AO3 News

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Here at AO3, we'll be celebrating the new year by giving the homepage a brand new look. Read on for a sneak peek of the upcoming changes!

Logged out version

The logged out homepage with introductory text, fandom links, news posts, and Twitter widget

The Archive's homepage has always introduced the Archive and its mission to first time visitors and kept returning guests up to date with the latest news and tweets, and that won't change! However, because we're striving to make the homepage even more useful and informative, we'll be adding a few more things:

  • The News section will now include excerpts from the latest news posts to make it easier to stay informed. We'll be adding comment counts, too, so you can tell when a post sparks discussion.
  • We'll mention some of the benefits of creating an AO3 account to make sure everyone knows there are plenty of reasons to join the Archive even if you don't plan to post any works.
  • Links to the fandom categories will give first-time visitors a clear starting point to help them dive in and explore the Archive.

Logged in version

The logged in homepage with fandom links, news posts, marked for later works, inbox items, and Twitter widget

Logged in users will see a much more drastic change. We're taking away the introductory text -- we know each other already! -- and adding some customized content to make the homepage feel more like home.

  • Find something to read, watch, listen to, or look at even on slow days in your fandom with a random selection of three works you've Marked for Later.
  • Connect with other users by reading and replying to your three most recent unread Inbox messages.

If you don't have anything Marked for Later or any unread Inbox items, these sections will be hidden (and if you only have one or two items Marked for Later or in your Inbox, we'll only show those one or two items). Similarly, the Marked for Later section will be unavailable if you've disabled the "Turn on Viewing History" preference, and the Inbox section will be unavailable if you've set your preferences to "Turn off messages to your inbox about comments."

One more thing...

The logged in homepage, with the fandom links replaced by link to tags the user has chosen

We've saved the biggest and best change for last: logged in users will now be able to add up to twenty Favorite Tags to their homepage! This means you'll have easy access to the work listings for any of your favorite canonical tags without needing to rely on browser bookmarks.

A tag's work listing, now with a Favorite Tag button between the Bookmarks and RSS feed links

To add a Favorite Tag, simply go to the tag's work listing and select the "Favorite Tag" button. A link back to the tag's work listing will immediately be added to your homepage. This works for any kind of canonical tag: categories like Gen, warnings like Major Character Death, ratings like Explicit, fandoms like 주군의 태양 | The Master's Sun, relationships like Karma Ashcroft/Amy Raudenfeld, characters like Sue Ellen Ewing, and additional tags like Polyamory.

A tag's work listing, with the Favorite Tag button replaced by an Unfavorite Tag button

And if you ever want to remove a tag from your favorites, just head back to the tag's work listing and select "Unfavorite Tag" to remove it.

Planning for the future

We're always aiming to make the Archive easier and more fun to use, so if there's anything you'd like to see in future versions of the homepage, just let us know by leaving a comment on this post.

Thanks for using AO3 -- we look forward to bringing the new homepage to you soon!

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Published:
2015-02-01 04:45:18 -0500
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This batch of code includes several new features and enhancements aimed at assisting the Abuse team in their work, as well as some changes under the hood to protect us against attacks from download bots while keeping disruptions for our users to a minimum.

When we announced that we'd be suspending our automated invitation queue at the beginning of the month, we didn't plan for it to be closed quite this long! Writing, testing, and improving the new code, while also working with Abuse and taking care of our servers through planned and unplanned downtimes, took considerably longer than we expected.

While the queue was closed, we continued to provide invitation codes to existing users upon request. According to our records, we handed out over 5000 such invitations this month, which is more than three times our usual number. To everyone who reached out to friends and strangers to share invitations, we thank you!

If you wanted to create an account in January and couldn't - we're very sorry for making you wait! The queue is now back in business: request an invitation today and receive a code in 48 hours or less!

Credits

  • Coders: Elz, Enigel, james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Elz, Enigel, james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mumble, Sarken

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Admin

  • In order to combat spam works (e.g., works consisting solely of advertisements), our Abuse team will now be automatically notified of accounts with a suspicious level of activity or works with suspicious content, allowing them to investigate before the problem gets out of hand.
  • When our Abuse team hides a work that is under investigation, the creator(s) of the work will now receive an automatic email, letting them know the work has been hidden intentionally and not as the result of a bug. The email also contains a link to the work so that they (but no one else) can access it while it is hidden.
  • Users whose accounts have been permanently suspended (banned) are not allowed to create new works, but it was still possible for other users to list them as co-authors. Now they cannot be added as co-authors unless the ban is lifted.
  • When a user's account is temporarily suspended, the error message they receive when attempting to post, comment, or perform other actions will now let them know when they can expect their suspension to be lifted.
  • Attempting to post, comment, or perform other actions using a suspended account previously resulted in an error message that said, "Please contact us for more information." The message has been clarified to say, "Please contact Abuse," and now provides a link to the appropriate contact form.
  • When an admin deleted an invitation request submitted through our automated queue (e.g., because the requester was likely to be a known spammer), they would be redirected to the first page of the list, which was annoying if they needed to delete more than one request on the same page. Now they will be returned to the page they were on.

Downloads

  • We were receiving reports from users whose IP addresses were blocked from accessing the Archive for downloading too many works too quickly, even though they hadn't done anything wrong. This would happen, for example, if their browser tried to download a file many times, despite the user having only clicked the download button once. We have added code and tweaked server settings to make this much less likely. In particular, we are now serving cached copies of downloads to users, which are currently refreshed on the server as soon as a work is updated.
  • During site-wide downtime because of an overwhelmed server, users were receiving an error page that incorrectly stated they were downloading works too quickly. We've corrected the error page we give when the Archive is down and also added a dedicated error page to let users know when they are posting works too quickly.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

(Please note that while it looks like we skipped several version numbers since our last batch of updates (Release 0.9.41), you haven't missed out on any new code! The jump is due to a few test deploys to get our deploy script into shape after adding another server to our line-up.)

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Published:
2015-01-26 12:58:39 -0500
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“official

The Henneth Annûn Story Archive (HASA), an archive dedicated to well-written, imaginative, and engaging J.R.R. Tolkien fan fiction, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3). In this post:

Background explanation

The server housing the HASA site has been attacked several times. While no personal information of members were compromised, nor the databases, the vulnerability of the single server meant that the archive could be lost without warning if an attack was successful. Faced with security demands that were increasingly difficult to support, the HASA Transition Team began looking for alternative ways to keep the site (and its nearly 6,600 publicly-accessible works) available.

To preserve HASA's stories, Julie Watkins and the HASA Transition Team will be working with Open Doors to import the archive into a separate, searchable AO3 collection with its own identity. We will begin importing works from HASA to the AO3 collection in February 2015. Additional volunteers are more than welcome! If you're interested, please contact Julie Watkins or post to the volunteer forum at HASA.

What does this mean for creators who have work on HASA?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your HASA works there, please contact Open Doors with your HASA pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (Please include "HASA" in the subject heading.) For instructions on adding your works to the new collection on the AO3, HASA, please see the Open Doors website.

2. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your HASA pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "HASA" in the subject heading.) For instructions on adding your works to the AO3 and to the HASA collection, please see the Open Doors website.

3. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one, as well as assistance importing your works, please contact Open Doors with your HASA pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "HASA" in the subject heading.)

Once your account is set up, let us know your AO3 name, and we can transfer your works to you.

4. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your HASA pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (Please include "HASA" in the subject heading.)

If you would not mind your works being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too--we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.

All works archived on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with the creator’s name in the byline of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 90 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your HASA account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's fantastic; if not, we will work with the HASA team to confirm your claims.)

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Henneth Annûn on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve HASA!

- The Open Doors team

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Banner by Ania of various fanworks including cosplay, text, and visual art

As part of the celebration of International Fanworks Day on February 15, we're delighted to announce that the OTW will be hosting a live chat with three authors who have written both fanfiction and published works.

February 8, 2015: Live chat with authors on "Why Fanworks Should Be Celebrated" from 17:00-19:00 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

The chat has concluded but a transcript is now available.

Although we have done our best to choose a time that will suit fans in several timezones, the scheduling is ultimately dependent on guest availability. For anyone who can't join the chat live we expect to post a transcript of the event within 24 hours.

We would also like your input! You can submit as many questions as you'd like for our guests, but as we have limited time we can't guarantee any particular question will be included. We'll be looking for questions that are broadly applicable to all authors and are a good representation of the "celebrating fanworks" topic.

We will be collecting questions until 23:59 UTC on February 1. You can either post your questions here or submit them through our Communications form (just mention they're for the chat).

Also, don't forget to let us know how you or your fandom communities plan to celebrate so that we can give you a signal boost!

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Published:
2015-01-19 12:27:49 -0500
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Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

Thank you to those who responded to our call for volunteers this past week. Today, we have another group of committees looking for some additional help and are excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Translation Staff - closing 26 January UTC
  • Volunteers & Recruiting Staff - closing 26 January 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.

Translation Staff

Translation Committee staff members coordinate a large volunteer pool responsible for the translation of OTW site pages, news posts, Archive FAQs, AO3 Support tickets, and any inquiry that reaches an OTW committee or workgroup in languages they can’t translate themselves.

While volunteers do the actual text translation and editing, staff helps them by keeping track of priorities, deadlines and pending tasks; assigning work; talking and working with other committees to arrange tools for the volunteers; writing training and procedures documentation; and many other tasks involved in managing a wide, diverse and very active volunteer pool.

If you enjoy teamwork, if you like organizing, writing documentation and working with people, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 26 January 2015.

Volunteers & Recruiting Staff

Volunteers & Recruiting staff guide and manage services, policies, recruitment and volunteer management for the entire organization; compose and maintain organization policy and training documentation; and communicate with other committees and workgroups in the Organization for Transformation Works on matters related to organization tools and staffing needs. Volunteers & Recruiting staff also serve as a neutral party for personnel-related issues.

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 26 January 2015.

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Banner by Ania of various fanworks including cosplay, text, and visual art

The drabble challenge is on!

In honor of International Fanworks Day, February 15, we're issuing our first-ever IFD Drabble Challenge! Get out your tablet, your laptop, or your phone and write up to 100 words to celebrate fanworks! (Why 100 words?)

What does your favorite character—or your favorite pairing—get fannish over?

  • Does Tony Stark secretly watch—and love— Transformers fan films?
  • Does Athos ship Aramis/Porthos?
  • Do the members of Shinee cosplay as Final Fantasy characters??

But our challenge isn't for writing alone—submit a drawble, a short vid, an audio work or other format for the challenge as well! Just post it February 15 as part of the day of celebration.

Help us find and share it!

Tag it #IFDrabble on tumblr, Facebook, Dreamwidth, or wherever you fan! (And if you post it on Archive of Our Own, tag it with the International Fanworks Day 2015 tag!)

Keep it safe-for-work, and we may give you a signal boost!

Want to tweet instead?

Post fannish haikus on Twitter with the same hashtag!

There will be more details about IFD events to come as February 15 approaches. In the meantime, tell us how you and your fandom communities will be taking part!

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Published:
2015-01-12 12:32:24 -0500
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Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

It's a new year and our committees are hard at work on their plans for 2015. Many of those plans involve needing to bring in new volunteers to assist with our projects. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Communications Graphics Volunteers - closing 19 January UTC
  • Development & Membership Staff - closing 19 January UTC
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteers - closing 19 January UTC (or after 50 applications are received)

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 Graphics Volunteers

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. 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 12AM UTC on 19 January 2015.

Development & Membership Staff

The Development & Membership committee (DevMem) coordinates the OTW's fundraising and membership-building activities. Our work includes planning membership drives, designing a convention outreach process, answering questions from donors, and exploring new fundraising opportunities. If you have skills and interests in fundraising, writing or designing promotional content, or customer service, consider applying to join our staff. Applications are due 12AM UTC on 19 January 2015.

Tag Wrangling Volunteers

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to keep the millions of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. See the application for which fandoms are in need. Applications are due 12AM UTC on 19 January 2015 (or before 50 applications are received).

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Published:
2015-01-11 08:00:49 -0500
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Credits

  • Coders: Elz, Enigel, james_, Marie Markwell, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Elz, Enigel, james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Anika Kabit, Lady Oscar, Matty, mugenmine, mumble, pendrecarc, Sarken

Details

Accounts

  • It was previously possible for suspended accounts to request new invitations and access the ones already granted. We're now blocking those accounts from using their invitations (e.g. to invite friends or create a new account) and from requesting more.
  • The big chunk of code responsible for handling accounts and user-related actions had become unwieldy and messy over time. It has now been refactored--cleaned up and reorganized--to adhere to best practices.

Challenges

  • Challenges that were set to "moderated" (i.e. works can be submitted, but must be approved by a mod before they appear) were not included on the Open Challenges page. Now they are.
  • Previously, if you went to the posting form and used one of the Open Assignments checkboxes to fulfill a gift exchange assignment, but the gift exchange collection was closed, you'd get a 500 error. Now you will be redirected back to the posting form.

Works

  • To help battle spam works (see our post Urgent Anti-Spam Measures for context), we've started recording the IP addresses from which works are posted, with the information only visible to site admins, e.g. Abuse personnel. This allows us to suspend spam accounts (accounts specifically set up to flood the Archive with advertisements) more efficiently.
  • On the "Import New Work" page, the link to the relevant Importing & Mass Editing FAQ was broken, as it hadn't been adjusted to the new FAQ structure yet. It works now!
  • The button for displaying a work in individual chapters, rather than all on one page, was renamed from "View Chapter-by-chapter" to "Chapter by Chapter" for button labeling consistency.
  • The "Subscribe to the feed" button on work lists by tag (e.g. Agent Carter (TV)) was renamed to say "RSS Feed", to distinguish it from our Subscription feature. (Read more in our Subscriptions and Feeds FAQ.)

Misc.

  • The Error 500 page was displaying a sad little Archive mascot juggling Error 502 messages before, which was misleading. It is now merely sad.
  • As our temporary donation page (created for the last Membership Drive) will be in use a while longer, we adjusted some wording and links to avoid confusion.
  • The help text for the "Apply to make public" option for Site Skins was advising to use CSS comments for attribution and notes. However, due to the way we currently sanitize CSS, the comments are getting stripped out. The help text now tells you to use the Description field. Note: We are currently not reviewing submitted Site Skins, and are thinking of better ways to handle skins in general.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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