otw_staff: Kiri, OTW Communications Co-Chair (Kiri)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Graphic by Bremo of a gavel
Is One Direction derivative, transformative--or both? And how does Doctor Who relate to the Jewish concepts of repentance and ascension? Interpreting Transformation, via the Organization for Transformative Works
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

This is a post I made on Growstuff Talk to propose some initial steps towards interoperability for open food projects. If you have comments, probably best to make them on that post.

I wanted to post about some concepts from my past open data work which have been very much in my mind when working on Growstuff, but which I’m not sure I’ve ever expressed in a way that helps everyone understand their importance.

Just for background: from 2007-2011 I worked on Freebase, a massive general-purpose open data repository which was acquired by Google in 2010 and now forms part of their “Knowledge” area. While working at Google I also worked as a liaison between Google search/knowledge and the Wikimedia Foundation, and presented at a Wikimedia data summit where we proposed the first stages of what would become Wikidata — an entity-based data store for all of Wikimedia’s other projects.

Freebase and Wikidata are part of what is broadly known as the Semantic Web, which has to do with providing data and meaning via web technologies, using common data formats etc.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Two frogs in a bowl of cream

Sep. 30th, 2014 11:16
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

A story I got from someone who says she got it from an older Dutch woman. I wouldn’t mention the Dutch woman thing except that this story just seems so Dutch to me. Anyway.

Two frogs fell into a bowl of cream. They swam and swam trying to get out, round and around in the cream, for hours.

Eventually one frog gave up, stopped swimming, and drowned.

The other frog kept swimming, refusing to give up. Finally the frog’s activity, splashing around in the cream, turned it to butter. It became solid in the bowl, and the frog was able to climb out.

The moral, I’m told, is that sometimes if you just keep kicking things will magically solidify under you and you’re can step up out of the trouble and move on. Also, apparently I’m frog #2. Trust me when I say it’s exhausting.

(no subject)

Sep. 29th, 2014 19:33
general_jinjur: (never make passes)
[personal profile] general_jinjur
hats off to the UPS person - that was a superconvincing zombies-at-my-door impression, A++ would jump out of skin again.
general_jinjur: (thems the rules)
[personal profile] general_jinjur
last week i went with lana (who is now writing for women write about comics, which is…how i now know she's into comics, go me, A+ paying attention to other people, yay) to see phoebe gloeckner speak at UM. nominally about banned books, and nominally in an interview format, as conducted by jim ottaviani.

i really like gloeckner. i find her kind of intimidating, because her work seems so exacting, and also so far away from the comics i'm drawn to reading. blah blah imposter syndrome due to low genre expertise.

anyway that's not my point. my point is that the q & a period of the program was pretty terrible. i mean, the first question asked was so terrible that i seem to have wiped it out of my brain, i just remember how i kind of wanted to yell WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK when it was asked. idk. that is also not my point. my point is that the next-to-final question was not terrible in itself, and it took me a couple of hours to figure out what was off about it.

here's the deal: it was about trigger warnings. it seemed possibly prompted by the talk itself (which maybe could have used a content note re: graphic references to sexual violence & violent deaths of children, but…there's maybe a bit of caveat emptor there, too. if you're familiar with gloeckner's current project and the general honesty with which she approaches her work, your eyes were likely already open on that count.) anyway. a woman in the audience asked a relatively thoughtful question that displaced fannish ethics onto a commercial capitalist setting - and that's the problem. you can't do that. i mean, that's part of why monetizing fandom doesn't work, even though people keep right on trying to package and sell us. but this was in the opposite direction. "would you consider putting trigger warnings on your work?" the answer was no. of course it was no. gloeckner gave a thoughtful answer, she took it seriously, and she may even have noted that it's different when people are assigning a book, recommending it - but not when you're selling it. her explicit reasoning was that sticking a trigger warning or a content note on the cover of a book you are trying to sell in a store reduces the entire content to that particular trigger. so a brief mention of past sexual assault in the text gets a big red TRIGGER WARNING RAPE sticker on the cover. consumer capitalism, marketing, is just not built for that. it's anti-subtlety. and that's how & why books get banned. it's tipper gore (remember when tipper was the big bad? oh rosy, innocent past) and the PMRC, and those fucking explicit content stickers. all they create is another class of items to save the children (the ladies, the poor, the lesser) from.

it stops people from buying the thing. when sales are the aim, that's a problem. of course, there was also a terrible question from the audience about how when books are banned that creates a frisson of scandal that sells more books. ahahahah oh how we laughed at that "fact". or not really, but gloeckner did point out that her books are sometimes sealed in cellophane and stocked not in fiction or graphic novel sections, but rather in self-help. where anyone who buys them will be misled.

i believe strongly in content notes & trigger warnings. i also believe that businesses are never going to prize me as an individual over me as a customer. i don't want professional authors told they need to warn people away from buying their books. i'm not cool with the way it works & doesn't work already. i don't think sales should be the aim, but that's a much larger issue; they need to be the aim in this system we're currently living in, so.

it just made me think about the ways we port pieces of fandom into the rest of the world, successfully and unsuccessfully. we echo-chamber and create false equivalencies, and sometimes, rarely, we bump up against a wall that turns out to be an illusion. not always. just. question-asking-lady, you got all bruised up on that one. :/

Candidacy Deadline Extended

Sep. 29th, 2014 10:12
otw_staff: Kiri, OTW Communications Co-Chair (Kiri)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Banner by Diane of a 3 line checkbox with the choices 'OTW', 'Elections News' and a checkmark next to 'Make your voice heard'
The deadline to declare candidacy for the OTW Board of Directors has been extended to 3 October.

BDSM Fanworks Exchange?

Sep. 28th, 2014 16:28
were_duck: lady gaga black and white photo of her draped in chains and wearing cigarette sunglasses (Gaga In Chains)
[personal profile] were_duck
 I can't believe I am thinking about this, but I think it could be fun? If anyone knows of anyone else running a BDSM exchange, in any fandom, please let me know because I would consider signing up for that shit.

I really think we should have a BDSM-themed fannish exchange! If I were to run such a thing, it would be multiformat and multifandom, BDSM-celebratory and with care towards the works produced having clear content notes. I would *love* to have a co-mod. 

I would work specific length/size requirements out with specific community input, but in general I'd say a medium-length for an exchange standard size is what we'd do. Maybe 1K for fic or podfic or meta, 1 min for a vid, 1 finished piece of art, 10 songs on a mix, 10 fanwork recs, etc? The idea is for it to be a substantial gift without being an enormous commitment for creators. No maximum limits.

I haven't yet worked out specific rules etc., but I would work with interested participants to develop a list of kinks and fandoms, matching system, rules and guidelines, etc. 

This poll is just to gauge interest! Please feel free to share the link around. Participating does not commit you to anything at all. 

Poll #15990 BDSM Fanworks Exchange
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 30

Would you consider participating?

Yes, I would consider creating something as part of an exchange!
16 (53.3%)

I would produce something for a general fest but would prefer *not* to participate in a gift exchange.
7 (23.3%)

Yes, and I'd love to help mod!
4 (13.3%)

I wouldn't make something but I will look forward to enjoying the fanworks!
8 (26.7%)

No, this doesn't sound fun to me.
1 (3.3%)

Something else I will explain in comments.
0 (0.0%)

How would you prefer to be matched with another participant?

By kink only (any fandom they like)
2 (10.5%)

By fandom only (any kink they like)
3 (15.8%)

By kink primarily, and match secondarily on a fandom
4 (21.1%)

By fandom primarily, and match secondarily on a kink
14 (73.7%)

Through a claims round on anonymized prompt sets
6 (31.6%)

Some other method I'll discuss in comments
0 (0.0%)

How long of a creation period would you like to have?

1 month
5 (22.7%)

6 weeks
9 (40.9%)

2 months
8 (36.4%)

In general, out of respect for the participants' creativity, I don't plan on matching based on type of fanwork one receives and ask that participants be as open to receiving any type of fanwork as they are individually comfortable being, in the spirit of community exchange. However, I will plan to design a fest that takes hard limits or problems of various kinds into account so if you have a strong need to avoid certain types of media or certain types of content, we will accommodate that in the matching phase to make this fest as accessible as possible. 

If you have particular ideas on designing an exchange, or thoughts about BDSM fanwork in particular, potential problems or pitfalls you think of, general enthusiasm, please let me know in comments!

ETA: I would probably have this run sometime in the February-April range, based on my personal schedule and what I know of other holiday-type exchanges that people tend to fill up on near the end of the year. I'm happy to discuss that timing in more detail later, too. 


Sep. 28th, 2014 13:25
were_duck: Ms Marvel, a young girl with a lightning bolt on her chest, clenching her fist and wearing a colorful scarf (Ms Marvel)
[personal profile] were_duck
I am just going to take a moment here to say how fulfilled I am right now. I'm overscheduled and busy, often frustrated, but I'm also learning and growing and becoming. I feel so much less stuck than I have in the past, I feel like I have a path to take for the near future at least and it is a good path that I am choosing actively for myself, as much as anyone can.

I'm taking this moment now to make note because winter always is a challenge for me emotionally, and I know this feeling isn't likely to last as intently as it has been.

So much of this is because of the support, wisdom, and encouragement of those who have helped me along the way. Thanks, guys, for being such a great part of my life <3 Stay awesome.
otw_staff: Janita OTW Communications Staffer (Janita OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW Fannews Caution Advice Ahead

There’s lots of advice about fanfic, some good, some bad, and a lot that’s very confused: http://bit.ly/1uU5xG1
otw_staff: Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer (Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Image of male and female icons with text OTW Fannews Putting Out a Welcome Mat
Even while adding new audiences, fandom still struggles with gender and race issues and inequality. http://bit.ly/1BgnFfu

Reading Wednesday

Sep. 25th, 2014 18:59
laceblade: Manga drawing of Yamada sipping from a milk carton with a straw (Honey & Clover: Yamada drink)
[personal profile] laceblade
Anne of Avonlea - A decent follow-up to the first book, although I gave it one less star because it felt a little floundery in the middle.

Matthew is not discussed much in this book, but in the first part of the novel characters are pretty preoccupied about what heaven is, what it means.

I loved the resolution to Lavender's storyline, and also take a lot of joy in seeing romance bud between Anne and Gilbert. I'm excited to read the next one, where they're at college.

Anne of the Island - So, I love the relationship between Anne and Gilbert in this book. I also really identify with Anne's heartbreak about growing up, and the realization that even your closest friends change over time, and that nothing can be as it once was, even if you still have old writings from you/your friends that transport you right back to old times. Also loved her friends cackling over gossipy situations.

That said, the book feels like it's bumbling from one scene to the next, season to season, year to year, with no transitions, just filler to try & resolve the main plot (Anne and Gilbert). I know that a long period of time was covered in the first book, but it didn't feel like this, I don't think.

Jim Henson's Storytellers: Witches, #1 - I don't remember where I saw a link about this months ago, but I pinned it and saved the date. It's gorgeous, and wonderful. I'm so glad I read it, and I'm really looking forward to the next one. These are stand-alone, and there are going to be a total of four.

Liminality's first issue came out. While I'm not usually much for poetry, I did enjoy my friend Gabby's The devil riding your back.

OTW Fannews: Defending Porn

Sep. 24th, 2014 09:18
otw_staff: Kiri, OTW Communications Co-Chair (Kiri)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
graphic by James Baxter featuring two men kissing
Porn gets made every day, but who’s the expected audience? Women want to have their say.

Quite a good meme

Sep. 22nd, 2014 22:33
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Via [personal profile] legionseagle:

Pick a fic of mine and a period of time after (or before) it, and I will give you at least three sentences of fic.

OTW Fannews: Finding the Spark

Sep. 22nd, 2014 12:40
otw_staff: Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer (Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Silhouette of person with arms raised looking into sunset. Text reads Finding the Spark
Finding your people and fostering creativity: Fans have many reasons to celebrate fandom.
Read about a few of them!

OTW Fannews: Spotting Fanworks

Sep. 21st, 2014 12:50
otw_staff: Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer (Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Graphic of digital music play screen with text Spotting Fanworks
How fanworks made for older fandoms compare to newer ones, and multimedia’s the future.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1C0ML4a
naraht: John Lennon in "Help" (Beatles-Astray)
[personal profile] naraht
I've been reading David Halperin's How to be Gay and enjoying it a surprising amount, considering that I find his more historical writing opaquely theory-laden. It has interesting things to say about the relationship between gay culture and gay identity, and the limits of identity politics, including a passage about identification that reminded me strongly of slash as a queer female practice:
...my students [in a course on gay literature]... enjoyed appropriating and queering works of mainstream, heterosexual culture. In fact they preferred doing that to reading gay novels.... At least, they discovered more queer possibilities in adapting and remaking non-gay material, and thus more uses for it, then they found in good gay writing.

...what gay men have always sought out is not only direct or literal representations of themselves, but also figural or metaphorical or encoded or encrypted representations of gay desire. There seems to be something about figurality itself that they like.

Another way of putting this is to say that gay identity affirms itself not only through identity... but also through identification.
Which makes me idly wonder whether slash is in fact the queer woman's equivalent of the gay male cult of the opera diva, the glamourous and/or tragic movie star, the female icon. But actually I didn't set out to offer you a review of this book, because I have more specific passages to discuss.

One section is an analysis of the films "Mildred Pierce" and "Mommie Dearest" (neither of which, full disclosure, I have seen) and their position as gay cult classics. Halperin feels that they gain a lot of their emotional power from an identificatory "fear that the adored mother might express... her unconquerable aversion to her offspring, her disgust at having begotten and raised a deviant child."

Via a discussion of Gypsy and the fraughtness of performance, in gender role terms, for men, he gets to the conclusion (I'm summarising wildly here) that:
The mother's final turn against her offspring reanimates the dread that her love had always excited, the dread 'of being exiled from her presence.'

...gay male culture can... restage in an exaggerated, ludic and reparative mode the horror of the mother's savage withdrawal of the warrant she once gave her queer child to perform, the warrant that licensed his very existence as a subject.
If you've been following my Dreamwidth over the past year you will guess that by this point I was vibrating wildly with thoughts of Elaine and Julian Fleming from Mary Renault's Return to Night (or, as [personal profile] legionseagle prefers to call them, Mama and Baby Fruitbat). Might the problem with chapter 18 of Return to Night be that it is actually not over-the-top enough? Might it not have come across better as a cathartic crescendo of camp, un-sabotaged by Mary Renault's inevitable turn towards rigorous emotional repression?

I'm now envisioning that never-made film adaptation of Return to Night with Joan Crawford (who would have been about the right age) in a scenery-chewing star turn as Elaine Fleming, and stealing the whole film, which would then inevitably have become a camp classic. Canon!Elaine says that "if I were a man, Julian, grown-up as you are, I should thrash you for that." (MR did have her turns of melodrama; shame that the rest of the scene takes refuge in exposition of backstory.) Film!Elaine would surely slap him across the face, and there are many readers of Return to Night who would say that's no more than he deserves!

TL;DR - I will come up with any excuse to write about Mary Renault novels. But Joan Crawford as Elaine Fleming is an intriguing thought.

OTW Fannews: Fandom Business

Sep. 20th, 2014 11:29
otw_staff: Janita OTW Communications Staffer (Janita OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Banner by Robyn of the post title with $ signs as S's laid over a photo of world currency

Public Knowledge holds a contest for remixers, Australia backs down & data on TV fans: http://bit.ly/1ykl2Nu

Yuletide meta of yore

Sep. 20th, 2014 09:38
naraht: (other-Yuletide squee)
[personal profile] naraht
Yuletide nominations open on Monday, but what is a Yuletider to do between now and then? Personally, there's very little I enjoy more than reading old meta, so I've collected some of the greatest hits of the past. The information in these may be a little out-of-date, so don't take anything as gospel, but there are some useful tips here on letter-writing (if you enjoy that sort of thing), as well as some juicy stats to ponder.

If anyone has any links that I've missed, please share! And if you fancy doing any number-crunching for post-2011 Yuletides, I - and probably a lot of other people - will love you forever.

[livejournal.com profile] yuletide: Signup tips and tricks
[livejournal.com profile] yuletide: Tips on prompting/Dear Author letters/Doing Yuletide
[personal profile] thefourthvine: Random Blithering and a Poll on Prompts
[personal profile] thefourthvine: The Yuletide Prompt Poll Results
[personal profile] thefourthvine: Yuletide: My Sordid Signup History
[personal profile] liviapenn: Thoughts on Yuletide prompts and requests
[livejournal.com profile] shusu: Postcards from Yuletide
[personal profile] thingswithwings: Untitled [A poll on prompting]
[personal profile] ranalore: How not to ruin your own Yuletide
[personal profile] eruthros: I like everything but the non-traditional, non-normative, gross and icky stuff!
[personal profile] naraht: Yuletide letters and -isms in fiction
[community profile] fail_fandomanon: The Art of Writing Fic Exchange Dear Writer Letters (Not Yuletide-specific but v useful)
[personal profile] penknife: Eight ways to break your ficathon writer's brain (Ditto)

[livejournal.com profile] rivkat: Yuletide! [First five years in review]

[livejournal.com profile] hradzka: yuletide 2009: hit counts, comments, and predictions for 2010
[personal profile] not_unwise: Yuletide 2009 Statistical Analysis of Fics' Lengths
[personal profile] not_unwise: Yuletide 2010 Statistical Analysis of Fics' Lengths
[personal profile] not_unwise: Yuletide 2011 Statistical Analysis of Fics' Lengths
Even more stats posts from the Yuletide comm

And of course it wouldn't be Yuletide without a little self-promotion for HOW TO HAVE FUN AT YULETIDE (consequent bans are your own responsibility).
otw_staff: Janita OTW Communications Staffer (Janita OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Spotlight on Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning Update: recent committee work & their role in preparing information for the upcoming #OTW Board retreat: http://bit.ly/1AVbFjg


ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

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