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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Oh, bugger off, you brolly."
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March 08 2011

Help Nathan Buy Firefly say they are closing. Hopefully fans discover Browncoat groups across the world, the charity screenings of Serenity, the secrets of Book and other Dark Horse comics, fan funded fan movie Browncoat Redemption, and more.

I'm glad they saw sense and that they didn't want to drag it on any longer.
The main person commenting for the page tried to imply that Whedonesque didn't have registration open so that people couldn't come and comment on it here. I tried to explain that registration is only open a few days every year. Didn't specify which days ;). We can feel glad that no one was duped out of any money, only to end up having nothing happen and not get anything back. There was the very real possibility of people getting hurt by these endeavors. That is what I choose to celebrate.

[ edited by ben_b55 on 2011-03-08 08:22 ]
I'm glad they saw sense and that they didn't want to drag it on any longer.


Yeah, me too. And I hope all of the new fans find their way into the fan communities. That's really what it's all about. If anything positive comes of this, I hope it is that people will find a group of like-minded people to share their love of the 'verse with. In my mind, that's one of the best feelings there is.
I don't think there's any need for celebratory anything- there's no real winners in this situation.

Hopefully, people will redirect this enthusiasm to more fruitful endeavors.
I agree. A lot of people are beginning to discover all that is available. Many fans have never dug deeper than their Firefly and Serenity dvds. Glad they'll be able to find some new treasures to enjoy :)
That's the right thing to do. But here's a thought, what if a current day Firefly fan becomes the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs and pumps money into the franchise?
I find no celebration, only relief.
Well at least it's definitely not a scam, although I never believed it was. It was an interesting chain of events, these last few weeks since Nathan's comments. I guess we Browncoats are not all-powerful. May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.
Fair enough. Relief is a better word.
Yeah, nobody won anything. I think it also placed the cast and certain writers/producers in awkward situations. I hope Nathan isn't scared of speaking about the show now.

I've been reading that Facebook group for a while, but not commented, and one thing I noticed - a surprising amount of people didn't seem to aware of things like the comics, had no idea what Can't Stop The Serenity is etc. Hopefully they find joy in new stories and future shared experiences.

For me, being a Firefly fan isn't about winning. It was a show about the people who lost, and lived anyway. They formed a family. 'The signal' ain't the show for me. It's that community. I think some fans pitch things in terms of 'the battle of Serenity valley', and being in that battle as a good thing. It ain't. We lost. To quote the show: doesn't mean we were wrong.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-08 08:26 ]
The TV Obsessed, if I become a billionaire, I promise I'll buy Firefly.

(I'm also gonna buy a radio station and broadcast silence except for the occasional "You're listening to KMIM radio- all mime, all the time" bumper, but that's just cause I gotta be eccentric.)
I think we really need to go all out for CSTS this year. Let's make this the best one yet.
That was beautiful gossi, thanks for sharing. To paraphrase Star Wars; the signal is strong within you...

I for one am glad the insanity has been temporarily quelled. Could not understand people's crazy belief that it could possibly have worked when all cast/crew were busy and had moved on. While no one has won, at least no one lost money on funding an invisible project.
I agree. Let's focus on moving forward, not dwell on what has been a somewhat negative couple of weeks.
Well, at least it's over. It's a shame it got to these stages and it's never nice to see dreams die (however ill-founded) but hopefully we can all just get on with it and in a few months it'll be behind us and the fandom will have upto 100,000 new faces in it (did we ever get an idea of how many of the fans involved were new, seemed to be a pretty high proportion ?).
There were a lot of new fans, one person didn't even know they could buy Firefly on dvd or blu ray. He was given a link to Amazon.
I feel every heartbreak. Bitchy me has even shed a few tears over it. Let's hope all this new fan fervor can be turned toward CSTS, Equality Now and KNTR. That would be epic!
Realistically, even if some very rich person did have the money to purchase the rights, the likelihood of all the remaining actors getting back together is rather slim.

I can think of at least three, who have major show commitments as leads, without whom the show could not work. Another two whose characters have died would make a revival unbalanced - at least in my opinion.

Not to mention all of the other aspects of trying to make a show. Writers, directors, producers and the massive amounts of behind the scenes folks don't just show up because someone throws money at a project.

We're lucky, there have been much longer shows with no t-shirts, exact replicas, or comic books to resolve stories this long after the series has ended.

I would say the only reason for someone to purchase Firefly would be to make sure Fox didn't decide to do a re-make down the line and surely ruin it.
I hope all these fans don't just disappear. The remains of HNBF can still become something great, imo.
By the way, for the record - the line 'Help Nathan Buy Firefly' use on their site about what Maurissa Tancharoen tweeted is their wording, not hers.
I'm mostly glad it's over because I was getting whiplash from how many times HNBF changed their minds about what they were going to do. I'm still a little apprehensive because they won't take down the site for a few days. It feels like it's another opportunity for them to change their minds again.

Also, I feel sorry for poor Maurissa. In the heat of their disappointment, a lot of people are saying really rude things about her.
Yeah. Nobody should hate on her.
Poor Mo. People kinda lost their minds over this one.
How nice of them to make Maurissa ("Joss' sister-in-law", as if that's her sole claim to fame) the scapegoat while ignoring Jane's and Nathan's comments.
Some of these people are asking why they need "Josh" anyway, so I have to consider them as somehow insanely fanatical, yet casual fans?
I'm more confused by the accusations that Mo hasn't read HNBF's website because it's only asking for pledges, not taking anyone's money. They also seem to conclude that if someone would just inform Mo of her mistake, she would see the error of her ways and retract her statement.

The only way that argument would make any kind of sense would be if you had no idea what a pledge is. The whole point is that it's a precursor to actually taking people's money.
Not to mention that the most recent HNBF post was specifically all about forming a company and having fans invest their money in it.
It's symptomatic of the general feel of the whole thing I reckon - people were enthusiastically pledging support (which is only different to just being a fan if you actually give money) without really seriously considering what's involved.

And hatin' on Mo is bang out of order.
Leave Mo Alone! /Chris Crocker impersonation

But in all seriousness, hopefully the more sane new fans will find their way into the longtime fandom. It seems so sad that most of them don't even know what CSTS is, or what Whedonesque is (or who Joss is, if the above comments are true). If they're willing to pledge their money to HNBF, then surely they'd be willing to give it to Equality Now. It'd certainly be a lot more practical...

I'm just glad this whole debacle is over; It's been hard to stay out of the crossfire.
I think everyone's summed this up nicely:

- This is a relief, but not a happy one.

- I hate to see this enthusiasm squashed. Here's hoping some of that energy gets redirected into this fandom in positive ways.

- It's strange the organisers are taking Mo's line and running with it, while ignoring previous concerns by Nathan (star of show, whose name features in their campaign name) and Jane (writer on show).

- It hurts to see the backlash on this one. Here's hoping no further insults and anger are directed at Mo; that way lies insanity.

And, finally: I wonder if we'll now ever get to find out who these people actually were. Will they remain active in the fandom? Will they phase out? I wonder if it's the last we've seen of them.
Mo does say "no-one in the Whedonverse" which is pretty all-encompassing i.e. likely includes Joss (though there are still people suggesting they should therefore do it without anyone previously involved in creating the show which is just odd to me, I mean, they must know that the show is the show they love because of the people who created it right ?). There're also still people saying Joss may still be behind it because he hasn't explicitly said "Please, for the love of God stop !". Faith just doesn't come much blinder in other words.

Must admit though, I also wonder if the organisers have finally got some feel for the task they've set themselves (and how incredibly unlikely it is to go anywhere while at the same time possibly involving them in a world of hurt WRT legal and financial responsibilities) and decided now's as good a time as any to kill the idea. Suppose it's also possible they've received something definitive from 20th Century Fox (e.g. "Just to be clear, you know that thing we never put up for sale and that we're still actively using to make money ? Well, it's not for sale cos, y'know, we're still actively using it to make money" ;).

If someone hasn't already BTW, it may well be worth archiving the site since it could disappear at any time, just so that when the inevitable myths and half-truths start popping up there's something we can point people towards (i'll do it myself when I get the chance but someone else is bound to be quicker off the mark).
Oh, sweet tap-dancing gods.

I'm not pouring and will not pour gasoline on flames, but I already felt some ways sad from this whole thing - and bad about the feelings of disappointed HNBF'ers - and then I read all the HNBF/FB comments about Mo's post(s) and now I actually feel a little unwell. The invective, the bile... I know we're not supposed to be negative about other sites, but the cruelty about Joss, and Mo, and anyone some folks saw as an enemy is, I guess, what I'm posting about.

I'm sorry that anyone felt that their support for HNBF here had to go unvoiced - although I don't really get why; I've been the only one in the room w/ my opinion, and it's fine w/ me - but may I just say I am profoundly grateful for our mods, who prevent the sort of nastiness I just read from getting any play on WHEDONesque.

HNBF hath murdered sleep.
I'm really happy this little chapter is (seemingly) closed. What a mess. I agree with QuorterGal, that reading the comments on Facebook left me feeling even more frustrated by the entire thing.

Hopefully if HNBF stays around in some capacity, they find a way to use that enthusiasm for Firefly productively.
Simon, CSTS accepts your challenge. :D
gossi you keep taking my little germs of ideas about the fan myth and making them eloquent. It's like magic!

I've got a landing page at josswhedon.net in the works for Browncoats to direct them to charities, events, and local groups, but I'm a little afraid to release it into the wild.
I don't tweet, but seeing this from Mo made me so sad:

"We know you all love #Firefly and that's why we love you. Wanted to let the dust settle but wow, the flak. Just doing what I was supposed to."

Too bad she got the brunt of the fans' anger.

This is sad all around. I feel sad for those fans who got their hopes up, and sad for Joss and his family that they had to get involved in this--not to mention Nathan and Jane.
I have a feeling they were just waiting for a legit reason to shut down and Mo gave them their scapegoat. Just curious, anyone imagined a Jed/Mo episode of Firefly? My god that would be spectacular.
I hope all these fans don't just disappear. The remains of HNBF can still become something great, imo.


As far as I can tell the appeal of HNBF was towards people with an interest in seeing more original live-action material in the 'Verse coming about. Unfortunately none of the existing charities would seem to even remotely stand on similar grounds...
Ho-lee Shiznit. Reading the reactions over there makes me glad I don't get any more involved in fan activities than I do.
Fandom is known for being fun and freaky, after all...
I feel bad that Maurissa is taking a brunt of the heat for this. The people at HNBF really singled her out, making her a scapegoat of sorts.
Mo has been made the scapegoat of this thing by HNBF, and I'm not happy about it. Somebody actually signed up with a twitter account just to tweet her abuse about this, which is pretty crazy. But then, the whole thing was a bit... odd. This is a campaign called "Help Nathan Buy Firefly", and even Nathan told them don't do that. Why try to shift the blame this direction, I don't know.

Ultimately, it will all blow over in a few days, but Firefly fans shouldn't be thinking they can increase changes of getting more Firefly by bashing the creators family. Not cool.

Nobody will want to admit it, but here's an honest truth: fans couldn't buy Firefly. 132k got lumped into a cause which was a non-starter. Maurissa stepped up to that (which she should be thanked for, by the way) to make sure casual fans didn't get burned by the whole thing - and she has. So, thank you Maurissa by being a voice of sanity before this got any more out of hand.
I think some tweets of love, thanks, and support for Mo may be in order.
Or some flowers? Flowers would be a nice gesture
I don't even know why the existence of HNBF was bothering me so much, but I'm relieved it's over, too. When I saw Mo's first tweet about it, I crossed my fingers.

I hope somebody involved will be able to take all the information that this project gathered, about the number of fans and the amount of pledged money, and give it back to us with some inspiration on what else all that money could go to.

Can You Care About ____ as Much as You Care About Firefly?
As I said on twitter before coming into work: I'm not sure that a lot of the people on the Facebook page actually read the website. I mean, I actually hope that is the case because otherwise, their insistence that no one was collecting money doesn't make a whole lot of sense seeing as the latest plan that was announced was to do that very thing.
Also, as I was logging in, I just read in 'twitteresque' someone saying, "I don't see why Firefly fans should care what a sis in law says. Or Joss for that matter."
Uh... really?
There seems to be two camps: those that are hanging onto the original idea of the HNBF campaign, which was symbolic only with pledges and the second camp that thinks they can actually buy the rights and it seems are the group that cares the least about the actual people behind the show doing it as long as they can 'get the cast' and 'tell stories'.
The first group I'm ok with. Even thought it was a fun way to show fan support. The second? Are the reason it needed to be shut down asap.
Hopefully the first group will find something fun and constructive again.
I like the idea of setting up a page with links to other groups and what else of Firefly is out there. And maybe reminding them that w-esque has a .org page that they could comment on since most aren't registered here.
Well, y'know, that's my pushback point -- if "Can You Care About ____ as Much as You Care About Firefly" is a valid argument against pledging money to a site with absolutely no support from the people who would have to make the show/movie, it's an equally valid challenge to pledging money if Nathan, Joss, and the full cast were 100% on board. Putting it in those terms seem to define the completely discretionary choice of trying to fund that drive, or supporting a fan site through donations, as less morally worthy than giving to a charity. Which, well, it might be, but it's also not the fandom community at large's business.

The problem with this wasn't that it was a banal use of discretionary money that should have been given to American Red Cross or something, it's that it was basically a null pledge/donation, something implicitly false because it had no support and no chance to succeed.
Actually, I was just as much against it if it did have a chance of success. Any final product they could have come up with would have been a mess; if the money is going toward making television rather than the Red Cross, great, but let's make it good television. Like Firefly was, emphasis past tense.
Whew... glad that's behind us. Let's not forget about pointing fans to a little fan produced documentary about Firefly and Serenity: Done The Impossible (available on Amazon). Which by the way has seen an increase in sales of almost 3000% over the last couple of weeks. Thanks no doubt to all the recent buzz about Firefly.

[ edited by JeremyN on 2011-03-08 16:44 ]

[ edited by JeremyN on 2011-03-08 16:45 ]
JeremyN said
Which by the way has seen an increase in sales of almost 3000% over the last couple of weeks. Thanks no doubt to all the recent buzz about Firefly.


One good thing to come out of this. I'm glad Jeremy. :)
Kiba-When you get ready to put your josswhedon.net page up, email me @buffyworld or @gmail and let me know so I can link it on the Herald.
I have to say I am relieved this is over for a couple of reasons. The first and foremost being that this plan was bad, bad, bad to begin with no support from Nathan or others. The second reason is related to here, on this site, I saw some people here at Whedonesque really go after the HNBF people and fans. It did, quite often, come across as we are right and know better than you do new fans, do as we tell you to do. I know I felt some love for the enthusiasm of the fans HNBF, but always understood that their goals were unacheivable. Sadly, though, I think we got too passionate about telling them how wrong they (the fans) were and came off as an old guard protecting our turf. I am so relieved that this is OVER and hope those new fans can find their ways, with their passions, to firefly groups and organizations.

The MO hate sucks...I just can't stand people being disrespectful.
Maybe it's time for a "help buy flowers for Maurissa" pledge :)
I don't understand how you can want a Firefly without "Josh". And the Mo hate pisses me off.
There's a new Facebook group for Browncoats to keep talking post HNBF.
Jeremy, when's the next Browncoat cruise, dude? I hope there will be another.

It really hurt to "like" that Facebook page but I had to say something yesterday that hovered somewhere in the 'mid ground between anger and sadness, trying to retain some equanimity when I saw the Joss bashing (and I'm infuriated about the Maurissa bashing now). I hope that I got through to at least one person about Joss' support of Equality Now through the essay he wrote here in 2007, and the EN video of 2006. He worked hard for everything he has and while people hurl abuse about privilege, I thought a reminder about the good he does was in order.
HNBF just posted another Note on their website explaining why they are shutting the movement down. I have to respect that they clearly say they don't want people being disrespectful to the the cast and crew because they didn't support the movement. I also like that they point people towards Kids Need To Read (though why only 1/4th of the money people pledged being the suggestion I don't know). However, they clearly blame the established Charities, and leaders of the established Fan Base as the reason for the failure of their movement. Taking no responsibility for failing to slow the movement down and try to work through proper channels when it became clear this thing was taking off. Sad, sad, sad.
Jabby, where are you seeing this note? I can't find it on their website.
I do appreciate the don't attack the cast/etc sentiment of that latest update, but beyond that important statement it mostly reads as an ode to their own victimization. They were misunderstood (no, they kept changing/misrepresenting what they were doing at any given point). They weren't given enough time (no, transparency doesn't require time, just honesty).
If you can't see the note, switch their page to display only posts from the page, not posts from everyone. Or, click "Notes" in the left-hand sidebar.
And it's on their facebook page, not on their website.
And it's on their facebook page, not on their website.


Ah, well that explains my confusion, lol.
It's great to see that fans are reaching out to the HNBF supporters but I want to interject with one warning. There is a real danger that a mythos will grow around the campaign. And I'm concerned that it will be along the lines of "mighty Browncoats stabbed in the back by Joss and Nathan and other fans". This was not the case. Their campaign was badly run and the organisers ignored or dithered when it came to genuine concerns. Their supporters were not kept informed with what the aims were and many of them thought the campaign was doing one thing when in reality it was doing another.

However I do think they should be praised for getting so many supporters and showing again that we miss Firefly.
Sorry I have been following them primarily on Facebook. I forget about their official website. I guess I should be more clear.
Again, a lot of really stupid and offensive comments in that thread. A lot of misinformation still being spread around. And, some people who *still* want to try to buy the rights to Firefly. When will it stop?
@jabby
Its not "mo hate", a lot of people are tired of the condescending attitude and preaching from "the powers that wore", that people are not allowed to spend their money as they see fit - and they are saying so, I don't see anyone being rude.

@eddy
The point was to buy the rights for Firefly and set it free, so people can spread the episodes all over without violating rights. Not to make more Firefly - given the attitude of all the people who were involved that is clearly dead.


But I think this was it, this is the watershed like "Stargate Universe" was for the Stargate fans, it split people quite violently. This may well happen to the Firefly fans as well, the group fractured into two parts, the one group who says they care but don't do anything to show it and try to stop others who do, and the other group who hate the first group.

Oh well. But it was a good run, almost 10 years. Longer than some shows.
Hunted, their intent was very clearly to start a company that would buy the right to Firefly, get Joss and the cast involved and make new Firefly. They spelled it out in detail in their Big Damn Plan.
Huh, that note kinda reminds me of the editors response from that whole Cooks Source fiasco a few months ago.
Simon: Agreed. I gave them props on Twitter for their recent formal announcement, in which they specifically tell their followers to be respectful of Joss, Maurissa, et al., since I think that was the right thing to do. But you're right; we do still have to be vigilant about not letting it turn into an us vs. them thing, especially when some folks start seeing Joss & Co. as "them".
The point was to buy the rights for Firefly and set it free, so people can spread the episodes all over without violating rights. Not to make more Firefly - given the attitude of all the people who were involved that is clearly dead.

Wow, this is entirely wrong. It was all about getting the rights and trying to bring cast/crew back to make more. That was the point from the beginning, and was the point at the end, no matter how many other dances they performed along the way.

Then again, the instigators were very very good at completely failing to communicate even to their own supporters in a consistent to regular manner, so I guess I should not be surprised that their plan could be this misunderstood.
@Hunted, no I get why some people did feel they were being spoken down to by other fans. When I was referring to Mo Hate, I was referring specifically to the anger directed at Maurissa personally. Especially the stuff she got through Twitter. Alot of that stuff was uncalled for.
The problem with the allegations of "old guard" patronizing or talking down to new fans is that it's mostly a myth at most propelled by, or at least not countered by, HNBF itself. The problem is that a generalized "we love Firefly and wish we could have more" passion ran smack into an equally passionate desire on the part of others to not rush headlong into a situation that had been seen before, one that carried many of the warning signs of disaster.

As said by NYPinTA on the HNBF website yesterday (paraphrasing), some of us see our roles as Browncoats as having a responsibility to at least try to warn fellow fans away from potential disaster. That's a sign of respect, not disrespect.

Unfortunately, this became propagandized into "older fans who got to be mighty don't want us to have our chance" and/or "older fans who failed to be mighty enough don't want to be shown up by the young'uns" -- propaganda that continues from the HNBF instigators today in their note.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-03-08 20:25 ]
I think I stopped trying to get Serenity 2 made when Joss and co lost hope themselves.

Pretty sure that Fox would want to do it themselves, if they had the cast and Joss on board. It still makes money, they've not made one little noise to say that they are thinking of selling the rights.
And in the interests of full disclosure - I should also mention that two Sundays ago I was told by HNBF that they were closing down and that they would regroup with a social networking MMO to keep interest in Firefly going. The organisers were fed up, their many supporters and detractors had got to them. They were seriously considering pulling the plug on everything there and then because it was a mess but did not want to because they wanted to direct their supporters to calmer waters. The pledge system was introduced so their supporters could be kept busy until the organisers could sort things out behind the scenes to close the campaign down.

That is the main reason why I kept HNBF off the front page for a week after that. To calm things down and I wanted to give them breathing space to end their efforts as gracefully as they could without causing too much damage to the fandom. I have no idea why they changed their minds and went down this fan funding route. It was somewhat of a shock to read about it.
@One True B!X, I realize some of that has been propagnda, but some wasn't. I watched on both this board and facebook and some of the statements made to warn people off were pretty harsh. Some statements whether they were intended to or not read like if you do this you are dumb and real fans of Firefly wouldn't do this kind of thing. Frankly, I have to say that if there is a permanent schism in Firefly fandom over this whole thing, then both sides have some responsibility for it.

It is my hope that we will all get past this. The new fans will find their way into organizations that have clearer messages and can do really good things. I hope we all learn from this and try to have respectful dialogues where they can be had.
I don't get the hate for this campaign. They weren't collecting money until they knew they could do what they wanted, and they wanted to try to help. It's better than sitting on their asses saying "I miss this show". As someone said earlier, it may have been the losing side, but I'm not convinced it was the wrong one. Browncoats defeated again. :(
And by trying to help, they were leading people down a path to nowhere. How is that helping?
There were SO MANY other ways they could have handled their sudden influx of happy enthusiastic fans and they chose the exact wrong one. Despite being told by people that knew it wasn't going to work.
The 'pledge' portion I have no problem with. No one does. But as soon as Nathan posted his first tweet warning people off sending money what they should have done was make it clear that it was a hypothetical exercise only to demonstrate support. They should have made it clear then that they were not going to try and actually buy the rights, because that's just insane. They should have stopped anyone when they started to spin tales about the motivation behind Nathan's tweet as only a wink, or distancing himself for legal reasons. They should have done a lot of things. But they didn't. And it went too far. And they forced a confrontation in form of a public message. And now reading that page makes me sick in the stomach. No one is saying they can't continue to have a gathering place for fans and show support. There is no reason that has to end. The objection was to the idea, the plan they themselves laid out, to COLLECT MONEY. (And yes, I'm yelling a bit. Because everyone keeps saying they weren't collecting money but they are leaving off the most important word: yet.)
I'll ask again: are people only reading the Facebook group page and not the Web site? Is that why they don't realize where the plan was headed and it's THAT plan that Mo (feels weird calling her that since I don't know her, but it's way easier to spell) was saying the Whedonverse does not support.
Willing to donate to Ivalaine's Flowers for Mo if that idea moves forward.
(Clueless how to get them to her, so I can't offer much more than financial support)
I wonder if a lot of people did mainly focus on the Facebook page because a surprising number seem to think the admins did a bang up job all along whereas comments on the webpage (even excluding those that I know are from people on here) are slightly more mixed in that respect.

Happily the organisers' call for respect seems to have made a difference. A lot of the comments are still somewhat unrealistically thinking it may still happen BUT the few (and in fairness it was only a few) commenters that were insulting Joss, Maurissa, Nathan etc. seem to have faded away (largely due to calls to be nicer from others on the page). The negative comments (and general sense of entitlement) are annoying but we need to try to remember (and I had to talk myself into this BTW - let's just say it wasn't my first response ;) that if you have potentially 100,000 people commenting on something you're gonna get a proportion of dicks in the mix. S'just the world.
To quote Jay Sherman: "ackm!"
I find The Cortex, the new Facebook page, to be a lot more upbeat, they're being very careful not to allow negative postings. There's some bitterness, sure, but then aren't we all at times a little bitter over Firefly? ;)

In Discussions they're looking for active BC groups (beyond the listing posted from BigDamnBoard). Austin Browncoats have already posted on the Texas thread, perhaps the other, more active groups could gain some enthusiastic new members with a welcome post as well.
Glad to see some people making lemonade. Cabri, I am often bitter about Firefly. :)

BTW, ratings on the Science channel on Sunday won't be getting anyone's attention. Decent numbers for them but, won't cause anyone else to take a look.
Well if they're looking for a short term goal, I think that's one right there.
As said by NYPinTA on the HNBF website yesterday (paraphrasing), some of us see our roles as Browncoats as having a responsibility to at least try to warn fellow fans away from potential disaster. That's a sign of respect, not disrespect.

There's a difference between sending a friendly warning and brow-beating.
There's a difference between a browbeating and many individual people all trying to warn you off of something at the same time.
Also, there's a distinction being lost between how people talked about the HNBF instigators and how they interacted with individual supporters. Much of the increasing heat towards the instigators is a result of what Simon details above: that backchannel conversations had led many of us to believe that HNBF was shutting down and migrating to a "charity tracker" and a "social mission" plan.

We then got screwed by that belief because it isn't what HNBF did; instead, the instigators doubled down and ratcheted up the "let's buy Firefly" rhetoric and intent, all while ignoring indications (from Nathan, three times, for example) that they really needed to stop, and all while doing absolutely nothing to keep their supporters properly informed.

So if there's any impression out there of a browbeating, I submit it's purely the result of HNBF's instigators (with malice aforethought or not) deceiving people about its intentions to shut down, which is a valid reason for some of us to have in turn ratcheted up the pressure upon them.
There's a thing that's developed - is it lately? is it spawned off the internet? - I dunno, but I guess I've noticed it lately, and on the internet, so that's how I see it, but maybe it's ages-old, and just exaggerated by the 'net.

It's a tendency to use the word "hate" really loosely - very oddly to me - wherein disagreement or conflict is often called "hate" - and then actual "hate" - intense hostility - is just, you know, free speech. Which, of course, it is, but it isn't only that, it just includes it.

If I am to understand what was expressed to me by HNBF supporters on twitter and FB - individuals all, for clarification, and not official admins - it is being a "hater" to point out that the final HNBF campaign ultimately (not initially, and didn't get to the point of happening in fact, but ultimately, as folks with reading comprehension skills can all agree ) depended on collecting money from fans. I think we can all agree that's a pretty apt description of the "crowdfunding" called for in the final (of many, admittedly) HNBF plans.

So, pointing that out - in a nice way, I never raised my voice, and am always respectful - is hate.

Pointing out that Fox isn't going to sell the rights to "Firefly" - again nicely - that's hate. Pointing out that the HNBF campaign has had various incarnations and goals - that's hate. Mentioning that Nathan and Jane Espenson and Mo said not to send money - you know, the money that was ultimately part and parcel of HNBF's plan - was hate.

Pointing out demonstrable facts in a neutral or nice way, depending - that's hate.

But calling Mo Tancharoen a "bitch" for being the messenger, or Joss an ungrateful hack for not being unrealistic (about a show, I might point out, whose demise broke his heart) or for, I dunno, not coming on FB and speaking with them directly - and other hostile insults that I can't even bring myself to mention, that, I was told numerous times - that's not hate, that's "fans just having a dream." Or, you know, excuse them because they were disappointed, and that's how they get.

Some dream. And I've been disappointed - often - but never found it anything but hateful rationalization to be hostile to someone who pointed out disagreeable facts. It's a choice - like anything - a choice to behave meanly or cruelly.

Sorry - I appreciate that HNBF admins - whoever they may be - have (finally) asked for respect for the show's creators et al, and that everyone wants to move on and make lemonade, but it's going to take a while for me to understand what "loving" a show is, but hating its creator, and this new definition of what "hating on" is.

And it's going to take a good long while for me to forget that I saw the bile that I saw from people who "love" Firefly.


ETF: typos and one mis-nomer

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2011-03-08 23:11 ]
Whilst I don't agree with every single thing the HNBFF closing statement said, I do think they tried to balance everything out and deserve kudos for stepping up.

I've tried to stay out of this today to let things settle a bit, but there's one thing I want to say, and it's kinda important me.

Some people said when this ran that we should leave it - as there was a possibly goals could succeed. Imagine it - fans owning Firefly.

Imagine if this plan had worked. To be clear, the plan on the front page of the website was for a limited partnership company to be formed, where fans invested and bought the rights to make new Firefly.

Imagine if fans had purchased Firefly. When you look through that Facebook group, there's people who spell Joss wrong. There's people who say they don't need Joss. There were a tiny amount of people who wanted to force Nathan out of his role on Castle to return to this. Some suggested saving money by filming the series in their homes, which they would redecorate as the spaceship. The cast could come around and film the scenes. One person started talking about Joss being run over, and the rights reverting to Fox. Others suggested bringing Wash back to life. Others suggested money wouldn't be the thing people donated, but time. Others publicly bashed Joss Whedon's real life family members. Others suggested making the episodes available free to view online.

Imagine this plan succeeding in the best case scenario - some of those fans got direct ownership of Firefly. Imagine some of the above issues being addressing by the owners -- the fandom. Imagine this future of the show.

I love Firefly. I love the fandom. I don't mind people calling me elitist or names for questioning this plan. I don't like conflict, but I feel proud for speaking about about this. Firefly was a thing of beauty -- this plan was not.

The story could well continue at some point, and I'll be there with bells on. But not for this.

I actually think 95%+ of the people on that Facebook group were lovely, and just wanted more Firefly. But read some of those comments. There was a reason people stepped up and asked for this to be shut down.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-08 22:55 ]
I'll be honest. The fans who thought it was a good idea, well OK, hope they find a home elsewhere.

But the "Joss owes us," "We don't need Joss because he never got along with FOX which was why the show was cancelled," "Let's get Castle tanked so Nathan HAS to do Firefly," "Nathan's made so much off the fans," Maurissa-hatin' people?

Yeah, out the airlock. Not needed in our fandom or any other.
Yeah, that's how I feel. Some play was made of a "them" and "us" attitude and it's a legitimate point, no-one wants a schism in the fandom. But people like that are "them" to me and always will be.

Like I say though, to me it seemed to be a few bad apples, the same as you'd get in any large sample of people. We often celebrate the diversity of the fandom, of all the different kinds of people that come together under a common banner, that's just the flip side of that diversity.
Also, remember, the early warnings and cautions frequently came in the form of simple advice for the HNBF instigators. "Browncoats have been screwed by their fellow fans before," we explained to them. "So here are some simple steps you can do up front to try to avoid even appearing to be history repeating itself." Things like transparency and accountability. Things they resoundingly ignored, wanting everyone to just take "but we're Browncoats" as the final word on it.

Let me say that again: the early warnings and cautions came in the form of advice, so that HNBF would at least be an open endeavor, whatever anyone one of us individually thought of the campaign.

The heat only started rising after the advice was ignored, after critics were deceived about their intentions and called haters by their supporters, and after HNBF's instigators exhibiting a continuing lack of respect for Nathan's wishes as well as a complete lack of interest in countering the way their supporters were misrepresenting both what Nathan was saying and what HNBF was about.

HNBF's instigators had several repeated opportunities to calm down its supporters, convey accurate information as to fandom and industry realities, and represent itself honestly and transparently. It failed to avail itself of these opportunities at each and every instance.

If I'm a hater for keeping on them, and an elitist old guard fart for believing that transparency and respect are values to be fought for and insisted upon, and for trying to get this thing straightened out before anyone other than Nathan had to get dragged into it, then I'm comfortable being an elitist old guard fart and hater.
To QuoterGal's, Gossi's and BetNoir's last comments ... YES! Thank you!

All of the venom yesterday, gave me a migraine, and I posted the following Jayneism on my page (to which BetNoir alluded):
Jayne: "Does helping you mean turning on the Captain?"
with my comment "Hmmm ... topical ... and we all know how that turned out."

I followed that up with some Captain Mal's Wisdom:
"Oh, I long for a little dullness. Truth to say, this whole trip is getting to be just a little too interesting"

Of course, there are bad apples everywhere, but on the whole, this fandom has been very much like Serenity, a family made up of strangers traveling the 'Verse together in a warm, welcoming home.

I hope that those who truly love the show bring their enthusiasm onto our ship to help do more good things and that the "hangers on" that cannot calm down and see the good in the "old guard" will just move along.
yes, i dont think the nasty comments constituted the group as a whole. just like the nasty comments some of you through out dont constitute the whedonesque as a whole.
I dont think their pledging money they would contribute to get the show back on with hopes it would spark network interest was hurting anyone. With the idea of bringing 120 thousand fans to owning firefly, i think that would cause damage. I dont think it would even happen. But the work they put in to celebrate the show together was a beautiful thing. As long as people were not sending in money, as Nathan requested, they were not ignoring him. And maybe their efforts will have at least raised some eyebrows with networks.
Yeah, maybe. Not in the way you're hoping though I suspect.

As long as people were not sending in money, as Nathan requested, they were not ignoring him.

But HNBF intended to ask for money Butler so they simply hadn't ignored him yet. This is from the Big Damn Plan:
1. The idea here is to create a limited partnership to be owned by the fans. Anyone who invests in the company has a voice.
2. The purpose of this partnership will be to enable what everyone has been hoping for all these years: the production and distribution of more of our favorite show. Obviously, there are a lot of things to figure out before we actually get to that point.

That's dated March 6th. Nathan's tweet asking people not to send money was from, what, February 25th ? So either they never intended to follow the "Big Damn Plan" OR they intended to ignore Nathan's request. One or the other, not both.
Additionally, the document HNBF circulated via email (including to me) after Nathan's tweet opens with this sentence:

"Unfortunately, Fox is not going to sell the rights, whether we get Joss or Nathan on board or not. We’ve talked to other Firefly groups, like Browncoats: Redemption, and the only hope we have for getting Firefly back is to convince Fox they can make a profit by investing in new content. This is the unfortunate truth."

A week and a bit later, they decided to try buying the rights via fan donations. (?!?)

In summary: this was out of hand.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-09 00:25 ]
Thank you B!X for your comments. I have to admit that when I hear about anyone wanting to play with other people's money for fan events/projects I worry about a replay of Flanvention2. It is necessary to expect accountability and transparency because even the best intentioned people can get carried away in the wrong direction.

I find it very upsetting that anyone who calls themselves a Browncoat would attack Joss, Nathan, and/or Maurissa.
Ivalaine, maybe you could post something under fan campaigns at Whedonesque.org to see how many would be interested in sending Maurissa flowers and a simple thank you note/card. I worry (blame my mother, I got this "worry" disease from her) a bit about being somewhat intrusive that way in thanks, but she deserves something more than just tweets, but those are good too. Thx.
A week and a bit later, they decided to try buying the rights via fan donations. (?!?)

Do we know if it was the same people running it throughout or did they maybe have a change in personnel ? Trying to understand why they'd say one thing and then so comprehensively do another within the space of a week (going from dream to reality then back to dream seems like an unusual course).
No one knows as they remain anonymous. Best guess is that they started off with two or three people and by the end this had grown to fifteen to twenty people running the campaign.
Right, so they may have decided not to do it partly from feeling out of their depth then more people came onboard, possibly with more business experience and between them they convinced themselves it might be doable again. Guess we don't describe enthusiasm as "infectious" for nothing.
It's really shocking how many people on the Facebook page seem to know nothing about what was being posted and discussed on the wordpress site. Am I missing something? Weren't they very closely connected?
Let me just say right off the bat that I think the idea was a horrible one, but I don't know if what they emailed you and then eventually did was a complete reversal. They wrote "and the only hope we have for getting Firefly back is to convince Fox they can make a profit by investing in new content. This is the unfortunate truth." Maybe they thought that they still needed to negotiate some purchase of Firefly rights in order to create new content. I don't know.

Also, I know people keep saying they were going to ask for money, but technically that isn't right either. They were going to form what they say is an LP but in actuality the way they spoke about it, it would have been an LLC. This technically could have been set up by 3rd party administrator where people were buying in with shares and were protected.

The problem with this whole thing really wasn't the money aspect of it. It was that they didn't have a clue how to do any of the things they were trying to do. I don't believe they were scamming people, I think they were just overburdened and overwhelmed by what they were trying to accomplish.

Ultimately, the biggest problem is before they released their Big Damn Plan, they should have been in contact with Joss, Nathan and others whose support they would need. They shouldn't have run out the door with a plan that is scary and crazy before telling the people involved with the creation of this show what they wanted to do. They should have continued working with established fan groups and explained this idea instead of leaving everyone in the dark and unveiling it in the 11th hour. They should have been transparent from the beginning and especially when concerns got raised about who they were. They shouldn't have acted surprised when everyone freaked out about their plan.
Saje, I should have used the words, up until the big damn plan. that bdp changed everything.

[ edited by Butler on 2011-03-09 00:54 ]
Thanks to those heaping scorn and abuse at Maurissa. You've made her Internet shy. Her latest tweet:
I appreciate the support. I think what some people don't understand is - by "no one in the Whedonverse is in support of HNBF" I meant that no one is officially involved in any capacity. This is a pure fan movement. There just needed to be clarification. There were many questions coming my way so I finally answered. I wasn't trying to bash dreams, by all means come together and show your love for Firefly. But when money is involved (and pledges are meant to become real $ at some point, yes?) things get tricky... I wasn't going to say anything else on the subject as I didn't want to further fuel the already out of control fire, but unkind things have been said. And honestly, I'm afraid that I've grown afraid of the internet. Still got mad love for the Browncoats. Over and out for a bit...

That just makes me sad. :(
Sad and events didn't need to go this way; however, rational discourse is not the hallmark of being online. The Internet scares me too and I'm not even somewhat well known.
The internet is indeed scary. So sad.
Very sad for Maurissa. Right now I feel like punching the internet in its fucking junk.
I am afraid that latest tweet by Maurissa will be interpreted incorrectly.
Also, there's a distinction being lost between how people talked about the HNBF instigators and how they interacted with individual supporters.

And if various parties had done a better job of just that (rather than positing such easily construed obnoxious messages as - yet again - this) I think there'd be much less to talk about right now.
Oh, I'm so sorry it came to her having to say something and then get such backlash that it makes her feel afraid of the internet.
This is very sad. :(
I am afraid that latest tweet by Maurissa will be interpreted incorrectly.

That occurred to you, too, huh?
Her initial tweet was also interpreted incorrectly (as was Nathan's) so that's going to happen no matter what but yep, it'll be "fun" to see what's happened when I wake up tomorrow ("New Big Damn Plan - Whedon clan gives official go-ahead" wouldn't surprise me much by this stage).
My first comment on this subject. Like a lot of people, I would really like more live action content set in the 'Verse. I'm not very interested in comic books, geegaws or getting together with other fans to watch reruns for the twentieth time.

If Mr. Whedon or someone who speaks for him were to say that they were looking to crowd source some venture capital to get things going again, they would get some of mine in a New York second. I would understand that my tiny contribution would not necessarily result in new content (many a slip 'twixt cup and lip), and I certainly would not expect either a financial return or any voice in what was created beyond its being set in the 'Verse and involving live actors.

I wish Joss and Co. would ask me for money for that purpose, but apparently he looked into the idea and decided it would not work for him.

Whedonesque made me aware of Equality Now and I gave them a donation, but on the whole charitable giving is a separate part of my life from fandom, and I have no great interest in combining them. I'll continue reading Whedonesque and hope for a change in the weather.
I'm now mortified that Maurissa felt she needed to explain herself one more time because of the bullying. This is unacceptable. People need to learn to treat people with respect, even on the internet.
I am afraid that latest tweet by Maurissa will be interpreted incorrectly.


It occurred to me too.
Yep, a fan on facebook is calling to restart the campaign based on her interpretation of what Mo just said. This ride isn't over folks.

[ edited by IrrationaliTV on 2011-03-09 01:55 ]
Yep. Now somebody on the facebook page wants the movement to keep going. *headdesk*
While I agree that the number of reasonable and civilized folks at HNBF was far greater than the number of uncivilized, rude & off-the-wall folks, what folks looking only at the FB and HBNF site comments aren't seeing is the crap to Mo and about Mo and about Joss, etc. that folks - including myself - were getting on twitter (some of which has already been deleted, I guess as hot heads grew cooler). I got called a "silly bitch" for suggesting that joining twitter just to post crap at Mo (and their account name had "Mo" in it) lacked a certain finesse. I believe my phrase in her defense was "stay classy".)

The internet should be a little ashamed of itself today. And it seems like it's still not over...

I think I may take a break and go vote in the equally-contentious West Hollywood City Council, etc. election. Talk about mean.
It's really shocking how many people on the Facebook page seem to know nothing about what was being posted and discussed on the wordpress site. Am I missing something? Weren't they very closely connected?

It seems to me a lot of people were reading everything on Facebook and nothing (or just a few posts) on the blog itself. The Facebook group has become its own intense community over the short lifespan of this effort, and I think a large portion of their following was largely getting their information all or mostly through posts there.

If I'm a hater for keeping on them, and an elitist old guard fart for believing that transparency and respect are values to be fought for and insisted upon, and for trying to get this thing straightened out before anyone other than Nathan had to get dragged into it, then I'm comfortable being an elitist old guard fart and hater.

There was certainly a lot of calm, measured advice and warnings from established fans, especially early on. And since yesterday, lot of thoughtful posts pointing out the flaws in the plan without judging the people excited about the plan. But I did see a few things written by people I know from here on their site/group that made me flinch. And there was more of that on Twitter. There was some nastiness mixed in with the constructive criticism, from early on, and that not only makes things more hostile but pretty much guarantees people aren't going to pay attention to the content of the criticism. There's been a hell of a lot less of it than has been going the other way, especially now. I'm not trying to make this seem like an equivalence-- I've mostly really liked the posts I've seen by people I know from here. There have been several that said everything I wanted to say, but so much better. I think "Whedonesque is against us" is very not true and it's saddened me to see it. But I think brinderwalt and others have a good point about the browbeating aspect.
I came in at the tail end of this so I don't really have thoughts on how the whole HNBF thing progressed. I'm just disgusted that, yet again, the rabid minority ends up painting the group in a negative light. Of course, it's hard to say much of anything without pissing someone off, particularly on the internet. But the backlash against Maurissa and everyone else is really disappointing.
I like the charitable aspect to being a Browncoat.

Considering all the drama Maurissa has had to endure recently, I'd like to see a little more compassion towards her, instead of anger for making a clear and upfront statement. I've seen suggestions for flowers, but perhaps donating to support Lupis research on her behalf would be a nice gesture as well.
I completely agree there, Sunfire :). Like you said, there were a lot of calm, reasonably worded warnings from fans, but there was some nastiness mixed in there.

I think that this is what helped shape, or at the very least fuel, this whole 'old fans vs new fans' and 'they don't want us to be mighty after they failed' rhetoric. And not just the nasty comments, but also (maybe even more) the reasonable ones accompanying them. Certainly, the mix of both didn't help.

I know that in the face of the riddled-with-holes and doomed-to-fail-ness that was this plan, and in the face of the crappy rhetoric from the organisers and the bile we've seen from (a few) people in this new movement towards other fans, the writers and the actors and this short a time after the fact, it's hard to have a clear picture of what we could've done better, but I'd like to take a first stab at analysing what was going on there (though I'm in no way an expert on any of this).

Sometimes just being right isn't enough - just take a look at politics. Often the way you package your message is dominant. And even some of the more well meaning and reasoned arguments laid out by some of us, helped pave the picture that was forming.

As an for instance (and please, let this not be considered an attack on anyone, as I actually agree with what's being said :)), let's take this comment from Bix somewhere upthread:

"Browncoats have been screwed by their fellow fans before," we explained to them. "So here are some simple steps you can do up front to try to avoid even appearing to be history repeating itself."


I'm not sure if this is representative of a an actual message appearing there - but even if it isn't, let's pretend it is. It's not rude, it may be slightly condescending (but let's pretend that tone gets filtered out in an actual outside post), and it's certainly true and a very good point. But what this says is: 1) we know better; 2) we've been along much longer than you; 3) we're assuming - or at the very least entertaining the possibility - you're going to screw with us.

Other messages I read even seemed to imply 'you're stupid to fall for this obvious scheme'; at which point you probably lose some of the people you're trying to convince it is, in fact, a scheme - or at the very least an unwise idea destined to end in tears.

A lot of the replies I saw - apart from the outright rude ones, which were pretty obviously not that well-judged - ended up reinforcing the growing idea of 'let's do the impossible' and the whole rhetoric of 'old fans who don't want us to be mighty', much more effectively than anything the HNBF organisers could have said - just the opposite of what we were aiming for, I'd imagine.

Just a few more quotes from, again, perfectly reasoned, some even very articulate, messages on the HNBF site - messages I happen to completely agree with as well (I'm leaving off the authors to reïnforce the point I'm not attacking anyone here):

Experienced fans who have gone through the wringer of fandom campaigning more than once have tried to offer advice and guidance to the organisers of HNBF. As far as I can tell, this advice has not only been ignored, it has been rejected.


what many of us “old hands” see is yet another group of self-professed Browncoats whipping up fans with anonymous promises and plans, ignoring the lessons of the fandom’s history, and routinely misrepresenting through back channels what their plans are, in what I can only assume at this point is to keep the “old hands” off guard and complacent while they continue down an irresponsible road.


Make a real plan, not this pie in the sky nonsense.


From someone who has been ‘in’ this fandom from day one, I just have to say that this is both embarrassing and disturbing. “We” have been around this block, way too many times.


The fandom has tried many, many times to bring Firefly back,and each time has ended in broken promises and smashed hearts. This is not a good idea.


Etcetera. Again: I agree with all of that :). But I can't help but feel that we helped dig our own graves here, and helped establish the rhetoric used to dismiss these perfectly valid arguments.

We weren't having a discussion with the organisers who - behind the scenes - had misled us as to their intentions. We were having a public debate in front of a lot of not-that-well informed fellow fans and ended up unintentionally coming across as petty and handing them the language and rhetoric to dismiss what we were saying.

Let me be clear though: I'm not saying this because I'm sure what would have been the best course of action or response. Maybe this was it, downsides, warts and all. This is not a 'see, I told you so' or 'tsk, you should have known better' type of message. Had I actively contributed to this controversy instead of just reading about in on the black, I would probably have gone down the same road.

It's just that as an observer looking at this from the side lines, I seems that had the HNBF people been politicians, I'd have concluded this was a briliant political scheme - inviting your detractors to say unpleasant, unwanted things to rile up your supporters in a public forum, while your own misinformation went on behind the scenes, away from the public eye.

But brilliant scheme or no (I'm leaning towards 'no'), I'm left feeling there must be a better way to defuse a situation like this, if it ever rises again in the future.

Just to take a stab at it: maybe we should just have had a few dry statements of unsupport from established fan groups instead of individuals going out onto the boards and forums, and then some established fans could have engaged a bit more with the organisers behind the scenes? Then again: I'm not sure if that'd work either, as the public counter pressure might have helped end this more quickly (for which we're all thankfull), and the behind-the-scenes messages didn't do much good before the BDP surfaced.

So in the end of this huge post I'm left with one frustrating conclusion: I'm not sure what we should've done either, but I can see where we went wrong on a few counts here - and by that I don't mean wrong in an ethical sense or in the sense of us behaving badly, but purely in a strategical sense.

Phew :).
I think however we dressed up our objections, people wouldn't have listened or even noticed. Long reasonable comments about why it wouldn't work would have got ignored, short pithy remarks about the campaign would just been disregarded or scorned.

Everyone was caught up in the moment. It was the perfect fandom storm - hordes of new fans demanding more Firefly because of Nathan's remarks, a campaign that was overwhelmed by the attention and who couldn't cope and older fans reacting quickly because they feared an unholy mess.

Had Mo not tweeted her comments, I think the campaign would have descended into infighting (it was going that way on their FB page when they revealed their intentions on Monday). And their Big Damn Plan had been shot so full of holes that it was unworkable.

and then some established fans could have engaged a bit more with the organisers behind the scenes?


People tried. Didn't work out. That's the sad thing. You can only go so far.
Yep, what GVH said but I also agree that no matter how reasonable we'd been, the whole thing just had the momentum of a runaway train. Myself i'm reaching the point where it feels like we're keeping this alive by raking over the coals but at the same time, the HNBF website is still up, the comments are still on there and some of the people from here who commented did so under their Whedonesque screennames* so anyone can have a look at the comments made. As I said a couple of days ago, some of them were less temperate than is ideal IMO (understandably so maybe but still...) so we're not blameless either.

That said, there absolutely isn't parity and nothing like it, the vitriol from that side has been harsher, more personal and more widespread (though not proportionately widespread - 100,000 folk remember ;).

Anyhoo, hopefully now we can ALL get on with the business of being fans and try to forget there was ever a "this side" and a "that side".



* my one comment on there was under a pseudonym because at the time people here were wondering if negative (or at least not unthinkingly positive) comments were being screened out so I figured going undercover might be worthwhile. The moderator was also asking people to be less emotional so I wondered how a mostly neutral comment asking questions purely about the business side would be treated (entirely ignored is the answer to that BTW, last time I checked anyway). FWIW, to me it seemed more like a time difference/organisational issue in that they seemed to have one non-native English speaker answering most questions and I wouldn't be surprised if that person was also moderating the comments too. I know what you're thinking BTW and yes, I am totally James Bond ;-)..
Yeah, Simon & Saje, you're probably right re: runaway train/perfect fandom storm.

Also agree that this is a good time to try to get on with the business of being fans and try to forget this whole sides business.

I also think, though, that if there is a possibility to learn some lessons here, it could be valuable if anything like this ever pops up again. But then again, rethinking this, it might not even be possible to implement those lessons without some kind of hive mind coördinating our efforts. And however cool and sciencefiction-y that might be for a while (I vote for Locutus, not that creepy-ass borg queen ;)), that's just not going to happen ;).

And Saje - which James Bond? That's important, obviously ;)
In my mind, Sean Connery (of course), in reality more like Woody Allen ;).

I vote for Locutus...

Remember, a vote for Locutus is a vote for unity ! And cool eye lasers for everyone* !



* Note: manifesto promises are not binding, cheques will not be honoured, resistance is futile.
All I know is what ended up happening was what I personally hoped DIDN'T happen, and now that's hurt a member of the Whedon tribe which has to be the worst part of all this yet. It's when members of the community get so carried away to extremes like this that makes me publicly ashamed to admit that I love Buffy/Firefly/insert-other-dorky-pastime-here. It makes me value places like Whedonesque a lot more knowing that there's at least an attempt to keep it all level in one corner of the net.
Kudos for them for posting the note asking people to stop attacking Maurissa.

That said, it seems like there's a lot of people saying "Restart the campaign now!". Please don't. Rechannel it into something positive and -- most importantly -- actually achievable. Step one - change the name from Help Nathan Buy Firefly.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-09 14:20 ]
That said, it seems like there's a lot of people saying "Restart the campaign now!". Please don't. Rechannel it into something positive and -- most importantly -- actually achievable.

You mean like a movement to convince Youtube/Google that, when the inevitable financial leveling between online and broadcast/cable produced live-action content comes about, the Firefly 'verse (dependent upon some sort of original talent/creator involvement or blessing, of course) would be an awesome way to go? Because that I could whole-heartedly root for.
I'm sorry, but the responsibility for this whole mess (even partial) is not a few people being less than uber considerate in their comments to warn others off.
TPTB were warned this would happen. Nathan told them to stop. Then they said they weren't going to go in this direction, so any groups that were planning on 'dry disavowals' of the campaign didn't think it was going to be necessary. But they went ahead and did the very thing they were told over and over was not a good idea.
Maybe they were overwhelmed with the sheer numbers of people that signed on to their site, but when you catch lightening in a bottle, you put it on a shelf. You don't get a bunch of other people to follow you into a shallow body of water and then bust the damn thing open. Especially if people are telling you what is going to happen. Repeatedly.
Blaming the 'us vs them' attitude that is prevalent now on a few people posting over on their site what a bad idea it was *only after* they announced their "Big Damn Plan" is like blaming someone that is wearing white from failing to save a person from being hit by a train driven by someone that is ignore safety protocols because it's after Labor Day.
And even now, although they did ask people back off with the negativity, they continue to let misconception rule the boards.
Their statements need to be clearer, and they need to be on both pages.
BTW, I'm not so sure that everyone that posted against their plan are members over here. So, it's not like it was just w-esquers that were against the plan. But it's just easier to lump everyone who disagreed as 'old school' fans rather than deal with the truth which is it was just a bad idea.
But, if it was in any way possible, would a joint statement from the folks over there and here do any good? Is anyone still in contact with any of TPTB over there? And maybe the heads of as many BC groups as possible?
From the tone of recent comments by the FB admin, I fully expect them to kick back into gear in some form in the next week. Too early for the moratorium.
ETA: Well if it does start up again I think i'll be avoiding the situation from now on, there's just no upside. If people want to carry on with pie in the sky given all that's happened then good luck to them. I'm gonna make like Pontius ;)[/ETA]

BTW, I'm not so sure that everyone that posted against their plan are members over here. So, it's not like it was just w-esquers that were against the plan.

I'm pretty certain it wasn't just Whedonesquers that were against the plan, who's saying it was ?

I'm sorry, but the responsibility for this whole mess (even partial) is not a few people being less than uber considerate in their comments to warn others off.

Again, who here is saying that NYPinta ? No-one I can see (certainly not me).

What I am saying is, some comments were made that didn't help the situation and we'd do well to own that, as GVH says try to learn from it and then move on. It's not a big thing (though for me it'll become one if we start trying to spin our own involvement as pure as the driven snow. I didn't like spin and lies when HNBF did it, why would I if - and it is an IF - we start to do the same).

[ edited by Saje on 2011-03-09 18:39 ]
There's a tone of edging towards a false equivalency coming from some quarters, as if the way critics responded to the increasing irresponsibility and deceptions of the HNBF instigators (on the one hand) and the ludicrous and/or bilious words of some of their supporters (on the other hand) were somehow the same as that irresponsibility, deception, and bile.

I, too, refuse to feel critics need to apologize for (1) offering words of warning and caution and then (2) getting more blunt about it in the face of willful refusal to accept reality. Opposition, even firm opposition, is not somehow an untoward cruelty, no matter how HNBF supporters might spin it, and no matter who else might want to try to don the hat of "I'm going to be Reasonable Middle Man who calls everyone to account!"
Indeed, b!X. The whole reason for this crazy situation is because their aren't checks and balances going on. There's a hundred thousand Firefly fans on that Facebook group -- Help Nathan Buy Firefly -- who are caught in the middle of a shit storm because of all this.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-03-09 18:56 ]
And if they do start this back up again in a way that I think people will get hurt or swindled, I'll be right back there stating my opinion and questioning representatives in a straightforward and unapologetic way. I won't sugarcoat or play nice. Not my style. I'm not sorry about that. Feels uncomfortable that some might think I should be. I'll get over it. :)
To be fair, I freely admit to more than one moment of screaming inside my own head, "Why the Hell won't you people listen to us, we've been around the block a few times!" But most of what I saw critics actually do (as opposed to what they might have been thinking to themselves at more heated moments) -- at least, the critics I know personally, mostly from here -- was present the arguments, not cast aspersions on people for being new and not knowing any better. I really think it's an inaccurate reflection of the situation to suggest the latter was going on.
@GVH - A few of us running Browncoat groups and such had started to put together a statement of non-support of the plan. And only the plan. We did make it as unemotional as possible. If it does start up again, I'm sure we'll release it. We didn't this time simply because it got called off so quick.

@NYPinTA - I would be up for putting my name on a joint statement. As long as it was positive in message and signed by not only BC groups, mods from forums, but the HNBF admins as well. I would want it to be an obvious "we all agree on this" statement.
Now there are nimrods over there using Mo's clarification tweet to claim they never said not to go ahead with the BDP, just that the Whedons are not behind it. And besides, until we hear it from Joss directly, the BDP should move forward.

The stupid, it burns.
Thing is, even if that were all that was being said, it still negates the need for the BDP, unless they really think they want Firefly without anyone in the Whedonverse being involved in making it.
tinktanker and anyone else for that matter, I think it would a good idea if we refrained from running a live commentary on what posters on that FB site are saying and calling them names too. It's not what we are about. Otherwise I'll declare a time of healing and heal comments out of existence.
Simon, I agree and I think our efforts need to be channeled into more realistic goals.

I'm launching Help Nathan Buy Discovery. Who's with me?
@Simon, Thank you! I think we should have a little bit of quiet time about this whole thing.
One last thing and I promise to actually BE quiet. Instead of worrying about the HNBF facebook page, which I personally think is just breathing its last few labored breaths, why don't you check out the Cortex-Facebook Page. It seems some of the more reasonable, newer fans have migrated over there and are really trying to keep it positive and not argumenative. Also they are looking for ways to connect and help.
Well we do have a FB page if you want to post about it there.

http://www.facebook.com/whedonesquefans
Thanks Simon. Will do.
Not trying to re-stir anything… just needed to add some thoughts to this specific thread...

I've been following this whole saga and have refrained from posting due to knowing all-too-well how frustrating and ultimately hurtful it can be when dealing with newer, or even longer term, fans who are determined to proceed with their plan… no matter how fundamentally flawed it is. My own experience led to a sudden, yet inevitable, ending. Really soured me permanently on accepting any appointments for being a fan group leader again. 'Twas a tale of initial great expectations which descended into frustration, lost opportunities, and the self-serving goals of newer fans afflicted with "DTI Syndrome" ("Done the Impossible Syndrome"). This is when a fan craves having that experience of "doing the impossible" and/or "being mighty" that surrounds the activities of the first guard Browncoats. Often that obsession with having that experience, glamorized in "Done the Impossible", blinds them from backing off of plans that are fundamentally flawed. A dream, no matter how deluded, is tough to let go. Because then you're left with reality… sucky reality where new Firefly episodes are still not being made and there's no immediate exciting destination for all that enthusiasm that just got activated.

But, I am very surprised, as many have already posted, at the baffling negativity aimed at Joss & Co. (the Whedon "cabal"? WTF?), his family and the general attitude of entitlement over Firefly itself. Granted that responses as negative as this were not overly numerous, but there were enough to make me wonder how these newer fans could claim "love" for Firefly , and how what it means to be a Browncoat is disturbingly twisted for some.

There is something to be learned here, and several folks have posted very thoughtful responses. Perhaps we'll be better prepared next time a similar situation springs up… though I doubt Nathan, or anyone else officially from the show, will be making any jokes about buying the rights to Firefly anytime soon. I love seeing enthusiasm and readiness to support Firefly erupting from the new fans, it's great! It's just that the energy needs to be channeled away from endeavors that are so fraught with wrong as to be impossible, I mean really impossible, not "done the impossible, oh we did it!" impossible. Have that Firefly love channeled into a plan that holds genuine positive potential and we'll have something for all of us, new fans and craggy veterans, to get behind.

Edited to correct a phrasing...

[ edited by 11thHour on 2011-03-10 00:33 ]
Great post there, 11thHour. I too, would love to get energized again by a plan that would hold actual potential. Those are some of the best times a fandom can have - even if the goals are relatively minor. Of course, a lot of that is going on already, with the amazing CSTS-events and such :).

I, too, refuse to feel critics need to apologize for (1) offering words of warning and caution and then (2) getting more blunt about it in the face of willful refusal to accept reality. Opposition, even firm opposition, is not somehow an untoward cruelty, no matter how HNBF supporters might spin it, and no matter who else might want to try to don the hat of "I'm going to be Reasonable Middle Man who calls everyone to account!"


Not sure if you're talking about what I wrote upthread, or just in general terms, but just to be clear regardless: I, too, don't think any of the critics need to apologize. I don't think anyone did anything wrong there - outright nastiness aside, which was a very small portion of the comments, when compared to the hate that got thrown onto the world wide web by others.

As for calling everyone to account: there's nothing wrong with evaluating and learning - not doing anything wrong doesn't always equal doing everything right, after all. Being as effective as one can be in defusing these type of things, is a good thing to strive for I'd say (though again - I'm not even sure there was a better way to do this, and like Simon and Saje said upthread, this was in some ways simply a perfect fandom storm :)).
11th, I think I love you. You nailed it.
Thank you GVH, and sending love vibes right back atcha gossi...

I hope nothing in my post implied criticism of those who were doing their best to dissuade the HNBF plan. I found their arguments to be reasoned, intelligently written, and some responses came from folks with direct, professional, experience to offer. Plus I agree that they owe no apologies. If emotions began to get more intense it was the result of frustration in the face of illogical reactions and willfulness. I had a very similar personal experience so I understand completely. In my case the new fans used deception, thus sabotaging my work, to push their plan through. Their plan was realized and pretty much failed... in a way that I knew it would if they had bothered to value my judgement. Oh well.

And by the way GVH, I found your posts to be among the ones I mentioned as being thoughtful. So there!
Not sure if you're talking about what I wrote upthread, or just in general terms...

General terms. I took your comments mostly to be a thinking the process through because it's clearly just so damned messy.
[comments quoted from another site removed-- please do not do this here]

In which we see those fans (ALL of them mind) being described as scary. The organisers being described as not merely inexperienced/ignorant/incompetent but scammers who're committing fraud on passionate fans apparently too inexperienced to decide for themselves whether to send money to anonymous strangers on the internet.

People got frustrated and worked up, totally understandably (as a specific instance of that BTW, the moderator's constant refrain to "stop being emotional" wound me up too and I wasn't even talking to him) which is why - to break the record further - I said that too. My own feeling is that not much is gained by that and ideally we shouldn't do it.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2011-03-10 03:01 ]
Don't see a thing wrong with any of that, Saje. I'd appreciate it if you drop the personal vendetta that totally baffles me.
I want that reasonable-middle-man hat! I am in a calling-everyone-to-account and false equivalency kind of mood! (OK, I didn't see that happening here either, but I still want the hat, if nobody is using it).

Wow. I've been away from here a while and look, a whole kerfuffle has taken place and I basically missed it. All I can think is Poor Nathan, how awkward to say something like that and then watch it spin out of control. I wonder if Joss Whedon knows about it, or if he's too caught up with Avenging and talking puppet videos to have caught wind of it. Also, I'm not Saje (usually) but I don't get what you mean with the personal vendetta bit, IrrationaliTV - against who? (So we are both baffled - look how much we have in common!).

Well. It sucks to be excited about something and then disappointed, and mean people suck most of all, that's all I've got. But I've missed you all! :)
catherine,every one of those posts that Saje uses as examples of poor behavior are authored by me. :) And I stand firmly behind each of them unapologetically.
Wow, every one? Well... you are prolific! (Did you notice that Saje? That's sort of funny. Depending on your sense of humour maybe).

It didn't look so much like a scam to me, as just... I don't know, the crazy end of hopeful and uber-excited, I guess. (And BTW I do not stand behind that, and I apologize to everyone).
Scam... scam.. scam... scam...

Lovely scam! Wonderful scam!


;-)
Glorious scam. Nothing quite like it for cooling the bloo... nevermind ;).

catherine,every one of those posts that Saje uses as examples of poor behavior are authored by me. :)

Err, IrratonaliTV, that just isn't true (unless you were posting under multiple names over on the "Big Damn Plan" thread). FWIW BTW, I normally find your posts to be sensible and grounded (albeit often negative and/or cynical but then a) a lot of the time I am too and b) it's a useful counter to some of our own more pie-in-the-sky inclinations).

(I also, just to be clear, have absolutely nothing against Harmalicious either BTW)

For the record, the first three were by IrrationaliTV, the fourth was by a Whedonesquer called Harmalicious and the last one was by screenname "Eyeroll" (who, as far as i'm aware, I don't know), anyone that wants to can confirm that by taking a look at the thread itself. 3 out of 5 is a majority but it's not from any kind of personal vendetta, it's just because of your posts, more fit my idea of less temperate (and not coincidentally, also featured some of the criticisms levelled at us i.e. references to how long we've been fans etc.).

(it should go without saying BTW that this sort of "it's personal" thing is the reason I initially didn't post quotes but it seemed necessary when e.g. B!x came pretty close to saying it basically hadn't happened)

(Did you notice that Saje? That's sort of funny. Depending on your sense of humour maybe).

Well, I noticed it's not true so in that sense ... ;)

And hey BTW catherine, how ya been ? And I ask you that in the full knowledge that i'm about to go to bed so when I don't go "Oh, that's great, Everest you say ? Blindfolded ?" it's just cos i'm asleep ;).
Blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back, and with only one leg because of how I lost the other one to pirates this winter! Goodnight!
I don't look kindly on people pulling comments from other sites and submitting them for criticism as part of the ongoing discussion here. Even when they're from people who post here regularly. I'll be deleting those momentarily. Saje and IrrationaliTV, I don't know exactly what the issue between the two of you is or isn't but discuss it elsewhere, not here.
You're right, Saje. Only the first 3 are mine. The others I must have agreed with so much that I internalized them. My bad. Apologies.
Anyway, I had noticed some of the very heated comments posted over there, and I had tried to be as nice as I could be. However, I would feel very terrible if I in any way contributed to any nastiness. I always try ever so hard to stay out of a confrontation and get along with everyone.
So, to anyone (whether from the HNBF site or from here) I may have upset with my comment, I am very sorry. It was never my intention to upset anyone or sound all knowing because I've been around the block a few times with the various fan attempts to bring back Firefly. I honestly just hurt inside for the broken hearts that could occur.

ETA: Sunfire, I must have been writing as your post appeared. Feel free to delete my comment if you wish.

[ edited by Deanna_Lynne on 2011-03-10 03:03 ]

[ edited by Sunfire on 2011-03-10 03:05 ]
Not sure which is worse - people who can't take advice or people who can't take other people not taking their advice.

Because they all end up sounding about the same in the end: Angry. And petty.



And, for the record, it's a cossack hat today (don't worry, catherine, there are more than enough hats to go around - different sizes/styles too!)

ETA: Eloquence.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2011-03-10 03:55 ]
B!x came pretty close to saying it basically hadn't happened

Actually, what I said upthread was
The problem with the allegations of "old guard" patronizing or talking down to new fans is that it's mostly a myth at most propelled by, or at least not countered by, HNBF itself.
(emphasis added) and also
There's a difference between a browbeating and many individual people all trying to warn you off of something at the same time.
and also that the intransigence of almost all of the HNBF side and the bile of part of it wasn't even close to equivalent of anything critics or opponents were doing.
Not sure which is worse - people who can't take advice or people who can't take other people not taking their advice.

Because they all end up sounding about the same in the end: Angry. And petty.


I'm of the school of thought that one can offer advice gleaned from experience in the interest of avoiding an unhappy result, but whether it is accepted is certainly not a guarantee. When the advice (hopefully given diplomatically) is steadfastly refused, even in the face of logic and past proven situations, then perhaps the plan should be allowed to play out because the players have to experience the end result for themselves. Advice is one thing, but personal experience really drives it home. I can tell someone it hurts to be stunned by a cattle prod, but if they won't believe me until they feel it for themselves... well...

In the case of HNBF it seems the criticism became more emphatic because of a dual situation, the plan was getting A LOT of attention, plus it was a plan doomed to fail. So just leaving it alone to find its destiny was problematic. More "seasoned" Browncoats had cause for concern over a high profile, ill-conceived campaign, that would cast a loose cannon, self deluded, character on the fandom as a whole. There are so many Browncoat groups that do incredible charity work, and it would be a shame to infringe the overall credibility of the fandom.

In regard to my own experience, I would have been willing to part ways with the group that was supposedly working with me had they been up front and honest about doing their own thing. I would have offered my point of view, and if they still wanted to pursue their plan, then fine, and I would have then been free to continue with mine. But instead they were deceptive and hid their agenda, and in pretending to still be working with me ended up sabotaging the work I was doing. I do what I can to avoid the petty, but I freely admit to being angry, and hurt, over what transpired. I mourned my time and work wasted, the shock of others' agendas being so different, and most of all the loss of a destination that would have been of genuine value as a guerilla marketing and informational website.

P.S.
On a side note, another reason for backing off after advice is repeatedly refused is that there is that chance that even the voice of experience could be mistaken. So let the situation play out and one could be surprised. I'm not saying that was the case this time... the HNBF plan really was fundamentally flawed and doomed... so said a voice of experience... heh...

Edited to correct an "its".

[ edited by 11thHour on 2011-03-10 05:00 ]
Deanna, Thank you.
You're right, Saje. Only the first 3 are mine. The others I must have agreed with so much that I internalized them. My bad. Apologies.

Fair enough IrrationaliTV, accepted. And just to reiterate, I genuinely don't have some personal vendetta against you - sometimes your posts wind me up but then, we all do that to each other at various points right ? Comes with the sickle.

Actually, what I said upthread was

That comment was more about this The One True b!X:

But most of what I saw critics actually do (as opposed to what they might have been thinking to themselves at more heated moments) -- at least, the critics I know personally, mostly from here -- was present the arguments, not cast aspersions on people for being new and not knowing any better. I really think it's an inaccurate reflection of the situation to suggest the latter was going on.

The last sentence in particular is a bit unfortunate since, judging by which of your own comments you quote to clarify your position, it's not really what you mean. Dunno if you saw my post above before Sunfire edited it but at the top was this (I feel less pissed-off than last night BTW but i've included the lot, even the slightly snippy bits, for the sake of disclosure):

[BEGIN]Opposition, even firm opposition, is not somehow an untoward cruelty, no matter how HNBF supporters might spin it, and no matter who else might want to try to don the hat of "I'm going to be Reasonable Middle Man who calls everyone to account!"

That's kind of insulting since I assume that's directed at me but i'll try to keep playing the ball, as per the rules (you're right though, people should be mocked for trying to be fair and reasonable, that's absolutely the way the world should work).

Look, to repeat, some of what we said was less temperate than is ideal IMO, that is ALL i'm saying. We all know what "less temperate" and "ideal" mean right, that they're not the same as "intemperate" and "what the other side is doing" ? As GVH and others mention, I also don't think anyone needs to apologise (which is why I never said that). Or that comments made "...were somehow the same as that irresponsibility, deception, and bile..." (which is why I said :

That said, there absolutely isn't parity and nothing like it, the vitriol from that side has been harsher, more personal and more widespread (though not proportionately widespread - 100,000 folk remember ;).

- I mean, really, how could I have been clearer that I didn't think they were the same ? I said they weren't the same FFS)

But most of what I saw critics actually do... I really think it's an inaccurate reflection of the situation to suggest the latter was going on.

(my emphasis)

Exactly and agreed. Most. I.e. not all. I.e. "...the latter was going on." (my emph). Which is all i've said. Because to me these examples (as f'rinstances) are less moderate than they could've been (previously I haven't quoted examples BTW cos I didn't want to single people out and because - you'll get a laugh out of this - I didn't want to make a big thing out of it. Good one right ?):[END]"

(the removed quotes then followed)

Which is to say, what seemed (last night at least) to be personal jabs aside, we basically agree.

(apologies if this is out of order Sunfire but a lot more went with your edit than just the quotes so i've recreated it here, hope that's OK. If you - or any other mod - feel the need to edit this again i'll drop you a quick email for clarification. And if I knew quoting other sites was against the rules i'd forgotten, won't happen again)

Still, new day, new beginnings and all that crap ;).
Well, I kept away from any HNBF posts today, other than what I picked up from twitter, and I feel calmer & happier for it. Plus my snuffles have cleared up, my eyes are brighter, and my coat has a healthy, glossy shine.

Anyhoo, just popped in to say a Big California HOWDY (we shout) to Lady Catherine and a wistful "missed you, too" right back at her. I understand having & raising a child takes time and energy - what's that about? Don't be a stranger. You know how we worry. It would maybe kill you to call once in a while? I swear, I don't know where I went wrong with you kids. *switches tapes*

11thHour - I really liked your first post. (Not that I didn't like your others, but the first was very helpful indeed.)

I don't mean to ignore anyone else's, just that I don't have much to do with most of it... I think.

Prolly tomorrow I'll re-acquaint myself with the latest, but this Day of Detachment was very soothing.

Allrighty, all, as my niece says, "Love ya - mean it."
On another note entirely, I was thinking tonight about the context in which this particular fandom crisis arose.

Whether arisen from inside or outside of established fandom circles, prior crises were discussed within those circles and sometimes between different ones. Existing fandom communities had their own social mores and cultural structures. But HNBF not only arose from outside existing fandom structures, due to the nature and speed of social networking it created a mass gathering place that precisely because it generated spontaneously was not an actual community.

None of that is to argue against fan initiatives arising outside established fandom circles or communities. I don't much care where efforts or campaigns come from, as I've said repeatedly throughout this debacle.

Rather, it's just to try to start pondering the differences in social context between prior crises and this one.

Ace Underhill was external, but didn't have his own socially networked mass of followers. Booster Entertainment was a sort of external/internal hybrid, and did have its own forums and followers, but they were pre-existing prior to the Flan2 crisis, and so despite some degree of "us vs. them" there were boundaries and conventions (no pun and intended) to how the discussions ensued. The missing CSTS funds in two cities a couple of years back was an internal fandom crisis that was mostly hashed out in public on established communities.

But HNBF generated its own mass following, one that didn't have the benefits of the mores and structures and conventions that arise when a community builds itself over time, sometimes naturally and sometimes through deliberate caretaking.

So what we ended up with was some established fandom communities having concerns (partly due to knowing the history) "versus" what in the end was little more than a mob. It was a mob mainly motivated by regular fan passion rather than anything maniacal, but a mob nonetheless, -- not because it was brutish (because only certain parts of it were) but because it was spontaneously generated rather than grown or cultivated. All of which was compounded by the fact that the HNBF admins themselves spent basically no time on caretaking.

This is not a finely-crafted look. I just wanted to get some of ideas out there, because I think the way HNBF happened -- fast and unfettered -- has implications for the future.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-03-10 09:44 ]
Adddendum to avoid confusion: that HNBF's supporters began as a spontaneously generated mass in no way means they can't become a community, to whatever degree, in the aftermath. I rather assume that's in many ways what The Cortex migration was about.
Thanks for the kind words somewhere up there, 11thHour :).

And: catherine! Where've you been? Apart from raising a baby, having a run-in with arm-stealing pirates and climbing everest without the use of your hands or eyes, that is, of course ;).

And, finally, b!X, I do think that was a big factor in how this happened. I think it'll be interesting to see how the wind down of this happens. Was this a proto-community, which will now trickle into the new Facebook group, as you say, to establish a social structure of their own? Or will such a community invariably remain anarchy-y? Or will the mob simply disperse, so to speak, after the dust has settled, which might leave the Cortex an empty shell, devoid of activity, before long? It's very interesting, from a social standpoint.

Of course, as you say, this also has a lot of implications for the future. This was, for the most part, a social media mob. We've seen what social media can do in more serious matters, like the uprisings in Egypt and the like. Compared to that, this was like a minor fandom echo of that. But it was certainly also a product of this newly social networked world, which makes the build-up of massive spontaneous movements that much easier.

Given that, digital fancommunities that build slowly and establish social structures (like this one right here) may soon be old-fashioned - or it may prove to be the only way movements like the current Cortex can achieve longevity.

All in all: I think something like this might very well happen again in the future, if the right spark lights the fire. It's certainly something to be mindful of.
The HNBF Facebook page had 110,00+ likes. But how does that translate into actual involvement on the page? If you take into account all the posts, the comments and the pledges over the two weeks I would estimate around 10% (and that's me being very generous, 5% might be a more realisic stat). It's somewhat comparable to the active involvement on this site. How serious should we take "likes" in future?
That's the thing, it's tremendously easy to click 'Like' (so long as you're actually on Facebook, as I discovered. Err, eventually ;) and by that count they had 110,000+ people involved. The pledge (the original one) was slightly more involved and called for an actual (albeit non-binding) commitment and IIRC they had something like 11-12,000 people on there (pledging just over a million dollars), that's probably a truer indication of dedicated involvement (and even then, likely to be slightly high cos as a wise woman once said "Talkin' ain't doin'").

Or will the mob simply disperse, so to speak, after the dust has settled, which might leave the Cortex an empty shell, devoid of activity, before long? It's very interesting, from a social standpoint.

I bet that the people who seriously believed they were going to be able to make more will generally fade away more quickly than the people who mainly wanted to hang-out and talk about 'Firefly' but figured if there was a vague chance of more then sure, why not ? I.e. like here it'll likely settle down to a few thousand members, a few hundred posters and a few tens of people who're in with the bricks.

So I don't think it'll change the fandom itself but it might well change the nature of future crises cos they'll happen just as fast but to more people at once and across more venues (which makes it harder for, for instance, a timely post by e.g. Joss to head off any trouble - imagine a 'Dollhouse' group 100,000 strong spread across at least two sites receiving the news that the pilot was being reshot, that it was airing on Friday etc.).

And of course, more people means more people you'd rather not be associated with. That's maths 'n' shit.
GVH, I agree with all of your analysis. I think the tricky part is examining how to deal with these digital flash mobs in the future. Mainly, because their sheer numbers and speed garner media attention. And also because this may very well be the future of fandoms and knowing how to deal with that future would be helpful. While, certainly there were a lot (major majority) of people on that page that did nothing more than click "Like", there were others that were new and coming into the fandom the first time. I think and hope they will find their way to be involved with various established organizations or begin the slower process of actually building a community, like the one that is trying to be established at the Cortex, whose success remains to be seen.
Hey all- kimonoko from the Cortex here. Thanks for the kind words as to our character; we're just trying to do good works. The HNBF rise and fall was such an emotional roller coaster, but I can't say I'm sad to see the Cortex end up as a byproduct. It has so much potential... But that's all I'll say for now.

We're posting up a note later today (EST) on our page on Facebook that should make our goals and intentions clear to everyone; of course, Whedonesque will be tagged.

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