Fellow Earthlings, dear listeners, you can find all the episodes of your podcast on @mesomondstein!
Fellow Earthlings, dear listeners, you can find all the episodes of your podcast on @mesomondstein!
hey so - this reply was written by me! I want to expand on this point a little past 280 characters
(when I say podcasts in this essay I’m specifically talking about fiction podcasts)
Podcasts are perhaps the only medium that has absolutely no gatekeeping. Writing books and stories requires help from big publishing houses - even if you self-publish, you’ll need a corporation like Amazon to provide the books for you. I actually have self-published before and I can *assure* you that gatekeeping is still present. TV shows and movies are also created by high-budget studios who re-hire the same famous actors to tell the same stories, except the white boy and girl who fall in love have slightly different lines.
But podcasts? No barriers. No boundaries. You can get a $30 mic from Amazon, make a free podbean account, and start uploading episodes literally the same day. Sure, for a really high-quality production, you’ll need to invest more time and money, but it’s very doable.
As such, almost anyone can get into podcasts. It doesn’t matter what you look like, because no one can even see your face. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a fancy degree from a good school. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a huge marketing budget, because if you’re smart with social media and create good content, you can get people to pay *you* for airtime on your show.
Because the creator pool can be so diverse, it is. And the stories it tells are even more diverse! Want a Jewish gay man of unspecified race in a relationship with a Latinx scientist on the spectrum, who live in a town governed by two black women and populated by literally countless queer characters? You’ve got it! Want a story about a black nonbinary lady with depression who falls in love with an Asian man, who, bonus points, is also a well-written feminine gay man? You get that too! Want a crew of astronauts with women in leadership roles who are well rounded past being just a “strong female character”? Sure thing! A lesbian trucker searching for her wife, and actually having a healthy relationship that isn’t at all fetishized? Podcasts have that! You want shows that *actually* cast queer, trans, and non-white actors? Yes!!! Most popular podcasts do that!! Did you hear that - the *most popular* podcasts are created with diverse acting and creating bodies!!!!!!!
and here’s the part where I get personal. I’m a non-straight woman (I alternate between using the labels “bisexual” “queer” “homoflexible” and sometimes, because it’s quick and I’m mostly attracted to women and straight people don’t understand microlabels, “gay”) with several mental illnesses, including depression. The first podcast I ever listened to was Welcome to Night Vale. When Cecil and Carlos became a couple I almost wept. I had never, ever, had good queer representation in a show, much less two well-written characters I actually felt invested in. When they actually got married, I wept. I lay in my bed and cried for half an hour. I had never thought I would see a healthy gay couple in a show, ever.
And then I found even more shows - shows like the ones I mentioned above. I found female characters. I found QUEER FEMALE CHARACTERS that I related to! And I found characters with depression written REALISTICALLY! I have never felt so seen!
I have so much love for podcast creators. One of my favorite things about this community is the allyship. People like Fink and Cranor, or the McElroy’s, who understand how important queer representation is, and provide it in abundance. People who validate, protect, and encourage their fans. Podcast fans keep podcast productions growing through Patreon or crowdfunding, and in return podcast creators… well, they rip our hearts out with emotions and eat them in front of us. But we love that!!!!
And this is why I’m so scared of podcasts becoming “mainstream”. Big corporations creating podcasts have nothing to gain from us except listenership. They’ll be sponsored by other large corporations, not fans or indie productions buying airspace. They can be “safe” when it comes to representation, and they probably will be. In short, they don’t have to create art. They can just create okay, nice enough stories.
Podcasts are revolutionary. Do you know how many times I’ve seen a movie and said “that was a bad movie”? A shit ton of times! Do you know how many times I’ve listened to a podcast and thought “this is a bad podcast”? Never!! (Not fiction, at least - a bunch of “politics and current events” podcasts that I’ve tried turn my stomach). Even if the audio quality isn’t great, it’s always clear that the creators genuinely care about what they are making and the stories they’re telling and they’re not! Just! Adding! Representation! To be woke!
I genuinely might be dead right now if podcasts hadn’t come into my life. Welcome to Night Vale in particular - it has helped me fall asleep on nights when my intrusive thoughts felt like they were tearing me apart. It introduced me to this amazing medium and all the people who are a part of it. I don’t want to see this thing I love so much turned into a profit machine by capitalism. So I’m really, really nervous about podcasts becoming mainstream.
TL;DR because the podcasting medium has essentially no gatekeeping, it can be very diverse, and it is. This has led to a great fan-creator dynamic of mutual support and created many positive examples of representation. If big studios and corporations are able to produce podcasts on large budgets with little consequence for a bad or boring story, they might drive the art form in a direction that makes it harder for smaller studios or indie creators to get into.
Please share your thoughts about this and also please follow my twitter.
Absolutely yes to all this.
And it’s not just about being represented in fiction. It’s also about making you feel welcome as a creator and contributor. When you hear people like yourself voice acting positive and important characters, or being listed as important staff members, or when you hear people like yourself having a great time in an actual play podcast, you feel like you are allowed, welcomed and wanted to put your own work out there. You are welcomed to and celebrated in all parts of the community… creator, content, consumer, equally.
Hollywood vastly prefers its white straight cis people and will often passively, sometimes actively, ensure that they are the ones telling the stories. In Hollywood, in mainstream, we are only consumers.
Tumblr seems to be in potential death throes or at least, incredibly volatile and unreliable lately, but we’ve done some pretty good and informative work on canon analysis and reference guides so I was looking for ways to back it up without losing it…and the solution became obvious to me:
Archive of Our Own, aka AO3.
“What?” you might ask if you are less familiar with their TOS. “Isn’t that just a fanfic archive??”
No! It’s a fanWORK archive. It is an archive for fanworks in general! “Fanwork” is a broad term that encompasses a lot of things, but it doesn’t just include fanfic and fanart, vids etc; it also includes “fannish” essays and articles that fall under what’s often called “meta” (from the word for “beyond” or “above”, referencing that it goes beyond the original exact text)! The defining factor of whether Archive of Our Own is the appropriate place to post it is not whether or not it’s a fictional expansion of canon (fanfic), though that is definitely included - no, it’s literally just “is this a work by a ‘fan’ intended for other ‘fannish’ folks/of ‘fannish’ interest?”
The articles we’ve written as a handy reference to the period-appropriate Japanese clothing worn by Inuyasha characters? The analyses of characters? The delineations of concrete canon (the original work) vs common “fanon” (common misconceptions within the fandom)? Even the discussion of broader cultural, historical, and geographic context that applies to the series and many potential fanworks?
All of those are fannish nonfiction!
Which means they absolutely can (and will) have a home on AO3, and I encourage anybody who is wanting to back up similar works of “fannish interest” - ranging from research they’ve done for a fic, to character analyses and headcanons - to use AO3 for it, because it’s a stable, smooth-running platform that is ad-free and unlike tumblr, is run by a nonprofit (The OTW) that itself is run by and for the benefit of, fellow fans.
Of course, that begs the question of how to tag your work if you do cross-post it, eh? So on that note, here’s a quick run-down of tags we’re finding useful and applicable, which I’ve figured out through a combination of trial and error and actually asking a tag wrangler (shoutout to @wrangletangle for their invaluable help!):
First, the Very Broad:
- “ Nonfiction ”. This helps separate it from fanfic on the archive, so people who aren’t looking for anything but fanfic are less likely to have to skim past it, whereas people looking for exactly that content are more likely to find it.
- while “Meta” and “Essay” and even “Information” are all sometimes used for the kinds of nonfiction and analytical works we post, I’ve been told “ Meta Essay ” is the advisable specific tag for such works. This would apply to character analyses, reference guides to canon, and even reference guides to real-world things that are reflected in the canon (such as our articles on Japanese clothing as worn by the characters). The other three tags are usable, and I’ve been using them as well to cover my bases, but they’ll also tend to bring up content such as “essay format” fanfic or fanfic with titles with those words in them - something that does not happen with “Meta Essay”.
- I’ve also found by poking around in suggested tags, that “ Fanwork Research & Reference Guides ” is consistently used (even by casual users) for: nonfiction fannish works relating to analyses of canon materials; analyses of and meta on fandom-specific or fanwork-specific tropes; information on or guides to writing real-world stuff that applies to or is reflected in specific fandoms’ media (e.g. articles on period-appropriate culture-specific costuming and how to describe it); and expanded background materials for specific fans’ fanworks (such as how a given AU’s worldbuilding is supposed to be set up) that didn’t fit within the narrative proper and is separated out as a reference for interested readers.
Basically, if it’s an original fan-made reference for something specific to one or more fanworks, or a research aid for writing certain things applicable to fanworks or fannish interests in general, then it can fall under that latter tag.
- You should also mark it with any appropriate fandom(s) in the “Fandom” field. Just like you would for a fanfic, because of course, the work is specifically relevant to fans of X canon, right?
If it discusses sensitive topics, or particular characters, etc., you should probably tag for those. E.g. “death” or “mental illness”, “Kagome Higurashi”, etc.
Additionally, if you are backing it up from a Tumblr you may wish to add:
- “ Archived From Tumblr “ and/or “ Cross-Posted From Tumblr ” to reference the original place of publication, for works originally posted to tumblr. (I advise this if only because someday, there might not be “tumblr” as we know it, and someone might be specifically looking for content that was originally on it, you never know)
- “ Archived From [blog name] Blog ”; this marks it as an archived work from a specific blog. And yes, I recommend adding the word “blog” in there for clarity- Wrangletangle was actually delighted that I bothered to tag our first archived work with “Archived From Inu-Fiction Blog” because being EXTREMLY specific about things like that is super helpful to the tag wranglers on AO3, who have to decide how to categorize/”syn” (synonym) various new tags from alphabetized lists without context of the original posting right in front of them. In other words, including the name AND the word “blog” in it, helps them categorize the tag on the back end without having to spend extra time googling what the heck “[Insert Name Here]” was originally.
Overall, you should be as specific and clear as possible, but those tags/tag formats should prove useful in tagging it correctly should you choose to put fannish essays and articles up on AO3 :)
Oh, and protip sidebar for those posting, especially works that are more than plain text: you can make archiving things quicker and easier for yourself, but remember to plan ahead for tumblr’s potential demise/disabling/service interruptions.
The good news: You can literally copy and paste the ENTIRE text of a tumblr post from say, an “edit” window, on tumblr, straight into AO3′s Rich Text Format editor, and it will preserve pretty much all or almost all of the formatting - such as bold, italics, embedded links, etc!
But the bad news: keep in mind that while AO3 allows for embedded images and it WILL transfer those embedded images with a quick copy-paste like that, AO3 itself doesn’t host the images for embedding; those are still external images. This means that whether or not they continue to load/display for users, depends entirely on whether the file is still on the original external server! As I quickly discovered, in the case of posts copied from the Edit window of a tumblr post, the images will still point to the copies of the images ON tumblr’s servers.
What this means is that you should back up (save copies elsewhere of) any embedded images that you consider vital to such posts, in case you need to upload them elsewhere and fiddle with where the external image is being pulled from, later.
Personally, I’m doing that AND adding image descriptions underneath them, just to be on the safe side (and in fairness, this makes it more accessible to people who cannot view the images anyway, such as sight-impaired people who use screen readers or people who have images set to not automatically display on their browser, so it’s win-win)
Mondsteinflug macht Weihnachtspause! Frohe Feiertage!
we’re going to have to call smut ‘lemons’ again, aren’t we?
LEMONS!? WHEN THE FUCK WAS THIS?!
oh you sweet summer child
I actually made this a button last convention
Gaud I remember when it was lemons, I feel old now
What are lemons??
Shout-out to my fellow Fandom Olds who lived through Strikethrough/Boldthrough on LJ and knew this day would eventually come here on Tumblr.com also
Especial shout-out to the heroes at AO3 who designed their whole operation knowing that every other platform fandom used would pull this bullshit sooner or later
Tumblr, not understanding that the problem is with UNCHECKED CHILD PORN, decides that they won’t moderate anything. A normal website.
I don’t even get Horny on Main but this (alongside our new community guideline) kind of shows a prevailing attitude of “stop making us moderate this site,” which is, admittedly, what Yahoo! is famous for (buying up thriving websites, slowly pulling back on moderation, then abandoning it when its users leave out of frustration). Geocities fell to this, but that took almost a decade. Even the decline of entire platforms are faster in this era of internet.
oh god what is going on now
guys calm down, you can still draw fictional people naked
Yyyyyeah except they’ve already:
- purged the ‘chronic pain’ tag
- purged the ‘top surgery’ tag
- made ‘trans’ tag inaccessible to non-functional
- deleted a bunch of chronic illness blogs
- deleted a bunch of chronic pain and chronic illness posts from blogs they’ve left (like mine)
This isn’t just about ‘oh no you can’t look at people fucking anymore’ (even though lots of sex workers are losing their means of supporting themselves). This goes a lot further, with a lot more chilling effects.
The sexualizing of things like ‘top surgery’ or declaring all ‘trans’ tagged things to be … sexual… is really, REALLY fucked up. Never mind the fact that ‘chronic pain’ had NOTHING to do with sexiness, and we’ve been given no explanation as to why disabled people were considered acceptable collateral damage.
ALSO I had a post flagged earlier today for a cartoon picture of Mario in a bathing suit. Mario, from Super Mario Brothers.
Someone else reported a picture of a cartoon scorpion with a hard hat on being flagged as pornography. Tagging things as ‘queer’ or ‘gay’ gets them flagged NSFW. (Hey, guess what I’d been tagging my t-shirts, because they’re pride stuff? Oh right. Queer. Gay. Pride.)
This is a fucking problem, let’s not blow it off.
I know some people are too young (or simply weren’t involved in fandom back then) to remember what went down with livejournal and a couple of other sites “back in the day”, but it all started out as “it’s okay, we’re just removing the nasty porn”, and then “okay well, just make sure you put your porn behind a cut, no, wait jk you need to host it externally, a link is fine, maybe” and pretty much devolved swiftly into “actually sweety, LGBT content is inherently NSFW by default because it might make the kiddies gay if we expose them to it, so y’all need to leave now byyyeeee”.
Like…that happened. And it took nearly a decade for the fandom spaces to recover and stabilize and to get to the point where LGBT content creators could host their content without being told “you’re not welcome here” and I’m just sitting here, watching as youtube demonetizes LGBT content creators, and Facebook flags up LGBT ads as “inappropriate” and now tumblr is going through the queer and gay tags and just mass blanketing it as inappropriate, while actual pornbots and nazis wind up in my recommended feed.
Like I am uncomfortable y’all. I am looking around at everything I’ve built and all the friends I’ve made and I know we’re all looking for the next safe space to jump to while hoping we don’t lose each other overnight like “the olden days” where you’d wake up and your fave blogger was just gone.
And usually it was because they’d drawn or written something as simple yet explicit as a kiss. It was just the wrong kind of kiss.
So yea, the sky is not falling, but the ice under our feet sure is making worrying sounds.
bu-bu-but I need my spoonie spaces, it’s the only place left where I get support and advice and feel less alone in the world… ughh…….
It ain’t over till it’s over, and this bisexual spoonie will be here until the lights go out. They’re going to have to come to my house and pry my phone out my hands to get me to stop shitposting. And hey, by then there will likely be new spaces to branch out into and cling to each other. It won’t be the exact same mind you, but fandom spaces and online communities have always been migratory in nature. We moved from fanzines swapped around in coffee shops, to coffeeshop AUs online. We’ll survive whatever the next jump is.
It’s just bullshit that we’re being forced to prepare to make the leap at all. But that’s what happens with corporate run sites in the end. Sadly.
But we’re not quite at doomsday yet, and even after the changes roll out on the 17th, we’ll still have a ways to go before the site is entirely gone. Hell, even LJ is still running….
And in the meantime it’s not a bad idea to look around and get the handles/emails of the people you’d truly miss if they were gone the next day. I still have friends I think about and miss from LJ.
Just checked if the queer representation tag is still showing, and it obviously is - and it comes with a warning that from Dec 17th, adult content will not be allowed anymore. Is queer representation now adult content? Seriously??? And wtf is going on with the other tags, like chronic pain?
Looks like we need to look for more and better places to link our podcast to - and boy does this make me want to produce a dozen more queer episodes!
Edit: The warning about adult content no longer being permitted goes up whenever a new tumblr tab is opened. Staff claims they only want explicit content gone, but not the discussion about it??? I’m not super optimistic about this, they’ve not handled this well ever. But okay, let’s see what they come up with.
Uuund die beiden nächsten Episoden von Mondsteinflug sind in den nächsten Minuten online! “Queer representation” und “Smutfic”, zwei Folgen, die uns so viel Spaß gemacht haben, dass ich kaum erwarten kann, sie hochzuladen!
Dies hier ist immer noch nicht der Heimatblog für die Mondsteinflug-Podcasts, aber jetzt werdet ihr ordentlich hinverlinkt!
Auf tumblr: @mesomondstein
- Die erste Folge mit FloraOne, zum Kennenlernen:
- Ein Vergleich von alten und neuen Sailor Moon Musicals mit Sailor Cat:
- Ein Interview mit Fandomurgestein Stavros von SailorMoonGerman:
- Alles über Copyright im Fandom, und über die geplante EU-Verordnung dazu, mit FlorOne:
Kommentare und Fragen zum Podcast bitte auf @mesomondstein!
Viel Spaß mit unseren Episoden, dieses Wochenende kommt wieder eine neue dazu, die erste Folge unserer Miniserie “Sailor Moon und Sexualität”!
Editor Rusty arbeitet auch daran, dass wir bald auf Twitter und AO3 zu finden sind!
Für Liebe und Gerechtigkeit - Mondstein, flieg und sieg!
Hallo liebe podcast-Freunde, auf diesem Blog werden nach und nach die Episoden von Mondsteinflug, einem der beiden besten Sailor Moon Podcasts Deutschlands verlinkt werden.
Wenn ihr die aktuellen Folgen schneller hören wollt, dann geht doch rüber zu @mesomondstein, der Mutter aller Mondsteinpodcasts, wo die Episoden immer als erstes hochgeladen werden.
Für Liebe und Gerechtigkeit - Mondstein flieg und sieg!