AO3 News

Post Header

Published:
2017-05-10 12:44:40 -0400
Tags:

OTW Recruitment Banner by Erin

Are you fluent in a language other than English, or have experience with research methods, problem solving or nonprofit governance?

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Tag Wrangling Volunteers, Elections Staff, and Volunteers & Recruiting Staff.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:


  • Strategic Planning Staff - closing Wednesday 17 May 23:59 UTC


  • Translation Volunteers - closing Wednesday 17 May 23:59 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.

Strategic Planning Staff

The Strategic Planning Committee is recruiting for new staff members! We are a close-knit and collaborative committee of people who are tasked with researching, developing, and supporting the implementation of the strategic plan. We are looking for organized people well-versed in problem-solving and research methods, with knowledge of or a background in nonprofit governance. A strong background in informational interviewing is a plus, but not a requirement. We welcome all perspectives and are actively interested in people with diverse views on fandom and the OTW!

Applications are due Wednesday 17 May 23:59 UTC

Translation Volunteers

If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, 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! Translation volunteers help make the OTW and its projects accessible to a wider global audience. We work on translating content by the OTW and its projects from English to other languages, such as site pages, news posts, AO3 FAQs and AO3 Support emails. (However, we do not translate fanworks.)

We really need volunteers who speak Arabic, Bengali, Croatian, Japanese, Kiswahili, Korean, Latvian, Malay, Marathi, Romanian, Serbian, Turkish, Vietnamese and Welsh—but help with other languages would be much appreciated.

(Please note that our Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process.

More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page.

Applications are due Wednesday 17 May 23:59 UTC

Read more and apply at the Organization for Transformative Works' Volunteering page!

Comment

Post Header

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

I. Membership Drive Success and April Showers

Thank you to everyone who helped make our recent OTW Membership Drive a rousing success! We raised US$146,595.80 from 5,660 donors in 73 countries. Whether you donated or helped spread the word about the drive, your support means the world to us. You can see how your donations will be put to use in our budget post.

Thanks to Development & Membership, Communications, Translation, and everyone else who worked hard on this drive.

Fanlore was also busy hosting the month-long April Showers celebration. The event was to encourage people to contribute their own stories and experiences to Fanlore, especially those from smaller fandoms. Kudos to everyone who created or expanded an article this month. You can learn more about April Showers at Fanlore's Dreamwidth community or new Tumblr account.

II. At the AO3

The Archive of Our Own hit a major milestone in April: 3 million fanworks! To celebrate, we're asking to hear from you, our users. It's the people who make AO3 what it is, so tell us your #myAO3 story about what the Archive means to you and help spread the squee.

Also during April, Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed three batches of fixes, which were summed up in the most recent Release Notes. They also had some extra fun when the database that holds everyone's AO3 History ran out of numbers.

While the aim is always to fix urgent bugs and take care of performance issues that make AO3 unstable, the focus has been on backend upgrades for several months now, and progress has been made. The first step towards running the latest version of Ruby on Rails was completed (converting all our code to work with strong parameters, for the curious). \o/ Also, the contractor started the actual Rails upgrade process, which will happen in several steps to get us from Rails 3.2 to Rails 5.

Tag Wrangling made minor updates to the wrangling guidelines. These updates included changes to when (Character) is used as a disambiguation, as well as a project to un-subtag show-specific RPF fandoms from the RPF fandoms for specific countries. Since many actors work in shows from many different places, it was leading to confusion, so show-specific RPF fandoms are now subtagged directly to Actor RPF.

The implementation of some earlier guideline updates was also completed to standardize the treatment of fusion settings in the Alternate Universe tag tree, which involved the removal of a few character-specific tags that didn’t really belong in the Alternate Universe tree.

Lastly, Support received over 770 tickets, and Abuse received roughly 600.

III. Legal Advocacy and Scholarly Fandom

In the tail-end of March, Legal filed a comment with the U.S. Copyright Office, responding to a Copyright Office inquiry asking whether the U.S. should adopt additional “moral rights” laws requiring that authors be identified in connection with their works (known as a right of “attribution”) and requiring an author’s permission to make changes to copyrighted works (known as a right of “integrity”). In their comment, they argued that a right of integrity would harm free expression, and that while in general attribution norms are often beneficial and common within fan communities, they should not be given the force of law.

In April, together with our allies in the Re:Create Coalition, Legal sent letters to the U.S. House, Senate, and Executive Branch advocating for balanced copyright laws. The letter laid out a set of key values to help guide copyright policy, including the value of free expression. “We support the Constitutional promise that all people should be able to express themselves freely and believe that such expression includes fair use of works created by others, as protected by the Copyright Act and the courts. Overly-burdensome copyright laws stifle free speech, expression and the diffusion of knowledge in society."

Are you interested in meta about fanfiction? Transformative Works and Cultures staffer Francesca Coppa recently published a new book, The Fanfiction Reader, and all royalties are being donated to the OTW! So if you'd like to read some fanworks and writing about those fanworks, check out the link or let interested friends know it's available.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections announced the 2017 election timeline this month. This year's election will be held August 11-14. The membership deadline for being eligible to vote is June 30. Candidates running for the Board of Directors will be announced on June 21. Check out Elections' Twitter and Tumblr for updates throughout the election season.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 30th of April, the OTW has 604 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: pyrrhical (Fanlore), 1 Fanlore Staff, capitola (Tag Wrangling), Stephanie Godden (Elections), JessicaLovesSocks2658 (Abuse), Jonny H. (Abuse), 8 Abuse staff, adustyspectacle (Tag Wrangling), Solovei (Tag Wrangling), rachelisce (Tag Wrangling), 1 Translation, 1 Tag Wrangling
New Fanlore Gardener Volunteers: SavannahM, 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Silarona

Departing Committee Staff: Cat Goodfellow (Communications), Patrycja Zarzecka (Elections), Sofia (Abuse), Aline Carrão (Translation), 1 Tag Wrangling, 3 Abuse
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: alicefung & 1 Other
Departing Communications Volunteers: doughtier
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Cadkitten and 5 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: XxArt, Chloë C, Quincette, 1 other

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

Comment

Post Header

Death-Marked Love site banner

Death-Marked Love, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own - AO3.

In this post:

Background explanation

Death-Marked Love was a prominent Buffy/Spike website which was active from 2001-2007 and hosted a lot of fanfiction which was published during this era. Until recently the website was being privately hosted but was, unfortunately, shut down without notice. In order to preserve the stories which were hosted there, a lot of which cannot be found elsewhere, the decision has been made to migrate all the hosted fiction onto AO3.

Open Doors will be working with the moderator, Hils, to import the Death-Marked Love archive into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own.

We will begin importing works from Death-Marked Love to the AO3 after May 2017.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on Death-Marked Love?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of 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 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

Please contact Open Doors with your Death-Marked Love pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. you have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Death-Marked Love 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 great; if not, we will work with the Death-Marked Love mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on:

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Death-Marked Love 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 Death-Marked Love!

- The Open Doors team and Hils

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2017-04-28 10:09:12 -0400
Tags:

AO3 3 million fanworks

Partial screenshot of the AO3 homepage showing 3 million fanworks

The Archive of Our Own is thrilled to announce that it is now home to 3 million fanworks! This amazing accomplishment could not have happened without the support and engagement of you, our incredible users.

A bit of history about the Archive:

  • The idea for a fan-owned archive was first suggested in May 2007
  • The Archive of Our Own went into closed beta almost a year and a half later, in October 2008
  • A little over a year after that, in November 2009, AO3 entered open beta, where anyone could request an invitation and make an account
  • Before open beta, there were 347 user accounts and 6598 fanworks from 674 fandoms
  • Two days after open beta started, there were 1076 user accounts and 9506 fanworks from 886 fandoms
  • The millionth fanwork was posted to AO3 on February 15, 2014, just under four and a half years after going into open beta
  • The two millionth fanwork was posted to AO3 on December 20, 2015, less than two years after reaching one million fanworks

And now, less than a year and a half after reaching 2 million fanworks, we're celebrating 3 million! The past decade has been an incredible journey, and the AO3 has grown more than we ever could have hoped back when it first started.

Help Us Celebrate

It's the people who make the Archive of Our Own what it is. Our more than 1 million registered users--and countless unregistered users--are some of the most enthusiastic and passionate folks around, giving so much of themselves in the works, comments, and kudos that they share. So we want to hear your stories. What does AO3 mean to you?

You can share your answer in a word. You can share it in an essay. In a drawing. A song. However you want to celebrate your experience, we want to know about it. Leave a comment or use the hashtag #myAO3 on social media so we can hear what you have to say.

Three million thank yous to everyone who helped the Archive get to where it is today!

Comment

Post Header

OTW April 2017 Membership Drive

Thank you for supporting the OTW! Our April 2017 drive has come to a close, and we have raised over US$145,000 from over 5,600 individual donations representing 72 countries. Over 3,040 of these donations came from first-time donors.

This week, we updated you on exciting developments in several OTW projects. We also told you about additional ways you can donate: corporate matching to amplify your impact, and recurring donations to get that amazing thank you gift you'll love!

We would like to recognize all the OTW volunteers working behind the scenes to make this drive, and everything we do, possible. This drive couldn't have been successful without them, or without you. Once again, thank you for your generosity and support as we continue to grow as an organization.

(Although the drive has ended, your donations are accepted at any time.)

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2017-04-26 17:50:17 -0400
Tags:

We've sped up work posting, fixed an emergency issue with History and Marked for Later, and made about 30 other bug fixes and improvements. Oh, and the first step of our Rails update is done!

Credits

  • Coders: Ariana, Cesy, cosette, cyrilcee, David Stump (Littlelines), dense lancer, james_, Matt Sears (Littlelines), Meepu, redsummernight, Sarken, Scott, Wendy Randquist (Littlelines), ticking instant
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, james_, Naomi, redsummernight, Sarken, Scott, ticking instant
  • Testers: Alison Watson, james_, Lady Oscar, mumble, redsummernight, Runt, Sammie Louise, Sarken

Special thanks to dense lancer and Meepu, who have contributed their first pull requests as AD&T volunteers and completed their training!

Details

Miscellaneous Backend Changes

  • [AO3-4858] - To speed up work posting, we've implemented an improved version of the count caching described in Issues With Posting Works (And What We're Doing to Solve Them).
  • [AO3-4950] - On March 31, the database table where we store History and Marked for Later information ran out of rows. This meant users were no longer able to mark works for later and any works they accessed were not added to their History. We've now migrated the table to use BIGINT for its primary key, which will let us add a lot more to the table. (It took just under six hours of downtime to update all the existing data in this table.)
  • [AO3-4814] - If you tried to use the Edit Series page to add a co-creator to a series, the page would say the series had been updated even though the co-creator wasn't added. We've fixed it so the co-creator is actually added now.
  • [AO3-4966] & [AO3-4967] - While we were upgrading to strong parameters, we created some new co-authoring bugs related to pseuds. Luckily, our testers found the bugs before they ever made it onto the live Archive, so we got them all fixed before anyone had a problem. Hooray for the Quality Assurance & Testing team!
  • [AO3-4884] - We've changed the way the invitation emails are coded so our Translation team will be able to translate the text.
  • [AO3-4875] - If one of your works was imported from an archive, and you claimed it using your AO3 account with a different email address, subsequent imports from other archives would not have your name on them and would instead list the archivist as the creator. We've told it to stop doing that -- works will now automatically be transferred to the account you previously used to claim.
  • [AO3-4548] - The Docs team wasn't able to reorder existing FAQ questions, which made it a pain to add new questions to the middle of an FAQ section. We've given them that ability and improved the way translated FAQs work, so English language questions that haven't been translated yet will no longer appear in the middle of translated sections.
  • [AO3-4957] - When we updated one of our gems, it installed another dependent gem that caused 502 errors when posting a work, comment, or anything else with a < character directly before a line break. We've downgraded the dependent gem and you should once again be able to >.<
  • [AO3-4979] - Due to a caching issue, saved versions of pages could potentially be served to users who weren't supposed to see them. We've made the cache stop doing that.

Miscellaneous Frontend Changes

  • [AO3-4617] - Entering incorrect login information resulted in an error message that said in part, "Please try again or follow the 'Forgot password?' link below." We've updated the error message to be a little more direct and just give people the link to reset their password.
  • [AO3-4938] - The OTW recently got a new mailing address, so we've updated the address provided on our DMCA Policy page.
  • [AO3-4964] - We've updated our Diversity Statement to remove a reference to the location of our servers.
  • [AO3-4493] - If you subscribed to a work or series with a very long title, the unsubscribe button on your Subscriptions page would sometimes run right off the side of the screen. We've made it so the text will wrap across lines instead of stretching horizontally.
  • [AO3-4451] - Our error pages were using some very old stylesheets, which meant they weren't displaying correctly on all screen sizes. Now they should look better on smaller screens, like phones and tablets.

Tags and Tag Sets

  • [AO3-4951] - The automated task that deletes unused tags didn't get updated when we implemented the tag count caching, so it hasn't been running. We've updated it and now it's cleaning up tags once again!
  • [AO3-4954] - Whenever a tag wrangler tried to return a tag to the unsorted tag bin, the Archive would throw a fit 500 error. Now the tag will be properly returned to the unsorted bin.
  • [AO3-4931] - There were lots of processes trying to update tag nomination, which we believe was because we were not finding tag nominations using an indexed field. We've started indexing tag nominations by tag name, which we think will help improve performance.
  • [AO3-4890] - If you tried to visit the URL for a tag set that didn't exist, you'd get a blue error message that said, "What Tag Set did you want to look at?" We've made it red, like a proper error message should be.
  • [AO3-4872] - We had several lines of tag set nomination code that would cause a 500 error when they were used for non-existent things. We've fixed it so they won't show up in our error logs and will instead give nicer error messages like, "What nominations did you want to work with?"
  • [AO3-1744] - If a tag wrangler tried to wrangle a tag to a non-canonical fandom, the fandom information would disappear and the Archive would lie and tell them the tag had been successfully updated. Now it correctly tells wranglers the update wasn't saved because the fandom needs to be canonical.

Automated Tests

  • [AO3-4853] - We improved the cache-busting on our comments to help ensure our tests for comment editing pass more reliably.
  • [AO3-4940] - There was a mistake in our tag set tests, so we've corrected it.
  • [AO3-4927] - We've added more test coverage for the locales controller.
  • [AO3-4878] - We increased the test coverage for the collection items controller.
  • [AO3-4921] - The challenge assignments controller now has 86% test coverage instead of 79%.
  • [AO3-4926] & [AO3-4685] - The inbox and invite request controllers now have 100% test coverage, yay!
  • [AO3-4939] - We had some tests related to comment timestamps that would fail whenever we had the bad luck of running them just before the clock ticked over from one minute to the next, e.g. if we ran the test at 22:00:58 instead of 22:00:02. We've added a gem that lets us set the time down to the second, so now we can make sure the test has a full minute to run.
  • [AO3-4968] - The 90s are long over, so we got rid of some of our cassettes and replaced them with stubbed HTTP requests.
  • [AO3-4969] - We removed a whole bunch of unused and outdated files that were necessary for a type of testing we no longer use.
  • [AO3-4702] - A long time (seven years!) ago, we drafted some feature tests for the various autocomplete fields on the Archive, but we couldn't use them because our Cucumber tests didn't work with JavaScript. Now that we can run tests with JavaScript, we finished up those autocomplete tests.
  • [AO3-4983] - We've started using multiple Redis servers in one of our testing environments so we can spot any problems when we start doing some work on Redis.

Rails Update

A whole bunch of our controllers (and a few models!) have been hitting the gym together to make sure they have strong parameters before we begin the next phase of our Rails upgrade:

Almost all of these strong parameters issues were coded by contractors. Thank you so much to the OTW donors who made it possible!

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Comment

Post Header

Earlier this week, you learned about how the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) uses your donations. Here are some ways you can increase your impact when donating to the OTW!

Many companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google, will match your charitable donations. The OTW is a registered nonprofit in the United States, which means it's eligible for many corporate matching programs. If you're not sure whether this applies in your local area or for your company, ask your employer or tax advisor. You could double your giving power!

Have you seen some of our fun thank-you gifts and thought, "I’d love that, but I can’t afford a donation that large"? The good news is, we accept recurring donations. You can donate a smaller amount every week, month, two months—whatever fits your budget—and have those donations build towards one of our thank-you gifts! Just use the recurring donation page to donate, and then let us know which thank-you gift you would like your donations to count towards.

The OTW runs entirely on the support of people like you. (If you would like more information on how donations are spent, you can refer to our 2017 budget here.) Every donation helps, no matter how small, and we appreciate all your support. Please donate today!

Comment

Post Header

OTW April 2017 Membership Drive

At the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), a lot has happened in the past few months. Here's a look at some of the many new and interesting things the OTW has been accomplishing thanks to your support.

Our Systems team have been busy bees this semester! The number of fanworks on the Archive of Our Own is growing, as is the number of users and visitors. We need more space to store those fanworks, and more bandwidth to serve everyone. We also need faster computers that can search through the works quickly and answer more queries at the same time. Your donations help Systems purchase the machines we need to keep our projects running for fans like you! You can find a breakdown of our expenses for 2017 below. (For more specific information on the OTW's finances, please refer to the 2017 budget.)

Expenses by program: Archive of Our Own: 75.7%. Open Doors: 0.5%. Transformative Works and Cultures: 1.5%. Fanlore: 2.7%. Legal Advocacy: 1.2%. Con Outreach: 1.8%. Admin: 8.4%. Fundraising: 8.2%.

Several other teams have also been hard at work recently! The Legal committee has continued its work responding to fan questions and has filed amicus briefs in new cases, including Cross v. Facebook, “against overreaching right-of-publicity laws”. Meanwhile, the Archive of Our Own (AO3) reached 1 million registered users in October 2016 and is passing 3 million fanworks this month, another milestone!

Plus, Transformative Works and Cultures has released No. 23, a special issue all about Sherlock Holmes fandom, guest edited by Roberta Pearson and Betsy Rosenblatt. The issue includes articles on fan art and gender disparities in the fandom, as well as reviews of Sherlock-themed books. It even has special cover art! Transformative Works and Cultures, like all of the OTW’s projects, relies on your donations to publish these academic articles for current and future researchers!

It’s your help that makes all of this possible. To add your support to the important work that these teams do, please donate today!

Comment


Pages Navigation