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[personal profile] alyndra
Could somebody tell me whether [ profile] mimbo is Chris Williams or David Williams? I'm not sure.

Because apparently [ profile] mimbo responded to a short poll here which asked how Chris Williams' answers to Henry Jenkins affected our opinions of FanLib. (Let's just say he's an outlier in the results.)

Also, is this a breach of netiquette if he is Chris? The questions not being exactly aimed at him and all . . . did he realize that anybody could see who answered what?
[identity profile]
In a long-winded response to the question of what FanLib offers fic writers that they can't get for less hassle elsewhere, Chris Williams said this:

We have many more special fan events coming. You'll see us shortly announce and launch: a fan event with a major media company around one of the most popular fandoms, a collaborative feature film screenplay and movie, a partnership with a major talent management company to identify star writers from the community and create opportunities for them.

Emphasis mine.

My guess is that this is, some kind of fic "event" as FanLib keeps telling us they've done previously. However, this seems to be just more proof that they're completely out of step with fandom.

This is not new ground for Star Trek. It's the only show I know of that actually welcomed fan-written scripts at any time. (Admittedly, Ron Moore described the bulk of these submissions in rather poor terms, but he was probably right in doing so. We all know that most of the fic in the world is not of stellar quality, so it would stand to reason that a good chunk of these submissions would be less-than-professional.) At any rate, Star Trek and fan involvement is not a new thing. There are some who say that at one time, Paramount actively courted the editors of the big 'zines because those fans were such a huge influence on the community, and it was a way to take the temperature of the fandom, and sometimes direct it. (While I trust my source on this one, you may certainly feel free not to; at this point it's third- or fourth-hand information.)

Speaking as someone who's not into Star Trek in any of its incarnations, it's my understanding that Star Trek is not exactly a seriously active fandom in terms of fic anymore. I have one friend who was in the fandom during the Voyager era in the mid-nineties, when she says it was slowly dying. Another friend has participated in Enterprise fic collaborations, and by the time she stopped, she said it was incredibly frustrating that she and others had put a lot this work into stories that very few people were reading.

So: yes, Star Trek is a Big Deal in fandom – for its history if nothing more – but is it really that big when it comes to fic? Or is this another example of FanLib's preconceived notions about fandom not lining up with reality?

(Please correct me if I'm wrong about the state of Star Trek fandom today; I freely admit that this is not based on extensive research. But the fic I see coming across my own friends list rarely has anything to do with Star Trek, when I do have Star Trek fans on my friends list.)
[identity profile]
Very few people are still bothering to express legal concerns on the FanLib forums in the last few days, since threads have been locked, people have had their posting permissions reduced, etc.

A couple still are, and the reply is now a cut and paste from the Jenkins interview.

[The bold parts are where I fixed it for him.]

"Thanks for the posting and expressing a valid concern. [Now STFU, get back in the kitchen and write me some more free content, woman.] We have done an extensive risk analysis and are comfortable with supporting fan fiction through our website. [Oh, an "extensive" one. That explains it all.] As some of our members have already acknowledged, the landscape is changing. [For the worse, and we're the cause.] Fan fiction is already on the radar of media companies and publishers. Already, FanLib has conducted online storytelling events with media companies and publishers who are embracing fan fiction. Our goal is build a great venue, open to everyone, that allows people to showcase their work, discover great stories, get closer to the talent behind their favorite fandoms [you will get to see Sarah Michelle Gellar's boobs] and participate in [the downfall of fan fiction as we know it] fun events.'s unique approach of [screwing over] collaborating with fans, media companies and publishers can positively impact [ad revenue] the fan fiction community and [attract] avoid needless litigation. We are going to do whatever is feasible to assure people [without any factual basis whatsoever] that posting on does not somehow add to their liability."
[identity profile]
Yesterday, after Chris Williams' interview went up at Jenkins' blog, I posted my own thoughts on his answers at my LJ. They include a tip of the hat to Woolf, considerations of whether or not FanLib's existence makes our community less safe, whether FL provides us with anything new, demographic, TOS and fan advisory board concerns, and, of course, the ubiquitous questions of gender and authority:

In Praise of Shakespeare's Sister.
[identity profile]
The Real Communications Divide: Goal-Oriented vs. Network-Based

DISCLAIMER: Sweeping generalizations about fandom follow. Also, the "fandom" I am talking about belongs solely to LJ, not because LJ is the be-all and end-all of fandom, but because it is LJ's social network that is rising against FanLib. There are plenty of people who fit into fandom but not this particular analysis of "fandom", but they're not the ones banging on drums and calling for FanLib's heads, so I'm not talking about them.

Read at your own risk.

I have been watching the whole FanLib debacle with a certain amount of glee, not the least of which because I find it thrilling to watch people shoot themselves in the foot, as FanLib has been doing in a particularly spectacular, annihilatory way. And I have reached certain conclusions: namely, that FanLib has fallen down not because they are rapacious, greedy, and not terribly bright, but because their view of the world is fundamentally opposed to the view which fanfiction writers have of their community.

Social interactions for the sake of social interactions: What FanLib doesn't get. )

Some of this has been reworked due to insightful points raised in the comments.
[identity profile]
So, I tried posting this yesterday, but LJ was waaaay too wonky to let it through.

I was searching LJ for things about fanlib, and came across something interesting. They have not only an LJ, but also a community created back in Feb.

[ profile] fanlib is not directly linked with [ profile] mimbo or [ profile] jdsampson, but because of the date and the user icon, I'd say it's genuine. Like CW's lj it is a plus account, but has no posts, or at least none that are visible to others. It also has only one place friended (that is not related to lj specifically).

This 'friend' is a community called [ profile] charworldnews which also has no posts, but is also a plus account. The only owner/maintainer is [ profile] fanlib. There are no user pics for the site, but given the info above, I'd say it is also legit.

Now this in and of itself wouldn't be that remarkable, they were doing market research/wanted to set up something for future use/wanted to cybersquat/are just weird...etc.

But if you look at the comment by [ profile] almostnever over at Henry Jenkins blog where she writes:

Why is the gender question "a bit unfair"? Fans invited Mr. Williams to comment freely as part of existing discussions. We also encouraged him to create a Livejournal community where he and/or his representatives could take questions and answer them in his own words, unedited, in his own time.

He backed away from those proposals. But he agreed readily to this interview. I'm grateful to Henry Jenkins for representing fannish questions so well here. But what was the problem with dealing with us directly? If he wanted to deal with fewer people, Mr. Williams could have asked us to designate two or three representatives. I would have voted Stewardess and Telesilla for that in a heartbeat.

It seems to make plainer the, if not contempt then the utter disregard CW has for the lj community/fandom in general. I mean he had a ready made outlet where he could have even controled the debate via moding. But he chose to take it to so-called neutral territory. Did he think that we wouldn't follow to Jenkins' blog?


x-posted to my journal
[identity profile]
The 2004 FanLib marketing brochure has been widely cited by FanLib critics, and for good reason. It flatly contradicts FanLib’s current posture as the fanfiction writer’s new best friend. The brochure makes it clear that fan writers and their fanfiction are the meal to be served up to FanLib's real clients, corporate advertisers.

When Chris Williams, FanLib CEO, responded to the questions posed by fans at Henry Jenkins’s blog, he distanced FanLib from that marketing brochure, claiming it is irrelevant to what FanLib is doing now.

But it is relevant, and Williams says so himself.

Is Williams promising us sex with starlets? )

[identity profile]
This is what I'm about to post in response to Henry Jenkins's blog, but it's not letting me post it (probably because I'm a moron who hit Preview Post too many times? *scratches head*) so I'm going to repost it here.

I feel compelled to respond to what I think is at the heart of the previous comments. E.M. Pink wrote:
I think back to how you proclaim our questioning your not answering us and choosing instead to answer to a man you perceive as having authority (over us?

Ultimately, the fannish anxiety about what FanLib is trying to do is not something that an improved and modified FAQ and TOS can assuage.  )
elf: Twitchy alligator from Die Anstalt (Twitchy)
[personal profile] elf
Commenting on the Chris Williams Interview. Long; approx. 2,000 words. (A substantial part of that is quotes.) I'd put it at my journal, but right now, I'm keeping most of my journal locked, so instead, I'm doing the main post here & sending my friendslist a link.

Commentary inside )


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Life Without FanLib

January 2015

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