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Feb. 18th, 2013

linking to a discussion

[personal profile] mashimero is brainstorming about what it would take to make a fanfic&fanart/media challenge truly collaborative and is looking for ideas/experiences/opinions from a wider circle.

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Feb. 11th, 2013

things fandom is missing

As I'm still pondering whether or not to sign up for the upcoming [ profile] xmenreversebang, that made me once again been wonder why there isn't some place/infrastructure besides (Reverse) Big Bangs to facilitate collaborations. Fests are good insofar that the moderators usually try hard to get everyone paired up, but there is the whole issue of the schedules and deadlines. Why aren't there non-fest places for authors and artists to pitch some project idea to find another fan who would be interested in working together?

Like, it kind of compares to getting a prompt filled somehow, which you can attempt by signing up to a fest or by throwing it out in a kinkmeme, hoping to find someone interested from a random but larger pool. Of course most don't get filled in kinkmemes (mine never have been so far), but the chance is still better than just putting out your idea in your own journal.

I guess the obstacles are the potential social awkwardness (you might have to reject offers of collaboration, because you dislike someone's writing/art/podfic/whatever style or even their proficiency), and also that the likelihood of matching (or even the general interest in collaborations outside of close friends) might not be high enough to make such a forum worthwhile.

OTOH fandoms these days don't have central places anymore, so there isn't even anywhere where you could put up your notice individually for many others to see, like a central (or at least large) general discussion list or a noticeboard.

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Dec. 12th, 2012

being somewhat touchy, I guess

I've seen a bunch of links to an anon end of year feedback meme, and I checked it out, but once again, as so many memes, it is only for fic writers, not any other fanworks, even though no modifications in the feedback meme setup would be needed to make it more inclusive. Doing anything else but fic writing in this corner of fandom feels like being invisible sometimes.

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Aug. 29th, 2012

mutant registration story lines

After considering my new health insurance card, now upgraded with a photo ID to "prevent fraud" and an RFID chip with the capability to store all sorts of health information in the future as they expand the electronic systems (all totally secure and confidential of course, we are assured), it occurred to me, that in Modern AUs there is no way the government would try to push a mutant id marker directly in the personal government ID or in a separate database.

They would just "improve" the health insurance system to store medically relevant information, include mutations in that, while assuring of course that it was all confidential to health care providers and no way would the government read it or make a central database. But of course with them setting the security standards in the health care laws, they could access and read such information at any time. And since people often just carry their insurance cards with them in their wallets, probably even more so once they'll store emergency information like allergies or special conditions relevant for emergency medicine, like being on blood thinners, and obviously mutations would be put in that category (for safety of patients and medical personnel), all mutants would just carry their RFID chip identification tag on them.

Of course there wouldn't be 100% compliance, because I assume mutants living illegally like Brotherhood members would not sign up for a health insurance, but then they wouldn't voluntarily line up for extra registration either. And most regular mutants would just get their health insurance card like everyone else, even though in advance of implementing such a system some mutant rights activists probably issued dire warnings that X-gene mutations were included as routinely stored health markers, along with genetic diseases or such, but for the majority it probably didn't look like discrimination.

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Jan. 15th, 2012

two of the many things I'm still not used to with Tumblr...

First, how hard it is to follow a simple discussion with more than two participants. (I know, not what Tumblr is built for, but people still use it for that.) I mean, even if you ignore the unfortunate formatting, that makes it so hard to attribute what is quote and who said what, as soon as a conversation branches, you are never going to see all threads in a single of the reblogs, and if you go to the notes of the original post you can see all the responses and reblogs (i.e. the "A reblogged from B and added" bits) but there they are cut off and shortened, so you have to click and end up with a gazillion tabs to read one post with three comment threads. It's maddening. Unless there is some other reading method I missed to find and display responses? *nurses futile hope*

Second, a more subjective dissonance for me, is how Tumblr is one of the places where publicly celebrating popularity numbers is done by some (on dA it also happens, there with page view milestones mostly). I mean, from what I can tell you can't see the follower numbers like you can on LJ-clone platforms as default with friend-of/subscriber lists, so maybe that's why some people make posts going "yay over 4000 followers!" or the like instead. But of course only the ridiculously popular people do this as far as I can tell, and I can't help feeling kind of crushed in comparison. Though perhaps I wouldn't take notice so much if on Tumblr you weren't seeing "reblog/like" numbers all the time, that draw attention to the audience size constantly, even without extra action.

Which on the one hand I know is silly, because it's not like without these kinds of follower-numbers squee posts I would be unaware that someone else is very popular and has cool content, but still. I mean, with the LJ/DW model that moment of comparison is there whenever you subscribe, but you become aware of a range of numbers, and also then it fades somewhat from awareness for me. However on Tumblr you (or at least I) mostly notice the really popular numbers. For example I'm hardly going to celebrate my next Tumblr milestone which would be if ever the number of followers inched up to a round ten instead of currently eight. And I assume most other people with non-popular Tumblrs feel the same, so the impression gets distorted.

It's of course a completely irrational response to feel bad to have less audience than cool Tumblr X, but at the same time not even do anything to attract more people. If I wanted non-embarrassing follower milestone posts to happen, I would probably need to switch my topics from "mostly crappy doodles" to something with popularity potential, like say "James McAvoy with baby sloths" or something (as a side note, does that already exist? it should, I'd probably follow that), and post consistently and do all the other things that make a Tumblr attractive.

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Oct. 14th, 2011

curious about archiving choices

I've started to post a bunch of my fanart on AO3 even though sadly you can still only embed art, not upload it, so it's not truly archiving yet. But the advantage is that many of the stories I've illustrated are there and thus I could take advantage of the associations, and also I like having tagging options.

Anyway, I've wondered what to do about drawbles, which for me outnumber "regular" fanart more than 2:1. On dA I put them in the scrapbook so they don't swamp the rest of my gallery, on my website they are in a different section, and in my fanart blog and journals are mostly bundled in a couple of drawble posts after the prompt rounds. But what do you do in an archive like AO3?

On the one hand I'm a completist in the sense that I want to have all my stuff in the places I pick (my personal website shows drawings I did in elementary school -- it's a thing), OTOH I naturally want the art that took a lot of effort to be somewhat more prominent, so that the first impression for visitors is not that I do only sloppy, quick doodles, when they browse my works in a fandom.

So how do you resolve that problem? I assume writers must have similar issues when deciding how to archive quick prompt response fic, drabbles, meme fic and the like. Do you bundle several into a single work? If so by which method? All of one fandom? Or maybe bundle chronologically somehow, like all you did for a prompt post? Some other solution? Or do you just let your other stuff get swamped and trust the audience will sort it out via tags? What's your presentation strategy?

Sep. 13th, 2011

there has to be fic with this trope...

I'm reading quite a bit of Charles/Erik right now, and a number of those feature some variation of telepathic sex.

And it occurred to me that of course direct brain stimulation of the reward system is one of the most addictive things (like those experiments on the unfortunate rats who press brain stimulation levers until they die because they like that better than eating and drinking), and of course some people think even regular sex can become an addiction. So obviously sex with Charles could be addictive, especially if he couldn't control what he does with his brain fully during sex and somehow instinctively tries to pleasure his partner telepathically.

Also this offers fabulous opportunities for angst if Charles is worried about this. According to the wikipedia page on this these rat experiments were first done in the early 1950s, so assuming Charles would be interested in neuroscience to understand his mutation, he would know about these experiments by the time the movie takes place, and could worry. Actually if anyone wanted to write virgin!Charles, you could argue that it is possible he read about these experiments before he ever became sexually active and developed a worried hang-up over whether or not he'd be safe for his partners.

Surely there has to be angsty fic that explores telepathic sex as highly addictive?

Jul. 28th, 2011

X-Men musings

This occurred to me when I commented in another journal, but one of the reasons why I like XMFC fix-it scenarios where the beach scene isn't the moment when Erik embarks upon an ideology of genocidal mutant separatism is that I can't imagine how Erik would even be able to make a sound judgment at this early point that a mutant-only society is a viable future option.

All the mutants Erik knows seem to be first generation mutants, presumably with regular human parents, and at this point none he encountered have reproduced. I'm no geneticist but it seems to me that just then they have nothing but hope that mutants will produce viable and fertile offspring with each other, who will also be mutants on top of that. And it's all well and good for your ideology to hope that you are the next evolutionary step rather than some dead-end (like Charles does too), but it's somewhat premature to burn all bridges to the larger genetic base when you haven't even seen the first mutant-mutant baby be born and reach puberty.

For all they know the mutations that give them awesome powers might lead to illness and early death kind of birth defects when two mutants have children, or they could be infertile, or just have a really high chance of either. It's probably best not to think too much about how Marvel's "X gene" is supposed to work in terms of real genetics, and I don't know much about the latter anyway, but still. I can't imagine anyone would just assume these mutations would breed true and without complications.
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Jan. 6th, 2011

commenting cultures

The discussions of the pros and cons of "kudos" on AO3 reminded me that I've wanted to post about whether others found the comment culture and discussions about them (and long critiques as well as the favorite and collection buttons) on deviantArt even more neurotic and fraught than on the typical fan archive/forum or fannishly used LJ/DW.

I mean, whenever I see discussions over this in posts on dA it's likely to be some sort of screed how these days people were only doing "fav and run" instead of how it supposedly was in some mythical ancient time when everybody wrote lengthy comments to help artists improve. (For an example, see this recent post and the comments on it, as well as the second part more about the group feature.)

First, seriously, what is it with that expression, as if it was a bad thing akin to a "hit and run" to bookmark an artwork as a favorite and give it more exposure through people browsing the favorites of artists they like to find new stuff? I know I find most art on dA like that, and more recently also through groups (that I also find by accident when an artwork I like has a group button), since neither the search function nor the categories are up to cope with the sheer number of works.

And second, all this whining about how the quality of the comments sucks and nobody was posting long comments (anymore -- it's always combined with nostalgic projections, which I can't verify, since I have used dA for a bit over two years), actually makes me even less likely to comment on the site, even though I can't quite believe the majority of users would really expect the average comment to be some sort of indepth analysis or review, rather than a quick "Awesome! I like the costume." or "Cool how the fur turned out." or something like that.

I mean, I freely admit that on dA my interaction is mostly of the "adding as favorite" type, because to me it seems a "win-win". I get a bookmark of great art I liked for myself with one click, and the artist gets a quick notification that I added it as favorite, and potentially more viewers if people who landed in my gallery also take a look at what art I liked. And that with none of the social awkwardness of commenting on strangers.

As for the complaint that even comments that are made are of the "worthless" kind, I'm not about to offer unwanted technical advice to random strangers, not to mention that more often than not I'm not actually more technically versed or knowledgeable etc. than the poster, or in the habit of doing technical art reviews, so what could I even say in a comment that would satisfy these demands? For the record, personally I'm happy to get fav'ed, and like short comments. Longer ones would be awesome of course, but I don't expect them as the norm.

Perhaps it is the huge range of users, from professional artists with many followers to the occasional inept doodle poster showing a sketch to some friends, that makes the popularity issues even more central on dA than on fanfic archives, because the displayed stats (number of views, downloads, favorites, and comments) aren't that different from fanfic archives like the AO3 that display hits, comments, and bookmarks.

Jan. 5th, 2011

fanart process: my yuletart piece, "Fealty"

Considering the many, many hours my recently revealed yuletart picture took, I thought I ought to get more than one post out of it... ;)

picture heavy art process post )

Jan. 3rd, 2011

random curiosity

I'm sure most people are familiar with the situation that when you look back at works of any kind (writing, art, crafts, whatever) that you finished some time ago, you come across one for which you still find the idea/concept really awesome, but now you kind of cringe at the technical execution, or at least some of it, because you've gotten better with practice since, and if you realized the same idea now, it could have been so much better. And while you still know that you were really proud of it then, and still love the concept behind it, the less accomplished realization now almost seems like a waste of a great idea.

And then some people may redo their old work if they find an idea compelling enough, i.e. rewrite that old novel in a second version, redo a painting, etc., while others may revisit similar themes or mine their old work for ideas, but don't go back to finished things to do the same thing again, just better. Personally I'm in the second "camp" and don't think I've ever done a remake version, but I wonder how others feel, thus a poll:

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Dec. 13th, 2010

payoff for your time effort

My latest tedious digital experience made me curious about the "time efficiency" of digital vs. traditional media for people overall. Obviously there are some things that are really easy/fast digitally compared to doing it by hand, e.g. messing with the color balance, or after you are almost finished with the details it becomes apparent that you failed to notice that a head is disproportionately large. Select and scale with some minor re-merging effort is all fixing the latter takes digitally, whereas you have to start over by hand. But when looking at the whole process I often find that doing something digitally takes me longer than on paper (and I'm slow there already), even if I take into account the beloved undo and that corrections go much faster. Of course that could be just a matter of practice, but then it's not as if I paint traditionally all that often either, and digital stuff seems to have a really steep and frustrating learning curve.

Of course you can always mix both to take advantage, e.g. do a sketch in pencil, scan it, resize and rearrange stuff digitally, then base the drawing on that, or do an initial rough color sketch digitally, mess around with color sliders until you like the mood, then do the painting traditionally, then scan it and do a touch up digitally etc. But still, a poll about when you don't mix the two.

Oct. 25th, 2010

fannish etiquette question

With the proliferation of Tumblr, what do you do if another fan just reblogs your pictures? I understand that one of the reasons people like Tumblr is because it is so easy to just post a bunch of pictures and video and such, but I do have a notice that I don't want my art distributed without permission, because I'd rather like traffic to come to my site than some random Tumblr or other site. (This seems to be an ongoing problem for me of late.) Am I just behind on the new fannish normal?

Aug. 9th, 2010

curious about fanart style preferences

I'm curious what kind of fanart styles/types people like best for live action fandoms. For the purpose of this poll assume that the artist is skilled at the style in question, e.g. just because there are a ton of badly done "my hed iz pastede on" photomanips that shouldn't count against the style as such, if you can appreciate well done manips of that type. For this poll consider 0="don't like the style at all" and 5="like this style very much".

ETA: I probably should have been more precise in that what I'm curious about is preferences for styles of 2D, non-moving picture-type fanart; the phrasing was not meant to imply that things like fannish fiber crafts, sculpture or vidding or other arts weren't "fanart".

Jul. 4th, 2010

so how do you do fanart headers?

I've been browsing a couple of the VVC related discussion posts, and the parts about labelling vids made me wonder about similar problems for fanart. I like useful and detailed content labels (anyone who has seen my delicious account could have guessed that *g*) to help fans find what they like and avoid what they don't like. And I think for non-narrative fanart the "spoiling the plot twists" aspects of detailed labels are mostly moot since you see it all at once anyway, but instead there is the problem to balance the usefulness of the preview thumbnail against avoiding things that may look disturbing even when reduced to a tiny size.

Mostly I want the header/outside of the cut to attract viewers to click on the full thing, and make it so that the labels are most useful for the potential audience. Having a small but still interesting preview is essential for that, IMO. I don't mind giving much information in text, but I like to show the part I consider best and/or most suited to size-reduction in my preview as a teaser.

OTOH I wouldn't want someone have an unintentional like experience on their reading list either, and there is the consideration that to reach a wide audience it can be beneficial to keep uncut things "worksafe" so that people don't feel apprehensive to include a journal, community or blog on a regular reading list that they might check from public computers or during their lunch break as well. For example in the one art community I set up ([community profile] slothsdraw, which admittedly never gained traction) the rules ask all previews to be small and suitable for general audiences ("worksafe"), while behind cuts all kind of adult content is welcome as long as it is labelled as such, though more specific information is optional.

I myself don't draw very disturbing pictures (at least not if you don't count the occasional proportion or perspective fail as disturbing *g*), but if I did anything really extreme, while I would probably try to be careful with the preview, so that it is not too bad when seen at a small size, I would still do a preview to entice people who like the same kind of art I do. So at least in my own journal that is not subject to additional community considerations, I might not pick a "worksafe" thumbnail cut (my preview is usually a square cut of the central area of interest reduced to 120x120px) if I didn't think it represented the art the best. So my posts could be problematic, even with me using all kinds of text labels.

For example one of the few times one of my pictures actually had any kind of warnings was when I drew Roy as junkie, which was thus rated "PG" and clarified in the header that this was for "drug use", but my preview thumbnail outside already showed him depicted as drug addict with his arm with track marks and drug paraphernalia. So the text warning would have only functioned as an advance warning for people cautious enough to have turned off images when coming across the cut post, because you'd notice the image before ever reading the detailed header.

I admit that even though I set up a similar rule myself for a community (in part because it was centered around drawing practice itself, not any fannish content or topic), I dislike it when I come across previews for explicit pictures on fannish comms and notice boards where you can't really see much of anything in the preview anymore, because it is a section chosen to be safe outside the cut that isn't all that representative of the style or picture. Some of this I think is just people picking a section badly (at least for my taste), but some is an inherent problem. I mean, if you have picture that is about gory, explicit violence and the center of attention is really gross, and there is no truly non-disturbing part that is still interesting (even the daisy flower off to the side is trampled and splattered with blood from an intestine!) you end up with previews that show stuff like a bit of the stormy sky above, when the image is of a demonic zombie battlefield or whatever. That is not a very useful preview.

So how to best balance between useful previews and not wanting to ambush people with disturbing pictures? Is the small size of a preview enough, because you can't see it in detail? Do most fans who are concerned about avoiding certain pictures browse with all turned off and only see them after clicking one specifically, so that text labels work as a heads up for images too? Do you still click on fanart cuts without any image preview if it has just a text header describing it?

Jun. 17th, 2010

warnings I don't get

I just came across a header with the line "Warnings: miscsquick". What is that supposed to mean? I guess there is a typo in there somewhere so the warning could be "misc. squick" which has to be the most useless warning ever, because just knowing that "miscellaneous squicks" are in there doesn't help you any to decide whether to read or not, unless you are sure that you have no squicks whatsoever. After all "miscellaneous" could mean the story was say someone killing puppies and then molesting their corpses in necrophiliac bestiality. (Glancing through the story I think the warning was just intended for a worn underwear fetish, not puppy necrophilia. That was just my mind combining the first miscellaneous squick I thought of, i.e. animal harm, with the PWP genre of the story, in a guess.)

Or the line could have been intended as "might squick" which is equally useless, because any kink is someone else's squick. I guess both could just be a variant of "caveat, author doesn't use warnings", which is fine, but then why not say so?

Seriously, if you warn for some squicks, say what the potentially squicky things are, or say outright that you don't warn.

May. 23rd, 2010

fanart process post

Because I'm procrastinating on my SGA Reverse Bang piece, I've decided to do a process post about my last fanart, the one for the Trek Reverse Bang. That painting took me a long time, and quite a lot of work spread out of over three months, and maybe some are interested how I get from the first idea to a finished painting.

image heavy )

Mar. 30th, 2010


I have to say that the more I hang out in storyfinder comms that allow mixing specific with general searches (like the Star Trek one I follow, [ profile] st_ficfinder) the more cumbersome and pointless the strict separation of the SGA comms in story- and genre-finders seems to me.

Because the rules are enforced rigidly, you frequently have dual queries: Either because a poster remembers a specific story, but wants similar ones right away too, or someone posts a general search first, then someone else remembers a story that fits but not its title, and has to make yet another post in a separate comm, wary of the mods' wrath if they asked others in the comments. And then shortly after you get another modly reminder post anyway, because someone else has forgotten yet again to keep the chocolate away from the hazelnuts.
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Mar. 19th, 2010

do you follow (m)any WIPs?

I'm curious, how many, if any, WIPs do you currently follow? Also which they are, especially if they are in one of my current main fandoms, to see whether I'm missing anything good. I know not everyone likes WIPs, so obviously this is not the post for WIP haters. I like following WIPs along, which has become obvious to me once again now that I read ST: Reboot, where WIPs seem more common than they are in SGA, so the number I keep track of has increased greatly in a short time.

So here's the list of WIPs I currently follow, i.e. WIPs I subscribe to updates for or regularly check (I stopped reading some HP WIPs I used to follow, because currently I'm not much interested in HP, so I'm not listing those). For simplicity it's just title and author with a link, as these are not recs, though I recced some before, and obviously want to know what happens next for all of them:

cut for length )
That were actually fewer than I thought, though I may have forgotten some.

Dec. 20th, 2009

random poll

As another decade ends (I can't believe it's going to be 2010 in just a few days. yikes!) you see all the usual retrospectives etc.; also I've been editing fanlore (and you should too, the wiki needs more people /end shameless plug). This led me to wonder: if you've been in fandom a long(-ish) time, do you ever feel nostalgia for fandom how it used to be? ("Fandom" in this case intentionally vague as I just mean whatever form of fandom you were involved in the era you are nostalgic for.) And if so, for which time period? So I thought I'd do a poll.

The first is a question of whether you feel nostalgia, and in the second you can check tickyboxes to indicate for which time period you are feeling nostalgia. That I have split into two options for each period for an indication whether you actually were in fandom in that time period and feel nostalgia due to firsthand experience, or feel nostaligia because you have read or heard about that time and wish you had been in fandom then, because it just sounds more awesome to you than fandom now. I did give up to the early 2000s as options to feel nostalgia for, though I am a bit dubious whether you can call it "nostalgia" proper if it's less than ten years ago.
fandom nostalgia poll, cut to spare your f-list )
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