let's get the seven lines.
Hi! I'm Aja; I write for The Daily Dot about my corner of the web, namely, fandom and fandom culture. If you'd like to contact me about a media or press event, please email aja at thedailydot.com. Thank you!

Other places you can find me:
The DotDreamwidthpinboardtumblr@mmmarthur@ajaromanoThe Mary SueFanbatte!

This journal's been through lots of changes over the years, but I hope you guys will always feel welcome here! Feel free to say hi, friend/defriend, just lurk, or drop by to hang out at any time! :)
let's get the seven lines.
Hi, LJ! long time no post/see/read/etc! (Sob. LJ. LJ I miss you. LJ YOU BROKE MY HEART, COME BACK I NEED YOU - no, no, you can't go back, you can't--we can't--it's too late. Be strong. Move on. You can do it. It's time. Tumblr will never be the same but that's no reason to live in the past. You have to make a new life for yourself. Stay strong. Look forward. Let go.)

angstytimelord is claiming to have been banned from LJ for posting "gay content."

Anybody else got receipts on this?

My content seems to be intact, as does my posting ability. Will keep you posted if we find out anything new.
let's get the seven lines.
02 June 2013 @ 04:03 pm

Hi, LJ. I miss you so much. I feel displaced constantly on the Internet these days. My heart is like a grounded fledgling, staring longingly back at its far-away nest, knowing it needs to fly away but unsure where to go.

(Do you like how we can't blockquote things on LJ anymore because now they auto-format as shitty fucking italics? I KNOW I SURE DO!)

Anonymous asked you:

aja, i just watched inception for the very first time (I KNOW) and now i need all of the arthur/eames fic. what's the best you'd recommend? where should i start? #latetothepartyproblems


*Deep breath* Okay. Ahaha wow. You don't know what an overwhelming question this is for me to be asked 3 years into a fandom whose fics are as good as Inception's. I don't know if I just turn my critical filter off more, or if the fics are just objectively better (i like to think both), but you should know my rec rate is about 40% higher in Inception than in any other fandoms I read in. (I calculated this on Pinboard once, it was ridiculous, haha.)

So when I say you should READ ALL OF THE FICS I mean that with a kind of desperate urgency because they're all so good, haha. Read all of the fics on Phen's enormous 600-strong rec list, read all the fics on Mementis's rec lists, read all of the 2,000-something fics on my Inception pinboard bookmarks, read them all because Inception fandom is amazing, and Arthur and Eames are just. There's nothing quite like them.

so, fic recs.Collapse )
let's get the seven lines.
25 March 2013 @ 11:28 pm

  • We have surpassed the Kickstarter goal for Fight Like a Girl by a stunning $1,000!!!!!! I am in complete shock. Thank you to all of you. <3

  • I have been invited to participate in a BBC panel on Adria Richards and sexism in geek culture tomorrow! I'm going to be debating a mens' rights activist!  I am a terrible debater so I will own that even under normal circumstances I would be terrified. Under these circumstances, haha, well, I have no idea what will happen, but I will do my best to represent the idea that women wanting to participate in geek culture, and/or assert their right to a safe, comfortable atmosphere while doing so, does not make them worthy of rape/death threats/firing/doxing/endless waves of harassment.

  • When I was 13, my mom gave me a tour book for Christmas. I stared at it in confusion, because it was a tour book of New York City. When I opened it, the frontispiece read, "Start spreading the news, we're leaving in March..." and that was how I found out that after years of dreaming, I was going to New York for the first time.

  • After years of dreaming, I am moving to Brooklyn. I have wanted to live in New York since I was old enough to imagine myself as a grown up. I can't put a name to this feeling in my chest. And I can't wait to see so many of you there. ♥♥♥♥

  • How are all of you??

UPDATE: I'm apparently doing the panel today with one of the creators of the "Feminist Victims' Fund" on Reddit. Yes, really.

The broadcast should happen today at 5pm Eastern (9pm UTC/GMT). You can listen to it live here. Wish me luck!
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let's get the seven lines.
You guys! I'm thrilled to say that I'm making my Young Adult fiction debut as part of an amazing project full of fantastic writers: a literary anthology that's being funded entirely through Kickstarter. That means if we don't make our funding goal, none of us get paid.

We came together as a group of writers interested in exploring non-traditional ways of telling stories, and I couldn't be happier about this project or the people I'm writing with.

Join me, aliwilgus, cobweb_diamond, eleveninches, fahye, gyzym, jibrailis, kessie, sistermagpie, and many more in learning what it takes to Fight Like a Girl! :)

The Project!!!
let's get the seven lines.
Things tend to get lost on Tumblr and left out of the discussion, so I am re-posting, here, the two statements I made from yesterday and today about my recent opinion piece on the fourth wall.

The decision of the Daily Dot to use a photoshopped image of the Berlin Wall in this article was an editorial decision, not mine. When I learned that the photo was to be used, I requested that my editor add in the following opening quote to the article, to provide greater context for our use of the photo as a metaphor:

“The fourth wall is like the Berlin wall at this point. It’s only a matter of time.” —iaddedarainbow

I have read many concerns and complaints about the image from various Tumblr users, and they are very important to me. I have brought your concerns to my editors and they are taking the matter under review.


This was the first opinion piece I wrote for the Daily Dot. I wrote the first draft in mid-November, weeks before the incident mentioned in the article and the subsequent breaking of the fourth wall by one of that fandom’s subjects. I requested that this op-ed piece be delayed out of respect for that fandom; once we had reported on that fandom’s fourth-wall break, however, there seemed to be no reason not to publish this piece.

I realize that my opinions are not held by everyone, and that’s why I want to emphasize that this is an opinion piece only, not a statement of intended behavior towards fandom or a stated wish to disrepect fandom conventions or codes of etiquette. I hope that anyone looking at my articles will see that I have always tried to conduct myself with respect towards these things, up to and including choosing not to publish articles that disrespect the community.

I hope you will read this piece, if you read it, as a letter from a fan sharing their thoughts on the fourth wall after having watched the gradual mainstreaming of fandom over the last 15 years. Nothing more, nothing less.

Thank you.
let's get the seven lines.
26 December 2012 @ 12:39 pm
i've been thinking about this for a while, but if i don't say this it's just going to hang over my head for ages.

so this is an open letter to the person i met at a fan convention in october, to whom i apparently made a terrible impression and came off as an arrogant ass.

i'm sorry that i made you uncomfortable and appeared to dismiss your opinion. i saw you sitting near us and i wanted to talk to you. i enjoyed our conversation, and i remember agreeing with you several times. i liked a lot of the points you made, and i brought up some of them up at the panel i was on later.

the reason you didn't see me taking notes that entire weekend was because i was there as a fan first. i had just spent six weeks in a row visiting cons as a reporter, and i really wanted a break. i wanted to hang out with a bunch of other slashers in a small con, and just have fun. yes, i was there as a reporter, and i did sit on a panel as a reporter, and i did write an article about one of the subjects that came up while i was there; but i felt it would be rude and intrusive of me to go around such a small con with my notepad out. that doesn't mean that i wasn't paying attention.

the rest of my behavior--i don't know what else you saw me do or say that left you with such a negative impression, but i was having severe allergies and eye problems all weekend long and spent much of it afraid that i looked like a junkie in withdrawal. For that reason alone I was very uncomfortable and nervous. I didn't know very many people there, and most of them were in fandoms i wasn't in, so i was shy and awkward and afraid of accidentally pissing off someone by confessing that i wasn't actually in *any* of the three main fandoms that most of the fans there were in.

And I was afraid the whole time, as i always am at conventions, that at any moment someone might be looking at me without knowing anything about me, and judging me, keeping a tally of wrongs so that they could write up a litany of how awful i was on an anon meme a few months later. It's happened before; it will probably happen again.

if you've never been in that kind of social situation among strangers, be grateful, because it's not fun. and what's even worse is having your overtures of kindness flung back in your face as being insincere. i wanted to talk to you because you looked nice. and i'm sorry if i came across as condescending or arrogant or anything else.

i hope that the next time we meet, if we meet, we will be able to have a much different, much friendlier conversation.

For everyone i have met at that con in october, and others during the last six months, and over all the many years: thank you all for being so lovely to me, even though i may have been awkward or looked like a red-eyed heroin addict and probably always acted as out of place as i felt. i'm proud to share any corner of fandom with any and all of you. <3
let's get the seven lines.
So. I’ve decided not to publish the article on hockey fandom. Instead we’ll be publishing a much narrower, shorter piece on lockout-related internet memes.

I really do appreciate everyone who took the time to talk to me about this, in support or censure, whether through email or private messages or on Twitter or reblogs. I also appreciate the anon meme discussions and the other public discussions surrounding this that may not have been necessarily meant for me.

This is my decision; my editors, as always, 100% support me, and I thank them for that. I do think that the story had planned was inoffensive and broad-reaching—and as i said before, not one that focused on RPF.

But it’s not worth it to me, it is never worth it to me, to cause hurt or harm to fandom in my attempts to cover it. I can’t state strongly enough how much I don’t want to do that. But when you wake up and find that a story tag on AO3 that had 55 stories on it last night now only has 10, it’s pretty clear that despite your best intentions, the harm has already happened.

When I commented on Imp’s post last night, I was doing so as a fan asking another fan not to lock their fic—because I am always a fan first and foremost. I didn’t consider how, in my role as a journalist, I appeared to be misusing my authority, and I predictably just made things worse. I’m very sorry for that. I’m sorry if I made anyone feel like they didn’t have the right to do whatever they please with their own fics at any time. Everyone has the right to go into lockdown mode when they feel threatened as a fan, and I support that 100%, always, no matter what.

As a fan, I have said for years, will keep saying it, that if we want the media to represent us well, we have to represent ourselves first, before some asshole comes along and misrepresents us. As a fan, I know exactly how painful and devastating the breaking of the fourth wall can be: I lost my job because my editor found out about my fandom activities. I lost my job. I know what the worst-case scenario looks like. I am the worst-case scenario.

I do feel, after hearing from many of you, that I understand why you are anxious, as if I didn’t already understand in part, just based on my own personal experience. Because the breaking of the fourth wall has directly impacted me so tremendously and repeatedly, i feel extremely strongly that the whole system is a lie that just perpetuates shame and hurts fans more in the end—that the only real way to protect ourselves (for those of us who can do so without facing criminal repercussions) is to fight back and own our fan activities without shame. As a fan, that’s what I will always advocate for. Because as a fan, that strategy has proven to be my best defense against getting hurt further. That strategy led, ultimately, to my getting hired because of fandom.

But as a journalist, I can’t ask you to share that strategy with me. And I realize that as a journalist I came across as totally dismissive of your concerns. I am so sorry. But I have listened, and I do care, and while I am still committed to covering RPF fandoms, it should never happen this way.

As a fan, I’d like to ask that if you’ve locked or taken down your fics or other fanworks because of the proposed article, or because of anything I’ve said, please consider putting them back up. If anyone would like to talk to me further about this, my inbox, ask box, LJ box, DW boxes are always open.

I love you all. Once again, I’m very sorry.

(x-posted to DW and Tumblr.)
let's get the seven lines.
07 December 2012 @ 10:45 am
I've posted the outline of my article on hockey fandom here.

If you are someone I previously interviewed who's since asked to be left out of the article, don't worry, I will not quote you or cite you in any way.
let's get the seven lines.
30 October 2012 @ 10:04 am
In case you've missed it:

LJ has just announced its latest public beta release. In this release:

  • LJ is doing away with customized friends pages and turning everyone's friends pages into a default style (yes, like on your Tumblr dash). It is supposed to look like this (via twissie) --

    --but in actuality looks like this:

  • LJ is also implementing endless friends page scrolling (yes, like on your Tumblr dash) with no ability to opt-out.

  • LJ is also adding a new post notification button (yes, like on your Tumblr dash)

  • LJ is also adding the ability to pay to promote your entries in other people's journals (yes, like on your Tumblr dash)

  • LJ is also inserting a scrolling nav on the sidebar with a giant pop-out calendar to follow you as you scroll (wtf)

  • they need the giant pop-out calendar because along with non-optional endless scrolling, they're also doing away with the "previous" and "next" ability to navigate your friends page.

  • twissiehas more screencaps / comments on their journal.

  • Note: The first comment on lj_releases' post links to the Daily Dot article announcing that LJ has quietly downsized its U.S. offices (including terminating its U.S. General Manager and media relations positions) without any kind of public announcement.