Anything you may want to know about posting and other ways to use the site. If you have any other questions, contact us.

General questions about this site

Who are you?

Fanhackers is a project of the Organization for Transformative Works, a US-based non-profit that wants to supports fans by offering info, legal and technological assistance, and tools for fans to interact and publish. The core team moderating the site consists of fans and fannish academics who are members of the OTW’s Journal committee (Alex Jenkins, Marina, and Nele Noppe/unjapanologist) and Board (Andrea Horbinski). They post many of the things on the site as well, but posts may be made by anyone. Fanhackers is not an official spokesorgan of the OTW.

The content on this site seems to be going back to 2010, I thought this was new?

Before this site became Fanhackers in 2013, it posted meta about fans for several years under the name Symposium (see also the about page). We’ve kept those older meta posts.

What does the name mean?

We began Fanhackers as the spiritual baby of digital humanities-friendly academic projects like ProfHacker and GradHacker. It acquired a bunch of double meanings that we think are appropriate, so we kept it.

I have an issue with something on this site, can you change or remove it?

Contact the mods if you have any questions or concerns about any of the content here. Please note that while we may moderate submissions, we decline responsibility for the content of submitted posts.

How can I keep track of what’s posted here?

The footer on every page contains links to all our accounts elsewhere, and info about how to subscribe via RSS or e-mail.

This is cool, can I join this project?

Yes! Do send us a message if you’d like to help out with the things we’re doing now or the things on our roadmap and wish list. This is an experimental project, and we’ll at least consider everything people come up with. If it’s a good idea but impossible to implement, it can go always go on the wish list until things change.

About our WordPress and Tumblr mirrors

Why is there a Tumblr submission form in the sidebar?

Fanhackers is mirrored on WordPress and Tumblr. While the WordPress site has more complex functionality, the Tumblr is where the actual content comes from. We make all our own posts on Tumblr and crosspost them to WordPress from there, and we also use Tumblr’s submission system to receive and moderate posts. We’ve just embedded Tumblr’s form over here so that the people who prefer the WordPress site to Tumblr’s interface don’t have to leave the site in order to submit their posts.

Do I need a Tumblr account to post here?

No, all you need to submit a post is a name and e-mail address.

Is the content on the WordPress site and the tumblr identical?

Broadly, yes. The idea is that anyone should be able to follow along on either without ever having to visit the other.

There are a few differences. Sometimes things on Tumblr don’t get crossposted to the WordPress site, either for technical reasons or because of concerns about proper attribution being lost or fannish works or writings being moved to another site without the permission of the creators. The WordPress site contains about a hundred older meta posts from the Symposium blog before it got turned into Fanhackers (see the question below). The WordPress site also has some extra functionality, like more ways to subscribe to the blog.

Why can’t I see the submission form?

Tumblr’s submission form uses javascript, which some people either can’t use or prefer not to use while browsing. If you have trouble with the Tumblr form, try this non-javascript form instead.

Can people post quotes from my fannish meta or links to my fannish meta here without my permission? What about if you reblog my meta from my Tumblr?

Nobody is allowed to quote or link to fannish meta without permission here. Quotes from or links to good fannish meta are very welcome, but because some fans are uncomfortable with the idea of all and sundry coming over to read their meta, we ask that posters get explicit permission from any fannish meta’s creator before linking to or quoting from it. We may reblog meta on Tumblr without asking permission because reblogging is a normal thing to do in that space, but we don’t crosspost reblogs to the WordPress site.

If you see any of your fannish meta referred to here without permission and you’re uncomfortable with that, please contact the mods. Even if you’re fine with your meta being referred to here without your permission, we’d appreciate a heads-up anyway so we can make sure that the poster involved doesn’t do it again.

What can be posted here

Who can post here?


What sort of things can I post here?

Anything related to info on fans is welcome. We have four different kinds of content on here for now; here are some examples of posts that fit each, but this list isn’t exhaustive in any way. Posts can be any length, though we’d suggest keeping it as short as possible for the sake of readability.

Meta on fans

  • A piece of meta on fans (see also the question about meta)
  • If you’re doing any kind of research on fans, an introduction to what you’re working on and why it’s important, or a piece that expands on research that you published earlier
  • Reports about fan conventions or academic events where fannish topics were talked about
  • A piece on how fannish and academic meta creators can learn from each other and work together better
  • An account of how you’re learning or teaching about fans in a classroom setting
  • An opinion on a problem you’ve experienced with researchers or research on fans
  • A piece on how academics can work to improve access to their meta on fans, like particular tools, trends in open access or digital humanities, and so on

Reference desk

  • A request for help with finding an academic paper that you need but can’t access. (None of us can judge what you may need for your research purposes, so feel free to ask for papers on topics that aren’t strictly related to fans.)
  • A request for help with finding a piece of info about fans or fan activities that you can’t track down anywhere. (Use common sense when asking for info in a public forum. Don’t request people’s personal info, anything that may link someone’s fannish identity and real name, or other things that are obviously questionable. If we think a request you submitted is problematic, we won’t post it and e-mail you to explain why. If you’re looking for up-to-date contact info for a fan because you want to ask permission to quote or reference their work in your fannish or academic meta, it’s all right to post a request here. In that case, though, please mention your own contact info and ask that answers be sent to you privately, not posted as a public comment.)
  • A request for help or advice about some aspect of your research or writing on fans

Fan quotables

  • Interesting, fun, or useful quotes about fans, from fannish or academic meta, news reports and so on
  • Quotes that aren’t directly about fans, but that are likely to help people see connections between fans and things that are relevant to them – for example other (online) communities or movements, open culture, or copyright issues

Recs and resources

  • A tip for or description of an interesting resource for people doing research on fans: a very informative website; a new book about fans; a library that has a collection of fannish works like zines or doujinshi; etc.
  • News alerts about topics that may be of interest, like important developments in open access
  • An introduction to a piece of software or a service that’s useful for doing interesting things with information, or a tip about cool ways to use common info-handling tools in uncommon ways

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re in any way unsure of whether or not the post you have in mind would be a good fit for Fanhackers. If it has something to do with info, analysis or research on fans, though, you’re probably good.

Can I post my fannish meta here?

Absolutely, if the topic is fan activities or fans themselves. Spreading analysis and info on fans is what we’re all about. Meta about something other than fans themselves may be straying too far from the focus of this site, though. For instance, meta about Teen Wolf fandom is definitely very welcome, but meta about the show Teen Wolf itself is probably off topic unless there’s a connection with the fandom.

We’re not going to police this too strictly and remove anything that’s not about fans. After all, many topics that are not directly about fans can be very relevant to fans anyway – think of copyright, open culture, and so on. But please try to focus on the topic of fans themselves, or on things that are relevant for understanding fans and fannish activities.

IMPORTANT: Because Fanhackers is an experimental project, we can’t guarantee that any meta you post will be preserved forever and in the same location. We’ll do our very best to keep everything intact as Fanhackers grows and changes, but URLs of posts and comments may change, post formats may change, and so on. We can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to warn you or give you the option of taking your meta down if any drastic changes are about to happen (although we do guarantee that we’ll never change the Creative Commons license that covers content on this site). Fanhackers is not an archive. If you’re looking for a place where you can safely store your fannish meta, on any topic, you probably want a place like the Archive of Our Own (also a project of the Organization for Transformative Works).

Can I post meta about the OTW?

Of course. The OTW being a fannish organization, it’s clearly on topic. Do note that while Fanhackers is an OTW project, it’s not an official spokesorgan of the OTW in any way or form. Anyone can post here, and the OTW is no more responsible for what people choose to say on Fanhackers than it is for content on the AO3, Fanlore, or Transformative Works and Cultures – that is to say, not at all. Any OTW staffers or volunteers who post or comment here are not speaking in an official capacity.

Can I post quotes from or links to other people’s fannish meta?

Yes, on the condition that you get explicit permission from the meta’s creator. Quotes from or links to good fannish meta are very welcome here, but some fans are uncomfortable with the idea of all and sundry coming over to read their meta. If we get a report from a fannish meta creator that their meta was referred to here without permission, we’ll take the post down. Contact the mods if you have more questions. Academic meta, news reports, or anything else that’s not fannish meta can be quoted without permission as usual.

Can I post quotes from or links to my own fannish meta or academic work?

No, the “quotes” and “links” tags are for recommending work by other people that you think is good or interesting enough that others may want to read it. You’re very welcome to talk about your own work in the form of a meta post.

Can I post a link about a conference, a call for papers, or a book about fans?

Yes, any links to initiatives related to research on and by fans is welcome. Event announcements will be posted to OTW’s event calendar as well.

How posting works

How do I submit a post?

Use the posting form in the sidebar of the blog. We use the submission form of our Tumblr mirror to send posts to both the Tumblr and the WordPress site. If you’re not logged in to Tumblr, you’ll be asked to provide a name and an e-mail address. As soon as you click “Submit”, your post will go to the moderation queue and be published shortly.

How do I add tags?

Tags are added by the mods in Tumblr’s submission system. We’ll take care of it, but feel free to add a list of suggested tags under the text of your post. We’ll always add a few tags of our own that we use to keep a sense of order in the chaos, like “meta”, “quotes”, or “poster: NAME” tags.

How will you credit me on my post?

We credit all posters in the tags, because other kinds of metadata may get lost in the cross-posting from Tumblr to WordPress. If you prefer to post anonymously, fill in “Anon” as your name or mention at the top or bottom of your post that you want it credited to poster:anon.

What happens with the e-mail address I need to submit to post?

We only ask for a name and e-mail address because Tumblr’s submission system needs those. We won’t divulge your information to anyone, or use it for any purpose except to contact you if there’s an issue with your submission. Feel free to dub yourself user Anon with address [email protected], if you prefer. However, keep in mind that we won’t be able to contact you about any problems with your post if you submit an invalid e-mail address.

Is my IP address logged when I post?


Will you make any changes to my submission?

We usually only add some tags. If you’re submitting a tip or link, we may add some context to it if it’s not provided. If there are any egregious typos in your post, we’ll assume you don’t mind if we beta those out before publication. If we’re thinking about making any changes to your post that go beyond very obvious spelling or grammar corrections, though, we’ll definitely contact you first.

Will anything I submit be posted?

This isn’t an archive, and we might reject submissions or ask for changes if a submitted post doesn’t seem to be a good fit for any reason. In that case, we’ll contact you via e-mail to find a solution.

When will my post be published?

Submitted posts will be published as soon as a mod has time to look it over and add a few tags. We try to do this as soon as possible. If your post hasn’t appeared after a day or two, send us a message – it may have fallen through the Tumblr cracks.

Can I also post directly instead of having to wait for my post to be moderated?

Yes, if you join the Fanhackers group tumblr. Just send us a message containing only your e-mail address, and we’ll send you an invitation to join plus a welcome mail with some extra info. You’ll be able to post straight to the tumblr and edit or delete your own posts there. You won’t be able to edit the automatic crossposts to the WordPress site, but just drop us a note if you’d like something changed there and we’ll take care of it right away. Anyone can join the group tumblr, but we ask that you make three posts of any kind via the regular submission form first so we can be somewhat reassured that you won’t spam the place with anything inappropriate.

Can I cross-post my content to my personal blog/journal/elsewhere?

Yes, please spread it around as much as you like. See the question about copyright below.

Who owns the material that I submit here?

We use Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 3.0, which means that your approved submissions will be covered by this license. We’ll automatically cross-post to Tumblr and WordPress (or another blogging platform, should we ever move or expand). You retain the right to use your submissions anywhere else.

About other uses of the site

How does search work?

The search box at the top right understands OR and AND searches, and searches for exact phrases with quotation marks around them. It will try to do some fuzzy matching if your search for a word doesn’t turn up any results. Posts, pages, comments, and tags are included in search results. One caveat: exact phrase search using quotation marks doesn’t work for comments. If you need to find a particular comment, try searching for individual words and/or the names of commenters.

How does commenting work?

We use a service called Disqus to manage comments. Disqus allows you to log in with your account on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, or with a Disqus account that you can make on the spot. You can also comment with your chosen name and e-mail address, without making a Disqus account. Disqus is installed on both our WordPress site and our Tumblr, so you can comment on Tumblr posts as well. Comment threads on the same post on WordPress and Tumblr stay separate.

Can I comment anonymously?

You have to provide a name and an e-mail address to post, but the e-mail address doesn’t actually have to be a valid one. So you can be [email protected]. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to track replies to your comment this way.

Is my IP address logged when I comment?

Yes, always.