Tuesday 28 December 2010

New Year, New Server Fundraiser Update


Over $1000 has been donated to FictionAlley via Razoo in December, so Razoo has pledged $1000 in matching funds! In other words, our expected server fees for 2011 are now fully funded! Thanks to all of you who helped by donating and spreading the word.

The fundraiser is technically still going on through the end of the month, and any additional donations will be used to fund large-scale fan-driven works of fannish creativity. In 2011, we'll be launching a new fundraiser focused on writing tools, workshops and other educational projects; look for more information once we've moved to our new servers in the new year.

Thanks to all of you who've supported FictionAlley; it won't be long before we're back at 100% capacity.

Sunday 26 December 2010

The Park should be back this week.

We hope; we're working on it. Fics are still accessible, and so is the Harry Potter Wiki, so if you're looking for a place to discuss characters, put in your theories, link to your favorite fics about certain characters, and more, just visit the Harry Potter Wiki, create an account and log in, and start editing!

We have only seven days left to raise the $1000 that will be matched by Razoo in our our New Year, New Server Fundraiser. If $87 is donated via Bel's Page and $130 is donated via Marauder's Page, we will get $1000 in matching funds from Razoo, and given the extra that's been donated to the other three fundraising pages, we will then be covered for server fees for 2011 (and won't have to do another server-fee-fundraiser until at least May).

We are moving to new servers this week to get the Park and ArtisticAlley back online, too!

Thanks for all your support, and we hope you've had a Harry Happy Holiday Season!

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Downtime Issues

We've been working with our server host on the Park issue - and we apologize for the downtime. There is a 'kernel' problem with the server but we have a recent backup and hope to get everything working again shortly. If you can make a donation to supportnour new server fundraiser project, we would really appreciate it; just follow the links below. We need about $200 on each "project" by December 31 to get the full $1000 in matching funds from Razoo - we are so close to having our server fees covered for all of 2011, so if you can donate $20 or even $50, we will be all set for site hosting costs for the year.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Fundraiser Update

Thank you so much to those who've donated to our New Year, New Server Fundraiser! In the last three days, over six hundred dollars have been donated by FictionAlley users like you.

In other words, we're more than half-way to our goal, and December is now half over.

If you can donate $13.50, $25, or even $50 this month, you'll help us get the $1000 matching funds that Razoo has pledged.

One of our pledge-pages has already reached the $200-per-page matching funds cap, so please donate to the other four pages. Just click one, and make your pledge. You can donate anonymously, if you prefer, but the next 29 non-anonymous donors will get a vintage "Creativity is Magic" wristband as a thank-you from Team FictionAlley.

Just click, and give, to support FictionAlley:
Marauder's Page
Bel's Page
Zorb's Page
Plu's Page

(And don't forget to shop at Amazon for Harry Potter gifts and more; a portion of your purchase also supports FictionAlley.)

Monday 13 December 2010

"New Year, New Server" Fundraiser

Back in September, we rolled out a fundraiser to fund FictionAlley's $200-per-month server hosting fees, and we are thrilled that so many of you stepped up to help out. We raised almost nine hundred dollars, which has kept FictionAlley online throughout 2010, and we can't tell you how much we appreciate it!

We've also brought in almost two hundred dollars from the Google ads, purchases you made at Amazon and the 800+ stores affiliated with iGive via our links, and orders from WBShop.com and HotTopic.

So for the month of December, we're trying to raise enough money to cover the $2400 we expect to pay for site hosting fees for 2011, so we can stay ahead of the curve.

From now until December 31, fundraising site Razoo will match every dollar we raise, up to $1000* - since  FA's servers cost almost $200 per month, if we raise $1000 via Razoo by the end of the year, thanks to their matching funds, we'll have ALL of 2011 covered!  Please help us by funding a day, a week or a month for FictionAlley's fics, forums, art and more!  And don't forget... if you are a U.S. taxpayer, your donation of any amount is tax-deductible.

Plus, we recently found a stash of vintage "Creativity Is Magic" wristbands in the cupboard under my stairs, so the next 45 non-anonymous donors via any of our Razoo pages will get a nifty multicoloured wristband (hopefully) in time for the holidays! 

Donate to FictionAlley's New Year, New Server Fundraiser via the widget to the right, or at one of these pages:
Plu's Page
Zorb's Page
Heidi's Page
Bel's Page
One more to come...

* The way their pledge pages are set up, Razoo will match up to $200 donated via our five fundraising pages; just follow the links above, choose one and make your donation!

Sunday 5 December 2010

Everything is back!

Thanks to some technological fixes by our team, our "internal clock" is working again, and everything should be as it was (other than the front page, which we are still working on).

We've had a few questions about where the fics are, and they are at the same URLs they've always been. But since the "search for fics" page has dropped a little further down on this page, you can use these links:

Saturday 4 December 2010

Forum site update

We expect that a reboot of the server hosting the forums will bring them back online. Our provider is working on this request.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

FictionAlley Is Kinda Sorta Back!

Well, except for fic submissions/story management. And the front page. But there's good reasons for that; we're still updating some aspects of the site. Fic submissions should be re-opened by Friday, and we're working on a revised front page.

You can get to the rest of the site via these links:

Keep Calm and Carry Wands on etsy

Limited Edition Pin
We have a small stash of pins left over from Infinitus, and they're on sale at our FictionAlley etsy shop through the holidays.
All proceeds from the sale of the "Keep Calm and Carry Wands" pins goes to our "New Year, New Server" Fundraiser; we're trying to raise enough money by the end of December to cover FictionAlley's 2011 hosting fees, which will be about $2300.
Right now, we only have about two dozen pins left, but if they're a big hit, we may do more...

Monday 29 November 2010

We're updating the site!

No, this isn't another bout of unscheduled downtime - we're updating some aspects of FictionAlley tonight instead!

We should be back up and working on November 30. For updates, visit this blog, which you can also find at http://fictionalley.blogspot.com/ or follow us on Twitter or LiveJournal.

Also, since there's seven months to qo before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part Two in movie theaters, is anyone interested in helping organize a group re-read of each of the seven Harry Potter books, starting in mid-December with one per month, through mid-July? Comment to this post or email us at help@fictionalley.org if you're interested in helping.

Friday 19 November 2010

Fansites Interview Composer Alexandre Desplat

SpellCast and FictionAlley were thrilled to participate in a conference call interview with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows composer Alexandre Desplat. Lena Gabrielle, composer of the fan-created musical production The Final Battle was FA's representative during the conference call; read the transcript here. Audio excerpts are coming soon.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Enter Our Deathly Hallows Contest!

Enter our Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 contest and you might win a Horcrux with a 1GB flash drive, a Ministry of Magic shirt, tattoos, IMAX tickets or one of the other fantastic prizes! Click here for contest rules, and to enter!

What did you think of Deathly Hallows?

Have you seen the film yet? Want to know what others thought? Share your review - or link to it - here, but remember, the thread is 100% full of spoilers.

Monday 15 November 2010

Join Team FictionAlley!

1. FictionAlley seeks Fic Intake Team members. A perfect fit for veteran - and aspiring - tutors from college writing labs, English majors and those who love grammar and Harry Potter. You'll work with other fic intakers to determine whether fics meet FictionAlley's grammar, spelling and Harry Potter requirements, let authors know when things need further editing and seek out fics and essays that you think should be hosted on FA. If you're interested in joining the team, take the quiz or get in touch with the Intake Coordinator at helpwanted@fictionalley.org.

2. Art Advisors - We're looking for artists who write well, to create tutorials on CG coloring, vidding, icon-making, crafts, drawing and painting. If you're interested in working with us in creating one or more of these tutorials, please contact artists@fictionalley.org.

3. Site Traffic Analytics - Will work with site administrators to review site traffic analytics and improve gathering process and results regarding same. If you're interested in helping with this project, please contact us at helpwanted@fictionalley.org.

4. Mobile Application Development - will assist programmer in developing, testing and rolling out mobile applications. If you're interested in helping with this project, please contact us at helpwanted@fictionalley.org.

5. Submission system update - We really need to update the fic intake and review system, as well as upgrade our vBulletin system for the Park. College credit may be available if you're a student and can get independent study credit for programming and/or design projects. If you're interested in helping with this project, please contact us at helpwanted@fictionalley.org.

6. Podcast editor - will work as a member of the podcasting team in creating, editing and transcribing episodes. If you're interested in helping with this project, please contact us at spellcast@fictionalley.org.

7. FAQ Maintenance - Will update and maintain the site's FAQ. If you're interested in helping with this project, please contact us at helpwanted@fictionalley.org.

8. CafePress Coordinator. Will upgrade, update and create merchandise at FictionAlley's CafePress store. If you're interested in helping with this project, please contact Heidi at heidi@fictionalley.org.

9. FicNifflers - will select 1-2 excellent fics per month for spotlighting in FictionAlley's Niffling forum. Requires being well-read in the HP fandom and being able to compose a review/recommendation of at least a full paragraph with excellent spelling, punctuation, and grammar. If you're interested in being a Niffler, please contact us at help@fictionalley.org.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

The Final Battle Now Online

FictionAlley was a proud sponsor of the fan-created musical The Final Battle at Infinitus back in July; it was composed by Lena Gabrielle, with additional writing by Mallory Vance, and the entire cast, crew and orchestra was comprised of Harry Potter fans. Its debut performance took place after only a few days of rehearsals at Infinitus, and hours of work online beforehand, and is a testament to the vitality and creativity of larger-scale fan projects.

The entire musical is now online at their YouTube channel. Check it out - and stay tuned for a reprise of the show at LeakyCon in July of 2011! If you're planning to attend LeakyCon, you can audition for the cast or apply to join the crew.

Thursday 30 September 2010

An iGive Project

FictionAlley has been a longtime member of iGive, a program that gives a percentage of purchases from stores like VistaPrint, The Gap and more to FictionAlley.

They just made a nifty offer for us - but there's only six hours left for us to take advantage of it.

For each person who joins iGive using the special link below and does just one qualified web search on our site between now and noon. Thursday, September 30, 2010 (Chicago time), we'll give FA a dollar.

No purchase necessary.

If these new members search more (or buy something at an iGive store) they'll earn even more money for FAWC. Right now, we're donating a $.01 per search and a bonus $5 for that first purchase plus the usual percentage.

Link: http://www.igive.com/welcome/warm_reg_promo.cfm?m=476021

As you know, FictionAlley has server expenses this year for the first time in over five years, and they came out of the blue - there's more info at http://tinyurl.com/FAServer - so if you could do this today, that dollar would be merged with the other dollars from other FA users, and could be a massive amount of support for the site.

Thanks in advance for your time and your help!

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Server Fundraiser-a-Thon!

It's September 1 - and that generally means we're all heading back to Hogwarts, even if it's only virtually. We're celebrating at FictionAlley, and also commemorating the major milestone that we reached this summer - our ninth anniversary! Unfortunately, we were still suffering from the unexpected and prolonged downtime so we couldn't celebrate - but as you know, we're back now, and it looks like things are stabilized!

Alas, we are not sure whether our current ISP/server situation will allow us to make it to our tenth anniversary.

The company that had graciously and wonderfully hosted FictionAlley for years, allowing us to be mostly ad-free and enabling us to focus our fundraising efforts on projects like the Katie O'Brien Memorial Scholarship, has been purchased by a larger company, and while they are able to give us a discount on hosting fees, we've gone from paying nothing to paying about two hundred dollars a month.

The staff of FictionAlley has been able to underwrite this for the last few months, but we can't continue doing so without two changes, a request, a question and a project.

First, the changes:

1. There will be more ads on FictionAlley - Google ads on the front page and what we hope will be unobtrusive and noninvasive ads in FictionAlley Park. We will, at this point, not put banner ads on pages with fics, although if we don't get enough donations, that may have to change later on. If you see an ad that you're interested in, please click on it!

2. We are going to send occasional emails reminding our registered users to purchase iTunes downloads and apps via our iTunes link, and to purchase items on Amazon - if you want to buy the new Harry Potter LEGO game, for example, or pre-order the next series of GLEE or get Naomi Novik's new novel, it would benefit FictionAlley and all of us if you did so using our links. When the Deathly Hallows films are released, you'll be able to buy tickets via our links, and support FictionAlley while enjoying the films.

The Request:
Please, donate to support FictionAlley. Anything donated above and beyond our immediate needs for hosting fees will go into our Buy Our Own Servers fund, which will give us more control over our servers and lower prices for monthly hosting costs.

Donate via RAZOO and help us get $1000 in matching funds by December 31, 2010:

Donate via PayPal

We are enrolled in Matching Fund plans at Google, which would result in a doubling of your donation's value. Other companies also have matching fund plans, and we are happy to supply whatever information is necessary so you and we can utilize that. Let us know if you have any questions or need more information.

At this point, $800 will cover our hosting costs for the rest of the year, and $4000 will cover new servers so that starting in 2011, we can be independent and not worry about unexpected ISP fees. In other words, if about 350 people give fifteen dollars each, we are all set. Anything above and beyond that will go to revamp the site, modernize and upgrade the art and fic submission and review process, and create a system that will allow us to host larger-scale group projects.

Can you help? Can you send five, ten, fifteen or fifty dollars via PayPal to SupportFA@fictionalley.org this month, or donate $5 every month? You don't need a PayPal account - if you don't have one, you can use a major credit card.

(Or if you're with an ISP that might be able to underwrite some or all of our three-server configuration, please email me!)

Also, if you're planning on shopping through Amazon or other stores, please use the links at this page or shop via iGive. A portion of every dollar you spend at those stores is donated by the store to FictionAlley.

Thank you so much for all your support.

Team FictionAlley

PS - Remember, FictionAlley is a 501(c)(3) - we were one of hte first fan-groups to ever get that designation. In other words, all this means that contributions to FictionAlley, as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, may be eligible for deduction when computing your income taxes in the United States; please check with your tax planner, attorney or accountant if you have any questions or for specific information, or if you are from a country other than the United States.

Monday 28 June 2010

The DH1 Trailer Is Live!

While the site is down, check out the trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 - click here to check it out!

Sunday 20 June 2010

Harry Potter Panel at Comic-Con, 2010

This summer sees the Harry Potter series and fandom slip into the future with the close of filming on Deathly Hallows and the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. What is the impact on the fans, fandom, and their future? Insights from Melissa Anelli (webmaster of The Leaky Cauldron and author of Harry: A History), Darren Criss (actor/composer, A Very Potter Musical, A Very Potter Sequel), Leslie Combemale (ArtInsights Gallery, official/exclusive HP art supplier), Eddie Newquist (executive producer, Harry Potter: The Exhibition) and Andrew Slack (HP Alliance Creator and Executive Producer). Moderated by Heidi Tandy (HPEF/Ascendio 2012, FictionAlley).

Saturday 13 March 2010

The DNS Issue

If you're having trouble getting parts of FictionAlley to load, the reason for this is because it's taking some time for the DNS entry changes made this morning to stabilize. This means that the site is coming and going: one moment you can get in, the next you can't. According to the Techs, this may continue for a couple more days, but, as I said in the last post, by Monday things should be set.

If anything changes we will post an update here.

Friday 12 March 2010

Unscheduled Downtime/DNS Issue

As I'm sure you all have noticed, FA is currently down. There were some periods of time this morning where some people were able to access the site while others were not, but at this time it seems that the site is down for everyone.

Thanks to some digging by our tech-minded people, we've discovered that the main problem is a DNS entry issue on one of our servers. However, the person who handles all FA's DNS-related things is currently unavailable, so nothing can be done at this moment. We ask that you continue to be patient and we will hopefully have things back up and running soon. Once the site is available, an update will be posted here and on our Twitter account.

We apologize for any inconveniences this has caused you, and beg your forgiveness. We are just as frustrated as you are with this entire thing.

Sunday 14 February 2010

DNS Issues

We are having some issues with the DNS entries of portions of FA. As a result, Riddikulus, HPInkPot and the HP Wiki are currently unavailable. There have also been some emails/messages sent to the Help Desk regarding 404 errors appearing when folks try to load parts of the site. If you continue to have these issues, please try clearing your Internet cache and restarting your browser (sometimes restarting your computer is also necessary) to see if that helps. As far as we can tell, only the three sites listed above are currently affected by whatever is going on.

We have contacted Dragon, our server provider, and Techie Paul is working to get everything back to normal as soon as possible. Please be patient as we work to resolve these issues.

Questions and/or comments regarding other issues can be sent to help @ fictionalley.org or posted as a reply to this post. I will forward anything on to the proper people.

Monday 18 January 2010

Help Haiti Heal!

Harry Potter fans have joined with members of fandoms from other popular books, movies, and tv series to create Helping Haiti Heal, a home-grown effort to contribute to the growing humanitarian aid and charitable relief activities in Haiti.

This Saturday, January 23rd, at 2 P.M. EST, HPA's PotterWatch, PotterCast, MuggleCast, Hogwarts Radio, and FictionAlley will come together for a live fundraising webcast on Livestream to benefit Partners in Health.  This four hour live event will feature a donation drive where donors have the opportunity to win prizes, leaders and celebrities from various segments of popular culture, wizard rockers, interviews with civic leaders and Haitian Americans, and so much more.

Many amazing, unique, and rare prizes are available do donors, including:

  • Five signed and dedicated copies of novels by bestselling author Terry Pratchett.

  • Signed books from Time Magazine's Lev Grossman, NY Times bestselling author Melissa Anelli, Movies in 15 Minutes author Cleolinda Jones, and Urban fantasy novelist Lilith Saintcrow, as well as young adult authors Karen Healey, Aprilynne Pike, Pam Bachorz, Lisa Mantchev, and many more.

  • A signed Mega Book Pack of 30 novels from The 2009 Debutantes, including: Malindo Lo, Saundra Mitchell, Sarah Ockler, Michelle Zink, and Jackson Pearce.  

  • Guest spots on PotterCast and Hogwarts Radio.Busted keyboard used by Harry and the Potters at over 200 shows.

  • Signed CDs from such wizard rock bands as The Remus Lupins, The Whomping Willows, The Butterbeer Experience, and Oliver Boyd and the Rememberalls.

  • Quality replica LightSaber based on Luke's from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. 

  • Full Access Registration to LeakyCon 2011, valued over $300.

  • $200 Gift Certificate to Infinitus 2010.

  • Outgoing voicemail messages and birthday messages from your favorite Wizard Rock Bands and Podcasters. 

  • Limited edition, artist signed, Replica Slimer from Ghostbusters.

Help Haiti Heal will be feature Harry Potter podcasts PotterCast, MuggleCast, HPA's PotterWatch, Hogwarts Radio, and FictionAlley; live performances from many wizard rockers; leaders in fan communities; personal interviews with Haitian-Americans about the importance of giving to Partners In Health; human rights activists; a representative from MIT's Media Lab discussing ways that we can donate our time using new media; and much more.  It is the aim of Helping Haiti Heal to provide ideas and inspiration across fandoms to those with the desire to aid those affected by the earthquake.  Together, we can help heal Haiti.