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let's get the seven lines.
28 October 2012 @ 02:32 pm
So tomorrow is a HUGE DAY for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries fandom. There definitely is one, and it's actually one of the most delightful fandoms I've come across in a while, even if my interaction with it has been almost totally in YouTube comments and on Tumblr.

In case you missed my earlier flailing, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in vlog format. Lizzie keeps a vlog about her day-to-day adventures, and all the crazy cast of people who come in and out of her life. It. Is. Fabulous. Caroline tries to win fans from Lizzie's vlog audience by gifting us her cast-off designer handbags (no seriously). WICKHAM WEARS GUYLINER. PERFECT SHOW. IS. PERFECT.


The vlog updates twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Each ep runs anywhere from 3-7 minutes on average, and each ep covers one full chapter of Pride and Prejudice. Although P&P can feel like a short book, it's really not, and at 63 chapters in, we're only FINALLY getting to one of the main plot points of the book:

the proposal.

There are so many amazing things about the way the LBD is happening. The Jane Austen fandom was my very first fandom, and one of only 2 that I consider a lifelong fandom, along with HP. But the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, because it's happening on YouTube, is revitalizing the Austen fandom in a way that I really honestly thought could not happen, because let's face it, there are 8 zillion P&P remakes out there already, right?


Because it's happening on YouTube, there are lots of fans who a) have never read the book, and even fewer, a handful of fans who b) still haven't figured out that the show isn't actually real. So, in any given episode, you have a bunch of things going on:
- people confusedly wondering why the people on Lizzie's vlog are acting like characters out of a book, because they don't realize that they ARE characters
- people who know what's up but haven't read the book begging other people not to spoil them for what happens, which generally leads to
- lots of other people amusedly trolling them with fake spoilers ("WAIT TIL LYDIA GETS PREGNANT!"), etc etc.

So that's all good times. But even more than that, people like me who know the book backwards and forwards, who've read it a million times, are basically freaking out on a regular basis because everything about this story is enhanced by having it done in Vlog format. We vet to spend more time with the characters, side characters who are deliberate caricatures in Austen's world become fleshed out and even more sympathetic, and the relationships that we see on-screen deepen. We invest in them even more, so that when the plot twists of Austen's novel happen, they hit us in totally new ways. (Not even going near the show giving us Jane's reaction to Bing leaving, because OH MY GOD SO MANY TEARS.)

Take Lizzie and Charlotte. Charlotte Lucas--or Charlotte Lu as she's named in the LBD--is so much more than just a side character. She has her own voice, we watch her argue and fight with Lizzie, we watch her impacting the whole style of the show, and we see her away from Lizzie trying to be her own person while still desperately missing her best friend. The weeks that they were apart in the series really felt strained as they unfolded in real time in a way that never happens in any other Austen adaptation or fanfic, because we got to really feel her absence episode after episode. When the episode that brought the two of them back together finally happened, I HONEST-TO-GOD SHRIEKED ALOUD IN GLEE, because even though I know that they remain friends, the emotional catharsis of watching them make up after their long fight and separation hit me as hard as any new story that I'm watching would have hit.

That's why it's absolutely one of the highlights of my week right now to peruse the comments on YouTube for this show. Like, this is one time where I would urge you DEFINITELY READ THE COMMENTS because apart from being very polite and happy--everyone loves all of the characters, which is just so nice oh my god--the comments really submerge you in the amazing cultural convergence that is happening around this show.

Everyone who knows the book knows that Monday is Proposal Day, and the fandom has been FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT. Which is exciting all by itself because the LBD still hasn't shown us Darcy yet, and every episode we get brings us closer to the Big Reveal omfg.

But the people who have NO IDEA what's happening next because they're watching the story for the first time?--THEY'RE ALSO FREAKING OUT. They're all, HOLY SHIT WHAT DARCY NO, NO WAY! and OH MY GOD LIZZIE, and WTF IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW, and DARCY YOU ASSHOLE, and it's so fucking incredible, haha.

Like, just to be a lifelong Jane Austen fan is to know that you're one of Those Women who dreams of a Darcy figure to whisk you away to Regency England, right, and you get lumped in with this kind of fuddy-duddy culture of cat-owning book club members who own all of the Austen films and have three copies of the 1995 BBC P&P because their VHS tapes wore out and then 2 people gave them the DVDs for christmas *cough*.

So there's this real joy for me in watching other people discover this story as it's happening. This is in part a tribute to the excellent writers of the LBD, but also, ultimately, to Austen, and to the power of a universally beloved story. When I hosted the Daily Dot's Transmedia Round Table recently, Bernie Su, the LBD's co-producer and head writer, said that the LBD considers P&P to be "our greatest weapon." And it's so true, because you can literally see people who started watching randomly, or maybe because of the Hank Green connection (he's the other producer) moving from casual interest to total obsession based on the power of the story, and getting so caught up in the plot and the characters in real time.

It's MAGICAL, YOU GUYS. it's making me SO UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY. Like, these are all actual comments on the most recent eps, and I'm just totally rolling around in them like watching this show is some kind of brand-new spectator sport.

I have no idea what's going to happen on Monday. My personal theory is that Darcy's going to ask Lizzie out via text or something equally awkward and Lizzie's reaction will occur onscreen while she reads his texts to us with increasing indignation. BUT no matter what, I just wanted to commemorate this, because 199 years after Pride and Prejudice was published, tens of thousands of people in the Jane Austen fandom are literally on the edge of our seats waiting for Darcy's proposal, like we've never seen it before. Because amazing tales, being retold in amazing new ways, not only gain new audiences, but gain new emotional resonances in the telling.

That's the power of story, and the power of transformative fanfiction.


let's get the seven lines.
16 October 2012 @ 07:09 pm
This will be of interest to no one but me; I've just been wanting to document, for my own navel-gazing interests, what fics I've written and received for Yuletide over the last 9 years. :)

Read more...Collapse )
let's get the seven lines.

Exclusive: LiveJournal all but abandons U.S. presence 
Staff Writer

 LiveJournal U.S. has quietly downsized over the past few months, leaving the Internet’s oldest blogging platform almost entirely under Russian management.

When the Daily Dot visited LiveJournal’s San Francisco headquarters in February 2012, the company had about 10 U.S. employees.

Since then, five employees—including U.S. General Manager Anjelika Petrochenko—have left the company. LiveJournal has not announced Petrochenko’s departure in any statement or release, but Petrochenko confirmed her own departure to the Daily Dot.

Ekaterina Pahomchik, a LiveJournal spokesperson based in Moscow, told the Daily Dot Petrochenko and the other departed employees will not be replaced.

“All of LiveJournal’s business operations nowadays are handled out of the SUP Media offices in Moscow centrally,” she said.

“Our representatives from Russia will be responsible for all product, marketing, business development etc. projects for the U.S. segment.”

SUP Media is LiveJournal’s Russian parent company, whichbought the blogging platform from Six Apart in 2007. SUP is the third company to take ownership of LiveJournal, after Six Apart and Danga Interactive, the company LiveJournal inventor Brad Fitzpatrick managed.

However, Pahomchik said that U.S. LiveJournal users should not notice a difference. The Russian office will continue the projects, like LJ Media, the U.S. office worked on.

“LiveJournal and SUP Media are keen on continuing the LJ Media initiative to keep up with the results which have been achieved so far, and this is the new strategy of LiveJournal global development,” she said.

Aside from day to day maintenance, the U.S. office was also responsible for LJ Media, a redesign and promotion initiative for LiveJournal’s most popular communities like Oh No They Didn’t!,VaginaPagina, and CraftGrrl.

Brenden Delzer, the moderator of Oh No They Didn’t! and a LiveJournal employee who continues to work in the San Francisco office, told the Daily Dot that LJ Media moderators have already been informed about the change in overhead.

“Leadership of the LJ Media program has been transferred to our main office in Russia & every LJ Media community leader received an email from Anjelika with these details,” he said.

Though the staff website lists employees like Anjelika Petrochenko as current staff members, Delzer confirmed that they were no longer with the company.

The Daily Dot has confirmed that LiveJournal employees Tom Byron, Jen Kim, Sasha Rojas, and Michael Rutledge have also left this year. Though SUP Media does not plan to replace them, it has not announced their departures either, leaving us to wonder who else listed on the website has already left.

Aja Romano contributed to this report.

The Daily Dot

let's get the seven lines.
11 October 2012 @ 07:37 pm

GUESS WHAT. Annalee Newitz, editor in chief of IO9, has asked me to be a guest on next week's edition of We Come From the Future to talk about fandom!

And not just any fandom discussion, but the ultimate fandom discussion.

That's right.

Next Friday, I'm going to dish the dirt with Annalee and the writers of io9 (fangirl squeaks) about FANDOM WANK! YES. THAT'S RIGHT. THIS IS A THING THAT IS HAPPENING.

I'll be over in the corner making high-pitched noises until next week!
let's get the seven lines.
Hi, LJ / DW!

I am so very remiss in letting you guys know where I've been and what I've been writing, but I do have a couple of quick updates for you:

  • AfterElton has asked me to be one of their 5 new "slash experts" for their brand-new column on slash fandom, The Shipping News! I'm so excited, omg! And I have to thank the Daily Dot for letting me be a part of this. Our first column is up right this way, and if you're in the mood for a discussion about RPF, there's a heated one going on in comments, so grab popcorn and dive in! :D

  • This is not a journalism update but omg Fandomspotting!! We've done 3 eps so far and it's so much fun! Last week we spotlighted YULETIDE and it was awesome. This week we're hosting our first fandom-specific ep, and it's all about DOCTOR WHO! So join us for this weekend's livecast if you can, or check out the podcast if you can't! :)

  • I keep being asked to provide links to my fandom coverage at the Dot, and I've been failing, but so far you can read everything I've posted either at my Daily Dot byline or over at my Tumblr tag!

  • I've received a lot of feedback saying that I misrepresented podfic fandom in my recent article on podfic for the Daily Dot. Ordinarily I prefer to let my journalism speak for itself, or make a correction when I make a mistake--but in this case things aren't that simple. I don't want anyone's trust in me as a journalist to suffer because of this, so if I may, I want to say a few things--primarily that I did not take my interpretation of what happened from FFA. I am a professional journalist with 11 years of experience. I do not take the word of an anon meme as a source.

    My research and word choice + editorial weigh-in, for anyone who caresCollapse )

    You guys are always welcome to call me out on anything you're unhappy with, at any time. The comments to my articles are always open, and we recently updated our commenting system so now (thank god) you don't have to log in through Facebook!
    let's get the seven lines.
    (there is a monster Tim Roth / Gary Oldman fic at the end of this chat book)

    Ifrit.: JGL was a wreck on SNL
    bookshop: oh god really? oh god poor guy
    bookshop: UGH SO EMBARRASSED
    Ifrit.: flkd;lk no wait I'm not actually sure if it was TERRIBLE TERRIBLE
    bookshop: he was really bad the last time too wasn't he? fdljafj;dslasdfj
    Ifrit.: but I am just assuming that it was because the opening involves him doing a striptease a la Magic Mike
    bookshop: uh
    Ifrit.: I am looking at gifs and just being like really embarrassed
    bookshop: why are he and tom hardy both always so asdklfja;sdlfdklj;kldj
    Ifrit.: embarrassing
    bookshop: safdk;kjfksdf;sdajsdfjs yes sdlka;sdfjsljsssjfljld
    Ifrit.: WHY
    bookshop: SO HILARIOUSLY NOT THEIR CHARACTERS fdklasdj;fkadjaskdflajaklfjdl
    Ifrit.: but Tom Hardy is like
    Ifrit.: he's okay but JGL JUST STOP
    bookshop: yes, he's just
    bookshop: yes
    bookshop: yes
    bookshop: yes
    bookshop: yes
    bookshop: sdjfk;lsadf;ksdjkldsCollapse )
    let's get the seven lines.
    16 September 2012 @ 09:59 am
    I am so late for this announcement but I'm so excited!

    Please join me, cobweb_diamond, eleveninches, cherrybina, and cthonical in exactly UM RIGHT NOW WHOOPS for the first ever live broadcast of...


    Fandomspotting is a new weekly live audio chat that will be livestreaming on Youtube via Google Hangout.

    We will have a rotating roster of panelists each week, on a rotating schedule so everyone can listen live. And if you can't, you can just check out the YouTube channel for the archives!

    I'm really excited about this, guys. We started planning this in February but got waylaid just as we were about to broadcast the first ep when the software we were using went behind a firewall. So then we realized 2 weeks ago that Google had the tools we needed and so HERE WE ARE YAY.

    This is so exciting!
    let's get the seven lines.
    13 September 2012 @ 12:06 pm
    so I did an interview with the moderator of Fail Fandom Anon!

    It's a good interview. sunnycamehome2u was very cooperative and articulate, and it's worth a read even if you think anon memes are the scourge of fandom. :)
    let's get the seven lines.
    11 September 2012 @ 11:28 pm
    Received word that I'm not teaching music this fall because enrollment is down. So that means I can unlock the fluff memes, and so I have!

    Fluff Meme, Round One!
    Fluff Meme, Round Two!
    Fluff Meme, Round Three, hosted at cherrybina's place! :D

    (*cough* in case anyone wanted to spontaneously put more inception fluff on my journal, in between writing a zillion articles, i would come here and make googly eyes of love and adoration at you. <3)
    let's get the seven lines.


    So, in case you missed it:

    Part 1: The Demise of a Social Media Platform: Timeline of LiveJournal’s Decline;

    Part 2: Keeping Track of a Fandom Diaspora; aaaaaaaand

    Part 3: why we hate tumblr so much but keep using it anyway:

    The pros and cons of fandom on Tumblr

    For months, arguments about Tumblr have been circulating fandom like a looping GIF. Fandom is using Tumblr more than ever, but many fans hate what Tumblr is doing to fandom.

    The argument boils down to two issues: communication and kinds of fanworks. Tumblr is an image-friendly site whose design doesn’t lend itself to text-based blogging and interaction. The emergence of a fan culture that accordingly pays less attention to textual engagement and one-on-one communication has many fans worried.

    To help make sense of the debate, here’s a handy pros and cons list the Daily Dot compiled from fans and Tumblr users.

    Read more at the Daily Dot, where we will continue to format all our posts in Semagic no matter how the posting interfaces of the internet get *cough* tumblr *cough* *fist of defiance*