Whedonesque.com

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Whedonesque.com
Whedonesque screenshot.png
Whedonesque main page
Web address http://whedonesque.com
Commercial? No
Type of site Online discussion
Registration Required to comment
Owner Caroline van Oosten de Boer
Created by Various contributors
Launched June 2002
Current status Active

Whedonesque.com (also referred to as Whedonesque and spelled in the site's logo as WHEDONESQUE) is a collaborative weblog devoted to the works of Joss Whedon. At its inception in 2002, Whedonesque covered Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but has since expanded to follow Whedon's professional output, as well as the careers of cast and crew associated with Whedon projects. Since 2004, the site has been recognized in other media outlets by awards and citations of Whedon's writings originally posted to Whedonesque.

Beyond simply being an informational site, Whedonesque has been referenced in books and cited in academic papers. It is used by marketers to drum up interest in Buffy products and by comic book editors to gauge reader reactions. Whedon has occasionally posted his personal political views to the site, such as during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. This led some to mistakenly believe that Whedonesque is Whedon's personal or official site and prompted some fans to take up the writers' cause.

Posters to the site are usually referred to as "Whedonesquers".[1] User registration is required to post, but is often closed.[2]

History[edit]

Origin: 2002 through 2003[edit]

Whedonesque was started in mid-2002 by Caroline van Oosten de Boer, who remains the site owner as of February 2009, and Milo Vermeulen.[3] Whedonesque started with a set of rules designed to mandate linking to external sites, encourage civil conduct, discourage copyright violations, and minimize discussion of perpetually contentious issues.[4] The first print media mention of Whedonesque was a one sentence blurb in USA Today a month after its launch.[5] In 2003, it was cited as one of two top Buffy Internet sites in an article commemorating the show's end.[6]

Growth: 2004 through 2006[edit]

The site's popularity grew even further once Whedon himself started posting.[7] Whedon first acknowledged reading Whedonesque in late 2004,[8] and the account 'joss' was created for his use on August 15, 2004.[9] Whedon's first post directly to the site was on April 27, 2005,[10] announcing preview screenings of Serenity. He later extended his involvement, using the site as a means of communication with fans on topics including his own fandom of Veronica Mars,[11] the canonicity of Buffy Season 8 comic books,[12] and status updates on his projects.[13] Through the use of tagging, Whedonesque maintains a list of threads Whedon has started or in which he has posted.[14] In 2006, Angel: After the Fall comic book author Brian Lynch began posting to Whedonesque as well.[15]

Late 2004 saw the first two recognitions of Whedonesque.com by major Internet media. On November 22, 2004, Whedonesque was selected as SciFi.com's Site of the Week, which commented "first-rate weblog on all things Joss-related" that "has very clearly laid-out guidelines for posting and a solid policy on how to label spoilers."[16] On December 14, 2004 USA Today's Pop Candy selected "the Whedonesque gang" as the 70th of its "top 100 people of 2004", calling it "... comforting to visit Whedonesque.com each day, where piles of links are posted by my fellow Joss Whedon obsessives."[17] In 2005, Whedonesque was cited as a case study in marketing success.[18]

Recognition: 2007 through 2008[edit]

In early 2007, Whedon announced the end of his relationship with the Wonder Woman movie in a Whedonesque post,[19] which was directly cited in traditional media, including Reuters,[20] the Los Angeles Times,[21] and industry press.[22][23] That year Whedonesque was also cited in much more modest coverage of Whedon's involvement with Runaways[24] and The Office.[25] In February 2008, Whedonesque was cited as a source in a New York Times piece on Steven Brust's Firefly novel, My Own Kind of Freedom.[26] Later that year, Whedonesque was cited in mainstream media treatment of Dollhouse (especially Whedon's post explaining the new pilot[27][28][29])[30] and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.[31] The site was taken offline for a day by the attention prompted by the release of Dr. Horrible,[32] resulting in the site's movement from Pair.com, where it had originated, to Mediatemple.net.[33] Unlike previous mainstream media mentions, Dollhouse[34] and Dr. Horrible[35] have garnered Whedonesque mainland European media attention. In August 2008, Wired cited Whedonesque in its coverage of the YouTube leak of a demo reel for the never-produced Buffy the Animated Series.[36]

At the same time as major media outlets began noting Whedonesque.com as a source, it also received more recognitions, including The Times Online's Blog of the Week, awarded to Whedonesque on March 4, 2006. The Times review stated that "All the latest news items, rumours and sightings concerning the one-time wonder boy and the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are logged daily by the kind of people who appreciate smart, sophisticated dialogue and plotting."[37] Whedonesque won SyFy Portal's Genre Award for Best Web Site of 2006,[38] and was nominated for same award in 2007,[39] 2008[40] and 2009.[41] Entertainment Weekly selected Whedonesque as one of the 100 Greatest Websites on December 20, 2007.[7] In May 2008, EW selected Whedonesque as eighth on their list of 25 Essential Fansites, calling it "a reservoir of material about anyone who's starred in (or, it would seem, breathed near) his nerd-magnet projects: Buffy, Angel, and Firefly/Serenity."[42]

Whedon has used Whedonesque as a personal blog, comparing the Stoning of Du'a Khalil Aswad to the Captivity advertising controversy.[43] He also posted multiple messages during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.[44] While Whedon has no official website, that role is sometimes erroneously attributed to Whedonesque.com,[30] while other media outlets scrupulously describe the relationship between Whedon and the site.[45]

Institution: 2009[edit]

In 2009, media websites continued to cite Whedonesque in discussions of Whedon's work. In coverage of Dollhouse, Anna Pickard of The Guardian's "TV & Radio Blog" called Whedonesque the "ultimate Joss-fansite"[46] and later quoted van Oosten de Boer and another Whedonesque administrator in a follow-up piece,[47] while Rick Porter of Zap2it referred to it as "the clearinghouse for all things Joss".[48] While an account for frequent Whedon collaborator Tim Minear had been created in 2005, Minear himself first began posting to Whedonesque in March, 2009.[49] One of his first posts, regarding the "Epitaph One" episode of Dollhouse, was quoted by The Washington Post.[50]

Impact[edit]

Books and academic papers[edit]

In addition to news outlets which have picked up stories and quotes from Whedonesque, the site has been referenced in a number of books and academic papers.[51] It is cited as a general reference in The Physics of the Buffyverse[52] and the Angel guide Once Bitten.[53] Specific URL citations to Whedonesque posts are included in Reading Angel.[54] Likewise, the academic Buffy studies journal Slayage has included papers which cited Whedonesque in issues 16,[55] 22,[56] 23,[57] and 25.[58] The issue 22 reference included URLs to specific topics and posts, which have been "permalinks" since the site's inception.[56] In September 2007, Whedonesque was one website cited in an MIT masters' thesis entitled Television 2.0: Reconceptualizing TV as an Engagement Medium.[59]

There has been a positive reaction at Whedonesque to academic interest in Buffy and other Whedon works. Whedonesque maintains a category for "academic" posts,[60] which includes notices of public lectures,[61] calls for papers,[62] and academic analyses of Whedon projects.[63] A separate category is maintained for Whedonesque posts about Slayage content.[64]

Marketing and fandom[edit]

Even though site owner van Oosten de Boer stated that Whedonesque is "there to provide a service, not to influence anyone."[65] the site has been recognized by vendors as a place to gauge fan reactions to merchandise. In April, 2008, Dark Horse Comics said it would release images of a later-cancelled Buffy the Vampire Slayer tarot card set exclusively through Whedonesque.[66][67] Buffy Season 8 comic editor Scott Allie wrote in his editorial column that he read Whedonesque for reactions to Buffy's same-sex encounter in issue 12,[68] while Duke University Press credits Whedonesque with helping to sell its Undead TV: Essays on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".[69]

Whedonesque was one of six fan websites featured in Click Critics: The Power of Fan Websites, held May 19, 2008 at The Paley Center for Media in New York.[70] Other attendees included Lostpedia and Television Without Pity.[71] The event highlighted six popular fan-run websites focused on current media. One participant remarked that "The Paley Center itself is trying kind of hard to figure out what this whole blogging thing is, and doesn’t quite get it, as evidenced by the fact that no urls appeared in the program for the event."[72]

2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike[edit]

In late 2007, Whedon's posts about the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike prompted reader support for the writers which grew into a multi-fandom movement dubbed Fans4Writers.[73] The Wall Street Journal noted this novel use of Whedonesque and similar sites.[74] Rolling Stone featured Whedonesque.com as one of four websites mentioned in "The Best Strike Writing"[75] and Buffy writer Jane Espenson specifically credited Whedonesque readers for providing pizza to the striking writers.[76]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Any WHEDONESQUErs in Boston?". Whedonesque.com. 2002-11-09. Retrieved 2008-07-29.  (This appears to be the first recorded usage of the term.)
  2. ^ "Join Whedonesque". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-08-15.  "Registration for Whedonesque is currently closed. Unfortunately, our resources currently do not allow for open registration. We often have open registration on public holidays."
  3. ^ "Caroline's profile". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  4. ^ "The Rules". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  5. ^ Matheson, Whitney (2002-07-17). "Hip Clicks". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-08-22.  "For Buffy and Angel fans only: A new Joss Whedon Weblog, WHEDONesque, is now online with constant, juicy updates."
  6. ^ Davis, Dave (2003-05-21). "Internet Siteseeing; All good things must come to an end, Buffy" 13 (29). Louisville Eccentric Observer. p. 32.  slayage.com was the other site mentioned
  7. ^ a b "The 100 Greatest Websites -- New & Improved". Entertainment Weekly. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  8. ^ "Joss admits to reading whedonesque.com". Whedonesque.com. 2004-08-14. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  9. ^ "joss's profile". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  10. ^ Whedon, Joss (2005-04-27). "Screnings announced". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  11. ^ Whedon, Joss (2005-08-12). "Joss Luvs Veronica". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  12. ^ Whedon, Joss (2005-11-09). "Joss to never learn how to work site! Man is complete Melvin! Mock him!". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  13. ^ Whedon, Joss (2006-02-13). "This place can look stuff up!". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  14. ^ "Browse by Category: joss post". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  15. ^ "Brian Lynch's Profile". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  16. ^ Dellamonica, A.M. (2004-11-22). "Site of the Week—November 22, 2004". SciFi.com. Archived from the original on April 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  17. ^ Matheson, Whitney (2004-12-14). "And the Honorees are...". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  18. ^ Hrastnik, Rok (2005-04-29). "Character Blogs Revisited: Whedonesque.com Continues the Conversation". MarketingStudies.net. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  19. ^ Whedon, Joss (2007-02-02). "Satin Tights No Longer". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  20. ^ Kit, Borys; Siegel, Tatiana (2007-02-05). "Whedon exits "Wonder Woman" pic". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-05-12.  The Reuters story was also picked up in The Washington Post
  21. ^ Aurthur, Kate (2007-03-04). "From the ashes of film, Joss Whedon gave life to `Buffy’ on TV. Now, he’s turning a new page.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  22. ^ Potts, Kimberly (2007-02-05). "Whedon walks from Wonder Woman". Movies.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  23. ^ Vary, Adam (2007-02-09). "Wonder Woman Woes". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  24. ^ Mirchandani, Raakhee; Maxine Shen (2007-07-15). "Hot List: What We're Obsessed With This Week". New York Post. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  25. ^ Ward, Julia (2007-01-09). "Joss Whedon to direct episode of The Office". TV Squad. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  26. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2008-02-21). "Back from the Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19.  referencing Brust, Steven. "My Own Kind of Freedom". Retrieved 2008-08-22. .
  27. ^ Whedon, Joss (2008-07-22). "Welcome (back) to the Dollhouse". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  28. ^ Wortham, Jenna (2008-07-22). "Whedon Plans to Reshoot Dollhouse Pilot, Cites 'Tone Issues'". Wired. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  29. ^ Gray, Ellen (2008-08-22). "Cult of Joss Whedon generates Dollhouse buzz: Fans of writer already praising sci-fi show they haven't yet seen". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  30. ^ a b Brioux, Bill (2008-07-26). "Whedon's Dollhouse goes under microscope of sci-fi fans". Sudbury Star. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  31. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2008-07-23). "Joss Whedon talks 'Dollhouse' and 'Dr. Horrible'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  32. ^ Negus Viveiros, Beth. "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Social Media Blitz". Chief Marketer. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  33. ^ van Oosten de Boer, Caroline (2008-07-16). "Media Temple now hosting Whedonesque.com". prolific.org. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  34. ^ "Un nouveau pilote pour Dollhouse". generiques-mag.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  35. ^ Rehfeld, Nina (2008-07-24). "Joss Whedons kleiner Horrorladen". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  36. ^ Wortham, Jenna (2008-08-05). "Long-Lost Animated Buffy Pilot Leaks to YouTube". Wired. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  37. ^ Mintowt-Czyz, Lech (2006-03-04). "The Arts Online". Times Online (London: The Times). Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  38. ^ Hinman, Michael (2007-11-01). "'300,' 'Battlestar Galactica' Take Top Prizes In Genre Awards". SyFy Portal. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  39. ^ "'Battlestar Galactica' Leads SyFy Genre Awards Nominations". 2007-07-09. Archived from the original on January 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-12.  (In 2007, Whedonesque lost to GateWorld)
  40. ^ Hinman, Michael (2008-08-24). "'Supernatural' Takes Two SyFy Genre Awards". SyFy Portal. Retrieved 2008-08-24. [dead link] (In 2008, Whedonesque lost to Supernatural.tv)
  41. ^ Hinman, Michael (2009-06-14). "'Battlestar Galactica' Dominates Portal Awards With 11 Nods". Airlock Alpha. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  42. ^ Gopalan, Nisha. "25 Essential Fansites: #8". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  43. ^ Whedon, Joss (2007-05-20). "Let's Watch A Girl Get Beaten To Death". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  44. ^ e.g., Whedon, Joss (2007-12-13). "Who are the REAL heroes?". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-08-01. , Whedon, Joss (2007-12-20). "Behind the Scenes: WGA v AMPTP". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  45. ^ Arpe, Malene (2007-05-22). "Violent videos made me `snap': Whedon". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  46. ^ Pickard, Anna (2009-02-16). "Does Dollhouse have enough Whedon-ness?". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  47. ^ Pickard, Anna (2009-03-02). "What Joss Whedon did next ...". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  48. ^ Porter, Rick (2009-02-11). "'Dollhouse' Week: News from everywhere". Zap2it. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  49. ^ "Tim Minear's profile". Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  50. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (2009-04-10). "A 'Dollhouse' for Which Fox Doesn't Want to Pay to Play". The Washington Post. p. C06. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  51. ^ Metcalf, Stephen; Dana Stevens; Julia Turner (2008-07-31). "Culture Gabfest No. 13". Slate. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  52. ^ Ouellette, Jennifer (2007). The Physics of the Buffyverse. Penguin. p. 307. ISBN 0-14-303862-1. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  53. ^ Stafford, Nikki (2004). Once Bitten: An Unofficial Guide to the World of Angel. ECW Press. p. 76. ISBN 1-55022-654-1. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  54. ^ Abbott, Stacey (2005). Reading Angel: The TV Spin-off with a Soul. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1-85043-839-0. 
  55. ^ Kaveney, Roz. "A Sense of the Ending: Schrödinger's Angel". Slayageonline.com. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  56. ^ a b Masson, Cynthea; Marni Stanley. "Queer Eye of that Vampire Guy: Spike and the Aesthetics of Camp". Slayageonline.com. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  57. ^ Maio, Barbara. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Slayageonline.com. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  58. ^ Brown, Rebecca M. "Orientalism in Firefly and Serenity". Slayageonline.com. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  59. ^ Askwith, Ivan D. (2007-09). "Television 2.0: Reconceptualizing TV as an Engagement Medium" (PDF). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  60. ^ "Browse by Category: Academic". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  61. ^ ""Buffy: Gender and Sci-fi" Lecture in NYC". Whedonesque.com. 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  62. ^ "Call For Papers: Critical Studies in Television (CST) is asking for proposals for a book of essays on Firefly and Serenity". Whedonesque.com. 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  63. ^ "Profs slip Dr. Horrible into political discourse". Whedonesque.com. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  64. ^ "Browse by Cagetogy: Slayage". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  65. ^ Johnson, Bobbie (2004-03-15). "Who's running this show?". London: The Guardian. p. 42. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  66. ^ Goldman, Eric (2008-04-19). "NYCC: New Buffy Products Announced". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  67. ^ Serwin, Andy (2008-04-19). "NYCC Dark Horse Panel". wizarduniverse.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  68. ^ Allie, Scott. "From the Editor". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  69. ^ Wells, Stuart (2007-09-06). "Duke Press Meets Buffy". Duke University. Retrieved 2008-08-19.  referencing Levine, Elana; Lisa Parks (2007). Undead TV: Essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-4043-7. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  70. ^ "The Public Programs at the Paley Center". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  71. ^ Matthews, Nancy (2008-05-23). "Click Critics - The Power of Fan Websites". Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  72. ^ Lipp, Deborah (2008-05-20). "Paley Center Report: Click Critics". Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  73. ^ Bridges, C.A. (2007-11-09). "Fans4Writers.com is up and running". Whedonesque.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  74. ^ McBride, Sarah (2007-12-07). "The Picket Line Is The Place to Meet A Writer in L.A.". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  75. ^ Edwards, Gavin (2007-12-13). "The Best Strike Writing". Rolling Stone (1041). p. 42. 
  76. ^ Espenson, Jane (2007-11-05). "Strike! Pizza! Chad!". janeespenson.com. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 

External links[edit]