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HFO reboot as a Fanzine for Xmas

Posted by Kirok, 15 October 2008 · 132 views

I've had a couple of weeks now to enjoy settling into the media director's desk (I found an admiral's hat in the filing drawer!) so I thought it was about time to show some action to match the rhetoric.

The first thing to do is to take stock of the resources that we've got.
  • We have some pretty sophisticated technology at our disposal: the video centre, the audio centre and our front page news desk amount to a total media delivery system.
  • The forums themselves can support a wide range of entertainment and interaction ranging from the casual comradery of Ten Forward and the Targ and Duck through discussion forums about Trek episodes and films to gaming threads with active RPG's, a writing competition and stock market game!
  • The third resource we have is in people. Take our project management team for example, I might be the show-runner in my own department but I would get nowhere real fast without the support of Bill, Derek and Tom. People might be a less tangible resource but that makes them no less important. The success of our forum is totally the end result of the member's input and attitude because they are doing what they enjoy.
What am I expected to do with those resources? The name on the desk says "Publishing and Media Director" and I think of it as being the link between those who create and their audience. Those who suffered through my "idea-a-day" will know that there is an endless pool of possibilities that we could move into and I have taken off with something that TrekUnited has an established history in: our official publication, Hailing Frequencies Open ... but given it a bit of a twist!

You see there's a down-side to our situation as well.

I have immense respect for the TrekUnited community - I wouldn't be busting my, uh, pooper-valve if I didn't - but the majority of you don't come here to work. That's absolutely fine, that's what being a fan is all about, enjoying yourself, having fun. And the stress-free environment that we have here is an asset that should be preserved at all costs. So one of my major responsibilities will be to give you guys a media distribution system that suits your requirements. We've got the grass-roots of it already with our active forums and fan fiction archives. If you feel the itch to see some of your artwork or fiction on the web, we've got the place for it! If you want to develop your regional forum, go for it! As the Targ and Duck and Aussie Cubbyhouse proved, international members aren't shy at dropping by.

What you don't need from me is some "Mega-Giant Project" that will require a staff of hundreds and years of work to see come into life! Significant creative productions can be achieved by fans, as has been proven by Messrs Cawley, Caves, Broughton and Cook, but it takes a very special group of people to do this who are willing to give years of their life and a major investment from their disposable income! I would not be enhancing your fan experience if I asked that you use your valuable recreation time to do something you found to be a chore. Significant creative projects, both from TrekUnited and members, are on the drawing board right now but they will always be achievable projects that suit the commitments that members are prepared to give. Anything more would be suicide!

But the "Catch-22" is that you, the TrekUnited membership, represent an audience that appreciates just that type of production! As we've said in this thread before now, a "Big Project" is the type of thing that would excite existing members and attract new ones. This is our biggest challenge - how to do the "Big Projects" without expecting our membership to give up all their valuable recreational time!

Well, who said that all the work had to be done solely by our own members? Our name is TrekUnited. Right from the start Tim said that our purpose was to unite Trek fandom to actually achieve things. When I look back at the successes that we have had in the past, many of them have involved bringing together individuals and groups, acting as the neutral ground where they can interact as peers and where their audience, the world's Star Trek fans, can see them as the community that they are.

Looking back at that list of resources, what does it boil down to? We have the technological resources, we have the management resources and we have the audience.

What I am going to experiment with the Christmas edition of Hailing Frequencies Open is throwing those resources open to the wider Trek fan community. We have shown in the past that we have the publication expertise to create a quality fan magazine, let's do that again, but this time it won't just draw on the talents of TU members, it will be open to all comers! My purpose is not to create a 'zine about TrekUnited but for TrekUnited. I will be pitching for contributions as widely as possible across Trek fandom and the criteria for acceptance will be competitive - I will be picking the best that there is to offer, although I will initially be limiting contributions to one per organisation.

As far as I'm concerned there are no "rivals" in Trek fandom. If someone from the Miskatonic University Trek fan club contributes something then they will be given every honour they deserve. If we get artwork from the Starship Latveria then we'll publicise their website, and if Victor Von Doom sends us a letter of comment about it, we'll print it! The audience will not just be you, the TrekUnited membership, but the whole of Star Trek fandom, since it will be a free download for anyone to have.

Do you get the impression that I'm enthusiastic about this? Betcha boots I am!


Kirok of L'Stok

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