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FNN column 'Ask Papabear' jumps ship after posting delays

Edited as of Sat 19 May 2012 - 01:42
Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (33 votes)


Grubbs Grizzly's advice column "Ask Papabear", originally distributed by Furry News Network, has moved to its own site, although it will still be available to FNN for syndication.

The greymuzzle's letters of advice cover both traditional and furry-specific topics, including the nature of furry fandom, personal relationships, dealing with adversity, and "coming out" as a furry.

Grubss' previous host appears to be on hiatus, having added no content in over a month. 771 pieces (aggregated and original) were posted last year, but submissions declined sharply after July 2011, and slowed to a trickle late least year.

Update (17 May): Looks like FNN was listening; several new stories have been published.

'Papabear' explains the purpose of the column on his site:

Why a column specifically aimed at furries? Well, Papabear believes that, while many furries experience problems familiar to everyone, we have sort of a unique spin on things. Furries can often feel ostracized by family, friends, and at school for being who they are.

Sometimes, because of this, they don't feel understood and need some advice from someone who has been around the blocks a few times, often while wearing a fursuit!

Well, that's me! Papabear! I don't claim to possess the wisdom of the ages, but I certainly know a thing or two and can help you with many common issues. If I don't know the answer, I'll try and find someone who does!

The new site is still using template header graphics, but is open for new questions.


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That picture is scary....

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Behold, the ravages of age!

Besides, bears are meant to be scary. They can maul you and eat your picnic baskets.

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As a bear we are highly offended by your typicality bear stereotypes. As for "that bear" we do not acknowledge that park dwelling moocher. ;)

This is not the ravages of age but a sign of wisdom.

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*hides face* Didn't mean to scare anyone, just how I look :-(

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There is kind of a lull in FNN as the gap between its top two articles is a month long. Though I can hardly speak to long sporadic updates myself, as I hardly write one article a month on average, but when the whole site is going that slow, it's not good.

Hope everything is going alright.

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Me, I'm starting a pool on what we'll be adding to the archives next. Because I'm a callous, opportunistic prick sometimes; sue me.

I got 20 imaginary bucks on Weasel Wordsmith.

(For the sake of fairness, Green Reaper can't play 'cause he'll just bet on the longshot that WE go next and then pull the plug.)

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Well, it's true that I always have my eyes on expanding our furry media empire:

* Weasel Wordsmith would be a good match, at least for furry-tagged articles. We have syndication archives, but that's not quite the same as full articles with comments.
* A lot of FNN's content is syndicated from or duplicates Flayrah articles, but some original material's in there too. It'd be unfortunate if it just went away – though, as above, we have syndication archives.
* had little long-form material, but included a fair number of briefs and some discussion worth saving. I don't think AshMCairo or Karma are going to do anything with that material going forwards, which is unfortunate.
* Furry 101 never really got up to critical mass, but has a few good interviews, plus a comics-focussed retrospective from 1992 (particularly relevant given recent events). It's still up, but for how long?
* I don't see In-Fur-Nation going down anytime soon, but if it did I'd be glad to import what we don't already have.
* We have syndication archives from Fauna Urbana and Red Furros; the latter could be upgraded to full contents.

Websites are cheap to keep up when it comes to fading interest, but that's a double-edged sword. If it's overrun with spam, or gets broken by an upgrade, it's so easy just to kill it – and by that point you may not care about the content you're throwing away.

Larger "brick-and-mortar" non-profit projects have much greater incentive to merge resources with another organization if they find they lack resources to fulfill their mission. Of course, that works both ways; it's easier to start a website (which is why so many do).

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Oops, I think they heard us talking about them.

Just kidding guys, competition is good.

Not that we're competing, of course.


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That's a complex issue. I think we serve slightly different needs, and our methods of operation reflect that.

With FNN, syndication is a big deal, as implied by the name. Sure, they gladly accept original submissions, but what they seem to do best is aggregate and distribute existing content; their editorial control centers on selection of appropriate stories and sources for their audience.

Flayrah's goal is to polish and publish great original journalism about furry fandom. We don't care who uses it as long as they give credit and link back; that's why our default license is CC-BY-SA. We tend to link to other sources rather than syndicate their content, though I made an exception for In-Fur-Nation because it offered a good contrast to existing stories.

Naturally, I'd like us to be the first place furs go for news, and in that sense Flayrah is in competition with FNN for readers. However, in practice FNN has allowed our contributors' content to reach new audiences rather than cannibalizing our own – and what matters most to writers is that they get read. If they publish here, they're likely to be read in both places.

FNN also acts like a social syndication mechanism, driving readers to Flayrah. In fact, they're our largest referrer after WikiFur (then comes LJ, Furry4Life, Twitter, FA and Facebook). They depend far more on us, though. Without FNN, Flayrah might lose 5% of its traffic — but without Flayrah, FNN would lose 50% of its stories. [Meanwhile, WikiFur gets Google juice from both sites.]

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Yes, I notice that Weasel Wordsmith has been static since July 2011. :-(

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.