AO3 News

Our Future

Published: 2014-10-26 11:52:02 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a set of speech bubbles in the seventh one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

Throughout the week, you’ve seen that we need you, that we’re made in fandom, that we're ad-free, that we protect free speech, that we respect each other, that we advocate for fans and fanworks, and that we are our community.

We hope that this week you got a more complete understanding of the wonder that is the OTW. We talked about how there are seven wonders of the OTW, but that’s just scratching the surface. We have thousands and thousands of wonders here — each and every one of you who has touched or has been touched by one of our projects is a wonder.

Whenever you record podfics, make fanart, create and/or edit wiki pages, write fic or meta, beta, consume, or do any of a thousand other fannish things, you are changing the world forever.

Part of our mission as an organization is to preserve fan culture. We want the amazing culture that we all have built to be remembered and honored, as all history should be.

Whether you are able to financially support us or not, you are part of this history. With your help, we will be here for a long time. And this drive, you’ve really come through and shown your support for the work we do every day, so thank you!

Twice a year, we come together to ask you, our community, to help us keep going. This drive we made history by breaking through our goal of US$70,000 to reach US$164,625.58. With your help, this was the best October we’ve ever had as an organization!

As this drive has been so successful, we understand that some of our donors would like to know how these funds will be spent. Because we have been as surprised as many of you to see this amazing total, various committees and our Board will be working together to give you some answers with a post made here next Sunday (November 2).

What we can tell you today is what it means to us to have received this vote of support. Not everyone knows that the OTW is run 100% by volunteers, which is the biggest reason why we are able to do what we do on the budget we do it on. Although that work is done without any financial reward, your support gives us that much more energy and determination to keep making the OTW better for you. Thank you.

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Community

Published: 2014-10-25 11:52:56 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a set of speech bubbles in the seventh one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

The other day you saw the kind of awesome things our volunteers do. Today, we focus on YOU, the community, who make our projects wonderful.

When using an OTW project, you might not know that everything we do is so interconnected. All of our projects do unique things, but they are part of one big organization.

Below you’ll find an infographic with interesting stats about Fanlore and the Archive of Our Own. All the stats are based on activities you, our community members, do. You may have seen some basic stats from AO3 — such as 1,329,304 fanworks and 417,711 users — but have you ever looked deeper? Ever wondered how many works per day are posted, or how many series there are? Wonder no further!

As you read this, please remember that we exist entirely because of our community. Without you guys there is no OTW; we're all in this together. Take a look at the graphic below and know that your donations to the OTW help support our vital and brilliant community.

How Well Do You Know The OTW? Fanlore - 31,277 articles, 545,208 total edits, 39,501 edits in 2014. - Fanhackers - 1,879 articles in fan studies bibliography, 155 added this year. Archive of Our Own - 1,650 works on average posted and 4,075 works updated with new chapters every day. This year we set a record: 10 million page views in one day! That's about 7,000 page views per minute! 56,013,426 total kudos given,28,226,508 kudos given in 2014 alone.  Legal Advocacy - 
Submitted 70,684 words of legal and policy arguments this year in 7 public documents to 5 governmental entities in 2014. Transformative Works and Cultures - 2014: 51 essays in 3 issues. Since 2007: 294 essays in 17 issues. What does all this cost? In 2014 our annual budget is US$ 221,863.44. It costs US$ 155,551,19 to run AO3 for one year. US$ 17.76 pays for one hour of reading on AO3. That's 120 drabbles at 200 words/minute!
US$ 75,000 will be needed to replace old servers and expand capacity in 2015. Of the total budget, 3% funds our Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures Projects; 4% covers administrative costs; 7% allows for outreach, membership development, and fundraising activities; 16% provides opportunities for professional development and training for all other personnel; 70% goes directly to servers, colocation, and staff development for AO3. Help support our work!

With your help, we can keep our projects running and growing more and more every day — please make a donation.

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Advocacy

Published: 2014-10-24 12:06:31 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a scale in the sixth one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

Many fans discovered the OTW while exploring the Archive of Our Own or Fanlore, but not all our visitors realize that the Organization for Transformative Works is an advocacy group, or what that might mean.

To the OTW, it means that we don't just provide spaces to protect and preserve fanworks. It means that we also add our voices to public conversations about fandom and fanworks. We speak out in order to help improve public policies and perceptions about fanworks and remix culture that affect us as fans. Your support helps us to speak up in more ways and in more places about issues that affect us all.

The OTW feels it's especially important to advocate for female-driven fan spaces. Far too often, modern fandom is seen as a largely male domain, be it in the areas of sports fandom, traditional sci-fi fandom, or newer fandoms. We believe in the value of online fanwork-based communities in which female, queer, genderqueer, POC, and other marginalized fans congregate.

To us, advocating for these spaces doesn’t just start and stop with online outreach. That’s why we are focusing more on doing outreach in real-life spaces like conventions. This year, we've sent OTW representatives to Comic-Con and Worldcon, and we're working on developing even more resources for anyone who wants to represent OTW or its projects at conventions.

We also recognize that outreach is sometimes larger than just fandom: that's why we recently sponsored an event at Dragon Con with EFF to advocate for online privacy rights. We also have had presences at other fandom-friendly events like AdaCamp, an open source training camp aimed at women in tech and open source culture. And, as always, through our legal work we have advocated for empowered fan spaces and greater creative freedom under current copyright laws. These activities allow our volunteers the chance to gain confidence in their skills and abilities while improving the OTW’s ability to do its work.

We believe that our advocacy helps us create a more empowered fan space for ourselves and our community. By making a donation to the OTW, you can ensure that we can continue to use our voices to speak out for fanworks for years to come.

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Protection

Published: 2014-10-23 11:54:20 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a lock in the fifth one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

One of the best things about the Organization for Transformative Works is that we refuse to treat members of fandom like commodities.

Increasingly, fandom is coming into the public view — not just because of its creative energy, but because of its perceived value to creators, producers, and marketers. Your support helps the OTW advocate for fandom as a free space separate from commercial interests.

Various creative industries are courting fans, but not always with an understanding of or concern for fans' own interests. Fans are more than free labor, and fanworks are more than a potential new revenue source.

The Organization for Transformative Works was formed as a response to experience with too many services that proved vulnerable to commercial exploitation and control, or even to disappearance, without concern for the fans who’d built communities using those services. The OTW has long maintained the stance that fandom should be an empowered space for its members, which means that there should be fandom spaces that are free of commercial exploitation, influence, and control. Diversity gives us strength, and that diversity includes preserving noncommercial fanworks. From our mission statement: "We are proactive and innovative in protecting and defending our work from commercial exploitation and legal challenge."

One way we do that is through the work of our Legal committee in advocating for fans and liberal interpretations of fair use where fanwork is concerned. We also work to protect transformative creators, whether it's through giving individual fans advice about how to deal with copyright and other legal issues; through participation in conversations on copyright law and the DMCA; through warning fans about potentially exploitative scenarios; or through offering fans information and answering questions.

By making a donation to the OTW today, you can help us continue to do our part to help keep fandom a vibrant environment for you to create and enjoy fanwork freely.

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Free Speech

Published: 2014-10-22 12:05:08 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a megaphone in the fourth one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

The Organization for Transformative Works stands for transformative works in all their colors. Because we are supported by donations from fans like you, the OTW's many projects are able to remain entirely censorship-free. This means that the OTW supports fannish works and preserves the history of fan culture without worrying about external cultural pressures.

Fanworks hosted on the Archive of Our Own range from fluffy and cheerful to dark and gritty to steamy and sexy to thoughtful and eloquent (and some are all of the above!).

Fans don't need to fear that their works might be purged from AO3 in order to make the site more attractive to advertisers. As we said yesterday, because we depend on fans and not advertisers to fund our hosting costs, the Archive can remain fully independent and accept as many fannish works as the servers can hold.

This was a fundamental tenet of the OTW. When writing AO3's terms of service, we aimed for maximum inclusivity because we wanted to create a space that wasn’t limited by commercial considerations. In it we state, "You understand that using the Archive may expose you to material that is offensive, triggering, erroneous, sexually explicit, indecent, blasphemous, objectionable, grammatically incorrect, or badly spelled." The Archive has works representing all of these warnings (and more!) and will continue to for as long as our servers are functioning.

But AO3 is only one of our many projects whose content our organization doesn't censor, and whose users rely on that promise of freedom of speech.

Fanhackers houses discussions on fannish non-fiction topics, and Transformative Works and Cultures is an academic journal dedicated entirely to fan culture studies. Both Fanhackers and TWC accept submissions from non-academics, and welcome a vast range of experiences and outlooks on fandom and fan traditions.

Meanwhile, Fanlore, our ever-growing repository of fan history, maintains a plural point of view policy on all its articles. After all, there is no "right" way to look at the history of fan cultures. All sides of a story are valid, and fans are given a space to "tell their own stories from their own perspective," as stated in Fanlore's Plural Point of View policy page.

You are the creators, and we respect your right to make your works the way you choose to make them. We’ve been around for seven censorship-free years and were hoping to raise US$70,000 this week. Fandom has come through for us in only two days! With four more days to go in our drive, how far will you all push our donation meter? With your support, we can keep the OTW’s projects independent and censorship-free.

We would also like to let AO3 users who are still receiving our emails for the drive know that these will continue to be sent until Friday, October 24th. As our account holder list has become quite large, it takes several days once the email process begins for everyone to receive the email. We began this process late Sunday so some of the information is now out of date -- our apologies!

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Ad-Free

Published: 2014-10-21 11:59:23 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a 'No' sign in the third one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

It's that time of year again. You see the banners, you read the posts — but why is the OTW asking for money? Well, one of the many reasons that the Organization for Transformative Works is awesome is that we don’t have any advertising, which is why we rely on your support.

When visiting any of our websites, you don't have to worry about having a fanwork or article squeezed into a corner of your screen by advertising or accidentally clicking on an advert. The OTW and its projects are free of any advertising.

The reasons the OTW does not accept any advertising tie into some of the founding principles of the Organization itself.

In a presentation for the Nine Worlds convention in August 2013, OTW staffer Lucy Pearson described some of these principles: "The reason the OTW was formed really had to do with the fundamental lack of security that fans have when they rely on commercial platforms to host their work... Any site that's for profit and dependent on advertisers is very rarely going to stick its neck out for users in the face of advertiser pressure."

Many of us have, over the years, seen beloved works disappear in purges. With the OTW, there is no pressure from anyone to remove content to be more attractive to advertisers. This allows the OTW to give our undivided loyalty to our users.

While not having advertising is brilliant, it means that we need your help to function and maintain our awesomeness. Your donation of US$10 or more allows the OTW to continue to provide you with the ad-free sites that you know and love. Help preserve our freedom and our works! Please donate today. The goal of this fundraiser is to raise $70,000 for the OTW. We are well on our way! Please help us meet our goal today.

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Made in Fandom

Published: 2014-10-20 14:22:43 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a price tag in the second one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

Do you remember the first moment you searched the internet for that thing you loved and found out there was a fandom for it? The first time you picked up a fanzine, or saw an amazing piece of fanart for that ship you didn't even know you needed? So do we! The OTW was built entirely by fans — fans who wanted to hold onto that spark of fannish wonder, share it with others, and make sure it would never go out.

Here in the OTW, fandom is our fandom. There's nothing we celebrate more than fans themselves, and fandom in all its forms. We do what we do out of love — and there's nothing more rewarding than to see the Organization and its projects flourishing, growing exponentially every year.

With growth comes a lot of hard work. The OTW is run entirely by volunteers: over 500 fans worldwide donate their time to bring our projects to you, to preserve and document fanworks and fan culture, and to keep the organization up and running. From coders to wranglers, translators to lawyers, directors to academics — each of us dedicates countless hours every month to this passion. The AO3 alone has a huge codebase, which took an estimated effort of 22 person-years to build — this would amount to over US$1 million in salaries according to open source tracker Openhub! The infographic below can give you some idea of the work that goes into keeping the OTW and its projects together.

2014 By the Numbers: 283 bugs fixed and features implemented at AO3, 1,868 AO3 Abuse reports submitted, and 98% resolved, 4,370 tickets sent to AO3 Support with 97% resolved, 7,756 works preserved on AO3 by Open Doors, 20 surveys deployed by Strategic Planning to help plot our course for the next 3 years, 260 issues resolved by Systems while maintaining OTW's infrastructure, 16,173 fandoms managed by 171 tag wranglers, 202 new staff and volunteers added making 527 volunteers total, 108 issues reported and fixed on transformativeworks.org, 671,894 words translated by our translation volunteers into 19 languages

To keep on doing all this work and grow even more, we need your help! The OTW depends on your donations, so please consider supporting us with a donation of US$10 or more. Our goal for this drive is US$70,000 to celebrate the OTW's 7 years of existence. Please help us meet this goal today!

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The OTW Succeeds Because of You

Published: 2014-10-19 15:57:28 -0400

Banner with seven circles and a finger pointing at the viewer in the first one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

The Organization for Transformative Works is completely, totally, 100% supported by fans like you. Without you there would be no Archive of Our Own, no Fanhackers, no Fanlore, no Legal Advocacy, and no Open Doors.

There’s no other way to say it: we need you.

Your participation supports our ongoing costs. Your generosity purchases new and upgraded hardware. At the end of the day, the OTW succeeds because of you.

Over the next few days, on all our news outlets including Dreamwidth, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Tumblr, and Twitter, you’ll read about seven reasons why the OTW is awesome. These may be things you already value us for, or things that are new to you.

But it is you who make us awesome. We're an organization made by fans, for fans — and we're asking you to do two things:

  • Donate – our goal this drive is to raise US$70,000. As you know, if you donate US$10 or more, you renew your yearly membership with the OTW. We also have awesome premiums (including the return of our much-beloved convention tote!) that we'll gladly send you as a thank-you gift for a larger donation.
  • Tell us why you support the OTW in 10 words or fewer. Reblog, retweet, comment, send us your answer by carrier pigeon, or through email at devmem [at] transformativeworks [dot] org. We really want to hear from you! You might even see your words on our social media — please let us know if you'd prefer to be anonymous.

With your help, we can celebrate our 7th year by raising US$70,000, so that the Organization for Transformative Works can continue the projects you've come to love! Please donate right now!

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