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Monday, May 16th, 2011 11:12 am
The Fanlore wiki committee has been brainstorming this year about outreach to different fan communities, especially fan communities which are unrepresented or under-represented on Fanlore. Anime, manga, and related communities are an area where we’d like to do some outreach.

Before we really dive in to trying to spread the word about Fanlore in various anime and manga communities, we want to make sure that we’ve created a good wiki structure in which fans can add pages. Here are the category pages for anime and manga as things stand now:


We probably need to reexamine how the above format categories are assigned to fandom pages. Do we want anime movies to be in the Film category? Anime/Manga may also need a separate Fandom by Source Community category (and what should we call it?). One issue we’ve become aware of is that the terms “anime” and “manga” may exclude similar material created in countries other than Japan (manhua in China, for example). We’re not sure what the right answers are. Here are a few ideas:

Option 1: Merge the Anime category with Cartoons and the Manga category with Comics.

Anime + Cartoons → Cartoons
Manga + Comics → Comics

Option 2: Create a new category, Animation, for the combined Anime and Cartoons categories. Merge the Manga category with Comics.

Anime + Cartoons → Animation
Manga + Comics → Comics

Option 3:
? something we haven’t even thought of yet!

We’re hoping for a system that will accommodate many needs, including those of manhua, manhwa, and a variety of animation and comics fandoms from around the world. If you have knowledge in these areas, we definitely want to hear from you! We hope to find a few fans who are excited about the prospect of chronicling and preserving anime or manga fandoms and their histories, who can help us 1) figure out how best to structure this corner of the wiki and 2) reach out to anime and manga communities for more participation once we have a good structure in place.

Might you be that person? Let us know by dropping a comment on this post, or contact us using our contact form. And please feel free to signal-boost this post on your own journal or in the fannish spaces you frequent. Thanks!

Edited to add: stay tuned -- a new post is coming from the Fanlore wiki committee which contains a new proposal for how to handle categories on the wiki, based in large part on response to this post. We've made a follow-up post, which is here: Category proposal.

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
Also, a wiki forum

This could be a tremendous addition. A meeting point for everyone, a place where newbies can ask stuff, where people get to know each other, where more general discussions can take place and where community is buildt. For people who don't follow the "recent changes" page slavishly, it could also point their attention to topics, problems or simply new stuff.
Friday, May 20th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
We do have a chat room: https://fanarchive.campfirenow.com/60af4

and also this comm :) which doesn't work quite like a forum. Hmm....
Friday, May 20th, 2011 11:21 am (UTC)
When I first visited the fanlore site, I saw the link to the chat room. The link to dreamwidth didn't even register with me, I guess I put it aside as a "news" community. I don't use chat rooms, so that was that.
This community here on dreamwidth (now that I had a closer look at it) seems more like a general "this is the direction we intend to go with fanlore" thing. I don't feel compelled to post here (other than to perhaps reply to something).

The way I see it, it's all about lowering barriers. A community at DW or LJ - that already creates some barriers as there are enough fans who don't want to use either one or the other service. In fact, from what I read in the last weeks, there seems to be quite a schism between several fan factions and groups when it comes to the OTW and by association fanlore, too. A neutral forum with a bit more distance to the OTW could be a great way to invite everyone to a level playing field. Having two strong halves, the "techincal" fanlore page and the "human" forum - I think this could be sold better to animanga and other communites than the fanlore / DW combo we have now. But that's just my impression. (And no forum in the world can help, if there are no people to populate it. =))
Saturday, May 21st, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
As an aside, if Fanlore is serious about outreach to anime and manga fan communities, then I do think the possibility of a forum addition should be strongly considered. Many anime and manga fans use forums in their fandom experience and it is the mode of communication they are most familiar with. Even anime and manga fans who spend of their fandom time on LJ/DW/the like will typically know how to use a forum.

And having a chat room is nice and all, but again most anime and manga fans are familiar with IRC and the chances of them leaving that behind to use Campfire just for this one thing are low.

As the commenter above me said, it's a matter of lowering barriers.
Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
Rachel, fwiw, I think that the committee needn't even moderate ALL the forums -- from what I'm seeing, you already have a dedicated core user base who might be interested in helping out. I'm not even talking of gardeners; gardening is about a different impulse than moderating (well, to me :P), but both are about being helpful. And creating more diverse roles for Fanlore users to get active would definitely not be detrimental to more involvement (since people who aren't into geeking out about rules minutiae but are still dedicated about Fanlore would have another opportunity to help out!)

I cannot stress how much I second the idea of a forum for community-building. My feeling is that the OTW's organisational structure and precedent wrt (not) trusting external people with responsibility (I mean, the entire staffer/volunteer model) really doesn't map well onto Fanlore.

I have a rather clear case study of why a forum would be good idea, actually :) basically it's just mirroring [personal profile] extempore's story from another angle.

[personal profile] extempore is a friend of mine and Frogspace, and she got involed with Fanlore after recent discussions about OTW and anime/manga representation. What happened was basically that Frogspace and me (to a smaller extent) walked her through editing and what Fanlore is /isn't, etiquette, etc. As you may have seen, it's not that she's incapable of learning/doing so herself; she's neither timid nor clueless. She took to it quickly and in short time created some amazing pages.

However. She still needed one-on-one mentoring and encouragement and help to get started. This one-on-one mentoring is not sustainable if we want to recruit many new people at a time; not to mention that not everyone has a dedicated Fanlore
editor in their circle!

A central gathering place with non-chronological/stable/long-term topics, where people could establish presences for their projects and recruit collaborators could help alleviate that. People interested in the same areas could gather there and plan their projects *before* they moved to the actual wiki and its talk pages. I know, that sounds like outsourcing central wiki functions elsewhere. But. Of course I know a couple of ways to recruit people to work on a page with me (recent changes, talk pages, mostly) but they're limited, and they *presuppose* not only a working knowledge of how Fanlore functions, but being comfortable with these unfamiliar venues. (I love wikis, I edited wikis before, but the one thing I've learned [from managing our work place one] is that one cannot assume a low enough threshold when it comes to encouraging "newbies" to get involved.)

SO -- the paradox of Fanlore editing for new people is that the wiki is about community, but editing itself is a lonely affair.

That's like... people are long gone out of "loneliness" before they acquire that working knowledge, especially if they don't belong to a fandom that has an active editor pool already (atm, that's mainly zines?).

Venue-wise, this DW community is a) rather isolated (I love Dreamwidth, but it's both tiny and relatively unknown) and the journal-model isn't conducive to long-term discussions anyway. (DW/LJ entries are accessed from people's reading lists, mostly, and the lifespan is generally very, very short. Idk about you, but I hesitate to add to "dead" [over a week old] entries.) Nevermind that I would *really* not be interested in being flooded by Zine discussion entries on my reading list; on a forum, each area would be contained; say, I could search out the gaming/anime/manga areas especially.

okay, whoa, I'll stop here because tl;dr, so let me end by saying that I will totally help argue and back you up [like, ask my committee to consider writing a statement of support, although that may be overkill, haha] in case you decide to seriously consider this & take this up to the Board, and help out as much as my time permits!
Monday, May 23rd, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
SO -- the paradox of Fanlore editing for new people is that the wiki is about community, but editing itself is a lonely affair.

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything [personal profile] lian said above.

And to add, I completely understand what you're saying about accessibility but for some people, chat is not accessible. They can't lurk well -- their name shows up on the side. And while, sure, they can make up some random handle, that defeats the purpose of lurking if the people who are actively chatting see that there's some random person there not saying anything. It makes them uncomfortable. For some people, it's less anxiety-inducing to go to a forum, lurk a few days and read the posts, get a feel for the posters, etc and then start participating without the pressure, real or not, to post.

The point about the expiration dates of posts on a DW/LJ comm is a very important one. They drop off your reading page, people forget about them. They drop off the front page of the main community page, no one will ever know it was ever brought up. It takes a certain kind of person to click previous entries and some people will never do that because if they don't see something of interest of them on the front page, they'll assume it's not there even if it was brought up 40 entries ago.

With a forum, that barrier is gone. I know it doesn't seem like it to people used to chat transcripts/archives or DW/LJ communities but the fan communities who cluster (or at least regularly use) a forum model, will know the lay of the land. They will search for old threads. If old threads are updated, people will know that because the timestamp of the last reply will say so. Or they can just click the "new posts" button and it will pull up all the threads that have been updated since their last visit and they will go through and read the ones most pertinent to them. If there are posts that are important, they can be pinned/stickied.

And for something like a forum, I understand that people-power may be an issue... but I can't see that a Fanlore forum would start out with a lot of people and it probably wouldn't expand at that fast a rate. TBH, you would probably only need 1, maybe 2, (experienced) mods to start with, who'd do the regular maintenance of moving threads, merging them, splitting, etc. with the understanding that if disputes come up within the content of the forum, they could then bring it to the attention of the committee who could send someone to mediate.

(I say "experienced" because that would make it easier on y'all in terms of hitting the ground running but enthusiasm trumps all. Someone with no forum modding experience who'd be interested in doing so because they love Fanlore and want to see it bring new people in? That will carry them through the time it takes to learn the software -- which might not even take that long depending on the volunteer -- and would make them a better candidate than someone who has tons of modding experience but would only check up on the forums once a month. That's no good either.)