HAI, I'm playing with neocities. I had a geocities back in the day and now I have my fansite here: limvids.net. In the tradition of geocities, here's loads of unrequested information about myself.
So, in general I would say if you want to know me, watch my vids. My vids are intensely personal, deeply contradictory, and a little bit mad. A massive overshare!! But if you want a quick list of my life in fandom so far, here you go...
I discovered online fandom around 2004/2005 and I learned a little bit of HTML and CSS to make fan pages just like this one. There weren't really official places to learn this, so I carefully read this page: W3C XHTML 2.0, and asked my new fan friends to help me. I practised by turning off the rich text function on Livejournal, so I had to type HTML into every comment box. Katemonkey taught me FTP and gave me server space to make a website. I wrote fic, though I soon discovered I preferred editing, and I made fanart. Stumbelina got on a coach to my house and taught me Photoshop.
I contributed to online newsletters, and started a few of my own. The first online newsletter I ever helped on, founded by Spuzz, is still going, which makes me so happy. It's called the Sunnydale Herald. In 2005 I founded a newsletter called metafandom, which had a nifty autoposting system that a lot of other newsletters began using. I am often credited with building this, but actually I just asked someone to build it. Murklins built it! It was her genius!
In 2006 I got a secondhand iBook G4 and a free 30 day trial of After Effects, and I spent that 30 days learning fast! I made a vid called This Is How It Works for a fic by Synedochic, which I loved. I didn't have a site or a Youtube at the time so I just dropped a comment in her Livejournal. We had never met before. She liked it and posted about it, very generously. My bandwidth kept maxing out so she also gave me space on her server and I made my first vid site. I met lots of new people and made some close friends I still have today.
When I was 24, I joined a small group of other fans to try to make a fanfic archive for everyone. Anyone was welcome to show up and help and I showed up. I learnt a lot, lot more coding as we built this site together. It's still going and it's called the AO3. I love AO3 and I'm super proud of us all for building such a thing together, for fun, for free, and for everyone. In 2019 the AO3 won a Hugo Award and I went to Dublin and met loads of current volunteers, which was completely wonderful. Some had grown up with AO3!
The nonprofit volunteer organisation founded to support this project is called the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW). I designed the logo on my little iBook way back - now it all seems So Official.
In 2008/2009, a vid I had made called Us became popular on Youtube. It was chosen as a "Landmark of Youtube" and shown in the Library of Congress, and as part of an exhibition in the California Museum of Photography. There was media coverage and I was on NPR. This was surprising, obviously, and a bit difficult for me as I'm not an extrovert, to say the least. But it felt like I should probably let it happen because at that time, being in fandom was quite risky and people were really afraid of getting in trouble for it. People did get in trouble for it. So anything we could do to raise and legitimise (as in make legal, not make respectable) the profile of fannish art-making was worth doing. So I did my best to help in the small ways I could. The people who really made this happen for fandom were the OTW legal committee.
The OTW had formed a legal committee to protect fandom and people making art in fandom, and by around 2010, they won the first DMCA exemption for fan vids in US law. They did all this for free, for fandom. In 2014 the UK explicitly exempted vidding as well. "an artist may use small fragments from a range of films to compose a larger pastiche artwork" ~ .gov. If you're interested in vidding, there's a free online book Vidding A History that covers this and much more - obviously my tiny walk on part is part of a larger story!
My vids were/are repeatedly TOSd from video sites. My vids get blocked almost every time I post, which I try not to take personally! :D In 2009, I began fighting back. The OTW Legal Committee, and Rebecca Tushnet and Francesca Coppa in particular, helped me every time and we have won every dispute. If you have this problem, OTW will help you, too. Email them. In 2016 I had a really long dispute with Endemol and the BBC; this fight is why I maintain a fannish cv, which is objectively ridiculous (and also way out of date...)
This is too long! Spin on!
It's too many things and too many years! So let's just finish with this: For a long time, fandom was the only place I could participate in the world. I never finished high school and into my thirties I lived on welfare, looking after my severely disabled family member, 24/7. I was not able to go to school or get a job or even leave the house, because I was working so hard as a family carer all that time. But in fandom, it doesn't matter what school you went to or what you look like or what has happened to you. All that matters is what you do, and you can do what you want. You really can.
I love fandom, even though parts of it are terrible and fans drive me crazy! But fans are also the most generous, creative, heartfelt people in the universe. Fans have always helped me, and not for kudos and not for show, but for real, in person and in private. So many fans got on coaches and planes and trains and came to my house when I couldn't leave it. Can you imagine? Stumbelina, Speranza, Cathexys, Mamoru, Laura Shapiro, Astolat, Elz... And more fans hosted my art and posted me hard drives and fixed my code and taught me... everything.
Over the years, I have cofounded or joined a series of other Tech-for-Good/FOSS projects, learning and building all kinds of different things outside of fandom. Nowadays, I work at a nonprofit, helping other people who can't access education to become developers. I would never have got here without fandom and I will always love fandom. And I'm not done. For me, fandom is a way of life. I'm still beta-reading for my BFFs Astolat and Speranza. I'm still vidding, though I don't post very much. And I'm still falling in love with new fandoms, with new art, every day.
So that's me. It's nice to meet you. Tell me about yourself!