AO3 News

AO3 Mail Bag: PM Feature

Published: 2013-12-31 20:51:21 -0500

Random Letter #2: How can I contact other users? Do you have a PM feature?

This is a question we get asked a lot, and we're always sorry to say that no, you can't message someone privately on the Archive yet. The feature is listed on our Roadmap, but it'll be a while yet before we can offer PMs.

On the one hand, we want to carefully consider how the new messages would fit into the current inbox layout and which features are needed right from the start to ensure user privacy and prevent abuse. We also need to optimize our mail server settings and code to handle even more emails (we currently send out around 880,000 emails per week) without getting blocked by spam filters.

On the other hand, we want to sit down with our Abuse and Support teams to come up with rules and policies to handle, for example, reports of harassment through private messages. We will also draw on their expertise in designing the feature, as they are the ones who most interact with our users.

Until we have built-in messaging, we recommend including some kind of contact information in your profile (the link to a user's profile can be found right at the top of the Dashboard / Works / Bookmarks / Gifts etc. links at the left):

If you're logged in and looking at your own profile, you will see a "Edit My Profile" button at the bottom. Once clicked, you can add links and information to your "About Me" section: your Twitter account, your Tumblr, your Dreamwidth, or anything else you feel comfortable sharing. Keep in mind that this information will be visible to everyone, not just logged-in AO3 users.

If you have any more questions, let us know via a Support ticket!

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Release Notes for Release 0.9.12

Published: 2013-12-21 09:00:28 -0500

Welcome to Release 0.9.12! Cecilia, Elz, Emily E., Enigel, James_, Karangunii, Sarken, Scott, Stephanie, and tuff_ghost, contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: Camilla, Enigel, JanOda, Lady Oscar, MilenaDaniels, mumble, Runt, Sarken, and Sumeria.

This is our last deploy of this year, and we sincerely thank everyone who contributed to this or previous releases, in whatever small or big ways. Every line of code, every minute of testing, every supportive cheer helps this project prosper.

A look back at growth stats for this year will be posted in January, for all fans of hard data and color-coded charts. The Accessibility, Design & Technology team will take a short break over the holidays, but will stand by for any emergencies. We have big plans for 2014 and will share any news with you as we start new adventures. See you next year!

Highlights!

Backend improvements and server work

We've had an interesting couple of months, with growing traffic and increased server load, eventually leading to a collapse of our search index. You can find details about this in our updated news post, Site slowness and other currently known issues. We've been doing a lot of server maintenance in the past few weeks to tweak things, correct some settings, and generally make sure that the site will be running more smoothly. A million thanks to our all-volunteer Systems team, and especially sysadmin James_, for all their hard work! ♥

One issue we've consistently run into is with the code that refreshes the search index for works and bookmarks. This happens, for example, when a tag is edited by our wrangling team to reflect a new tag relationship or a new character name. Since we have a lot of works and bookmarks, updating the index to reflect all changes was taking a lot of time. More often than not, one re-index run wasn't even done when a new one was started.

This deploy includes a code change in how we handle these re-indexing tasks. They are now run by a tool called Resque, which we already use for many other tasks on the site that involve a queue (e.g. all subscription notifications going out at a certain time). This change allows us to monitor the re-indexing process and throw more power at it if necessary.

We are hopeful that this change will alleviate some of our problems during the traffic-heavy holidays, but we will also continue to look into further improvements both in our code as well as our server settings.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Release Details

Bug fixes

  • Works & Bookmarks
    • Work and bookmark re-indexing is now being queued and run in the background using Resque, making it more robust and less of a strain on the servers.
    • Backdating wasn't working correctly when posting a work without previewing first. This has now been fixed.
    • Unposted drafts (created when previewing) had no revision date, causing errors in several places on the Archive, such as item management pages for collections. We fixed this recently, and are making the fix permanent now.
    • The "Works (#)" button on user dashboards (below the five most recent works) had accidentally vanished in a previous deploy. We have now restored it and also added "Works (#)" and "Bookmarks (#)" buttons to collection dashboards for consistency.
    • The "↑ Top" button on a work page was forcing a full page refresh; it now just jumps you back to the top of the work as intended.
    • The gifts page now displays gifts a user has received in order from most recent to oldest.
    • Searches with slashes in them (i.e. all relationship tags) were giving Error 500 after a recent Elasticsearch update. We fixed this problem shortly after being alerted to it; this deploy makes the fix permanent.
  • Downloads
    • PDF and MOBI downloads were broken; we quickly fixed them after the last deploy and are making the fix permanent in this one.
    • Trying to download a MOBI file directly from a Kindle device would frequently lead to errors; we have changed the MIME type of our MOBI files so the Kindle browser can handle it correctly. (Due to another issue, multi-chapter works may need to be downloaded twice to get a functioning file.)
  • Tag Wrangling
    • If a tag wrangler ticked the "Turn off emails about comments" option in their account preferences, they would also no longer receive comment notifications from tag discussions. They will now always receive such comments.
    • Updating an unsorted tag from a page other than the first would redirect you back to page 1; this no longer happens.
    • There was a small display issue with autocomplete fields on tag editing pages; this is now fixed.
  • Misc.
    • The account creation page advised newly signed-up users to contact Support if the activation email hadn't arrived within two hours. We adjusted the time to 24 hours to account for clogged mail queues or issues with some email providers, which are delaying email delivery.
    • Our maintenance page (sometimes used for downtime during a deploy) was promising new features after the downtime; this wasn't always true, so we removed the line.
    • On our Invite Requests page, we were only displaying the number of people already in the queue. We have added the number of invites we automatically send out every day, which currently makes for a wait time of 24 hours or less.
    • On our Public Skins page, the skin descriptions were frequently one unbroken line, forcing sideways scrolling. In user inboxes, comments containing long unbroken words were also breaking the page. We have now added a fix that forces linebreaks. (In some browsers the lines won't be wrapped in the inbox; in that case a scrollbar at the bottom of the comment list should make it possible to read anyway.)

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Ways to support the OTW this December

Published: 2013-12-05 19:07:10 -0500

2013 is almost over, and all of us at the OTW are grateful for the tremendous support shown by our members and donors this year. If you've been thinking about donating to the OTW but haven't done so yet, you may want to take a look at your finances and see whether it would be to your benefit to do so before December 31. Donations to the OTW are tax deductible in the United States. And if you're employed, please find out if your employer offers matching donations! Every dollar you give could be worth two dollars to the OTW.

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

Another way to support the OTW this month is through our ongoing promotion with Smart Pop Books, publisher of Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World . Edited by Anne Jamison and featuring contributions from several current and former OTW staff members, this book would make a great holiday gift for a fellow fan! 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 the OTW. They have generously offered to double Amazon's usual affiliate rate, which ranges from 6-8% depending on sale volume, so the OTW will receive 12-16% per book. This promotion applies to both the paperback and Kindle editions.

We'd like to thank everyone who's already participated in the book promotion — your purchases since October 30 have raised more than US$180 for the OTW! And thank you to all of you who have donated to the OTW throughout the year — we are very grateful for your support.

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

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November 2013 Newsletter, Volume 75

Published: 2013-12-03 19:56:33 -0500

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. PUBLISHING, PRESENTATIONS and REPORTS

Journal requested, and obtained, a bibliographic listing in the Modern Language Association (MLA)'s bibliography of journals. This will provide wider visibility in academia for research published in Transformative Works and Cultures. The MLA team is currently indexing 5 years' worth of TWC issues, which will take a few months.

In addition, TWC editors Karen and Kristina have edited The Fan Fiction Studies Reader, a reprint anthology that includes some crucial essays in the fan studies field. The corrected galleys have been sent to the University of Iowa press for an expected 2014 publication date!

Legal submitted formal comments to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which had requested public comments on copyright policy issues, including the legal framework for the creation of remixes. The comments incorporated many stories submitted by fans and is likely to be a rewarding read for anyone interested in fandom and fanworks.

Special thanks go to Rebecca Tushnet, Casey Fiesler and Rachael Vaughn for their work on this document. Rebecca has been asked to testify to these agencies in connection with the same public comment process and we'll report on that when it happens. Many thanks to all of the many fans who sent in their stories. We really appreciate it.

Also in November, Legal assisted the Stanford Fair Use Project with its comments in connection with the same process, and answered a variety of legal queries from fans. They've also been working with a law student volunteer to create some educational materials. Legal also provided two posts on developments in copyright law during November: one regarding a proposal to create a "small claims" procedure for copyright disputes, and another regarding a major fair use ruling in the Google Books case.

Strategic Planning is currently surveying the Development & Membership and Communications Committees. They are also writing their report on Support. Reports for the Grants Workgroup and Systems Committee are under review by Board while the Survey Workgroup report is currently being prepared for public release.

Lastly, Communications staffer John Bayard made a presentation at the Mid-Atlantic American Popular Culture Meeting and several people told him how much they enjoyed using the AO3 and the work the OTW does!

II. NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND TROUBLESHOOTING

Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed Release 0.9.11 at the AO3, and are hoping to squeeze in one more code push before the end of the year. Our servers are in need of an upgrade and traffic has increased noticeably over the last few weeks (and is expected to increase even more during the holidays). As a result, we've been battling some performance and other issues and are working on fixes. Many thanks to Systems and Support for their work on these problems. Systems also brought up a new Virtual Machine server, which is hosting multiple virtual servers dedicated to supporting the Archive.

Additionally, AD&T has decided to apply for a humanities-related grant by February to pay for a good chunk of specific coding work, including an API. Many thanks to Scott for taking point on this.

Tag Wrangling assisted with testing some tag-related bug fixes in the last deploy, and the wrangling committee is currently working with AD&T to track some wrangling bugs. As well, due to the recent server issues, wrangling is currently limited to reduce strain on the servers, so the wrangling of some fandoms may be delayed until that’s resolved.

Abuse is seeing roughly 350-400 tickets a month come in. Their new recruits are settling in and should be starting on some of those tickets soon!

Open Doors held two public chats and provided information on the planned import for StargateFan, a gen Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis archive to the Archive of Our Own.

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. Open Doors will begin manually importing works from StargateFan to the AO3 collection in December 2013.

III. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been busy with final inductions for the year and reviewing the results of the OTW's annual Still Willing to Serve Survey. This allows for current volunteers and staffers to indicate if they'd like to continue on in current positions, move to new ones, or depart the OTW. Recruitment will begin again in January after VolCom has been able to finish processing departing volunteers and taken a well deserved breather!

This is also the OTW's final newsletter for 2013, but it will return in 2014 as committees begin work in the new year.

New Committee Staff: DandalfTheWhite (Abuse), Teddy Escher (Abuse), Elizabeth Young (Abuse), Pteriforever (Abuse), DragonWyrd316 (Abuse), Jess C. (Abuse), Kelsi No (Abuse), 2 other Abuse staffers, Sierra Wilson (Wiki), 1 other Wiki staffer

New Coder Volunteers: Storm

New Translator Volunteers: Agnieszka Górniok, Ania Kopertowska, Bianca, Dai-kun, Espirofito, Jocelin Potash, Katarina Harju, Lenore, Marinet252, monnwilk, Nana, nightmarefluff, Ruth Damaris, WenBunny, Whovie, 6 others

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Internationalization & Outreach staffer, Eva Bolinder (Translation), 3 other Translation staffers, Amy Luo (Communications), 1 other Communications staffer, 1 Journal staffer

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1

Departing Translator Volunteers: Eva Bolinder, 39 others.

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

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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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