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Posted by Guest Contributor

by Guest Contributor Roberto Lovato, originally published at Latino Rebels

MISSION DISTRICT, SAN FRANCISCO—A new age is upon us, the Age of Soy.

No, I’m not talking about some new genetically-modified organism that will (further) fundamentally alter the corn in our tacos, the gas in our cars or the farmland of the Midwest.

The development of which I speak has to do with how Mountain View, California-based Google’s launch of .SOY, a web domain targeting the country’s Latinos, was supposed to herald a new day on the Latino web, with some “Hispanic marketing experts” waxing triumphant about our (finally) getting some respect from a company that has a less-than-triumphant record of hiring Latinos or black people.

And then the Latino and vegan web responded: Hey Google, “soy,” (Spanish for “I am”) sounds more like a domain name for one of the tony vegan Mexican restaurants that Google and other Silicon Valley workers eat $15 tacos at than it does a hub for online Latinos.

Far from being the Latino web sensation Google and its “experts” expected, .SOY provides fodder for the amateur comedian in us all, with Latinos and vegans joining forces, taking the “.SOY” domain and applying it to different adjectives like quépendejo.soy (how stupid I am), #soyhispandering or calling .SOY “The must-have domain for the lactose-intolerant.”

And you would think a search company such as Google would have known more about a meme and all its variations making the online rounds for a few years now:

what-if-soy-milk-is-really-just-regular-milk-introducing-itself-in-spanish

Apparently not.

Beyond raising the indelicate question (When will Google launch the .IAMWHITE domain?), Google’s latest move raises a more important question: How can a company based in parts of the United States where the overwhelming majority of the country’s 50 million Latinos live, be so border-walled off from the physical, geographic and cultural reality just outside its gates, so self-absorbed in the virtual world where it is king? Another equally pointed question has to do with us, specifically with where and how Latinos relate to the Digital Darwinism that is (again) shuffling and redefining the social and economic positions of Latinos and us all.

In searching for an answer, there’s no better place to find it than here in the Bay Area birthplace of the digital economy. Whether in the area around Twitter headquarters, in the biotech labs surrounding the soon-to-be World Champion (again!) Giants’ stadium or in the former farmlands where I saw Latino farm workers harvesting fruits and vegetables pushed out by mostly non-Latino workers and companies harvesting the new crop (enormous wealth and astonishing class divisions), the genetically-modifying ethic and the spirit in Google’s .SOY capitalism is clear: We will define you for you—if you let us.

Protests by anti-gentrifying forces against private (as in gated off from everybody else) Google buses on 24th and Valencia in the Mission district say as much about Google and renters, Google and working people and Google and Latinos as they do about the we-won’t-let-you dignity of communities struggling not to be erased or forgotten in the Great Digital Transition that Google, The Most Valuable Company on Earth, leads behind the “don’t be evil” slogan. Four blocks from 24th, I saw those same race and class dynamics in the successful fight of soccer-playing Latino youth against Dropbox employees to win back a soccer field just behind my grandmother’s former home on 20th street. Unlike my abuela, who rented at reasonable rates to immigrants, landlords on 24th and on 20th and throughout the formerly working class neighborhoods of the Bay Area joined Google and other tech companies in the long march of digital progress that has brought us the $3000-a-month bedroom rental in the Mission.

As an alumni, I was especially saddened to see how this same Darwinian instinct created a UC Berkeley (UCB) where Latino and black enrollments have diminished to the point where the university no longer ranks among the top 50 Latino-friendly universities in the country. Especially gross and dangerous are comparisons of low working-class Latino enrollments and high middle-class Asia-Pacific Islander enrollments at UCB that are explained in the most subtle, survival-of-the-fittest undertones over cappuccinos in cafes that once housed Black and Brown Panther meetings and “Third World Solidarity” organizing meetings (digitally driven rents make revolution exponentially more difficult).

Google’s faux pas has its political equivalent in the patently false notion that immigration or other Latino issues were ever part of some nonexistent “progressive” community in rapidly non-working class San Francisco and other cities. Such perceptions, exploited by Democrats, are equivalent to Mission District Día De Los Muertos celebrations largely devoid of Latinos as well as to upscale Mexican restaurants where Mexicans work, but can’t eat at because they don’t earn enough in working at the upscale Mexican restaurant.

SOY

It is within such an actually existing cultural context that .SOY is born and may (or may not) thrive. The good news is that many of us are waking up. Here in the Mission, we saw this self-determination in the win against Dropbox. On the national playing field, we see it in the devastation wrought on the Democrat-Republican Washington consensus on immigration—legalizing four out of 11 million people in exchange for even more border militarization, more laws punishing tens of millions of immigrants under cover of “comprehensive immigration reform” proposals. We know that self-respect leads us to take the action of non-participation in anti-democratic processes not of our own making or without our consent or consultation.

Had they looked beyond the gated walls of their headquarters or outside the plastic borders of their imperial computer screens, Google’s chieftains might have realized that the energy and money spent on creating the solipsistic self-absorption inherent in .SOY would have been better placed in a more community-oriented approach of something like .SOMOS, which means WE ARE.

***

Roberto Lovato is a writer and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for Latino Policy Research. You can follow Roberto on Twitter @robvato.

The post Google to Latinos: We Will Define You for You appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

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Posted by Arturo

By Arturo R. García

It was easy to approach Marvel Entertainment’s Phase 3 announcement Tuesday morning somewhat skeptically. After all, the 24 hours leading into it were consumed by the rumor that Benedict Cumberbatch had been cast as Doctor Strange.

Then came the news:

Coupled with the news that Marvel was finally moving forward with a Captain Marvel film, the day ended with not only widespread anticipation, but the question: where do we — fans of diversity in the superhero movie realm — go from here?

Let’s try to answer that question by asking another: Which actors and character/brands benefit from Tuesday’s news?

THE WINNERS

Concept art for Marvel Entertainment’s Black Panther. Image via Comic Book Resources.

Chadwick Boseman: After well-received turns portraying two real-life icons in Jackie Robinson and James Brown, Boseman gets a shot at portraying one from the comics realm. It’s also encouraging to note that, as Deadline reported, he has signed a five-picture deal. So the talk of T’Challa being a key player in the movie world actually has some substance behind it.

The announcement of a Panther movie also signals a hard reversal from just two years ago, when the company’s co-president, co-president Louis D’Esposito, fretted that showing Wakanda would be “difficult” at the same time he was shilling a movie featuring a talking raccoon. As David Brothers observed at the time:

I hear the taint of that fear in D’Esposito’s statements. What other reason could there be for a movie about a talking raccoon in outer space being a great idea while a movie about a black superhero being more difficult? He has a point that it’s always easier to base movies in LA or New York, because decades of movies have taught us about those places.

What’s so hard about a fictional African nation that looks like anything you want it to look like? Wakanda has been varyingly composed of ultra-high tech cities, dense jungles, huts, and isolated houses on plains. It looks like Blade Runner, Total Recall, the Dust Bowl, New York City, or Hotel Rwanda, depending on what book you’re reading and what part of the country you’re looking at. Movie Wakanda could be anything. If moviegoers can buy Middle Earth, Asgard, Fargo, Texas, Alderaan, and Hogwarts, I don’t think Wakanda would be too hard. In fact, compared with a talking raccoon, Wakanda is easy.

Now, let’s compare D’Esposito’s worries to the reaction Boseman got on Tuesday morning:

Those cheers should serve as industry-wide confirmation that there is a streak of fandom ready for something other than white guys named Chris at the forefront of a superhero tentpole. And T’Challa’s debut as part of the Captain America series now gives those films three Black characters, counting Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

‘Ultimate Spider-Man’s’ Miles Morales. Image via Moviepilot.com.

Miles Morales & Miguel O’Hara: Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach have to be feeling at least a little stupid this morning. After all, it was just five months ago that they flatly rejected the idea of putting a Spider-Man on the big screen that wasn’t Peter Parker. But now? Well …

Unless Michael B. Jordan’s Fantastic Four reboot defies expectations in a major way, Sony’s control of the Spider-Man film brand is still its top drawing card in the increasingly-crowded superhero film world, and right now the next projects on the horizon are a Sinister Six film nobody wanted and an X-Men film that is unlikely to get much promotion from Marvel itself.

As the men in charge of the Spider-brand, Arad and Tolmach should find it harder this morning to justify avoiding investing in not one, but two biracial heroes carrying the mantle. As we’ve argued in the past, Miles allows them to springboard off a popular young character, while O’Hara (aka Spider-Man 2099) gives them the chance to venture into sci-fi territory.

Luke “Power Man” Cage. Image via Superheromovienews.com.

Luke Cage: Cage was announced last year as part of the company’s initial slate of Netflix offerings. And this past April, Marvel confirmed that those shows would be in line with the movie universe. With Phase 3 set to culminate in the Infinity War two-parter, one would think there’s enough time between those two movies to give Cage and Agent of SHIELD’s Melinda May a chance to join the fray.

Green Lantern John Stewart. Image via moviepilot.com.

John Stewart: No way around it: DC Entertainment’s PR “victory” following the announcement of its own film slate was short-lived. And, sure, Cyborg is a part of that. But unless the character can be elevated in a major way, he’s liable to be viewed as a consolation prize. There is a Green Lantern film on the docket, and relying on Hal Jordan again is suddenly a less palatable option after the reception for Boseman and the Panther.

THE LOSERS

Women Of Color: As we predicted two years ago, Danvers’ emergence confirms that women of color — Agent May and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy — are still on the back burner. At least for now.

The saving grace here might be the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan. In the comics, Kamala has been steered closer to the Inhumans realm, and with Black Bolt and company scheduled for a November 2018 film, the convergence of both brands could lead to something big. Sony would also be better off jettisoning the X-Men baggage for at least one film and — like we’ve all been saying — rolling the dice on a Lupita Nyong’o Storm project.

Black Widow: Marvel studio chief Kevin Feige effectively shut down hopes of seeing Scarlett Johansson helm her own action franchise within the Avengers universe.

“Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger, but like Hulk, the Avengers films will be the films where they play a primary role,” he was quoted as saying. That has to … sting. In fact, given that Joss Whedon is in charge of that universe, fans of the Widow and Hawkeye might do well to start worrying.

In the meantime, we as fans of a more diverse superhero realm have to start considering the POC heroes of the future. As @TS_NVstudies said on Tuesday, we shouldn’t be happy with having “a single PoC or Black token as ‘the answer.’” There’s still a lot of ground to cover after Phase 3 wraps in 2019.

Top image via Wallcoo.net

The post Black Panther and Beyond: The (potential) Winners And Losers of Marvel’s Phase 3 appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

print and save!

Oct. 29th, 2014 11:40 am
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October 29th, 2014: HEY GUESS WHAT?? Adventure Time #33 is out today! You can read a preview here, read a REview here, and buy the book digitally or at your local comic book zone!!

– Ryan

Elections 2014 Q&A and Chats

Oct. 28th, 2014 10:28 pm
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Posted by Janita Burgess

English

OTW 2014 Elections Banner

Now that everyone has had some time to acquaint themselves with our Board candidates through their bios and manifestos, we have more in-depth knowledge for you. This post has the candidates' answers to your questions and the link we will be using for the public chats.

Chats

There will be three public chats, each attended by two candidates and lasting 90 minutes. They will take place in our public chatroom.

They are scheduled for:

During these chats, OTW members and volunteers will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions not already covered in their manifestos, bios, and Q&A, as well as to ask individual questions of specific candidates. If anyone isn't able to ask all their questions by the end of a given chat, you'll have an hour to submit your questions via the Elections form.

We hope that you can join us for one or all of these chats!

Q&A

When we posted the Board candidates' bios and manifestos, we asked the public to submit additional questions for them. Now we have their answers for you!

The questions are listed below with links to each candidate's answers. We have done our best to avoid repeat questions, so keep in mind that your question may have been combined with another.

Part 1

1) Being an OTW Board member is a time-consuming job. What do you think should be an average day in the life on an OTW Board member? How much time do you think you can dedicate to OTW Board work each day? Describe a handful of standard activities you believe you should do on a daily basis.

2) What does the org's expectation of Board members' respect for confidentiality mean to you? Where would you draw the line when talking about internal org matters with friends and acquaintances via IM, email, locked DW/Twitter/etc, anon memes, or in person?

3) Since 2011, there have been no contested elections for OTW Board. The fact that an OTW Board position has at this point essentially become a "you want it, you got it" position undermines OTW's legitimacy externally, and more importantly, Board's legitimacy internally.
a) In light of this statistic, and the known fact of high director turnover, do you feel that the recent decision to expand OTW Board to 9 members is a good decision? If so, why?
b) How do you address concerns about the fact that Board is currently the ruling body of the OTW and is supposed to represent the Board as an entirety, considering the lack of a democratic voting process? Do you think this undermines your position?

Part 2

4) What do you believe the Board's role should be in the area of fundraising in particular? What kinds of concrete acts should or shouldn't Board members do with regards to fundraising planning and execution?

5) What kind of challenges, in your opinion, does the OTW face in the financial area? What do you think are our most pressing needs and flaws in that realm?

6) Would you be able to lay out your vision for OTW’s financial future? How do you intend to balance the committees’ different needs?

7) We're currently projected to be operating at a financial loss this year. Do you have any concrete plans for how you'll address issues of financial sustainability going forward?

8) AO3's continued survival currently depends on a small handful of volunteers doing massive amounts of unpaid work. If those people became unavailable, what would your plan be to keep the archive from going under? Do you have a sense of how much it would cost to hire external contractors to do that work?

Part 3

9) All candidates' manifestos mention the rapid growth of the OTW, and therefore the need to grow a better internal infrastructure. What kind of infrastructure are you aiming for? In addition to that, what do you think should be the future role of the OTW Board? Advisory? Executive? Something else?

10) If it were up to you alone, what steps and structural changes would you suggest to transition the Board out of doing day-to-day work?

11) If you could make one concrete change in the OTW tomorrow, what would you do?

Part 4

12) There has been a lot of discussion and confusion both within and outside the OTW related to the concept of 'transparency' and what that means in relation to the work of the Board and the work of the organization as a whole. How would you define transparency in these contexts and what steps would you take both to ensure everyone is clear on what transparency means and to hold the Board and the organization accountable to that definition?

13) The OTW has had issues with regards to clashing perceptions of authority and hierarchy between the Board and committees. Staffers and volunteers vocally resist both steps that are perceived as attempts to verticalize the org's structure and any Board decisions that are understood as top-down orders. What is your perspective on this issue?

14) How do you see your role on the Board in relation to OTW staffers and volunteers and OTW members? How do you plan to reconcile different staffers' visions for the org? How do you think a Board member should act when staffers disagree with decisions that are under Board purview?

15) What do you think are the unique challenges in interacting with a staff comprised entirely of volunteers as opposed to paid staff? How do you plan to navigate this?

Part 5

16) How would you respond if you saw a fellow director speaking harshly to a volunteer in a public chat?

17) It's been shared by past Directors that Board work is both incredibly time-consuming and stressful and this can sometimes bring out "the worst" in people and can lead to negative interactions within the organization that have a lasting impact. From your outside observations so far, what difficulties have you noticed? Do you have any ideas for how to combat this issue that you will try to implement either for yourself or others during your Board service and how might you encourage self-care for yourself, your fellow Directors, and OTW personnel at-large?

18) How do you plan to avoid burnout as a director?

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October 28th, 2014next

October 28th, 2014: Hey, remember when I said I was writing a Squirrel Girl comic? Now you can read the first two pages of that Squirrel Girl comic right here! (Or also here in case that site is down, which it appears to be right now!) The book comes out in January so y'all gotta wait for the rest of it though.

If you want to sing along, I've got your backing vocals!

– Ryan

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Posted by Guest Contributor

by Guest Contributor Dorothy Attakora-Gyan

By now I am sure most people worldwide have heard about the October 22 shootings that took place on Parliament Hill in the nations capital in Canada.

Tragically the event took the life of Cpl Nathan Cirillo, a young 24 year old father.

The very fact that this fallen soldier lost his life at the National War Memorial has the nation in collective mourning.

As a student residing in Ottawa, one privileged to live downtown, mere minutes and walking distance from Parliament Hill, I have witnessed the fear and uncertainly that throughout the day evolved into moral panic.

More specifically, I speak of panic that has led to some very racist depictions in the media, over social media, and in public domains, some riddled with undertones of Islamaphobia and anti- Indigenous sentiments. As the day came to an end and night approached few still had answers and I was only left with my reflections.

So many ‘feels’ that left feeling conflicted and unsettled.

All I could do was sit in this pool of sorry’s that still threatens to drown me.

I’m really sorry that today was so awful and triggering for so many people. I’m especially sorry for the soldier who lost his life today as well as those affected a few days ago in Québec. Sorry for their families and friends. I’m sorry for the collective fear felt by all, children, youth, adults, and elders alike. I’m sorry for the lockdown across downtown Ottawa and University of Ottawa that kept people indoors when they could have been out getting fresh air. Sorry for the pregnant and expectant mothers, those that are differently abled who were inconvenienced unexpectedly from the lock out. Sorry for the classes that were canceled. For the dogs that couldn’t be walked. That time stood still for so many.

I’m sorry for all the victims of today that won’t be written about. I’m simultaneously sorry for any ‘Aboriginal’/ ‘South American looking’/ ‘terrorist looking Muslim’ folk who fit the ‘description’ of the suspect as depicted and labeled by the media. I’m sorry for those who embody such descriptions and the experiences they will have in this world walking the streets the next few days as a result.

I’m also sorry for anyone in uniform who risks their lives for all of us walking through this city the next few days as a result of today. I’m sorry for the girls and women in scarves/ hijabs/ burqua’s who will be given the collective side-eye from society. Sorry for those who have ever experienced war previously and taken back to those days.

I’m sorry for guns even existing in this world. Sorry for violence of any kind.

Including systemic.

I’m sorry for anyone else who was in crisis today and their emergencies overshadowed by the chaos. I’m sorry for Malala Yousafzai who traveled to Toronto today to speak and share in celebration her Nobel Peace Prize on a day so tension filled with undertones of Islamaphobia.

I’m sorry that we are all so easily bought into fear. That we even experience fear.

I’m sorry for all my friends on my timeline who have me questioning their loyalty and critical analysis. Those who have shown me who they are today. The ones that have showed me who matters in their world. The ones that have long stayed silent about things that also matter but have chosen today as the day to express their rage about injustices in the world. Those who have posted nothing about Aboriginal/ Indigenous/ First Nations/ Métis women missing in Canada.

Those who have long stayed ‘neutral’ while trans* women have been murdered the last few months. The colour-blind ones who think young black men being gunned down by police has nothing to do with race; yet understand that when one soldier is gunned down, all in uniform are under attack and at risk.

Those who literally benefit off our communities, will exoticize us, fuck us, want ‘unique’ looking bi-racial babies with us, co-opt us, appropriate us, and yet go ghost when our communities come under attack.

I’m also sorry that I internalize all these things and always thinking of saying sorry when so many people refuse to stay woke and act so violently towards each other. That my gender conditioning has me role playing apologies as if I were the gun man myself. Sorry that I feel guilty for burdens that are not mine to own. Sorry that so many people checked in on me, concerned for my safety when there are so many street- involved, houseless, folk who walked the streets never privy to a lockdown or someone checking for them.

Sorry that I felt guilty for my privileges rather than checking them.

Today I watched my Facebook timeline so hard. The comments. The posts. The likes. The photos. I hope tomorrow I wake up and we are all invested in doing better for each other. That we are all infuriated by what is happening in the world around us.

I hope that more lives matter to us as a collective.

That we no longer place more or less value on human beings. Humans born into this world the same as the next person.

May we all never lose our will to feel compassion in any situation.

And may we avoid dangerous binaries that silence voices for being critical assuming they aren’t compassionate.

May we stop policing folks for how they should feel during tragedies of any sort?

Can we stop the investment in systems and more in each other?

It shouldn’t be like this but it is and I’m sorry.

A self- identified African feminist Dorothy Attakora- Gyan straddles multiple often conflicting positionalities. With identities as hyphenated as her last name, she is a nomad and community member currently completing her Doctorate at the Institute for Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. Dorothy is invested in studying the processes, discourses and practices of solidarity building across differences within transnational feminist networks, with a particular interest in rural and peasant women in the Global South organizing around food sovereignty. A community health promoter and sexual health educator, Dorothy approaches her life and work from a holistic anti- oppressive framework. Always keen on pushing boundaries and disrupting taken for granted assumptions of normativity she is continuously interrogating how power and privilege operate in interlocking and intersecting ways.

The post I’m Sorry: Reflections on Shootings on Parliament Hill appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

OTW Fannews: Looking Back

Oct. 27th, 2014 04:26 pm
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Posted by Kiri Van Santen

English

Actress Alyson Hannigan posing with her doubles from the Buffy episode Doppleganger

  • Romance writer Keira Andrews discussed how attitudes toward fandom and fan fiction have changed over the years. "Fandom was Fight Club, and we didn’t discuss it with showrunners or actors... Sometimes I really miss the days of having our own secret world, but that horse is out of the barn and galloping out of sight... I honestly think that you have to be a fan to understand fandom. Many people know about fandom now, but they’re still Muggles, if you will. Or maybe Squibs."
  • Celebuzz ranked pop music fan base names. "In the world of pop fandom, it is de rigueur to name the fan base to which you belong (or to have your chosen idol name it for you.) Over the last several years, we have seen groups with nicknames like Little Monsters, Beliebers, and Arianators grow into power and change the way we talk about musicians and their fans."
  • On PasteTV, Amy Glynn talked about how binge-watching Buffy got her through her divorce. "All I wanted was a timeout from my own reality; a break. I wasn’t expecting a breakthrough. But a Joss-curated trip back to growing up showed me some interesting stuff about adulthood. It was also the first step back to my 'real' life, or whatever was going to be real from here on out. The first time around, Buffy made me laugh. This time, it made me see."
  • Keidra Chaney of The Learned Fangirl reviewed rock critic Gina Arnold's book about the 1993 album, Exile in Guyville. "[I]t’s about the culture and mindset of the early 90′s indie rock scene in Chicago and beyond, the hyper-masculine, hyper-obsessive club dubbed 'Guyville' by Phair and others at the time. It’s also about the changes in technology and culture that have changed what it means to be a part of the indie rock scene as a performer or a fan in the past 20 years."

What changes have you seen in your fandom? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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October 27th, 2014next

October 27th, 2014: Hey, remember when I said I was writing a Squirrel Girl comic? Now you can read the first two pages of that Squirrel Girl comic right here! (Or also here in case that site is down, which it appears to be right now!) The book comes out in January so y'all gotta wait for the rest of it though.

If you want to sing along, I've got your backing vocals!

– Ryan

Our Future

Oct. 26th, 2014 03:51 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Claudia Rebaza

English

Banner with seven circles and a set of speech bubbles in the seventh one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

Throughout the week, you’ve seen that we need you, that we’re made in fandom, that we're ad-free, that we protect free speech, that we respect each other, that we advocate for fans and fanworks, and that we are our community.

We hope that this week you got a more complete understanding of the wonder that is the OTW. We talked about how there are seven wonders of the OTW, but that’s just scratching the surface. We have thousands and thousands of wonders here — each and every one of you who has touched or has been touched by one of our projects is a wonder.

Whenever you record podfics, make fanart, create and/or edit wiki pages, write fic or meta, beta, consume, or do any of a thousand other fannish things, you are changing the world forever.

Part of our mission as an organization is to preserve fan culture. We want the amazing culture that we all have built to be remembered and honored, as all history should be.

Whether you are able to financially support us or not, you are part of this history. With your help, we will be here for a long time. And this drive, you’ve really come through and shown your support for the work we do every day, so thank you!

Twice a year, we come together to ask you, our community, to help us keep going. This drive we made history by breaking through our goal of US$70,000 to reach $164,625.58. With your help, this was the best October we’ve ever had as an organization!

As this drive has been so successful, we understand that some of our donors would like to know how these funds will be spent. Because we have been as surprised as many of you to see this amazing total, various committees and our Board will be working together to give you some answers with a post made here next Sunday (November 2).

What we can tell you today is what it means to us to have received this vote of support. Not everyone knows that the OTW is run 100% by volunteers, which is the biggest reason why we are able to do what we do on the budget we do it on. Although that work is done without any financial reward, your support gives us that much more energy and determination to keep making the OTW better for you. Thank you.

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The wonders of the internet

Oct. 26th, 2014 01:19 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
Through the magic that is VPN and a German Netflix account I am now watching Netflix US. Which is amazing and wonderful and I never have to go to work again, right?

I am currently watching Star Trek VOY, Star Trek TNG, and 30 Rock. I also started House of Cards before the holiday and want to continue that.

Too bad Battlestar Galactica is currently unavailable.

What are your favorite series or movies available on Netflix US?

Finally home, all four of us

Oct. 25th, 2014 07:47 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
Arrived yesterday evening, picked up the cats this morning. After 9 hours,
Newton has finally stopped demanding cuddles.

the cats appear jet lagged as well )

Community

Oct. 25th, 2014 03:47 pm
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Posted by Kiri Van Santen

English

Banner with seven circles and a set of speech bubbles in the seventh one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

The other day you saw the kind of awesome things our volunteers do. Today, we focus on YOU, the community, who make our projects wonderful.

When using an OTW project, you might not know that everything we do is so interconnected. All of our projects do unique things, but they are part of one big organization.

Below you’ll find an infographic with interesting stats about Fanlore and the Archive of Our Own. All the stats are based on activities you, our community members, do. You may have seen some basic stats from AO3 — such as 1,329,304 fanworks and 417,711 users — but have you ever looked deeper? Ever wondered how many works per day are posted, or how many series there are? Wonder no further!

As you read this, please remember that we exist entirely because of our community. Without you guys there is no OTW; we're all in this together. Take a look at the graphic below and know that your donations to the OTW help support our vital and brilliant community.

How Well Do You Know The OTW? Fanlore - 31,277 articles, 545,208 total edits, 39,501 edits in 2014. - Fanhackers - 1,879 articles in fan studies bibliography, 155 added this year. Archive of Our Own - 1,650 works on average posted and 4,075 works updated with new chapters every day. This year we set a record: 10 million page views in one day! That's about 7,000 page views per minute! 56,013,426 total kudos given,28,226,508 kudos given in 2014 alone.  Legal Advocacy -<br />Submitted 70,684 words of legal and policy arguments this year in 7 public documents to 5 governmental entities in 2014. Transformative Works and Cultures - 2014: 51 essays in 3 issues. Since 2007: 294 essays in 17 issues. What does all this cost? In 2014 our annual budget is US$ 221,863.44. It costs US$ 155,551,19 to run AO3 for one year. US$ 17.76 pays for one hour of reading on AO3. That's 120 drabbles at 200 words/minute!<br />US$ 75,000 will be needed to replace old servers and expand capacity in 2015. Of the total budget, 3% funds our Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures Projects; 4% covers administrative costs; 7% allows for outreach, membership development, and fundraising activities; 16% provides opportunities for professional development and training for all other personnel; 70% goes directly to servers, colocation, and staff development for AO3. Help support our work!

With your help, we can keep our projects running and growing more and more every day — please make a donation.

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Advocacy

Oct. 24th, 2014 03:53 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Kiri Van Santen

English

Banner with seven circles and a scale in the sixth one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

Many fans discovered the OTW while exploring the Archive of Our Own or Fanlore, but not all our visitors realize that the Organization for Transformative Works is an advocacy group, or what that might mean.

To the OTW, it means that we don't just provide spaces to protect and preserve fanworks. It means that we also add our voices to public conversations about fandom and fanworks. We speak out in order to help improve public policies and perceptions about fanworks and remix culture that affect us as fans. Your support helps us to speak up in more ways and in more places about issues that affect us all.

The OTW feels it's especially important to advocate for female-driven fan spaces. Far too often, modern fandom is seen as a largely male domain, be it in the areas of sports fandom, traditional sci-fi fandom, or newer fandoms. We believe in the value of online fanwork-based communities in which female, queer, genderqueer, POC, and other marginalized fans congregate.

To us, advocating for these spaces doesn’t just start and stop with online outreach. That’s why we are focusing more on doing outreach in real-life spaces like conventions. This year, we've sent OTW representatives to Comic-Con and Worldcon, and we're working on developing even more resources for anyone who wants to represent OTW or its projects at conventions.

We also recognize that outreach is sometimes larger than just fandom: that's why we recently sponsored an event at Dragon Con with EFF to advocate for online privacy rights. We also have had presences at other fandom-friendly events like AdaCamp, an open source training camp aimed at women in tech and open source culture. And, as always, through our legal work we have advocated for empowered fan spaces and greater creative freedom under current copyright laws. These activities allow our volunteers the chance to gain confidence in their skills and abilities while improving the OTW’s ability to do its work.

We believe that our advocacy helps us create a more empowered fan space for ourselves and our community. By making a donation to the OTW, you can ensure that we can continue to use our voices to speak out for fanworks for years to come.

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Goodbye USA

Oct. 23rd, 2014 03:11 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
At Las Vegas airport. The flight is scheduled to leave in 1.5 hours and arrive in Germany at 13 o'clock local time. I have lots of music, a good book (still reading Ancillary Justice) and three movies downloaded to my cell phone via Google Play Music. Still, I hope to sleep a bit on the first half of the flight to make the jet lag a bit more bearable.

Protection

Oct. 23rd, 2014 03:52 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Claudia Rebaza

English

Banner with seven circles and a lock in the fifth one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

One of the best things about the Organization for Transformative Works is that we refuse to treat members of fandom like commodities.

Increasingly, fandom is coming into the public view — not just because of its creative energy, but because of its perceived value to creators, producers, and marketers. Your support helps the OTW advocate for fandom as a free space separate from commercial interests.

Various creative industries are courting fans, but not always with an understanding of or concern for fans' own interests. Fans are more than free labor, and fanworks are more than a potential new revenue source.

The Organization for Transformative Works was formed as a response to experience with too many services that proved vulnerable to commercial exploitation and control, or even to disappearance, without concern for the fans who’d built communities using those services. The OTW has long maintained the stance that fandom should be an empowered space for its members, which means that there should be fandom spaces that are free of commercial exploitation, influence, and control. Diversity gives us strength, and that diversity includes preserving noncommercial fanworks. From our mission statement: "We are proactive and innovative in protecting and defending our work from commercial exploitation and legal challenge."

One way we do that is through the work of our Legal committee in advocating for fans and liberal interpretations of fair use where fanwork is concerned. We also work to protect transformative creators, whether it's through giving individual fans advice about how to deal with copyright and other legal issues; through participation in conversations on copyright law and the DMCA; through warning fans about potentially exploitative scenarios; or through offering fans information and answering questions.

By making a donation to the OTW today, you can help us continue to do our part to help keep fandom a vibrant environment for you to create and enjoy fanworks freely.

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