Contact information: admin (AT) asianfanfics.com
Online aliases: Nichi
Forums most frequented: reddit.com, asianfanfics.com
Completed fics: N/A
Current fics: N/A
Additional information: I love food. My favorite type of food right now is Korean but you can never go wrong with Japanese either. Korean dishes I almost always order are either yook hwe or gob dol bibim bap and I’m always craving Japanese sashimi. I watch a lot of anime and Japanese dramas. I like dramas by Kimura Takuya and Abe Hiroshi while Kamenashi Kazuya dramas are pretty good now too. I like a few girls like Aragaki Yui and Erika Toda but it seems like there are new girls every year. People seem to always ask me what nationality I am. I’m half Japanese and half Chinese but I don’t look like either. I am the admin and creator of asianfanfics.com so I’m responsible for new features, fixing bugs, and keeping the site running smoothly.
fancracked: Hello Jason. Glad to finally get to do this interview with you (: Can you tell us a bit about how you got introduced to kpop fandom and fanfiction?
jason: I was actually introduced to kpop fanfiction through asianfanfics.com although I still haven’t had much exposure to fanfiction in general. My first brush with Korean entertainment though was with S.E.S, Babyvox, and BoA almost a decade back in the early 2000′s but I hadn’t gotten back into it until around 2009 when I was at a karaoke in NYC and the mv for SNSD’s Gee randomly came up. After watching it, I realized that Korean entertainment has certainly changed a lot and I wanted to catch up and see more. Then Asianfanfics users started posting up videos of other kpop mv’s and I was hooked. Korean entertainment has gone a really long way since when I was first into it. I’d have to say that my favorite kpop groups right now are Epik High and 2NE1.
fancracked: Can you tell us about AsianFanFics and how it got started?
jason: Asianfanfics is a site dedicated to writers and readers with a passion for writing fanfiction. Although it’s very fanfic-centric, I made sure that there are a ton of social aspects to the site for users to get to know one another so I provided blogs, user-created polls, video sharing, picture galleries, chats, etc. Asianfanfics is certainly still evolving and I almost always have a few new features planned.
I started Asianfanfics around April of 2009 for my girlfriend at the time as a place for her to store her fanfics. She was a big fan of writing Rainie Yang stories and reading a lot of kpop fanfiction but she was extremely frustrated with posting on Winglin. I later found out that Winglin had lost a couple of her stories so I finally decided to make her a site of her own so she could write and store her fanfics. Having control of our own site at least guaranteed that she would never lose her fanfics again and we could design the site from scratch to be as easy to use as possible. She ended up liking the site we made together so she started to advertise the site in various places and managed to get a ton of users to sign up while I worked on implementing more and more features. I was actually pretty surprised when the site started attracting a lot of kpop fanfiction traffic since the site started out with Taiwanese fanfiction but we really enjoyed meeting all of the new users and seeing a new genre of content.
Unfortunately, she later passed away after contracting pneumonia around a year after the site launched and Asianfanfics was left up to me to care for and maintain. I think of the site as a way for me to honor her memory and I’d like to think that she’d be really happy to see all of the users enjoying the site we made together. Without her, there would not have been an Asianfanfics. That is why I can pretty much guarantee that Asianfanfics won’t be going away and I’ll do my best to keep improving it.
fancracked: I’m sorry to hear about your loss… I admire your love, strength, and honor for your late girlfriend. I think it’s really inspiring and moving that you’re keeping the site going–and that you have built such a lovely, close knit community since you started out.
jason: Thank you. My girlfriend worked hard to get a lot of people to post their fanfics on the site so all of my users are important to me. I try to keep the site running as smoothly as possible.
fancracked: Since you started the website from scratch, what sorts of unexpected experiences did you encounter as you went about? Do you have any advice or insight you would share with those who may be thinking about creating sites of their own?–particularly those who would like to incorporate their interests in fandom and/or fanfiction?
jason: There was a great deal of things I didn’t expect when I first created the site but I would primarily say that I did not expect to meet all of these great people from different parts of the world. I enjoyed interacting with them all and they’re a cool bunch for the most part. Of course, with a site of this size, you’ll eventually have a few “hard to manage” users. I’ve seen several users misrepresent themselves and lie about their identities with fake pictures and info. I’ve seen and had to handle various hackers and spammers that try to gather user emails by mass messaging other users to see who would fall for their scams – and many do fall for them. There is also the occasional drama that I hear about among users. Which is why I’m really appreciative of my moderators in keeping on top of things since without them, I’d be spending most of my time just dealing with user issues instead of creating new features and improving site performance.
fancracked: What do you think you’ve taken away from your experience as an administrator/website operator/designer (?? It seems you run the show under a lot of different titles and roles ^^).
jason: I could be a lot of things but designer I am not (haha). One of these days I’ll find a good, dedicated designer that can help me with some of the Asianfanfics projects I have in mind. As for what I have taken away from running this site, it would probably be that there are a lot of interesting things out there that I didn’t know about before I started interacting with the users here. Take the video section, for example. Users post the videos that interest them in that section and I find myself browsing the videos for a lot longer than I thought I would. It’s not really the same as browsing a tube site like YouTube because the Asianfanfics video section is pretty focused on the interests of the user demographic which is mainly Asian entertainment. I’ve actually discovered a lot of my favorite artists through the video section and I have the contributors to thank for that.
fancracked: The internet seems so quick paced nowadays—almost too quick if you think about it. Although new sites sprout up left and right, not all of them stick around and develop like how Asianfanfics has. I know you mentioned your focus on building a community, but are there any other things that you could attribute the success of Asianfanfics to in this day and age? ^^
jason: I think it actually is because of the fast pace of the internet that allowed Asianfanfics to thrive. Other sites with the same focus had stayed the same even after a decade or so and others constantly go down even for weeks at a time. I personally thought that was unacceptable which is why I originally made the site for my girlfriend when she was having problems with the sites she normally frequented. I ensured that Asianfanfics constantly improved with new features and that it can handle all of the users that use it to keep site downtime to a minimum.
Having said all of that, there is no greater factor in the popularity of Asianfanfics other than its community of users. I’ve built everything from scratch purely with their needs in mind and I truly believed in making something that would make people want to keep coming back. I still have a lot to work on in this area but it’s always my main focus.
fancracked: Let’s talk a bit more about fics themselves ^^ When were you introduced to fanfiction? What did you originally make of it and what do you think about it nowadays?
jason: I was introduced to fanfiction pretty late. It was around 2008 when my girlfriend showed me her work. I certainly thought it was interesting enough to make her a site just for her to publish them to.
fancracked: Do you write fics yourself or read any?
jason: I don’t really have had the time to read any fanfiction lately but maybe someday when I have more time. I haven’t really written any either but I will admit that I’ve written one chapter of a story since I was told I couldn’t do it. I’m going to post it one day, more because I need a story to test with whenever I implement new features on Asianfanfics but I feel strange posting a fanfic as an admin.
fancracked: In your own words, what is the relationship between a fan-writer and a gasoo/celebrity?
jason: A fan-writer is just like any other fan. Some fans buy all their merchandise, other fans go to all their concerts, while others write fanfiction about them. We all have different outlets for our interests.
fancracked: The category of “you” as opposed to just “second person” is popular on Asianfanfics. What does “you” mean to the members? ^^
jason: It’s just a way for writers to involve the community in their stories. I’m not sure if it has any other meaning to anyone else other than that but I wouldn’t really know much about it.
fancracked: I’m wondering if there are any topics I didn’t mention that you’d like to talk about.
jason: I’d like to thank Ying for being the main inspiration in the creation of this site. Without her direction, feedback, and encouragement, this site would not exist.
Advice for aspiring fanfiction site admins:
- You are never done.
- You will always be thinking of ways to ensure that everyone enjoys your site.
- You can’t please everyone.
- The writers and readers are your primary focus. Try not to get too hung up on anything else.
- You will eventually have to interact with your users. This is a good thing. You will like some of them, dislike some of them, and feel apathy for the rest but you MUST always be objective when it comes to making decisions about your site.
- Speaking of disliking some users, you WILL get emails and messages from rude or demanding users who know nothing of how difficult it is to maintain a complex dynamic web application. The best course of action is to respond to them objectively and professionally. Imagine as if you were working for a customer call center. Then again, since you do own the site, feel free to break this rule when you really feel like it if only to maintain your sanity.
Advice for aspiring writers:
- Keep at it. Even the best authors did not become expert writers overnight.
- Don’t let the statistics or critics bring you down.
- Write for yourself. The readers will follow.
fancracked: Would you like to send any messages to anyone?
jason: I would like to thank the moderators in helping shoulder some of the user issues on the site. The senior moderator is especially helpful and appreciate the effort in helping me keep my attention on the site instead of on user politics or problem users.
– Thanks to Jason for doing this interview ^^ Best wishes to the Asianfanfics community (: