AO3 News

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2015-06-15 22:12:04 -0400

We've made a few minor bug fixes and enhancements and cleaned up some old code.


  • Coders: Ariana, james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Ariana, briar_pipe, Lady Oscar, mugenmine, Nerine Luna Cyran


  • In some situations, the mass importer Open Doors uses for at-risk archives would incorrectly report that a work had already been imported. We've modified how the mass importer checks a work's import status to prevent this from happening.
  • On the posting form, using an Archive URL beginning with https to cite a related work would result in an error message. Now you can successfully use AO3 URLs beginning with either http or https.
  • Fandom names were indented slightly on challenge prompts and external work blurbs. Now they line up correctly with the title.
  • All tag wrangling pages included an "Unsorted Tags (#)" link, which meant that every time a wrangler loaded a wrangling page, we were counting all the bookmark tags that had yet to be marked as Fandom, Relationship, Character, or Additional Tags. Because this is bad for performance, we moved the link so it will only be included on pages where it is necessary.
  • We had code for emailing co-creators when edits were made to their work. However, we weren't using this code, so we have removed it.
  • The Content Policy workgroup recently proposed changes to the Open Doors Terms of Service. The changes have now been incorporated into our Terms of Service page.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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2015-06-15 12:31:46 -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'

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Elections and Open Doors Staff. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • AO3 Documentation Staff - closing 22 June 2015 UTC
  • Communications Staff: Weibo Site Moderator - closing 22 June 2015 UTC
  • Support Staff - closing 22 June 2015 UTC
  • Systems Staff - closing 22 June 2015 UTC

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.

AO3 Documentation Staff: AO3 Documentation is the committee that writes and updates AO3 FAQs and tutorials. We're looking for people who love the Archive of Our Own and who have experience with writing and proofreading user help documentation. If you enjoy helping your fellow fans learn how the AO3 works, please click through to read the full details and apply to join the Docs team! Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Communications Staff: Weibo Site Moderator: 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 Weibo Site Moderator would be a good fit for someone who is fluent in Mandarin and English, has experience as a moderator, is familiar with using Weibo, and has about 4-5 hours of available time each week. If you would like to help us do outreach to Chinese language fandom communities, this is the position for you! Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Support Staff: The Support team is responsible for handling the feedback and requests for assistance we receive from users of the Archive. We answer users’ questions, help to resolve problems they’re experiencing, and pass on information to and from coders, testers, tag wranglers and other teams involved with the Archive. Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Systems Staff: The Systems Committee is dedicated to supporting, troubleshooting, and expanding the technological infrastructure that underlies the OTW’s many projects. Systems staff members manage many day-to-day aspects of Linux system administration, such as Email Server administration, DNS updates, Apache management, and user/group rights and permissions. Committee members also tackle larger projects like virtual machine installation and configuration, researching better ways to manage our infrastructure, optimizing, and planning for the future.

We are seeking individuals who have some experience in remote Linux administration. A focus in one of the following areas is greatly desired: Email Server administration, Routing/Networking, Configuration Management (such as Chef, Puppet, Salt, Ansible, or CFengine), Virtual Machine configuration and management with VirtualBox, VMWare, or Xen, and/or MySQL database administration. However expertise in all areas is not required, and training will be provided. Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Apply at the volunteering page!


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



Our Wiki Committee had an exciting announcement as May wound to a close. In a post made at their Dreamwidth community, they informed Fanlore users that the United States Library of Congress approached us for permission to preserve Fanlore as a part of their American Folklife Center's ongoing digital culture web archiving project.

"Fanlore's inclusion in the Library of Congress project emphasizes the fact that fan history is a significant part of folklore and culture in the United States and across the world. If you are a Fanlore contributor of any kind, there is absolutely no need to be concerned about attribution of your work. Fanlore's Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license will still be in effect, and displayed on the archived version of Fanlore available to researchers (and eventually to the public) through the Library of Congress."

Wiki spent the month testing Trello as a possible new committee workspace tool, planning for Fanlore's next month-long event in June, and working on outside requests.


Journal received approval from the Board to create a press for monograph-length Open Access Gold works. They are brainstorming the infrastructure requirements right now, so while a timeline isn't yet available for considering manuscripts, stay tuned for further announcements! They continued to handle manuscripts for the September 2015 issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, No. 20, and things look good for the March 2016 issue.

Legal’s advocacy mission continues going strong! They filed our submissions to the U.S. Copyright Office and ended May by attending hearings and testifying in support of the fan video exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The news so far is good: our opponents have not opposed the renewal of the exemption the OTW attained three years ago for DVDs and streaming. However, there is still work to do, since they’ve opposed our petition to expand the exemption to cover Blu-ray.

The case of Garcia v. Google, in which the OTW filed an amicus brief, has also come to a positive resolution, which made some good law for free speech and the Internet and avoided some of the problems highlighted in the brief. In theory, the case can still go up to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in practice, that is not very likely to happen.

Legal also responded to a trademark-based cease & desist request; responded to several queries from fans; and responded to press requests for interviews as well as helping many OTW committees with legal questions.

Internationalization & Outreach worked on long-term planning. Their mission to promote inclusivity and the internationalization of the OTW is being developed into a plan to more thoroughly incorporate these goals into the OTW.

Communications is creating a subgroup for media outreach efforts, and has also completed work on a personnel evaluation process which will begin in August. Janita Burgess was approved by the OTW Board as the new co-chair for Communications. With help from Translation, Communications moved forward with plans to launch a Weibo account this year to engage with Chinese fandom. They will be recruiting for a fluent Mandarin speaker as Weibo account mod in June.

Translation had a hectic month with many contributions from across the committee in order to prepare for and distribute multilanguage posts in support of our May membership drive. After the drive, Translation started rounding up internal and cross-committee feedback in order to document the lessons they've learned this time and improve plans for the next drive. They've also been focusing on developing internal structures to help foster a more collaborative task environment.


Abuse received over 320 tickets in May. They have been seeing an uptick in spam works again, so please report any you find in your fandom so the team can deal with them quickly!

Accessibility, Design & Technology had a few tiny deploys this month (Releases 0.9.58 - 0.9.61), and a somewhat bigger one (Release 0.9.62) which will eventually enable us to translate AO3 email templates. There's still a long way to go to offer users a fully customized Archive experience in their own language, and Accessibility, Design & Technology want to thank them and the Translation committee for their patience and support as the AO3 team takes slow steps towards this goal.

Systems has begun this round of ordering bigger, faster servers! They are also excited to have a recruitment slot coming up. They have begun meetings with their documentation specialist to get information about the committee's processes into the OTW's internal wiki, and also fixed a mailing list issue that was affecting several committees.

AO3 Documentation wrapped two new FAQs this month—Invitations and Contacting the Staff—and is working on several other FAQs and tutorials. The workgroup has been officially approved to move from workgroup status to a permanent committee within the OTW.

Tag Wrangling held some training sessions on freeform tags for their new volunteers, who have hit the ground running. Wrangling staff worked with Accessibility, Design & Technology to try to track down some tag bugs. They also responded to several user questions on Twitter, and a number of Support requests. Wranglers continued their excellent work helping each other with translating the increasing numbers of non-English tags in each other's fandoms.

Open Doors has been working on in-progress imports with assistance from Accessibility, Design & Technology and is starting another archive import that will be announced soon. They also recently recruited for new staffers.


Development & Membership's May drive efforts were a huge success. Thanks to our generous supporters, we topped our US$100,000 goal on the last day, and checks continue to arrive. That makes our total for May 1-6 over US$104,000. All of May thus far has brought in over US$110,000 and looks to be our second highest grossing month ever (after October 2014). Our hard-working team in Development & Membership handled over a hundred emails and messages during the drive period, and learned a lot from the process. In non-drive related news, they have begun looking at alternative payment processors, as one of the major requests emerging during the drive was for an online alternative to PayPal. They hope to have something new set up by our next drive in October.

Elections ramped up in May by recruiting new staff and preparing for a voting software test. If you'd be willing to help them with the June test by participating in mock votes, please fill out the tester volunteer form!

The Board discussed various proposals and issues with Finance, Legal, and Development & Membership, and has begun planning for the 2015 Annual Retreat. More details regarding the latter will be forthcoming. Board would also like to thank Journal, the Treasurer, and others for coming together to address concerns and work out the details to permit the new monograph press project to move forward. They also extend congratulations to all committees and personnel involved with the recent drive.

Strategic Planning is hard at work compiling internal feedback and suggestions into the third and final draft of the OTW 2016-2019 goals document. Meanwhile, they are training four new staffers who are digesting the previous draft and helping with changes.


Volunteers & Recruiting ran campaigns for new staff for Elections and Open Doors, and continued working on internal requests as well as training their new staff members. They also made progress on the final documentation steps of a 2014 project to recognize the service of all OTW volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Janita Burgess (Communications)
New Workgroup Members: Jessica Steiner (AO3 Documentation)
New Communications Volunteers: SoyAlex and 4 others
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: alterangirl, Loxaris, Leslie, Paopu-Blossom, BlackParadise, penguinbell, and Pokestine
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Staff: Curtis Jefferson (Open Doors), 1 Systems, 3 Development & Membership, 1 Communications, and 2 Translation
Departing Workgroup Members: Scott S (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 7
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3

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


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2015-06-02 12:35:26 -0400

banner by caitie of chat-related words and emoticons in chat bubbles'

AO3 Support staffers are the people who receive your tickets through the Support and Feedback form and try to respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do their best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn't seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren't always ideal.

So Support will be holding an Open Chat session in our public chat room.

Unlike previous Open Chats, we're trying a new thing this year. This chat will be focused on the Posting and Editing forms! We'll have a walkthrough of tricks, methods, and known issues when adding your fannish creation to the Archive. Want some suggestions on how to add comments and notes beyond what the tags field will allow? Have a translation, or remix, or other creation inspired by an existing work? Are you posting to a challenge but never get it to work quite right? Are you wanting to post a work in a different language? Come find out how! (We'll still have a few staffers around to answer some general questions, too.)

We'll be available on Sunday, June 7, 16:00 UTC to 18:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?). If you can't make it to this one, keep an eye out for future chat announcements.

If you're having a problem using the Archive, want help trying something new, or would like an explanation of one of our features, please drop in and talk to us in person!

Some guidelines from Support, just to keep things running smoothly

As Support, our function is to help users with bugs and issues, and pass reports on to our Coders and Systems team, who actually keep the place running. This means that policy questions are way over our capacity. So, if you have questions or comments about AO3 or OTW policies, good or bad, Support Chat isn't the right place for them. If you do want to talk to someone about policy issues, we can direct you to the appropriate admin post or contact address so you can leave feedback directly for the people dealing with the area of your concern.

Additionally, if a question looks like it might violate a user's privacy to answer (if it needs an email address or other personal information, for example) we may not be willing to work with it in chat. In those cases, we'll redirect a user to the Support Form so we can communicate via email.

We'd be happy to help you with any questions, and anything else you're having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive. And if you miss us and have any questions, you can always send us a ticket!

Mirrored from an original post made at the OTW News Blog..


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2015-05-30 07:50:45 -0400

This deploy includes several invisible changes which are paving the way for more exciting things to come. Eventually, you'll be able to set a language preference and receive notifications in your chosen language. Work on a fully multilingual Archive continues!


  • Coders: james_, Ariana
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Sarken, Scott
  • Testers: hele, Lady Oscar, mumble


  • The list of locales the Archive supports used to be hardcoded into the system; they are now easier to edit.
  • We've started using a tool called rollout which allows us to turn on new features for selected users (the development team, in this case), so we can thoroughly test things within the proper Archive environment before making them available to all users. (Note that is strictly for testing purposes and not to be confused with premium features for paying users. Once something has been deemed ready by the testers, it will be made available to everyone.)
  • We are introducing a new feature which will enable users to select a locale in their Preferences, resulting in customized email notifications in the appropriate language. (Not available yet!)
  • We have started the process of preparing all our email templates for translation, which is a lot of fiddly work and will take a few more deploys. Many thanks to the Translation team for all their help and support in this!

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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2015-05-18 12:25:50 -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'

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:

  • Elections Committee Staff - [closing 25 May 2015 UTC]
  • Open Doors Staff- [closing 25 May 2015 UTC]

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.

Elections Committee Staff

The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections. We ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. As a team, we update the elections process, communicate with members and other committees about the process, help candidates prepare for and carry out their tasks, and run the election itself.

We are currently looking for Candidate Liaisons to help us with outreach and support for election candidates, Communication Specialists to prepare our public news posts and internal announcements within the OTW, Voting Process Architects to create and maintain our voting procedures and software, and Chair Track Staffers who would like to work toward being considered for the role of chair.

Applications are due 25 May 2015 UTC

Open Doors Staff

Are you interested in the rescue and preservation of fanworks? Enjoy coordinating projects and liaising with people? Still guiltily--or not so guiltily--love the first fanwork that opened your eyes to fandom?

Open Doors is a committee dedicated to preserving fanworks in their many native formats, and is looking for staffers to support this goal. The work we do preserves fan history, love, and dedication to fandom: we keep online archives from going down, divert fanzines from the trash, 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 25 May 2015.

Apply at the volunteering page!


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2015-05-11 13:40:20 -0400

We addressed some issues with the filters that had cropped up on some mobile devices after our last code update, so sorting & filtering should be working again for everyone. We also fixed a few tiny bugs.


  • Coders: frownlee, james_, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Ariana, hele, Lady Oscar, mumble



  • In an earlier code update, we had changed the way filters appear on mobile devices, to prevent the need for excessive scrolling just to get to the sorting options. On some devices, unfortunately, it was impossible to select some options in the filters due to the way they overlaid the other page content. We've now changed the layout so that when you tap the "Filters" button, the Sort and Filter sidebar pushes the other content out of the way.
  • The "Filters" button was missing when accessing a user's bookmarks while logged out; this has been fixed.
  • The "Filters" button (and the "Bookmark External Work" link) is now included when accessing a collection's bookmarks.


  • Upon request by the Development & Membership committee, we made changes to the Drive page in preparation for the AO3 Membership Drive.
  • We made a small change to one of our automated tests which was failing because of a date-related issue, and another small change to another test that was failing intermittently for unknown reasons.
  • We added more caching to some of the administration settings on the Archive, which will reduce database calls during peak times.
  • We updated some of the database schema files that had become outdated due to previous code releases.
  • An image used in the Tumblr share code on works and bookmarks was causing a security warning when accessing the Archive using https. Now we use a protocol-relative URL for the image to prevent such warnings.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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2015-05-08 10:39:49 -0400

Banner by Sidhrat of 2 wooden signs in the rain, one with an AO3 logo and one with a Fanlore logo.

Now that our membership drive has wrapped up (thank you, everyone!) we also want to give you a wrap-up reminder of our April Showers fandom celebrations from this year.

Below, we've collected the links to every fandom post we made, along with links to each fandom's AO3 and Fanlore pages, so you can make sure you didn't miss any of them. And the April Showers Recs (2015) collection has recommended works in dozens of fandoms, so you can make spring last as long as you want!

We'd love to thank each and every one of you who reblogged, retweeted, liked, and clicked on any of our tweets or Tumblr posts... but that would take too long and would get in the way of your checking out all the great fandoms listed here. Enjoy!

Highest clickthroughs from the AO3 twitter:

Jupiter Ascending

Most notable posts from the AO3 tumblr:

Jupiter Ascending
Agent Carter
Orphan Black

Highest clickthroughs from the Fanlore twitter:

Jupiter Ascending

Week One:

  1. Dragon Ball -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Jupiter Ascending -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Redwall Series -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Nabari no Ou -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. Snowpiercer -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Two:

  1. Over The Garden Wall -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Valdemar Series -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Hellblazer/Constantine -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Alex Rider -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. Black Books -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  6. Marble Hornets -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  7. Orphan Black -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Three:

  1. Ib -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Cobra Starship -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. RWBY -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. The Fault in Our Stars -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. Shadow Hearts -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  6. Le Petit Prince -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  7. Agent Carter -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Four:

  1. Nochnoy Dozor -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Kingsman -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Cabin Pressure -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Gravitation -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. The Last of Us -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  6. How to Get Away with Murder -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  7. Carmilla -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Five:

  1. Ouran High School Host Club -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Minecraft -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Wicked -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Book of Life -- [AO3] [Fanlore]


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