[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] 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
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
Fandoms at FanLib are listed in order of "popularity," meaning fandoms represented by the most fanfiction appear first.

Browsing the fandoms this morning, I noticed something very interesting has happened.

As recently as July, only the first and second pages of fandoms (between 75 and 150 fandoms) had stories. There were about two thousand fandoms with no stories at all; as has been noted by many, FanLib lifted fanfiction.net's fandom list in its entirety.

But today 500 of those 2,000 formerly empty fandoms have 1 or 2 stories each.

Isn't that... convenient. Too convenient. I estimate FanLib has gained only two thousand stories (today's count is 6,730) since I last did a count in late July. How probable is it that a quarter would be in formerly unrepresented fandoms? Not. Very.

I took a look at the hundreds of fandoms now represented by a single story. What I found was even more interesting, but not particularly surprising. Most of the stories aren't new.

Most were uploaded in March, when FanLib was giving away valuable prizes to fanfiction authors in a desperate bid to get content.

So what has changed? Only the fandom categories assigned to the stories. )


Jun. 5th, 2007 05:15 pm
[identity profile] scarah2.livejournal.com

Big one is behind the cut. )

Please note, this is not 100% accurate because we didn't have data for all days for all fandoms. In the case where there was no data for that day/fandom, I backfilled with the last known number to prevent weird spikes. I don't think it would look all that different with the real data, though.
[identity profile] scarah2.livejournal.com
Forum drama. Link goes to FanLib. Highlights:

Further to this point, how do you know what I think about FF.Net? Personally, I think it's the (second) shittiest archieve filled with the (second) shittiest fic this side of GAFF.

bryson (moderator):
Irvine I've done nothing to warrant that kind of a response to you, and I do not tollerate insults on these forums. You addressed me in your previous post as an employee of FanLib and I corrected you.

Please do not take up that tone with myself or any other member of these forums again. That is your warning.

I take extreme offense at your comments and attitude. As I have repeatedly pointed out to the FanLib admins and owners, there are no forum rules or guidelines in place. There is no forums section in the TOS, and there are no rules linked anywhere else on the site. You cannot threaten and warn users about their behavior when there is no code of conduct that they've agreed to follow. I also think you're grossly overreacting, but the most important issue is that you cannot enforce standards that do not exist.

That's right, the people with the TOS That Exploded The Internet, have no forum rules whatsoever. They have moderators to enforce the invisible rules, though.

You're right that there are no actual rules when it comes to this forum. The only issues I have made myself clear on are trolling against other members in insulting and abusive manners. The word we're looking for here is deceny. There are no restrictions on what you want to post about so long as you act in a respective manner.

Respective to deceny? OK then!
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
I can't believe I missed this. Pink Dude/Blue Guy are celebrated at a tech web site!


Quote: Every so often, as if acting out some formulaic movie plot, a bunch of big-city suits get lost in the wilderness of the internet, and bad things happen.

[identity profile] scarah2.livejournal.com
There's a pretty LOLarious thread in the forums where everyone is patting themselves on the back for how much more awesome FanLib is than LJ. I guess to FanLib's credit, they didn't actually suspend the bible fic, they just re-rated it to be filtered. Even though it's one of the few (only?) "fandoms" they have that's on totally stable ground, legally. I don't think the prophets are gonna be sending them a C&D any time soon.

Stats compared with a couple days ago:

Harry Potter: Non-adult: 513, was 521. Including adult: 553, was 556. (The number of adult fics does appear to have gone up by a few here, but I wonder if they just got re-rated by admins.)

CSI: Non-adult: 149, I think it was 150? Including adult: 181, was 189.

LOTR: Non-adult: 65, was 86. Including adult: 71, was 92.
zellieh: kitten looking shocked, openmouthed, text: WTF? (What the fuck?) (Fanfic Outside the lines)
[personal profile] zellieh
I've made two posts about the kerfuffle so far.

The guys were originally film producers, and had pages on their other site (before they took it down) with listings of films in development. I collected some of those summaries and lightly mocked them in this post here.

And I have some actual meta in this post here.
[identity profile] freifraufischer.livejournal.com
A Small post over in my own LJ discussing the psychology of FanLib's behavior, and what I think they are missing in the motives behind fanficcers. The first few paragraphs can be skipped, they are introduction for anyone on my friends list who doesn't know about Fanlib.

Note: References to particular fics are intended to illustrate a narrowness of audience and interest for many authors, not as recs.
[identity profile] quietus-x.livejournal.com
I'm forcing this to be brief, because I really have to finish my essay, damnit.

But something I haven't seen mentioned yet, in regards to fanlib trying to drag FF.N and Livejournal's names through the mud for being for-profit (which FF.N isn't, though LiveJournal is).

FF.N and Livejournal genuinely care about their members (well, it's not Xing's fault that his site's full of shitty fic). So, even if we think the site is horrible (as in the case of FF.N) and never go on it ever again, we still respect it and defend it when it's wronged.

And Livejournal, which definitely is for-profit, clearly treats us as intelligent individuals, cares about us, etc, so much that they've earned our loyalty. Even when a big block of accounts gets suspended (fandom_wank's down so I don't have the links, but there've been some posts on it over the internets) on Livejournal, no one's bitching at them about it, because we tried to see it from their perspective and understand what's going on, we know they didn't have much of a choice, etc, etc.

FanLib, on the other hand, is going so far in the opposite direction that everyone's baffled at how badly they're shooting themselves in the feet. And the legs. And the knees.

[identity profile] icarusancalion.livejournal.com
If FanLib loses a large portion of the Livejournal "market" of writers, there are still many other groups and fanfiction communities to tap outside Livejournal.

So how important are Livejournal fanfiction writers (and readers) to FanLib?

In 2005, when Six Apart bought Livejournal they were forced to shut it down to resolve technical issues. That weekend a bemused Google announced that their top search term was "Harry Potter fan fiction." Harry Potter, published in over 30 countries, is the largest of the fanfiction communities. Once Livejournal resumed service, the top search terms returned to Michael Jackson's trial.

Since then, the number of Livejournal users who list "fanfiction" among their interests has grown from 40,000 to over 86,000 -- with 63,000 interested in slash. FanLib's reputation is "ankle-locked on the LJ base."

Livejournal attracted many fanfiction users in 2002 after fanfiction.net's ban of explicit NC-17 fiction and an unrelated 2003 crackdown on adult fiction that closed many Yahoo Groups, since Livejournal does not prescreen content. Many in the fanfiction community, as well as professional writers and bloggers commenting on the situation, wonder if FanLib's goal to "mainstream" fanfiction is even compatible with the adult fiction that has made Livejournal such an important venue.

Still, at least one writer has stated in FanLib's forums that she's sticking with FanLib out of dissatisfaction with her own fan community, viewing FanLib as a fresh start (note: link goes to FanLib). Other FanLib members are outside the Livejournal community and only heard of the controversy through the FanLib forums.

FanLib's archive remains tiny. Using Harry Potter as a point of comparison, FanLib boasts less than 0.0016% of Harry Potter fanfiction stories when compared to fanfiction.net. While Fiction Alley doesn't post the number of stories in their archive, FanLib's current 500+ stories is far less than Fiction Alley, which has over 1,000 writers whose names begin with the letter 'A' alone.

Since May 23rd, after an initial plunge in the number of stories uploaded to the archive, FanLib's statistics remained relatively unchanged across most fandoms. Overall, however, they have continued to fall: the number of Lord of the Rings stories on FanLib dropped by half this weekend, from 167 to 86, after the Livejournal Lord of the Rings newsletter [livejournal.com profile] middleearthnews posted about the controversy.

Statistical note: Fanfiction.net and Fiction Alley both do not allow adult fanfiction, while FanLib does.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Thanks to google news alerts:

Instead of creating the Myspace of fanfic since the launch two weeks ago, FanLib.com sparked a white-hot Internet firestorm.

Be sure to click the link for more at the bottom. VERY interesting stuff there:

"KEM-owned Entertainment Marketing Partners' heavy-weight Mark Stroman was hired to help Singer and Williams persuade Madison Avenue that fanfic could be used to attract the coveted and elusive young male demo[graphic]."

The site the article appears at:

Multichannel News reaches 18,800 industry professionals in the cable television business with an editorial focus on programming, advertising, marketing, finance, technology, broadband, and government activities for the worldwide cable television and telecommunications industries.

EDIT: FanLib is responding quickly, yanking material from its web sites. The author of the article has updated, too: "It's 3:15 a.m. on May 29 and I just checked my links. The my2centences website is suddenly 'under construction.' Good thing I captured a number of pdf for my files, something I do routinely. I will repost it shortly."

Mary McNamara, you win the Internet.
[identity profile] miera-c.livejournal.com
Was on vacation when this whole thing exploded last week. *sigh*

But I have posted the entirety of my email conversation with Naomi and David Williams that occurred back in March when those first solicitation e-mails went around. I'm not posting this for any spiteful reason. I just want to add it to the public record, as it were. Private information (mine and theirs) has been removed.

ETA: Post edited to remove Naomi's last name, per request of David Williams. 5/28/07, 10:40 pm.
[identity profile] scarah2.livejournal.com
Today there's 86 non-adult LOTR stories. I think that yesterday there were 170. Almost 50% baleeted in one day.

Number of Harry Potter stories is identical to yesterday.


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