Fluff: Collaborating to Publish a Fiberarts Magazine Using Open Source Tools*
The handspinning community needed an online magazine; we're using open source software to make it happen
Fluff is an advertising-supported online magazine devoted to handspinning yarn. While this might sound like a relatively “long-tail” topic, the number of active handspinners has been increasing rapidly over the last several years, fueled in part by the online community available through the knitting-focused sites Knitty and Ravelry, which host millions.
Fluff is Creative-Commons licensing our content (articles and patterns), which is built using WordPress and managed using Mavenlink. Starting with the publication of our launch issue, we will be providing a framework in WordPress Multi-Lingual through which volunteer translators can produce their own language versions of our content.
Our plan is to bring together the worldwide handspinning community over the internet, for the first time ever. Handspinning nearly became a lost art in the mid-20th century, but it was revived by preservation-minded artisans, some of whom began their own publishing projects to spread their knowledge. Fluff follows in their footsteps, using cutting-edge publishing tools and open-source philosophy.
My first public talk was in 2007, at Arse Elektronika in San Francisco; I spoke on some of the unintended consequences of Web 2.0 technologies. I've also presented at the Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin (on guerrilla knitting), and most recently at transmediale 2013, in Berlin (on spam and pornography). I have not given this talk before.
Rose White is an independent scholar living in San Francisco. Her research interests have covered a wide range of subjects (including long-distance relationships, the proliferation of online pornography, the construction of sportsfan identity on the internet, and the contemporary resurgence of the craft of handspinning), but all converge as computer-mediated sociology. When she isn’t working, she’s usually playing with wool or watching a basketball game.