AO3 News

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Published:
2009-11-18 21:01:37 -0500
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Please note these are live updating google charts so they take a moment to load - on the other hand - up to date stats!

ETA Updated with static images stored on flickr.

invitations_-_archive_of_our_own 2009 11 28 09:00 UTC works_created 2009 11 28 09:00 UTC works_created_per_user 2009 11 28 09:00 UTC users_&_fandoms_created 2009 11 28 09:00 UTC new_works_and_users 2009 11 28 09:00 UTC

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Published:
2009-11-17 15:36:26 -0500
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OMG we did it people! It's almost exactly 2.5 years (17th May 2007) since a certain someone said we should build an Archive of Our Own and I am so proud of us!

We didn’t have a meeting this week unless you count staying logged into the chatroom continuously from Friday afternoon to Monday morning (I lie, I left to sleep occasionally). We *did* have a number of passionate discussions which revolved around performance, squee, bugs, more squee, support, and you know, squee.

Fun things (some of them) I have done in the last 5 days.

  • Ticked a tickybox marked “Invite from queue enabled ” and clicked ‘Update’
  • Entered ‘50’ into a field marked “Number of people to invite:” and clicked ‘Invite from queue’ I did that a lot! My apologies to people kicking the queue during the times I was asleep in Australia, we decided it would be easier if one person managed invite issuing.
  • Posted a few times
  • Sleep - still building up to that :p

AO3 Launch Update: [info - personal] zooey_glass masterfully summarised the launch in her fabulous post Open Beta - How the party's going! and we’ve set up an AO3_Status on Twitter to let people know what’s going on in the (hopefully extremely rare) event of an outage.

AO3 Invitation update: We were issueing 30-50 per hour for a fair amount of the weekend. We're now switching to letting the automated job issue about 50 per day. We'll re-evaluate this on the coming weekend.

Stats as of Wed 18th 1:00 am UTC for the curious :)


  • Number of shareable invitation codes issued to account holders: 531
    Number of invitations issued to addresses from the queue: 1305
    Total invitations issued: 1757Total unused invitations out there: 520
    Number of accounts before Open Beta: 347
    Number of accounts at present: 1663
    Potential number of accounts: 2104
    Accounts created during Open Beta: 1316
    Percent invitation uptake: 79%
    Percent increase in accounts: 379%

  • Number of works before Open Beta: 6598
    Number of works at present: 13502
    Works created during Open Beta: 6904
    Percent increase in works: 205%

  • Number of fandoms represented before Open Beta: 674
    Number of fandoms represented at present: 1104
    New fandoms created: 430
    Percent increase in fandoms:164%

AO3 Help:[info - personal] zvi  has generously contributed a fabulous explanation of how the tagging wuzzle system works and in that vein I have bookmarked some other great posts I have seen. Comment and let me know if you see, or would like to contribute something. We're conscious we need to do more of this so if you have an urge to write 'help using the AO3' documentation we're keen on recruiting you. We'll do this regardless (the writing, not the recruiting although we like doing that too) but we love new people and welcome fresh views.

AO3 Support: We're doing our best to respond to everyone and we're delighted people are talking to us - we're also getting a lot of requests so please, be patient with us if we don't respond immediately.

Deploy Schedule:We have a mini-release called Release 0.7.1.1  (heh,  'mini', it has 29 items so far) of fixes to some of the most commonly reported problems. We'd like to deploy it this weekend but we're making changes to the Post Work form so if it doesn't test clean we'll delay until it does.

If there are things you want to do/say - feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you're comfortable with. You are invited to this party :)

Previous posts on Dreamwidth (by[info - personal] samvara the 2009 committee chair) and the Organization for Transformative Works website (by the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee)

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Published:
2009-11-17 14:31:24 -0500
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The information in this news post is out of date. It is being kept for archival purposes. The Tag Wrangling Committee is working on new documentation that represents the current state of tags. You can view our current wrangling guidelines for more accurate information.

Zvi, in a moment of inspiration has written up a fabulous explanation of how Tags Wuzzles work and has generously offered to let us post it.

 

Tags Wuzzles explained

Tags are mysterious deep voodoo a mix of freeform (everyone picks their own) and controlled vocabulary (everyone picks from a list of pre-existing tags). They are not being handled like any tags anywhere else in computing that I am aware of. So, just, forget what you know from del.icio.us or blogging or the library card catalogue. Start with a blank slate.

In fact, instead of calling them tags, we shall call them wuzzles. Just to make it clearer that wuzzles are different from all other tags.

Okay, first of all, you should know that all of the fields in the Story Tags Wuzzles box are wuzzles (Story Wuzzle box illustration), not just the field labeled Tags Wuzzles. So fandom names are wuzzles and character names are wuzzles and warnings are wuzzles and angst (if you put it in the Tags Wuzzles field) is a wuzzle.

Screenshot of the Post Form with Wuzzels identified

You can write anything you feel like down as a wuzzle. You could write dirty socks or a boy named sue or antidisestablishmentarianism. You could write wuzzle as a wuzzle.

However, behind the scenes, there are Tag Wuzzle Wranglers, who are automagically in a labor intensive, thoughtful, solomonesque process, trying to bring the wuzzles together, so that even though I write Star Trek: AOS as a fandom wuzzle, and you write Star Trek XI as a fandom wuzzle, and StarFleetAdmiral writes Star Trek Reboot as a fandom wuzzle, when ExampleTheFan clicks on the fandom wuzzle Star Trek (2009), they get shown all three of our stories.

This is (a) pretty doable for TV shows and characters (Wranglers check Wikipedia and official sources to find out the official name) and (b) highest priority for fandoms and characters, because those wuzzles are the ones that everyone uses. There are elaborate rules describing how they pick one wuzzle [Star Trek (2009)] as the canonical wuzzle (canonical here refers to the archive software and what shows up on filters and in certain URLs) and make the other wuzzles (Star Trek XI, etc.) synonym wuzzles.

But why are some of the wuzzles not in the filters or the tag wuzzle cloud? Well, the Tag Wuzzle wuzzles are a slightly lower priority for wrangling in the first place. Also, it's harder for the Wranglers to decipher exactly what you meant by a weird wuzzle like a boy named sue. Also, also, even when it's clear what something means (like cunnilingus, which is pretty unambiguous) it's not always  clear what other wuzzles it should go with (should rimming, cunnilingus, and fellatio all get wrangled together as oral sex? or should they be separate?) So if nobody has yet wrangled a wuzzle (which, in addition to figuring out if it is like these other wuzzles, also includes important responsibilities like making sure the correct spelling is the official wuzzle, and making sure that even if the fandom and a character have the same name e.g. Buffy/Buffy, they are separated in the database), then you get the unwrangled wuzzle message:

This tag belongs to the Tag Category.

This tag has not been marked common and can't be filtered on (yet).

Basically, the wuzzles are not automated and depend on human volunteers to do what needs doing, and the volunteers can't do everything at once, in the first part, and have to make actual decisions in the second part.

Also, also, also, they realised that they needed to make a way for a wuzzle to be a subset of another wuzzle, like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC need to be sub-wuzzles of Popslash, so that if you click on the Popslash wuzzle you get both of those, but if you click on *NSYNC, you don't get Backstreet but the code for this was tricksy, so that’s not built yet.

And there is yet a third sort of wuzzle that they need, the ambiguous wuzzle. This is so that if someone labels their story bandslash, the archive can stay completely agnostic as to whether this means six degrees of Pete Wentz or any professional musicians at all. Code for that has not been written either.

Which still leaves the more normally ambiguous wuzzles, to wit: is badassery the equivalent of kicksass, and other existential wuzzle wrangling musings.

If you think your wuzzle has been wrangled the wrong way, send a support request! The Wranglers are doing their best, but your story may be the first time they have ever heard of your fandom, or the first time they've ever read the word you're using as a wuzzle, or they may just have thought about what you wrote differently than how you meant it. Once upon a time, safer sex and unsafe sex were wrangled together, because they were both about sex. I pointed out that they mean the opposite of each other, and now they are separate (but, sadly, unwrangled) wuzzles. Don't forget, if you're not sure what wuzzles to use, you can add them later or change them to something else once you figure it out.

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Published:
2009-11-15 06:05:26 -0500
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Open Beta - how it's going!

We're now in the second day of Open Beta for the Archive of Our Own! It's been a crazy weekend! Here are a few updates on how it's all going.

First of all, some of you will have noticed that we did experience some site downtime between roughly 6:00 UTC and 7:45 UTC. Sorry about this! The good news is that this was not caused by excessive volume on our servers, but by a bug which caused a server process to hang. Happily this was very easy to fix - the outage only went on so long because it happened to strike at a moment when all our Systems people were unavailable. (Our Systems team are beyond awesome, but they are few in number and sometimes they have to eat and sleep!) We're working on a more permanent fix for this bug.

Our site downtime was a timely reminder that we need a better way to communicate quickly with users when the site goes down. From now on we'll be posting to AO3_Status on Twitter with any status updates. You can subscribe to us on Twitter, follow the RSS feed, or just check the Twitter page directly to stay informed about site status.

That short hiccup aside, things have been going GREAT so far. The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that invitations have been issued a bit faster than the queue estimate suggests. This is because the queue estimates the time your invitation will go out based on the number set to be issued automatically. We've been issuing batches manually to give the process a headstart, and we've actually issued them slightly faster than we planned. This is because even at peak usage times, the servers have been coping really well with the extra load. (As mentioned above, the problems they did experience were caused by a bug, not the usage volume.) We're really happy that we've been able to bring in lots of new users right away!

Depending on how things go in the next 12 hours, we will probably issue one or two more batches of invitations to addresses in the queue manually. After that, batches of invitations will be issued automatically on a daily basis, although we'll be monitoring the site carefully to be sure that everything is as it should be.

A few statistics for your interest:

Number of shareable invitation codes issued to existing account holders: 451
Number of invitations issued to addresses from the queue: 958
Total invitations issued: 1410
Total unused invitations out there: 663

Number of accounts before Open Beta: 347
Number of accounts at present: 1076
Potential number of accounts: 1707
Accounts created during Open Beta: 747
Percent invitation uptake: 62%
Percent increase in accounts: 315%

Number of works before Open Beta: 6598
Number of works at present: 9506
Works created during Open Beta: 2908
Percent increase in works: 144%

Number of fandoms represented before Open Beta: 674
Number of fandoms represented at present: 886
New fandoms created: 212
Percent increase in fandoms: 131%

 

You can see from the above that the site has already expanded massively! We're over the moon that it is holding up so well, and we're very excited about seeing the variety of fandom represented. Remember, we welcome fans from all corners of fandom. If you don't see your fandom represented in the Archive at the moment, then it just means you might get to be the person to add it! You don't have to wait for us to add a tag for your fandom, just enter it manually and we'll take care of it!

Since the site is still in Beta, there are still bugs floating around and many more improvements planned. We're happy to be receiving lots of feedback through our Support and Feedback form. Our amazing Support team is doing a sterling job responding to the support requests and general feedback that's come through already. So far, we've received 200 support requests and have responded to approximately 150 of them. We've also helped with a few problems in our Support Chatroom. Please feel free to drop in there and chat with us!

You can find more information about the Archive of Our Own and Open Beta under our posts Announcing Open Beta, Open Beta is here! and Archive Open Beta News and FAQs.

This Open Beta launch is the culmination of more than two years of work by a whole host of people: the coders and systems people who built the Archive itself, the host of people managing design and documentation, the dedicated testers who worked out the bugs, those who raised funding and organised volunteers, those who wrote policies and worked out the legal issues, translators, tag wranglers, support people and many many more. It's also the fruit of the amazing support of fandom. We're pleased and proud that it is going so well - thank you to everyone!

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Published:
2009-11-14 11:10:22 -0500
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We're now eight hours into Open Beta for the Archive of Our Own, and we're really excited to see people signing up and using the Archive. So far, we've seen new 493 accounts created, and our new users have added more than 1500 new works in over 150 fandoms! Our lovely front-end coder and support volunteer Cesy has been tracking our progress with some beautiful graphs: New users and fandoms since Open Beta and New works since Open Beta.

If you have questions about what Open Beta is and how to get an account, please check out our Announcing Open Beta post \0/

Open Beta is still beta, and as such the site still has a few kinks. We really value the feedback that our new users have been giving us, and our lovely Support team are working hard to respond to queries as fast as possible. In order to keep our users informed, we'd like to highlight a few of the more common issues and questions here:

Invitation queue


If you sign up via our invitation queue and have trouble entering your email address, check there aren't any extra spaces before or after it. This has been causing a few problems with our validation - it's a bug that will be fixed very soon.

If you joined the invitation queue and when you check back it says you're not in the queue, then please check your spam for your invitation email. If it hasn't shown up, then submit a support request and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Invitation codes


If you receive an invitation via email, you can just click on the link to get to the sign-up page and your code will be entered automatically.

If you are an existing user of the Archive and you'd like to give a code to a friend, then you need to give them an invitation link, not just the raw code. You can choose to send them an email via 'Invitations' on your user home, and this will happen automatically. If you want to share a code without sending an email, then go to 'Manage invitations' and you'll see an option to 'Copy and use' your existing codes. Click on this to copy the invitations link - it's this that you need to share with people.

Account names


The Archive of Our Own allows you to post under various pseuds. However, these are linked to your account name, and this name will be displayed publicly on the site. Therefore, ensure your user name is one you don't mind other people seeing! Please also take care entering it, as it's difficult to change once it's been created.

We'll be improving the information text on the account creation page shortly to make this clearer - sorry to those of you who were confused.

Problems with special characters


We are experiencing some problems with special characters such as em-dashes (the long 'double hyphen'), umlauts and accents. In some cases, these characters will cause posts or imports to be cut off. If this happens to you, a workaround at present is to use the raw html coding for the special character (see this list of html entities for reference). We're working hard to put in a proper fix as soon as possible. (We hope it won't discourage posting in languages other than English in the meantime - we're excited to see works in Czech, German, French and Spanish already!)

We'll keep updating our Known Issues page on the Archive of Our Own with any further bugs that arise, and you may also find the Archive FAQ helpful. We'll also be posting regular Archive News Posts on the AO3 (mirrored on the OTW News blog and mirrors) to keep everyone up-to-date on new developments.

 

Despite a few inevitable bugs, Open Beta has been going really well! The shiny AO3 servers (owned by fandom, y'all!) are holding up really well under the vigorous workout they're receiving, and we're totally jazzed to see people using and enjoying the Archive. Thanks so much to everyone who got us here! <3

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Published:
2009-11-14 00:00:02 -0500

This means that you can now request an invitation! Get all the details and answers to your questions in our Open Beta information post.

Thank you to everyone in fandom who made this possible! We're incredibly grateful to everyone who got us this far – all the OTW staffers in their many roles, those of you who supported us with your donations, and fandom at large for being awesome.

FANDOM OWNS THE SERVERS, GUYS! Come and join the party!

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Published:
2009-11-13 00:05:27 -0500
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The Archive of Our Own Open Beta launch: Saturday 14th November (see the world clock for the launch time in your timezone).

We're thrilled to announce that the Archive Of Our Own will enter Open Beta on Saturday! *\0/*

Now that we're in Open Beta, we're ready to start expanding our user numbers so that fandom can use the Archive for real!

Open Beta - your questions answered!

How do I get an invitation for the Archive?
You can get an invitation in two ways:

  • You can add your email address to the invitation queue (opens Saturday 14th November see world clock for the launch time in your timezone). We'll send out invitations to addresses on the queue on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on how many new accounts we can support at a given time. This way, you won't have to know someone who already has an account in order to have a chance of getting one.

  • Users who have an account on the Archive will be given a certain number of invitations to hand out to their friends. We know that people like to share the fannish glee and to build their networks on new sites, and we want to give people a chance to do that. Extra invitation codes will be issued to users periodically depending on how many new users the site can manage.

When will the invitation queue open?
The invitation queue will open on Saturday 14th November - world clock for the launch time in your timezone. Our launch post will let you know the link for the queue, and we'll begin issuing accounts to addresses in the queue right away!

We know that many of you in North America will still be asleep when the queue opens - since fandom is international, it was inevitable that this would be the case for someone. We've timed it this way so that as many of our staffers as possible can be around to provide support. We also anticipate that there will be more users from North America, so we wanted to give folks from elsewhere a chance to get on board before the queue gets out of control.

If you are unable to join the queue because of the timing, a friend can add your email address to the queue for you.

How long will it take for me to get an account?
If you've requested an invitation code, you can check where you are in the queue. Just enter your email address on the invitations page, and you'll receive an estimate of when you will receive your invitation, based on the rate at which we're sending out invitations and the number you are in the queue. Exactly how many invitations we can send out per day will depend on how well the site responds to the extra users.

I already have an account. How do I give an invitation to someone else?
On your user homepage (which you can get to by clicking 'My Home' when you're logged in), you'll see a new tab called 'Invitations'. You can manage all your invitations here, and if you've run out then you can request some more.

To send an invitation to someone, just enter their email address and select the invitation you'd like to use. They'll be sent an automated email. You'll be able to keep track of which invitations have been used on your 'Manage Invitations' page.

What can I do if I have questions or need help?
If you have questions about the general process, feel free to leave a comment on this post and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible. (So that everyone can share in the same discussion and see one another's questions, we're disabling comments everywhere except the main OTW blog. Please hop over there to comment!)

If you have questions about the Archive, then you might find the answer in our Frequently Asked Questions. You can also check out Known Issues to see if you've hit a bug we're already working on.

If your question isn't answered in the FAQ then please submit a support request and our support team will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Finally, during the first few days of Open Beta, we'll be offering live support through our Support Chatroom. We'll keep this staffed as much as possible - OTW staffers can be identified by the OTW on the end of their names. Of course, non staffers should also feel free to help one another out - if you can answer someone else's question, then don't feel shy!

I have Opinions about the Archive. What should I do?
The Archive is by fans, for fans and we love to hear your feedback! Open Beta is still a work in progress, and we'll be adding new features, fixing bugs and making enhancements in response to your feedback. Send us your comments via the Support and Feedback form.

If you'd like to be more involved, we always welcome volunteers. No previous experience required!

The Archive of Our Own is for all fans - please spread the word in your fandoms near and far, and come and join the party!

This post is also available in Deutsch, Español, Français and Suomi.

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Published:
2009-11-09 21:18:34 -0500
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11pm to 1:10 am for me but I was pretty wired so getting tired certainly wasn’t an issue. We’re all pretty wired, this weekend was the Open Beta deploy. The code is in and it hasn’t broken anything (yet) so this was our last Open Beta planning session. We care a lot and it was reflected in the passionate discussion about timing (when do we launch, when do we tell people things - see below), scale up (how many people can we take and how fast - we don’t know but we’re going to find out… cautiously!) and method of distributing invitations (invitation queue signup versus giving invite codes to existing users - we favour the invitation queue signup because it is democratic). *grins* We’ve actually been having variations on this discussion since May but it’s taken on a whole new dimension of urgency.

  • Deploy Schedule: the AO3 has been updated to revision 1692 (Release 0.7.1) and is looking pretty fine. Release Notes are up if you want the details and the next deploy is in two weeks.
    • Collections & Challenges: [info - personal] astolat has been working on phase one which is core stuff to enable us to import works and authors into a ‘Collections’ skeleton for Yuletide.
    • Deleting chapters with comments: Right now if you do this you lose the comments, we’re putting something together that will give you the choice of moving the comments to a different chapter or deleting them.
  • Open Beta: ‘Mid November’ = Next weekend. OMG! It’s been creeping up on us for a while and we think we’re finally ready. What this means is we’ll be poking the AO3 during the week and if we don’t see anything alarming (we totally reserve the right to pull the plug if we hit a nasty surprise) we’ll do a number of things:
    • Communicate: We’ll put up a post with exact details one day before we launch so people know when we’re turning the invitation queue on.
      • We are conscious the timing may disadvantage some people and we've tried to pick a time that is as fair as possible. I understand we can't possibly meet everyone's needs, and for that I am sorry. I do want to assure you the people who made this decision are from a variety of places in the world and this isn't a decision we take lightly.
      • The post will go to all the OTW mirrors at the same time (Web, DW, LJ etc.), so no need to mercilessly refresh the AO3 ;)
      • If you are unable to join the queue because of the timing, a friend can add your email address to the queue for you.
    • Launch: We’ll turn on the invitation queue and make an announcement on all mirrors. This will make a link on the front page visible; it will read ‘SIGN UP NOW’ and it takes you to a page where you can enter an email address.
      • Invitation codes: we will issue a small number of invitation codes to Closed Beta users in recognition of the constant feedback, the helpful suggestions, and the patience with funky code and constant redesign.
      • Invitation queue: we will make the invitation queue location available to members of the OTW (past and present) for 24 hours prior to publishing it publicly in recognition of the people who may not have been able to give their time, but supported the organisation as a whole to make this day possible. We do not expect this to clog the queue.
    • Add users: We'll monitor performance as a result of the first round of invitations being taken up and we'll make decisions about how many to add and how fast to add them based on what we see.
    • Hyperventilate: (that’s one of my tasks)
  • Stuff coming up: Open Beta!

If there are things you want to do/say - feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you're comfortable with. You are invited to this party :)

Previous posts on Dreamwidth (by[info - personal] samvara the 2009 committee chair) and the Organization for Transformative Works website (by the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee)

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