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22 February 2010 @ 08:17 pm
A matter of taste?  
Sometimes, when your best beloved first fandom shows up and showers you with gifts, you spend a day feeling like it's chrismas in february. 

It's Christmas in February people!!!  Know why?  Because maleslashminis is back in business and an absolute metric-ton of AWESOME was dropped on the interwebs today.  I have read every single story posted for this round, and there is not a single non-awesome fic in the bunch.  By which I mean to say:  they are all amazing, and if you haven't read them yet why haven't you?  And if you have, and didn't leave a comment, please reconsider because one of the only way authors are encouraged to write more is if we give them encouragement, and pretty much that all comes from feedback.

And even if you can't do it for them, do it for me, because I'm telling you people, I have literally worn my computer screen down to a black and white flashing bulb by rereading their old stuff so many times.  If they were paper, they would have been crumpled into bits, and I MISS new Giles/Xander and new Xander/Riley and new Xander/Spike and new Xander/Ben (yes, you read that right and it was awesome too, go read it), and new Xander/Wes and new Xander/Simon and hell, new Buffy slash fic all together, especially when it comes from the keyboards of these people!

Now that I'm in other fandoms, and other fandoms that have daily or weekly newsletters, it has become apparent to me that our SU_herald is NOT helping matters any.  I'm not saying that they're causing it.  HELLO, what anniversary of the final air date are we on for Buffy??  I think time is the primary factor.  That and the whole 'season 8 is/is not cannon' doesn't necessarily help.  And just how many stories can one write about how often Spike & Xander get together?  Trust me, when I look at images I'd like to use, I do feel as if I've worn the edges off of my favorites, my second favorites, and my third favorites to make artwork.  AND YET, WE'RE NOT DEAD YET.  Because I know that new people come into the fandom every day.  I've had notes from them.  Just this week.

That being said, the Herald's whole 'we have a right to link to what we think is good and not to what we don't think is good' is possibly justifiable when you've got a thriving fandom that turns out 80 million fics and graphics every five minutes.  Or if, you know, you've actually got people who are scouring the internets for "good" works and linking to them. 

But frankly?  Watching the daily lists of the Merlin fandom, Torchwood, and heck, even of the Kradam portion of the AI fandom?  They don't leave anything off.  And they've got WORLDS more crap to cover every day. 

Also, whatever the Herald is doing now has nothing to do with being arbiters of taste in the fandom.  I'm assuming they have some of, but not most of, the buffy communities on a watcher journal.  BUT what it seems like when I see the daily come up on my flist?  is that they link to whatever they feel like or the last three entries that came up on a day if they don't have time. 

And if I had more time?  Yes, yes I would do it myself and quit my bitching.  But I don't have time.  And it's my journal so I can complain in a totally incoherent way about it. 

But frankly when the sloppiest piece of Buffy/Spike PWP gets linked with absolutely NO mention of works by people I consider to be the last women standing in writing some of the best slash fic in the fandom?????  WHAT THE FUCK?

And as for the graphics?  When people who are talented, who make masterpieces out of icons, who are linked in other daily journals (like Giles Watchers), but NOT in the one that's supposed to round up our fandom??  Who I aspire to grow up and be some day?  And instead the icon posts that are linked are the first icons of someone who just got photoshop this weekend? 

NOT ARBITERS OF TASTE.  Sorry.  Considering that the Herald has ALWAYS had the power to scour other daily communities and link to those posts, and considering that if I had the time I would actually spend two hours making daily rec lists that would put theirs to SHAME, I just....

I just wish there was an alternative.  An alternative that everybody could, enmasse, switch to so we wouldn't have to be dependent on that as the first and foremost anymore.  That newbies wouldn't come into the fandom and get referred there and feel like there's a wasteland.  Cuz man, if I had to depend on it instead of on my flist for information?  *shudders*

ETA: I am going to do my best to respond to all comments, but I have a 10 hour day ahead of me that will end sometime around 8 pm PST, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to respond during most of that time -- doesn't mean I'm not happy to hear back, just that I'm not going to be speedy. PLEASE BE CIVIL to each other, though! I'm so glad to have discussion, but hope everyone will respect everyone else?

ETA2: So, in a move I would have never expected, this post is now linked by others beyond our fandom. HI. I would like to note that this is one of the most incoherent and inflammatory rants I've ever written, around a very specific issue in a very specific fandom. While it may not be apparent (mostly from the confusion of my prose), my actual 'point' (if you'll grant me that stretch) was that the 'selective' mode for the Btvs/Ats fandom community su_herald did not seem consistent. Sadly, what I ended up doing was unintentionally recreating the slash/het binary, and sort-of intentionally raising a question about the difference between newsletters and recs communities, while noting that although the Herald's policies are more like a recs community, to the larger community they do represent a newsletter. At this point the productive discussion seems to be going on here in angeria's journal as to how to possibly change this.
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Emelye: The Dance of Capitalist Superiorityemelye_miller on February 23rd, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
Amen. I've been so disillusioned by the SU Herald.
my monkied brain: cordy - kiss me quickkatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
It just bumms me out, you know? Because I like to think that the people who work on it are trying hard, but then when I'm faced with entire days worth of link fail I'm forced to conclude that *something* is going on.
reremouse: I give upreremouse on February 23rd, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)
A - freakin' - men.

It wasn't always this bad but for the last while, it's like a daily bad joke.
my monkied brain: xander - black and whitekatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
Right?? I think part of my disappointment is that I keep hoping things will change - and then I'm annoyed at myself for thinking things will change.
(no subject) - reremouse on February 23rd, 2010 06:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - reremouse on February 24th, 2010 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
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my monkied brain: giles - sharp dressed man (SOG08)katekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 05:47 am (UTC)
I Know!!! And the whole point of the newsletter is to *let* us know where the graphics & fic & meta & vids ARE, right?

I wish I were organized enough too, because I would seriously just *do* it, but I'm so not. I'm just organized enough to be surprised when things don't show up on there.
savoy trufflesavoytruffle on February 23rd, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I was just having much the same discussion not a few hours ago.
my monkied brain: cordy - kiss me quickkatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
great minds, right? or perhaps it's simply a symptom of a problem we've all been conscious of (actually, I think I saw this same rant a couple of years ago on someone else's lj, but still, nothing like the classics)
(no subject) - savoytruffle on February 24th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 24th, 2010 07:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
Emmieangearia on February 23rd, 2010 05:41 am (UTC)
I had no idea. Really. Would you maybe do a post of works you'd link to? I'd really love to check out your recs.
my monkied brain: cordy - kiss me quickkatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
I wish I could sit down and make you a huge list - sadly I kind of get annoyed by these things in pieces and then it overwhelms me all in one day as a straw that breaks the camel's back...

so for today, I was annoyed that only three out of the eleven stories at maleslashminis were mentioned.

anything written by glimmergirl is often overlooked and SO worth reading if you like literary fic. Everything by reremouse should be mentioned with a gold star, and yet there are fics I have adored of hers (and specifically *looked* for) that don't get mentioned. Consistently many of what I thought were the most excellent stories at summer_of_giles have not been linked, although making a list of those would take me some time - feel free to check my recs tags as I have earlier years favorites listed there.... as far as graphics go, dontgetanyolder is one of the few people I know who is actually making *artworks* and although she's mentioned occasionally, it's not consistently. I could *not* draw like her. For the most part giles_watchers stays far more current on new types of art (I don't even think the Herald bothers to cover picspams, which I consider a form in and of themselves since they now have devoted communities, etc) and artists who are doing buffy along with other multi fandom posts.

I'll try to put together a recs list, cuz you're right, it's not fair to bitch and moan and then not actually do anything, soonish if i can. :D
(no subject) - angearia on February 23rd, 2010 06:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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reremouse: half naked Xanderreremouse on February 23rd, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
I don't know menomegirl personally but I second her record of inclusiveness.

Edited at 2010-02-23 06:11 am (UTC)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 06:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
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chosenfire28: BtVS - Buffy 'Look at my poor neckchosenfire28 on February 23rd, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
Oh WOW I adore Buffy so much, first ever fandom, but I don't think I ever got into the fandom on LJ, this sounds bad though. Did it even mention the jossverse_bb? (yes I am modding a big bang for Joss Whedon works too).

Now, if the Buffy fandom is thriving on LJ still, can you point me where? cause I still adore Buffy.
my monkied brain: cordy - kiss me quickkatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
It's not as bad as I'm making it out to be, honestly, because I think I could start a war about a tempest in a teacup. Or, well, I think there's active buffy fandom out there (hence how many sign ups you got on the BB), although I couldn't tell you where they're all hanging out per se.... Also, since I'm a Giles!shipper, we may not have the same interests? I mean, I think one of the most active comms used to be darker_spike, so much so that I hopped *off* of it about a year ago. And I know still_grrr is active, mostly Buffy fans but I think all Jossverse ppls. Which pairings/characters do you like? I can do some research and try and find you active comms in them?

And no, as far as I can tell the Herald didn't mention jossverse_bb, which is LAME. and kind of hilarious, because check out (the not rolling yet but maybe someday), buffy_bigbang.

you love your bigbangs huh? :D

Edited at 2010-02-23 06:48 am (UTC)
(no subject) - chosenfire28 on February 23rd, 2010 06:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - ruuger on February 23rd, 2010 12:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Pimp... - brutti_ma_buoni on February 23rd, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
sueworld2003sueworld2003 on February 23rd, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
"That being said, the Herald's whole 'we have a right to link to what we think is good and not to what we don't think is good' is possibly justifiable when you've got a thriving fandom that turns out 80 million fics and graphics every five minutes. Or if, you know, you've actually got people who are scouring the internets for "good" works and linking to them.

But frankly? Watching the daily lists of the Merlin fandom, Torchwood, and heck, even of the Kradam portion of the AI fandom? They don't leave anything off. And they've got WORLDS more crap to cover every day. "

Yep, I totally agree. The TW three they're not. Maybe they should take a leaf out of these others books and just rec whats out there without a filter.

By the way can I rec this post on my lj?
my monkied brain: cordy - kiss me quickkatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
I think it might be time for them to come out from behind the 'selective' and just go for a list of everything too. It seems to be the consensus of people who have commented here today at least!

And of course you can lady - thanks for asking first though (it's appreciated, as this seems to be a hot button topic *grin*)
(no subject) - suki_blue on February 24th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 25th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
Simonsimonf on February 23rd, 2010 10:15 am (UTC)
"An alternative that everybody could, enmasse, switch to so we wouldn't have to be dependent on that as the first and foremost anymore."

With my Whedonesque admin hat on, I will say that I did wonder about including links to fanfic and fan art but gave up as it would overwhelm the front page. But that is not to say that that an equivalent site specifically for fanfic etc should be set up. It would sidestep the LJ ghetto (cause let's be honest a lot of potential fanfic readers never go here) and encourage more open debate and feedback.
sueworld2003sueworld2003 on February 23rd, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
"(cause let's be honest a lot of potential fanfic readers never go here)"

Really? What have you got to back that angle up then? LJ used to be the hub of fanfic writing. Where do they all post now then?
(no subject) - simonf on February 23rd, 2010 11:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sueworld2003 on February 23rd, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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gillo: All happy familiesgillo on February 23rd, 2010 10:23 am (UTC)
Here via sueworld2003's rec. You make some interesting points. I've only recently (liike about four months ago) added the Herald to my list, and I've been a bit disappointed by its randomness. petzipellepingo's recs seem to be much more wide-ranging, frankly, and not just for Spuffies, which is my corner of fandom.

I think the gap between slash and het/gen is widening; I have friends who slash, though it's not my thing personally, but I feel that Darker Spike has almost abandoned het, however dark,, and recs slash, however fluffy, while the Herald seems almost the other way round.

It's a pity, because the fandom is far from dead. But I wonder if long-term fans have become stuck in a rut of keeping to their own tiny corner and that bleeds over into recs? I hardly ever seen any Bangel these days; now my flist is very Spike-centric, so less Bangel is not so surprising, perhaps, but I think I'm the poorer for hardly seeing any.

It also seems to me that whether a piece gets into the Herald or not depends heavily on what day it is posted, and who is teh editor that day. Not sure that's a good idea either.

Thanks for raising the topic - it's a very interesting discussion.

Edited at 2010-02-23 10:24 am (UTC)
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
I think the rut factor is pretty big - and I'm not sure quite hot to combat that, you know? I think that whendonverse_nb was a great idea and I don't know why it didn't succeed in doing that very thing - you could post anything and everything there and it would be rounded up, but people don't use it. I'm not even sure how much people *know* about it.

Anyway, thanks for your measured and thoughtful response (since I wasn't being particularly good at that in my initial rant it's all the more valued).

I agree with you that our fandom is by no means dead. But I do hope that we find a way to get all back together instead of being all in our separate corners.... i feel like there has to be some way to do that, you know?
The Mezzaninedeird1 on February 23rd, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
(Just to mention my bias right at the start: I am an editor at the Herald.)


I think you're expecting more than is actually possible.

When I'm compiling my weekly post, I go through every post on my 100-person 100-comm flist, every post on the sd_herald flist, petzi's recs from that morning, every post for the previous week at still_grrr and open_on_sunday, every post at Whedonesque, and anything else I can think of. I also save interesting posts all week - and if they haven't been linked by anyone else, I'll link them on my day, even if they're a week old by then.

I'll link to any fic I can find - as long as it's basically readable, and doesn't have spelling that makes me shudder.

Where precisely am I supposed to be looking for all this extra content that's being produced? Because really, I'm looking everywhere I know. Expecting more than that is... well, basically asking for the editors to end up huffily saying "if you think you can do a better job..." and storming off.
kitty_poker1kitty_poker1 on February 23rd, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
I'll link to any fic I can find - as long as it's basically readable, and doesn't have spelling that makes me shudder.

As a beta, I applaud you mightily, but as a news disseminator, is that really your call?

Where precisely am I supposed to be looking for all this extra content that's being produced?

Most newsletters invite contributions. It's easier if you don't have to read/view everything. Just link and let the reader/viewer made up their own mind.

Edited at 2010-02-23 12:11 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ruuger on February 23rd, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suki_blue on February 24th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - menomegirl on February 23rd, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deird1 on February 23rd, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entrenous88 on February 23rd, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - rahirah on February 24th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 24th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - reremouse on February 24th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deird1 on February 23rd, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - spiralleds on February 25th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 25th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Who Knew. - spiralleds on February 25th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Who Knew. - katekat1010 on February 25th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - menomegirl on February 25th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - spiralleds on February 26th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deird1 on February 23rd, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deird1 on February 23rd, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kitty_poker1kitty_poker1 on February 23rd, 2010 11:36 am (UTC)
There's been such brilliant fic posted at maleslashminis!

I sadly share your disillusionment with the Herald. Newsletters in other fandoms, from SGA to HP to SPN, seem to take pride in including everything they can get their hands on without regard to individual preferences and critiquing. Newsletters aren't supposed to judge what's best, but to give information about what's available and let the readers judge.

I posted a longish Spander series and maybe one in four or five parts was mentioned. I don't think I lost or gained readers through that, but it's the principle. Every one should've been mentioned because it was relevant to the newsletter, not because it was good or bad.
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on February 23rd, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
Actually, as much as I want the Herald to be different, it does explicitly state that it IS about discerning segments - so they are allowed to make decisions about adding only what they think is "good" according to their own rules....
(no subject) - kitty_poker1 on February 24th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
cordelianne: Tara sassy expressioncordelianne on February 23rd, 2010 11:51 am (UTC)
Oh wow, it's like we're on a similar wavelength - you articulated many of my recent thoughts. I've been reflecting on the herald since my involvement in Star Trek fandom and the completely comprehensive newsletters that exist there. Basically if you post your fic to comm, they link it. And it does confuse me about the herald when I see only 3 of the maleslashminis fics listed. It's especially confusing when two excellent writers on my flist aren't listed because I think it's hard to argue that they're not quality fic writers.

It's all very odd. When I write my sadly-now-rare Buffyverse fic, I'm not shy about pimping it around to multiple comms yet unless it's menomegirl my fic isn't listed. Because I'm not shy, I will self-pimp to the herald and they're always lovely about including my fic in the next edition. It's just confusing to me on days when maybe 5 fics are listed yet ones that were posted to comms were missed. I know that compiling can be a hard thing, and my hat is tipped to those people but I wonder if perhaps more comms need to be included in the reading list for the herald?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! :D
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on February 24th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
I don't know how you actually could call what's above articulate ;) but thank you lady. Yes, the same thing has happened to me now that I've expanded into other fandoms -- the comparison really throws things into contrast.

Especially about the maleslashminis ommissions - although from the perspective of the Herald editors who have chimed into the discussion here today, those stories that we're adoring simply fell through the cracks (one editor doesn't always use the 'watcher' journal, and the other one only links to stories that have appeared on the day she's editing) and if we really wanted them noted we should be leaving comments about them.

i think i got most disheartened when i started Summer of Giles and did the first set of weekly links posts, because I knew that was a handy way for an editor to see a week's worth of material, and yet at the time I got told that the Herald didn't really like to link to communities, but instead liked to link to individual journals, so the things I was hoping would be posted would be linked when the authors posted them to their own journals. That seems opposite the stated actions of the current editors, but then to leave off all of the msm stuff, or icon posts because they're multifandom, etc? I'm confused.

Thanks for commenting. And for pretending my rant had actual rational! I'm not sure if anything is going to come from this except that I've managed to piss off some people who seem quite nice at the Herald, and let others air their concerns, but hey, even letting off steam is good, right?
Kat: Xander & Draculaseductivembrace on February 23rd, 2010 12:13 pm (UTC)
First off, thanks for the head's up on maleslashminis. I'd forgotten that they were in the posting state. Now I've got something to read! \o/

Second, I'm so glad I'm not the only one that agrees about the Herald. Seeing the comments posted, there's quite a few out there. I, too, agree that editing does take up a huge amount of time, but well, yeah. Nothing I can add that hasn't already been said by you and those that have commented. Personally, I don't even follow the Herald anymore. I can find better recs from people on my flist, and by the various comms I belong to.

Third, I friended you and wanted to say hello. Don't know why I hadn't done it before now. I've run across your work (icons, art) in a few comms we both belong to, and always admired your stuff. ^_^
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on February 24th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
First - my pleasure! Enjoy!

Second - you are not alone. Sadly, though, because my rant was more fire and brimstone and less rational concerned it looks like I've managed to piss off the very people who are doing those boatloads of work, so who knows what's going to happen. I two have toyed with dropping the Herald & putting it back on, and definitely find out about fic far more often from my own flist than anywhere else.

Third - HI!! I don't know why I hadn't friended you back but done now! And I know I've read your lovely ficcage before and adored it, so let the mutual admiration begin ;)
The Anti-OTPsnowpuppies on February 23rd, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
Since a lot of folks are getting recs here, might I also suggest femslash_minis - it's just re-started as well, and has had some wickedly good stuff come out.

Also *cough*, I'm in the process of starting genfic_minis, which is the same concept, but for genfic (obviously), and we're in our first round now and I have high hopes for some great fic to show up on our doorstep, as well!

Edited at 2010-02-23 01:46 pm (UTC)
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(no subject) - snowpuppies on February 23rd, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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