fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
[personal profile] fridgepunk
Shorter Keith "SaruMander" Mander:

Little fanfic, who made thee?
Does thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee read
By the archive and o’er the feed;
Gave thee shipping of delight,
hobbit shipping, wooly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little fanfic, can I buy thee?
I would like to monetize thee?

Unfortunately fandom's response was not supportive, even after he explained that he was a decent guy!

I do love fandom sometimes. NEVER CHANGE (unless it is into a collection of accurately coloured pony toys)

So to further rip William Blake a new one:

Fandom fandom. Burning bright,
On the servers of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could pay thy fearful server costs?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine ships?
To what kink dare they aspire?
What the hand, dare fap the fire?

And what fic, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread baby hand? & what dread feet?

What the whip? what the chain,
In what gutter was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their keyboards
And water'd comments with their tears:
Did they smile their work to see?
Did they who made the fanfic make thee?

Fandom fandom burning bright.
On the servers of the night:
What immortal hand or eye.
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Little really needs to be said about the wank proper.


I've seen A few people start talking about "well if you really wanted to monetize fandom..."

No. See, here's the problem with that line of thought; There's a tried and tested method for "monetizing fandom", it's called "scientology".

You see, an old bit of advice I have for people who start off in the "but I want to make a living off of writing" is basically "if you want to make money, form a cult in which giving you lots of money is a sacrament. On the other hand, if you want to write, THEN WRITE, fuck everything else including making money from that, for now just WRITE."

If you want to write, or draw or paint or sculpt or whatever it is, DO IT! Making money doing it comes second to that, and if you start from the position of trying to make money and then work backwards to "producing art" as a means to that end well... it's not even that you won't necessarily succeed, it's just that U R DOIN IT WRONG, and there are easier ways of making money!

This is not to say that you can't make money, or that the True Artist is the starving kind – there is for most artistic endeavours, including fannish ones, markets that will pay for your artistic goods at good rates, and anyone who tells you that you have to accept less than market price for your goods is a fucking scumbag.

The exception to that last bit is fanfic. There is generally speaking NO MARKET, not because no one is willing to pay for the goods, but because there is artificial scarcity created by licensing laws and copyright and all that, which usually means there isn't a market for your fics, or at the very least, it's highly unlikely for a first time writer to get given the opportunity to write licensed novels for a particular franchise (and even then, it better be vanilla as fuck, srsly, they use a tightly meshed sieve to keep that shit free of baby-hands).

So when someone starts talking about "monetizing" fanfic, please kindly shut up, this isn't some thing where there's a magic loophole or methodology waiting to be discovered that will finally actualize the core competencies of the synergy of the Aragorn/random extra #56 from the second crowd scene in The Two Towers fapfic market to achieve reliable year on year ROI of over 9000%.

ANY market that emerges will be slapped down so hard it'll probably take out a lot of the bits of fandom that weren't trying to blatantly violate copyright law in the process (which is the sole and entirely selfish. Because copyright law is how people who have more lawyers than we do feel is the best way to monetize their brand, and if they get so much as the faintest vapours that that slapping the shit out of you is the only way to protect THEIR market, they will do it without a second thought.

No amount of thinking outside of the box will help you here because the box is the law and outside the box is illegal. And selling drugs is more profitable and less work than "monetizing fanfic" could ever be, so why not do that instead?

And another thing: When we say "monetize fandom", we don't mean "monetize" BECAUSE THAT'S NOT EVEN A WORD, it's a noise people who've been conditioned to function along business management lines make amid the nonsensical adjectival spooge that constantly pours out of their mouth, as though they're afraid that if they can't hear themselves speak they'll cease to exist.

Which, to be fair, they might; no one's ever got one of the fuckers to shut up long enough to test the hypothesis.

But what it means once it's translated into a human language (I pick english) is basically: "convince people to give me money which I can then pocket", in this case, "monetize fandom" SPECIFICALLY means "convince people in fandom to give me money which I will then pocket."

Which is where we hit an edge to this thing that truly infuriates me, from SaruMander's inane defense of himself on the OTW's coverage of this wank:

My understanding from Adora is that the site only ever received a few donations. It was a loss-making website for Adora.

IT WAS NOT A "LOSS MAKING WEBSITE", the bills got paid, the fics got archived, new fics were still being uploaded and read. It was never meant to make a profit, it was a non-profit enterprise which means that it was supposed to FUNCTION, and it FUNCTIONED, admirably given the financial inlay, the bills got paid, the site remained hosted. The person who actually handled that end of things may have And his answer to it functioning but not making a profit? Strip out all the fucking tags so the entire archive is harder to use, and he's talked about getting rid of the fapfics because that might hurt revenues, so fapfic writers are pulling their stuff and so AGAIN, there's a loss of function and less reason to look at the pages that have the ads that generate revenue that swallowed the fly.

And it stems from this weird cognitive bias where they can't perceive the notion that there's any other possible function a thing could have, or fake!verb that could apply to a thing, beyond "monetize": You can't have function because it's function now has to be "monetize" and not "DO THIS FUCKING THING", you can't have a medical system that "just" heals the sick and looks after the infirm because the only purpose a health system could conceivably have to these weirdling BMArses is "turn a profit", and the only measure a fanfic archive could be judged against is whether it turns a profit because GOD FOR-FUCKING-BID the fanfic archive just fucking WORK and do what people who want to run and use the thing want it to do.

And the kicker is that SaruMander here is asserting that donations are completely different from getting some guy to give you money they made from a purchase made by a fan, because... oh wait no, the money still comes from the fan's pockets, it just goes a more circumvent route to reach your pocket during which travels the amount involved will often decrease. So Sarumander's cunning plan to "monetize" the fanfics mostly consists of making some third guy he's never met and will never meet money that Sarumander could pocket if he wasn't a complete twit and wasn't playing capitalism according to some arbitrary and predefined rules of "business-like" "monetizing".

So even from a capitalist point of view, this man is a complete twit.


TL;DR: BMArse Turing-test-failing-motherfucks can lick my delicate feminine ballsack. ALSO: I am more angry about this than I thought I was.

Date: 2011-07-06 05:18 pm (UTC)
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
From: [personal profile] elf
Well, he's being quiet, so he's paying attention to advice--because if he'd kept trying to answer people, at his blog or the OTW blog or (ohgods imagine the wank) at individual journals ... ow. Just thinking about the possibility is ow.

He's got to be panicked, and not sure how to take the statements that "this is the polite version, wow, I hope this doesn't get ugly." (Nobody's broken out the macros yet. He hasn't been quoted on PDD. His resume's been mentioned but it hasn't been shredded. There's been a bit of mocking poetry, but no RPS with Ogas. And he really should pray that it all stays that way.)

He's been pointed at fanlore, which should cover most of the acronyms and other terminology; I don't know that there's any way to explain the "holy FUCK who ARE these people" part. (He took over the Twilight archive and nobody complained; why is this different?!)

On the one hand, bits o' sympathy for anyone who discovers online fic fandom by smashing into it accidentally. On the other, if your job-of-choice is "buy low-value property, put some shine on it, and resell it or collect rent," and you don't bother to actually inspect the property first, instead just looking at its tax numbers... oh, I'm sorry, did nobody tell you this place was crawling with alligators and built on a marsh that's the reason nobody's tried to build a high-rise here?

On the gripping hand, my interest in watching bungling incompetence getting people hurt is fairly low; I don't need to see the fandom version of "Greatest Jackass II Outtakes."

Date: 2011-07-07 04:44 am (UTC)
brock_tn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brock_tn
"...they seem to have accidentally taken advantage of SaruMander's cupidity, while SaruMander was in turn under the mistaken impression that he was swindling them."


Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you.

And now the poor schmuck has picked up the damned cat, only to discover that it's not a cat at all, but one of Mother Hitton's Little Kittons...

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