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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 04:51 pm
We have posted the revised version of the Fandom as Category policy change Here to the Fanlore wiki. We invite discussion on it. Please post your comments here on Dreamwidth. If there are no problems or issues that require a change, the policy will become final in seven days after posting (4/28/2010).

At that time, we'll start adding the fandom categories and we'll put out a call for help with moving and changing the pages the need it.
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
Is this meant to apply to RPF fandoms?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
There's a fair amount of overlap in RPF fandoms, though - the AO3 tag wranglers had the whole metatags feature coded mainly to cope with it. Also, there frequently isn't a fandom consensus on what the name of the fandom is - how would Fanlore decide what the name of the category should be?
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
If you can link categories, couldn't you link all the synonymous names for a fandom together, thus avoiding the need to choose?
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
Even if we could redirect synonyms to a preferred term--according to Wikipedia, we can't--we'd still have to choose.
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
In general, trying to map RPF fandoms onto media fandom models is--difficult.

I don't think big sprawling multi-page fandoms is a problem with RPF the way it is with FPF. But what is difficult is showing the more tenuous connections. All J2 is CWRPF, but not all CWRPF is J2, and some C.Kane is both and lots is neither, and when is fanning Jensen Ackles an RPF activity and when is it a media fannish activity?

So, if we make each Real People page its own category and put Christian Kane in the Chris/Steve category, the Kane category, the CWRPF category and the J2 Cateogy and the Jossverse RPF category, does that solve anything by making the connections that way?

And then Lotrips is the Lotrips page and the related people pages, and if Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom start shooting two different TV series in Vancouver and everybody writes fic about them huddling for warmth, then what is that? A whole new fandom? Two new fandoms? Because there's also fic about Elijah and his co-star Danneel Harris (see what I did there?) and there's fic about Orlando and Adam Lambert too.

And what do I put on the What We Keep page? (multifandom RPF shared universe) Every fandom that has a story attached to it?


Somewhere in my journal is a conversation about AO3 tags that's got some thoughts on creating a hierarchy for RPF fic that has some info from people knowledgeable about aspects of the fandoms that are outside my area. This is what AO3 is trying to deal with via metatags, and I confess I don't see yet how that will function in that environment.

The general idea we were discussing there was a few broad main categories--Actor RPF, Music RPF, Historical RPF, Sports RPF--and then someone brought up 18th century composers and said where do they go--music or historical, and I banned them for muddying the waters--okay, I didn't really.

But if Actor RPF was a category that listed everything from Lotrips to J2 to good ole' Christian Kane, would that achieve anything?

If a music RPF category showed Bandom and Popslash and the My Chemical Romance page, and J pop and those composers in wigs--that might be useful. And could that lead to broader focused pages that compare Bandom and Popslash and Beatles RPF?

I think we have to ask ourselves what the goal is for navigating these pages to know the answers, and I'm not too clear on that. Sorry you asked?
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
So maybe we'd have a structure like this:

Fandom By Source Text (existing category)
_Real People (existing category)
___Actor RPF
___Music RPF

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Well, I've been thinking about this, and thinking about the first sentence I wrote up there: In general, trying to map RPF fandoms onto media fandom models is--difficult.

Maybe we shouldn't try. What would happen if the Real People category got moved out from under Fandoms by Source Text and this new fandom policy applies only to FPF which are all in Fandoms by Source Text by themselves?

That leaves the door open to categorize Real People in a way that suits the pages that start to appear--right now there are not very many. Let the structure form more organically. Aka, it ain't broke--don't fix it.

I think we're having problems because, as a genre, RPF is growing faster now than it ever has since Popslash hit LJ, and it's hard to see the shape of something in that state of flux.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
Well, if you want to keep RPF and FPF together, I hope the categories for RPF are chosen because they work for RPF, not just to keep it all the same.

I don't have a real favourite between the two approaches I laid out, and if someone has another idea, I'd love to hear it. Categories do two things to my mind, they lead readers to pages, but they also lead editors in making pages.

I think fandoms as individual categories will help editors to make more pages in FPF fandoms, since the category is clear, but if you have to determine a new category whenever you make a new RPF page, will that hinder page creation?
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
I don't really have a firm reason to split it, but I do think there is a distinction between the forms.

I like Æthel's idea, as the most functional for now, and it gives some good broad linkages. The more narrow linkages we would just have to put in the pages themselves--perhaps we should think about a see also line in the RPF template?
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
Musing about this... actor names on the same level as whole fandoms seems a little awkward to me. Would it be possible to put someone in multiple fandoms?

__Actor RPF
____Orlando Bloom
___Pirates of the Caribbean
____Orlando Bloom

Or just jumble it in, assuming that the Orlando Bloom page has links to both LOTR and POTC?

__Actor RPF
___Orlando Bloom
___Billy Boyd
___Doctor Who RPS (fandom)
___The Faculty (fandom)
___Cristian Kane
___Jared Padalecki
___Johnny Depp
___Lotrips (fandom)

This would make the list get enormous...


Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Will you use sub-categories at all, or will it be just one huge long list of categories, many of which are very similar?
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
To break up the "huge long list" and make it more manageable, we could structure the categories like this:

Fandoms by Source Text (existing category)
__Television (existing category)
____Star Trek
______Star Trek characters
__Film (existing category)
____Pirates of the Carribbean
__Books & Literature (existing category)
____Harry Potter
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to be dense, but I don't understand this from the technical end. I read the policy change and I certainly don't have any issues with it theoretically, but I'm not understand how this changes pages. Which okay, doesn't really matter at my level of use of fanlore but I'd still like to understand. :)

For instance, I've worked on the Life on Mars fandoms pages (, as there are at least three fandoms for it (UK, US, and for the off-shoot show A2A). I made a page and mistakenly tried to make the individual fandoms subpages to the primary LoM page, although that was fixed later. Anyway, if LoM is a category now, is the main page unnecessary? Because in my mind the main page is kind of important in explaining the sub-fandoms, which is how I made the sub-pages mistake to begin with. I guess I just don't get the database relations here.

I'm sorry to be asking such a n00b kind of question, but I don't think I can really debate the matter anyway until I understand what the change effects. :(
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
Thank you for replying!

So the categories are meta structures, outside the hierarchical framework of the individual entries, used for relational (and search) functions?

Perhaps it's a taxonomy issue for me; there is the "category" level, which serves as a bucket for all things associated with that topic; then the main fandom page (e.g. the Life on Mars main page, in this case) is NOT a category, but a...what? A hub?

(also, as it stands now, the sub-fandoms are NOT sub-pages; would that change now? Or the meta-category of "Life On Mars" serving as a bucket for them would continue to make that unnecessary?)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
No, the sub-fandoms would not become subpages.

The main fandom page, like the other fandom pages, would be added to the "Life on Mars" category. The content of the page isn't affected by the fandom category policy--it'll evolve in whatever way makes sense to the editors (you!). The main Life on Mars page seems like a hub already.


Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
The main page is definitely necessary! It may help if you don't think of it as a database per se; think of it as tags.

The category/tag "Life on Mars" belongs to all things Life on Mars, from main summary page to individual fandom pages.

In addition, the category/tag "Life on Mars (UK)" belongs on the Life on Mars: UK fandom page, as well as its pairing pages, character pages, convention pages (if there are any), etc.

In addition, if the fandom is big enough to need specific character pages (rather than just having the character info on the main page), the category/tag "Life on Mars (UK): Characters" belongs on the "Gene Hunt (Life on Mars UK)" page.

(And the same structure for Life on Mars (US) and Ashes to Ashes, obviously.)

So as a fandom gets larger and more complicated, each level of "precision" (for lack of a better term) gains another category, while still belonging to all the categories above it.

Assuming I'm understanding this correctly. *g*
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
Perhaps a link back to this post on the Fanlore page would be helpful. At least for the present period of discussion.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)
I put a link at the end, not sure if there should be one at the beginning too. If you think so, go for it.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! That's where I thought it should go. I guess I could have edited it in... I just didn't think of it because I thought this was an admin only page. Didn't even try! *headdesk*
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
they've taught me to jump right in and edit ;-)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 08:43 am (UTC)
To be honest, the RPF discussion doesn't make much sense to me. People don't need fandom categories, they are not defined by a specific fandom. Not even actors. Not even actors people are fannish about. Or do you plan to add fandom categories for fan writers, vidders, etc. as well? In my opinion categories such as actor, musician, etc. are more than adequate.

The way I see it, what we need fandom categories for are
1. fanworks (like stories, vids and zines), websites, archives, communities, awards, newsletters, challenges and other things fans do
2. pages that we move from subpage to top level
3. fandom specific glossary terms if there is so much to say that they don't fit on a fandom glossary subpage and need separate pages.

Extending fandom categories to people doesn't seem right to me.

Associating the Existing Pages to Each Other

In the previous conversation on Dreamwidth it was decided that Name (Fandom) will be the standard for associating existing pages. This is the format we're using now on Fanlore with disambiguation pages. It makes sense to continue to do it that way.

So the Hermione Granger sub-page becomes Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

I think that part ended up there by mistake. If we have fandom categories, the pages already *are* associated to each other. Including the fandom in the title doesn't add any additional value and creates a lot of unnecessary redirects. Unless there is a second Hermione Granger, for example a fan writer who uses that pseud, I would simply name the page "Hermione Granger". That would also follow our approach to disambiguation where we name a page whenever possible with the correct title and create disambiguation only when it becomes necessary.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 11:28 am (UTC)
Yes, I agree that the fandom addition to character seems like unnecessary work, that serves no purpose at all.

As for the RPF thing, I assumed the category would be put on PRF fanworks ad archives and such. Like all popslash fanworks would go into a popslash category, all Lotrips into that, only apparently RPF fans don't have such clear divisions if I understand the above correctly, because actors are in multiple movies or something, so you wouldn't be able to say whether the Orlando Bloom fic goes into POC RPF or Lotrips or something else. But I'm not into RPF so I have no clue. I would have thought you could just organize the categories like the RPF fans sort their own communities and newsletters, or go with the most common delicious tags as seen on fic, or something, but maybe they don't organize like that?
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 11:47 am (UTC)
so you wouldn't be able to say whether the Orlando Bloom fic goes into POC RPF or Lotrips or something else.

Huh. I wouldn't see that as a problem because usually the author has already labeled it and posted it to fandom specific communities or archives and I thought we would just go with that label. o_O
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
I have no idea how they label, but the comments above seemed to say that AO3 had difficulties? I mean, like the discussion above says, we would need a single name for a category to have it as category, but people posting on LJ can label their fic anything they want, and to me it seems RPF is often just labelled with pairing names or smooshes, like someone could label their fic "Pinto" and leave it as that but someone else could call it "Star Trek RPS" and yet another might put on a "NuTrek RPS" label or any number of things. So what people put in fic headers doesn't necessarily help much.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 05:47 am (UTC)
exactly -- that's why I'm hoping things can go in multiple categories. I mean, what do you do with Johnny Depp/Dominic Monaghan?
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
what do you do with Johnny Depp/Dominic Monaghan?

I hope the same thing we would do with a SGA/SPN crossover novel. Johnny Depp/Dominic Monaghan both belong to an established RPF fandom so the fandom categories for Lotrips and POTC RPF would apply. I think what confused me was the idea to make each real person a fandom category as well.

The way I remember it, most RPS used to be rareslash, meaning you had two well known actors who had maybe a few stories written about them but no fandom of their own. These stories were usually only referred to as actorslash. When actors also had a fandom, the fandom had a name, like for example DamonAffleck which also included many of the people who surrounded the main pairing.

I would go with actor RPF (or maybe "Rare Actor RPF"?) for all fanworks that don't have an established fandom, music RPF for all musicians who don't have an established fandom, etc. That seems more practicable than creating categories based on just one person and also more practicable than including established RPF fandoms in the same category as rare actor RPF.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Actor RPF seems like a useful category, maybe more a tag and self-creating navigation.

But if there's a top level Severus Snape page, and Uhura page, and Peter Petrelli page, it seems weird not to have a top level Viggo Mortensen page...
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
But if there's a top level Severus Snape page, and Uhura page, and Peter Petrelli page, it seems weird not to have a top level Viggo Mortensen page...

Huh? But real people are top level pages. *is even more confused* I thought we were talking about categories and not pages?? Having a top level page is not the same as being a category. Callum Keith Rennie ( is a top level page, Category:Fiction Writing ( is a category.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
we have tons of cross-posting and multi-archiving, and the opposite when the works are all in the creator's journal or site. I'm not sure if it's any worse than complex fandoms (trek etc.) but it's certainly not obvious.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
So we would name pages like [[Clark Kent (Smallville)]] and [[Clark Kent (Lois & Clark)]], but [[Hermione Granger]]? That seems sensible.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, like that. :)