Lostpedia and Wiki Fandom Article


Just a quick pointer to my newest publication: in the new issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, I’ve published “Sites of Participation: Wiki Fandom and the Case of Lostpedia.”Here’s the abstract:

This essay explores the award-winning fan site Lostpedia to examine how the wiki platform enables fan engagement, structures participation, and distinguishes between various forms of content, including canon, fanon, and parody. I write as a participant-observer, with extensive experience as a Lostpedia reader and editor. The article uses the “digital breadcrumbs” of wikis to trace the history of fan creativity, participation, game play, and debates within a shared site of community fan engagement. Using the Lostpedia site as a case study of fan praxis, the article highlights how issues like competing fandoms, copyright, and modes of discourse become manifest via the user-generated content of a fan wiki.

I’m quite excited about publishing in this journal for a few reasons. First, the issue has a great line-up of authors and articles that I’m looking forward to reading soon. Second, as an open access journal, its politics of publishing are in the right place – it’s a peer-reviewed journal that is freely available to anyone online, clearly placing value on disseminating ideas more than subsidizing journal publishers through expensive closed-access subscriptions. After participating as an author, I can say that the review and editing process was the most rigorous and detail-oriented of any article I’ve ever published, with quick turn-arounds and excellent copy editing suggestions. If anyone still thinks that an online journal is inherently less valid by lacking a paper version, I can attest to the impressive rigor of TWC‘s process as superior to most print journals. Kudos to Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson for their editorial prowess!

Finally, I’m happy to support TWC as an author (and as a member of their editorial board, which has no bearing on my article being published) because they are an impressive facet of an important organization, the Organization for Transformative Works. You can read all about OTW on their site, but I’ve been impressed by how they’ve created a group with a wide range of outlets for serving, publicizing, archiving, and advocating for fandom and fan practices. It seems like a much more satisfying way to collaborate than the traditional insular academic society, and am excited to see how they continue to grow and thrive.

2 Responses to “Lostpedia and Wiki Fandom Article”

  1. It’s a great issue, and isn’t it wonderful to sign a copyright release form you can really get behind?

    Thanks for the rigor bit: authors don’t always like it, but the final copyediting step is the last real chance for dialogue with the author and quality control. Of course, as a professional copyeditor, I have am probably biased about its usefulness!

    It may seem fast to you, but I assure you, it’s only in relationship to the humanities. The sciences turns around documents like whoa. They print received/accepted dates to prove it. The documents I’m copyediting now, which will appear in print in January 2010, were accepted 2 weeks ago. That lag time is to push the document into print, and some journals cut that time further by placing the article online before it sees print. TWC has no print component—an obvious time saver!

    Thanks for the shout out and kind words.

  2. Thanks, Jason, for not only contributing to this issue (which I agree is pretty great in its breadth, and we’re really glad we got such wide-ranging essays) but also in recognizing and pointing out exactly what we consider most important, namely solid scholarship, strong peer review, fast turnaround, and Open Access.

    And thanks for the OTW shout out. It behooves us in academia to remember every once in a while that scholarship can come in many places…whether in your Lost wiki or in the female coding community of our archive!

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