AO3 News

AO3 Passes 200,000 User Accounts

Published: 2013-08-28 11:46:35 -0400

At the start of 2013 we posted about the AO3's growth in 2012. Those numbers showed new milestones in total works, total fandoms, total collections, total Support tickets answered, and total account users.

At the time we said, "While we still have a large body of users awaiting accounts, currently around 10,000, this is down significantly from the 30,000+ that we saw through the latter half of 2012, and we hope to decrease the wait further in 2013. It seems likely that Archive use will continue growing strongly this year, possibly even repeating 2012's feat of more than doubling its user base."

And it has! As of yesterday the Archive passed 200,000 users. By March the wait for an account dropped to 24-48 hours and we've been averaging about 500 new users a day.

For those who are feeling nostalgic, you may want to take a look back at a post recapping the AO3's first year in open beta.

When we entered Open Beta on 15 November 2009 we had:

  • 347 users
  • 668 fandoms
  • 6565 works

The site went through a 3000% increase in users that first year and an equally phenomenal jump in content. Yet today we gain more users each day than we started with in 2009.

Visitors from Everywhere!

While account holder statistics are good to know, there are many more people using AO3 than currently have accounts. Whether this is because they're random visitors, casual users, or don't find the benefits of an account appealing, we still have some clues that they're stopping by. For example, in the month of July the AO3 served pages to 3,663,572 unique IP addresses. So even if everyone with an account was using 5 different locations to access us, that's an awful lot of non-account visitors!

Another clue comes from the amount of bandwidth we're using. From just over 5 terabytes served in January we used 7.9 in July. If that pace keeps up we'll have doubled our use this year.

We've also been able to see the many countries that people are clicking in from. We've counted over 60 countries with simultaneous user activity over the past several months (including Denmark, Kenya, Jordan, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Uruguay, just to name a few at random), and many more with at least a handful of visitors this year.

Technology Old and New

We also took note of browser usage among our users and have shown the top 20 in the graph below. In the month of July this ranged from 43.5 pages per minute being served to a Windows IE 8 browser to 533 per minute being served to Windows Chrome 28.

Pie chart of browsers that accessed AO3 in July 2013

Users Doing Stuff!

Here's a quick look at the growth in certain actions on the site.

The number of users we've watched grow over the years is dwarfed by the much larger amount of commenting and bookmarking activity. In the chart below the red line below barely seems to increase compared to the growth in commenting activity this year (green line).

Graph showing growth in comments vs. user accounts

Because the scale of growth is so different for these two actions we can also look at actual numbers taken from the graph below. Comment growth has been somewhat less than that of bookmarking (yellow line). In July there were 299,849 comments left and 438,746 bookmarks added. But both are far less than the growth of kudos (orange line) which is often used by people who don't have accounts or aren't logged in. There were 1,544,028 kudos given in July 2013 alone.

Graph showing growth in comments vs. bookmarks vs. kudos

We welcome all our new users, whether they use an account or not, and hope that they enjoy their time on the site! If you're hesitant to get an account because of long wait times, don't forget that our automated invites should arrive within two days of your request. If you don't see it, please check your spam folder and make sure that @archiveofourown.org is whitelisted.

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Looking for a Communications-AO3 Liaison

Published: 2013-08-26 13:06:23 -0400

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Web Developer Staff and Open Doors Staff.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Communications Staff: AD&T Liaison - applications accepted until September 2

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.

Communications Staff: AD&T Liaison: Communications staffers are responsible for the distribution of information internally to OTW personnel and externally to the general public, the media, fans, and other fannish organizations. Communications is also typically the first point of contact for someone interested in or wanting help from OTW.

The position of AD&T liaison requires an individual with experience/interest in technical writing to help maintain that area of our communications and outreach strategy. If you know about the behind-the-scenes development of an open-source project, and are interested in helping us create and share news about the AO3, this is the position for you! Applications are due September 2.

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Volunteers needed for Web and Open Doors Committees

Published: 2013-08-12 14:38:23 -0400

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Communications Graphics Volunteers and Tag Wrangling Volunteers.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Web Developer Staff - applications accepted until August 19
  • Open Doors Staff - applications accepted until August 19

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.

Web Developer Staff: Web Developers are responsible for improvements to and maintenance of the primary web properties owned by the Organization for Transformative Works. S/he will participate in an on-call rotation of three Web Developers, implement new website features, and help determine priorities for future development efforts. Applications are due August 19.

Open Doors Staff: Are you interested in helping other fans save their works be they in fanzines, vids, stories, meta, artwork? Enjoy coordinating projects and people to make things happen? Open Doors is looking for staffers to do this important work.

Open Doors is a dedicated committee of the OTW that is all about preserving fanworks in their many native formats with the goal of providing access to future generations of fans as well as the wider world via the internet and several library collections. This work furthers the OTW's goal to preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures.

How would you do this? The Open Doors staffer is often the contact between the fan with works to preserve, the OTW, and the final home for those works. There is the quiet joy of knowing we've added more linear feet of zines from the 1960s through today to a permanent collection at a university library open to anyone. There is watching the number of works in an freshly created Open Doors Digital Collection climb as we manually import stories from archives that run on old, sometimes broken code. There is knowing that history, like that contained in the Foresmutters project that has discussions that helped form some of the earliest fannish cultures is held on our servers.

We're not the loudest or shiniest committee at the OTW, but without the work we do, we would lose our history: our delicate archives that represent hours of work, the fanzines and other physical objects and more. If you're interested, click on through for a fuller description of what we're looking for and the time commitment. Applications are due August 19.

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

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OTW July 2013 Newsletter, Volume 71

Published: 2013-08-01 18:49:54 -0400

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

I. CREATING A BIGGER HOME

In July, Open Doors was contacted by three archive moderators and they're developing plans to get their archive contents safely onto the AO3 (in addition to touching base with mods for archives already in their queue). Open Doors is also facilitating two donations to the Fan Culture Preservation Project, one of which is a rather large collection (approximately 35 boxes) of materials that is pretty exciting. Lastly, a point for celebration: all unclaimed stories in the 852 Prospect Archive collection have now been unlocked. Woot, visibility!

Accessibility, Design and Technology have been doing lots of work on sustainability. They’re currently in the process of upgrading to a new version of Rails (the web framework the AO3 is built on), which helps ensure good security and means we can take advantage of new developments in Rails. They recently welcomed some awesome new recruits to our Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee and they’ve been hard at work testing ALL THE THINGS to be sure the upgrade hasn’t broken anything. The Test Archive is now in need of some love, as we use it a lot, so AD&T has been working with Systems to plan for upgraded Test servers.

AD&T is simultaneously preparing for a period of reflection, organizing, and decision-making that will start immediately after the Rails deploy. They've assembled a master list of topics to work through, and will have discussion forums and meetings as well as get-togethers to get some of the more fiddly work done (such as evaluating our list of open bugs to check that they are all still relevant and have the right information attached). They will reflect on conceptual and procedural matters, such as our place in the world of Open Source development, and ways to support and motivate our volunteers better. AD&T will also look into cross-committee processes and touch base with relevant partners. This period of reflection is a chance for them to catch their breath and take a look at the big picture, so that they can work more efficiently going forward.

Of particular interest to users, AD&T has been working with other committees, including Support, Abuse, Tag Wrangling, and Internationalization & Outreach, on the plan for adding different work types to the Archive. This is a much-needed piece of work which will make it easier to mark and filter works by media type (art, video, text, etc), and has been a long time coming.

Systems valiantly tried to keep the OTW mailserver from committing suicide, then split it into separate incoming and outgoing mailservers. They've have also tried out some additional monitoring systems (alongside, not instead of, New Relic) and are in the process of upgrading their ticketing system. Systems will soon be hard at work bringing up new machines for testing, beefing up the servers that run the Archive, and bringing up new virtual servers for Fanlore and the OTW’s internal email server, among other things.

Lastly, Category Change is finishing up discussion on the remaining items from the internal feedback round about fandom categories on AO3, and will be dedicating itself to writing the public documentation for the proposal as soon as they’re done.

II. LOOKING FOR HELP

Tag Wrangling briefly re-opened wrangler sign-ups for a targeted recruitment, looking for volunteers to handle fandoms in need of some TLC. This call was so successful that recruitment closed again within a couple days! They’ll be reopening again within the next couple of months after training up our new people. There is also a team of wranglers reviewing AO3's religion, mythology and folklore tags, looking for better and more consistent ways to handle these complex fandoms.

Journal put out a call for peer reviewers for Transformative Works and Cultures, so if you work in fandom studies or are interested in fandom meta, you can add yourself to their reviewer database. Journal just sent the next issue into production, on track to be released on September 15. The editorial team is working on the first two issues of 2014. Journal's editors also worked with Comms staffer Jintian on a spotlight discussing their production process.

Communications held recruitment for graphics volunteers and have brought in four so far to augment our news posts with images. They are also planning to celebrate the 1000th subscriber to the OTW Tumblr account on Aug 2, which will feature work from its new recruits. The milestone makes Tumblr the third most followed OTW News outlet after LiveJournal and Twitter.

Development & Membership's The Meetup of Our Own at San Diego Comic-Con was a great success! Around 90 people attended and we collected US$365 in donations. Many thanks to Legal staffer Heidi for her leadership role in planning and hosting this event. In other news, DevMem has begun planning for the October fund drive and is developing a training plan for DevMem staffers in preparation for recruitment.

III. GOVERNANCE

Board announced some changes to our officer lineup at the beginning of July. The current Board officers are:

President: Ira Gladkova
Vice President: Cat Meier
Secretary: Kristen Murphy
Treasurer: Nikisha Sanders
Elections Officer: Eylul Dogruel

Board held an open house chat for chairs, staff and volunteers on July 13-14 and approved Phase 1 of a proposal from Systems to expand our technology infrastructure. Phase 1 includes a new server for test and infrastructure, a temporary new virtual server to build and test the configuration for a new incoming e-mail server, and provisions for upgrading our bandwidth as usage increases.

Board also adopted and announced a reimbursement policy stipulating when and how staff members may be reimbursed for OTW-related costs they have incurred in the course of staff work and approved a proposal from Volunteers & Recruiting to purchase e-books with which they will develop a library of resources on nonprofit best practices.

They have also begun preparing for the 2013 Board election in conjunction with the Elections Workgroup.

Strategic Planning has been interviewing the Support co-chairs and preparing survey questions for Support staff members. They also interviewed the current Wiki chair to update information in the Wiki/Fanlore report that is being drafted. It should be finished along with the Systems report next month.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting is nearing the end of the foundation stages of building a chair and lead training program. They are also actively working on finishing their committee’s training plan in preparation to recruit for their own committee.

New Committee Staff: 1 AD&T staffer
New Communications Volunteers: Diane Quintal, Bremo
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Gnine, asa, Ruth Damaris, skieswideopen, Baranduin, Claire J. Vannette, sesanye, Ketsu, breadfuls, bscl43, Zain, Liviapenn, Temaris, KeevaCaereni, radondoran, Carrie Haase, Katy Armstrong, antrazi, Jennifer Tifft, Camilla M., jsparc, Gills, Anne R, Llwyden ferch Gyfrinach, Selenay, Lillian Bolen, slylytouchingly, bluehooloovo, Brianna Smith, Lbilover, Swamp Adder, wendymarlowe, DebetEsse, Wordwitch, ereshai, Firefly_Ca, Rav, Alix Mason, Lee H., strina, 3 additional tag wranglers.
Departing Committee Chairs: Moose (Systems)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Systems staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 17
Departing Tester Volunteers: artisan447

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

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Become a peer reviewer for TWC!

Published: 2013-07-28 18:21:26 -0400

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), the OTW's scholarly journal, is looking to expand its pool of volunteer reviewers, especially for our Symposium section. If you are interested in peer reviewing for TWC, please come over to the site, sign up, and create a profile as Reviewer.

While we tend to solicit peer reviewers for the full essays from within academia (and fan studies scholars specifically), pretty much any fan who loves meta is a good match for a potential Symposium reader. So we want to spread the word and the work :)

You'll be asked to fill out some information (such as uni affiliation if applicable), but, most importantly, there's a field in the software where you input your interests and expertise.

Once you've created a reviewer account, please e-mail us to tell us who you are, how you found us, and what you are specifically interested in. We use the journal's database to find reviewers, but it is often easier when we have spoken to reviewers already and know a bit about them. Then we'll contact you when a manuscript comes in that fits your expertise, and ask if you can review it.

If you have any questions about reviewing; if you want to know more about submitting essays, Symposium pieces, or book reviews; or if you there's something specific you want to know about TWC, please feel free to contact us by emailing editor (at) transformativeworks (dot) org. You may also want to take a look at the recent spotlight on TWC which discusses our production process.

We look forward to having you join the Journal Team!

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

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Looking for Tag Wranglers once again!

Published: 2013-07-23 13:11:26 -0400

Updated: Thanks to a quick response from many readers, we are temporarily closing tag wrangling recruitment again. If you've missed your chance, keep an eye on our website, as we'll be reopening intake once we've processed the newest tag wranglers.

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Communications Graphics Volunteers, for which chairs are currently reviewing applications.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Tag Wrangling (reopening) - Applications accepted on an ongoing basis (role may be temporarily closed based on level of interest)

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.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.
Tag Wrangling

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for keeping the hundreds of thousands of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! We choose which form of a fandom title appears on the Media pages, as well as all the character, relationship, and additional tags which appear in the filters and the auto-complete, and we link tags together to make all the works and bookmarks on the archive easier to browse and search (so that users can find exactly what they're looking for, whether that's Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff).

If you like organizing, bringing order to chaos, excuses to fact-check your favorite fandom canons, or you just get a kick out of seeing all the wacky and wonderful terms fans come up with, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join our team, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling volunteering, we're currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. We’re currently seeking wranglers for the following fandoms and fandom types. (If you have no knowledge of or interest in wrangling any of the below, please don’t apply at this time, as there won’t be any wrangling work available for you to do. In the future we’ll open recruitment for other fandoms, as needed!)

  • Any fandoms listed on the first 3 pages of the Fandoms in need of a wrangler page
  • Any fandoms with a canon originally in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Russian. (Volunteers interested in these should preferably have some fluency in the language, due to lack of English-language references for many.)
  • Homestuck
  • Star Wars (especially the Extended Canon)
  • Finnish Music RPF
  • DCU (comics and animated canons)

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

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

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AO3 Newsletter - May/June/July

Published: 2013-07-16 14:58:25 -0400

Hello AO3! This newsletter has been, um, a long time coming for which we sincerely apologize. Here's what we've been up to in the past three months.

Cool stuff on the Archive!

To our overwhelming delight, Time Magazine named us as one of the "50 Best Websites of 2013." Thank you to everyone -- from staffers to users -- who make this website what it is!

852 Prospect moved in with us in May. This move was orchestrated by the hard work of the 852 Prospect archivists, Open Doors and AD&T. Please join us in welcoming the Archive to the Archive!

Tag Wrangling has been hard at work with their new tools to help users search by original language titles as well as transliterated fandom titles. Check out more information about these tools here.

There were two small deploys in early May and late June: Releases 0.9.6.1 and 0.9.7. 0.9.6.1 focused on code needed for the 852 Prospect move as well as a couple of fixes. 0.9.7 included more fixes as well as integrating Travis-CI into the testing process.

Our Content Policy workgroup has been hard at work with our TOS and FAQ in anticipation of the inclusion of fannish nonfiction on the Archive. These proposed changes went up for public review at the end of June. We thank everyone who provided input!

The OTW unveiled the Archive of Our Own Diversity Statement, a statement which has been years in the making. We encourage you all to read it and hold us to it as we continue to develop the Archive in the many years to come.

What’s up in the world of tags?

Several small changes to guidelines have clarified what freeform tags we canonize, including how we handle episode tags and fandom fusion AUs - check out the subtags of Alternate Universe - Fusion to find Jane Austen fusions and your fandom favorites with Pokemon! We've also changed guidelines for translated fandom tags, so you may notice Japanese, Cyrillic, and other non-Latin alphabets when browsing the fandoms lists.

Adventures with Support

We have new people! Annie, girlmarauders, and Katherine have all joined our merry little band. Bring on the tickets!

AD&T Committee business of note

AD&T has been busy with small fixes and releases as well as working on documentation and necessary groundwork to recruit new coders in the fall!

Tag Wrangling Committee business of note

We've inducted and trained almost 50 new volunteers in May, and are planning to re-open wrangling volunteering on a limited basis in July. The wrangling staff has also posted several more advanced tutorials for both our new wranglers and experienced wranglers, so all of us are wrangling "on the same page", so to speak. With over 12,000 canonical fandoms on the Archive, all the work of our wrangling volunteers is very appreciated!

Questions? Comments?

We welcome feedback from users! If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments of the latest news post, or send in a Support request (if you're reporting a bug, please send that to Support, as they're super efficient - comments on our news posts sometimes get overlooked).

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Volunteer Recruiting: Communications Graphics Volunteer

Published: 2013-07-08 11:02:05 -0400

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Internationalization & Outreach Committee members.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Communications Graphics Volunteer - July 15

We have included more information on the 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 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@transformativeworks.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.

Communications Graphics Volunteer
Communications has primary responsibility for internal and external communication for the OTW. We manage the OTW blog and social media outlets and assist other teams in managing project-specific communication. We’re currently looking for someone to create graphics for use throughout our posting sites, and specifically for Tumblr. If you have experience with graphic design or fanart, click through to learn more about the role and apply to join as a Communications Volunteer.

Applications are due July 15

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

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