UPDATE: Please read at the end; it doesn't excuse FA's behavior, but at least it's a legit reason for why this grant was applied for. I think.

So I was promised that if I totally went crazy post-anesthesia and posted like, IDK, mass defriends and pointless rage to my flist, everyone would blame the anesthesia. For the record, I totally controlled my own evil twin, so I see no reason why I can't say, hey, my post-anesthesia breakdown exception will be used today.

Unfunny Business: FictionAlley and the Pepsi Refresh Challenge, which short version, Pepsi has a list of grants for people to submit project ideas to that will make a difference. Submissions can come form people, businesses, and non-profits, and you submit and people vote for which project by clicking.

Fail Fandonanon: Harry Potter Pepsi Refresh (I understand if you are against anon comms and feel uncomfortable clicking, but there are some interesting comments here. They were also the first place I read this, after Madelyn emailed me.)

Right, got all that out. Now.

I'm against this pretty much entirely because in general, I think fandom's own community resources should be very thoroughly checked first before going outside of it. I also think that is why OTW exists. This grant feels, to me, like the kind of thing for those without community resources to make their particular positive impact thing happen. And I don't buy FA's reasons for doing this entirely because I'd like to know what the education thing means.

But I'm not exactly enjoying the deep and meaningful connection with a lot of people's reactions to FA doing this which seems to be carrying the rhetoric to the point of if FA gets this, somewhere a baby will die and the blood spilled in the name of Dick Cheney to give him eternal youth or something. Apparently just doing it at all kills puppies. I'm being kind of hyperbolic, you say? About on the level of current comments.

Yes, it's stupid and self-absorbed of FA; but not any more stupid and self-absorbed than "Create a killer whale sighting network" because come on, who thinks killer whales are more important than starving kids? Really self-absorbed people, obviously. Who thinks dog parks are more important than starving kids? People who hate kids, this is totally math. Or build a low cost fitness center for the Nadonia Hills Community. Or knitting hats for cancer victims? Or...wait.

[note: I approve of knitting hats for cancer victims.]

I can't even get where the extremity of the rhetoric is coming from at this point; FA is not actually taking the bread directly from a child's mouth and beating them with it. I expect people outside of fandom to 'hurp, durp, pedophiles want money for their pornsite', but come the fuck on. Porn is less important than starving kids. Everything is less important than starving kids. A lot of the proposals I read on that site were not morally or ethically superior to funding a server for a large fanfiction archive and its attached messageboards; very few of those proposals were equal to starving kids. By that I mean those proposals also sucked and were stupid, not appropriate, narcissistic, or aligned with philosophical goals that made me nervous about what exactly they'd be 'educating' people with, and I'll be honest, a couple made me hope for the shark viewing thing to win, because no. That doesn't justify FA applying along with Create a model train layout for residents in the Cross Keys Village (for the record? I like this one). And some were just unrealistic proposals that just didn't seem to have a plan so much as an ideal.

So saying FA was pretty ick to do this, especially when community support is out there? Fine. Saying there are more worthy causes? Wonderful. I don't think it's appropriate in the context of the Pepsi Challenge. Acting like it's a huge crime against humanity for them to try and do it is an inappropriately unproportional reaction.

Okay, level with me. Is it the porn aspect or the fanfiction/loser/geek aspect that's setting off some kind of shame-o-meter that's making this into a war crime? Yes, our reputation IRL is pedophilic straight white middle class housewives who are single and fat and disabled with three kids and haven't gotten laid ever, I get that. HP doing this is like icing. I get slashers are going through a period of self-reflection where we feel we have to either justify our porn for the good of society or constantly belittle ourselves as writers by saying that it's all we do and we are and it's worthless, without merit to ourselves or society. You know, like everything women do.

[I'll come back to this one day when I'm feeling masochistic enough to sit down and tell people why I think their hobby is wonderful and what I think it does for society and in the world, but to me the most important aspect is what it does for a person but that is not today.]

We're calling everything we write 'porn'.

Being ashamed of yourself is one thing; feeling ashamed your hobby is 'writing porn' if that is in fact all you think you amount to when you indulge your creativity, fine, I'd love to open a dialogue about that and get to the bottom of it because I don't agree and I think we've moved beyond being ironic when we say it straight into possibly internalizing it. Shaming other people is something else entirely.

FA doing this sucks because in the parameters of this challenge, and considering the potential for the fandom community to handle this, they shouldn't have submitted. It wasn't appropriate for what specifically they do. Fanfiction isn't the source of shame. Writing fanfiction is not shameful. Being a fanfiction archive isn't shameful. And neither is watching whales. Or trains. Or a lot of those proposals. They don't belong in this challenge.

[..though I'm going to add, again, agreeing FA shouldn't have applied, I'm not in love with Pepsi's parameters. I mean, the starving kids are competing against the cystic fibrosis kids against the autism kids against the no kill shelter. Solomon did not have to deal with this kind of choice.]

CLARIFICATION: I somehow missed this completely, a member of sf_d mentioned it and I went to look and lo, I read right over it.

Pepsi Refresh: How It Works, please scroll down to the bottom. There are six grant categories: Health, Arts and Culture, Food and Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods, and Education.

FA applied under Arts and Culture, with entries listed here. (Can I get verification for this? Or did they apply under Education?)

Here is a list of grant recipients and their successful ideas.

Having said this, I still don't agree FA should have applied, because again, their primary reason was server maintenance and without a clear plan of community based enrichment or education. However, by applying, they are not competing with starving children, building shelters, or researching disease; they are competing with high school band uniforms, earplugs, restoring theatres, building community gardens, musical education, and art projects (many if not most of which are targeted for the underserved, youth groups, minorities, the disabled and elderly, etc).

Note to FA: what the fuck were you doing with that starving African children snipe that set this off? Would it have killed you in some way in your original entry to say what category you were applying in and a breakdown of what exactly you plan to do with the money with clearly delineated goals? I mean, I have read around and I don't see anywhere this was spelled out clearly and concisely with an explanation of why you were going this direction other than the server thing.

I'll be honest--the starving children comparison people are doing right now pisses me off, but that bit you pretty much used like raw meat for baiting purposes and surprise, surprise, without you clarifying what you were doing, people ran with it. It's a blatant mischaracterization of what you were trying to accomplish and it's not like anything related to fanfiction and fandom isn't immediately under suspicion.

Whatever. I don't know if I'm more pissed at the 'hurp, gurp, all fanfiction is porn and worthless' being trotted out by people in the community or the fact that they were basically given a script to do it with.

(If I'm wrong and they did an actual complete breakdown or explantion somewhere before this exploded, link me? I cant' find anything but the original post about it.)

Clarification Mark 2

Going through the winners, each category has it's own winner each month at each monetary level. The categories do not compete against each other for funding. Verified with sorting by Amount: 25,000, All Categories, and September. Each category is a different color. So no, there is no direct competition with starvation, disease, or other serious social problems.

...I cannot believe FA didn't explain this themselves.

[Again, if I'm reading this wrong, and God knows I could be, please correct me and thank you.]
Correction: [personal profile] rydra_wong double checked me in comments and verified that there are months a category did not get a grant in a particular grant level, so it's--God, I hope I read this correctly this time--top ten ideas in all categories separated by grant amount? Except for the 250K level, which is only two per month.

And apart from that, I'm kinda pissy at Pepsi again because the separation by category would have made sense and been less starvation or famine, which is more important to you thing.
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battlestarbean: (Default)

2010-11-03 04:02 pm (UTC)
This is how I feel. Thank you for putting it a lot more eloquently than I could have done. I tend to be a bit shouty about things :-)
hollyberries: (Facepalm - Mulan)

2010-11-03 04:18 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of the outrage comes from seeing it as an opportunity cost, as in, 'FA says they should get the money that would have gone to the starving kids!' I mean, who wouldn't be miffed?

And I'd assumed that the Pepsi thing was a charity fundraiser, and while FA isn't for profit, it's not exactly a charitable organization either. (However, if it's competing with model train layouts, then shine on, crazy fandom diamonds.)
amireal: (Default)

2010-11-03 04:27 pm (UTC)
This I think covers it a bit. I mean, I'm not exactly thrilled without who they beat out for the money, I'm not sure anyone thinks they're mugging starving kids, but there is something to be said for competing in the same field as the starving kids.

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kerri: (Harry Potter - trio sleeping)

2010-11-03 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I really like this post. The constant mentions of 'fanfiction porn' in everyone's rebuttals to this has really been bothering me, because it seems a bit like everyone who gives fandom and those who write fanfiction the side-eye is enjoying joining in on the party. You know, 'look at those freaks, this is where they think money should go', that sort of thing.

Originally I supported this, not realising how charity-focused the Refresh project is - I'd thought that it was mostly open to organizations in general. The more detail I get about it the more uncomfortable I am, especially since they don't seem to have gone to fandom at all to try to raise money.
musesfool: (shakespeare got to get paid son)

2010-11-03 04:55 pm (UTC)
I think the post with the flip "starving kids in Africa have other funding streams" comment (since edited, but I did see the original version with my own eyes) played a part in fanning the outrage.

I don't think the shame is about the porn, I think it's about the entitlement. They didn't solicit their donor base, they didn't try to partner with one of their now-published authors to publicize the need, they didn't try to discover what fandom was willing to give. They didn't seek out community arts grants, which would have been appropriate.

And even if I thought this were a good avenue for FA to seek the funds, I think $25K is an outsize amount. You don't get a grant to fund your future day-to-day operating costs, and you don't apply with some amorphous plan to create something educational when what you want the money for is day-to-day operations.

The fact that they're competing with a women's shelter and cystic fibrosis kids and stuff for homeless veterans etc. is just icing on the cake of outrage. There are arts grants they could have applied for, where they'd be in competition with other similarly inclined projects and not anything that could even look like they're taking money from dying kids, so this looks lazy to me.
edited at 2010-11-03 04:56 pm (UTC)

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out_there: B-Day Present '05 (SH John "Uh-oh!" by medie)

2010-11-03 05:43 pm (UTC)
Ignoring whether or not FA should have applied -- could have gone through fandom, yes, and let's be honest, we all get very, very narky at the idea of people personally profiting from fandom (a big idea underlying fandom is the hobby/doing it for love/it's not a "real" job aspect of it, and I do get that) -- it's the reaction that's really annoying me.

What's bugging me is the public outcry against it. What's bothering me is this assumption that "charity" funds should solely go towards the "starving children in Africa". Honestly, people, charity is not three oranges in a fruit bowl. If you give the starving children an orange and the puppy shelter one and the cystic fibrosis kids one, that doesn't mean that's all the oranges anyone ever gets.

Part of encouraging organisations to donate and put funds towards charity (and points for Pepsi for doing this, even though they really should have thought about organising the grants not solely by finances but also by type, maybe) is showing public support and need. It's not a crime to put in a proposal, it's not a sin to point out that your community could be improved by a, b and c.

I hate this underlying inference that charity funds should solely be for food and shelter and life-or-death health. This idea that the only ones "worthy" of contributed funds are those in obvious, provable distress. Come on, people. Our goals should be higher than that. There should be room to improve people's lives, to have community connection and enjoyment, to focus on making life better -- rather than implying that your interest/cause/belief is not as worthy of funding as this, that and the other.
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (SH Sherlock on the couch by Medie)

2010-11-03 07:09 pm (UTC)
ETA: Ah, that makes more sense that it's under that category.

But, yes, someone should have pointed out the whole "we're applying against school bands and art projects" and "back in March, a grant went towards starting an online literary magazine". Appropriate category makes a difference; it really should have been mentioned.

...although I suspect the Online Outrage (it deserves capitals at this stage) would still have happened.


[personal profile] nomicitacita - 2010-11-04 12:59 am (UTC) - expand

Re: exactly!

[personal profile] out_there - 2010-11-04 01:14 am (UTC) - expand

Re: exactly!

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Re: exactly!

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marinarusalka: Hermione reading (HP: knowledge is power)

2010-11-03 05:44 pm (UTC)
It's true that there are lots of other applications out there that seem as inappropriate as the FA applications. But those other projects aren't coming from member of the fannish community or trying to drum up support in fannish spaces, so it's not surprising that fandom hasn't worked up much outrage over them. If the dog park people were popping up on everyone's flist going "vote for us!" they might've ended up on unfunnybusiness too.

But yeah, the "how dare they try fund their porn!!!!" response bugs me too, especially since FA doesn't allow NC-17 content, and much of the fic in their archive is gen or fairly tame, non-porny romance. Not that the proposal would've been any more or less worthy if it had been for a porn archive, but the fact that people keep calling it porn as a way of "proving" that the project is pretty bothersome.

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obsession_inc: (Default)

2010-11-03 05:45 pm (UTC)
...though I'm going to add, again, agreeing FA shouldn't have applied, I'm not in love with Pepsi's parameters. I mean, the starving kids are competing against the cystic fibrosis kids against the autism kids against the no kill shelter. Solomon did not have to deal with this kind of choice.

This. A lot. Goddamn. I blame Pepsi for most of this; it's just ludicrous to have fanfiction or model trains competing against much more serious ideas.

On the other hand, I feel perfectly comfortable leveling the judgment cannon at both the FictionAlley and model train people, mostly because I prefer to live in a world where people who think their hobbies are more important than the welfare of others are laughed at for that. Let me clarify again: People shouldn't be ashamed of fanfiction itself, but they damn well should be ashamed of having fucked-up priorities.

I continue to be baffled that they thought this was a better idea than asking the OTW if they could be considered for the Open Doors Project. I mean, if it's true that the other option is to close their doors forever-- because, let's face it, the chances of winning a competition like this are slim.

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katekat: (Default)

2010-11-03 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

I had a tough time with this one last night when I started to see posts talking bout how shameful FA was, and while I completely disagree with the language FA is using to legitimize their request, it seems to me that there is a fundamental and institutionalized (if we can call fandom an institution, which ok, i know i'm reaching, still) feeling that what we as members of fandom are doing is somehow not at all a life enriching activity. It's just porn.

Again, however, I'm not trying to say that it's on the same level as building ramps for physically disabled kids to get into their school, BUT,

Part of the cultural discourse around fandom and fandom projects is that we often get labeled as 'frivilous', 'meaninless', 'time wasting', or even 'addictive'. And we've been trying for years to change those views and to legitimize fandom activities to the outside world as sources of community, support, healthy exploration of sexuality, creative expression. I firmly believe that fandom can be both positive and negative - a kind of community that has educational components but also a community that is problematic. But it's not ALL problematic.

While one strain of fandom studies initially attempted to legitimize fan activity as great because it promoted literacy, lead to professionalization in writing, and even new language acquisition -- yet in the last couple of years has pushed back against itself by noting that these kinds of affordances are not uniformly developed if one is in fandom -- (I think the real answer is somewhere in the middle - yes, participation in fandom does promote some very specific types of literacy and critical thinking, but not necessarily the ones that are seen by state-sanctioned education as being important), what we have now is a kind of catch 22. No one wants to over-claim the benefits of fandom, and because of this people are very careful to under-claim its benefits. And this leads to this conversation of shame.

Additionally, I think much of the rejection plays right into the dominant capitalist discourse that does not recognize fandom labor as 'real work'. Because the bar to participation is so low, and most of the discussion around fandom labor is a discussion about 'free labor' (and again comes up against the patriarchical tendency to not recognize female labor as labor because it is not seen as generating capital). And, from the comments and conversation around this FA moment (and taking a glance at secrets on any day at fandom secrets), there is a great deal of internalized shame about fandom activities that reinforces the idea that, while we may spend a couple of hours a day being creatively inspired to write, to create art, to participate in conversations, to support each other, it's all a waste of time and not worth anything.

Now, again, you can point to any post on unfunny business and note there's a great deal of negative that happens in the fandom community on any given day.

But why is it more legitimate to participate in a local community band than it is to participate in an online community creating writing? Both have traditionally been seen as 'frivolous' activities that don't create anything worth selling, right? And the key here for me is, even if I change that sentence to read "community creating porn" I still think porn is legitimate creative expression. It may provide different kinds of satisfactions than playing music does, but to me, there are still satisfactions.

Is what FA is doing legitimate? I'm not sure. But I don't think it's as *SHAMEFUL* as everyone is claiming.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)

2010-11-03 07:06 pm (UTC)
Note to FA: what the fuck were you doing with that starving African children snipe that set this off? Would it have killed you in some way in your original entry to say what category you were applying in and a breakdown of what exactly you plan to do with the money with clearly delineated goals?

My impression is that the category doesn't mean anything in terms of how grants are handed out -- the rules says that the winners who get grants are the top 10 at the $25,000 level, not "the top 10 in Arts and Culture at the $25,000 level" or "the top 2 in Arts and Culture and the top 2 in Health and etc. etc. etc."

They hand out ten grants at the $25,000 level. Not 60. And if you look at past grant recipients, they're not equally allocated with X number of grants in each category -- it varies wildly from month to month. Some months, there are no grants at that level for a particular category, even though there were presumably contenders.

I may be misinterpreting this in some way, but as far as I understand it, they are in direct competition with all the other entries at the $25,000 level, regardless of category.
edited at 2010-11-03 07:07 pm (UTC)

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lorax: Uther (Merlin - Uther "Nice Things")

2010-11-03 07:43 pm (UTC)
I read through this last night, and haven't waded back in today to see if there are edits or changes, but I think my biggest protest is, like other people, that they didn't pursue (or at least not visibly or aggressively) other, more fandom-targeted options, like the Ot3, or similar avenues, that there is no CLEAR reasoning or defense of how they plan to use the money for "educational purposes". And when someone questioned them on that, they pretty much directly contradicted themselves. (The comments are now poofed, but someone had screencaps somewhere, before it was edited or deleted. The basics was essentially that they presented the archive at first as in "dire need" and that this grant was what would save them, and then turned around and said that they COULD exist, as is, on fandom donations, but they wanted the money to EXPAND and EDUCATE, and those two things are contradictory - one of them cannot be completely true.)

It looks like the "educational purposes" are being misrepresented. Either they lied and are not in dire need of money to keep afloat, or they lied and the grant is NOT mostly going for educational projects, it's going for operating costs.

That, combined with the sheer flippancy of the "starving children" comment pretty much sparked me to rage. The "WTF, MONEY FOR PORN?" argument a lot of people are taking is problematic (especially since doesn't FA not even take fic above an R rating, if I remember right?) But in my opinion, their approach to this was deeply screwed up, from the start. Like I said, I haven't read any new developments, but that was my impression as of last night.

There is, I think a good deal of built in rage and hate though, because of which archive this is. FA's got a lot of wank veterans attached, and I doubt that helped keep anyone from losing their shit over this.
nextian: From below, a woman and a flock of birds. (Default)

2010-11-03 08:32 pm (UTC)
I'm really hating the "fanfiction is not art" vibe that's getting out, too. Whatever, art is not a competition. Art is art. But this isn't an arts grant.

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redskies: art gifted from seofim @ twitter (Default)

2010-11-03 08:51 pm (UTC)
I think the zomg think of the starving children outrage is coming on a bit strong, but to be honest, I'm pretty outraged myself.

I'm angry because the post gwendolyngrace@LJ originally made is pretty much asking for $2500 from something that is supposed to be charity grants for... new servers? The best she was able to come up with in the original comments (now deleted) for how this grant was going to be used educationally was a comment about writing enrichment and... education. That's really thought out there. I totally see how saying it's educational means it's going to be educational.

I'm angry because gwendolyngrace@LJ has been incredibly shady about this whole thing. It's one thing to ask for a grant because you're in "dire" circumstances (we'll put aside the issue of FA not even trying to fundraise within its own userbase for basic running costs and skip straight to being told that FA is on its last legs) but it's another thing entirely to lie about why you're asking for money and then continue to do so once the contradictions have been pointed out. If you want money for new, totally unneccessary servers because you're too whatever (lazy, uninformed, who knows?) for some reason to try to raise the money from the fannish community the site is serving, then I say outrage is really the least you deserve.

2010-11-04 12:42 am (UTC)
I got probably ten comments in and the "Fuck you, Fandom!" vibe just had me hitting the back button like my life depended on it.

I'm not even really going to get in to how wrong it is for someone to say "Fandom is more important than starving babies in Africa" because, ho man, that's a fucking doozy and how someone could actually put that to paper for even one second and not think it would cause this kind of a clusterfuck is just beyond words stupid. I don't really need to say anything else about that because others have already discussed it far more intelligently than I possibly could.

I will say this though. If I'm being completely honest, 95% of my online time has at least *something* to do with porn, with the other 5% spaced out over emailing mom and online banking. And yet? I consider myself a good person who cares about others and who understands that fandom is not more important than all the starving babies in the world. So, to the fucking assholes who consider this to be just one more example of how fandom just needs to die already, fuck you. I resent your implication that the way FA has gone about this whole thing is, in any way, indicative of the kind of person I am. You don't get to use this as one more "reason" to look at me funny and paint me with the same goddamn brush like what I do and what I create and what I love isn't just unimportant and stupid, but selfish as well.
concinnity: (Default)

2010-11-04 02:17 am (UTC)
I'm only commenting to say I knit hats for cancer patients, and appreciate your support. :p

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eccentrikita: Softly colored drawing of Hermione from Harry Potter, sitting in a chair in a library reading a book. (Default)

2010-11-08 11:37 pm (UTC)
seperis! seperis, you are logical. Thank you.

When this hit stupid free drama, a lot of the comments made me see red because they were so along these lines. (Oh my god those fanfreaks with their porn, gtfo, your creepy hobby is not worth charity money.) But at the same time, I thought it wasn't out of place being mocked because on some level I felt like they'd done something really stupid, and I'm not generally a person who feels shame over fandom. Luckily a few commenters were drinking the same brand of logical juice you were, and pointed out that there's nothing wrong with fandom, but this is the sort of project you go to your user base for first because your server maintenance plan should be sustainable, first and foremost, or you're looking at the same conundrum further down the line. Also there was a lot of complete bafflement at where they were coming up with the figure they did. I agree with you that FA could probably have seen this controversy coming, and it might have been avoided or mitigated with some better PR. :S

I like the breakdown you did of how the charity money is distributed. Thank you, I hadn't seen anybody actually get down to the how much and why before.

2010-11-03 03:58 pm (UTC)

Fanfiction isn't the source of shame. Writing fanfiction is not shameful. Being a fanfiction archive isn't shameful. And neither is watching whales. Or trains. Or a lot of those proposals. They don't belong in this challenge.


2010-11-03 04:27 pm (UTC)
Seriously. Do people who body build or do weights or like, knit have these kinds of hobby-related existential crises? Remember Reader's Digest having all those totally heartwarming stories about how like "[Insert hobby of choice] changed my life!" What makes fanfiction inferior to that?

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2010-11-03 04:13 pm (UTC)
Most of my outrage comes from the blurring of the lines between a not for profit organization and a charity. On paper they're the same, but while FA is a not for profit organization only wanting to provide a community tool, I would not label them a charity in a more traditional sense. Probably because if I were in a place where I had to choose between fanfic and food, or fanfic and housing, my odds of picking fanfic are low. It's not on my top ten list of basic survival, sure it'd make it pretty high on a broader list, assuming room and board and health are taken care of it would make it up there, and while reading is certainly good for my mental health, I'm not sure computer>internet>fanfic would be put above a library or used book sales.

I think what upsets me is that they had many the viable alternatives, while a lot of the organizations on that list have probably worked their other viable alternatives to death or are working them as we speak. To me, $25k one time donation to a fanfic archive also just seems over the top.

Otherwise I mostly agree with you, they're not personally killing babies, but they're also being, I don't even know what word to use because I am currently detoxing off vicodin for a bit so if this is incoherent then we can sit in the same club house.

2010-11-03 04:25 pm (UTC)
Pepsi clearly states this is open to businesses as well as non-profit, so for the purposes of Pepsi's thing, it doesn't matter. Again, though, I agree; there are viable community alternatives, which is where the argument needs to be based.

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2010-11-03 04:36 pm (UTC)
I'm against it because I think they should check around to find a less expensive server, do a donation drive, and other things first. I also think that it's kinda shameful because fanfic is a hobby. A great hobby of which I'm not embarrassed, but a hobby nonetheless. I don't think it really is educational in the sense that the grant was looking for.

Also, I think it outs people without permission. I may not care at all that people know I write. But applying to a huge corp for money puts the site out there and they didn't ask what people thought first. Some people may not want the site to be out there to that degree.

2010-11-03 04:47 pm (UTC)
I'm against it because I think they should check around to find a less expensive server, do a donation drive, and other things first.

I agree.

I also think that it's kinda shameful because fanfic is a hobby. A great hobby of which I'm not embarrassed, but a hobby nonetheless. I don't think it really is educational in the sense that the grant was looking for.

I--don't agree, but for these reasons: in the proposals there are a lot of 'hobbies' being used; the difference is that those hobbies are targeted toward minority or underserved or disabled individuals to enrich their lives. FA's proposal does not have that, or any plan or explanation detailing their 'educational' thing, what it means, what it will do, or it's goals. I mean, there are several giving drama or dance instruction to inner city kids or sending elderly/disabled to the theatre or getting a club started for particular underserved groups. Dance, drama, and writing fanfiction/creating fanart are to me perfectly equal, valid hobbies.

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[identity profile] reddwarfer.livejournal.com - 2010-11-03 04:49 pm (UTC) - expand

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[identity profile] seperis.livejournal.com - 2010-11-03 05:06 pm (UTC) - expand
ext_9649: (follow your own nose)

2010-11-03 04:44 pm (UTC)
fandom can be a powerfully positive thing and it has made a positive difference in many people's lives, mine included. but like Amireal says above, it's not a charity. it's not a primary source for meeting basic human needs or preserving human dignity - and in a world where those things are being provided less and less, yeah, I think it's pretty self-centered and short-sighted to think a fanfiction archive is worth being on the same list as the other charities you mention.

I agree, though, that it's nothing more than self-centered and short-sighted.

why couldn't FA do a damn Kickstarter campaign? run off some cheap t-shirts and zines for thank you gifts and there ya're.

2010-11-03 04:50 pm (UTC)
One of hte problems with the Pepsi thing is that the parameters are really loose and general and so dog parks are competing with autism with model train sets. I can see why FA would look twice, because many proposals weren't any better or more far-reaching; I mean, I'm reading through some on the 5000 and 10000 that are really not so community oriented.

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[identity profile] traveller.livejournal.com - 2010-11-03 07:29 pm (UTC) - expand

2010-11-03 04:46 pm (UTC)
I agree about the parameters set. The child of a friend of mine has an incurable genetic disease whereby eating too much protein can cause blindness amongst other health issues. The charity supporting people with the illness put themselves forward. They were beaten out by a project for the restoration of a wooden rollercoaster! I'm sure it needs preserving as it's a piece of history etc, but in context, I think the charity could have used funds more. I don't blame the rollercoaster people for beating the cahrity out, they entered fair and square, I just wish that there had been perhaps some splitting into categories so that like projects went up against each other. It would still be Solomans choice, but it would have been better than the rollercoaster thing! So yes, I think they got the parameters wrong.

2010-11-03 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, nice example; thank you. I've been trying to think and blanking on a good comparison.

I just wish that there had been perhaps some splitting into categories so that like projects went up against each other. It would still be Solomans choice, but it would have been better than the rollercoaster thing! So yes, I think they got the parameters wrong.

Yes. It feels skeevy when you have disease versus famine versus like, death; I mean, that kind of multiple-choice question does not do well.

2010-11-03 05:06 pm (UTC)
I am not more pissed at the FA people than some of the other options out there, I am just equally disgusted. And the Pepsi people fail at parameters.

And a lot of other things said above in comments *waves vaguely*. Like the education thing. And hobbies are not the same as ending world hunger. JUST SAYIN'.

2010-11-03 05:07 pm (UTC)
*grins* I think if FA was doing this--independent of their server bills--for some educatoinal purpose, I'd be really interested in that.

2010-11-03 07:05 pm (UTC)
For the majority of people I don't think it's shame of their fannish activities that has got so many people pissed off about this.

I think it's a combination of things:-

First, I think people - no matter how much they love fanfic - don't like the idea of someone equating fanfic with disadvantaged people/areas. Especially as 15k seems to be going towards servers/re-imaging and the like.

I agree that if there was a definitive educational element to it, with next to nothing to do with servers and that kind of thing, people might be more interested. But, to me, it seems as though the educational stuff was kind of tacked on to make the proposal more likely to be picked.

I also think that since fandom is so good at raising money for various causes the idea of going outside of fandom - as if fandom has let FA down - really rankles. I can't believe they really looked into all their options or really publicised any donation drives before going for this. I know it's been mentioned before, but this is kind of what OTW is for. I can't imagine them refusing to help.

I also think that people who post their fic on FA have the right to be pissed about this. This could, in theory, bring a lot of attention FA's way, and there will be many people who don't want their fannish activities under such a spotlight. I appreciate that if it bugs them that much, they can just remove their fic from the archive, but it seems a shame that some people will feel they have been forced into doing that.

I'm not calling for the blood of the FA peeps, but I do think this was badly planned out and I don't think they thought through what they were going to say if/when they were challenged for putting themselves forward.

It continues to astound me that people who have been in fandom for so long still can't predict when something is likely to anger a huge proportion of the community.

2010-11-03 10:29 pm (UTC)
God, I agree with all of this so much. Just--pretty much all of it.

2010-11-03 07:07 pm (UTC)
Fanfiction isn't the source of shame. Writing fanfiction is not shameful. Being a fanfiction archive isn't shameful.


The only breakdown I know of is on their Pepsi Refresh Page:

$ 6,000 Purchase new servers and get them up and running
$ 4,000 License fees and upgrade costs to update the forums and review boards
$ 5,000 Revamp the fic hosting system/database, and the search and tag systems
$ 5,500 Improve writing education resources including realtime online classes
$ 4,500 Support large-scale projects (plays, films) by creative fandomers

Had those last two items been what they were trying to get a grant for and they'd gotten the funds for servers/upgrades/new code via fandom auctions/donations I would have been okay with all of this. Hell, I probably would have gotten involved.

Honestly what pissed me off is what you edited into your entry. How did they think those words would be taken?
edited at 2010-11-03 07:10 pm (UTC)

2010-11-03 07:21 pm (UTC)
Honestly what pissed me off is what you edited into your entry. How did they think those words would be taken?

This. They red herringed themselves. I mean, self-immolation when you aren't actually being douchey is new to me; I can't imagine what the hell any of them were thinking.

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[identity profile] seperis.livejournal.com - 2010-11-03 10:28 pm (UTC) - expand

2010-11-03 09:50 pm (UTC)
Eh. I reserve the right to get more annoyed at FA than at Random Inappropriate Requesting Org Over There because, well, fandom is my business. If Ravelry (big old fiber-arts website) had made a similarly inappropriate request, I'd be ticked, too. I only have so much indignation to go around, you know, and half of it gets used up every week by Joe Mallozzi.

The application particularly triggers some feelings for me concerning the nasty combination of entitlement and incompetence/unworldliness that so many fans bring to the table. Too many fans look at fandom as their own personal la-la land created and ordained to them by God, rather than as a set of interlocking structures that take actual work (and compromise) from their members to build and maintain. ("What? You mean we can't just demand that [livejournal.com profile] astolat continue to absorb the costs of Yuletide out of her own pocket indefinitely???") This seems like an extension of that attitude out into the nonfannish world, where it's even less attractive.

2010-11-03 10:18 pm (UTC)
I probably phrased most of this wrong; it's not being mad at FA for being appropriate is wrong, because oh were they, and how, and douchey to boot.

2010-11-03 10:46 pm (UTC)
I saw this and mainly thought, do we really want Pepsi to sponsor fandom?

2010-11-03 10:53 pm (UTC)
*twitches really really hard*

Right, I hadn't actually gotten to the corporate thing. I love Pepsi. The drink. Not in my fandom endeavors.
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