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Considering the recent silence from the fellow who kicked up a hornet's nest by purchasing the Lord of the Rings Fan Fiction Archive site on the sly (apparently the deal went through in April and it took until July for either the former owner or the new owner to come clean about it) I've not said much myself about the issue lately.

One of the really good things that happens when someone comes in an blunders about in a manner that makes all the LOTR fandom angry (very politely so, in this case) is that someone will write something so spectacular that it deserves rebroadcast. For me, this was when [livejournal.com profile] caras_galadhon wrote her A Love Letter to LOTR. In this letter, written from the perspective of a fandom insider, I found everything that I have ever felt or thought about fandom spelled out with passion and clarity.

However, comma...



I am thinking that our Saru-Mander friend has figured out that he's in deep doo-doo with those whose words he'd hoped to turn into a commodity that he could personally profit from aren't cooperating. LOTRFF site numbers have been dropping since the announcement, and the archive has lost about sixty (60) authors, a thousand (1000) stories, and over twelve MILLION words. Watching the numbers (because I'm a geek and actually have the numbers tracked day by day) is like watching a tire with a slow leak gradually go flat.

Yes, he's gone silent; but fandom hasn't – not by a long shot! Elf, over on DW, has assembled an impressive page of linkspam, for any interested in reading the whole debaucle from the start: ManderFail, a.k.a. Fanlib redux.

The entire kerfluffle has made me seriously reconsider my activity at The Pit of Voles FFN. Yes, I realized a long time ago (and while involved with another fandom entirely) that FFN had ads to generate revenue. I consistently turned them OFF. But because it was BIG, I gravitated towards it. I "walked away" once, years ago, leaving my stories in place but no longer actively posting, when the Document Manager refused to let me access my own works for days on end, in the process, telling me I wasn't authorized to do what I wished. When I became involved in LOTR fandom, FFN was my point of entry, although I soon branched out to find that there were other good archives up and running.

I'm going to be pulling out of FFN now, entirely - both my LOTR stuff as well as the stuff I wrote for The Pretender and other fandoms. I have created another Yolasite archive for myself to put that stuff up, and will leave a note in my profiles (both of them) at FFN redirecting folks there. But other than reading, I'm done with FFN and all ad-poisoned archives, done with advertisers telling the archive owners what kind of content they can or cannot host, dealing with submission software that is so darned persnicketty that it won't recognize many of the section-dividers in favor of using it's own lines, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.

So bravo, Mr. Mander. You and your attitude, best illustrated by the kind of avatar/picture you use to identify yourself online, have made me change my spots as a fanfiction writer. I will only deal with private archives from now on. You and your stench of commercialism and the overwhelming drive to make money, money, money have finally hit my tolerance limit.

I don't know whether to thank you or curse you, Keith Mander. I tend toward the latter, frankly...
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aearwen

July 2011

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