Hey, time for some quick hits!

  • Two quick surveys to help put together a panel on sexism in anime fandom for Otakon 2012.

    I belatedly realized that between computer death can subsequent catching up, I totally forgot to signal boost these here. These surveys will help two great folks as they put together a panel on sexism in anime fandom. You can read a little more about the surveys at a post on Altair and Vega. They plan to keep the surveys running past the con, as data collection for possible future projects, but the deadline for data to be used in the Otakon 2012 panel is July 20.

    Research Survey For Otakon Sexism Panel 2012: This one is for any of you who’ve attended a convention. We’re trying to get a sense of how people feel at events and how they connect to the community.

    Sexism in Cosplay Survey for Otakon 2012: This one is for you cosplayers out there. If you’ve cosplayed or do so regularly, we’d love for you to take the time to fill it out.

  • Speaking of Otakon, who's going? Lemme know if you'd like to meet!

    I'm going to Otakon, as per usual. Let me know if you're in the area too and want to do an OTW brunch or anything!

  • Quick note about meta on the AO3.

    [personal profile] bookshop made a post that mentioned the issue of meta at the AO3 (as well as the OTW panel at Ascendio!). In particular, she mentioned concern over popular meta works being left up while less popular ones were taken down. I made a short (for me, okay? short for me) comment in reply, if you'd like to see. Most relevant portion quoted here:
    I wanted to pipe up real quick about the enforcement of any policy on meta. During Board's last open session, representatives from both Abuse and Support were very concerned about equitable enforcement. Part of the issue right now is that we only enforce when someone alerts us to a potentially TOS-violating work — we simply don't have the resources to go out and look for violations. I'm currently the Board liaison for Abuse; I don't take part in their decision-making process, but for what it's worth, I've seen them work, and popularity is definitely not a factor in the internal process.

    So, part of the distribution with the current process depends on the culture of our users — some user cultures may not be aware of the meta policies, some might interpret them differently (which given the current state of things is valid), and some might be aware but choose not to report to preserve the work, etc.

    Looking into the future, there are only three real ways it could go: all meta in, all meta out, or a chronological line past which meta is out with already-posted meta grandfathered in. While I couldn't honestly say any option is fair (even the "all meta in" option — what about people who had already had to delete theirs?), I can say that I think we're all concerned with making sure each option is equitable and equitably enforced. Board still has a lot of considering to do, but I know we're aware of the equal enforcement issue, and I know I'd definitely vote towards a policy that doesn't play favourites, either by popularity or by type/medium (as certain policies could easily target written meta but let visual meta slip through the cracks — where do you draw the line with metacommentary comics? — or target a particular cultural or regional tradition of meta over others simply because we're less aware of other meta traditions).

    ... So yeah. There are problems with the current system, and I do hope that whatever solution we come up with addresses those.

    I hope to write a longer post about the meta issue soon (though considering my tl;dr and writing speed it may end up being post-mortem), but for now I just wanted to add that for me, remaining aware of different meta traditions is a very important part of these considerations. Fellow Board member [personal profile] julia_beck has consistently reminded us that much of the current conversation centers around a very narrow definition of meta rooted in particular fannish cultures and practices. I love this point and I love her for making it. For my end, I also urge awareness of various media of meta as a sub-part of what [personal profile] julia_beck's been saying, as the current conversation is also largely centered on written meta.

    For myself — insert usual disclaimer about Board work, multiplicity of opinions, no magic wand, other Board members may disagree or agree — I'm in favour of allowing meta if only because, outside of said narrow tradition (and sometimes even inside), the line between meta and non-meta fanwork is frankly impossible to draw.

    I'm specifically thinking of art-based and vid-based meta/commentary, which is what I'm most familiar with, but that's only a tiny bit of the range — and that's just my point. As an org, we are simply not familiar enough with a lot fannish traditions outside of a particular scope to make this judgment call. I feel this would be shutting the door in the face of fandoms and fannish cultures we can least afford to keep leaving out. I feel we should instead trust our audience — the very fans we are trying to empower and whose cultures we are trying to preserve — to draw the line themselves. We give that trust in many other spaces — in editing Fanlore, in voting in Board elections, in choosing which Archive warnings to use — and I think this is one more place where our audience knows itself and its work better than we do.

    That said, there are a lot of valid considerations in terms of enforcement; communication; technical, performance, and information structure issues for the archive (i.e. is the archive built for meta?); and — likely of most concern to Board in particular, since this is our purview — allocation of the org's overall resources. One of the longest-standing arguments against meta is that it is far less endangered than a lot of other things, and we're spread pretty thin. I hope to address this and other complications in a future post — for now, just keep in mind that a decision in any direction here comes at a cost and with a price.

Okay maybe that was not so quick but who here is surprised



September 2012

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