tishaturk: (pen)
A while back--okay, more like 18 months ago--I published an essay and didn't mention it here because it's not, strictly speaking, about vidding or fandom. (It's about "technological professional development": professors learning how to use technology in our teaching and scholarship.)

But earlier this week, because we're having a research nerd-fest on my campus, the essay was brought back to my attention, and I remembered that there is one part of it that might be of interest to fans, which is the intro video. As I say in the video, "most of what I know about new media technology and new media composing I learned from online media fandom."



You can also, if you're so inclined, read the whole essay--it's online and open-access--though I note that something has changed about the code since it was originally posted and the layout is kind of screwy in places. Honestly, the video and the animated .gif (I learned how to do a new thing!) are probably the best parts anyway.
tishaturk: (TV: Buffy)
I'm working on a section about how vidwatchers decide what vids to watch, including things like "I will watch any vid made by X" (which is true for me of... gosh, an awful lot of vidders, honestly, which I guess is what happens to those of us who are fans of vidding and vidders as well as specific shows).

This has led me off on what may turn out to be a total tangent about what for lack of a better term I'm calling fannish migration, meaning migration from one show to another--not necessarily vid-specific. I'm thinking of something like, for example, the movement of a fair number of fic writers from Due South to SGA. (And I gather there was some overlap with Sentinel there, too, though that was enough before my time that I couldn't articulate a timeline.)

What other examples can you think of? Either general examples, or specific writers or vidders that you've moved from show to show with?

They might be direct or indirect; my sense is that Due South --> SGA was fairly direct in that a lot of people were still writing DS well after the 1999 finale and then jumped on SGA when it appeared in 2004 (but I was not in either of those fandoms, so my perceptions may not be accurate!). Buffy --> Firefly is another one. But I wonder about other, less obvious connections. I feel like I saw a lot of names I recognized from Buffy in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fandom, but maybe that's just because those were the people I was already hanging out with, fannishly speaking?

I should probably admit that this inquiry is also motivated by thinking to myself, when confronted by the periodic appearance of Teen Wolf on my Tumblr dash, "Where did all these people come from?"
tishaturk: (keyboard)
I haven't been posting here, even though I've been in research mode lately, because I've been trying to channel my writing energy into other projects. But I'm starting to accumulate lots of little ideas that I don't know whether or how to incorporate into those projects, so I'm going to start stashing them here and hope that typing them out helps me figure out what to do with them.

I'm doing this partly because I'm inspired/frustrated by the newly retooled Fanhackers—what used to be TWC's Symposium blog: inspired because I love seeing these quotes and snippets of conversation showing up in my RSS feed, frustrated because the site is built on Tumblr and, god, don't even get me started on Tumblr; the short version is that I love it for a lot of things but I hate it for conversation. I mean, I know it's possible to have conversations via Tumblr—plenty of people do—but the site is not built for that, doesn't facilitate it, and I have lost whatever inclination I might once have had to fight my way through the structural and visual obstacles. My reaction to Fanhackers is much like [personal profile] elf's: "I'm enjoying; I'm not figuring out what else to do with it." Bring on the quotes and the animated gifsets, is what I'm saying.

Anyway! What I'm writing about today is something I've been thinking about since the annual "Best of" lists started circulating in December, and it is this:

One of the things I love about fandom is that fandom, for the most part, operates not on a "these are the best things" model (where the criteria for "best" are typically undefined yet implied to be shared by all right-thinking people) but on a "these are my favorite things" model, which can be frustrating but is also wonderfully democratic. There are exceptions, of course, like The Fourth Wall and Driver Picks The Music and plenty of other award sites—though it's worth noting that those sites are often much more clear about criteria for judgment than non-fannish critics and awards are. But mostly fandom runs not on awards but on recs and (increasingly?) on content searching. Recs may take the form of simple recirculation—reblogs on Tumblr, for example, though even there some fans manage to squeeze a remarkable amount of information about the reasons for their reblog into the tags—but many are quite thoughtful and explicit about why the reccer liked what she liked; I saw this in many of the Festivds rec posts from January. Fandom does not, for the most part, assume that what "best" means is a) self-evident or b) shared by everyone, though it does generally assume that if one person likes it then somewhere out there is someone else who will like it too. (That's Yuletide and Festivids in a nutshell, right?)

What I appreciate about this culture of favorites, with all the reccing and tagging and reblogging that it entails, is that fandom encourages us to think about what we like, to articulate what we like, and in some cases to organize remarkable metadata structures around what we like—I'm thinking, for example, of the various kink meme (and other prompt meme) bookmark lists on pinboard and delicious, such as the [livejournal.com profile] sherlockbbc_fic pinboard archive where one can sort by very specific combinations of tags in order to filter content. (Some of the trope overlap possibilities are amazing, for values of "amazing" that range from "yes of course omg" to "hilarious" to "I don't know how this exists but I love it.")

I don't want to be inappropriately utopian here. One of the reasons that the FAQs for these memes are so careful to define and forbid kinkshaming is that it does happen; "your kink [or pairing, characterization, genre preference, etc.] is not my kink and that's okay" is not as universally observed as we might hope. But there is a sense that this attitude ought to be the way that one approaches fandom, that we are, collectively, trying not just to make space for but to faciliate, to make visible and accessible, a wide range of desires and preferences along a variety of vectors: sexual, narrative, aesthetic. Which is very cool.

As a side note, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into reccing, reblogging, running awards sites, administering prompt memes, tagging for meme archives, etc., is why I get so frustrated with definitions of "fan work" that focus primarily on writing fic and making vids and ignore or handwave all the other kinds of work that make my daily fannish experience what it is. Fandom runs on the engine of production, but a lot of what we produce is information, architecture, access, not just artifacts.

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Tisha Turk

November 2016

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