The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i am not feeling good about this
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
This is venting.

After reading the Free Food Restaurant meta--context at FF_A since the original meta post at AO3 was deleted and replaced with an orphan account I can't find the link for--I:

1.) rediscovered the power of a secondhand embarrassment squick. I did not know anything could make me twitch that hard for someone than reading that meta.
2.) realized I have probably passed the point where if I flounced, I could do it in any way that could possibly qualify as original. Which is, honestly, a little depressing to consider.
3.) wonder just how well this entire adding meta to AO3 thing is going to work when there is not a system of forced categorization so when searching for fic, meta does not display. Since that is currently happening right now. As in, Free Food Restaurant is showing up under two fandoms and no meta tag in sight. Of course, I'm still hoping for the magical day I can filter out crossovers without giving myself an aneurysm doing a complicated tag thing that only works about half the time.

I mean, if this is going to be an honor system thing like labeling crossovers or hell, labeling pairings correctly--which I am completely shocked to report people don't do that all the time--this is very quickly going to be a problem. Unless we are implementing a way to require that before huge amounts of meta posting start? Which does not seem to be the case.

I don't want to knock AO3 here or anything, since this was obviously the result of a lot of thinking on the subject and everything, but I have yet to think of a good reason, an actual good reason not just a why-not reason, why meta, which is not even by a stretch of imagination quite beyond anyone living labor under the legal problems that fanfic does, should be included with fanworks--that being fanfic, vids, and any form of art--needs so desperately to be included in a fanworks archive. I am willing to stretch and say I consider it a non-fictional creative work--because well, it is--but couldn't it have it's own non-fictional creative work archive? A meta archive, you might say. Separate from the fic. Which in general, the archive was created to house? Just a thought.

Because in general, when I am in a reading fic mood, I am not technically interested in meta, and when sorting through a few hundred thousand fics to try to find non-crossover fandom of my choice with my pairing or pairings--which already requires me to start considering a blood sacrifice to shorten the process of horror--I now will have to watch for snowflake's feelings on a pairing not being labeled as meta.

Spoken as someone who is really not okay with the nightmare of having to figure out how run exclusion strings with not only crossovers, but every single pairing I don't like and now meta may need to be added, assuming the writer bothers to label it. That doesn't always work.

References
AO3 Announces Meta Allowed in Archive - link to AO3's announcement page

In case anyone wonders if the addition of meta has a plan on how it will be handled:
Just as art, podfic and video can currently be found on the AO3, so can meta. The difference, of course, is that the AO3's current infrastructure already supports the direct hosting of meta in text form, so its continuation on the archive has been more a question of policy than ability. This does not mean that there won't be technical issues involved, particularly when it comes to users' desire to filter their search results to find or exclude it. We don't currently have a time estimate from our AD&T committee (which runs the AO3) on how quickly a solution can be created to address that. -- Admin-claudia in comments, AO3


ETA:

Free Food Restaurant - AO3 meta. Okay, it's hilarious, stupid, and lists two fandoms without any meta tags whatsoever. And also, again, hilarious. Free food, y'all. Fic is like free food, but not in a clever way like hummus. (THANKS [personal profile] cathexys!)

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/966607.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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I would sign a petition, I would sign ALL the petitions to get meta disallowed from the fanfic archive. IT ISN'T FANFIC. It does not belong there, and the worst is when it's tagged with multiple fandoms and pairings and it ends up all over ALL your fic searches. UGH. GO AWAY GO AWAY GO AWAY.

dude, if I thought I could get enough people to sign one to make any kind of statement, I'd do it yesterday.

I expect if you did flounce, you'd take the internet with you. One morning I'd log on and find that you'd used The Child to, IDK, conquer LJ and DW and AO3 simultaneously, and all I'd get while trying to access any of them would be 'SEPERIS HAS LEFT FANDOM, BITCHES. WEEP.'

...would anyone protest if I fixed AO3's filtering for crossovers and metas?

Arrgh. I think they're hugely underestimating the impact this change may have. There are vast numbers of discussion/criticism/squee/wank posts written every day, and if it becomes the fannish norm in any given fandom to crosspost them to AO3, that's going to make searching for fic really difficult.

And for a system of mandatory categories to be useful, it needs to be put in place ... well, six months ago, but I'd settle for now. Right now, it looks like there are about 1000-2000 works on the Archive tagged "meta" or with "meta" in the title or description, many of which aren't actually nonfiction, they're fic that comments on meta issues.

If by the time a categorization system emerges there are 50,000, it's going to be completely unworkable to get authors to go back and categorize all those posts as meta. Unless you make everyone categorize everything they've ever posted, which ... I have 506 stories on the archive, and I don't have that much spare time.

I just think they are setting themselves and archive users up for no end of grief.

There's like, no end to how much badness is here. There is no mandatory requriement for tagging meta, so we are screwed there. And even if there was, filtering it out is almost impossible since doing exclusions is apparently really hard.

Yeah, I have two fics on the AO3 tagged "meta" and now am wondering how to tag to differentiate fic with meta-commentary elements from actual meta.

I saw the OTW post when it came up, rolled my eyes, and figured I'd circle back to it later, so now I'm reading through the comments:

Being able to categorize your work in a way that users can find (or exclude it) from their searches is definitely going to be one component of hosting non-fiction (as well as other media formats) on the AO3. We are still in the early stages of discussing how we can best make that work in a way that serves both posters and searchers. But it will likely involve both actions by users and technical options. Unfortunately, a technical solution is likely to take much longer than the policy parts and tagging options.

...I miss when you like, have, oh, I don't know, infrastructure in PLACE FIRST, before you expand your horizons or whatever. Going back retroactively to "fix" all of this or whatever is going to be a hot mess, and in the meantime, you're trying to have meta on a platform that isn't the greatest for hosting any kind of meaningful discussion in the first place.

You can't be everything to everybody, and that's what this feels like an attempt at.

...I miss when you like, have, oh, I don't know, infrastructure in PLACE FIRST, before you expand your horizons or whatever.

CRAZY TALK. THAT WOULD MEAN LIKE THINKING AHEAD. WHO DOES THAT NONSENSE?

You can't be everything to everybody, and that's what this feels like an attempt at.

The board is being really really secretive about how they came to this decision without any input from the community or members--or even their own organizational structure. I'd like to know why the board is hiding this, personally.


I'm laughing my face off at how this has been handled, tbh. So you're going to make some grand (mostly incoherent) announcement about this thing that you are going to institute, but it's more of a heads up, because hey, the decision has already been made!

And you haven't actually really consulted with the people who will have to implement it.

Or discussed the logistics involved in a way that is actually meaningful.

Or put things in place to make it easier on the people who 1) WANT TO SEE THE META, 2) DON'T WANT TO SEE THE DAMN META or 3) have to find the meta retroactively 'cause this has been put in place before you...made those plans.

And the reason you're apparently citing for the crappy communication of this grand idea is that half your board was turning over so you had to pick up the reins on it and move forward?

*eats crackers* I commented saying I'd like the board minutes, because I'm making my way through them, and I want to see the shape of this "discussion."

holy fucking crap -- I had no idea it was possible to be more disorganized and clueless than lj -- until today. I followed the link and read the meta, then left her a good kick in the arse, for lols. gawd.

I actually like most crossovers -- but I wouldna dream of putting one out there without tagging it as such. likewise meta. and I can't disagree one bit with the thought that gee, maybe they shoulda wrote the code first and debugged it *before* making this kind of change. just, why? is there a maximum IQ to be part of the admin on AO3? cos frankly, I can't see any reason otherwise to initiate such a stupid change. cos, yanno, there wasn't enuff fucking fanwank out there, so they thought, "let's deliberately host more of it".

*shakes his head, contemplates getting drunk*

It's the derailing porn and the second to last gleeful, thrilled comment of "someone made podfic!" that's where I really lost it.

Wow, what a way to wake up. o.O

*dies laughing* I missed the original, so glad to see it's there!

I about pissed myself laughing just now; tysm for the link!!!

btw -- our Special Little Snowflakes has apparently taken her rant down now, cos when I looked just now, AO3 couldna find it.

awwww... and we wuz havin' so much *fun*!!

(Deleted comment)
Huh, yes it has. Though shinetheway has a pic of the comments when it was orignally posted.

In all seriousness, I just wish OTW/AO3 could master the art of doing one thing at a time. Or at least putting things in a procedural context. They keep trying to add bells and whistles before they've fixed basic structural issues. To abuse a metaphor (but not as badly as the flounce-fic) you can bake a cake and mix the icing at the same time, but it doesn't do much good to try and pipe the flowers and scrolls until AFTER the cake is out, cooled, and frosted.

I hate the tagging system so so much. It doesn't help that when I first started browsing the archive, I thought it worked like delicous.

So if I clicked 'The Avengers', that would take me to all fic tagged, 'The Avengers' then if I clicked Steve/Tony, that would display all fic tagged Avengers *and* Steve/Tony, then if I clicked on PTSD, it would display all fic tagged Avengers *and* Steve/Tony *and* PTSD.

It took me an embarrassing long time to work out why when I clicked PTSD, I would get all these stories from random fandoms :/

Plus, don't get me started on crossovers. I liked Bourne Legacy and Mission Impossible 4 and Avengers. I liked all of Jeremy Renner's characters. But when I click on the Bourne Legacy tag, I want to see stories about Aaron and Marta, not Clint-is-secretly-Aaron-and-Ethan :(

I don't want to see meta on AO3. I get some people do - but I should have the option not to see it, so it should all be classified as meta. I remember a few months clicking on what (based on a summary) was a fic, but it was really an authors screed on how everyone else was writing something wrong except them. I'm sorry, I go to AO3 to read fic and enjoy myself, not to be told what I like is wrong.

AO3 is like my management at work : announce to larger business some new thing we're implementing without having a proper way to do it, leave us to find a work around that we hope works, get told 4 months later the way we do it causing something else to go wrong, and leave us to deal with all the fallout whilst they get the bonus and pat themselves on the back for the 'great idea' -(no, I'm not bitter at all).

So massive overly long rant later, I get to my point: they need to implement the framework to support meta, BEFORE they allow anyone to post it.

Ohh, so I'm not the only one that did that with teh tagging. I assumed that originally as well, if that helps? I still catch myself doing that.

If you've checked the link of late, you'll see the rant is gone. The Abuse committee removed it, because it's not meta and it's not a fanwork - it's a misplaced blog post flounce.

This isn't the kind of meta that is being talked about. What's really being discussed is fandom nonfiction - essays, character studies, episode reviews, etc. etc. - not metafiction, and not tumblr-style blog posts or squee fests. Those will still be illegal content if meta is allowed.

Yes, a couple of people above you mentioned the link was broken.

This isn't the kind of meta that is being talked about. What's really being discussed is fandom nonfiction - essays, character studies, episode reviews, etc. etc. - not metafiction, and not tumblr-style blog posts or squee fests. Those will still be illegal content if meta is allowed.

Hopefully this wont' come off as being rude, but did you read my entry on my problem with meta being posted at this time? It had very little to do with content, though I expect that sort of content will not be unique.

I honestly can't imagine any workable definition of "meta" that would allow essays and episode reviews but not allow squee fests or Tumblr-style blog posts. Where is the line between those things? And who will have the time or the energy (or the tolerance for wank) to try to police the difference? "Is this fiction" is at least a fairly bright line, unlike "is this an essay, or a squee fest?"

This has 'bad idea' stamped all over it. I'm not disputing the value of meta, however, when I go to the library's fiction section, I don't expect to find the Cliff Notes for those books there too. Because fiction is fiction and Cliff Notes are not. Similarly, when I got to AO3 it is to read fanfic, not fanwank.

There needs to be a compulsory tag for meta content that allows anyone using AO3 to filter it out of searches.

Hi, can I link this at metanews?

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