AO3 News

April Membership Drive: Spotlight on Open Doors

Published: 2014-04-04 14:11:55 -0400

Stepping Stones: Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 3-9

As this year’s theme of Stepping Stones reminds us, our future is built on our past. No OTW project better exemplifies that than Open Doors, which is dedicated to preserving fanworks for future generations.

In the past, fanworks were not as easy to access as they are now. Before the age of modern websites, fandoms were only able to be celebrated in fanzines, newsletters, and clubs. Fan videos were created using VCRs. Conventions had fan-made T-shirts, buttons, and calendars whose pictures were not able to be instantly posted to Facebook and Tumblr. Open Doors has helped memorialize these contributions through the Fan Culture Preservation Project. This project is a partnership between the OTW and the Special Collections department at the University of Iowa Library where non-digital fanworks donated from private collections have been preserved for future generations.

In the present, we have seen entire archives disappear due to host server shutdowns, lack of funds, or outdated software; Open Doors works to help save these archives from disappearing entirely. They have worked on everything from helping archives import their works to AO3, to backing up archives in case hosting services shut down before they can be moved, to digitizing a classic fan novel series (with the permission of the author) in an attempt to save fanworks from disappearing entirely. The next major milestone will be the importing of the original Yuletide archive, scheduled for next month. Open Doors has also assisted in importing the Good Omens Library, GSSU- German Speaking Slashers United archive, the Dannell Lites archive, and the Leah Adezio archive.

For the road ahead, Open Doors is working to improve the automated import process and to prevent loss by working with archive mods on estate planning so that in the event of an untimely death an archive will not be lost. By being proactive, Open Doors hopes to prevent the inevitable issues that arise from such losses, and to protect these fanworks.

All of this is funded by the OTW through your donations. Take a moment to think about your favorite fic (the one you go back to and reread all the time), that fanart you reblogged twice because you wanted it to stay on your dashboard, that fanvid that was so enjoyable it got a song you had never heard before stuck in your head for three days. Think about whether you want those to be around for others to enjoy in the future. By taking a moment to donate to the OTW, you are helping to protect and preserve all of these. You are ensuring that your fandom will be around for you and others to enjoy, inspiring future generations.

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Release 0.9.14 (Part 4): Change Log

Published: 2014-04-04 11:30:14 -0400

This deploy consists of code contributions by Naomi and was tested by the combined efforts of many volunteers, including testers, coders, tag wranglers, and Support personnel. Special thanks to QA lead Lady Oscar for her diligence!

These code changes fix several issues with the way potential matches for a gift exchange are generated and displayed. Further refinements and improvements to challenge features are planned.

Details

  • Previously, the "Matching" page included a list of all the potential givers for each participant, sorted by quality of match, which frequently caused the page to take way too long to load: it timed out and just displayed an error. We changed the way matches are generated and saved, so the page should be much more stable.
  • In addition, the page consisted of separate forms for dealing with various issues (users without potential matches, users who didn't have an assignment, etc.), leading to a messy and confusing layout. We have now put each listing on a page by itself, so you can focus on each problem (no match at all, no assigned recipient, etc.) one by one.
  • Very infrequently, invalid sign-ups can be created, e.g. due to a server hiccup during times of high traffic and a large volume of sign-ups. This previously caused the assignment process to crash silently in the background. We now alert individual users if their sign-up is invalid. We also check for invalid sign-ups and notify the moderators by email before running potential match generation, so they can fix them before they get to the problematic step.
  • The assignment view has been rearranged - all assignments now list an ID and a pair of recipient and giver. Clicking on the assignment ID will show you their respective requests and offers to gauge the match.
  • The help text on the various little forms (accessible through the little blue question marks) has been updated and expanded.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Stepping Stones: OTW April Membership Drive

Published: 2014-04-03 14:39:03 -0400


Stepping Stones: Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 3-9

The Organization for Transformative Works has celebrated major milestones in the past weeks. Fanlore passed 500,000 edits, the Archive of Our Own passed 1 million fanworks, and our Journal Committee editors produced The Fan Fiction Studies Reader. In March, we hosted a series of discussions on "The Future of Fanworks" with academic, fan, legal, and entertainment industry guests to celebrate these achievements.

Now it's time to focus on the path ahead! Every milestone we've reached has been a direct result of the cumulative generosity and effort of OTW members and volunteers. By making a donation, you can help create the path to the OTW's future, and help us reach all the milestones yet to come.

During our membership drive from now through April 9, we invite you to become an OTW member by making a donation of US$10 or more. Your contribution will help to sustain the Archive of Our Own, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, Fanlore, Fanhackers, and our legal advocacy work. If you donate US$50 or more, you can opt to receive a thank-you gift to proudly show off your support.

Donations to OTW are tax deductible in the United States. If you have questions about donating, please visit our membership FAQ (located at the bottom of the donation page) or contact the Development & Membership committee.

Your donation is a stepping stone to the OTW's future. Help us forge the path to preserving and fostering more fanworks and fannish history, achieving more legal victories, and encouraging more high-quality fannish scholarship. Please donate today!

Help us spread the word! Please share this graphic by copying the code below and pasting it into your blog or website, or reblog/retweet us on Tumblr or Twitter!

<div style="text-align:center"><a href="http://transformativeworks.org/how-you-can-help/support"><img src=" http://transformativeworks.org/sites/default/files/April%202014%20drive%20-%20Stepping%20Stones%20-%20English.png" alt="Stepping Stones: Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 3-9" /></a></div>

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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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