AO3 News

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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Open Doors Chat Reminder

Published: 2013-10-18 11:20:46 -0400

Banner by caitie with 'otw chat' at its center and emoticons and other symbols in word bubbles surrounding it.

Last week we announced that we will be welcoming the German Speaking Slashers United archive to the AO3!

This is a reminder that the Open Doors Committee is holding the first of two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses): 19 October 2013 at 10:00:00 UTC.

Anyone who has questions about the process is welcome to join the Open Doors team at those chats, and we’ll do our best to answer you. You can access OTW's public discussion chatroom using this link.

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September 2013 Newsletter, Volume 73

Published: 2013-10-11 14:25:52 -0400

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

I. FINDING AO3 CONTENT

Several workgroups have been focused on improving aspects of the Archive of Our Own. To that end, Category Change offered a proposal affecting the way fandoms are organized on the site, and asked for feedback from users. The comment period closed on October 1, and the workgroup will now begin evaluating the proposal in light of user comments.

The Content Policy workgroup underwent a similar process a few months ago regarding the addition of fannish non-fiction content to the AO3. The Board has now approved the Terms of Service revision but asked for changes to the FAQ. The ToS revision will be going to the coders for posting shortly while representatives from Support, Abuse, and Tag Wrangling review the FAQ.

II. KEEPING THINGS MOVING FORWARD

Development & Membership has kicked off the OTW's membership drive, and is hard at work answering questions and processing contributions!

Journal came out bang on time with issue 14 which marked their 5-year anniversary. Kudos to the production team members and all volunteers to the committee, past and present!

Speaking of anniversaries, the OTW celebrated its sixth year on September 5, and Communications posted a spotlight on the OTW's Internationalization & Outreach committee.

Legal’s had another busy month, responding to queries from both inside and outside the org. Outside the org, they’ve helped a few fans with legal questions and requests for assistance, and helped Support and Abuse respond to fan queries with legal implications. Inside the org, they’ve responded to queries from VolCom, DevMem, and the Board, and worked with Communications to draft posts about U.S. legal and legislative news relating to fandom and fanworks.

As part of our legal advocacy mission, they have also been collaborating with other organizations on preparing (still confidential) friend-of-the-court briefs in support of pending cases relating to fandom and fanworks. When that work becomes public, we’ll post more about it. As part of this advocacy work, they issued a call for stories relating to DMCA take-downs of fanworks, and how fans have dealt with 'right of publicity' questions. The deadline for sending them this information is October 11, so if you can help, please contact them.

Open Doors welcomed two new staffers, with whose fanpower they’re helping the mod of The Good Omens Library manually import the archive’s stories into the AO3. They are also preparing to help two other archives advertise and manually import their works.

Systems has moved the virtual server hosting the MySQL backup servers and a number of test machines onto new hardware, and has been developing their training plan.

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology successfully deployed Release 0.9.9 to the AO3, and is currently working on the next release, slated for the start of October. A few more deploys should occur before the end of the year, all relatively small to keep the work load manageable.

AD&T staffer Scott has been working on FAQ backend improvements, and is now adding translation capabilities in cooperation with the Translation committee. They have also launched the first of two new series of posts. AO3 Mailbag discussed why apps will not be coming to the site anytime soon, while two posts offered users ways to filter out certain tags, or generate a list of works that are either one rating or another.

While unseen to AO3 visitors, a huge effort has resulted in the AD&T internal wikispace having nearly half of its 350 pages archived, making it easier for the committee to organize and update pertinent documentation and training materials. They have just begun recruiting coders who have experience in Ruby on Rails, JavaScript/jQuery, MySQL databases, elasticsearch, Redis, Resque, Memcached, or Squid, among others.

Abuse has seen nearly triple the ticket numbers this year compared to last year's totals (2012: ~400 / 2013: ~1150). As a result, Abuse is getting ready to recruit! If you’re interested in serving on the Abuse committee, keep an eye out for their post in a few weeks.

Tag Wrangling staff have been organizing their own final recruitment of the year, focusing on finding wranglers for a few specific fandoms. Meanwhile, its other 200 volunteers work tirelessly to keep the new incoming tags in line across all our fandoms (over 13,000 now with new ones every day!)

Last but never least, Support has added two more people to keep up with the ever-increasing tide of user assistance requests. They received 397 unique tickets in August, a slight decrease from July, but on par with the year-to-date average.

IV. GOVERNANCE

The Board has been hard at work on Project Document All the Things. Each draft will go through several rounds of review: one by the Board, one by VolCom and Legal, and a final round in which all staffers and volunteers may offer feedback. In addition, several documents also have a round of review by chairs before the final org-wide review period. So far one document, the position description for directors, has progressed to the chairs stage of feedback, and many other documents are scheduled to move on to the VolCom/Legal stage during the first week of October.

Strategic Planning has finished surveying the Support Committee staff, Survey Workgroup volunteers and Grant Workgroup volunteers. They have prepared surveys for all other workgroups, both active and inactive, and hope to finish deploying those surveys in the upcoming month. Their reports on Wiki Committee/Fanlore and Systems are currently under review by the respective committees. They have also written the initial draft of a report for Survey Workgroup and plan to begin drafting the report for Support.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting processed 6 roles for recruitment and answered over 60 inquiries from chairs, staff, and volunteers which, along with documentation work, kept them quite busy!

As always, we welcome our new volunteers and thank our departing ones for their time and contributions.

New Committee Chairs: Matty Lynne (Abuse)
New Committee Staff: Bonnie Eisenman (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Caitlin M. (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Dorothy Stachowiak (Open Doors), Megan Cummings (Open Doors), Ina (Communications), Stephanie Chrystal (Communications), Allie C. (Support) and 1 Support staffer.
Departing Committee Chairs: Sherry Nehmer (Abuse)
Departing Committee Staff: Cat Meier (Abuse), Jay Bee (Systems), 1 AD&T Staffer, 1 Translation staffer, 2 Support staffers, 1 Communications staffer, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer, 1 Tag Wrangling Staffer.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 3
Departing Tester Volunteers: Jay Bee

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

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October Membership Drive: Thank you for your support!

Published: 2013-10-10 12:00:06 -0400

Banner by caitied with a red infinity sign with arrows and the title 'The Possibilities are Endless'

The OTW's October membership drive has officially ended, and we'd like to thank everyone who came out to support it! Thanks to your enthusiasm and generosity, we had a very successful week! Between October 1-7, we received 1,810 individual donations totaling US$44,594.05, making this one of our most successful drives ever. Donations are still coming in: as of this writing, we've raised more than US$48,000 since October 1, and the OTW's membership has increased to more than 4,200 people.

To the 966 donors who took the plunge and became members of the OTW for the very first time during this drive, we welcome you with open arms and thank you from the bottom of our hearts! And to our returning members, thank you for your ongoing support, which has made the OTW's work possible for six years and counting.

A huge thanks goes to the staffers and volunteers who ran the drive by writing and beta reading, posting and tweeting, responding to donor inquiries, designing graphics, sending e-mail blasts, monitoring donation receipts, and myriad other tasks. Thank you for making the drive possible.

And finally, we'd like to give a shoutout to the many fans who supported us by reblogging and talking about the drive and the OTW on social media. We're especially pleased by the warm reception of the drive on Tumblr, since our presence there is relatively new -- the OTW opened its official account in May 2012 and we have not only experienced rapid growth, but also love and support for the OTW and its projects. Thank you.

Although this drive is over, it's never too late to become an OTW member. We gratefully accept donations throughout the year. And there are plenty of other ways to show your support, from telling Legal about your experiences with takedowns to contributing a piece of fandom history to Fanlore to volunteering for an open position that fits your qualifications and interests. Fans' participation is what keeps the OTW and all its projects going. Thank you for being a part of it!

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

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