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AngelofSnow's Journal - Everything is prettier from the outside
Fan Fiction, Fandom, Reviews, and a Healthy Dose of Squee
An idea 
21st-Dec-2006 03:51 pm
comic rogue nice
I've spent most of the last day frantically writing. I'm working on two stories at once so my brain is not-working in a logical way. However I wanted to take a break to tell you about an idea I've had. I think it's a good idea, but since I generally make bad decisions, I'd like your opinion on it. This entry is friends-locked so no one can steal this idea.

Recently, I heard about a myspace spin off called comicspace. Comicspace is a basically myspace for people in the comic book industry and comic fans. At the same time, I kept hearing the same discussion on fanthropology ( a LJ community for fans to discuss aspects of fandom and fannish activity) that there are other services pre-livejournal that might have been better for fans to gather on. Such as mailing lists, personal websites, individual archives, etc.

And light bulbs went off in my head. Why do we fans use all the websites we do? Why don't we combine them.

Right now fans use the following sites:

  • Livejournal - for communities and personal journals, also forum style stuff
  • Yahoo - for mailing lists
  • Fanfiction.net - for posting fanfiction
  • YouTube - for posting fan vids
  • Sendspace - or something like it for sending files
  • personal websites - for archives and personal websites
  • deviantart - for posting artwork
  • photobucket - or the like for posting photos and images

None, of which offer the same great profile display or search techniques as something like a myspace or a facebook.

And there's probably even more websites out there I'm not aware of that fans use.

Why not combine the services of each of these websites into one site made just for fans? A "Fanspace" or something like that, where users get an easy to make website with the same easy posting of fanfiction as FF.net has and the ability to insert a journal like livejournal has. Fans can join communities like livejournal and post a profile just like a myspace profile. Artwork, fanvids, and photos can be hosted all from one site. People can easily upload and send files. Fans will even get their own email address. 

The site will make money through advertising and fees users pay like livejournal does. 

The only downside is dealing with the legal fallout of fan activites. Consolidating fannish activities makes this easier to deal with. Copyright owners can be negotiated with about what they will and won't allow. 

Is this a viable idea? Something you would join?

Now I have some knowledge of business and programming. But I could never build this alone. Would any of you guys know people who would be interested in this? Or is this idea a dud?

Thoughts & Comments 
22nd-Dec-2006 12:03 am (UTC)
I am of two minds. Mind One says "I totally want to join! And I can help! (I've worked in marketing and web design)". Mind Two says "But I like compartamentalization (I don't think that's a word - it's been a really long day!)".

I hate MySpace. And I mostly hate mailing lists. I mainly use LJ...but I do, as you say, have all those sites - and it would make me extremely happy if I only had to post one place and felt like it would be seen. I had abandoned my ff.net but I know a lot of people who only read fanfic at ff.net and I want as much exposure as possible since I want people to comment...y'know?

So I would love Fanspace once it got big enough that all the little fangirls really used it for one stop shopping so to speak. But it would be hard to get there.

However....if I'm only going to be paid $2 or less an hour I'd MUCH rather do it helping you build your fandom network than stuffing envelopes.

On a semi-related note, one of my YouTube Vids has been viewed over 6000 times. Isn't that insane?

22nd-Dec-2006 01:08 am (UTC)
No, I understand what you're talking about when it comes to compartmentalization. LJ sort of does everything by linking to other websites. It's not pretty, but it works. And if Fanspace did a bunch of things but none of them well, it wouldn't be useful.

I hate MySpace too. I had an account and deleted it. I know that most fans don't like to reveal their real life identities. But I've been making a new profile on FF.net and LJ this week and I'm frustrated by how lousy their profiles look. Something with the look of a myspace, but without some of the features might work.

What inspired me was my hatred of signing in and posting everywhere... I want to comment on people's video's but I hate signing into YouTube. And I hate posting stories in multiple places and then having to post links to them in communities. There should be an easier way.

I'm the same way, I love the huge fan base of FF.net so I could never leave it. Plus, for some unknown reason, FF reviews make me happier than LJ comments, although they should count the same way. I think it has to do with that stats thing. (Look OMG my story has 244 reviews! It's so great! Jump for joy! And it's got 27,000 hits!)

It'll take forever for Fanspace to grow. Probably 3 years in my estimate from the expert on business (my Dad). From what I can tell you have to start a site like this solely and get a small user base, say 5,000 fans. Then you talk to venture capitalists who will give you funding for servers and expansion and such in exchange for some percentage. Then you can start to grow more rapidly.

I agree it's only fun if everyone moves there. The key to convincing people to move is to make it better than what's around. Make it more customizable and for it have more features. Maybe we even make it fear at first to get it going. Then it may grow by word of mouth.

So far there's no major plan to get this company going, but I'm interested in it. If I can find enough like minded fans, a few people who know a little more about this stuff than me, I would like to try it.

I can feel your pain about low paying jobs. The only part time work I can get at school is usually minimam wage, yet I have a ton of technical skills and experience. I've worked a lot in IT being paid a measly $7.00 an hour on campus while a comparable salary for my level of experience would $45,000 a year.

6,000 hits! That's a lot. I'm floored by the amount of fans out there. It seems almost limitless. How many do you think there are? 25 million?
22nd-Dec-2006 01:13 am (UTC)
You wanted New X-Men by Grant Morrison for Christmas, right?

I forgot to mention I know of a store that's having a big sale. The TPBs are $7.15 with an extra 50% off with the codeword "THANKYOU". Shipping is $2.00 I think and you can combine it. So that's about $3.60 a TPB.

(Deleted comment)
22nd-Dec-2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
I really have no idea how sites like that would even begin to work

Neither do I in truth. I know a little bit about how systems with multiple user accounts are set up and the servers involved but not nearly enough to get it going.

...maintained but i think that's a really smart idea.

I know a little bit about the maintaining. Once something is set up with the basics it's a little easier to roll out fixes and new services. The dynamics of TOS and user disputes aren't that hard. I also understand the concept behind the billing services and support sections. I also have some idea on how to advertise the service and get advertises to want to post ads on the site. I've worked in IT at my college and I've seen how we deal with site maintaince and support.

My LJ is like a completely different life from my MySpace.

I completely get this idea. I think most fans are like this. There's their online/fan friends and their real life/maybe-online-but-not-fan friends and never shall the twain meet. I didn't mean for the myspace part of fanspace to involve real life pictures or friends or for anyone to import all their myspace friends.

Rather the "myspace" part or profile part will look much like myspace but be geared towards their online persona. It will look like a myspace page. You can completely customize it. For instance, rather than a RL pic, you can have an online icon or avatar. It could be bigger than an LJ icon. And it would just be used in the profile display. Icons throughout the rest of the site would be the same size as LJ and compatible. You'll be able to post a flash mp3 applet that will play your favorite song like myspace or flash applet to your favorite fanvid. Profiles will show friends, and you'll see pics as well as names like on myspace. It will also have a timeline capability like facebook to show how long someone has been friends and how they met if a user chooses to enter this information. Friends and social networks will be searchable like on facebook.

Fans will be linked by their geographic area if they provide that informationa and by the fandoms they register belonging to. This way you can easily find more fans who have the same interests as you.

There will interest categories more like myspace - TV shows, comics, anime, movies, books, activities, other - sort of thing. Stats will be instantly shown as part of a profile. Again users can customize how much is shown - birthday, contact information, # of fanvids, # of files for download, # of art, # of pictures, # of stories and their stats, # of favorited fanvids, art work, fic, etc. # of recs, # of bookmarks and their categories, you get the idea. All the stats from all the sites and services put together.

It will be a myspace page but just for fan activity and friendships. We'll discourage people from using it for RL stuff since there's myspace for that.

I really need to "friends only" it.

Should I friends only my journal? I've had thoughts. Bu there's the difficulty of posting polls and fanfiction not friends only.

(cyberspace - does anyone use that word anymore?)

I do. But then again I'm a dino.
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