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In ur bookmarks, tagging ur fanfic
October 4, 2011 9:23 AM   Subscribe

The restructuring of Delicious offended a large subset of its users- the slashfic fangirls.

Fans considered relocating to either Diigo or Pinboard. Unfortunately, Diigo didn't support the "/" character, and deleted Delicious refugees for "spamming." Pinboard, on the other hand, reached out to the fanfic community, and the fans promptly descended. (Good thing Pinboard was prepared even before the 2010 Delicious exodus.)

When Maciej Ceglowski, the man behind Pinboard, asked for a list of features they'd like to see on the site, fans swung into action. They delivered a collaborative twenty-four page spec document within a day, then set up a poll to vote on the most important features they wanted to see implemented. It didn't stop there. Fanfic writers and readers set up a Livejournal community to ease the transition, and are now trading gift accounts for fanworks.

Not everyone is pleased. Longtime techie and entrepreneur users are confused and uncomfortable at the amount of fanfiction invading the Popular page. Maciej reassures the old users while welcoming the new. And true to form, there is fanfic about the whole mess. (SFW)

TL;DR version, in dramatic format.

Previously.
posted by cereselle (64 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
Longtime techie and entrepreneur users are confused and uncomfortable at the amount of fanfiction invading the Popular page.

Noobs.
posted by kmz at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


It never ceases to amuse me when people pretend to be shocked and appalled that ladies write stories about fictional men kissing. "OMG THERE'S FANFICTION?! EW EW EW WELL AT LEAST I CAN FEEL SUPERIOR TO THAT"

Maciej's letter was a thing of beauty, though. Put a grin on my face all day.

Meanwhile, anybody interested in the future of electronic fiction publishing ignores the cultural and technical achievements of AO3 at their peril.
posted by pts at 9:31 AM on October 4, 2011 [20 favorites]


Hah, looks like I was wrong. The spec doc ended up being 50 pages.
posted by cereselle at 9:34 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


55 pages. Although that took 2 days, not just 1.
posted by cereselle at 9:35 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Diigo was also very jerkishly pearl-clutchy about "inappropriate words like 'sex' and 'porn'" appearing in public tags, which surprisingly did not motivate people to start publicly spamtagging the most egregiously explicit furry vore chan they could find, for the lulz.

presumably because people are just not dedicated enough to internets anarchy to spend all day googling "furry vore chan".
posted by elizardbits at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


That ficlet is, if you're excuse the pun, delicious.
posted by kmz at 9:38 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have to admit, seeing this on the front page made me cringe - the phrase "fangirls" is so belittling, and I thought it was going to be a thinly-veiled Haw haw lookit the girls and their stupid porn thing. But the collection of links here are actually pretty awesome. Maciej's post at Pinboard in the way it treats fandom.

This fic-writing fangirl is pleased.
posted by Salieri at 9:43 AM on October 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


There are slash fanboys as well. I've heard.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:45 AM on October 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've been a bit nervous about looking at the ficlet (thx for the SFW tag), but damn, that's cute.

When Maciej tweeted about the spec document, I couldn't resist browsing through it...and then I found myself adding to it, and writing a blog post about how I back up my Pinboard links to my blog! And realizing that I probably want to tweak that process some, mostly to find a way to preserve my tags. Thanks, fandom!
posted by epersonae at 9:45 AM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I fully support anyone interested in helping to bankroll and develop software I love, even if we don't bookmark the same things. More power to 'em.
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:46 AM on October 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Still amused that outwith the UK, Livejournal appears to be looked upon as the home of slash fiction and 'fandom' - there was a thriving London-based community of indie kids, film fans and smart cookies that seems really at odds with the perception of LJ on this site. Most of it's moved to Twitter now, but while I have little time or interesting things to write about, I miss it.

Having said that, I still remember the MASSIVE FURORE that occured when LJ started pulling journals that were dedicated to erotica involving underage Harry Potter characters.
posted by mippy at 9:46 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh god, the one feature I wished for the hardest oh delicious was the ability to filter out tags, specifically because of the fanfic peeps spamming up the 'awesome' tag. Sad to hear they've latched on to my newly-beloved pinboard.
posted by mullingitover at 9:47 AM on October 4, 2011


Someone remind me which Blake's 7 actor hated slashfic (or drawerfic or whatever) so I can make my "Looks like Delicious is run by [that guy]" joke.
posted by griphus at 9:47 AM on October 4, 2011


Obsessive geeks find ways to make tools better!
posted by rmd1023 at 9:47 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maciej is also known for calling (1, 2) Paul Graham a weenis.
posted by michaelh at 9:48 AM on October 4, 2011


trunk.ly
posted by mrgrimm at 9:48 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm concerned, whatever occasional good they may have done online, fanfikkers become complete assholes in real life, and letting groups of them gather is a bad idea.

Oh, it wasn't the fact that they wrote fanfic, it was that they watched anime. Anime makes people horrible. Even, like, a minute. You watch the Dragon Ball Z intro on Cartoon Network while channel-surfing and the next thing you know you're Jeffrey Dahmer, eating people in your basement.
posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


Minor derail: I'm kind of weirded out at how the libyan top level domain become weirdly popular. I'd be worried that the Libyan government would fuck with my DNS if I became politically unpopular with them for some reason. (yes, this happens with things like .com as well, but I suspect the bar for action is (or until recently was) lower with .ly)
posted by rmd1023 at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey now, that's metafilter's own pinboard.
posted by delmoi at 9:52 AM on October 4, 2011


[A couple comments removed, let's try and keep it a little more nuanced than "all X are assholes".]
posted by cortex at 9:52 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Minor derail: I'm kind of weirded out at how the libyan top level domain become weirdly popular. I'd be worried that the Libyan government would fuck with my DNS if I became politically unpopular with them for some reason.
Did you miss the revolution that just happened? Actually in the past they didn't allow links that violated sharia law. Violet Blue had vb.ly or something like that, which was intended to be used for porn. But they actually shut her down.

I have no idea what their new policies were be regarding their TLD. I suspect it's way down on the list of things to worry about.
posted by delmoi at 9:55 AM on October 4, 2011


Yeah, I noticed the revolution - hence the "until recently was". I've just been looking askance at the upswing in .ly registrations since around the time I first noticed "bit.ly". BUT I DIGRESS.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:00 AM on October 4, 2011


Maciej is also known for calling (1, 2) Paul Graham a weenis.

I thought those threads were going to be a lot more exciting than they were.
posted by DU at 10:02 AM on October 4, 2011


> TL;DR version, in dramatic format.

Drama? On LJ? Inconceivable!
posted by jfuller at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I stuck with Delicious through the actual switchover, at which point the front end validation wouldn't even try my old, admittedly stupid password. So I could only get at my data via API, the password reset email was broken, and support was deadly silent. Finally I figured out I could pull my stuff via Google Bookmarks, import into Pinboard that way, and I haven't looked back. None of the new delicious.com features suggest they're headed a direction I like. Any reason to use Google Bookmarks?

Pinboard seems like what Del.icio.us used to and ought to be, and the whole thing has turned into an excellent example of how tech companies can basically force other folks to eat their lunch.
posted by freebird at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just looked at the popular page and didn't see much, if any, of this fanfic. I am disappoint.
posted by exogenous at 10:09 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use Pinboard mainly as a way to keep track of books I plan to read or recipes I might eventually get around to trying, but I am delighted to see fanfic taking over some of the tech stuff on the popular page. (Not that I read much fanfic because if I started I can see huge timesuck.) Anyways, I am pleased to see how responsive Maciej (he writes a blog and it is very good) is to users.
posted by jeather at 10:10 AM on October 4, 2011


I thought those threads were going to be a lot more exciting than they were.

Getting excited is even less cool over there than here.
posted by michaelh at 10:13 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like to look at language, and imagine how much you'd need to explain to help someone from fifty years ago understand a particular phrase.

"start publicly spamtagging the most egregiously explicit furry vore chan they could find, for the lulz." wins some kind of prize.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:13 AM on October 4, 2011 [38 favorites]


Sam/Dean
posted by cjorgensen at 10:18 AM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I count only 5 entries in the Piboard popular tag page including the word "fandom". This is too many?
posted by caution live frogs at 10:19 AM on October 4, 2011


If there's something illustrative about one's sense of place and duty in social media its this right here:
I've played with the new site and watched the reactions unfold on LJ, DW and Twitter for the past few hours so I now feel qualified to give some opinions on the changes. Now I just have to organize my four pages of scribbled notes.
I anymore only have the energy for an imagined audience to snarkily copypasta and reformat some shlub's runup to analysis: I can't imagine the audience fulfillment drive that this effort must have taken. I imagine it is, in a weird way, real pressure.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:21 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


presumably because people are just not dedicated enough to internets anarchy to spend all day googling "furry vore chan".

Oh, I'm dedicated enough... apparently.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:33 AM on October 4, 2011


And true to form, there is fanfic about the whole mess

I don't know what it is about the fanfic community, but every time I think I can't love them more, I read a phrase like this and my heart instantly grows three sizes.

That is not meant snarkily at all -- I am 100% sincere.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:34 AM on October 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why does this feel like a subplot from 'Cryptonomicon?'
posted by kaibutsu at 10:38 AM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pinboard is cool, but as a link-sharing app it will always suffer because there are no free acounts.

Delicious has actually improved a bit since the (disastrous) re-launch, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:40 AM on October 4, 2011


Actually, I know what it is about the fan fic community -- at least in this instance. They are, despite the alleged drama, my ideal client/customer.

I spend some days trying to get requirements out of people for multimillion dollar projects that their jobs depend on -- and it's often like pulling teeth. Yet they come to the table with a 24 page spec doc. I'm too unfamiliar with the terms to label it accurately but I think it should be labelled "MCMikeNamara/fanfic userbase something angst something something H/C"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:42 AM on October 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Pinboard is cool, but as a link-sharing app it will always suffer because there are no free acounts.

This is a feature, not a bug.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:43 AM on October 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: is is cool, but as a link-sharing [site] it will always suffer because there are no free acounts.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 11:18 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I'm too unfamiliar with the terms to label it accurately.
posted by michaelh at 11:20 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm: "Pinboard is cool, but as a spam publishing app it will always suffer because there are no free acounts."

ftfy ;)
posted by mullingitover at 11:24 AM on October 4, 2011


Just a clarification: by "dramatic format," I mean "in the style of a play," not "in the style of LJ-wank." It encapsulates the whole situation in a very funny way.
posted by cereselle at 11:48 AM on October 4, 2011


this seems a good place to drop my current favorite [sfw] [downtown abby] slashfic link.
posted by nadawi at 11:53 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Downton Abby.

Downtown Abbey is an entirely different girl.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:13 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The letter from Maciej is awesome. He gets both his sets of users well enough to rib them a little.... and he's funny and truthful without being patronizing. I thought this line was particularly good:

As a grouchy hermit, I like to think that other grouchy hermits should have a place to store stuff that will never feel like publishing or expose them to unwanted contact with other people.

Awesome.

I don't really have any use for the site, but I can't help but cheer a little, and wish them great success.

It's neat watching people get really good at working on something in a distributed fashion like this, even when the thing they're doing is itself of little interest. I don't want to read the fiction, but I love reading about their processes and organizational efforts. It's particularly interesting because they are so shunned by the rest of the Internet -- people aren't interested in building tools for them, so they make do with what they can find. I wonder if their systems will have any lasting value? I'm not sure the actual output will ever interest or appeal to more than a very limited audience, but the process to CREATE that output might stick around.

The thought also occurs: maybe it's the difficulty and poor tools that make the scene appealing? If someone does fully implement everything that they want, precisely and exactly, will they get bored and stop writing fiction?
posted by Malor at 12:28 PM on October 4, 2011


There's nothing like watching the might of Fandom when roused to accomplish something, teach someone a lesson (remember the FanLib debacle?) or just generally when a bunch of geeky women put their heads together to build, format, and protect their spaces. And so much love for this:
For any bookmarking site, the fan subculture is valuable because it makes such heavy and creative use of tagging, and because they are great collaborators. I can't think of a better way to stress-test a site then to get people filling it with Inception fanfic. You will get thoughtful, carefully-formatted bug reports; and if you actually fix something someone might knit you a sweater.
posted by jokeefe at 12:33 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


The thought also occurs: maybe it's the difficulty and poor tools that make the scene appealing? If someone does fully implement everything that they want, precisely and exactly, will they get bored and stop writing fiction?

I'd say definitely not. The tools are only the means to the end, which is collaborative creativity in online spaces.
posted by jokeefe at 12:36 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


^^^ Sorry, the link above isn't to the thread itself but to my own comment, which is what I searched for when looking for it. Here's the link to just the thread.
posted by jokeefe at 12:38 PM on October 4, 2011


Malor: As I implied but didn't outright state, the large-scale content management system that the Organization for Transformative Works implemented to run Archive of Our Own is a highly specialized piece of software for storing and organizing manuscripts. It collects works into canons, sorts them by tags, characters, and rating, and can dynamically generate output for all major e-readers.

It was created because people in fandom realized that by and large, disinterested organizations cannot be counted upon to maintain the infrastructure fandom needs—often to their own detriment. Per Maciej's post:
[Fannish users remain] under the radar even though it would have meant instant success for any entrepreneur sincerely willing to work with them.
And yet fannish users get the shaft again and again.

If I—just hypothetically, now—if I were an entrepreneur looking to start up a disruptive electronic publishing house, I would be looking very, very closely at AO3's design, and would probably use the (open-source) project as the starting place for my own software.

Also, you asked: If someone does fully implement everything that they want, precisely and exactly, will they get bored and stop writing fiction?

No. It's not imperfect tools that inspire people to write fanfiction. It's imperfect fiction.
posted by pts at 12:39 PM on October 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


If someone does fully implement everything that they want, precisely and exactly, will they get bored and stop writing fiction?

I suspect the answer is no. Does having instant payment and delivery abilities via the Internet stop porn filmmakers from making porn? Media (or delivery system) =/= message.
posted by cereselle at 12:41 PM on October 4, 2011


The thought also occurs: maybe it's the difficulty and poor tools that make the scene appealing? If someone does fully implement everything that they want, precisely and exactly, will they get bored and stop writing fiction?

Eh, they're just tools. I can't speak to it entirely because I mostly only read fic, though I wrote a few pieces back in the day, but I think the main appeal is just the joy of creativity. (And sometimes, depending on the fandom and the type of fic, there's also the added appeal of hot hot hot actors and actresses.)

Not that metafandom isn't also an incredibly fascinating thing. Debates about AO3, fanhistory.com, trigger warnings, spoiler policies, sockpuppets, etc abound. But in the end it's the fic that drives everything else.

No. It's not imperfect tools that inspire people to write fanfiction. It's imperfect fiction.

Not that anything's perfect, but while there's a lot of "corrective" fic there's also a ton that adds to canon. Even a perfect work isn't going to cover everything interesting in its universe.
posted by kmz at 12:44 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


kmz: Absolutely. I was just being glib. My favorite fanworks are the ones that extend narratives I already love unreservedly.
posted by pts at 12:49 PM on October 4, 2011


If someone does fully implement everything that they want, precisely and exactly, will they get bored and stop writing fiction?

Buh? There was fandom, and fanfiction, long, long before the internet.
posted by tzikeh at 1:24 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


There are slash fanboys as well. I've heard.

I've heard the same. In particular I've, uh, heard rumors of MLP slash writers being pretty boy-heavy.

(<3 fluttertwi)
posted by mendel at 1:50 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


i feel like i'm intruding with MLP slash because of my vagina. but, i've been stanning for MLP since the 80s. i would stop being friends with people who played with them wrong and my dad made me a custom stable for my collection. somewhere on (probably long ago destroyed) apple IIe disks there is some young girl fanfic.
posted by nadawi at 2:31 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Delicious royally messed up their search capabilities. I frequently used it over Google to find higher quality links.
posted by fightoplankton at 2:55 PM on October 4, 2011


Man, I'm glad fandom has re-settled. I don't read that much fanfic anymore, but you never know when you're going to want thousands of fics worth of meticulously organized gay erotica written about the cast of Inception, and I don't want to have to actively go looking for it in any kind of meaningful way.
posted by emperor.seamus at 3:17 PM on October 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love love love love fandom. So much. Love.
posted by NoraReed at 3:52 PM on October 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I lovelovelove fandom and love that it is re-settling itself with me at Pinboard (although I'm backing up my favorite ficlinks to AO3 & HTML copies). For one important thing, collaborative link-tagging is just about the only way to organize fanfic kink memes, without which the world would be a cold and empty place.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:21 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


[... let's try and keep it a little more nuanced than "all X are assholes".]

x ...
posted by zippy at 4:29 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


you never know when you're going to want thousands of fics worth of meticulously organized gay erotica written about the cast of Inception

Ooh ooh is it slashlink offering time now? Because you will be hard-pressed to beat that one brilliant story with Arthur/Eames as awesome historical gay Vikings.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:29 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why does this feel like a subplot from 'Cryptonomicon?'

Lawrence/Bobby slashfic isn't my cup of tea, but what ever floats your boat man.
posted by bonehead at 5:24 PM on October 4, 2011


that one brilliant story with Arthur/Eames as awesome historical gay Vikings

I don't even need to read this. Just knowing it exists has improved my entire week.
posted by Zozo at 8:48 AM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would just like to note that the slash tag not working didn't just impede a fangirl's attempts to find Arthur/Eames fic (featuring historical gay vikings or not), but also attempts to find any fic about heterosexual couples like Harry/Ginny.

Also, when it comes to fic taking over the popular page, I'm pretty sure the spec document included a suggestion to have a separate popular page for fic and/or fandom. Seems like that would keep both the older, more tech-oriented Pinboard users and the new influx of fans happy.
posted by yasaman at 10:57 AM on October 5, 2011


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