Some neat things I found while researching my fandom keynote

5 Jan 2020, 7:48 p.m.

Today's prompt from the January meme is from David MacIver. In October, I gave a keynote talk at PyCode Conference with the title How do Vampires Use the Internet? It was about how fan communities use, repurpose and create technology, and I used my own home fandom of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles as the source for a lot of my examples. The slides are here. I'd really love to share a video of the talk, but it hasn't yet been published online.

At David's request, here are some of the interesting things I turned up but didn't manage to fit into the keynote itself or the list of further links on the slides page (I wedged a lot of my research into there).

To start off with, this clay tablet bearing a letter written in Neo-Assyrian cuneiform, transliterated and translated at the link with detailed translation notes, is probably the coolest piece of fanwork I've seen. It definitely uses technology, in a way possibly undreamt of by the originators of that technology,[1] but there was nowhere for it in my talk.

This long article about the history of art communities on the internet covers some of the same ground as the historical section of my talk in a lot more detail and focuses on websites for visual art, rather than fanfic, which was my main focus. It's very worth reading.

Here is a carefully compiled list of all the suburbs in all the neighbourhoods in GeoCities, before Yahoo! bought it and brought in vanity URLs. I love that someone put this together, but it wasn't actually useful for me.

A DW post about the different characters of fan interaction on different sites
; far too detailed for my talk, which was aimed at tech-savvy non-fans, though it informed my approach.

Finally, though this will not be new to David or Alex, everyone else will enjoy this snippet of our initial conversation about what topic I should speak on.

A twitter conversation full of puns about vampires and open-source software.

[1] Probably not, though. We've had fan fiction since forever.