Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Yet Another Lilo & Stitch Fansite: The Whats and What-Nots

OK, hopefully you’ve read the announcement of the relaunch of Yet Another Lilo & Stitch Fansite (if not, clicky the link – it has screenshots!) What I hope to do with this post is explain what I hope to achieve with the website.

So… what is YALaSFS?

You’ve probably grasped by now that Yet Another Lilo & Stitch Fansite is meant to be, first and foremost, an encyclopaedia of all things Lilo & Stitch-related. It’s not comprehensive right now, but I hope to build it up to that point over time.

It’s also an archive of interactions of The Powers That Be (aka the creators of Lilo & Stitch) with fans – forum threads, emails, etc. – so that interested people can read them long after they’ve disappeared.

Last but not least, it’s a forum and a community. I used to be a part of quite a few Lilo & Stitch forums myself, and they’ve all since been abandoned. I liked being part of those communities, so it’s my hope that by providing a website people will want to visit, I can also foster a community of enthusiastic fans bonded by similar tastes around it, and one that will last much longer than those that came before.

Who is this site aimed at? Well, fans, obviously, but I want it to be specifically a resource that fanwork (fanfic, fanart, etc.) creators will use when crafting their works of fiction. With that in mind, I hope to eventually have a lot of detail in it that will be useful for those people. It’s not there yet (I’d prefer to have an incomplete website than none at all, and I’m sure others would agree) but it’s definitely on the roadmap.

What Isn’t YALaSFS?

I made a conscious decision when relaunching YALaSFS that it would not be a wiki, and I would be the primary author of the articles on the main website.

There are several reasons why it won’t be a wiki, involving lack of hierarchy, little editorialisation, the ease of vandalism and a lack of stability. Admittedly, it’s also somewhat about control – I’d like the website to have a certain tone, and there are some topics I won’t be covering.

It’s also an opportunity to do a lot of research, and that’s something that really appeals to me – and I don’t always like it when things are handed to me and all I have to do is rubber-stamp them.

That said, eventually people will be able to contribute in some way to the website (although it will be moderated), and major contributions will be credited.

What’s In The Future

I’ve already talked a bit about the future, but here are some major things that I hope to do:

Expanded Universe mini-encyclopaedia

One thing I’m thinking of for the future is an Expanded Universes section, where prominent fanauthors can put up mini-encyclopaedias of their own universes.

I’ve noticed on fanfiction sites that a lot of people try to stuff lots of information into their profile, which makes it look ugly or unwieldy, not to mention the fact that a lot of people won’t scroll down more than a few screens to get to the fics, and so a lot of good fanfics aren’t being read. And while you can put links to that stuff in your profile, the fact is not a lot of people can be bothered putting up their own websites for that kind of stuff.

Basically, with this section authors will be able to link to their page on the mini-encyclopaedia in their profile. Those people who want to read it can follow the link, while those people who are just there for the fics can go straight to them.

It’d also be helpful for people other than the main author contributing a story to a fan-universe – they can get a feel for an original character (or refresh themselves on the basics), or the events in the universe (so they can write a good story that slots in to continuity).

Editing will work like this: the author will submit a request to modify, create or delete a page, and I’ll edit it for spelling and grammar and try to approve it within the day. Not everyone will be able to have a section, to make sure that it doesn’t get too unwieldy, but I hope to have a process that is fair worked out.

Guest Editorial Articles

One thing I’d like to do is have a selected member of the community write an article on a specific topic every so often – things like tips to improve your L&S fanfiction, or a critique of a specific episode, or an essay focusing on a background character, or something like that. It’s an idea I’m toying with, but I’m not too sure if I’m going to go ahead with it.


A final thing I would really love to do is a timeline feature. That is, a timeline of the entire franchise, filterable by character, movie/series, location and ‘universe’ (for those pesky holes in the time-space continuum.) It’s something that’ll probably come way off in the future, if at all, but it’s something I really want to have on the site.


I’d love to hear from you guys about my thoughts and ideas, so don’t hesitate to post a comment! And again, I look forward to working on this website – Lilo & Stitch is something close to me, so I really want to contribute something to that.

Thanks for reading!