AO3 News

March 2014 Newsletter, Volume 78

Published: 2014-04-02 15:24:27 -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. CELEBRATING FANWORKS & FANDOMS

Following the milestone achievements of several of our projects in February, Communications planned a series of events in March to celebrate. The OTW thanks all of our panelists for taking part, and was delighted to see the many fans joining us for the chats. If you missed any of the events, check that link to catch up!

Journal followed their announcement of the Fan Fiction Studies Reader by releasing issue number 15 of Transformative Works & Cultures which featured articles on a variety of fandoms. They are already busy finishing up issue 16, and the editorial team is working hard on issue 17, which will come out in September.

Open Doors has started the import process for Yuletide, and will likely have a few busy months alongside the Yuletide mods and AD&T getting things ready. (AT LONG LAST. \o/)

Meanwhile Legal advised fans worried about SOPA about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and worked with Communications staffer John to release a post on copyright in China.

II. OVER AT THE AO3

Abuse had 160+ tickets come in during March. The most popular issues being reported are still plagiarism and non-fanwork content. As a reminder, they only need one report sent in about a specific issue. So if a work of yours has been plagiarized, please don't ask your friends to send in multiple reports!

Accessibility, Design and Technology had two more deploys in their current release cycle (Release 0.9.14) and are now getting ready to deploy a small bunch of fixes for gift exchange matching. Together with liaisons from Communications, and the Wiki Committee they've been preparing for our yearly April Showers event, during which we highlight a variety of old and new fandoms and encourage fannish activity on the AO3, including new fanworks, imports, and recs, and on Fanlore with new entries and edits to existing ones. For the upcoming April Drive, they've been working with DevMem on a drive email that can be sent to all 290,000+ AO3 users without bringing the mail server to its knees. Many thanks to james_ in Systems for his work in this endeavor!

Systems welcomed back former chair Sidra as a staffer, and added a new co-chair, Karen. Systems is continuing to split functions out onto the virtual servers we now own and run, making the AO3 sleeker and more distributed and reducing our dependence on outside providers for OTW-supporting functions. Systems has also been working with Support and Abuse to bring their trouble ticketing in-house for greater flexibility and reduced cost, using the same RT solution that Systems uses for their own tickets.

Thanks to the dedicated work of the Support team, they are caught up again, after two months of 460+ tickets. The six new staff members they've added will help keep them on track!

Tag Wrangling welcomed 15 new volunteers and the staff has been working on training the new volunteers, refining communication policies, helping Support with relevant tickets, and coordinating with AD&T and Systems to help wranglers work within server-related restrictions.

III. THINGS TO COME

Strategic Planning is gearing up to recruit some new staffers to help them hopefully complete the strategic planning process by the end of 2014. They are also working on completing reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, and DevMem, and finishing information-gathering on several other committees so they can move on to the report writing process. As always, they appreciate all the volunteers and staffers who have taken the time to participate in their survey process.

Development & Membership is pleased to welcome longtime staff member Lesann as their new co-chair. There's been plenty to work on as they've busily prepared for the April membership drive. Translation welcomed and trained over forty new volunteers in March and have also been at work translating all of DevMem's April drive posts.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting began the decommissioning of the Grants Committee, conducted recruitment for 4 roles, and tested the ticket tracking software that is part of our volunteer database software. They also resolved over 80 internal tickets!

The OTW would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members of the Grants committee for their work, as well as that of all our departing staff and volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Karen Johnson (Systems), Lesann (DevMem)
New Committee Staff: Kate E (Support), Cheyenne Bingham (Support), Meredith Sears (Support), Karlina (Support), Janna N. (Support), Agnieszka Górniok (Support), Sidra (Systems)
New Coder Volunteers: 1
New Communications Volunteers: Ania Kopertowska, Alice Wieckowska & 2 others
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Abby N-R, Aidan Walker, Amanda Triplett, Angie, Asmita, Bekkie, Beltenebra, happytohelp1991, hstoms, Imme, inkedcoffee, Karnipple, Lindsay MacMillan, Love_82, Maymay, Nerine Luna Cyran, nolifeinabox, Oryx, Skylark, yanajenn, and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Aurora, Meep, regenorakel, Anna Morbach, Liselot, Yenelie, Qiongshu Wu, Quincette, Sarah Konersmann, Nothorse, Mareen Fischer, Andita, Annachiara Traverso, Leonora, and 13 others

Departing Committee Chairs: Tara Keezer (Grants)
Departing Committee Staff: Sarah Trombley (Legal), 1 Open Doors staff, 3 Grants staff, 1 Web Strategy, Design & Development staff, 1 Internationalization & Outreach staff, 2 Support Staff
Departing Translator Volunteers: 2

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April Showers is here!

Published: 2014-03-31 14:56:55 -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'

Here at the OTW, preserving fannish history is a central part of our mission! We're proud to be able to offer fans a place to archive their works on the Archive of Our Own, and tell their own fannish histories on Fanlore. Both of these sites passed major milestones in February and represent works and stories about many thousands of fandoms.

However, we know that there are a lot more histories and fanworks out in the world which haven't found their way to the AO3 or Fanlore. So this month, we invite you to bring us fannish April showers by digging out those old zines, memories of past cons, archived personal webpages, tales of shipwars and fannish events, works on slowly-decaying archives, new works you've been putting off creating, and more! Help us celebrate fandom's history and diversity by uploading your old (and new) works to the AO3 and by telling your tales on Fanlore. When uploading to the AO3, you can tag your uploaded works April Showers 2014

Alternatively, celebrate your favorite fanworks on the Archive by sharing your recs with us. To do so, simply bookmark the fanwork in question and add it to our April Showers Recs collection.

 

Screen capture of the bookmark screen showing the Notes box, the Collections field (just type in April Showers Recs 2014, or use the autocomplete) and the Rec ticky box

 

To do this, either create a new bookmark of the work or edit an existing bookmark you'd like to highlight for this occasion. In the Bookmarking screen, scroll to the bottom, check the "Rec" box and add the name "April Showers Recs 2014" in the collection field. When sharing your recs, we encourage you to leave some comments about it in the Notes section, to help guide other fans.

For our part, we'll be highlighting a different fandom for each day of the month through our social media sites:

Check them for the hashtag #aprilshowers! We hope to jog your memories about fannish loves of the past and highlight some currently active fandom activity. However, don't feel you have to stick to the fandoms we highlight!

Fanlore editing party!

Keen to add your fannish memories to Fanlore but not sure where to start? Need your hand held as you make your first wiki edits? Or keen to share your skillz as an experienced Fanlore editor? Join Fanlore staff in the Fanlore chatroom for an editing party! You'll be able to get help making your first forays into editing Fanlore, toss around ideas for new pages, and ask questions. Everyone is welcome!

Join them on Saturday, 19 April, beginning at 20:00 UTC. The end time is still to be determined but you can see when the start time is in your timezone.

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Chat with our entertainment industry guests

Published: 2014-03-28 12:47:29 -0400

Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the last of its four March events with our entertainment industry guests discussing "The Future of Fanworks" from 1500 to 1700 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

Edited to add: The chat has ended but you can read the transcript.

Also, if you missed any of our Milestone Month events you can catch up now!

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Yuletide is Coming!

Published: 2014-03-26 12:54:48 -0400

The Yuletide Archive for 2003-2008 will be moving to the AO3 early very very late :P in 2010 by early 2012, dammit! *kof* in May 2014! (Yes, really.)

Edited 28, April, 2014: The section below discussing comment imports has a new addition.

In this post:

Background explanation

Yuletide is a popular annual gift exchange, and importing the Yuletide Archive to the Archive Of Our Own has been planned for a number of years. While the challenge has been operating on the AO3 since 2009, it’s not until now that we’ve been able to actually move the original archive.

What will happen?

In early May, our senior coders will import the Yuletide Archive, in a similar way that the Smallville Slash Archive and 852 Prospect archives were imported. All works will be imported, and anyone accessing the original work on yuletidetreasure.org will be redirected to the work on the AO3.

Will tags, comments and gift notifications be imported?
The original Yuletide archive only includes ratings and fandom names; Yuletide fandoms will be automatically converted to AO3 Canonical tags upon import. You will be able to change fandom tags and add other tags to your work once you have claimed it.

Edited to say: After some investigation it looks like we might be able to import comments as well. These comments would be imported as backdated comments on the imported work, and will be signed but not linked to an AO3 account. If a commenter would like their comment removed after the import, please contact Open Doors with a link to the work, the content of the comment, and a brief explanation. Please note that if a comment is deleted, we will provide the creator with a copy of the comment for their reference.

We will NOT be able to add backdated comments to works after the import in May. For creators that have already uploaded a copy of their work to the AO3, we recommend including a link to the preferred copy in the work Notes to redirect viewers; when our merge tool is complete, it can be used to combine the hit counts, comments, etc. of two works, while keeping a single body. For creators who would still like to delete the imported duplicate, we can provide a reference copy of the Yuletide comments page for their work, though these may not be manually uploaded to the AO3.

Manually copying and pasting comments onto an imported work will not be allowed. However, we will be able to import comments onto a pre-existing work on AO3 if you can contact Open Doors BEFORE the import with the following information:

Work Title:
YuletideTreasure.org URL:
AO3 URL:

If you used the Import from URL tool to add your Yuletide works to the AO3, you can skip this step. (If you can't remember, check the Yuletide URL here: http://archiveofourown.org/redirect. If the page redirects to your work on AO3, you're all set.

Works will contain a message "for Name". Once you’ve claimed your work, you’ll be able to assign it to the recipient, if they have an AO3 account. (Note that their Yuletide name and their AO3 name might be different; we advise against assigning it unless you’re sure of their AO3 account name.)

How will I be notified about my work being imported?
If the email address you used on yuletidetreasure.org still works, you should receive an email from the Archive inviting you to claim your works. :D

If you’ve lost access to the email address you used on yuletidetreasure.org, use this contact form to let us know and after the import happens, we can resend the claim email. If you've posted the stories elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the Yuletide Mods to confirm your claims.)

How will I claim my works?

The email will include a link to the claim page, where you can add your work to your AO3 account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be able to create one at that time. Once you’ve claimed your work, you’ll be able to edit the work and add additional AO3 tags.

I’ve already added my work to the AO3!
Excellent! Please add it to the appropriate Yuletide Collection. If you've used the AO3's Import tool to import your work from the Yuletide website, it will not be imported again. However, if you uploaded it manually, a duplicate will be produced. Once the import is completed, please let Open Doors know the URL of the work you would like the Yuletide link to redirect to and the URL of the duplicate we should delete.

I don’t want my work on the AO3!
After you receive the claim email, you can choose to delete or orphan your work.

The Yuletide Archive mods would much prefer you "orphan" your stories (i.e., remove all identifying information) rather than delete them. Orphaning of your works on the AO3 does not mean they expect you to orphan them everywhere, however. You are of course, as always, welcome to post your Yuletide stories anywhere else you want to, with whatever attribution you prefer.

Deletion of your work from the Yuletide Collection will leave you ineligible for participation in future years. If you have any questions about future eligibility, please direct them to the Yuletide mods at yuletideadmin [at] gmail.com

I have other 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’re also planning to hold two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses): April 26, 4pm UTC, and May 4, 1am UTC (click the links to see when the chats are held in your timezone). We'll provide a link to the OTW's public discussion chatroom in a reminder post on or before the dates of the chats.

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.

We’re delighted to finally welcome Yuletide entirely to the Archive of Our Own!

- The Open Doors team

Are you a Yuletide participant or otherwise enjoy the challenge? Share your memories on Fanlore and keep its story going for future generations—contributions are welcome from all fans! (New to wiki editing? No worries, just visit this page.)

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Come chat with Support!

Published: 2014-03-18 13:54:47 -0400

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

Edited to add: The Support chat has ended, but if you still have questions click on the Support link at the bottom of all AO3 pages.

If you've been enjoying The Future of Fanworks chat series, we hope you'll be reading the Q&A posts coming this weekend with our legal panel. However, if you're all set for a live chat, we'll be having one of those too!

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.

They'll be available on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 1600-2200 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?. If you can't make it to this one, keep an eye out for the next as Support will be doing other chats later this year.

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

We don't have a fancy presentation or material prepared--there are plenty of FAQs, tutorials, and admin posts for that. The point of live chat is to talk with you, not at you. We're happy for you to drop in and say "hi", but it's even better if you drop in and say, "Hi, what's up with my work that won't show as complete even though it is?!"

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 pay grade. (Just kidding--none of us get paid!) 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 (meta on the Archive, philosophical issues with the tagging system, category change, etc.) 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.

So, now that that's out of the way, what kind of things are we going to talk about?

Live chat is best for questions of a "How do I...?" or "Why does it...?" nature.

For example, you might have been wondering:

  • I'd like to run a challenge, but I'm not sure how to do what I want.
  • For that matter, where did my work submitted to an anonymous challenge go?!
  • I want to post using formatting the Rich Text Editor won't give me. How do I do it using a work skin?
  • I want to add a lot of my older works to the AO3 -- what would be the easiest way to do that?

We'd be happy to help you with any of these questions, and anything else you're having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive.

Note: The post originally listed a date from last year. Our apologies for any confusion!

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The OTW Needs Volunteers!

Published: 2014-03-17 14:19:30 -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 Support Staff, Translation Volunteers and Communications Graphics Volunteers. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:
  • AO3 Documentation Volunteers - applications accepted until 24 March
  • Strategic Planning Staff - applications accepted until 24 March
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteers - applications accepted until 24 March
  • Web Developer - applications accepted until 24 March

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.

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 Volunteers

The AO3 Documentation Workgroup manages external AO3 docs such as the FAQs and Tutorials. We’re looking for people who are familiar with the Archive of Our Own and have experience with writing and proofreading help documentation. If you enjoy helping your fellow fans learn how AO3 works, please click through to read the full details and apply to join the workgroup.

Applications are due 24 March 2014

Strategic Planning Staff The Strategic Planning Committee is looking for a staff member! We need someone interested in strategic planning, writing, and data processing who is willing to jump in with both feet. We're a professional, collaborative committee of people who believe in supporting each other through our work, and we want someone who is excited about the idea of being part of an environment of support, creativity, and critique. We are willing to train the right person in the OTW's processes, practices, and tools if you're willing to commit your time and energy to us!

Applications are due 24 March 2014

Tag Wrangler VolunteersThe Tag Wranglers are responsible for keeping the hundreds of thousands of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Based on internal guidelines, we choose which form a tag takes in the filters and auto-complete, and we link tags together to make the works and bookmarks on the archive easier to browse and search (so that users can find exactly what they’re looking for, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff).

If you like organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandom canons, 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 24 March 2014

Web Developer Do you have experience with Drupal and website management? Join our team of Web Developers! Web Developers are responsible for improvements to and maintenance of the primary OTW web properties. You will participate in an on-call rotation with other Web Developers, design and implement new features and fixes for the websites, and help to determine priorities for future web development efforts.

Applications are due 24 March 2014

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Join fans for a Future of Fanworks chat!

Published: 2014-03-14 15:06:44 -0400

Banner by Alice of a question mark shaped out of communication objects such as an envelope and TV

Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the second of its four March events discussing "The Future of Fanworks" from 0100 - 0300 UTC on March 15th/16th (What time is that in my timezone?)
  • Moderator: Jintian, OTW Communications staffer
  • Guest: cereta
  • Guest: yhlee
  • Guest: yifu

Edited to add: The chat has concluded but if you missed it, here's the transcript!

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Join us for our chat with fan studies authors!

Published: 2014-03-07 13:24:47 -0500

Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the first of its four March events discussing "The Future of Fanworks." This will be a live chat with fan studies scholars from 1600-1800 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

Edited to add The chat has concluded but if you missed it, here's the transcript!

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