tiyire: (Default)
I was on an official vacation for a couple of days before New Year´s, and then I took an extra few because I needed them. I just checked in once a day, saw that other people had things well in hand, and could relax. It was fantastic. Today I finally read the backlog of emails, and maybe tomorrow I can start actual work again. But I could take another day if I need it, that´s so much less pressure than before. Our Wiki committee staff is great.

Today in "Why I love Fanlore," I tried to look up a term on Fanlore that I was almost sure wouldn´t be there yet because it´s only a few weeks (maybe months?) old, but it already has its own page with a good explanation and links and citations.

To a good 2015, with Fanlore growing and developing, a stable and growing Wiki committee, and no apocalypse.
tiyire: (Default)
Sometime in early 2013, shortly after I became chair, I stopped editing Fanlore. I didn´t really have time for it what with OTW stuff and also with RL being bumpy, I was spending enough time on Fanlore anyway and a lot of it wasn´t pleasant, it just wasn´t really fun anymore. The whole year I edited the wiki almost entirely for committee-related stuff.

And then somehow about two weeks ago I started again. Just a bit, but it´s great, I think I missed it. I´m out of practice, but I´m learning again.
It´s probably a sign that things are getting better: RL is looking ok, the committee is expanding and doing relatively well (I don´t even wait for the day I can resign anymore!), and despite the complications Fanlore is still up and running. And how: we recently passed 25,000 pages and 500,000 edits \o/

I still have plans for pages to edit, I hope I can keep it up :) *knocks on wood*
tiyire: (Default)
Reasons number far-too-many-to-count why I love Fanlore: Kindle Worlds, Timeline of Fandom and Profit. And so many other great new pages that I haven´t caught up with yet.
([personal profile] morgandawn has a great collection of links related to Kindle Worlds here.)

A recent email to the gardeners mailing list was titled "Twitter seems fascinated with Fanlore´s entry on Vulcan genitalia today." Every once in a while I´m reminded that the things I spend my free time with might look a little bit weird to outsiders. I don´t care, I love it.

I feel like I´m behind on hundreds of things, and many of them unfortunately important RL stuff. Sorry I´m taking so long with certain projects, if you need an urgent reply to anything maybe put the title in capslock.
tiyire: (Default)
Some words about OTW Board Approves Meta Hosting on the AO3: I´m happy with the result, but not with the way it was announced. There should have been better internal preparation, especially more time for Comms/Support (*sends cake*), and I also think the announcement could have been much clearer. I would have appreciated a clearer "we want to have this one day, but please don´t start uploading all your meta right now!" and a commitment to have media tickyboxes soon so meta (fandom nonfiction) is easier to filter out. It´ll be better next time.

I was relieved that the meta discussion doesn´t directly involve Fanlore when our image policy came up again. Some of the points that were brought up in various places are exaggerated or in some cases outdated (everybody who was involved with the committee side of the 2010 discussion has left) or untrue, but I´m aware that there are problems with the lax way our image policy is often handled on Fanlore, unless somebody complains. I´d like to address this and work on better guidelines, but Wiki currently doesn´t have the resources to do this at all. I know it´s hard to hear requests for patience again and again, but there´s currently nothing we can do. I could expand on the reasons why, and once we have some time to breathe I´m looking forward to discussing how we can improve how Fanlore deals with fanart. (That´s a lie, I´m not at all looking forward to it because it will most likely be exhausting, but it´s necessary, and hopefully it will be productive.)

We have so many exciting projects planned. Some that are necessary (policies), some that we just want (forum), several that are somewhere in between. We´ll do the necessary ones first, and originally I then wanted to ask for input what we should do next, but I´m not sure if we´ll have time for that this year. The next, then :) One step after the other, and we´ll be fine.
tiyire: (Default)
Working for a fannish org has wonderful perks.

For example there´s this: The epic love story of @fanlore_news and @podfic, which is brilliant.

Today I was catching up on transcripts of other people´s meetings (as you do, to stay up to date on stuff) and suddenly I was reading a seduction scene. Highlights included roleplaying Captain Jack, sharing half-naked Derek Hale, suggestive talking about interfaces, and refreshingly honest discussions about hooking each other up with other partners. The AO3 already has OTW RPF as a fandom, that means it´s totally fine to ship my fellow chairs, right? xD
ETA: It´s been decided I´ll be in the choir during the wedding. Other topics talked about today: how the OTW could be more like Pokémon. Sometimes I love working here. (And other times I remember the work for uni I should be doing...)

I always forget to use any time-tracking tool, but I estimate that I need about 10-15 hours a week to make sure I don´t completely fall behind on everything. Which is hard during a vacation :( (Otoh, skiing!) I´d also need about 5 extra hours to read through the internal wiki that I don´t have. There´ll be a point where I´ll have lost more than 5 hours because I didn´t know that stuff. Still no time-turner *sighs*
tiyire: (Default)
While surfing Fanlore I came across the List of OTW 2011 Board Election links again. (Should this be a subpage? No it should not, and I should read the talk page before asking.) Whoa, these are a lot of links. No wonder I lost so much sleep trying to follow the discussion. And I wasn´t even a member of the org yet! I don´t want to know how that time was for those who were, it must have been pretty terrible.

But reading the posts again also reminded me of the good parts: the OTW is still standing! And how. The AO3 gets more shiny every month and has over half a million fanworks by now (!!), Legal and OD and Journal are doing great work that not always gets a lot of attention, so do many other committees, and have I mentioned lately that Fanlore is fantastic? Because it is.

ETA: I just found an article with the first line "Is one of fandom's biggest organizations now in jeopardy?" The future is always uncertain, but no, the OTW won´t crumble because NN and FC are gone. Especially in light of the discussions around them at the 2011 election this is funny to read.

Sure, we haven´t solved the issues that came up over a year ago yet, but from what I can see we´re definitely on the right path. A long and slow path, with some wrong turns, but we´re getting there.
Some of the biggest problems that were named in that discussion were sustainability and volunteer burnout, transparency, diversity, management. It´s hard to say much because I of course have a limited perspective, but:
- I think VolCom´s new way of recruiting will help with volunteer burnout because new people know better what to expect, committees can get the people they really need, and VolCom makes sure the committee has training resources in place
- I didn´t follow the OTW closely enough to say how much they revealed before and of course now I see it from the inside, but I think several committees have made an effort to be more transparent (e.g. SP, Wiki, Board minutes etc.)
- I don´t have much contact with I&O; in Wiki we´ve decided to return to concentrating on outreach once we´ve solved our other issues, and I´m completely okay with that
- There´s an effort to improve volunteer management led by VolCom (I´m really looking forward to their chair training project!) I can´t say much about strategic management from the Board, and it´s probably not easy for them because of the many personnel changes, but I think the current Board members are smart and have good ideas and intentions, so I´m cautiously optimistic.
- As for communication within the org, I´m not sure if it seems better to me because it got better overall or just because I know more people by now and, as chair of my committee, I have more self-confidence to talk to other people/committees and say "how about we do X." I´m hoping it´s both.

I think this discussion, as messy as it was, was healthy for the org as a whole. Otoh I didn´t see all of the consequences and fall-out, and I´d be interested to hear other perspectives. I´m very grateful to the people who got involved even though it must have been extremely stressful.

That was a long post to say that the actual page about the OTW 2011 Board Election is still a mess. I´ve been telling myself that I´ll fix it one day for a year now, and I´m not sure I´ll ever get around to it, and in the meantime some posts have been locked. If someone were interested in cleaning up a paragraph or so (small steps!), that would be great.
I could have done that instead of writing this. Procrastination and I are old friends.
tiyire: (Default)
Ten days almost-holidays in Berlin! I will likely have no internet access, and I´m half tempted to play a game where I lose every time I worry about what´s going on at Fanlore/OTW regardless. Not a drinking game, the outcome would be bad. Even though I know it´s stupid, it´ll be perfectly fine without me.

Happy New Year!
tiyire: (Default)
It´s finally official that I´ll take over as Chair of the Wiki committee next term. I knew and have been stressing about it for months now. *clings to aethel* I´m not sure if I´d want the job if I wasn´t pretty much the only candidate: there are still so many things I don´t know! I only discovered Fanlore about one and a half years ago and our documentation is very bad, so there are several things I´ve only heard rumors about. Fortunately there are people I can ask.

What I plan to do is basically 1) find out who knows and can do what, 2) delegate (I hope that´s the right word, at least, dictionary isn´t clear and I´m tired; oh, this is going to be so much fun), 3) keep track of projects and things. Projects include documentation, recruitment and training, forum, design, new server, probably dealing with survey responses, new help and policy pages, hopefully outreach, and probably some other stuff. I want to work together with other committees more closely, and I want to keep doing more frequent updates of what is happening at Wiki for our gardeners and editors. We started doing that this year and it seems to be appreciated.

Or something else might come up and everything might become even more chaotic, who knows. Wish me luck, and sleep, or coffee.
tiyire: (Default)
I joined the Wiki committee in February. Now it´s December and I finally feel like I mostly understand how those parts of the OTW relevant for Wiki work! Yay? Emphasis on the "mostly". I might be over-confident, but there is definitely progress.

We keep discovering things we could have done better, especially in regards with the mediawiki upgrade, and it´s sometimes hard not to get defensive - okay, I get that this wasn´t ideal, but cut us some slack, the whole situation was very chaotic - but in general our users have been nice and very helpful, because they are the best. We´ll do better next time.

Some day soon (ahahaha) I´ll have the time to sit down and figure out how exactly our category system works. I understand the gist of it when I look at the color-coded diagram, but I still get confused when people talk about it.

Only a few days until the OTW term ends officially! Not that Wiki can afford to stop working during the break (please, Santa, can we not have an identity protection request around Christmas/New Year?) I want to do a "look what we did this year, we are great" post, but there´ll also be a lot of "things we planned and didn´t do, we are sorry, here are the reasons why." It doesn´t help that there´s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that we can´t really talk about or that is still unfinished, and that we unfortunately have to finish before it´s sensible to start new projects. But we will, and Fanlore will keep getting better every year.
tiyire: (Default)
I just completed the survey from the Strategic Planning committee for Wiki committee staff members. I didn´t think it would be that long even though I saw the whole survey in advance. It´s sad that the question (paraphrased) "what are some things Wiki should change internally" took me a long time to answer because I had so much to write down, "what are 3 things Wiki should prioritize internally" took long because I couldn´t choose, and "what is something Wiki does especially well that other committees should know about/adopt" took long because it was hard to think of anything. Oops.
On the plus side I have a lot of (more or less) concrete ideas for how to improve things, so that´s good.

If you occasionally edit Fanlore, it would be fantastic if you filled out the survey made by the Strategic Planning committee, more information here. I hope the survey for editors is shorter, otherwise we probably won´t get many completed surveys... Once this one is finished we´ll be waiting for the results of two different survey´s, last year´s general OTW´s and this one´s. I´m very much looking forward to all of the results.
tiyire: (Fanlore adding fandoms)
Are you watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? Why not? I love it so much, and yet it´s difficult to talk about it because all I want to do is excitedly flap my hands at people. Lizzie! And Jane! And Charlotte! And Lydia, oh my god Lydia. And Mary, and Maria, and Bing Lee who is so cute!
...this doesn´t explain very well why you should watch it. So. The above link goes to the main homepage, because the actual story is spread across youtube, twitter, tumblr, and various other sites - I´ve never seen something that took advantage of the internet´s myriad of storytelling possibilities in this way before, and I love it. And yet it´s not difficult to follow and you can choose how much of it you want to track. Maybe one of the best words to describe it is "fresh" - it feels real, current, modern, lifelike, not at all like something written a long time ago. This is both testament to the writers´ and actors´ skills and to the wonderful story Jane Austen wrote.
LBD is the first thing that makes me seriously consider getting a youtube and/or a tumblr account, just because that´s where this fandom is mainly happening and I want in. I guess it´s only a matter of time. Every new episode, of the main storyline or one of the others, surpasses my expectations and makes me happy every time. :)

So of course I made a Fanlore page about it! Very stubby because I´m not really in the fandom yet. Please add anything if you know more? The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
(And if you have a Tumblr account, feel free to spread the word ;) )
tiyire: (Default)
A few months ago Hockey RPF started showing up on pinboard.in/popular/fandom (which is a wonderful automated rec list that helped me find many great fics in fandoms I normally don´t read.) I don´t think I´ve ever watched a full hockey game in my life, but I enjoy the stories. Competence porn ftw! Everyone trains and constantly tries to become better, many fics have a lot about teamwork and improvement strategies, and the romantic pair gets turned on watching each other be brilliant on the ice. It´s great.

And then there are scenes like one I read yesterday, that I can empathize with: when a team, even though they´re trying their best, isn´t doing very well and then they have to justify it to the press. Sometimes things just don´t work, nobody knows why (this is sometimes partly a lie), and you feel bad because you disappoint people´s expectations, but you don´t know what to do to make things better immediately.

On a different topic, I´m still reading f_fa, and sometimes it´s hard not to be too obvious (I probably failed already.) I can understand very well that people wonder why we don´t have a forum yet, but we actually do know that they´re not that hard to set up and it´s not the technical part that is taking so long. I´m curious how many of those people who keep talking about how easy it is to start & manage a forum (who unfortunately didn´t see our past requests for help) will volunteer to help once we can recruit again. If even a quarter of them do, that would be fantastic.
tiyire: (Default)
Why is it that I always remember all the emails I want to write and discussions I want to continue and other things I should do when I don´t have time for them? In this case because I´ll be away tomorrow and probably on Sunday (and I should have gone to bed two hours ago.) And of course I forgot about that and did the least urgent things first, because I am great at procrastination. There´s still so much time left! - then I remember the weekends that I´m away, the time other people in the committee are away, the inevitable delay until other busy people reply to your emails, the hopefully-not-as-bad-as-anticipated election chaos coming soon...
If I´m tired enough to post this I´m clearly too tired to write emails and should go to bed.
tiyire: (Fanlore our story)
Yesterday evening the OTW held an org-wide meeting. Afterwards I had very interesting discussions in chat with people that helped me clarify several thoughts about volunteering. Most of them not very flattering to the org, but the topic of the org-wide was constructive criticism. (After the org-wide I still don't know where best to say this. I'll just write it here and send an email with the link, I guess.)

First, some personal background. I became a member of Wiki in February 2012, after discovering Fanlore and editing in July. I was already familiar with Fanlore: I knew about the dw comm and the infrequent editing chats, I knew about the gardeners, I'd briefly talked with Doro and aethel before and knew that they were good people. When I signed up at the beginning I mostly felt confused, but that's normal, right? So many new tools, new people, new things to do. And it got better! Very, very slowly. It took me months to realize that something was wrong, that it wasn't just me missing something.

If you look at the history of the Wiki Committee on Fanlore you'll notice that last year it consisted of four people, and one of them (Doro) only joined late in autumn. Amy and Rachel both left, leaving aethel in charge of the committee. Now take a look at the current committe: we are eight people, more than Wiki had in a very long time. There were two other people who joined this year and then dropped out. Of these eight, as far as I know five (plus the two who dropped out) hadn't known of Fanlore before they joined.

Clearly this is not an ideal situation! And there were several factors that exacerbated the problem.
First, aethel had never been in a management position outside of Wiki before. The only experience she had was being a co-chair in 2011, on a small committee full of experienced people, something that is entirely different from managing and training a whole group of newbies.
Second, the existing documentation was terrible. Some of the pages on the internal wiki dated back to 2008 and hadn't been updated, most procedures weren't described at all.
Third, Wiki was planning to start several big projects, most notably a forum and a mediawiki upgrade. This of course means a lot of work and stress especially for people new to this.

What should have happened?
Most importantly, someone should have recognized the problem. All three factors were known well in advance. People who should have noticed include, but are not limited to, the Board liaisons and Volcom. (And aethel herself, but see #1.)
As a result, aethel should have received extensive training as a chair and a lot of support from both Board and Volcom. Training and support with things including training new people, establishing communication structures, a lot more help with communication with other committees, and moral support.
I don't know exactly how much support she did get, but when I asked her if there was training for chairs she said "er, not really?", which made me want to throw something against the wall, hard.

As a result, Wiki had to reinvent the wheel: find out how communication works in our and with other committees, figure out how best to train new people, how best to delegate, how to keep track of things when multiple people are involved, and at the same time try not to mess up with any of their projects. All of these things could have been avoided. It was a giant waste of time and energy, and some of the issues are still not solved. I'm not surprised anymore that two people dropped out soon and some still feel confused.
But at least we recognize the problem now! That took some time, too. Now we just have to wait until we get a break between the felt 50 emails every day and somehow figure out how to fix this. No problem. Right. Maybe someone has a magic wand.

So what do I want in the future?
1. Training and support for chairs. A lot. This is extremely necessary, and will make so many other things much easier. It should happen as soon as possible.
2. Documentation! We're working on it, and it's already better than it was.
These are the most important things that I see, but of course there are several other improvements that could be made. Some of them are already being worked on, which is good, if several years too late.

As for me, the only way I didn't lose all of my enthusiasm and energy for Wiki work was to take breaks when I needed them (i.e. exam time, vacation...) That isn't easy either, especially when you're working on something. But it worked so far, and I'm very excited about some of the things we've planned. It's getting better.
tiyire: (Default)
I loved creating new pages on Fanlore. It's fun! Almost addictive! It's a nice feeling to look at a page you made, and in most cases even the research was fun. Fanlore was shiny and sparkling, so in my enthusiasm I joined the Wiki committee.

Looking back, I've only created one page that I wanted to since February. I made some gardening edits, and I participated in discussions that can become unexpectedly complicated, but that thing that originally made me fall in love with Fanlore: almost nothing.

It's probably because Wiki keeps me busy: all the time I had to write Fanlore pages before now goes into organizing stuff (and not enough - ugh, I don't like testing.) Being on Wiki is fun sometimes, but it's much much harder to put aside for a moment when you're not in the mood. I don't want to become less enthusiastic about Fanlore! But now when I think about it my first thought is "work", not "fun", and that's a problem.

Solution: ...wait for the summer holidays and make more Fanlore pages then? Wait until we have more chats, that I probably won't have time to attend? Idk. Or get a time turner. Or a TARDIS. That would also be very helpful with exams, come to think of it. Yes, definitely a time machine.
tiyire: (Default)
I've been trying to create a new mail address for this pseud without success for over a week. First I was waiting for a "temporary service interruption" at hotmail to pass, then I started looking for another free webmail provider. Unfortunately (or fortunately, but my sinking patience tries to tell me otherwise) I've read through far too many TOS and privacy policies and community guidelines and whatever other rules they have and haven't yet found one that is acceptable to me. Maybe I'm paranoid, but yahoo scans all content, gmail has practically limitless rights to every attachment and data I'm sending, gmx can verify your personal information... Yep, definitely paranoid by now. Doesn't anyone actually read this, or does nobody care? Is there anyone else who prints out the TOS of their credit card provider, highlights questionable parts in bright yellow and asks about them? Or asks to see the TOS of their new phone contract? From the reaction of the sales person there aren't (m)any. I also hardly have any apps on my smartphone because they all want access to personal information (wtf?) I thought there was still such a thing as voluntary privacy, but maybe I'm a few years out of date.
tiyire: (Default)
I'm slowly being drawn into Homestuck fandom: first I saw fanart, then I started to read the webcomic, then there was that one great fic, then another, then so many of them! and it's probably already far too late. But it's okay, because have I mentioned the amazing AUs? Wow. Nevermind how good the canon is, the fandom is even better.

It's a very interesting fandom to lurk be in. I came to online fandom recently and until now most of them had been somewhat similar: many journal-based book or TV series fandom have lots in common. (Anime/manga fandoms are a bit different, but I only lurk in those from afar.) Homestuck is different.

It's all over the place, on many different platforms, with an especially big presence on Tumblr. It's impossible to keep up with all of it; it's hard to keep up with canon, sometimes, because it updates so often! Not like series, where you get one hour weekly, or books, where you have to wait years. No chance to read all the discussion threads.
The fans seem to come from very different corners of the web. And the demographic is different: it was a bit weird to read on the MSPA forum that apparently "the default assumption in fandom is heterosexual male" because it's the opposite of my experience.

There seems to be a lot more art in Homestuck fandom than in most Western media fandoms. Probably because canon is done in MSPaint, with sometimes not-that-professional looking art: fans are not afraid to make art that doesn't look perfect, and it's wonderful. There is so much accompanying fanart done for stories, and music (!) done for stories, and RP, and cosplay - everyone is inspiring each other, it feels very alive. There are also more collaborations than I saw elsewhere. And a lot more fan comics! I don't know if fanventures (forum adventures, TVTropes calls them "interactive comics") are a thing anywhere else? I love them. And the idea of using Tumblr for additional worldbuilding for already elaborate AUs is great. And then there are computer games, vids, of course, and cookbooks, and musicals, and so much more. Fans are amazingly creative.

On a practical note, it's very convenient that so many Homestuck fics are hosted on the AO3 (because the AO3 offers customized skins :) ) I'm hoping that some of them might come over to Fanlore, because currently we have very little on Homestuck (see Category:Homestuck) and most of it is very stubby.

Unfortunately it's difficult to rec stories to people who don't know canon because even most AUs rely on a certain amount of canon knowledge. But there's a lot of pretty fanart! There are some recs tagged "Homestuck" at [community profile] fanart_recs, or just browse the AO3 or deviantart. Just as an example, the last piece I found and loved was A Study in Rose, Rose&Jade fusion with Sherlock Holmes.

/rambling here to collect thoughts I didn't know how best to put into the fandom page on fanlore
tiyire: (Fanlore adding fandoms)
(I now have the perfect icon for this post!)

Most people, when they find a new fandom that is tiny and that they want to encourage others to join, make a pimping post, create comms and/or fanworks, and squee. The first thing I do: Make a fanlore page about it. Heh.

Tower of God, a manhwa/webtoon that I read all in one sitting in 6 hours last night because I couldn´t stop. (Except in chapter 68 where I stared for five minutes at that one picture. Yes.) It has good art (colored!), very interesting characters (many of them non-human) & character dynamics, worldbuilding background, and it´s exciting. I have no idea where it´s going (if it´s going down the apparently logical plot route it will take many years to finish and it seems very unlikely), but I definitely want to find out. I also want all the Anak/&Androssi fanworks. *goes back to stare at chapter 68*
The huge gap on that fanlore page is currently Korean fandom - anyone speak Korean, by any chance? ^^

Check it out!
tiyire: (Default)
Fanlore is wonderful for procrastinating. (No, it is not 3 a.m., why do you ask.) It's also kind of overwhelming: unfortunately not only the information that is already there (so many zines), but even more so everything that isn't there yet. Woe. So even when I promised myself not to do any editing because I have studying to do, dammit, I still find myself planning pages and searching for links and so on and so on. Hopeless.
The pages I want to write mostly fall into two categories: those I want to do (my favorite SGA fics, stubs for my favorite writers etc.) and those I feel I should do (notable fanworks, smaller fandoms and fandoms I'm only lurking in, things that look like they require much research etc.) And now suddenly all of my favorite vids *sigh* They fall somewhere in between, so maybe I'll start there. Let's see if I get more done than rewatching all of them. In between exams.
This post brought to you by the fact that it is, in fact, past 3 a.m. I need a Fanlore icon, or a sleeeeepy one.
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