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03 August 2008 @ 02:24 pm
Mmmm, S'mores  
My silly high at finding myself in a reference work has been replaced by a silly high of being an actual part of a major bit of fandom wank.

EDIT TO ADD: Clicking on the Fan History Wiki link below will generate ad revenue for that site and for its owner. You might want to read the whole post before you chose to click or not. 

slwatsonleft me a tipoff  about the controversy surrounding the Fan History Wiki after surfing from link to link and finding slwatson's own first hand account in a reply to this I've learned following:

While most of the pages are bot generated there are some that have apparently received Laura's personal attention and according to reports in the links above the entries she has authored were not only not objectively written, but she baned those who dared to correct her work and make the entries more objective. So much for the idea of a democratic and fair sharing of knowledge inherent in a Wiki.

slwatson mentioned plans to market the site in her remarks at that last link. Which, in itself, isn't automatically something evil. More power to her if she can make a hobby pay, as long as it's done legally and ethically.

Yeah, well, about that last. When she has been able to learn them she has posted the real names behind the nom de plumes of various fanfic authors. Even when she has been asked not to because the person is an author of material that their families or employers would not be pleased with.

Remember the person earlier this year who got fired from her teaching job when she was outed as writing erotica on the side? Not part of this wank but a concrete example of why outing people is Not A Good Thing.

You know me, I have to make sure I have all the facts so I kept digging and found a recently posted apology and a promise to reorganize the site administration. Sounds good but interestingly enough the very first reply to this was by
slwatson and was posted several hours before she posted the warning here. She, and a couple of the other posters point to statements in the apology that they say they can document as untrue.

It's long past time to get out the marshmallows, I think. Don't you love the cheerful crackle of a nice hot fire?

I know none of the people I've linked to or who are quoted so I'm a slightly bemused outsider trying to make sense of some of the posts that assume that everyone reading knows exactly what is going on. I tend to believe that the people up in arms know what they are talking about but again, I'm an outsider and there may be things I don't know.

What is crystal clear, however, is that getting actively involved with that site would be akin to wandering across the field at an archery competition. I'm not going to add the link to my bio or in any other way connect myself further with it.

I did come across several comments questioning why something like this would be a good thing. I'd love an easily searchable site that provided all of an author's pen names, lists of story links, and accounts of fandom history. Who wrote the first documented slash story? (I know it was a Trek) Is she still active? Who won the masquerade at Comicon (with pics)? How about a list of conventions both current and past with information on attending the current ones and notes on what happened at past ones?

Right now you have to trust your Google-Fu and hope you get a lucky hit to research much of anything fandom related and a site that did for fandom what Wikipedia has done for other areas of interest would be great.

Maybe someday it will happen without it turning into Wankapedia.

Oops! My marshmallow just flamed! Time to blow it out and make some s'mores.
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SLWalkersl_walker on August 3rd, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Wankapedia... man, that is the greatest thing I've ever seen.

http://delicious.com/tag/fanhistory%3Aexpose <-- tons of links, some duplicates, but overall fandom reaction to this fiasco so far.

But here's the one where the 'marketing' of Fanhistory was discussed by Hale herself, and one (of many) of the reasons that fandom is really pissed off at her right now:,+from+my+point+of+view,+the+number+that+are+probably+going+to+be+the+most+problematic.+%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us
This is the Google-cache of her own journal.

"If you are making more than you need to operate, figure out some way to kick some back to the users in give aways or contests. And then, if you're asked, tell your users that all the extra money is going into a savings account for the site to help cover costs in the long run. Say this even if it isn't true."

There's a lot of lying about how much she's making. In one post to a 'for sale' webbie, she asks for (get this) 500K! for Fanhistory and claims to make $1000 a month on it. But elsewhere, she claims that they've made nothing. She's also written her laptop, phone, etc. off on her taxes as a business expense, when Fanhistory hasn't actually qualified as a business.

Total mess. But 'Wankapedia'? You OWN.
ranuel: English Isranuel on August 4th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
*bows* Thank you.
jazzy_fayjazzy_fay on August 3rd, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
I agree that it (or something like it) could be a great boon not only to the fandom itself, but to the academic study of fandom. However, I'll flat out admit that rather than feeling any sense of "squee" or what have you, I was sort of perturbed to see my own screenname given a page (even if it's only a bot-generated stub) without even a "by your leave" or "hey, come check this out."

ranuelranuel on August 4th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
Knowing that she sent a bot out to comb FF.Net to create hundreds, if not thousands, of pages I doubt that she even knows our entries exist so I wasn't surprised by not getting a notice. It is a little creepy to think that there is material out there on us that we don't know about that is public though.
jazzy_fayjazzy_fay on August 4th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
It is a little creepy to think that there is material out there on us that we don't know about that is public though. Exactly! I mean, I realize that even just a single fandom can be huge, and combined...well...it's probably beyond the human scope to compile even the most basic database for so large a group, but somehow sending a bot to comb through all those author profiles is just too sinister for me.
spirit_dogspirit_dog on August 5th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
The people that were outed by fanhistory (not myself by the way) have requested that you not link to the site itself, or not link to it without an anonymouzier (sp?). The site generate money through pageviews from adds.
ranuelranuel on August 5th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
While I can appreciate their position asking my readers to condemn something sight unseen, just on my word, or the word of the people I link to, would be intellectually irresponsible. They are all adults and can make a choice to click, or not on their own. If I were to kill the link they all know how to Google anyway if they were curious.

I will, however, edit the post to make it clearer that if they do click they will be giving her money.
spirit_dog: Richard2spirit_dog on August 5th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
I respect your view, and would like to suggest adding an anonymizer to you're link so that it doesn't add to the google pagecount for it. Information on it can be found here. However please be aware that it has been stated by the site owner to use wank to drum up traffic, and I hope everyone considers that before they choose to or not to click.
ranuelranuel on August 5th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely clear from the post your linked to or the wiki entry that I clicked through to from there how exactly that works but I stuck the tag in anyway.
spirit_dog: Richard2spirit_dog on August 5th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I'm honestly not sure myself, but I *think*, and please correct me if its wrong, that it might tell search engins like google that follow linking to take a hike. Again, I'm not totally positive myself