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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.

I think the necessary features would include:
  • run BY fanfic readers FOR fanfic readers

  • with no ads and solely donation-supported

  • with a simple and highly searchable interface and browsable quicksearch pages

  • allowing ANYTHING -- het, slash, RPF, chan, kink, highly adult -- with a registration process for reading adult-rated stories where once you register, you don't have to keep clicking through warnings every time you want to read

  • allowing the poster to control her stories (ie, upload, delete, edit, tagging)

  • allowing users to leave comments with the poster able to delete and ban particular users/IPs but not edit comment content (ie, lj style)

  • code-wise able to support a huge archive of possibly millions of stories

  • giving explicit credit to the original creators while clearly disclaiming any official status

Other dream features of my own, which I throw out in a brainstorming spirit:
  • posting interface that would allow you to post to the archive, to your blog, to your personal lj, and to up to (say) three lj communities you specify

  • making it easy for people to download stories or even the entire archive for offline reading (thus widely preserving the work in case some disaster does take it down)

  • options for people to post podfic or ebook format versions, translations, links to fanart/fanvids, stories inspired by, the original story, all of which would automatically be linked back so you could see the kind of interconnecting 'web' of how our work is interrelated (with the original author able to delete any given link if she wanted to, but not the inspired-by work itself)

  • tagging

  • automatic rec lists (just click on a story to add it to your rec list)

  • charity auctions -- we could do an annual fundraiser and send whatever is left over to charity

  • mentoring: collect up writing advice, fannish history, acafandom, and create a simple FAQ (integrate a wiki?)

  • beta-editing: an interface where you could send your story to selected other readers without worrying if their email addresses had changed (like @livejournal addresses, except everyone would have them, not just paid users)


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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Comments

[[OOC: Please excuse my RP journal.]]

I heartily un-second this dream feature!

Everything else I love, and I'd be totally willing to help out if I had any way to do so, but this particular feature sounds kinda bleh to me. Amazon.com has it, and shoves it in your face every chance it gets, and it's one of the things I hate most about Amazon. "WHAT you bought Furuba Vol 5??? We have to recommend Furuba Vol. 2, cause of course you haven't read THAT one yet!" ugh.

Also, on challenges/communityish things in general: If you don't want to put pressure on the coding/project management people, you could have a few people set aside just for the purpose of creating monthly/weekly challenges. OR you could take suggestions from users.

What I like about this idea (of challengey stuff in general) is now you can have several challenges in different categories per week/month. For example, there might be a slash challenge, a het challenge, and a gen challenge. This makes it more likely that any particular user would come back to check it every time there are new ones, since it's more likely that her particular "kink" will be up there. If all the challenges are on one page, it would also encourage branching out into other fandoms/pairings/genres/styles.

You could also have a seperate page (or a page per fandom) where people can just submit challenges and have this be a constant thing, instead of regulated monthly or weekly. That way it's very little skin off mods' teeth and the kids still get their challengey fun.

Anyway. That's my two cents. If this project ever happens, and you want someone to create challenges (especially of the slash variety) you should find scarlet_malfoy (that's her LJ, I don't know how to link a user) and talk to her. Can't wait to see this project in action.

+1 for automated rec lists 2.0 and turning features off

But, see, for just as many folks who would hate a feature like this, there would be people like me who would LOVE to have it. I've found some of my favorite purchases on Amazon using that feature and it's one of the few things that's kept me using it.

Then again, the way I feel about almost all these features outside of the site's most basic infrastructure is that having ways to turn them off would be ideal. That's what I love about using Firefox--how much I can customize it to my own experience, so instead of being forced to put up with something I don't like, I can find a way to make it work for me. When I envision this site, I can already foresee people writing Greasemonkey scripts to do just that, actually.

Honestly, I think that having only the most basic features be universal with the options of a lot of customizations would make the most people happy. Of course that makes more work in set-up, but then again, that's why I'm not volunteering to make any of these decisions. *g*