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2010-04-06 17:11:39 -0400

The Archive of Our Own entered Open Beta in November 2009; in the six months since we've had 18 code releases and have seen 5929 users, 5031 fandoms and 64347 new works added to the Archive. \0/ We've had a bunch of new features, big and small, and have made big improvements in performance, cross-browser compatibility and accessibility. We still have some big features to roll out, but now the first rush is over, we're planning further ahead. One of the key things we're thinking about for our longer-term planning is opening up the Archive to fanart and other media, and we're looking for ideas from artists!

Fanartists - what features would you like in your ideal archive? We want to know:

  • If we were to replace the story box with an upload tool, would that do most of what you want, or are there other things you need?
  • What sites would you like to be able to import from automatically, and how should a multi-upload tool work?
  • What types of art would you want to host on the Archive? What special requirements would these have?
  • What things about the existing interface would work well for you, and what would you need to see changed / added?
  • What are your DREAMS? Whether you've seen a cool feature on another Archive, or it's something you're not even sure is possible, we want to hear from you.

Hosting fanart and (eventually) fanvids has always been an important part of the plan for the Archive, but up until now we've focused on building the text-based aspects of the site because, well, we had to learn to walk before we could run! Hosting other media represents a much bigger technical challenge, as well as additional legal complexity, and actually hosting fanart on the Archive itself is still some way off (we need to learn a LOT more about performance). In the meantime, though, it's really important to us to make the Archive a more welcoming place for the whole fannish community, and we want to make sure that our design and development is working towards a truly inclusive site. So - tell us your dreams! We'll work to make them a reality (and if you'd like to help in that work, we always welcome volunteers).