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21 December 2008 @ 08:24 am
This is what a dying fandom looks like???  
Okay, I've been hearing pretty much since July how that now that the series is over and they haven't announced plans to restart the anime adaptations that Inuyasha is a dying fandom. "Oh, woe!" the cry has gone out. We'll have to be less picky in our awards communities now so we won't drive away the few remaining authors willing to put effort into a thing of the past. Everyone is moving on.

Bollocks!

I'm sure it'll happen eventually but if numbers are anything to go by then the fandom doesn't even have a stuffy nose yet so don't start planning what flowers to send to the funeral.

Back towards the end of September I discovered that I could subscribe to feeds from FF.Net and Media Miner so that I'd get a notice in Google Reader every time a new story was posted in the category I subscribed to. I get the title, author, rating, pairing, summary, posting date, and with FF.Net the completion status, if tagged. In one of the optional views I also can get a count of how many stories have posted since I subscribed.

Inuyasha has had nearly 5000 stories at FF.Net alone. From October 2nd to December 20th. That means that will be OVER 5000 stories for the quarter to chose from when IYFG nominations roll around. Pity things are dying so we don't have as many to chose from any more.
'
Now granted Harry Potter gets 700 or 800 a week and Naruto is up around 1000 a week BUT Inuyasha beats every OTHER category I subscribed to hands down even all the various Batman categories combined. It beats Narnia, Yu Yu Hakusho, Sailor Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Lord of the Rings. Heck, YYH, PotC, and LotR get less in a month than IY gets in a week.

Now, I'll concede that traffic on the message boards I follow related to Inuyasha dropped right after the end of the series but so did the traffic on boards that had absolutely nothing to do with Inuyasha. it was slow at Urban Legends and Folk Lore even though the final months of the US Presidential election were generating a ton of wild rumors that needed to be tracked It was Summer. Traffic always drops in the summer because people take vacations and can go outside and do stuff instead of huddling around their computers. Now that it's not Summer I can't keep up with the between quarter traffic at IYFG. I've been at least a hundred messages behind every day this week.

People are still going to be crying about how the fandom is dying though even in the face of evidence to the contrary until at last, several years from now, they are right. After all, every two or three quarters at IYFG somebody whines about how it's the same authors winning everything and they should be banned for being so good it's not fair to have to compete against them and someone, usually Ren, posts stats showing how the percentage of repeat winners is actually very small and there are new authors who have never won before winning every quarter which gets ignored when the cycle starts again and some of the same people start bitching all over again.

I can see what fuels that mess, people want to get rid of the really good authors so they have a better chance. It's childish and shows a lack of faith in their (or their friends) work but it serves a selfish purpose. I don't really understand what people are getting out of the whole dying fandom myth though. You'd think we'd get enough angst from the fanfic to meet our RDA without generating more.
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LuxKen27: Equalsluxken27 on December 21st, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
I think part of the problem is, that most people "in the fandom" are actually in a very small circle of the fandom - they read only a select portion of their friends' work, or a few comms at LJ, or whatever. And, what with the wrapping up of several big, ongoing stories (like Phoenix Blade), people are getting restless. The BNFs maybe aren't writing as much as they used to, or have made good on their promise to 'blow this joint' once the manga ended. I don't know. Maybe we're in a transition period, from the last set of BNFs to the next set - there are a lot of new writers showing up in the contest comms, and (what few) recs have been made to the IYFG have been of some fairly new names/faces.

Plus there's the fact that a lot of the new stuff is (apparently) Sess/Kag, which apparently ruffles a lot of feathers.

My beef with the IYFG right now is the utter lack of participation. That, for certain, HAS fallen off with the end of the manga - but again, we all know the IYFG has its own sets of problems, so I'm hesitant to blame the end of the canon universe for it. There hasn't been any bitching (this time around) about the same people winning over and over and over, but there has been resistance to change and opening up the guild to attract new members. The fact that it descended into wank is not surprising, but apparently was rather off-putting.

So, yeah, it's all about perspective - if your favorite, go-to authors are moving on, there may be a sense of panic rising that the world's about to end.
ranuel: Bitchy Mystiqueranuel on December 21st, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Phoenix Blade is actively being revised and there are plans for more stories set in that universe once that's done and Forthright is just as productive as ever (how on Earth does she do it?) but I agree with your overall point, there are natural beats in any fandom when several things all happen to end close together and the next big thing hasn't started yet.

I'd be making recs at IYFG but I don't like posting to a list unless I've read all the posts. I break that rule from time to time if I think nobody else is likely to have said what I have to say but nobody wants three people all recommending the same fic so I hold off. If it's like other quarters by the time I DO get caught up the rec period will be over.

My biggest problem with IYFG isn't the wank, lord knows it has more than its share, but the antique list serve structure that Yahoo uses. I'm on dialup and I can either wait for each...individual...post...to...load or try to follow the conversation in the digest where things aren't always in order. Moving to LJ isn't a solution since it isn't designed to do the same things that a forum does but if I can get caught up in time to make the recommendation I think moving to Delphi Forums or some other host with a better format would make a difference.

The pairing that I hate right now is Hiei/Kagome, mostly because most (not all) of the people writing it have no qualms about completely screwing over their characterizations, and the characterizations of the entire supporting casts of both shows in order to wedge them into the plot the author wants to do.

You get that with Sesshoumaru/Kagome but there are still enough people willing to put in the hard work of dealing with them as themselves and still getting them together that I don't automatically skip over all the stories about the pairing.

You may be right about people only seeing one small corner of fandom and thinking it's the whole thing. I follow stuff at LJ, FF.Net, Media Miner, Yahoo, Paper Demon, Y!Gallery, and some private sites and I'm still out of the loop on some things, like the contest communities, that I simply don't have time for. It may be that people who haven't been fans for 6 or 7 years just don't know what's out there. Perhaps a directory or links page would be a good idea for the IYFG website if they don't have one already.
ranuelranuel on December 21st, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
And I managed to leave out half of my thought on Hiei/Kagome.

The reason that the flood of OOC fics particularly irritates me is that I've gotten so tired of wading through them that I rarely bother to click on ANY YYH/IY crossover now even though I think the two worlds can mesh really well. They've managed to spoil and entire category of fic for me.
LuxKen27: Equalsluxken27 on December 21st, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Phoenix Blade is actively being revised and there are plans for more stories set in that universe once that's done and Forthright is just as productive as ever (how on Earth does she do it?)

I only named that one because its the first one that came to mind, that would fulfill the requirements for all the wank - a (seemingly) never-ending story, written over the course of three years, by a well-known author, which kept sweeping all the awards it was nominated for. Goodness knows its not the only fic like that, LOL. But I seem to recall that around the time it ended, there were some other 'big' stories that drew to a close as well.

Forthy does it because she participates in a bunch of LJ communities. I've seen my own productivity shoot up by participating in the weekly comms, but I don't know that my writing as gotten all that much better LOL.

I'd be making recs at IYFG but I don't like posting to a list unless I've read all the posts. I break that rule from time to time if I think nobody else is likely to have said what I have to say but nobody wants three people all recommending the same fic so I hold off. If it's like other quarters by the time I DO get caught up the rec period will be over.

Well, let me just say that *NOBODY* has been making recs to the guild, in the last few quarters even. I'm sure folks wouldn't mind a break from the bitching if they could get a few leads on some good stories, LOL :P

My biggest problem with IYFG isn't the wank, lord knows it has more than its share, but the antique list serve structure that Yahoo uses. I'm on dialup and I can either wait for each...individual...post...to...load or try to follow the conversation in the digest where things aren't always in order. Moving to LJ isn't a solution since it isn't designed to do the same things that a forum does but if I can get caught up in time to make the recommendation I think moving to Delphi Forums or some other host with a better format would make a difference.

I agree that Yahoo is kinda outdated for the Guild's needs. Even LJ at least threads things, and you can skip the threads you aren't interested in reading...but goodness knows there will be a rage-ful outcry if the mods even contemplate moving away from Yahoo (eyeroll).

A forum would be the best bet, but considering how much of an issue control already is, it's probably for the best that no one person owns or administrates the server for the guild. I only forsee danger and even more copious amounts of wank if that comes to pass...

You get that with Sesshoumaru/Kagome but there are still enough people willing to put in the hard work of dealing with them as themselves and still getting them together that I don't automatically skip over all the stories about the pairing.

It seems Sess/Kag inspires some extreme emotion in most, though - either love it or hate it. Maybe some people who only like the canon pairings are upset that there's been a boost in Sess/Kag stories? Again - just speculation, but it seems there is a strong anti-Sess/Kag bias at the IYFG. Which is fine; that's what Dokuga is for right LOL?

You may be right about people only seeing one small corner of fandom and thinking it's the whole thing. I follow stuff at LJ, FF.Net, Media Miner, Yahoo, Paper Demon, Y!Gallery, and some private sites and I'm still out of the loop on some things, like the contest communities, that I simply don't have time for. It may be that people who haven't been fans for 6 or 7 years just don't know what's out there.

That's more than I keep up with! :P I mostly read stuff here on LJ, or take recs for fics on MM.org or FF.net, but I rarely go searching through the great piles of fic to find new stuff. It's terrible, but I just don't have the time or energy to do that! (And I feel bad, because it wasn't so long ago that *I* was that new author hoping someone would give my stuff a chance...)

Perhaps a directory or links page would be a good idea for the IYFG website if they don't have one already.

The whole website needs to be overhauled in my opinion, but it does actually have a link to (some of) the archives out there.
Abraxasdr_abraxas on December 21st, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
personally, i don't buy that the fandom is dying or will be dying any time soon. it may take a while just for the established authors to leave but you never know who'll come in and shake it up again. we'll see what happens with other awards like the FA and Dokuga.
ranuelranuel on December 21st, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's a real test. If the number of fics is still strong and other awards communities are seeing good participation then we will have to face that any troubles IYFG has are not due to the fandom dying but to issues that we can address.
LuxKen27: Equalsluxken27 on December 21st, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
The IYFG has issues beyond a finished manga; I think that's evident to anyone willing to look at the guild's structure, the resistance of the current moderation pool to change/ideas, and how the population at large is treated.

I don't know about Dokuga, but the FA has also had some participation woes. The new mods there are working to overhaul the system, and hopefully they can boost that group's profile a little. It's one of the few that honors art as well as fic, which is always nice to see :)
ranuel: Anti-Drugranuel on December 21st, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
I had a link to FA at one point but I was totally confused by how things worked there and then lost the link. I think that I have them friended but I wouldn't swear to that.
LuxKen27luxken27 on December 21st, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
The group here is fa_awards, and the website is http://www.feudal-pulpfiction.net/fa/
ranuelranuel on December 21st, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
Abraxasdr_abraxas on December 21st, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
i think a lot of the participation issues has to do with yahoo. back in the day. yahoo was the place to be, but now there's lj and facebook and all of that so no body hangs out at yahoo anymore. when dokuga started it was yahoo group same as the iyfg; the level of participation was not that bad, actually, i remember it was either the first or second time we did it and there were 87 nominations across the board. the real problem always comes back to voting though and that was abysmal. again, people aren't going to yahoo to see what's new there and so probably don't know how to get to the iyfg or how to work the polls. once we switched to the website participation was as good as always and voting skyrocketted. last quarter we saw almost 100 nominations and the average category received between 150 to 200 votes. not bad for what ought to be a small group of fans.

i'm going to be brutally honest here: very little will change at the iyfg. just look at the resistance to lj. they'd have heart attacks if they knew the dokuga uses blind nominations, opens nominations and voting even to non-members and tracks everything by ips so there's not funny business. (restricting by ip, which is what we do - we monitor how many times an ip can vote - it's must safer than yahoo's user/login system.) a change that fundamental will not happen so we're going to see the same issues reply again and again. nothing that's been said since December is new, by the way, and, jeez, i felt like i was fighting the same old battles again :/

by comparison dokuga is a joy
Abraxasdr_abraxas on December 22nd, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
curse my inability to edit posts! only voting is open to members and non-members; you have to be a member to nominate.
LuxKen27: Equalsluxken27 on December 22nd, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
not bad for what ought to be a small group of fans.

Apparently - for good or bad - Sess/Kag is where all the fangirlies are running, LOL. I won't complain ~ I love the contest group here, and its quite busy. Anytime I go to the Dokuga site it seems like its a pretty tight-knit group of folks. I'm not surprised voting went so well the last time around. Having the nom form in the profile and a constant link to the voting form was very, very handy: no search required.

(restricting by ip, which is what we do - we monitor how many times an ip can vote - it's must safer than yahoo's user/login system.)

I'm encouraged that they are looking into voting from the website, but there's no way they can have voting in two places (website + Yahoo) and not have issues with it. They need to choose, one or the other. I'd hope they'd move with the times, but it seems suspect, as you say.

nothing that's been said since December is new, by the way, and, jeez, i felt like i was fighting the same old battles again :/

Indeed! I'm probably one of the few "newbies" who's actually gone back and read the archived messages (cuz I'm a big nerd like that) and I see that the guild has struggled with its existence for most of its lifespan. Unfortunately, it seem the people who took over after you stepped down as head mod have some issues with regards to running the list as efficiently as you did. The tighter they squeeze their hold, the more resistant they are to suggestions of change, the faster the guild is going to die. *shrug* Just my opinion, of course.

I don't know what they'd do without you. Seriously. I'm surprised you're still hanging on, even if it is by a thread!
Abraxasdr_abraxas on December 22nd, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
Anytime I go to the Dokuga site it seems like its a pretty tight-knit group of folks.

it is and they're very active in general. they've taken the change well and many of them have stepped up when things were rough. it's just so different; i was drawn into it even though i'm not a sess/kag writer.


Having the nom form in the profile and a constant link to the voting form was very, very handy: no search required.

that's our webmistress, Miss Kagura, she's the brains behind the website :)


but there's no way they can have voting in two places (website + Yahoo)

true; when we switched to the website we left the yahoo group open to collect nominations and votes. the website activity far outweighed what came out of the group. after that it was no contest, the group was out, and we made a clean break away from yahoo.


Indeed! I'm probably one of the few "newbies" who's actually gone back and read the archived messages (cuz I'm a big nerd like that) and I see that the guild has struggled with its existence for most of its lifespan.

yeah, it's pretty ugly sometimes, especially toward the end of 2005. as i recall there were major problems with the lead moderator at that time. when the older people complain about mods stepping over the line it pretty much comes back to those episodes.


Unfortunately, it seem the people who took over after you stepped down as head mod have some issues with regards to running the list as efficiently as you did.

i put a lot of effort into the group (one of the reasons why i resit leaving it comepletely) and for the most part rl issues don't knock me out like it does others. i don't have kids to take care of, and stuff like that. i know a couple of the mods had serious rl issues. i got to say the job is a major drain; i had to leave 'cause it was dominating too much of my life and, yeah, i get tired of dealing with the same bs :/

LuxKen27: Not your brother-in-lawluxken27 on December 22nd, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
they're very active in general. they've taken the change well and many of them have stepped up when things were rough. it's just so different

Indeed. I wonder if the forum environment helps foster that sort of participation, too - it's much easier to chat and get your point across on something like that (with threads) than on a list. I really dislike the list format.

i put a lot of effort into the group (one of the reasons why i resit leaving it comepletely) and for the most part rl issues don't knock me out like it does others. i don't have kids to take care of, and stuff like that. i know a couple of the mods had serious rl issues. i got to say the job is a major drain; i had to leave 'cause it was dominating too much of my life and, yeah, i get tired of dealing with the same bs :/

Well, that's the thing - you had the perspective to step back and say, okay, I can't do my job anymore. I don't think the current mods have that. I'm not saying "OMG they can't have real lives and the issues that come along with it" - no, I'd never say internet fandom is more important than dealing with RL. And we all know shit happens. But there's nothing wrong in acknowledging that and taking a step back, before you end up acting foolishly.

I know what a thankless job it is to be an admin/mod. (Been there, done that.) It really sucks, and you have to *want* to do it to make it work. I just question the motivation sometimes. If nothing else, at least be honest with your members - hey, we're having problems, but we're attempting to get back on track. Silence is deafening, you know?

But yeah, I second ranuel down below - thanks for sticking around and helping out. A lone voice of reason in the last bit of wank-spolsion, haha. You're seriously appreciated, even if we maybe don't tell you as often as we should :)
ranuelranuel on December 22nd, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
I thought they would have heart attacks when the QC was started. If it had been put to a vote it would never have passed. Thank goodness for loopholes.That's one of the few big changes that have ever gotten through.

You are fighting the same battles over and over again and it's sad and frustrating. People say they want an active group that honors the best in fanfic but they want to put up all sorts of barriers to both goals.

Thanks for all you do to keep things on track.
Abraxasdr_abraxas on December 22nd, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
i still remember how nervous i was when it was announced. that place is just impossible to please sometimes. i think it's getting to me somewhat but i'm too stubborn to quit yet.