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Anon culture in fandom

  • Jul. 18th, 2010 at 4:13 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
So I'm working on my next post for the Symposium blog and I'd like to write about anonymity in fandom. But I need your help!

I've been following the latest anon meme that sprung out of the ViVidCon debates (is there some kind of Fight Club thing where you're not supposed to link to it? or actually name it? I'm going to err on the side of caution here, but let me know if there are standard anon meme rules or norms I should be observing), and it's been pretty fascinating to see the different dynamics of how discussions play out there vs. on LJ/DW. I've checked out a few other anon memes in the past, but this is the longest I've ever followed one. Yet I haven't left any comments on the meme, so I can't claim to be a participant-observer -- there's something about posting anon that just weirds me out (personally, not when other people do it). I'm not sure what it is, but I definitely got weirded out the couple of times in the past that I posted on anon love memes where you tell people on the flist how awesome they are. Which, hey, people on my flist are awesome, and deserve to hear that! So I don't know what my mental block here is.

So I'd love to hear from any of you about the pleasures (and perils!) of posting anon, or participating in anon memes. I'm also thinking of saying something about kink memes, which are the other major place that I'm aware of that carve out a pro-anon space in fandom, and seem to be on the rise over the last couple of years. But I know even less about kink meme culture than anon memes! So any observations, insights, experiences you'd like to share about kink memes & anonymity would be welcome.

And I think I need a third thing, right? I figured I'd at least reference the WoW/Blizzard Real ID controversy, but it would be nice to have a third instance of anon culture in LJ/DW-based media fandom, if anyone has suggestions.

Anon posting for comments is on, naturally (ETA: and IP logging is off). Thanks in advance!

ETA 2: I've fallen way behind on responding to comments, but I'm reading them all & appreciate all the perspectives & experiences & context that everyone's offering.

ETA 3: The first part of my Symposium blog post on anon memes is now up.

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Comments

lo_rez: green-on-black classic radar circular grid (Default)
[personal profile] lo_rez wrote:
Jul. 18th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
sorry!
Unintentional anon is unintentional!
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
[personal profile] crypto wrote:
Jul. 18th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
Hee!

I didn't think of Yuletide! That's an interesting example -- temporal/temporary anonymity? Because you don't know but you know that you will know who wrote what. I think there are other fic exchanges that work along similar principles.

(P.S. I don't know about you, but I haven't been too keen on the current season of Sea Patrol, alas....)
lo_rez: green-on-black classic radar circular grid (Default)
[personal profile] lo_rez wrote:
Jul. 18th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
I'm only up to 4x10, but yeah.

Re anon culture: [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets on LJ is probably a bit closer to what you're talking about here?
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
[personal profile] crypto wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
Re: sorry!
Oh, how did I forget about fandom_secrets? Thanks!
vehemently: (Default)
[personal profile] vehemently wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
Re: sorry!
In general, the temp-anon factor in exchanges is a way to mitigate the popularity-contest tendencies of fandom. Despite the fact that some of the biggest BNFs are totally guessable (distinctive style, distinctive crowd-pleasing elements that made their Ns B in the first place) every year, many of them aren't, and many not-very-BNFs gain the benefit of attention they otherwise might not get.

(It's turned out to be possible -- nay, easy -- to game Yuletide for maximal exposure. But few enough people do it that it hasn't become annoying yet.)
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
[personal profile] crypto wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
Re: sorry!
Good points. And I always see people inviting their flists to guess which story they wrote before the reveal, so it's more like a masquerade ball.
hl: Drawing of Ada Lovelace as a young child, reading a Calculus book (Default)
[personal profile] hl wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
(It's turned out to be possible -- nay, easy -- to game Yuletide for maximal exposure. But few enough people do it that it hasn't become annoying yet.)


I'm now curious -- how do you mean? (Last Yule was my first.)
torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] torachan wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
It's pretty easy to figure out which fandoms will get a lot of readers and which won't.
hl: Drawing of Ada Lovelace as a young child, reading a Calculus book (Default)
[personal profile] hl wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
Ah! I don't know what I thought, but it wasn't that.
torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] torachan wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
I'm just assuming that's what was meant. It is definitely one way to almost guarantee a hit (assuming your fic is any good).
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht wrote:
Jul. 20th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
It's not always as clear as one would think, though. Last year I got twice as many hits on my RPF-fandom-I-basically-made-up story as I did on my TV-fandom-with-small-but-present-fanbase story. Both were roughly the same length and (I think) quality. So you never know.
torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] torachan wrote:
Jul. 20th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
Yeah, it's not perfect, but, for example, if my main story is something I'm sure no one but the recipient will know (as it was this past year), I usually try to pick something that I know will have a bigger audience for a stocking stuffer, so I don't just get one comment. XD It works pretty well for me.
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht wrote:
Jul. 20th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Re: sorry!
It's probably easier to guess which fic will get more comments if one is, like, American Idol and the other is... not. But actually my one-person-but-me fandom was my stocking stuffer last year--I just felt like writing it and the idea that someone, even if it was only them, might appreciate it was so thrilling. It got 36 comments, which is a lot in my world, anyway.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio wrote:
Jul. 19th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
Regarding anonymity in fic exchanges and ficathons -- yeah, a lot of them work that way. I've been running [livejournal.com profile] sga_genficathon for three years now, and we do it anonymously with the authors' names revealed a couple weeks later. Like [personal profile] vehemently said, it really evens things out and gives new authors, or those who are writing outside their comfort zone (people who don't normally write gen, for example), a chance to stand on equal footing with the authors who have a well-established following. I think that's why most of them do it, as well as avoiding the problem of trying to be polite when you discover that your long-awaited gift fic was written by the one person in the fandom you truly can't stand. *g* But since it is temporary, and in a very specific context (i.e. the feedback isn't anon, just the stories), I don't know how it compares to anon culture in general, whether it's totally different or overlaps in some aspects.

(Here from Metafandom, btw.)