AO3 News

Site slowness and other currently known issues

Published: 2013-11-20 14:45:01 -0500

Update December 14, 18:00 UTC: As of this week, all systems should be back to normal. We're still working on optimizing our server settings, so very brief downtimes for maintenance should be expected. If bookmarks still won't sort correctly for you - we're working on a more permanent fix to the underlying issue, but it might be a short while yet. As always, we're keeping an eye on Support tickets and messages to our Twitter account, and will react as quickly as possible if anything seems off. Thank you all for your patience.

Update December 3, 16:00 UTC: We have re-enabled the sort and filter sidebar on work listings only. Bookmark filtering and sorting is still turned off and will likely be off for a few more days. (The filters are the sidebar that allows you to narrow down a list of works or bookmarks by character, rating, etc.) We will continue to work on the underlying issue. In the meantime, we suggest using the Works Search to help find what you’re looking for.

All works and bookmarks should be showing up normally. Work re-indexing is complete, so we hope to be able to turn on filtering for works again in the next day or two.

Bookmark re-indexing is still ongoing, so it will be several days before we can turn bookmark filtering back on.

Please follow the @AO3_Status Twitter feed or check back here for further updates.

Update 2 Dec: Listings for works, bookmarks, tags, and pseuds are unavailable due to issues with our search index. Our coding and systems volunteers are currently looking into it, and we will keep you updated on our progress. Our Support team is working on a back log, so there might be delays in getting back to users individually. Please consider checking the @AO3_Status Twitter feed or our banner alerts instead.

Update 30 Nov: All bookmarks have been re-indexed and should show up correctly again. Any issues that might still be lingering will be sorted out when we upgrade Elasticsearch, which we're planning for mid-December. Downloads should be working without the need for any workarounds now. Thank you for your patience!

The Good

We recently deployed new code, which fixed a couple of very old bugs and introduced improvements to the kudos feature. Behind the scenes, we've been working on setting up new servers and tweaking server settings to make everything run a little more smoothly during peak times. The end of the year (holiday season in many parts of the world) usually means more people with more free time to participate in more challenges, read more fic, or post more fanart, resulting in more site usage.

One way to measure site usage is looking at page views. This number tells us how many pages (a single work, a list of search results, a set of bookmarks in a collection, a user profile, etc. etc.) were served to users during a certain time frame. Some of these pages can contain a lot of information that has to be retrieved from the database - and a lot of information being retrieved from the database at the same time can result in site slowness and server woes. During the first week of January we had 27.6 million page views. As of November 17 we registered 42.9 million page views for the preceeding week.

We've watched our traffic stats grow dramatically over the years, and we've been doing our best to keep up with our users! Buying and installing more servers is one part of the solution, and we can't thank our all-volunteer Systems team enough for all their hard work behind the scenes. On the other hand, our code needs to be constantly reviewed and updated to match new demands.

Writing code that "scales" - that works well even as the site grows - is a complicated and neverending task that requires a thorough understanding of how all parts of the Archive work together, not just right now, but in six months, or a year, or two years. As we're all volunteers who work on the Archive in our free time (or during lunch breaks), and there are only a handful of us with the experience to really dig deep into the code, this is less straightforward than a server acquisition and will take a little more time.

The Bad

As such, we've been battling some site slowness, sudden downtimes (thankfully brief due to our awesome Systems team) and an uptick in error pages. We can only ask for your patience as we investigate likely causes and discuss possible fixes.

For the time being, we have asked our intrepid tag wranglers to refrain from wrangling on Sundays, as this is our busiest day and moving a lot of tags around sadly adds to the strain on the current servers. We sincerely apologize to all wrangling volunteers who have to catch up with new tags on Monday, and to users who might notice delays (e.g. a new fandom tag that's not marked as canonical right away). From what we've seen so far, this move has helped in keeping the site stable on weekends.

The Ugly

We are aware of an issue with seemingly "vanishing" bookmarks, in which the correct number of bookmarks is displayed in the sidebar, but not all are actually shown. The most likely culprit is our search index, powered by a framework called elasticsearch. All our information (work content, tags, bookmarks, users, kudos, etc. etc.) is stored in a database, and elasticsearch provides a quicker, neater access to some of this data. This allows for fast searches, and lets us build lists of works and bookmarks (e.g. by tag) without having to ask the database to give us every single scrap of info each time.

It appears now that elasticsearch has become slightly out of sync with the database. We are looking into possible fixes and are planning an elasticsearch software upgrade; however, we must carefully test it first to assure data safety.

This problem also affects bookmark sorting, which has been broken for several weeks now. We are very sorry! If you want to know if a particular work has been updated, please consider subscribing to the work (look for the "Subscribe" button at the top of the page). This will send you a notification when a new chapter has been posted.

(Note: Since we're sending out a lot of notifications about kudos, comments and subscriptions every day, some email providers are shoving our messages into the junk folder, or outright deny them passage to your account. Please add our email address do-not-reply@archiveofourown.org to your contacts, create a filter to never send our emails to spam, or check the new "Social" tab in Gmail if you're waiting for notifications.)

A problem with file downloads only cropped up fairly recently. We don't think this is related to the most recent deploy, and will investigate possible causes. In the meantime, if a .pdf or .mobi file gives you an error 500, try downloading the HTML version first, then give it another shot. This should help until we've fixed the underlying problem.

What You Can Do

If you have not already done so, consider subscribing to our twitter feed @AO3_Status or following us on Tumblr. You can also visit the AO3 News page for updates in the coming weeks or subscribe to the feed.

We thank everyone who has written in about their experiences, and will keep you all updated on our progress. Thank you for your patience as we work on this!

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Release Notes for Release 0.9.11

Published: 2013-11-17 08:12:20 -0500

Welcome to Release 0.9.11. Elz, Enigel, James_, Lalith, Sarken, Scott, Stephanie, and tuff_ghost contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: Alix Mason, athenejen, Camilla M., Emilie, estirose, JanOda, Lady Oscar, MilenaDaniels, mumble, pocketmouse, Sarken, and Scott.

Highlights!

Changes to the Kudos Button

We are excited to announce that we have revamped the Kudos button to use an approach known as AJAX. Previously, when you clicked the Kudos ♥ button, the entire page had to be reloaded. This was often a considerable amount of data, and fetching it all again from the database put an unnecessary strain on the servers. When clicking on the button now, only the Kudos section will refresh.

(Note: While we were testing the new and improved code, we discovered some existing, but previously unreported, caching issues which prevent guest kudos from showing up correctly in the list unless a logged-in user leaves kudos at a later point. Please bear with us, and rest assured no kudos are lost!)

Home Page Improvements

This release sees the return of the Twitter widget to our home page! You can now get an at-a-glance view of the most recent OTW happenings (as summed up in 140 characters or less). In addition, we have expanded the number of visible AO3 News headlines from one to three, so that exciting announcements aren't overlooked by our eager users!

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Please note that a fix in this release will unfortunately strip out all code comments in any Work or Archive Skins you edit now. We apologize for this, and are working on ways to handle comments in skins better!

Release Details

Updates

  • We have updated our Terms of Service. The language is now consistently gender-neutral and we've added some clarifications about changes our Abuse personnel can make to mislabeled works. Please refer to the newly organized Tags category.

Bug Fixes

  • Collections & Challenges
    • It was possible to set up a prompt meme challenge in such a way that more prompts were required than were allowed, making it impossible for users to sign up. This has been corrected.
    • Those who were not members of a challenge were not previously able to see the prompts requests page, and now are.
    • Editing a work which was already a part of a moderated collection was causing a blue notice to show up saying that the work would have to be approved before showing up in the collection. This erroneous message has been removed.
  • Tags and Wrangling
    • Tags that are synned to a canonical tag didn't have buttons to show their usage on works and bookmarks. We have added those buttons (which will lead to the canonical tag's works or bookmarks).
    • Tags which aren't yet sorted into a category (fandom, character, etc.) can no longer be accidentally marked as unwrangleable.
    • The ticky box to mark a tag as unwrangleable has been physically separated a bit from the 'mark canonical' box, for ease of use.
    • On the comments pages for tags (only visible to wranglers), the pagination links were not working correctly if the tag had a slash or dot in it. We have resolved this issue.
    • Comment notification emails for fandom tag synonyms were not being sent. Emails are now correctly generated.
    • The default order for the mass-wrangle "bins" has been changed to show tags sorted by date in ascending order.
    • When using filters to show fandoms by their wranglers, the filter preference was being lost if you changed any of the assignments. This filter preference now persists through button usage.
  • Works
    • Editing a recently posted work and then posting without preview would cause that work to be bumped back to the top of work lists, e.g. for a fandom tag. This has been corrected.
    • Creating a draft chapter on an already published work was causing that work's 'updated at' information to change, bumping it back to the top of work lists. We have fixed this error.
    • The automatic text about related works, inspiring works, inspirational works, etc. was failing to show up correctly in some cases. We have reworked this section of the code, so all relevant information should now be displayed at all times.
    • The notice that a work is a translation will now only show at the top of a work, as intended, instead of both the top and the bottom.
    • When viewing a work (e.g. a remix) inspired by a "restricted" work while logged out, you will now no longer see the name of the remixed work or a link to it. Instead you will be told that the work is restricted (locked to account holders), and that you need to log in to view it.
    • When pressing the button to create a new work skin you were taken to the 'New Skin' form, but the form by default was set to create a site skin rather than a work skin. The correct preference now loads when you open the page, and persists through error messages (e.g. a missing skin title).
  • Miscellaneous
    • Previously, when any site admin deleted a work, an email was generated informing the work owner that the action was taken by the Abuse committee. The text of the email has been changed to qualify that the deletion may have occurred in the course of an archive import managed by Open Doors.
    • Filtering one's inbox and then using one of the management buttons (Mark Read, etc.) was causing the previous filter options to disappear. Filter preferences now persist when clicking the various Inbox buttons.
    • The radio buttons on the Inbox filters section were previously misaligned, but have now been fixed.
    • The Twitter widget has been returned to the front page!
    • The headlines for the three most recent news posts will show up on the homepage (instead of just one).
    • The header and main navigation were hidden from anyone viewing the Archive with Internet Explorer 7. While we no longer support IE7, we did at the time the header was designed, so we have fixed this issue, which was caused by differences between the live Archive and our testing environment.
    • We have added a mechanism to the Support form to prevent multiple copies of the same request from being submitted.
    • Our internal CSS Sanitizer was being inconsistent in allowing certain browser-specific prefixes. This has been corrected. Additionally, we fixed a bug that would erroneously add the #workskin prefix, and you can now target the #workskin container directly (e.g. to apply a background color).
    • Previously, when you left a Kudos the entire page was forced to reload. We have fixed it so only the 'Kudos' section of the page refreshes.

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Banner by Diane saying 'Welcome to the AO3: Stargatefan joins the archive!' with the stargate serving as the O in AO3

In this post:

Background explanation

Open Doors is pleased to welcome StargateFan, a gen Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis archive, to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In its new home, StargateFan will be a separate, searchable collection with its own identity for all of the fan fiction, fan art, and fan comics housed on the current archive. We will begin manually importing works from StargateFan to the AO3 collection in December 2013.

What does this mean for creators who have work on StargateFan?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your StargateFan works there, please contact Open Doors with your StargateFan pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (We can also e-mail you instructions for mass-adding works to the new collection here on the AO3.)

2. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your StargateFan pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (We can e-mail further instructions for importing stories and adding them to the new collection here on the AO3.)

3. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your StargateFan pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (If you would not mind them being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too—we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.)

All works imported on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with their name in the summary of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with 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 3 months, unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your StargateFan 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 fantastic; if not, we will work with the StargateFan mod to confirm your claims.)

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We're also planning to hold two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses): *November 13, from 02:00UTC to 0:500UTC*, and *November 23, from 20:00UTC to 23:00UTC* (click the links to see when the chats are held in your timezone). You can access OTW's public discussion chatroom using this link.

Anyone with questions about the process is welcome to join the Open Doors team at those chats, and we’ll do our best to answer you. We'd also love it if fans could stop by to reminisce and help us preserve the story of StargateFan and on Fanlore--no wiki editing skills needed! Of course, if you would like to edit on your own, your contributions would be very welcome. <3 (New to wiki editing? No worries, just visit this page.)

We're excited to be able to help preserve StargateFan!

- The Open Doors team

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

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October 2013 Newsletter, Volume 74

Published: 2013-11-02 20:09:57 -0400

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

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

I. LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS

The OTW is finishing its recruitment efforts for 2013 and several committees were looking for new volunteers. Abuse had around 350 tickets come in this month. They're seeking people who can keep in close contact, be patient in rephrasing explanations, translate from fan-speak to English, make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it’s needed.

Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is working with Wiki to recruit a designer to work on Fanlore. Web was also busy with an October release which fixed bugs that were causing errors on the OTW’s contact forms. They also tidied up the theme on the news tags pages, and applied a security patch to CiviCRM. Thanks to Bonnie for implementing the security patch.

Translation is also making a call, so check out our volunteering page!

II. THANKS FROM LEGAL

In the past, our Legal Committee’s updates have often begun with a cheerful “still not sued!” This month, we are especially pleased that we can use the opener, since we received a legal threat from an entity that has developed a reputation for suing those it threatens. Legal mobilized to send a response and, at least for now, we have not been sued.

Legal also solicited people’s stories about their experiences for a couple of projects that they’re working on. One will be a legal brief we expect will be filed in U.S. Federal Court; another will be formal comments that we expect to submit to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce). Those projects are still underway.

The process of soliciting comments has been very moving and meaningful for the committee; although of course we never had any doubt that this was the case, the stories Legal received have reinforced our knowledge that the opportunity to create and consume fanworks has made an incalculable difference in people’s lives. We received report after report from people whose lives were improved, and sometimes literally saved, by participation in fandom; whose careers blossomed from their interaction with fanworks; and other similarly powerful stories. Fandom, it comes as no surprise, not only transforms works, but also in many cases, transforms lives. We appreciate everyone who sent in a story.

III. AROUND THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed Release 0.9.10 to the Archive this month, which consisted mostly of bug fixes. They are now getting ready to deploy 0.9.11, which will fix some tag wrangling bugs and bring back the "Latest Tweets" widget to the homepage. Many thanks to the wrangling staff and volunteers who helped with testing! The deploy after that will include a new feature for offering FAQs in non-English languages.

AD&T has welcomed two new coding volunteers and is hoping to open recruitment again in January. They'll be working towards improved coding environments in the meantime.

Category Change began a second round of feedback for fandom categories on AO3. This concluded at the end of the month, and they will now be evaluating the new comments.

Open Doors has been continuing to work with several mods on a few manual importing projects. Nearly all works in The Good Omens Library have been imported, and they held two open house chats with the GSSU (German Speaking Slashers United) mod in preparation for importing its works to the AO3 beginning in November. They're also working with the mod of StargateFan to begin outreach and import preparations for that archive. Relatedly, Open Doors met with AD&T to discuss possible fixes in the next deploy.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Development & Membership: DevMem would like to thank everyone who assisted with or contributed to the October membership drive. The drive ran from October 1-7 and raised more than US$44,000 in support of OTW projects. (See their drive wrap-up post for more details.) Additional donations since the drive ended have brought our fundraising total for October to more than US$50,000.

All of the premiums from donations made during the drive have been shipped; premiums requested Oct. 8 and later will be shipped in our regularly scheduled monthly batch at the beginning of November.

Since the drive ended, DevMem has been working on a promotion with Smart Pop Books, publisher of the upcoming book Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, edited by Anne Jamison. OTW supporters who are interested in buying the book can order it through a special referrer link and Smart Pop will donate a percentage of the proceeds to OTW.

Board continues to work on Project Document All the Things, their project to build, update, and review many pieces of documentation about how the Board functions and how it interacts with the rest of the OTW. They've completed rough drafts of all the documents in Phase 1 of the project and several of them are in various stages of internal feedback collection.

Board has also been preparing for their first-ever in-person Board meeting, which will be held October 31-November 4 in Berkeley, California. They'll be hosting an OTW meetup in Berkeley on November 3, and anyone is welcome to join us for snacks, giveaways, and conversation with fellow fans and OTW supporters.

In Elections news, no candidates have come forward to run for seats on next year's Board, so they are currently in the process of deciding on how to proceed with filling the seats of those whose terms will be ending this year. Possibilities include further extending the candidacy deadline, filling the seats by appointment, or another solution. There will be a more detailed announcement on this topic in the near future.

Strategic Planning has been researching and putting together survey and interview questions for Development & Membership, Communications, and Abuse Committees and has contacted their chairs to discuss the schedule for the strategic planning process. StratPlan has also been drafting reports for the Grants Workgroup and the Support Committee. The Survey Workgroup report is now under Board review, and the Systems Committee report has been reviewed by the committee chair and is ready to be sent to Board next. The Wiki report is currently under review by the committee.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Our Volunteers & Recruiting folks have been busy in past months as committees have been rolling out the carpet for new volunteers and we appreciate all their work, as well as the work of new and departing volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Natalie (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
New Committee Staff: Karen Johnson (Systems), Nikibee (Support), levade (Support), Cece (Volunteers & Recruiting), 1 Open Doors Staffer, 2 Support Staffers, 1 Strategic Planning Staffer
New Coder Volunteers: 2
New Strategic Planning Volunteers: Natalie
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Ayumi, Beeblebrox, CrossingOver, dreammoon, Em King, Eugecapisce, Fatma Bahr, JennlaFleur, Juliane, Kalli,Medicinal-Outburst, Meimeime, picht, ragingrainbow, riknata, Sarah Bigelow, thefrogg, Waywren Truesong, Whittyrabbit, Wisher112, Yuuhy, yz, ziema

Departing Committee Chairs: sunusn (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
Departing Committee Staff: Natalie (Strategic Planning), 3 Web Strategy, Design & Development staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

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Buy a book and support the OTW!

Published: 2013-10-30 15:21:43 -0400

Looking for something new to read? Want to support the OTW? Here's a way to do both!

Cover of the book 'Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World'

Smart Pop Books is the publisher of Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World , a new book edited by Anne Jamison and featuring contributions from several current and former OTW staff members, including an essay about the Archive of Our Own.

From now through December 31, if you order the book from Amazon through this referral link, Smart Pop will donate a percentage of the proceeds to OTW. They have generously offered to double Amazon's usual affiliate rate, which ranges from 6-8% depending on sale volume, so OTW will receive 12-16% per book.

From the book's summary:

Fic is a groundbreaking exploration of the history and culture of fan writing and what it means for the way we think about reading, writing, and authorship. It’s a story about literature, community, and technology — about what stories are being told, who’s telling them, how, and why.

With provocative discussions from both professional and fan writers, on subjects from Star Trek to The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Harry Potter, Twilight, and beyond, Fic sheds light on the widely misunderstood world(s) of fanfiction — not only how fanfiction is transforming the literary landscape, but how it already has.

Here's the referral link again. Thank you to Smart Pop Books and Anne Jamison for this opportunity, and as always, thank you for supporting the OTW. Happy reading!

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

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Recruiting for Abuse, Translation, and Fanlore

Published: 2013-10-28 12:23:31 -0400

Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:
  • Abuse Committee Staff
  • Wiki Committee Staff
  • Wiki Committee Design Specialist
  • Translation volunteers

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ. Abuse Committee Staff
The Abuse Committee is dedicated to helping users deal with the various situations that may arise. We also handle any complaints that come in about content uploaded to the Archive of Our Own. The team determines if complaints are about legitimate violations of the Terms of Service, and what to do about them if they are; our major goals are to adhere to the TOS, to make our reasoning and processes as clear and transparent as possible, and to keep every individual case completely confidential. We work closely with other AO3 related committees such as Support and Content.

We are seeking people who can keep in close contact, be patient in rephrasing explanations, translate from fan-speak to English, make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it's needed. Staffers need to be able to handle complex and sometimes-disturbing content, and must be able to commit a sufficient amount of time to the team on a regular basis.

Applications are due 4th of November 2013.

Wiki Committee Staff
The Wiki Committee supervises Fanlore: we provide direction, write policies and help documents, promote the wiki, organise and support Gardeners, communicate with users, and keep the site running. We handle requests for support and complaints from users and do our best to help the Fanlore community grow.

If you like Fanlore and are interested in helping the site improve, you could consider joining the Wiki committee.

Applications are due 4th of November 2013.

Wiki Committee Design Specialist
The current design and skin for the fannish wiki Fanlore is partly a byproduct of other processes and considerations and we'd like to improve it. Our main concerns are usability and accessibility, but ideally it should be pretty, too. If you have experience with front-end web development and Web design and are interested in Fanlore, we'd be happy to have your help with this project.

Applications are due 4th of November 2013.

Translation volunteers
Translators and translation betas help make the OTW and its projects accessible to a wider international audience. We work on translating all sorts of content throughout the OTW and its projects: site pages, news posts, Archive FAQs, AO3 Support tickets, and any inquiry that reaches a committee or volunteer group in languages they can’t translate themselves. Most of our work consists of translations from English to another language, though we also need to do the reverse on some occasions.

If you are proficient in one language (or more!) other than English, if you enjoy working collaboratively, if you like having flexible deadlines that you set yourself, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help it reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

Applications are due 4th of November 2013.

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

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Feedback for Comics Categories

Published: 2013-10-22 17:45:29 -0400

Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

The AO3 Category Change workgroup comes seeking your opinion again!

After analyzing the past round of feedback, we want to address what we believe was the most contentious point: how to organize the Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art subcategories.

We are now proposing this scheme:

  • Animated Films
  • Anime & Manga
  • English-language Comics and Graphic Novels
  • English-language Animated Series and Cartoons
  • Webcomics & Animated Webseries

In our broad categorization system, a top category that holds all animation and comics is logical, especially since we have a Live Action top category as well. However, having a subcategory that holds all comics and animation, regardless of nationality, is against common fannish practice, and having some internal divisions should be helpful for browsing.

The general pattern of the feedback we have received indicates anime and manga fans generally believe there is a strong link between manga and anime and that they should not be separated. But there is not such a strong link between comics and animation, since while adaptations exist, fans usually consider them separate incarnations. While Anime & Manga cannot be separated, Comics and Animation should be. This, alongside common fannish practice, is one of the reasons we have decided to split Anime & Manga off into its own subcategory.

However, without a name that does not clearly state that anime & manga are not included, both the 'Animated Series' and 'Comics & Graphic Novels' subcategories were confusing (for example, one might wonder why anime series weren’t in ‘Animated Series’). English-language Comics, Graphic Novels and Cartoons are the majority of fandoms in this category - aside from Anime & Manga - so we have decided to create those subcategories and to make the language division explicit in the subcategory name.

Comics and animated series that do not fit in the subcategories will be in the top category. Other subcategories – such as Manhwa and Bande Dessinée – might be created in the future, if there are enough fandoms to warrant it.

We want your feedback on this matter. Please leave a comment on this post or contact us through the Category Change Workgroup contact form.

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The "Search Within Results" Field and You: The Round-Up

Published: 2013-10-22 15:11:28 -0400

This concludes our little series in advanced searching and browsing! As always, all the tricks and little hacks mentioned here are very much optional. Simply clicking your way through the Archive tags and playing around with the existing filter options will already give you what you're looking for in the vast majority of cases.

For those wanting to build more complicated searches, here's all information in handy list format:

A friendly note to fanwork creators:

As we've said before, you are free to use whatever tags you wish on the Archive. However! Descriptive tags, common concepts that people might want to search and filter for, and a work blurb that is easy to scan when scrolling down a list of works - these will help other users find (and then read, watch, look at, or listen to) your stuff.

For inspiration, you can search through all existing tags by character name, keyword, or phrase. Tick the "Canonical" ticky to only see tags that will show up in the filters! Examples:

Clicking on a tag (e.g. Ichabod Crane/Abbie Mills) will show you how it relates to other tags on the Archive.

Happy tagging!

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