is utterly hilarious, but they deserve a proper rend-and-tear post anyway. They put so much effort into their... thing. No, really, they did! It's all part of a cunning long-term plan!
Many thanks again to watersword
for all the sleuthing work. A lot of the info in this post was already in her awesome write-up
from yesterday, and in the comments to said write-up. I did some more digging because I want to be a plucky girl detective too.
EDIT 3/10: A few people have correctly pointed out that the limits of my personal fannish experience are showing in the way I interpret the fannish background of people behind Fanfic.me. Qualifiying statement about why I chose to call them "not fans" here
. Also, there's some extra info about Fanfic.me's money-making strategy at the bottom of the post now.
EDIT 5/10: Huge batch of edits at the bottom of the post, including links to lots of new Fanfic.me pages and discussion of problems with the software being used. And another qualifying statement about the use of "fannish" in this post. Sorry, people, I didn't realize at first posting that I made a couple of snap judgements and inadvertedly made it sound like this is all about the fannish background of the Fanfic.me people. It definitely isn't
.( Read more... )
Fill out the 4 step form, and BOOM – you’ve got a Fanfic.me site just like that.
Pick a name like Harry Potter Fan Fic
Describe your site
Grab your domain like firstname.lastname@example.org
Pick your fandom
And away you go. Import an existing WordPress site, or start fresh. If you can type or copy and paste, you’re going to have a hell of site. Get started.
We know that the comment fanfic readers leave for writers are of great importance. When you go to your dashboard, you’ll find a Manage Comments option. Everything is easy and intuitive to help both fan fiction writers and readers.
Not just a fan fiction archive
Fanfic.me has a feature called “pages” which allows you to easily create web pages. You can even create an entire web site/fan site using WordPress pages on Fanfic.me.
You can leave Fanfic.me any time you want. We provide a complete XML export of all your posts, pages and comments outside our exclusive plugin. Of course, you should always keep copies of your own stories, but you already knew that.
We protect you against spam
Spam Pack comes with every Fanfic.me site. We provide a nice “captcha” (and one that is not as easily hacked like others), automatic trackback filtering and protection, and the comment protection features that check against a number of factors like the site owner’s white list, black list, 3rd party anti-spamservice, etc. We want you to be spam free.
I'm not a WordPress user myself, so I'd love to hear from anyone who can judge how interesting these features are. My first reaction is deep scepticism, especially since several of the features described as "free Fanfic.me features" separate from the free WordPress features that offered with a fansitepress.com site actually seem to be free WordPress features
instead. They even use the same image for the Fanfic.me spam blocker, and the text for the XML export bit is identical to that on WordPress.com's own site. They just replaced "WordPress.com" with "Fanfic.me".What happens
when fansitepress.com wants you to " kick in towards the costs a bit"?
So what happens if you need more storage or want to have a www.customname.com?
Be the master of your domain – ($20/year).
We know how fans are - you’re going to eventually want your own name. It’s easy to add your own domain name, like thebestfics.com, to your site here at Fanfic.me. Or if you already have your own domain name, it’s easy to transfer it to your WordPress.com blog. Email us to transfer or get your own domain.
Your fandom is growing – add storage ($25/25o additional stories)
The free limit of 250 stories per site is enough for most fans, but if you’re building a fanfic site that will have a large community or if you’re a large organization, grabbing this upgrade is the way to go. The first 250 stories are free. For each additional 25o writers, it’s just $25 a year. What if you keep growing? It gets even cheaper. That’s just a buck a writer to be part of your amazing site using our rockin’ fanfic plugin.
Custom CSS ($15/yr)
If you know your way around a cascading style sheet, you can really put a personal touch on your WordPress.com blog. Or use the Custom CSS upgrade with our Sandbox theme to create an entirely new design.
Go Ad-Free ($40/yr)
From time to time, we display ads in fanfic. No worries about junk ads. We only use ads relevant to your fandoms. Doing this allows us to keep bringing you the free features you love. However, if you’d prefer your readers didn’t see ads, you have the control to turn them off.
$20/year for a domain, $25 per year per 250 stories, plus $40/year to make ads inside stories
go away? I suppose this is one part of their elusive plans for
Mea culpa again
EDIT 4/10 2: Fanfic.me has posted a TOS
notes that it's the same TOS as on MyFandoms.com). The TOS, which Fanfic.me calls a TSA, appears to be kind of dreadful
BUNCH OF EDITS 5/10: Lots more things going on at the original post
. Fic posted by elf
to Fanfic.me got bahleeted
, she got mail
implying that her content is not welcome in the community Fanfic.me founders are part of.
On the software side, it seems that the code of the Wordpress plugin offered by Fansitepress.com is being kept under wraps in violation of the GPL licence
(EDIT 5/10 Or perhaps not
). Claims that much work and years of development (founders contradict each other about the time frame here
) went into the plugin appear to be false, as the plugin was only released and pulled from the Wordpress.org site again in February 2011, and seems to add extremely little functionality to the kind of Wordpress install offered by Wordpress.com (which Fansitepress.com seems to be confusing with itself
.) See links in EDIT 4/10 for some appraisals of the plugin's functionality, and here
for links to where it can be seen in action (EDIT 5/10 The links are no longer active. We appear to be under surveillance. I think we should get credit for beta-testing this product and suggesting so many improvements). On this new page
, Jacky Abromitis claims that the old Fan Fic Fan software was bad because "Unfortunately, we built it on a really lousy open source platform". She then proceeds to wax poetic about their new Wordpress plugin without mentioning that Wordpress is also open source.
Fanfic.me has just published some new pages: founders
, and privacy
. All are well worth a look. Will link to more discussion about them later, no time for extensive analysis ATM. What struck me the most after a quick first read is the 'founders' piece, in which Jacky Abromitis discusses at length why her venture is beneficial for the fan community, and why she thinks the concerns of fans who think "Fanfiction should never be about “business”" are not relevant here. She appears to be quite knowledgable about the history of fanwork commodification. Interpretations about the content of this text may vary. But personally, I'm becoming more and more convinced that she knows exactly what she's doing, why the way she's going about this can be harmful to fandom in ways I've already outlined, and why we're criticizing her.watersword
have pointed out that Jacky Abromitis appears to be reading the original post. No idea if she may be reading here as well, but just FYI.
about the confusion caused by my use of "fan" and "fannish". I meant to just dig into the fannish background of Jacky Abromitis a bit to understand where she's coming from and what her motives for making Fanfic.me could be, but I ended up sounding like I was judging her for not being a fan in the same way as I. That sort of thing is obviously not okay and completely besides the point. *headdesk* Thanks again to the people who called me out on that. I think Jacky Abromitis should be criticized because I believe her venture is disingenuous and harmful to fans in general and as individuals, not because she and I are apparently from very different fannish spaces. And I agree completely with what watersword
said in this addition to the original post
I would really appreciate it if we could stop trying to determine if Abromitis is “fannish enough” — at this point it seems pretty clear that Abromitis is Not One Of Us in a different way than Chris and David Williams of Fanlib were Not One Of Us. The point remains that Fandom Entertainment, the company, owns sites which (a) approach the line in the sand which many fans have drawn vis-a-vis commerce and fandom, but that’s a personal mileage thing, and for all I know, her fannish community is more comfortable with the intersection of capitalism and fandom than I am; I would still like an explanation of WTF she hopes to achieve by attending the NY Expo Startup Showcase; (b) commercially exploit fans who may not know better (disregarding the Tolkien estate and Disney and Warner Bros. entirely, I am comfortable making a blanket statement that tricking your fellow fans into paying for unnecessary services is not cool); and (c) are not very good fanfiction archives.
EDIT 12/10: Forgot to mention that elf
has made a Fanlore page
for Fanfic.me. Gathering info over there is much more efficient in the long run than keeping things in a bunch of DW entries, so I'm in the process of moving all the verifiable facts we have to Fanlore. Please do feel free to edit the page to bits! I don't have copious amounts of time available right now, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Latest news: Fanfic.me was down for a couple of days and is now back with a new design but no new content, and today Fansitepress.com has been taken offline as well. Maybe it will be back before Fanfic.me takes part in today's Web 2.0 Expo New York startup showcase
. (Note: my time zone is 14 hours ahead of New York, so this 12/10 edit is really a 11/10 edit from a US point of view.)