Tags: not dead yet

Medieval Lady

Wait, how many?

For some reason, yesterday felt like Friday. I don't know why. Possibly because during the summer it's hard to keep track of time? Possibly because it was supposed to be the day when my students finished their final papers and turned them in?

It was also kind of a chaotic day, because it started out with our first attempt at participating in the local pet rescue folks' "Trap-Neuter-Release" program. Went to the pet rescue place on Wednesday to pick up the humane feline traps, and ended up catching the two kittens (this is from the group of outdoor cats who we are feeding). They were Not Happy With This. Kept them on the screened porch overnight, and got them in bright and early. They turned out to both be boys, which is good in terms of recovery time. Had thought originally that they might be young enough to socialize, but.... Collapse )
greeting, worm

Meet Virginia

Up visiting the parents for the weekend; arrived safely late last night (had planned based on having a half-day yesterday...not realizing at the time that the half-day had been inexplicably scheduled for the afternoon.

Perfectly reasonable drive; slept well, although odd to not have to account for feline location/attention-and-food emergencies.

This morning, Mom and I went to a pick-your-own strawberries place, and did, in fact, return with a prodigious quantity of same. Shall be bringing a bunch back with me on Sunday (be warned, O Roommate!), mostly in a sliced-and-frozen state.

Took advantage of the hot tub (in fact, came home, showered, and THEN went to soak... quasi-furo!)

Much of the afternoon will doubtless be devoted to strawberry prep. Oh, and vampires.*

May also nap... feel like I could about fall over. *thunk*

*Course prep, about which I shall doubtless say more anon.
greeting, worm

Bonjour, everybody!

Greetings from the Wilds of Canada. Well, ok, the Not Quite Wilds of Montreal, actually. Up for a conference... which was originally going to be a Grand Researchy Crazy Roadtrip, but got scaled back. Probably for the best, really; this Fall is already CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY ACK FLAIL HALP TGIFBBQ.

Due to the cleverness of a friend-of-a-friend, there are three of us sharing a quite nice rental apartment, rather than the hideously expensive "official conference hotel." It's really a neat place-- two bedrooms, plus sleeper sofa downstairs in the living room/dining area, galley kitchen, one and a half bathrooms, amazing windowseat. The one thing I really don't like is the tight spiral staircase, because it's just asking for somebody to slip and fall. Oh, and I wish that the lr/da windows had proper curtains, not just sheers.... although from what I've noticed walking about the neighborhood, it seems to be the standard pattern.

Not much chance to look around yet (and, well, conference), but I'm hoping that I'll get a chance. I've actually visited Montreal before (and Quebec City, which is what it keeps getting confused with in my head-- Chateau Frontenac, I am LOOKING IN YOUR DIRECTION), so I have an idea of specific places I would like to go if I get a chance. Enjoying the lovely autumnal weather (although my desire to not check luggage lead to not bringing a sweater; very annoying), with the foliage turning and the air smelling properly like Fall.

In spite of the chill, still hoping to find the place with maple sugar-swirled soft serve ice cream. Mmmm. Maple sugar....


Ok, the next time a cellphone starts ringing at THREE IN THE MORNING OHGOD, I am turning it off with a hammer.** Gaaaah.

Two nights. In a row. And it's not like I can adjust my work schedule around being woken up mid sleep-cycle.

*prepares to zombie through the second day in a row*

**Erm... as long as it's in the common-spaces, rather than in d_ragondaughter's room. 'Cause, you know, on the scale of "things which wreck your sleep," pretty sure that "roommate bursting through your door brandishing a hammer at 3:00 am" is even higher on the list than "WHO THE HELL IS CALLING AT THIS HOOOOOUUUUUUUUUR?!?!"

The Very Short Version: FanLib = Bad, Bad News

Hi, everybody!

Ummm… I’m not dead yet? I think I’ll go for a walk?

Ok, I first of all wanted to apologize for dropping off the face of the map this past semester; graduate school devours the brain. And then goes back for the spinal cord.

Hopefully, things will be better-organized at some point over this summer. We shall see.

The reason why I’m popping back into view today is because there’s an issue I think everybody out in fandom needs to be aware of; I know that there’s been a lot of talk, and a lot of lj entries, and information on other blogs, and I wanted to add my two cents.

The issue is FanLib, the new website which is claiming, with sparkles and feathers and lots of smarmy self-congratulation, that they represent a WAY TO BRING FANFIC INTO THE MAINSTREAM, and isn’t that wonderful, and don’t all of you little fanfic writers just love and adore them for their brilliant, brilliant, shiny plan!

Because what they want to do is take your fanfic and use it to make money. Not for you, the fanfic writer; not even for the people who came up with the characters and situations we so gleefully play with. They want to make money for themselves (although they will provide the occasional t-shirt or gift certificate or other contest prize). And if, say, somebody has a problem with the idea of for-profit fanfic using their characters? Well, then FanLib will cheerfully let them sue you. It ceases to be their problem. The fact that fanfiction writers might prefer not to be dragged into the limelight, really don’t care about making money as long as they get to keep playing with what they love… all of that seems a bit too much for the FanLib types to wrap their brains around.

Yeaaaaahhhh…. Ok, the myriad of problems with this have been discussed and analyzed by lots of people, far better than I could do it. For a good summary, including lots and LOTS of excellent comments, with links to other parts of the debate (including some examples of the horrible advertising FanLib thought would win over fanfic writers…):

FanLib Debate, summarized

(And, of course, many props and many thanks to Prof. Jenkins for letting all of this take place on his website) Now, one of the main points of that post was that Chris Williams (“and his staff,”… *eyebrow*) was going to deign to respond to Prof. Jenkins (instead of, say, a writer of fanfic). He/They have since given their official response, and here it is (with, again, some excellent analysis and comments, particularly by /pine).

FanLib’s Response

Without repeating everything that everybody says in response to CW (and his staff!), I would just like to say that the amount of condescension, the ignorance of the fan community that they claim to be serving—a community which they seem to feel should be grateful to FanLib for what they’re doing—is just staggering. I’m not sure there’s an actual ANSWER at any point in that entire response. There’s lots of self-congratulatory back-patting and “Oh, the fans just don’t understand how wonderful we are,” and they apparently did rewrite the Terms of Service to make them somewhat less egregiously horrible, but the main problems still remain.

Among other things, when you register for FanLib, they ASK YOU FOR YOUR FFNET PASSWORD. And why, may you ask, do they ask you to do something which every Internet user should by now know you should never, ever do (ie, give out your ID and password)? Well, so that that happy FanLib bot can go and automatically import all of your FanFiction.net work over into FanLib. All of it, apparently. Without asking you if, say, you WANT to move Story A or Scenario B.

The end result of this, as some of you have probably noticed, was that FFNet got attacked by bots, resulting in bandwith issues, leading ultimately to the additional log-in feature where you have to type in characters to prove that you are not a bot. To me, the fact that FanLib was pulling this stunt smacks of deliberate sabotage of another fanfic site. I mean, asking people for their IDs and passwords so that your bot could go raid the other site and take up its bandwidth? A site that you are competing with, and clearly trying to replace? That’s just poor form.

In addition, I’ve heard a lot of complaints about poor site layout, bad navigation, and generally bad design.

Short version: I would not go near this site with a ten-foot pole, and I highly recommend that everybody else stay away from it as well. These guys seem to have thought they had found an easy way to make money off of the work of fans, don’t seem to have actually done analysis of the demographics, composition, or culture of the fan community (the fact that most fanfic writers are female, and that many of them are in their twenties, thirties, forties, etc., and are very well-educated professional people, seems to have come as a complete shock), and have handled the ensuing bruhaha with a mix of defensiveness, whining, and condescension. There is nothing good about this, guys. And the worst-case scenario, that FanLib’s idiotic “for-profit” model brings down the wrath of the copyright holders upon fans everywhere, resulting in blanket condemnation of fanfic as illegal… yeah. Nothing even a little bit good.

(and now, back to my regularly scheduled work-stress...)