starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
Stepping Stones: Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 3-9
April brings another fund drive for the Organization for Transformative Works! Fundraising is an essential stepping stone to running the OTW, which involves a tremendous amount of work, as well as a rather impressive set of costs associated with doing that work. The OTW is run by fans, for fans, and we need the support of our fellow fans to keep doing what we’ve done.

And the support of our fellow fans thus far has been a stepping stone to doing quite a lot: Transformative Works and Cultures, Fanlore, Open Doors, and of course the Archive of Our Own, to say nothing of the OTW’s legal advocacy, which has secured fair use exemptions for vidding under the DMCA before the U.S. Copyright Office for two cycles running, are all supported exclusively by donations from our supporters. For more information about what the OTW does, you may watch this video, recently created by OTW staff and partners:


A donation of US$10 or more will allow you to become an OTW member for the next calendar year, giving you voting (and bragging) rights, and giving us the financial support we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing, and to become better at it. Thank you.
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
The OTW is hosting a meetup next Sunday, November 3, at 2631 Fulton Street in Berkeley! More details at the link, including an Eventbrite RSVP.

I'll be there, and I hope you can come too!
starlady: the AO3 cake is not a lie (cake is (not) a lie)

It's time once again for the OTW fundraising drive! I've committed my own money and time to the OTW because I believe in its mission and because I personally love the AO3 from the bottom of my heart, and the drive is a chance for everyone who loves the AO3 and/or the OTW and its projects to show their support for the same. In particular, you're investing in the future of the AO3, and your money will go to the support and preservation of fanworks in a very real way. <3

Visit the donation page! (And then once you've done so, please tell people about it!)

starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
Fandom Is Love: Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 3-9


Fandom is love. It's also, in the form of the OTW, a tremendous amount of work, and a rather impressive set of costs associated with doing that work. The OTW is run by fans, for fans, and we need the support of our fellow fans to keep doing what we've done.

And we've done a lot: Transformative Works and Cultures, Fanlore, Open Doors, and of course the Archive of Our Own, to say nothing of the OTW's legal advocacy, which has secured fair use exemptions for vidding under the DMCA before the U.S. Copyright Office for two cycles running, are all supported exclusively by donations from our supporters. A donation of US$10 or more will allow you to become an OTW member for the next calendar year, giving you voting (and bragging) rights and giving us the financial support we need to keep doing what we've been doing, and to become better at it.

Over the past four years I've continually been impressed by the dedication and commitment of OTW staff and volunteers. But we wouldn't be anywhere without our supporters who donate, so thank you.
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
Stand with EFF and OTW



Read more about the 2012 exemption proceedings here.

The OTW and EFF need fans, vidders, remix artists, and others to show their support for maintaining and expanding DMCA exemptions for remix video. There are 3 ways to help:
  1. Sign the Rip.Mix.Make petition; and/or

  2. Submit comments as described in this post from EFF; and/or

  3. Help spread the word (you can cut and paste the banner code from this OTW post).

Comments are due by February 10 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

(c&p'd from [personal profile] juniperphoenix)
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
OTW logo: red circle with an arrow. Text reads: Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive October 9-16, 2011

It's the 2011 OTW Membership Drive! if you care about the direction and sustainability of the OTW and its projects (such as the AO3, Fanlore, TWC, etc), join the Org now. $10 USD gets you full voting rights for a year. If you join by 17 October 2011, you'll be eligible to vote in this year's Board election. Voting in the Board election, particularly this one, makes a very real difference. With four open seats, the 2011 Board election is particularly important, and potentially transformative.

In addition to granting voting privileges in the Board election, pledges to the OTW also go to support the Org's projects, including its flagship, the Archive of Our Own. The AO3 is a pan-fandom archive that welcomes all users and is working on supporting all types of fanworks, but to keep the lights on and the servers running we need money, plain and simple, and money won't come without your support.

And you can also get cool swag. I have to say, my OTW mug is pretty darn awesome.

ETA: Board member Rabbi Rachel Barenblat has a post on donating to the OTW before Sukkot.

For those interested in the AO3, the Tag Wrangling Committee is having an open house on Saturday 15 October!
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
I am exhausted, late, and at altitude, so have some links:

[personal profile] julia_beck, Ada Lovelace Day

OTW, Ada Lovelace Day

[personal profile] lucyp's tribute to [personal profile] lim

[personal profile] via_ostiense, three heroines

AO3, tribute to [personal profile] sidra


And Nele Noppe has a guest post on Comiket at the TWC Symposium blog. It's a great portrait of an essential aspect of "contents industry" fandom in Japan that has only minimal correspondence in the States, and a great read.
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
Dept. of Oh Snap
New Delicious has killed old Delicious.
[personal profile] bookshop, reaction post
[personal profile] epershand, Pinboard elving exchange brainstorm post (soon to be a reality)
[personal profile] facetofcathy, rundown part 2
[personal profile] unjapanologist, fannish bookmarking service = want, also, Diigo censors bookmarks
[personal profile] somnolentblue, linkspam

Other people have had a lot of good things to say about this; I've been very happy with Pinboard since I joined six months ago (I'm starlady on Pinboard; also, I highly recommend adding the Pinboard buttons to your browser bar), and the owner [twitter.com profile] pinboard has been nothing but welcoming and responsive to fannish users. Yes, it costs money, and I know it is therefore beyond the reach of some people, which I find incredibly frustrating and obviously makes it not the best long-term solution as things stand. But I'm by no means wild about Diigo's silent censorship, TOS, deciding its users are spammers, and account deletion. I don't think AO3 bookmarks will ever be a replacement for Delicious, either, but I'm not averse to seeing them gain more functionality.

[personal profile] anatsuno has a link to a public Google document listing requested Pinboard features
and via [personal profile] copracat, the Great Delicious Migration spreadsheet


Dept. of Transformative Works
Speaking of the OTW, the Board Election chats have been scheduled.


Dept. of Miscellany
Alex Ross is just a fantastic writer in general.

I'm going to Minneapolis tomorrow and am basically completely unprepared. I'll see you when I see you.
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
The news out of Fukushima Daiichi is mixed but possibly looking very slightly up for the time being--radiation levels 500m away have decreased slightly, as has the temperature detected in the No. 5 fuel pool, and they hope to have power to the cooling systems on Nos. 1 and 2 by sometime on the 20th Japan time. The NHK has been broadcasting some handheld video taken by one of the JSDF personnel (?) inside the plant yesterday that's rather disconcerting--there's rubble all over the ground and the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors are clearly heavily damaged, but the sun is shining and the sky is perfectly blue. In the meantime, increased levels of Cesium-137 and Iodine-135 have been detected in spinach and milk from near the plant, and the number of people confirmed missing or dead has risen above 19,000.


But I started this post to talk about two awesome OTW things, yes, that's right.

The Archive of Our Own is gearing up to host fanart on its servers! *throws confetti*

The OTW is hosting an open ballot on naming the seven new AO3 servers until 22 March!

And on a related note, the Ada Initiative has a survey about women in open technology and culture (i.e. projects like the OTW, the AO3, DW, Wikipedia, etc…).

starlady: the AO3 cake is not a lie (cake is (not) a lie)
One year ago the Archive of Our Own entered open beta, where it remains, in revision 3304. When we entered open beta, we were on--iirc--revision 1300 something (1398?). It was pretty exhilarating watching the number of users rise by the minute that day; I'm still exhilarated by the AO3, honestly.

The AO3 is still in open beta; it still has a lot of performance issues--we are two years ahead of our initial usage estimates, which means we will be buying new servers next year, hooray! which would not be possible without the support of our donors, i.e. our fellow fans. The AO3 is for fans, and by fans, and we want it to reflect what fans around the world want to see in their omnifandom archive. So if you have thoughts about the looks, features, styles, performance or whatever about the AO3, tell us! All feedback is read by real live human beings, and hearing from users what users want makes a huge difference for coders writing features and people conceptualizing features. There's a lot more to come in the next year! 
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
We've owned the servers, and run the Archive of Our Own on them, for one year today. Happy Birthday, servers! 

In celebration of which, I have one invitation to the AO3 to give away--it's yours if you want it! First come, first served. (Otherwise you can add your name to the invitation queue.)

See you at the party!

starlady: Anna Maria from PoTC at the helm: "bring me that horizon" (bring me that horizon)
L'shanah tovah! Eid mubarak!


Speaking of Eid, [community profile] eid_ka_chand is running its Eid-al-thon fanworks challenge, which is being sponsored to raise money for flood survivors in Pakistan. There's a little less than 48 hours left--if you can contribute a drabble, or a microvid, or some icons or meta focusing on Muslim characters in fandom, please do!


Also, [personal profile] wistfuljane is organizing a Most Awesome Asian Characters & Celebrities fest in honor of Trung Thu, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Go check it out! Comment! Contribute!


And finally, the OTW will be hosting a one-year birthday party for the Archive of Our Own on September 13, midnight to midnight UTC. More details at the post--party attendees will get commemorative graphics and door prizes, and there will be cool new features launched too. I'll be there at some point myself.
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
We just broke 100,000 fanfics on the Archive of Our Own.

100,000 was apparently a Smallville/Batman crossover, and 100,001 is a consensual tentacle fic.

Yup, I ♥ fandom.

starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
I thought I might see some posts about the 20th anniversary of the ADA on my reading page today, but instead it's full of the awesome news that the Library of Congress has granted a DMCA exemption for vidders, media studies scholars, and cell phone jailbreakers! (Link goes to [community profile] otw_news, the DW mirror of the Organization for Transformative Works' blog). The OTW was the major proponent of the explicit language in the decision that acknowledges many aspects of vidding as fair use, so hooray for fair use, the OTW, and the LoC! \o/

More links about the decision, and the text itself, are collected here.

That said, let me just quote the last paragraph of the initial blog post (emphases mine):

One final note: because of the restrictiveness of the law, we have to do this all over again in two years. We need your stories to help, because the Copyright Office needs to see evidence of the need for an exemption: tell us why you need high-quality source to make your vids, why they are transformative, and/or why you don't use screen capture. You can comment, or email the OTW's Vidding Committee any time.

Fair use has to be defended, and the OTW can't do it without you, fans and vidders.
starlady: Fuck you, it's magic.  (kick ass fantasy)
Transformative Works & Cultures: Nationbending
Avatar: The Last Airbender
September 2012

Avatar: The Last Airbender is that rare animal: American-produced anime faithful to both its Japanese cinematic influences and its pervasive Chinese iconography. A vast amount of research was invested in bringing a fantasy Asian environment to life: martial arts master Sifu Kisu choreographed each fight and assigned specific fighting forms to each character; a Chinese calligraphy consultant wrote the signage that appeared in each episode, and the series’ creators visited China to study its traditional architecture. These elements create an enticing mash-up of genuine Asian signifiers within a fictional environment. The series’ popularity encouraged a live-action film adaptation from director M. Night Shyamalan. Fan controversy erupted when white actors were cast in roles previously “played” by characters with dark skin. Protests against this act of “racebending” included T-shirts and bumper stickers with the slogan Aang Ain’t White!, the founding of Racebending.com, and a renewed discussion among online fans about the long cinematic history of whitewashing and yellowface

This issue aims to investigate the cultural significance of A:tLA as a transforming and transformative text. Like the Avatar, A:tLA and its settings and characters have many incarnations online, on television, on film, and in print. Likewise, the definitions of anime, cartoons, Asia, and race have been bent by fans and producers alike. A:tLA is part of the ongoing transformation of American media in a global context. We welcome contributions focusing on Asian studies; media theory and film studies; religious studies and anthropology; postcolonial and queer readings of the series, the films, and the fan works they have inspired; reviews of both canon and fanon texts; interviews with both canon and fanon producers; and reviews of relevant texts, whatever form they might take.

TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing. Contributors are encouraged to include embedded links, images, and videos or to propose submissions in alternative formats: interviews, collaborations, podcasts, comics, drawings, video, multimedia works.

Theory: Often interdisciplinary essays with a conceptual focus and a theoretical frame that offer expansive interventions in the field. Peer review. Length: 5,000–8,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.

Praxis: Analyses of particular cases that may apply a specific theory or framework to an artifact; explicate fan practice or formations; or perform a detailed reading of a text. Peer review. Length: 4,000–7,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.

Symposium: Short pieces that provide insight into current developments and debates. Editorial review. Length: 1,500–2,500 words.

Due dates

October 1, 2011, for contributions for blind peer review (Theory, Praxis). November 1, 2011, for contributions for editorial review (Symposium, Interview, Review).

Guest editor
Madeline Ashby, Ontario College of Art & Design

Contact her via the form at: http://fandomresearch.org/?page_id=36.
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
In other words, the still-pervasive notion that folktales, especially fairy tales, are primarily "kids' stuff" owes a great deal to 19th-century racism, classism, and religious bigotry.

Endemic to this line of theorizing is the assumption that the folklorist, the one collecting and interpreting folklore, is not of the folk: the folk are always the Other. Traditional folklorists were educated bourgeois outsiders who traveled to rural areas in their own lands—or, better yet, foreign locales—since one cannot find folklore among one's own group, because only "they" have folklore—"we" have Culture (Toelken 1979, 3–7, 265). This did not change until Alan Dundes redefined the folk as "any group of people whatsoever who share at least one common factor" (Dundes 1965, 2)—thus including everyone, including educated bourgeois folklorists, in the category of the "folk." […] [note 7]

note 7: This distinction between the "folk" and the "not-folk"—as well as the revision of these definitions—is of obvious relevance to fandom studies. Fans have traditionally been figured as the Other, responding in unofficial and often "bizarre" ways to the official culture industry. The rise of the "aca-fan" as a category has gone a long way toward dispensing with these problematic assumptions.
--Catherine Tosenberger, "Kinda Like the Folklore of Its Day: Supernatural, fairy tales, and ostension"
(Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 4, 2.6-7)
It's not that this is news, necessarily, but I do like it when people are able to synthesize so cogently and pointedly. And in the next paragraph there are some very perceptive comments on class (and folklore) in The X-Files. Oh, TWC, I ♥ you.
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)

9-15 March 2010 OTW Membership Drive

There will be more about this from me before the end, but I wanted to post this now. Donations make the OTW and its projects like the Archive of Our Own possible (that's right, fan contributions paid for the servers that the fans own). So please do consider donating, if you can!

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