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2009-11-15 06:05:26 -0500

Open Beta - how it's going!

We're now in the second day of Open Beta for the Archive of Our Own! It's been a crazy weekend! Here are a few updates on how it's all going.

First of all, some of you will have noticed that we did experience some site downtime between roughly 6:00 UTC and 7:45 UTC. Sorry about this! The good news is that this was not caused by excessive volume on our servers, but by a bug which caused a server process to hang. Happily this was very easy to fix - the outage only went on so long because it happened to strike at a moment when all our Systems people were unavailable. (Our Systems team are beyond awesome, but they are few in number and sometimes they have to eat and sleep!) We're working on a more permanent fix for this bug.

Our site downtime was a timely reminder that we need a better way to communicate quickly with users when the site goes down. From now on we'll be posting to AO3_Status on Twitter with any status updates. You can subscribe to us on Twitter, follow the RSS feed, or just check the Twitter page directly to stay informed about site status.

That short hiccup aside, things have been going GREAT so far. The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that invitations have been issued a bit faster than the queue estimate suggests. This is because the queue estimates the time your invitation will go out based on the number set to be issued automatically. We've been issuing batches manually to give the process a headstart, and we've actually issued them slightly faster than we planned. This is because even at peak usage times, the servers have been coping really well with the extra load. (As mentioned above, the problems they did experience were caused by a bug, not the usage volume.) We're really happy that we've been able to bring in lots of new users right away!

Depending on how things go in the next 12 hours, we will probably issue one or two more batches of invitations to addresses in the queue manually. After that, batches of invitations will be issued automatically on a daily basis, although we'll be monitoring the site carefully to be sure that everything is as it should be.

A few statistics for your interest:

Number of shareable invitation codes issued to existing account holders: 451
Number of invitations issued to addresses from the queue: 958
Total invitations issued: 1410
Total unused invitations out there: 663

Number of accounts before Open Beta: 347
Number of accounts at present: 1076
Potential number of accounts: 1707
Accounts created during Open Beta: 747
Percent invitation uptake: 62%
Percent increase in accounts: 315%

Number of works before Open Beta: 6598
Number of works at present: 9506
Works created during Open Beta: 2908
Percent increase in works: 144%

Number of fandoms represented before Open Beta: 674
Number of fandoms represented at present: 886
New fandoms created: 212
Percent increase in fandoms: 131%


You can see from the above that the site has already expanded massively! We're over the moon that it is holding up so well, and we're very excited about seeing the variety of fandom represented. Remember, we welcome fans from all corners of fandom. If you don't see your fandom represented in the Archive at the moment, then it just means you might get to be the person to add it! You don't have to wait for us to add a tag for your fandom, just enter it manually and we'll take care of it!

Since the site is still in Beta, there are still bugs floating around and many more improvements planned. We're happy to be receiving lots of feedback through our Support and Feedback form. Our amazing Support team is doing a sterling job responding to the support requests and general feedback that's come through already. So far, we've received 200 support requests and have responded to approximately 150 of them. We've also helped with a few problems in our Support Chatroom. Please feel free to drop in there and chat with us!

You can find more information about the Archive of Our Own and Open Beta under our posts Announcing Open Beta, Open Beta is here! and Archive Open Beta News and FAQs.

This Open Beta launch is the culmination of more than two years of work by a whole host of people: the coders and systems people who built the Archive itself, the host of people managing design and documentation, the dedicated testers who worked out the bugs, those who raised funding and organised volunteers, those who wrote policies and worked out the legal issues, translators, tag wranglers, support people and many many more. It's also the fruit of the amazing support of fandom. We're pleased and proud that it is going so well - thank you to everyone!