[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Chris Williams's Spelling Improves In Masculine Company.
Instead of links to the fantastic analyses of the Chris Williams, FanLib CEO, interview at Henry Jenkins' blog, I give you the Chris Williams Henry Jenkins Interview tag. Here are a few I found outside of this community.

[livejournal.com profile] slashpine: Another one of those pesky smart women.

[livejournal.com profile] justhuman polls us about the interview. Chris Williams participated; you can, too!

[livejournal.com profile] melyanna has questions for FanLib. "What do I think will be the result of this? Well, as Adam Savage of the Mythbusters says, failure is always an option."

"She Got A Little Hostile In Her Second Reply."
Weekend trends: many hilarious icons and much FanLib suckage.

[livejournal.com profile] miera_c posted the emails she exchanged with David Williams and Naomi of FanLib in March, 2007, when they tried to recruit her for beta testing. Do not miss! As [livejournal.com profile] angiepen said, "I'm starting to tilt away from 'Evil' and back toward 'Stupid' again."

[livejournal.com profile] scarah2 reports FanLib's response to a member asking about FanLib's requests for fanfiction.net passwords. David Williams, how are you so not awesome?

[livejournal.com profile] scarah2 also brings us this story: fanfiction authors are yanking their Lord of the Rings fic from FanLib, with half disappearing in a single day. Thanks to this post at [livejournal.com profile] middleearthnews?

Please Pass The Meta.
[livejournal.com profile] lilithilien wrote a thoughtful Marxist analysis of FanLib vs Fandom. "We are merely workers in their fanfic factory."

[livejournal.com profile] paradox_dragon has an easy to follow and entertaining analysis of FanLib and sexism.

[livejournal.com profile] narahttbbs is disturbed by FanLib's reliance on wikipedia for all things legal.

[livejournal.com profile] read_in_reverse tells us this unsurprising news: FanLib is slapping Adult content ratings on Bible fanfiction even if the stories do not contain sex or violence.

[livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings loves fandom's response to FanLib. Oh honey, it's wanktastic! <3 <3 <3
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Give Us Your Fanfiction.net Password! And Other FanLib Blunders
[livejournal.com profile] ithiliana is understandably stunned that FanLib asks members for their Fanfiction.net password [Ed: It's used by FanLib for semi-automated story importing]. She links to the thread where the subject first came up.

[livejournal.com profile] scarah2 reports that, in response to the above, fanfiction.net has implemented an image verification system to prevent bots. She wonders why fanfiction.net did not block the bots outright. Could the bots be spoofing genuine IPs?

[livejournal.com profile] caras_galadhon tells us that, in another "How to suck badly as a fanfiction archive" moment, FanLib has failed to provide an interface for authors to respond to reviewers. [Ed: FanLib’s response: use private messaging. Problem: it’s disabled by default].

[livejournal.com profile] cofax7 expects FanLib members will be disillusioned before long. "I wonder what the response will be when FanLib starts taking down stories for obscenity or because they got complaints from Marvel or Disney?"

[livejournal.com profile] cesperanza cheered us all by sharing Cory Doctorow's In Praise of Fanfic essay. "Our field is incredibly privileged to have such an active fanfic writing practice."

Will Work For T-shirts
[livejournal.com profile] boji asks if corporate attacks on the rights of authors, and a potential Writer’s Guild strike, could be related to the launch of FanLib. "The three-year pact between studios and the Writers Guild of America expires Oct. 31 and talks are scheduled to begin in July."

[livejournal.com profile] anarchicq is concerned about FanLib's past, particularly their marketing campaigns in which fans wrote TV episodes without any monetary compensation.

[livejournal.com profile] quicksilvereyes warns that the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 could have grim results for fans.

[livejournal.com profile] house_illrepute advises that FanLib’s intentions, no matter how clever or dastardly or against the grain of democracy, won't be spelled out in their TOS.

Back in April, [livejournal.com profile] legionseagle wrote at length about the legality of fanfiction, exploding many common misconceptions. Excellent!

Unlikely allies department: "It seems to me that FanLib is only interested in exploiting fanficcers under the pretense of supporting fanfic… which, in fact, they aren't actually doing at all." was said by… Lee Goldberg?! Yes, back in September of 2006.

FanLib: Watching A Company Self Harm
[livejournal.com profile] synecdochic takes us on a lively tour of Online Terms Of Service, Standard Clauses, Non-Standard Clauses, And A Crash Course In The CDA. This is great!

[livejournal.com profile] lyore compares FanLib and Fanfiction.net in Why Fanfiction.net isn't like FanLib: Profit, Risk and Exploitation.

Over on greatestjournal.com, Jane Carnall digs into the new and unimproved FanLib TOS. Quote: "FanLib consider their relationship with fanfic writers to be that of a corporation exploiting a resource." She succeeded in scaring me. *gulps*

[livejournal.com profile] killersharky checks out FanLib's Corporate Marketing Brochure and discovers fans make great cheap labor, because they'll work for just a pat on the back! Now with automatic profanity filters.

[livejournal.com profile] laurie_ky, after reading the brochure referenced above, is appalled by FanLib's view of fanfiction: As with a coloring book, players must "stay within the lines."

[livejournal.com profile] trollprincess says, "I don't like that a place that wants to profit from what I'm doing also considers me posting a story on their site as signing away my fannish life."

[livejournal.com profile] atti_br informs us there already is the German equivalent of FanLib. Interesting!

More from Making Light. I love these people. "It’s a perpetual motion machine — excuse me, an automatic content generator."

From girl-wonder.org: FanLib: Watching Yet Another Fan Connected Company Self Harm. Snark!

Incoming Meta
[livejournal.com profile] dodger_winslow gives us a fun read. Meet DogLib in This Is Your Fanfic On FanLib.

[livejournal.com profile] kazaera on Compromises—Or What The Debate With Fanlib Actually Achieves. Good stuff here.

Two from [livejournal.com profile] bookshop! How FanLib is anything but liberating and FanLib.com: sexism, misogyny, ignorance, oh my!

[livejournal.com profile] dodger_winslow on Fandom Meta: Why I Write Fanfic. Quote: One of the primary advantages I see in writing fanfic is the vast array of ramification-free experimentation labs it provides, all of them peopled with a widely diverse focus group… who are very deeply educated on the subject you are writing about and will usually tell you exactly what they think about what you say…

[livejournal.com profile] phaballa in Meta: On FanFiction, FanLib, blah blah, says, "We created fandom as an underground movement, as our own society with its own rules and factions and language and so on." *offers glitter*

At ficlets.com, author Scalzi says, "I'd be happy to know that there was fanfic in my universe. However, I don't think I would be pleased to see it on a site like FanLib."

From metafilter.com: Everyone weighs in on FanLib. While some find fanfiction yucky, most are sympathetic. "It's a business model that takes the energy and creativity of a (largely female) community and attempts to spin all that goodwill into gold. "

Yesterday’s update? Tortuga.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Livejournal and Blog Discussions

A BBC blogger writes: "Even if companies like Fan Lib were to create spaces protected from cease and desist notices, for some fans it would inevitably be a censored space." Now includes an audio interview with Henry Jenkins.

[livejournal.com profile] telesilla tells us why fanfiction matters to her, and why FanLib should not get its hands on it. Quote: "We are the latest in a long line of this kind of storytellers and when we're good, goddamn do we hit it out of the park."

[livejournal.com profile] kitesareevil looks behind the surface of FanLib and comes up with something deeply disturbing. This link-heavy read should not be missed! Quote: "Fanlib has been trying to take advantage of fandom since at least 2003, probably since 2001, and I have a hard time believing the fanfic authors interests are anywhere on the agenda."

[livejournal.com profile] megpie71 shares the answers to the questions she asked Fanlib. Only eight of seventeen have been answered so far.

[livejournal.com profile] entropy_house has been tracking the number of stories posted at FanLib. *grins*

[livejournal.com profile] bentley asks good questions about the current storm of blogging over FanLib. Quote: "What happens when people who don’t know the ‘cultural norms’ of fandom and its community discover this site which caters to them and not some elitist group of hobbyists?"

[livejournal.com profile] gunderpants wants her FanLib T-shirt, damn it!

[livejournal.com profile] methoschick points out something FanLib does not seem to have grasped yet: LJ is where most people play nowadays.

[livejournal.com profile] saeva offers a timely reminder that fandom does not need to fear exposure.

[livejournal.com profile] proggrrl wonders if companies like FanLib mean the establishment is ready to embrace fan creations.

[livejournal.com profile] lotesseflower says the two things she values most about fandom are the anonymity and the lack of pricetags.

[livejournal.com profile] stewardess [me] is laughing uproariously because FanLib left "/" out of its searchable character list. Trying to find a pairing? Too bad.

FanLib Enjoys The Taste Of Its Own Toes
After Chris Williams, FanLib CEO, flamed several Livejournal blogs, I assumed FanLib's employees would keep their public diarrhea diatribes to a minimum. But in FanLib's forums today, jdsampson, who works for FanLib in an unknown capacity, agreed with the statement, "Look at how LJ is totally full of sheeple sucking up to their perceived BNF and supressing their own thoughts when they deviate from the norm of whatever fandom circle they're a member of."

Large screenshot behind the cut for those of you who do not wish to visit the FanLib forum )

Jdsampson graciously adds, "...being part of our new community here doesn't mean you have to take a sword through the heart for us."

Apparently, FanLib will not be wooing the 86,000 livejournal members interested in fanfiction, a curious decision for a start-up with only 2400 members.

FanLib Buttons And Badges
It was asked in comments here today if you can use FanLib code to embed entire stories at other web sites. The answer appears to be no. You can only embed a graphic link, such as the one behind the cut. Embedding an entire story would not make sense for FanLib, because it would allow people to read content without seeing advertisements.

Example of a FanLib Button or Badge )

And Now For No words From Our Sponsor
I have yet to find a statement from a FanLib sponsor that supports, or even acknowledges, Fanlib's multi-fandom fanfiction archive. If you come across anything, please let me know.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Community Relations Are Make Or Break.
Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture, weighs in on FanLib. Quote: As fans note, however, FanLib's efforts to commercialize fan fiction represented the worst case scenario: a highly publicized, for profit venture which left fan fiction writers even more exposed than they have before.

Convergence Culture
FanLib entered the consciousness of much of fandom when Ivan Askwith brought it up on May 15, 2007, at convergenceculture.org. Thanks, Ivan!

"Crowdsourced" Novels
Assignment Zero, a journalism web site, has a series of articles on what they call the crowdsourced or open novel. The objects of their scrutiny are FanLib projects sponsored by Penguin and Avon (Harper Collins). Assignment Zero is looking for contributors.

We Call It Fanfiction. FanLib Calls It Viral Marketing. A special round-up of FanLib's activities since 2003.

As was exposed by rez_lo and chesyre, FanLib isn't a hapless throwback to 1999 dot bombs. Instead, FanLib has been cozying up to the RIAA while attempting to remake itself as the leader in a new type of viral marketing, formerly known as fanfiction.

December 2003
In this article archived at my2sentences, FanLib founder Chris William explains his plan: "There is this incredible amount of fan energy that is unharnessed by the creators, producers, and distributors of these existing properties," said Williams. "We thought why don't we marry the [online] technology and the audience and create a platform that will harness the energy in a way that can be controlled and moderated by the creators and distributors of that existing property."

December 2003
The Writers Guild is not amused by FanLib, reports a TelevisionWeek article by Wayne Friedman. Payment is required to view the entire article.

June 2004
Project Ferret, a collaborative Harry Potter fanfiction community, is an example of FanLib's early attempts to "harness the energy [of fans] in a way that can be controlled and moderated by the creators and distributors of that existing property."

March 2006
Chris Williams, FanLib CEO, was a featured speaker at a Digital Hollywood seminar. There, attendees could learn: "By integrating online marketing techniques, the networks and studios are finding that they can (& do!) influence offline behavior." Williams's bio at Digital Hollywood says, "As the media landscape has changed, Williams has channeled his unique expertise in the colliding industries of entertainment, marketing and online media by helping marketers and established entertainment companies make the most of opportunities arising from online and consumer-generated media."

"Colicky babies, toppling toddlers, terrible-two tantrums, kindergartners uttering obscenities (during parent-teacher conferences, of course) — the comedies of motherhood never seem to end! What can you do, except laugh and then write about it at In The MotherHood?" I haven't seen FanLib mention their venture with Suave personal care products and Sprint. Perhaps it's not sexy enough for the companies FanLib currently courts.

The HarperTeenFanLit web site, another FanLib production, mostly amused me because of its Thank you for censorship! page.

July 2006
This dry as dust Harper Collins press release makes it amply clear what FanLib is all about. Chris Williams, FanLib CEO, is quoted as saying, "Romance readers are one of the most undervalued audiences on the web. They represent a massive group of literate, well-educated women who spend an incredible amount of time online. Through our partnership with HarperCollins, Avon FanLit is the first exciting platform to bring these readers together in a moderated community setting that is also designed with marketers in mind."

April 2007
An Open Scrolls Archive fanfiction community member issued a warning about FanLib. "FanLib.com is currently going around certain fanfiction archives and basically 'poaching' members without so much of a nod toward the owners of said archives. Bad manners, IMHO, but if only it ended there..." A few days later, David Williams, a FanLib founder, responded: "But, based on the feedback we received from lotRFF members, we actually updated our TOS and Privacy Policy to further clarify that we claim no ownership over submissions." However, lotrfanfiction.com members seem far from satisfied.

While we weren't looking, a new job description was born: writer in residence for FanLib "Fan Events". I'm not sure how to interpret this. Why the quotes around fan event? Is it because they are being seeded with paid participants?

March 2007
David Shen, a FanLib official advisor, keeps a blog. The month of March, 2007, when FanLib launched, is a look into the stressful life of an entrepreneur. Includes the ultimate tragedy, a lost iPod.

"A massive group of literate, well-educated women who spend an incredible amount of time online." Poor FanLib. They hadn't seen anything yet.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
FanLib's Funding From H.I.G. Ventures?
A short article at paidcontent.org identifies the source of FanLib's $3 million in funding as H.I.G. Ventures. This appears to contradict the information reported at mashup.com and many other sites, which says: FanLib has also received a reported $3 million in funding from prominent names in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, including Jon Landau, Jon Moonves, and FanLib Chairman Anil Singh, former Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Yahoo! Interestingly, H.I.G. Venture's profile of FanLib does not mention fanfiction, but only FanLib's past efforts as coordinators of specific promotions. Does the confusion spring from FanLib's press release, which says: investors and advisors include notable names from Hollywood and Silicon Valley, including film producer Jon Landau (Titanic), high-powered entertainment attorney Jon Moonves, and FanLib Chairman Anil Singh, former Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Yahoo!, but which also refers to FanLib as a venture-funded company?

A Brief History Of FanLib
[livejournal.com profile] icarusancalion's marvelous article sums up FanLib's interaction with fandom since March, 2007, to the present. FanLib's creators immediately ran into trouble with fans critical of FanLib's plans to turn profits on their freely provided fan fiction with no compensation to the authors, beyond t-shirts and prizes.

FanLib's Ties To The RIAA
[livejournal.com profile] rez_lo linked to this below, but I want to point out it's a work of genius. FanLib is about corralling this wild tendency on the part of consumers of popular culture to go off and create a huge fannish universe of transformational content that we give away to other people, and channeling it to make a few more bucks for the Great Whites of the entertainment world.

Once upon a time, there was a film producer, an internet whiz and a CEO.
FanLib hits Fandom Wank. So, let me get that straight, they invested 3 million into a fanfic site. 1998 called. It wants its venture capital back.—bubba_ray

Follow-up to An Archive Of One's Own
LJ members have created [livejournal.com profile] fanarchive to explore the possibility of creating a multi-fandom fanfiction archive run by and for fanfiction writers and readers.

FanLib Board Member on TOS
In this March 28, 2006 article, FanLib founder David Williams explains their terms of service were designed to protect the entertainment companies from fans who might claim the company stole their ideas. FanLib lawyers worked painstakingly to develop an industrial strength online user agreement and set of rules in order to mitigate these concerns.

Why FanLib Thinks It Can't Lose
Short post in my LJ. Once you realize that the destruction of fanfiction as it exists today is, for FanLib, an acceptable risk, and one that might even be ultimately profitable for them, everything makes sense.

FanLib's Advertising Graphics Give Many Pause
One-hundred and twenty-one comments in [livejournal.com profile] telesilla's LJ later, we're forced to wonder: Are they honestly of the opinion that fandom is big into Mexican wrestling?

Making Light Approves Of Fanfiction, But Not FanLib
My prediction? They'll burn through their investors' cash (just like fandom.com did) and leave a smoking hole in the ground when they crash (just like fandom.com did).

FanLib's Designer Likes FanLib
On April 12, 2007, Frank Rameriz of Rameriz Design was so excited about FanLib he wrote Star Wars fanfiction titled "Wookie Cookies."

I will be adding to this through the day.

More info

May. 21st, 2007 01:59 pm
[identity profile] rez-lo.livejournal.com
Edit and update: Uh, I'm a little confused, here, but this page on Diane Duane's Young Wizards site makes it seem as though she's working with FanLib?


I haven't seen much discussion around the fact that Hilary Rosen of the RIAA is the head of FanLib's test-case site for The L Word. I've posted about that on my LJ.

More links:

Here's the Forbes article, dated May 10. Anyone know "Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author of the Uglies trilogy"? The article includes an approving quote from him.

How about TV Reporter Cynthia Boris? Something about her site reminds me of the FanLib employee who was trying to convince people that she didn't know what the fuss was about.

Here's the BusinessWeek article posted back in March.

The MIT Convergence Culture Consortium blog carried a May 15 post about FanLib with little comment.

Here's a post from an HP fanfiction archive about the mods' involvement in FanLib, in case it's of interest. And another post from a Gilmore Girls writer who's added her work to the site.

The last commenter on this TV.com member's post is evidently a FanLib employee, same m.o. as for LJ: no profile, no posts to s/h/its own page, account created this month. (A David B. Williams also started a Blogspot page back in December that has no posts and no profile, same creation period as Chris Williams's LJ.)
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Legal Articles Discussing Fan Fiction
From [livejournal.com profile] morgandawn: The legal landscape is shifting. None of us have clear answers or a good handle on possible risks.

"Corporate Rock Still Sucks"...and corporate fanfic even more so
From [livejournal.com profile] vulgarweed: Lack of money, career pressures, and recognition under my own name are the reasons why I enjoy fanfic so much. It's a feature, not a bug. It's freedom.

Being Real
From [livejournal.com profile] metamiri: It leaves me wishing that we, as female fans, could imagine that we give each other legitimacy (and that we can do that even without finding ways to exploit ourselves better or more efficiently than these men plan to exploit us).

Some thoughts (possibly not widely popular) re: the Fanlib hubub.
From [livejournal.com profile] hossgal: I'm not entirely pleased with FanLib either, but it seems I'm unhappy for reasons different than a lot of other folks.

FanLib Dicsussion III; or The Search for FanLib
From [livejournal.com profile] telesilla: I did try to come up with ways he [FanLib CEO Chris Williams] could continue the dialog here on LJ so that the LJ portion of the fan fiction community could join in... I've yet to receive an answer from him and by now, I honestly don't expect to.
The comments to this post, some by a FanLib employee, are good reading.

Fandom_lawyers on FanLib
[livejournal.com profile] quicksilvereyes asked FanLib: What Are Your Thoughts? in the community [livejournal.com profile] fandom_lawyers.
"This could be a case of fandom collectively overreacting and a new company starting off on the wrong foot, but it really doesn't seem like that all.".

How Fanfiction Makes Us Poor
By [livejournal.com profile] cupidsbow: Is the non-capitalist aspect of fanfiction actually a method of silencing the artistic voices of women? And does it take away what should be legitimate opportunities for us to earn an income from what we create?
Excellent read.

FanLib: Our Wannabe Corporate Overlords
From blogs.feministsf.net:
Apparently FanLib is employing fans at a scutwork level - one employee was showing up on discussions at the SixApart place yesterday and defending it. The chutzpah of this goes way beyond privilege into delusional arrogance.

LiveJournal Does Not Equal Fandom
[livejournal.com profile] kyuuketsukirui writes: LJ fandom is not fandom ... The people on fanfiction.net are not aware of our issues and discussions.
Good discussion touching on FanLib's intended audience.


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Life Without FanLib

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