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Published:
2017-11-10 11:24:30 -0500
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Raquel E. who volunteers as a translator.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I’m a beta reader and translator for the OTW European Portuguese team. The Translation Committee focuses on making content accessible to non-English speaking fans; that’s our main goal and includes working on news posts and notices. We also collaborate on work that committees do, such as with AO3 Abuse, Tag Wrangling and Support. We’re a multitasking bunch. I also volunteer for the Support roster and evaluate samples from people who apply to volunteer with the European Portuguese team.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I don’t really have a routine. Is that bad to admit? Our European Portuguese team works very hard to go through the amount of content, and I must say we do it quite nicely. We’re handed tasks as they come, and even though sometimes it’s hard to come together as a group because of our different routines, we get by because we get along well :)

What sorts of OTW content have you worked on?

I’ve worked on all sorts of content, since we translate documents related to every OTW project!

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

For me, it’s how rewarding volunteering is. Not only do I have a blast learning new things while translating all manners of documents -- be it legal, news posts or FAQs -- I also feel happy and fulfilled knowing my small contribution is helping other people by making our content accessible to them. I believe the mission of the OTW is an important one and being part of it is a blessing.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I’m going to be very predictable and go with ‘I read a lot of fanfic’! Even before I volunteered, I was already religiously using AO3 to bookmark my favourite fics. Besides reading it, I also write it sometimes, along with meta (mostly about Mass Effect and Dragon Age). I blog a lot on Tumblr, and I run a fan blog focused on Mass Effect. I also adore beta reading any fanfiction my friends send my way, and I love discussing plot ideas with them. My favourite thing in the world is talking about my favourite videogames and any assorted nerdery I happen to be into.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages

I. MEMBERSHIP DRIVE SUCCESS!

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) recently held its October 2017 membership drive, run by the Development & Membership committee with help from Communications, Translation, Webs, and more. During this drive, we beat our goal of US$115,000, raising over US$137,000 from over 5,500 individual donations representing more than 70 countries. To break that down a little more: 2,733 donations were from first-time donors, 1,243 new members are eligible to vote in next year’s OTW Board election, and we will be shipping out 110 thank-you gifts in the next month!

Thank you to everyone who donated and signal boosted. Your support means so much to us. And if you missed the drive, don't worry, we accept donations at any time, and thank you gifts are always available.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology had a busy October. First, AO3 switched to default to secure browsing (HTTPS), but then experienced some issues with server load during peak times, so the default was set back to HTTP. It's still possible to browse AO3 in HTTPS when following secure links or using a browser add-on, if you prefer that.

When the new front-end servers (coming soon!) are installed, HTTPS will be the default protocol for good. Users who use audio or video players in their works (to post podfics or fanvids) are encouraged to read up on multimedia embeds and secure browsing to learn how this change will affect them.

Another issue that Accessibility, Design & Technology tackled in October is spammers who were creating bogus works and collections on AO3 to link to their fare. They've become highly adept at using Archive features, and they've been flooding the invitation queue with throwaway email addresses to create new accounts. As a short-term measure, the invitation queue was turned off to relieve some of the burden on the Abuse committee, and to allow for time to discuss and implement a solution to prevent the worst spam attacks.

The Open Doors committee was also busy in October, completing imports of The Collators’ Den and the fanfiction section of Unknowable Room. Import announcements were also made for West Wing Fanfiction Central, MTAC, and Firefly’s Glow.

In other Archive-related news, AO3 Documentation updated the Skins and Archive Interface FAQ, for those who prefer customizing the look of AO3 and of their works.

Lastly, Support received roughly 1600 tickets in October, and Abuse received over 1000 tickets.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY AND FANNISH ACADEMIA

Great news from the Legal committee! In response to the OTW’s petition, the U.S. Copyright Office has renewed the "vidder’s exemption" that permits vidders and other makers of noncommercial remix video to decrypt clips from DVDs, Blu-Rays, and online sources to make fair use of them without violating the "anti-circumvention" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Legal also filed petitions to clarify and broaden the existing exemptions for remix video and multimedia e-books, and will continue working on supporting those. Stay tuned—not only will there be progress updates in the months to come, but there will also be a request for your stories to help make arguments in favor of those clarifications and expansions!

TWC is also requesting your input. There are two new calls for papers out for upcoming issues of Transformative Works and Cultures. One is for an issue on Fan Studies Methodologies, and the other is for an issue on Fanfiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures. Submission guidelines and due dates are available at the links.

IV. GOVERNANCE

OTW's Board welcomed three new board members, who officially started October 1, and said goodbye to Alex, Aline and Katarina, whose terms have now finished. Thank you to the departing Directors for your service.

Finance issued an update on the OTW's 2017 budget this month. Thanks to everyone who attended the open chat on October 15th to ask questions. Meanwhile, preparations also continue for the first audit of the OTW's financial statements, which we expect to see happen annually from now on.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 27th of October, the OTW has 714 volunteers. \o/

Recent personnel movements completed by Volunteers & Recruiting are listed below:

New Committee Staff: Jess Hindes (Communications), 2 Communications staffers, 1 Translation staffer, ironysupplement (Systems), 1 other Systems staffer, AliceandJane (Abuse), guro (Abuse), 1 other Abuse staffer
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: li-sus, batgirlSwrite, and Kyubey Kotone
New Translator Volunteers: alive, nyxmidnight
Departing Directors: Alex Tischer, Aline Carrão, Katarina Harju
Departing Committee Chairs: Mahewa (Elections)
Departing Committee Staff: Minx (AO3 Documentation), JessicaLovesSocks2658 (Abuse and AO3 Documentation), Supergreak (Tag Wrangling), Morgan (Tag Wrangling) & 2 other Tag Wrangling staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4 Tag Wrangling volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: HLITH, Chiralivity, and Jessica Park

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Glass Onion banner

Glass Onion, a multi-fandom fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

Glass Onion, a multi-fandom fanfiction archive, was founded by Sophia Jirafe and Jintian in 2001. The archive, now maintained by alice ttlg, is moving to AO3 so that it can be available to the widest possible audience for the longest possible time, no longer reliant solely on one person to maintain the server and archive website.

Open Doors will be working with alice ttlg to import Glass Onion into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. We will begin importing works from Glass Onion to the AO3 after November.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on Glass Onion?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

Please contact Open Doors with your Glass Onion pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Glass Onion account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the Glass Onion mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Glass Onion on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Glass Onion!

- The Open Doors team and alice ttlg

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Last weekend, we had to disable new invitation requests to address an influx of accounts flooding the Archive with spam works. While our Abuse team has been banning these accounts and deleting thousands of spam works, the problem persists and would most likely get worse if we sent out invitations again.

We have decided to keep the invitation queue closed for the time being while we take steps to prevent spam from being posted in the first place. This means you will not be able to create an account unless you have previously received an invitation from either a friend or our automated queue. (If you requested an invitation before October 22 and have not received it, please check your spam folder and, if you use Gmail, your "Social" tab. If you are still unable to find your invitation, you can contact Support with your specific request.)

We very much regret denying invitations to legitimate users, but as the amount of spam being posted is affecting everyone's user experience, we currently see no other way to address the problem.

We will reopen invitation requests as soon as we can, although we do not have an estimated date at this time. When requests have been reenabled, the "Get Invited!" link will return to the homepage, and the Invitation Requests page will include a form to add yourself to waiting list. (The option to request invite codes for friends has been disabled since the last spam wave, and we have no plans to bring it back in the foreseeable future.)

Any updates will be provided on this post and our @AO3_Status Twitter account. For more information on the Archive's invitation system, refer to our Invitations FAQ.

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Firefly’s Glow banner

Firefly’s Glow, a Firefly fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3). In this post:

Background explanation

Firefly's Glow, is a Firefly fanfiction archive founded by alice ttlg in 2002. It is moving to AO3 so that it can be available to the widest possible audience for the longest possible time, no longer reliant solely on one person to maintain the server and archive website. The collection on AO3 will be open to new Firefly stories. Open Doors will be working with alice ttlg to import Firefly’s Glow into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. We will begin importing works from Firefly’s Glow to the AO3 after October.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on Firefly’s Glow?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work. All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. Please contact Open Doors with your Firefly’s Glow pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Firefly’s Glow account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the Firefly’s Glow mod to confirm your claims.) Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee. We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Firefly’s Glow on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips. We're excited to be able to help preserve Firefly’s Glow! - The Open Doors team and alice ttlg

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We're currently experiencing an influx of spammers who have been creating bogus works and collections to link to their fare. They've become highly adept at using Archive features, and they've been flooding our invite queue with throwaway email addresses to create new accounts. This keeps our Abuse team busy around the clock, deleting spam works as they pop up and trying to weed out obvious spam email addresses before invites are sent out every day. It also prolongs the wait time for everyone else who wants to join the Archive. Our wait list is inching ever closer to 20,000, meaning legitimate users have to wait almost three weeks to receive an invitation email.

As a short-term measure, we've decided to turn off the invite queue for a week, so we can relieve some of the burden on our Abuse team, discuss technical solutions to the problem, and implement a quick fix or two to help with the worst attacks.

If you are a current user, you can check your Invitations page to see if you have any old invites waiting to be sent to a friend or fellow fan.

We are sorry for the long wait times, and we're doing our best to come back soon and get invites out quicker to those currently waiting!

Update on October 23, 11:23 UTC: People who are currently waiting for an invitation should still receive an email while the queue is under review. If you think you should have received an invitation, please wait another day or two, check your spam folder or "Social" tab in Gmail, and use our look-up tool to see if you're still in the queue. If you're sure you should have received an invitation and didn't, you can contact our Support team.

Update on October 30, 23:08 UTC: Please refer to our post "Update: Invitation requests remain disabled for the time being" for the latest information regarding invitations.

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Published:
2017-10-21 17:43:04 -0400
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We recently fixed MOBI downloads on Kindle, solved some miscellaneous bugs, and cleaned up some code around the site.

Credits

  • Coders: Elz, cosette, james_, redsummernight, Sarken, ticking instant
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Elz, james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Aline, bingeling, Lady Oscar, redsummernight

Details

Works & Comments

  • [AO3-5202] - MOBI downloads were suddenly failing on Kindle devices, due to a tiny little typo that had slipped into our code unnoticed. Now that we've noticed it, you should be able to download MOBI files again.
  • [AO3-5199] - On October 5, we had to temporarily disable downloads when we mysteriously ran out of disk space. It turned out that was because our clean-up code was broken and we weren't deleting HTML files after generating them. We've fixed that.
  • [AO3-1259] - The option to remove yourself as the co-creator of a chapter was buried on the page for reordering a work's chapters. Now it's also in a much more sensible location: the chapter edit page. (And as a bonus, when you remove yourself as a co-creator, the byline on the chapter will actually update now!)
  • [AO3-5197] - Works with no content at all (near impossible to create, but sometimes databases do weird things) were causing word count errors, since the counter wasn't prepared for having nothing to count. It just counts to 0 now.
  • [AO3-5125] - We've added a Rake task to map imported works to their counterparts on the original archives. Now if we host the original domain, individual work links from the original site will redirect to the copy of the work on AO3, as they should.
  • [AO3-177] - Comments marked as spam were counted toward the total number of comments, even though they were hidden from view. We've made sure that wherever a comment count shows up, it now displays the number without spam.

Skins & Frontend

  • [AO3-4376] - We had CSS-related documentation in a few different places, laying out information for creating your own skins to style the Archive or the content of works. This information is now all in one place.
  • [AO3-4840] - Archive skins created with our Skin Wizard didn't properly style the Reindex Work button (visible to wranglers). Now they do!
  • [AO3-5183] - The admin page for approved site skins was timing out, so we made a small performance tweak and now it's greased lightning.
  • [AO3-4658] - The login page looked wonky on small screens and made it harder to log in on mobile devices. It's all pretty now!

Misc.

  • [AO3-5201] - When accessing the Archive through our HTTP option (relevant when we switch to a secure default protocol for good), it was impossible to submit a page from the insecure.archiveofourown.org domain to Abuse. Now it is!
  • [AO3-4976] - In autocomplete fields, tags with ampersands (e.g. "Abbi & Ilana") would sometimes show up with a semicolon after the &, which looked untidy. We've tidied that up!
  • [AO3-4004] - Trying to use the tab button to navigate from certain autocomplete fields after entering a tag would jump you back to the top of the page in some browsers. You should now be able to reach the correct field.
  • [AO3-5082] - The test for removing oneself as a co-creator of a work or series would fail sometimes (but not always), making the test not very helpful. That's fixed now.
  • [AO3-5173] - There was some unused code lingering from a feature we had previously removed. It lingers no more.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, October 12-18, 2017

As our October 2017 fundraising drive comes to an end, we at the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) would like to thank each and every one of you who donated or spread the word. You've helped our projects grow stronger, and we couldn't be more grateful! We would also like to recognize the tireless efforts of all the volunteers who work behind the scenes to make these drives and all of the organization's work possible.

During this drive, we raised over US$137,000 from over 5500 individual donations representing more than 70 countries. To break that down a little more: 2,733 donations were from first-time donors, 1,243 new members are eligible to vote in next year's OTW Board election, and we will be shipping out 110 thank-you gifts in the next month!

Over the past week, you've received updated information regarding our budget, checked out a timeline of major events in OTW history, and been given a glimpse into our plans for the future. The OTW has been serving the interests of fans for ten years now, and we hope to continue that work and improve our projects and services in years to come. Keep an eye on our news outlets for information on how you can help us pursue that goal.

Once again, we'd like to express our incredible gratitude to everyone who helps to make this organization successful: thank you!

(Don't forget: although the drive has ended, we do accept donations year round.)


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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