Why Does It Take So Long?

This question has been asked several times over the last few months from first time faneditors. We understand you’re excited to get something you’ve worked so hard on listed on IFDB for others to learn about, check out, and review. Unfortunately this isn’t as quick a process as we would like,  and making posts a few days after submission asking why you haven’t heard anything isn’t something that will expedite the process. We wanted to clear the air and explain a few things that goes on behind the scenes.

First: This site is run by volunteers, volunteers that have busy personal lives. We either have school, work, and/or family life competing for our time. Those things are our priority, not Fanedit.org. And while we do get the occasional donation, none of it adds up to the amount needed to keep this site running on an annual basis or pay anyone to babysit it 24/7. To give you an idea we receive approximately 75,000 visits per month. It’s thanks to one particular admin who mostly cover the cost of running the site, but he could easily decide to spend that money elsewhere in which case this site would either become ad-based or require subscriptions.

Second: Many of the admins don’t review first time faneditor’s submissions simply because we have other responsibilities to keep the site running. That’s why we enlist the help of reputable men and women within the community to vet first time fanedits. Some may ask why we just don’t let all submissions through. The simple answer to that is because we’re the largest fanedit site and people use our database to find quality fanedits. If we let everything through the amount of edits not worth your time would quickly overpopulate those that are. It’s to ensure edits listed are of the highest quality, are not using bootleg sources, and are edited professionally. The Academy takes the time and their bandwidth to decide if something should be listed so you don’t have to. If they find an edit is not up to snuff then they will provide constructive feedback to an editor on how to improve it.

Third: Since the Academy is volunteer based, what they choose to watch hinges on several factors.  First is interest. Many of us have watched countless Star Wars fanedits over the years, so if you’re submitting a Star Wars fanedit then there’s a good chance it won’t generate much interest unless you’re doing something radically different. We also expect Academy members to adhere to our Own the Source policy as well. If you make an edit of a film and none of the Academy owns it, that will slow down the process.

None of this is to deter first time faneditors from submitting fanedits, but please keep in mind that this is not a commercial site with employees who are paid to run it or approve fanedits. Remember that it’s all done by volunteers, so when you voice your frustration things are taking too long all you’re doing is annoying those you will be relying on to approve your edit. And, on a similar note, this also goes for those that complain we make it too difficult to procure fanedits. Fanedit.org operates in a legal grey area. Because we don’t allow people to share links in the forum or provide links anywhere on the site, and we make sure everyone knows where we stand on selling fanedits as well as the Own the Source rule, we are generally left alone. These things are all in place to safeguard the site from being shut down.

Is this system perfect? Absolutely not. We admit that we’re not thrilled with how long fanedit submissions to the Academy takes, nor do we like how difficult it is to sometimes find fanedits, but if there are better options out there then we haven’t figured it out and no one has offered up a solution. We’ve considered a service fee upon fanedit submission that goes to the Academy member who watches the edit as an incentive but we’re not keen on charging people for a hobby we all love. That is also why we don’t include ads or charge a subscription to the site.

So if you have ideas that would make first time submissions faster and accessing fanedits easier, then by all means let us know and we’ll consider it as long as it’s legal and doesn’t make our jobs more difficult than they already are. Maybe there’s a simple solution we’re missing.