the weird.


 EDIT: apparently it is: www.myfandoms.com


[identity profile] partly-bouncy.livejournal.com
I figured that if I posted this in the comments, it might get ignored. The post that said FanLib was bought by Disney is a rumor. They've posted about the rumor on their forums, here. Check it out.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
FanLib does not think of itself as a fanfiction archive.

Then what is FanLib? A naked advertising agency wearing a fanfiction archive suit? Yes.

According to partly_bouncy's recent summary of FanLib at fanthropology, the two branches of FanLib -- the fanfiction archive and the writing contest marketing campaigns -- are one big amorphous blob.

If true, this is an about-face since the spring of 2007, when the Williams Brothers frantically distanced the new fanfiction archive venture from the my2centences marketing materials dug up by Mary McNamara and others.

Remember the coloring book comparison, where FanLib assured the intellectual property holders that writing contest participants would stay within the lines? )

[identity profile] monster-of-hope.livejournal.com
Here is the announcement from the site.

It's been a whole year since FanLib first officially opened its doors — can you believe it? It's been some ride. Just look at these numbers:

* 29,000 submissions and counting
* 20,000 plus members
* Hundreds of fandoms represented from "A Bug's Life" to "Zorro."

And we couldn't have done it without each and everyone of you, our FanLibbers. )

Fandom's unpaid labor made them money! Aren't you glad?
[identity profile] anarchicq.livejournal.com

Gee, I'd like to see life through rose coloured glasses like she does.

Thought: With the WGA strike, what if producers started pulling things like the L Word contest more frequently?
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
December 28, 2007 — The Christian Science Monitor holds forth on the good and bad in the "digital race" of 2007. In their annual summing up, FanLib is the "bad" object lesson for "Web 2.0".

Digital race? WTF, dudes! It isn't a race, it's a freaking big bang spreading outwards in every direction.

The corporate attitude towards "Web 2.0" is so darn inane, based on the belief businesses can, and should, shape the Internet into nothing more than a customer support and marketing research group. For the company's benefit, of course. Assholes!

CSM: Fans responded by dissecting and criticizing content on the FanLib site and eventually forming their own site dedicated to archiving and protecting fan fiction, called the Organization for Transformative Works... The takeaway? Companies need to understand what motivates audiences before creating business models around them.

The takeaway? Oh, please! The Internet is not all about the corporate bottom line! The Christian Science Monitor is falling into the FanLib trap here, judging Internet "success" by how thoroughly customers are exploited.

Yes, my period is over. Why do you ask? *munches chocolate-drizzled caramel corn*

Note: The Christian Science Monitor has a circulation of 70,000, and an estimated online readership worldwide of at least two million. It is the largest news service to carry a FanLib story (negative or positive) so far. Before this article, FanLib was mentioned only in trade and academic news publications with circulation of at most 20,000.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Scholars have joined with pop-culture fans to form the Organization for Transformative Works, which will fight for the legal right to produce creative works that mash-up characters from a range of media.

Mr. Jenkins cited a situation this past summer in which a company called FanLib upset its customers by building a Web site to share fan fiction and then claiming control of the homemade content. He and other pop-culture fans pushed back, as he wrote on his blog.

"The Fan Lib flap was simply one of a series of conflicts this year which raised awareness within the fan community of the need to take action to protect the integrity of their own traditions and to maintain control over their own cultural practices," said Mr. Jenkins today. "Fans are pooling their knowledge and skills to push their community to the next level."

Complete article: Scholars and Pop-Culture Fans Create Nonprofit Group to Fight for Creative Rights

Why did the male reporter only get quotes from a guy who isn't part of the predominantly female OTW?

[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
I've been tracking press on FanLib since May, 2007. Most of it is mind-numbing market speak at BusinessWire, a website you pay to host your press release in hopes someone will discover it. I ignore these, because how many times do we need to hear about The L-Word fanisode?

There have been a few worthwhile bits, however. This is everything of note since October.

The Press of Atlantic City has an (unintentionally) funny article, which pompously touts FanLib as the greatest thing for aspiring writers since Wite-Out. Quotes:

Fan fiction can be traced back to ancient Greek historians modifying the classic myths with each retelling. Now, Web sites such as Fanfiction.net and Fanlib.com allow fan fiction writers all over the world to unite and share material.

Fan fiction authors also have a better chance of having their talents discovered when they post their work online. Since March, Williams has seen several Fanlib.com writers go on to find professional writing careers.

"With our 'L-Word' event one of our winners went on to get an agent," Williams said. "One of our other winners got a book deal with another major publisher. There's no question that (fan fiction) is a great training ground and a great place to get exposure."

The article does not mention the thousands of fan-operated not-for-profit fanfiction archives. Not surprisingly, it focuses on fanfiction's potential monetary worth. There isn't a single quote or anecdote supporting fanfiction as a creative end in and of itself. It's a false characterization of fanfiction writers—intentionally?

If you are not sufficiently depressed, read this Hollywood Reporter primer on how to turn everything on the Internet into a revenue stream. Includes a boggling chart that shows how fucking stupidly companies are dumping money into the "hot new trends." Quotes:

"We are interested in spaces that are driven by consumer usage," says Thomas Byrne, managing director of Peacock Equity Fund, a $250 million joint-venture investment vehicle launched earlier this year by GE Commercial Finance's Media, Communications & Entertainment business and NBC Universal. "Everywhere people congregate, especially in the digital space, is interesting for us... Where consumers go, there is the opportunity to sell advertising."

Better monetization is a phrase often used by insiders. "The Web is still less than 10% of the overall ad market, which is not in line with the time spent [online] by people," says Kim.

Kim is John Kim of H.I.G. Ventures, the VC group which invested in FanLib. Maybe FanLib can sell the fanfiction chunk of its business to SUP, cause it sure as hell ain't going to satisfy VC-style profit projections.

At least there's a refreshingly market-speak free article from MediaPost, with a revealing quote from Mimbo:

"Our commitment is to what we like to call 'participatory entertainment.' That's our sweet spot," says Chris M. Williams, cofounder and CEO of FanLib. "It's that happy medium between traditional 'professionally-generated' content and the totally user-generated content," which can veer from the racy and sophomoric to the transgressive and controversial.

Nice to see it confirmed Mimbo is officially after sanitized "marketable" fanfiction never mind that marketable fanfiction is a self-canceling phrase.

The article's tone is pleasantly snarky, pointing out FanLib's biggest success (yes, the goddamn L Word fanisode way back in 2005) still hasn't aired and isn't likely to.

In October, Missy Merlin at Firefox.org wrote an exceptionally well-informed essay on fanfiction. Quotes:

They [the powers that be] are still not entirely happy about us, but they're willing to see what we can do, and they've realized they can make more money off of us. And that's where FanLib came in. FanLib (whom we tried to reach for this article) combines corporate interests in fannish output with contacts on the inside. They package up the fanfiction by the authors on their site and promote it to advertisers as user-generated content ala Livejournal and MySpace. While claiming to be fans, they're running a business and trying to make money off fandom from the outset.

An article at the Wisconsin Technology Network starts off with the usual advertisers are drooling over social networks such as Facebook stuff, then throws an interesting curveball, particularly following the SUP Livejournal purchase:

The danger on the horizon from the ever expanding and splintering social network phenomena is that it could be reaching the stage where users are experiencing "social networking fatigue." How many general or niche sites are you willing to register with or are you willing to interact with?

Never fear, entrepreneurs are looking at this too, with people search engine sites like PeekYou, Spock, Rapleaf, and Wink that promise to go one step beyond SNS [social networking systems]. According to Heather Green at Business Week, these sites are crawling the web to aggregate information about individuals from social networking sites, photo sharing sites, video sharing sites, blogs, etc. This aggregated data offers the potential for expanded social networks as potential matches are identified. The scary part of these "people search engines" is that they also might damage an individual's reputation if incorrect or private personal data is compiled.

Finally, the mind-numbingly dull press release shite:

FanLib announces a "Before the Cylons" Battlestar Galactica fanfiction contest. Lots of rules, such as: has to be written from the viewpoint of a reporter. BORING.

[identity profile] nighteevee.livejournal.com
(Do delete if deemed OT)

So, Fictionaire.

www.Fictionaire.com Fan Fiction and Original Stories – Join *the* fiction writers’ social network. Interactive profiles, friend lists, popularity tracking, fiction reviews, streaming updates, and more! Will your fiction be here? (from the userinfo of [livejournal.com profile] fictionaire)

C&C plz? post over at FFR.

Snippet from TOS )

The registration e-mail also comes complete with a list of "Fictionaire’s favorite (and in some cases, relatively unknown) books and series, as recommended by staff and fellow users", linked to their amazon pages.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Members of Hollywood's film and television writers union have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike anytime after their contract expires at the end of the month [October 31st].

Studios and TV networks have accelerated filming of shows and movies and begun stockpiling scripts in case of a strike.

The last strike in 1988 lasted 22 weeks. Losses to the industry were put at $500 million.

More from the Chronicle.

So who's working for T-shirts now? Huh.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Wow. It's actually possible for FanLib to get sleazier.

Tired, perhaps, of those uppity older women, FanLib is going after the young adult market.

At another "pay us to circulate your press release as if someone cared" site, FanLib has announced a fanfiction writing contest based on Scott Westerfeld's "Uglies" series.

Westerfield has approved buying the winning child off with a Sony PlayStation 3.

The first question that occurred to me, and no doubt to you as well: what's the target age range? Thirteen years and older.

"Today's young-adult audience loves entertainment that mixes content, community and technology," said Chris M. Williams, CEO of FanLib. "The FanLib Extras event lets our partners at Simon & Schuster tap into this phenomenon to give Scott Westerfeld's millions of loyal young fans a deeply engaging interactive entertainment experience."

Oh, Chris! "Tapping into" the loyal young fans is a new low, even for you.

This banner ad appears at the FanLib official contest website:

No Hiatus
The FanLib Blog
Because Fans Never Take A Break.

Or ask for union scale.
ext_182: mask (Default)
[identity profile] esther-a.livejournal.com
You may have heard the screams of outrage about the upcoming adaptation of Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series. It sounds dreadful to me and I didn't care for the books much. It figures that fanlib would get involved in this trainwreck. http://www.walden.com/fanlib/entryform.php

Maybe it will keep some of the terrible movie inspired fanfic on their site?


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