zellieh: Text: ENGLISH lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages & rifles their pockets for spare vocabulary (writing: english steals vocabulary)
[personal profile] zellieh2015-01-24 06:35 pm

Story Wars. Reminds me of FanLib in a bad way.

Story Wars (http://www.storywars.net) Story Wars Blog (http://storywarsblog.net/)

"Read a story. Write the next chapter. Vote on your favorite chapter."

So. lots of round-robin fics written by strangers... who earn points, based on votes left by other readers and writers? ...Okay? I like Tumblr's shared universes and fandom's shared tropes and habit of co-authoring stuff, so I took a look at this. There doesn't seem to be much concrit or conversation, just a straight-up popularity contest. Honestly, I think it's a terrible idea. Adding point-scoring and competitiveness to a fic-writing, fic-sharing site seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

The part of me that's seen shit go down in the internet is just wailing, Cassandra-like: "This will end in wank! Mark my words: there will be wank, and accusations of favouritism and hackers and sabotage and wailing about cliques, BNFs and bullying, and the mods will end up rending their clothes and rubbing ashes in their hair forthwith, yea verily forsooth!"

Basically, if you find counting kudos and hit-counts stressful, don't want strangers in your personal universes, and find popularity contests anxiety-inducing, this is probably not for you (or me). Oh, and also? HERE BE DRAGONS! There are NO content indicators, maturity ratings, or warnings OF ANY KIND. All you get is title and the author's name, not even a line of text from the story. I'd call the while thing a choose-not-to-warn, NSFW site!

Also, this part of the blurb reminded me of FanLib's attempt to profit off of fanworks (emphasis added is mine):

"Who owns all the stories that are written? -- All user-created content on Story Wars is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
What does that mean? -- That anyone can share or adapt your writing as long as they attribute you." [To be fair to Story Wars, this permission is required for a shared-fic-writing site, but it leaves the door open for 'anyone' to be, say, an individual or company selling authors' works commercially and for profit -- without asking permission, paying the authors, or sharing the profits.]

"Why did we choose to share it? -- In a far far away future, we hope to be able to create real books of your stories. Think about it, a physical book that you could show your friends!" [Think about it: Do authors get paid when these books are sold?]

I think the real question here, neatly elided in the blurb, is: Who has the right to sell and profit off of your stories, your ideas? EL James was only able to file the serial numbers off of her fanfic and sell it as 50 Shades of Grey because she owned the rights to her story. If authors co-write a popular, potentially-profitable blockbuster story on Story Wars, will they be able to sell it? Would they be able to stop someone else from selling it? I have some concerns...

(Excerpted 'Story Wars' section from a longer public post on my own personal journal. Cross-posted to the LJ Life W/O FanLib comm.)

Going back to the main Story Wars site, I couldn't find a TOS page at all. Maybe you get that when you sign up to become a member, but I find it hard to trust a site that won't tell me what I'm signing up for until after I've signed up. Also, the more I look at the way this idea's being implemented, the more I feel like I'm watching the internet equivalent of a horror movie set-up: "I've got a great idea! Let's create a site on the internet! What could possibly go wrong?!" *Jaws music*
stewardess: (nf weemee)
[personal profile] stewardess2012-02-15 08:32 am

Chris Williams, co-founder of FanLib, leaves Disney Online


"Chris M Williams, VP and general manager of Disney Online Originals, has left the 'Mouse House.'"

"Williams gave up his US-based role on January 31 after four years with the company. Disney reps confirmed the news this week."

"While at Disney, Williams oversaw development and production of series for Disney Online’s websites. He executive produced kids’ series such as Rule the Mix and Corey & Lucas For The Win."

"Williams joined Disney in 2008 when the media giant acquired his two-year-old fan-fiction content group FanLib, which was then rebranded as Take180."

Full article at C21Media; author Jesse Whittock.

FanLib was not actually rebranded as Take180. All FanLib content (fan created and otherwise) was wiped before its servers and software were used by Disney to host Take180, a "fanisode" video hosting site. See the disney buyout tag in this community for the full story -- or at least as much of the story as can be pieced together, since Williams and the other FanLib owners have never commented publicly on what occurred.

This entry was also posted at the Life Without FanLib Community on Livejournal.
dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)
[personal profile] dragonfly2011-12-31 10:59 am

Test post

Before I was only subscribed to this comm, not a member, and it didn't give me the option to post. I think that's usual. I've joined now, and here is a test post.
stewardess: (flower sunflower)
[personal profile] stewardess2011-12-30 05:31 am
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Life Without FanLib imported from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth

Whew! Import of Life Without FanLib completed early this morning, on December 30, 2011.

Link to LiveJournal Life Without FanLib comm.

It has long worried me that the contents of this community, which document fans' experiences with FanLib, might be lost due to the vagaries of LiveJournal.

I'm extremely pleased it was finally possible to import the community (comments and all) to DreamWidth, creating a backup of the content.

Content posted by LiveJournal members remains under their control. You do not need to have a DreamWidth account to edit or remove your posts. See the Open-ID FAQ for more information.

New posts and comments are welcome at both communities. Cross-posting is not necessary.
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Comments by non-members are now screened

Due to daily spam, comments from non-members are now screened. Anon comments have been screened for a while for the same reason.

Non-member and anon comments are allowed; they won't be visible until they're unscreened by a moderator.

New owner of LOTRFanFiction.com is "super excited."

[livejournal.com profile] esteliel sent me a message about LOTRFanFiction.com being sold. Read about it at her journal:


Also well worth reading: a comment by Adora, who sold the web site.


The new owner, Keith Mander, has purchased other fan sites, such as TwilightArchives.com. He writes in his blog:

Deja vu? LOTRFanFiction.com is a fan fiction archive, just like TwilightArchives.com (another site I snapped up a couple of months ago).

The thinking is that I can leverage the technology behind the Twilight site's redesign to quickly rejuvenate the LOTR site. Plus, plenty of opportunities for cross promotion and integration (SSO, for example). The longer term thought is that with the combined user base, I'll be able to quickly enter and dominate new fandoms, hopefully creating some returns.

Yep, it's deja vu all over again.
zellieh: kitten looking shocked, openmouthed, text: WTF? (What the fuck?) (Garfield *ahem*)
[personal profile] zellieh2011-04-12 11:46 pm

Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, of Surveyfail fame, are back

Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, of Surveyfail fame, are back. And they have a book out. So Ogas is promoting his evo-bio-psycho fake science here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/billion-wicked-thoughts/201104/why-feminism-is-the-anti-viagra

Considering their history, and Ogas recent post, this new book is *not* on fandoms' reading lists. Or feminists' reading lists. In fact, I really don't want to think of the sort of people who might buy this book. :(

It's not directly Fanlib-related, but I'm posting a link here because I theink many of the same people in fandom were involved, and it covers many of the same issues: male academic outsiders tried to profit off of fandom, got their over-privileged, obnoxious, unprofessional arses kicked, and then ran away crying about evil fangirls.

Ithilian posted about it on Livejournal here: http://ithiliana.livejournal.com/1515241.html?format=light

There's a post by Courtney at Feministing here: http://feministing.com/2011/04/11/feminism-once-again-blamed-for-well-everything/#more-32198

And also a post by Phosfate at Clairvoyant Wank on Journalfen here: http://www.journalfen.net/community/clairvoyantwank/479741.html?view=21894397#t21894397 .

The Clairvoyant Wank post recaps most of Ogi Ogas history, but Elf also made a Linkspam masterpost over on Dreamwidth: http://linkspam.dreamwidth.org/5800.html

(I also cross-posted this on my journal, here: http://zellieh.dreamwidth.org/125168.html, and at LJ.)
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partly_bouncy says it's time to quit crying about FanLib.

I recently blocked partly_bouncy -- FanLib apologist, Fan History owner, and all-around bad news -- from this community. Two days later, there was an inept attempt to troll the comm by taiyoukai_nile, a partly_bouncy subscriber and Fan History member.

I then found at a Fan History blog an ungrammatical post by Nile, presumably taiyoukai_nile:

I stumbled across the article Disney purchased FanLib in May/June 2008, two months before FanLib's "closure." which basically grumbles (sounded a bit bitter at least) about FanLib was bought out by Disney two months before its announced its closing, letting the community to speculated the reasons. More. )

If you are not familiar with Fan History, it is the failed attempt by partly_bouncy to make money off fandom through despicable practices such as publishing the real names of fans. After exposure in July, 2008, by Ithiliana and others, partly_bouncy crawled under a rock, making all of her LJ entries friends-only.

But two months ago, partly_bouncy dusted off her LJ and began posting publicly again. She also commented here, which led to my banning her (I thought I had done so at the time of Ithiliana's post).

Taiyoukai_nile's Fan History blog comment is a weak derailment. But as taiyoukai_nile just "stumbled across" FanLib two and a half years after it was big news in fandom, I'm assuming her post reflects partly_bouncy's current thoughts on FanLib.

You may find it humorous that taiyoukai_nile characterized this community as a place for people to get together and mourn FanLib's passing, when we anticipated and welcomed it. But partly_bouncy is trying to rewrite the history of FanLib, and of this community, for a purpose: her rehabilitation. When partly_bouncy chides us for still being hung up on FanLib, her goal is to erase her past as a profit-seeking FanLib supporter.

She was a FanLib cheerleader because she believes in her right to profit from fan works and fan data. Her well-known hatred of the OTW and An Archive Of Our Own stems from this as well; fans creating a non-profit to accomplish what she hoped to earn money on through Fan History undermines her business model. She also hates DreamWidth, which has committed the grave error of providing a popular, ad-free service, further destroying her dream of profit. Partly_bouncy does not embrace competition.

Partly_bouncy may be through with riding FanLib's coattails, but this community exists to keep fresh the lesson of FanLib: it is not inevitable, as FanLib owners Chris and David Williams wished us to believe, that someone or something will unfairly profit from fan works. Fans can retain control of all aspects of their work -- creative, social, and publication -- rejecting mainstream commodification.

In November, 2009, Julie Levin Russo wrote, "To FanLib, the vast commons of freely exchanged fan works perhaps appeared as if it simply lacked a businessperson with the savvy to privatize it." Because of this and many other misreadings, FanLib failed to profit from fandom. It sold its marketing software and servers to Disney, and had to completely scrap the fanfiction archive.

It is bizarre partly_bouncy chose this community as an entry back into fandom. It's amazing she still believes she can make money from the thoroughly discredited Fan History site. It's repulsive she continues to use lies and disinformation to increase her bottom line. Like FanLib, she will earn only failure.

Disney purchased FanLib in May/June 2008, two months before FanLib's "closure."

Gotta love those public records. The tale of the FanLib trademark tells us bunches.


It seems Disney began acquiring FanLib in May, 2008, and completed the process in June, two months before FanLib announced it was "closing."

I base this on the trademark records "Attorney Revoked And/Or Appointed" dated 5/28/2008, and "Automatic Update Of Assignment Of Ownership" on 6/11/2008. The first rumor of the buyout appeared June 3, 2008 -- a rumor FanLib denied right through its "closure" in August, 2008.

Disney now owns the FanLib trademark, which means it could resurrect it at some point; the FanLib software and servers presently support the Disney property Take180.com.

The FanLib trademark, classed as "Goods and/or Services," covers "providing temporary use of on-line non-downloadable software to facilitate the creation, conceptualization, and editing of a variety of movies, television shows, novels, plays, videogames, and other content or media, through user suggestions, concepts, ideas, collaboration, and voting."

Disney lays off Ideal Bite employees as of December 9th.

From paidcontent.org:

Less than 18 months after acquiring Ideal Bite for $20 million, the Walt Disney Co. is folding the green-living tips company into the Disney Interactive Media Group. Disney spokeswoman Michelle Bergman said it's not being shut down, that DIMG is "evaluating the situation" and has made no staffing decisions yet. But it may not be that simple. A source familiar with the situation tells paidContent that staff members were told Friday in a conference call that they were being laid off effective Dec. 9. Cofounders Heather Stephenson and Jennifer Boulden, who started the company in 2005, signed three-year contracts in 2008. They have not yet returned voice messages; Leigh Zarelli, a Disney VP working with emerging business acquisitions, referred questions to Bergman. A staffer who did return my call said I may have gotten some misinformation but couldn't talk about it.

Ideal Bite, which was supposed to be Disney's answer to DailyCandy, offers seven newsletters and a site that links to ABC.com, ABCFamily.com and other ABC sites. It's one of a number of "emerging" businesses Disney acquired over the past couple of years, including Digisynd, picked up for $15 million, and FanLib, now known as Take180.com. Bergman says moving Ideal Bite into the Interactive group was always the plan. Technically, the emerging business group is part of DIMG but have been reporting to the corporate strategy group.

Emphasis added.
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FanLib's dramatic descent into infamy.

Great reading at [livejournal.com profile] cyborganize:

Archive Wars: FanLib vs. OTW


To FanLib, the vast commons of freely exchanged fanworks perhaps appeared as if it simply lacked a businessperson with the savvy to privatize it.

All of the journal makes for a good read; it's Julie Levin Russo's "zero draft" of a dissertation in progress.

A brief trade article on Take180, FanLib, and Disney

From SoCalTech.com, dated March 31, 2009:

Burbank-based Take180.com announced Tuesday that the firm has officially launched a web site which looks to create original web series based on audience participation. The site--which is owned by The Walt Disney Company--said it has created three web series called "My Date," "I <3 Vampires" and "Electric Spoofaloo" all derived from user videos, stories, photos, and artwork. The new site is headed by Chris M. Williams, and has been in beta since the fall of last year; the site is built on top of Los Angeles-based FanLib, which was also headed by Williams and acquired by Disney last year.
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Henry Jenkins article

Henry Jenkins has recently posted 5 parts of an 8-part article called If It Doesn't Spread It's Dead on his blog. In his words, it is a white paper which was developed last year by the Convergence Culture Consortium on the topic of Spreadable media. Part Four has a small discussion about FanLib.

Chris Williams now CEO of Disney's Take180?

The continuing saga of the worst kept secret ever:

ABCFamily.com has picked up short-form Web series, My Alibi, from Disney-owned Take 180, a teen-targeted portal that creates short-form Web series and then integrates viewer ideas and submissions into those series.

Take 180 is run by Chris Williams, who used to run a site called Fan Lib. That site did something similar – it got fans engaged in shows and tried to incorporate their views into storylines. FanLib worked on engaging fans with existing shows, such as Showtime’s The L Word. Take 180 goes a step further: it offers lots of opportunities for fans to get involved with online shows that it’s producing.

Rest of the article at broadcastingcable.com. Chris Williams was CEO of FanLib before the company "closed" on August 4, 2008. Disney's Take180, built on top of FanLib's servers and with its software, opened around August 29, 2008.

More Deleted History -- FanLib's TOS, 1 May 2007 Edition

Note that the raw file was rather online-unfriendly. I added spaces and tags to best duplicate the appearance of the original document here. If anyone wants the raw file I copy/pasted from the FanLib site, holler and I'll e-mail it.



Read more... )
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Restoring FanLib's Deleted History

I'm supplying this for reference. Very little content on FanLib's origins still exists on the web. All the material at FanLib is gone, and so are many press releases. Edit: FanLib has excluded their site from the wayback machine. Wow do they suck.

Material includes the URL where it was once found. Most links now produce pinatas 404s.

Includes makeup of FanLib's original board, and detailed bios of the board members.

Includes gems such as: "Fan fiction has existed long before Al Gore invented the internet!"

Read more... )

I saved the information in May of 2007.

What Disney Bought From FanLib

When Disney bought FanLib, what did it get, and what did it do with it?

The short answer: Disney got the servers and the software — everything but content — and launched Take180 the same month FanLib closed (August, 2008). But to understand the full story, such as why FanLib erased its fanfiction archive, you need background.

FanLib did not begin as a fanfiction archive. It was incorporated in 2003, when its founders developed proprietary crowdwriting software. They could have done all sorts of things with it; they elected to lease it for web-based marketing.

Between 2003-2007, FanLib was paid for conducting dozens of marketing campaigns, usually in the form of writing contests, which were hosted on FanLib's servers and used FanLib's software. IPs (intellectual property owners) could pay for a sub-domain, such as lword.fanlib.com, with FanLib doing the heavy lifting.

FanLib's proprietary software allowed fans to submit content, vote on content, and talk about it. Content solicited from fans was extremely limited in scope, fill in the blank type stuff, hence the name FanLib, as in Mad Libs; it's a common misconception that lib stood for library, and referred to the fanfiction archive.

Read more... )

FanLib founders dance on its zombified grave: FanLib became Disney's Take180.

Another news article 1 about FanLib partner Craig Singer's newest venture casually mentions FanLib has become Disney's Take180.

This is the second article 2 confirming Disney bought FanLib; I assume the information appears in a Disney financial report. Any Disney stockholders out there? The financial report may state the price paid for FanLib.

Take180 is visually ugly, and laden with "challenges" and prizes. It looks exactly the way you would expect FanLib to look after a quick re-do to serve Disney's interests. It is also riddled with the celebrity brown-nosing rampant at FanLib. The pitch (Be part of a creative community. Get in the spotlight. Prizes happen.) is nearly indistinguishable from Chris Williams's promotion of FanLib in July, 2007. 3

The men who owned FanLib (brothers Chris and David Williams) did not have the balls 4 to tell the 25,000 members of the sell-out. They have said nothing publicly on the subject (according to my daily news webcrawl since June, 2008). At the time of the closure, I speculated the only confirmation might be a FanLib-like product from Disney. 5 Now we have it. FanLib closed on August 4, 2008. 6 Take180 opened around August 29, 2008. 7

I had the lowest possible expectations of the Williams brothers, but even I didn't expect them to lie about matters of importance — not when the lies would inevitably be exposed. Apparently they thought lying was the better trade-off: better to lie and cowardly escape the reaction of fandom, even though they would be exposed later as liars.

Perhaps the FanLib founders feared their members would join Take180 and make a wreck of its forums, sullying its Disney purity. Perhaps they feared FanLib's failure 8 would foul Take180 before it was out of the dock. Or perhaps Disney publicists, reviewing the Williams brothers' track record 9 in communicating with fans, ordered them to be silent.

Five months have gone by since FanLib closed. Its members are scattered; articles about FanLib have dwindled. If nothing else, the lies bought time.

There's more. Craig Singer's current venture, the film Perkins' 14, came about this way:

"A year and a half ago, Singer was sorting through hundreds of one-paragraph ideas submitted through his Web site, FanLib [...]. The 10 fan finalists were then asked to create a 'video pitch' for their idea. It was a fan in North Carolina who came up with the premise of 'Perkins 14' [sic]— about a town that has suffered 14 child abductions, and the obsessed cop [...] who finds that the kids have been turned into zombified killing machines." 10

Craig Singer used a FanLib member's original idea to launch his new career? 11 I need a stronger stomach. Edit: Jeremy Donaldson's idea was submitted through massify.com in association with FanLib. 12

Another thing: numerous people in fandom (and outside of it) distrusted the Disney buyout rumor because it was farfetched Disney would believe a fanfiction website could be profitable (especially after FanLib's example). But Disney had no such foolish belief. Fanfiction appears at Take180 only as an interest in member profiles.

Take180 is built from FanLib's corpse, using a single limb added in October, 2007, vid hosting. 13 (Edit: Turns out this is literally true. Take180 URLs indicate it lives on FanLib's former servers.) Instead of the female dominated world of fanfiction, Take180 goes after amateur film makers — a fandom YouTube; you can imagine the corporate orgasm the concept would induce — presumably to gain the young male demographic FanLib slavered after. 14

Just one more thing. Confirmation of the Disney buyout means we must reconsider FanLib.

As a fanfiction archive and as a fandom community, FanLib was a disaster. 15 But as a money-making venture for a small group of wealthy white businessmen, it was a success: with $100 million 16 to spend on acquisitions, Disney probably paid quite a bit more for FanLib than its initial investment of $3 million in venture capital. 17

This is bad news for fandom; it will encourage future greedy and destructive corporate interference with fan creations.

Sources )

Disney bought FanLib, according to Screen Digest.

Disney did buy FanLib, according to an acronym-studded online business presentation by Guy Bisson of Screen Digest, dated 10/31/2008.

If Disney bought FanLib, then what is it doing with it? Nothing... yet.

In May of this year, Disney chucked its huge Virtual Magic Kingdom, and announced it was doing a major online overhaul, investing up to $100 million. The rumor that Disney was purchasing FanLib started a month later.

This tallies with Rafat Ali's article in August (after FanLib announced it was closing) that "Disney will be completely retooling FanLib with a focus on its own properties, instead of fan fiction and other networks' TV shows and movies."

Guy Bisson's presentation, titled "Best Practices in times of TV 3.0," lists FanLib as a Disney asset on page 22.

If FanLib was sold to Disney, why didn't Chris or David Williams confirm it? Well, for one, because they didn't have to. FanLib was a private company. No explanation for FanLib's closure has been given to this date. Two: the sale to Disney, if true, was monumentally hypocritical and exploitive. Pretending to be the champions of fanfiction, the Williams brothers used the free labor of 25,000 members to make a profit for their venture capitalist investors. The men behind FanLib are still out there trying to make a buck off us; they need to avoid a reputation for ripping off fans. Uh, guys? It's too late.

A free Life Without FanLib T-shirt for the first person who spots a Disney crowdwriting venture. Not applicable to former employees of FanLib.

FanLib founder goes after amateur moviemakers.

From moviemaker.com, dated October 21, 2008.

Are you an aspiring, tech-savvy moviemaker posting your short films on YouTube, hoping to use the Internet to eventually develop your first feature-length movie? Your dreams may become a reality now that Perkins’ 14, the first feature film to be developed entirely over the Internet, will soon be released.

Says Craig Singer, "I had long been interested in what’s now called 'user-generated content,' from the days of my previous company, FanLib, which I started with partner Chris Williams. Now was really the right time to use crowd-sourcing to create a professional film for theatrical release."

Now was the right time because FanLib went belly-up? Ah.

So they are moving from ripping off fanfic authors to ripping off amateur youtube moviemakers. The FanLib talent-suckers got the massify.com crowd to do all the work, and will release the film Perkins' 14 in 2009.

Yes, that should be Perkins's 14, or Perkin's 14. What dumbasses.

More from Singer: "This is my second feature for After Dark Films. After Dark and [online community] Massify Media and I wanted to make what would be the world's first 'crowd-sourced' feature film, a film that opened up the filmmaking process to emerging talent by utilizing the reach and efficiencies of a social network."

I wonder how long it will be before the "emerging talent" realizes that, when these people say "crowd-sourced," the translation is: they make money off other people's creativity and pay nothing for it.

Full article: