Name a golf course

Even the world’s oldest golf course is getting in on the fan-creativity action:

Golf fans around the world will have a chance to carve their name in history next month when St Andrews Links Trust runs a competition through its website to find a name for its seventh course which is under construction. (from St Andrews News)

Again, it’d be cooler if golf fans got to vote instead of its going to committee, but you can’t ask for everything at once now can you? After all, this is the sport that still thinks its cool to ban women from their clubs.

“Secondhand fandoms”

On LiveJournal, there’s a really interesting discussion about Secondhand fandoms, the premise being that sometimes people get really into the fan fiction (aka fanfic for those who are into it) surrounding a tv show without ever having seen the tv show itself. The writers in the thread have a lot of personal examples of how they got into reading fanfic around shows they missed entirely or only saw on rare occassion. One person talks about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Now THERE was a tv show I loved. I have most of the books and most of the episodes on scratchy old VHS tapes.

The closest I’ve ever come to reading fanfic was some of the alternative storyline suggestions fans came up with in back in the day, which is a LONG way from the kinds of fanfic these folks are talking about, though it was often better than what the soap writers were writing. Maybe some of this blog’s readers could recommend some good starting points for other readers who may be curious about fanfic who don’t really know much if anything about it? I’ll start with a plug for Rhiannon Bury’s recent book Cyberspaces of Their Own: Female Fandoms Online, which I read recently and really enjoyed. Also getting a lot of buzz is Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age Of The Internet, edited by Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse, which I haven’t yet read.

What shows are inspiring the best fanfic these days? Any good examples to point people toward?

When users become fans, part 2: Flickr

The other day, I wrote about Web2 sites going beyond fan forum sites and becoming objects of fandom in their own right. One very fun example of this is the Flickr group for people who are fans of Flickr. In this group, Flickr users can post their pictures that either include the letters f*l*i*c*k*r or the blue and pinkish colors seen throughout the Flickr site. Fringe? Maybe, but they’ve got 775 members and almost 1000 photographs in their pool.

I haven’t spent as much time playing around with Flickr as I have, but have generally been impressed with the staff/user communication on the site. They have the usual issues (‘did you change the interestingness algorithm? why?!?!?!’) but it seems to be handled with much less tension than one sees on, if no less confusion. Plus they’ve maintained a sleek and well-designed interface instead of getting all redesign/overly-complicate happy.

Flickr is also home to a lot of other fan groups, including tons for soccer (or football, pick your nationality), media, and, my favorite: groups for fans of…fans (and I mean the kind that make a breeze, not the kind that cheer)! See here, here, and here. Always been into chimneys with ventilation fans? There’s even a group for you!

Invent a Character tie-in for Nightmare Before Christmas

Cinematic Happenings Under Development reports on and participates in a fun contest taking advantage of fan creativity in promoting a re-release of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas:

Calling all artists, designers, creative geniuses, film lovers and NIGHTMARE fans! This is your chance to create an original character for Walt Disney Pictures’ holiday classic, TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, making its return to the big screen this month in stunning Disney Digital 3-D. You are free to create the scariest, creepiest, most inspired character you can think of that fits into the world of Tim Burton’s beloved film. Your submission will be judged based on creativity, originality, and the unique features of the character.

We will select one winner from the submissions. Along with the winners from 4 other sites, these five finalists will be judged by the filmmakers of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. One grand prize winner and 4 second-prize winners will be announced on the site during the week of Halloween.

Of course, the winner’s character doesn’t get to appear in the film and the legal boilerplate about you-don’t-own-anything-at-all-about-what-you-submit is long enough to make the head spin, but still, it’s yet another way in which film-makers are reaching out to fans and taking advantage of their talents in ways that can benefit both producers and fans. Better still would be to create a system where people could view one another’s entries instead of the expert judges model — then you could get the whole community thing happening.

Great Moments in Rock and Roll as Cartoons

Joel Orff is a cartoonist who (among other things) illustrates “great moments in rock and roll” that people send him. He’s got a book of them, and a website where he keeps putting up new ones and invites you to send him your story. It’s a super cool way to collect and tell fan stories. The illustrations really lend something more than the narratives alone.

On the book-plug site, Orff says this:

My goal with the Great Moments in Rock ‘n’ Roll series has always been to entertain, and to present people’s stories in a respectful way. My favorites are the ones that someone may have never thought was worth telling, but for some reason has stayed with them as a favorite memory. I’ve consciously kept the drawing loose and spontaneous, to reflect what I believe are qualities of the best rock ‘n’ roll.

The most recent strip is of a show I saw last month that was indeed a great moment in rock and roll, and though his illustrations don’t look a thing like the band, it really does nail the show.Reading through them there are so many classic moments of music fan experience. The Duran Duran one is just funny, and the Sonic Youth one, well if you’ve been upfront at enough shows it’s just so easy to imagine it happening. The Gary Numan one about going to your first concert is sweet and blazingly right on. Lots of insightful moments captured in this collection.