Owning the servers: A design fiction exploring the transformation of fandom into "our own"

  • Casey Fiesler University of Colorado
Keywords: AO3, Archive of Our Own, Fair use, Fan history, Fan works, Ownership, Platform


This essay serves as a speculative design fiction that traces the history of fan creation platforms from the past to the present and finally to a possible future. Using the history and success of the Archive of Our Own (https://archiveofourown.org/) as a focal point, I consider the importance of owning the servers as a way for fan communities to create and preserve culture and reassert values. Examining one possible legal and technological future with an air of optimism allows us to consider what fannish communities can do now to maintain a path of our own.

Author Biography

Casey Fiesler, University of Colorado
Assistant Professor, Information Science