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astolat

September 2019

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astolat

An Archive Of One's Own

**NEW ETA**: we're going to take a stab at putting this together. For more information and discussion, please join and/or watch otw_news.




ETA: If you are coming to the conversation late, xenacryst has helpfully collected up a bunch of links to a subset of noteworthy discussion threads, over here!




First, why fanfic is not illegal and why YOU should stop saying that it is even if you don't agree, by cesperanza. Please read it.

That said, the people behind fanlib (talked about many places, see astridv here) don't actually care about fanfic, the fanfic community, or anything except making money off content created entirely by other people and getting media attention. They don't have a single fanfic reader or writer on their board; they don't even have a single woman on their board. They're creating a lawsuit-bait site while being bad potential defendants, and they deserve to be chased out being pelted with rocks.

But even if they were, which I doubt is going to happen, because hey, they have people and money, we're still left with this problem: we are sitting quietly by the fireside, creating piles and piles of content around us, and other people are going to look at that and see an opportunity. And they are going to end up creating the front doors that new fanfic writers walk through, unless we stand up and build our OWN front door.

We need a central archive of our own, something like animemusicvideos.org. Something that would NOT hide from google or any public mention, and would clearly state our case for the legality of our hobby up front, while not trying to make a profit off other people's IP and instead only making it easier for us to celebrate it, together, and create a welcoming space for new fans that has a sense of our history and our community behind it.

cutting for details and brainstormingCollapse )

If I had thirty seconds more time I would just try to do it, but I don't right now, and so I am throwing out this plea into the ether. And I'm putting myself out here right now to say that I would help as any/all of an advisor, a fundraiser, a promoter, and I would archive my own stuff there. I would even take on coding parts; I just can't take on project management.

But I know we have project managers in our community -- and coders and designers -- can't we do this? Seriously -- we can come up with a site that would be miles better and more attractive to fanfic writers/readers than anything else out there, guys, because we actually USE the stuff.

I have to go offline to write now, but clearly the conversation is happening right now, thanks to the fanlib guys, and I really wanted to get this out there.

A couple of quick ETAs:
I don't allow anonymous commenting, but if you don't have an lj or OpenID account and would like to comment, you can get one really quick right here. ETA: sorry, OpenID doesn't work with anon commenting disallowed, oops.

Also, please have no hesitation to have conversations among yourselves in the comments; I never mind that anyway, but in this case would like to totally encourage it. You can use the lj thumbtacks to track everything being posted in a single thread even if you don't want to get inundated with everything posted to the entry.
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It said over on otw_news to volunteer here on the giant thread so I'll add my comment.

I'm really interested in helping out in any way I can on this project. I've been following the FanLib debacle and new archive posts this week. I'm so proud of fandom that we can unite like this for a common goal.

I know a few programming languages including Java, Javascript, XML, CSS, and PHP. But I'm a wiz at computers and can probably pick up other languages/skills in a week. So if you need another code monkey I'll happily help out.

I'm willing to help out in other ways too. I'm good at organizing and advertising. I'll do whatever's needed.
Focus. Focus.

There are a lot of bright ideas here, and folks are bursting with energy, and there's lots of stuff that would be cool, but remember what sparked this off: fanlib.com

The most important goal, so far as I can see, is to show newbies and mundanes what real fandom is, what the best of fandom is; to be a gateway to the creative energy that fandom is.

For that goal, I think a site that connects other sites might work better than yet another archive. Because no matter how big, this archive isn't going to replace existing archives (especially venerable and well-run single-fandom ones like gossamer.org, Cascade Library, Heliopolis and Henneth-Anun). Where does that leave us? Would authors have to choose between archives, and risk missing out on audience? Or have twice as much work because they have to submit to multiple archives?

Then we have the trouble that some authors would refuse to participate if any of the content was restricted, and other authors would refuse to participate if certain kinds of content wasn't restricted. I don't know how we can get a win-win out of that dilemma.
I was holding off to see where things were going, but I guess this is where to put my name on the list to get contacted as a volunteer.

I can offer skills in coding and design - HTML, CSS, databases, programming, etc. Pretty much anything involved in making a website/archive other than making pretty graphics.

Also, astolat, OpenID comments get grouped with anonymous comments and therefore aren't allowed on this post either.
Hi. I found this entry through bookshop linking to it and I have to say, what a wonderful, wonderful idea.

I've been dying for someone to create a "perfect" version of Fanfiction.net. Something that actually WORKS and has no restrictions and is a safe place for fanfic writers and readers. It would be Heaven, and I'd create such a site myself if I had the time, know how or money.

But if anyone does attempt to get something like this off the ground, I'd be happy to throw up to $5.00 a month into a donation pot for the site. I think fanficcers have desperately needed something like this for years, and to see it become reality and actually succeed would be awesome.
I read, I tag, I organize, I analize survey data and know how to do pretty graphics to go with it. And I know that right now other languages are not of concern, but if multi-language ever comes up, I'm a Spanish speaker and willing to do some translation work.

I also think that the 'site connecting other sites' could be an answer, and should be analized at the same level as 'creating a big big archive'. I lack the arguments to sustent it, but others have done before me, so there.

I'll also be willing to be part of the 'historical preservation' bit, if something comes of it.
Actually, I think that other languages should be a concern from the get-go: internationalization is one of those things that's easier to build in to software if you think of it from the beginning than if you try to go back and retrofit later on.

The way it's typically done with open-source projects is to plan an interface so that it can be served in different languages (rather than one that's stuck in just one mode) and then depend on volunteers to do the actual translations... which I think you maybe just volunteered for (?)

(Also, this all applies to making multi-language versions of the site interface, not to translating the stories in the archive -- editing people's posted stories is a whole separate issue.)
Hi! Um, I just came across this and, I'd like to say, I'd be happy to spare some time for this once my finals are over (June 6)!
I'm a self-taught webdev, so I can help in coding... I don't do super-fancy things, but I can deal with HTML, CSS and js. And will be learning PHP/MySQL over the summer.

Also, if you need some translation work, I can do English to French translation. :))

I also know someone who offers free (no, free!) webhosting, but I don't think it'd be suitable for something this big... But I'll ask him anyway.

I'll volunteer some ideas to the brainstorming session when I'm not supposed to be studying...
That's a lovely idea! I'm not sure how easy it would be to put it together, but count on my help and that of all the folks at Unknowable Room if it actually does!

I've had an odd idea for quite a while, and I'm not sure if it would actually work, but perhaps it would be possible to run a fanfiction archive on a MediaWiki basis? Just a thought. It's very Web 2.0 and all.

Chan

A few pages back I didn't want to be the first person to raise concerns about having chan on the proposed archive and harshing everyone's fannish buzz, so to speak. So I am glad others have brought up the topic, so now I can post my concerns.

My .02 - for what its worth.

Unfortunately, because of my job, I could not support, post or donate to an archive that had chan on its site. I don't know of any school board that would allow any teacher of children to remain teaching if it was ever found out that I was actively involved with a site that even inadvertently promoted what some countries deem as 'child pornography' i.e. chan. (Notice I said "some countries" and not me.) I would be fired and more than likely banned from teaching forever if my real life name was linked with such a site. Heck, I know that linking my name to slash where two male adults have consensual sex is risky in my profession! Being linked to chan would equal career suicide for me. It is one of the reasons all my fiction is on Skyehawke Archives.

I wish this was a perfect world, and we could write what we want, post it where we want without fear of repercussions, but that isn't the case. Other people have pointed out the legalities of chan, so to me make that makes it a no-go in my opinion for any archive concerned about being sued, arrested, etc. I know my opinion won't be popular, but...

Re: Chan

I have to agree with this one wholeheartedly. Aside from the huge moral issues I have with it personally, chan, as other people have pointed out, is illegal in Australia. I'm in a profession where I come into contact with children daily. If I frequented or supoorted a site that hosted chan, I'd be in danger of losing my job, not to mention potentially becoming the subject of police investigation.
I don't think that even a site as nifty as the one your dreaming of would entice me to leave the comfort of LJ-based fandom, though reading your responses, I'm not sure if I'm in the minority. Not to be a downer -- I'd love for something of this magnitude to succeed, and my opinion is open to change after a site is up. I just like keeping under the radar, being able to self-filter things I don't want to see, and most importantly, the social aspect of a network-based fandom. It allows for such a mixed medium of fan works too -- art, vids &etc.

I like being in control, and honestly, don't see why it has to change. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? I like trolling del.icio.us adultfanfiction.net and fanfiction.net for stories outside the norm of my f-list. I even google -- I realize I could be eating my own words if your archive facilitates searching in a way that far surpasses mine, but I really don't have a need for it right now. I'm satisfied in my current fandom experience.

I love this idea, because searching for new, good fanfic is one of my biggest aggravations sometimes, but I definitely think that the idea of a central linking site has more likelihood of happening than an actual archive, simply because of the difficulty that would go into something as big as that archive would be. I would participate in any way I am capable, that I can tell you. I'm no programmer, but I'm free for about two months this summer for grunt work if you need me.

volunteer info

I'm a tech idiot, but I have experience with managing non-profit/volunteer organizations. I'm currently the treasurer for a (sometimes contentious) community non-profit involved in an ambitious building process, and I've been on that board for about five years. I don't have a ton of time, but I'd be happy to do whatever I can on the organizational end of things, plus low-tech gruntwork.

(Personally, I think I'm even more psyched about the possibility of coming up with good ways to index, search, tag, rate, etc. fandom's existing archives than I am about building a central archive itself. We need an inviting, accessible gateway to the world of fanfic, but the gate doesn't need to *be* the world.)
I have *no* idea what I could contribute other than money and assistance--doing what I have no idea--but I'm willing on both.
DEFINITELY in. I can't really do anything technical [I can maybe use Photoshop for like banners or stuff? XDDD] but I totally want to be in.
Also, a suggestion? Perhaps if there was an option for fanfic to be translated [with an extensive staff of translators] as that would totally expand fanfiction beyond belief. I suppose if said site goes mega HUGE it would become a problem, but for those savvy in languages or looking to do so [I have intermediate Korean, as an example] this could be something to hone their language skills in. :D Plus, fanfic would be totally international. Amanuesis, for an example, is probably only known in the English-speaking HP fandom [assumption, I don't know if that is true.] If she was known in other countries, it would probably be the most awesome thing EVER.

Plus it would hone your language skillz. ;D Just sayin'.
I don't know if there's already a thread on this, seven pages of comments is a bit much for me... ^^;;

Don't non-corporate multi-fandom archives already exist? Ignoring the Pit, there's still MediaMiner, and I even have an ad-free all-fandoms archive of my own at dotmoon.net. It doesn't have all the features you specify but I'm constantly working on adding new things. Why the extra effort of building a new site from scratch?

I guess I'm just a bit unclear on how this project is supposed to differ from existing sites.
I guess I'm just a bit unclear on how this project is supposed to differ from existing sites.

Massiveness. :D

Seriously though, most archive sites aren't that great on a technical level. I have a very hard time navigating MediaMiner, for example. The fic and the maintainers are just fine most places, but the sites themselves aren't capable of sustaining the level of traffic or degree of flexibility that's being contemplated here.

Volunteering...

There's not that much I can offer, but if you're planning internationalization of the site software or anything like that, I can do Japanese translation for you. My email is atsurou (at) gmail. I realize it's a little early for that, but just putting it out there, I don't have any other great talents XD; I get the impression that the overwhelming majority of people here are from the Western media side of fandom, though; if by chance you might want the perspective of anime/manga/Japan-based media fans, I can be of some help in that area.
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