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September 2019



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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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There are nine pages of comments and I haven't read them all, so forgive me if this has been mentioned: I prefer archives that allow links to the story on the author's own website as well as uploading of story files. I feel safer knowing I have the ability to remove my stories from the web (more or less, Wayback Machine not included, etc.). I know that also creates an issue with the website disappearing or links getting changed. On the other hand, that wouldn't be a huge problem if you had a way of tagging links so that they can easily be found and validated by a team of volunteers--or a program, maybe.

Also: I can't do much with coding beyond HTML, but I can help with other things that don't require specific technical knowledge, and I've been involved in several archives in the past. Let me know if I can help.
I emailed you before I saw this post; sorry.

I can offer moderation skills after two years herding cats at Milliways Bar and a brief stint correcting comma spliced at the writing forums at FictionAlley Park. If you need somebody like that, please let me know. :)
I don't have any particular computer skills with anything really, but I'd love to help out in any way I can be of use. This seems like a brilliant thing to be a part of, and I really, really hope it'll come to fruition.
I sort of debated about commenting on this, since for personal reasons I can't get involved, but I thought it might be a point worth making (if it hasn't been already in all these comments!)

You say that you want this archive to preserve and transmit fannish "history and tradition." This is a great idea, but there are a LOT of different fannish traditions, and I really hope that you make an effort to include all of them. As a largely gen-only fan, I personally would find it somewhat disappointing if the Face Of Fandom Archive ended up being the Face Of LJ Slashers. I know that The Sentinel has (had?) a very large, enthusiastic gen/smarm contingent, and at least back during Season 4, so did Stargate SG-1. It would be nice if you could reach out to some of these people and try to get a really representative team working on the archive.
I'm sure everyone would love to see a diverse group working on this. (Though if they're going to be working on the technical side, I don't think reading/writing preferences are very significant.) Personally, as one of the aforementioned lj slashers, I don't actually know a diverse group of fans, and I don't know where to go find such a group. Please feel free to point your non-slasher friends to this post. If the archive has a nice format and is easy to use, I assume that it will interest all kinds of people. Is there something in particular that you think we should be doing to reach out to people?

For that matter, is there something about this post that you find unwelcoming to gen readers/writers? I thought it sounded pretty inclusive.
My personal suggestion would be that you put out announcements of this archive everywhere, on mailing lists as well as LJ communities, to let the greatest number of people possible know about this. I'm sure there are some people involved in this project who have those connections. Of course, I am not hugely active in fandom these days, so maybe you've already done this and I don't know!

It's not that I thought the original post sounded exclusive, it's just that I wondered if the recruiting and planning would spread outside the section of fandom where it started. (And I thought it sounded a little like it was assuming there's a single fannish culture, which there isn't.)

Now, there will be a certain group of fans who refuse to participate at all in an archive that houses chan and RPS, but that isn't your fault, it's just that you can't please absolutely everyone. And these days, I suspect that contingent will be kind of small.
Well... I personally did post on one of the few mailing lists I'm active on. I wouldn't want to just randomly spam people though, especially if I have no idea how a given list normally operates. Do you have any suggestions of places that get a lot of traffic and that welcome unsolicited advertisements?

The thing is, no one's officially in charge here, so there isn't any particular defined plan to advertise. There isn't any recruiting as such--People are just showing up and volunteering.

Requested features on page one

Lipsum's out line was helpful, but I though a list of just features might be nice. So here's a list of just requested features, for page one:

* Automated rec list
* Okay to remix flags
* Insta-challenges
* An API
* A turn-off-feature feature
* RSS feeds
* Post here and LJ feature
* Levels of privacy for content (only my friends can see this, only members, etc.)
* Comment options (visible to everyone/only the author)
* Thanks button for the shy
* Search by most recs/hits/thanks
* Anonymous thumbs up/down
* User configurable notifications (new chapter, WIP is finished, etc.)
* Options for reading long fic (single page, multiple pages, etc.)
* Support for podfics, ebooks, downloads, etc.
* Trust networks for recs

If this is helpful, do another page!

Re: Requested features on page one

Hey, this is terrific, but we have a couple of volunteers actually collecting up the entire discussion and picking out the suggestions -- it'll be going up on otw_news this week. If you haven't joined over there, please do! We totally will need lots more help like this. :)

Re: Requested features on page one

Ah, the entire time I was doing it I had a sinking feeling it was redundant...
Thank you. This is like a lifeline, as the thought of people who don't even try to understand and certainly don't care about our..hobby? Thing? What we like to do. Of those people being the arbitrators of our world? It's not to be borne.

We might not always all agree with each other, and the fandom road is anything but smooth, but in our hearts we're all part of the fandom community. We care about it, even when we don't always agree with everyone involved in it. But there's a condescending, patronising guile to that lot's responses to the fandom communities' criticism that bodes ill; it makes me slightly ill that a bunch of fools, who haven't the common sense to feel out their market before making their play, are in in charge of *anything*. The only way to avoid them, or someone like them, getting their piggy snouts into our business is to do something about it ourselves.
How about a standard disclaimer for every featured show. The author wouldn't have to add anything, because it automatically shows up at the bottom of the page. You could always add a little something for your OC's. (God knows, my own disclaimers tend to be; I own nuthing... and I admit, I occasionally just forget flat out).
Oh and an after edit function like LJ and the pit of voles has, so that you can correct embarresing flaws even after posting.
I will point out that www.asstr.org (adult content, the alt.sex.stories text repository) has been doing something very much like this for quite some time--you might talk to them about how well donation-supported sites with high traffic work, and how to make them work better.
So late to this party but seriously thank you and everyone else involved with this for giving fandom a safe space 👍
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