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.


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.


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.


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.


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


February 2014 Newsletter, Volume 77

Published: 2014-03-04 16:13:19 -0500

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.


February was a month with major milestones from three OTW projects. Fanlore passed 500,000 edits, the AO3 passed 1 million fanworks, and our Journal Committee editors produced The Fan Fiction Studies Reader.

To continue the celebrations in March, Communications has lined up a series of discussions on "The Future of Fanworks" with academic, fan, legal, and entertainment industry guests. And to continue the focus on fanworks through coming years, they announced an International Fanworks Day to be held annually on February 15th.


Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed Release 0.9.13, which included significant performance fixes and improvements to the importing code. Their next update, Release 0.9.14, is happening in tiny batches and will focus on small bug fixes -- this will enable them to work through the backlog of code submissions more quickly and efficiently.

Open Doors also worked with AD&T and QA&T to update importing documentation with the fixes and features in the last deploy.

Abuse is finalizing its 2014 Road Map, discussing new policies and working on 2013 stats. Support is in the midst of recruiting and looking forward to welcoming new staffers to help them respond to tickets! Tag Wrangling is still limited due to server strain, but AD&T’s latest code push allowed them to lift some of the time restrictions. Tag Wrangling staff spent the month helping Support with tag-related requests, and coordinated with AD&T and Systems to get some large re-wranglings done without disrupting the servers.

Journal is currently going through production, with the March and June issues (No. 15 and No. 16) going through simultaneously.


Development & Membership welcomed five new staffers and is in the process of training them. They're also working on plans for the April membership drive, scheduled for April 3-9. DevMem chair, Kristen Murphy, was also interviewed by Three Patch Podcast about the OTW's growth and milestones.

Legal continued their outward-facing work, helping fans with inquiries about fair use, about how to respond to takedown requests, and about what to do when others are using their fanworks without permission. In addition, Legal Staffer Casey Fiesler published a paper on fans’ understanding of fair use. Legal also registered the OTW in the European Union's Transparency Register and filed a submission to the European Commission in response to its call for comments concerning possible EU copyright reform.

Strategic Planning is wrapping up surveys of Abuse, Comms, DevMem, I&O, and Web and moving into the data analysis and report-writing stages. They are preparing for another round of surveys and interviews in March. They also made a minor correction to the appendices of the Wiki Committee/Fanlore report based on the feedback from a former staff member.

Translation is happily training new staff, and their teams are hard at work preparing the website for the upcoming April membership drive in all the languages they can cover. They’re also finalising procedures for collaboration between tag wranglers and translators, to bring the two volunteer pools closer and enable ways that they can help each other out.


Volunteers & Recruiting has once again been very busy. In addition to answering questions from individuals both inside and outside the org, they inducted staff from the January round of recruiting and opened recruiting for three more roles (Translation volunteers, Support staff, and Communications graphics volunteers). We were very pleased with the overall turnout and are grateful that so many people are interested and willing to give their time to help the OTW and support our projects.

Beyond recruiting, VolCom is completing the set up of their new volunteer database and preparing to do a final audit to make sure that all of the records made it over in the import. They are also conducting annual reviews of committee documentation and working on VolCom's annual report for 2013 with plans to release a public version once it is completed.

New Committee Staff: Jennifer Radecki (Communications), Elise Thrasher (Communications), Rachel Weir (Communications), theteapot (Accessibility, Design & Technology), Helka Lantto (Development & Membership), DandalfTheWhite (Development & Membership), Rowan (Development & Membership), 1 other Communications staffer, 4 Translation staffers, 2 other Development & Membership Staffers.
New Coder Volunteers: 1 volunteer
New Communications Volunteers: Dogtagsandsmut
New Translator Volunteers: jerakeen, MayCSB, Nerine Luna Cyran, Nari, Snixx, Ulrika A, ACarrao, madamezou, IcePhoenix & 6 others.

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4 volunteers


January 2014 Newsletter, Volume 76

Published: 2014-02-03 16:00:20 -0500

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.


While some of our committees and staff were able to take a bit of a holiday break over the past month, others have been pretty busy with OTW work. This was particularly obvious with our Legal Committee.

In December, Legal filed an amicus brief in the U.S. case of Lenz v. Universal, a long-running case involving Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down notices. Our brief, written by the Stanford Fair Use project and joined by Public Knowledge and the International Documentary Association, argued that the law should be read to punish rightsholders who issue takedown notices without first considering whether a particular use constitutes fair use. Legal also reported on the outcome of the "Free Sherlock" case

Speaking of DMCA take-down notices, Legal has dealt with an increasing number of requests that the Archive of Our Own take-down particular fanworks.

In addition, Legal staffer Rebecca Tushnet testified before two U.S. government agencies on behalf of the OTW. Those agencies are considering possible proposals for new U.S. copyright legislation. Rebecca’s testimony reflected the public comments the OTW made to those bodies in November. A video of her testimony is available (scroll down to "Legal Framework for Remixes”; Rebecca's opening remarks start about 33 minutes into that video).

Legal has also had several public projects in January: (1) Working with Communications to create several posts for Copyright Week; (2) Naomi Novik's testimony before the U.S. Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet; (3) Working with the EFF and Public Knowledge to craft and file an amicus brief (PDF) in the case of DISH Network v. ABC, currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The DISH case is the latest development in the battle over DISH's "Hopper" DVR, and Legal argued (among other things) that any infringement analysis should be configured to take into account when a user is engaged in fair use.

Legal also has a lot of pending projects, including preparing a submission to the European Commission in response to its call for comments concerning possible EU copyright reform, which they expect to submit in early February.


Visitors to the AO3 have likely been aware of all the work being done by Accessibility, Design and Technology and Support. Support had the second busiest month on record in December 2013, with 556 unique tickets received! Kudos to our phenomenal staffers for blowing through these, and to all the staff they consulted with on other committees.

AD&T deployed Release 0.9.12 a few days before Christmas. Many, many thanks to senior coders Elz and Enigel who wrapped up a ton of server work aimed at site stability and performance improvements.

AD&T finished 2013 with 300 closed bug reports, over 600 new Tumblr followers and several thousand new Twitter followers, an established love/hate relationship with our test suite software, and one huge Rails upgrade.

AD&T is currently working on their first deploy of 2014, which will include a critical performance fix, a few importing and archiving fixes, and a long overdue upgrade of our Rich Text Editor. After that, they are planning to deploy a significant rewrite of our bookmarking backend, which should help alleviate some of AO3's current problems. Many thanks to AD&T/Systems staffer james_ for his diligence in keeping the servers running. Those servers are at capacity right now, and we have to take the Archive offline almost daily to give them a few minutes of rest. We're looking forward to new servers and shiny code improvements soon. Coding volunteer Stephanie has been hard at work reviewing our backlog and spreadsheeting all the things that have yet to be reviewed, tested, and deployed.

AD&T also posted Site Stats: A Look at 2013 and Beyond, Part 1 and an accompanying spreadsheet, for the data nerds among us.

Tag Wrangling is still limited in when and how much they can wrangle; they're avoiding making changes to tags on lots of works as much as possible to avoid extra strain on the AO3 servers. Behind the scenes, the committee is currently inducting new staff members and improving documentation to smooth the welcoming process.

Abuse has also been busy! They've had roughly 120 tickets come in so far this month. Please keep in mind that Abuse thoroughly investigates each and every report that comes in, so it might take a while before they can respond. Also just a reminder, please don't send in multiple tickets or ask everyone you know to report the same issue. Instead of speeding things up, this actually slows the process down! One ticket is all we need to start an investigation. Of course, if you have new information to share, please do send it in.


Strategic Planning released a report on the Survey Workgroup. The next scheduled Strategic Planning reports are on the Wiki Committee and Fanlore team, the Grants Committee, and the Systems Committee. They hope to release those in early 2014. They are also in the process of surveying Web, Internationalization and Outreach, Abuse, and Communications.

Development & Membership reported on our fundraising promotion with Smart Pop Books, which ended on December 31. This resulted in OTW supporters purchasing 157 printed books and 47 ebooks through the affiliate link, raising a total of US$322.30 for the OTW. Thank you all for your support! DevMem is currently reviewing applications and interviewing candidates for staff positions.


Systems has been working hard both on the upgraded Archive machines, and transitioning internal OTW systems off of our remaining Linode server onto our own virtual machines.

Open Doors has been humming along on current archive importing projects, and had two successful zine collection donations to the Fan Culture Preservation Project. This month they began working with a fan on another Fan Culture Preservation Project donation, and are very excited about a few importing fixes and features in the next deploy to AO3. You can read more about Open Doors in their spotlight post which went out in January.

Journal is preparing to go to copyedit in January for its two guest-edited issues to kick off 2014 (March and June).

Communications has begun posting news to the OTW's LinkedIn account, so anyone who would like to keep up with us there, or who has listed OTW volunteer work in their profile, is encouraged to follow us. Communications is also busy planning celebration activities for AO3's forthcoming 1 millionth fanwork milestone which will be announced in coming weeks as plans are finalized.

Translation started January in full swing, undertaking meetings, documentation work, and translation assignments. They’re interviewing several potential new staffers and have begun talks with Tag Wrangling staff about setting up official procedures for collaboration, as well as with Development & Membership on outreach ideas for the upcoming membership drive.


Volunteers & Recruiting welcomed new chairs into their roles, as well as inducting some additional staff for committees. Anna Genoese was inducted to the Board and Ira Gladkova and Kristen Murphy ended their three year terms.

In December, in addition to answering tickets from current personnel, Volunteers & Recruiting worked to retire departing staffers and volunteers. VolCom also began the retirement of the Survey Workgroup project and would like to say a final thank you to all the members of Survey Workgroup, past and present, for their work on the report released in 2013.

New Directors: Anna Genoese
New Committee Chairs: briar_pipe (Tag Wrangling), Qem (Tag Wrangling), Hana Lee (Strategic Planning), Priscilla Del Cima (Translation)
New Committee Staff: vtn (Tag Wrangling), JanOda (Tag Wrangling), Elanya (Tag Wrangling), very (Tag Wrangling), Sumeria (Tag Wrangling), Elizabeth Young (Tag Wrangling), Supergreak (Tag Wrangling) & 1 other Tag Wrangling staff, Curtis Jefferson (Volunteers & Recruiting)
New Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers: 1

Departing Directors: Ira Gladkova, Kristen Murphy
Departing Committee Chairs: Matty Lynne (Support), Anna Genoese (Strategic Planning), Andrea Horbinski (Internationalization & Outreach)
Departing Committee Staff: Anna Genoese (Strategic Planning), Andrea Horbinski (Internationalization & Outreach), 3 (Communications), bookgazing (Volunteers & Recruiting), bethbethbeth (Abuse), Joanne (Abuse), Evelyn Browne (Grants), Alison Watson (Tag Wrangling), Adam Compton (Systems) and 1 Abuse, 1 AD&T QA, 3 Accessiblity, 3 Support, 1 Fan Video, 1 Finance, 1 I&O, 1 Open Doors, 2 Web.
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: Ronan Klyne, Mark Bowers, look_closer, dharma_slut, Becky Mezz, estirose & 42 others
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: 1
Departing Survey Workgroup Volunteers: 7 volunteers, Claudia Rebaza, Betsy Rosenblatt, Lady Oscar, Sole G., Tari
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Wendymarlowe, Adrienne Gorney, Alisha Miller, Alison Watson, antisock, cake, charliebravowhiskey, Elke Tanzer, Gills, gnine, Lee, wantstothrill, Snow, snowynight, Sydni, viennajones, Jet, Lee and 24 others
Departing Translation Volunteers: 3 Translation volunteers
Departing Workgroup Members: 2 Content Policy volunteers, 2 Elections volunteers, theorangenectarine (AO3 Docs), Wereleopard58 (AO3 Docs) and 8 other AO3 Documentation volunteers


November 2013 Newsletter, Volume 75

Published: 2013-12-03 19:56:33 -0500

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.


Journal requested, and obtained, a bibliographic listing in the Modern Language Association (MLA)'s bibliography of journals. This will provide wider visibility in academia for research published in Transformative Works and Cultures. The MLA team is currently indexing 5 years' worth of TWC issues, which will take a few months.

In addition, TWC editors Karen and Kristina have edited The Fan Fiction Studies Reader, a reprint anthology that includes some crucial essays in the fan studies field. The corrected galleys have been sent to the University of Iowa press for an expected 2014 publication date!

Legal submitted formal comments to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which had requested public comments on copyright policy issues, including the legal framework for the creation of remixes. The comments incorporated many stories submitted by fans and is likely to be a rewarding read for anyone interested in fandom and fanworks.

Special thanks go to Rebecca Tushnet, Casey Fiesler and Rachael Vaughn for their work on this document. Rebecca has been asked to testify to these agencies in connection with the same public comment process and we'll report on that when it happens. Many thanks to all of the many fans who sent in their stories. We really appreciate it.

Also in November, Legal assisted the Stanford Fair Use Project with its comments in connection with the same process, and answered a variety of legal queries from fans. They've also been working with a law student volunteer to create some educational materials. Legal also provided two posts on developments in copyright law during November: one regarding a proposal to create a "small claims" procedure for copyright disputes, and another regarding a major fair use ruling in the Google Books case.

Strategic Planning is currently surveying the Development & Membership and Communications Committees. They are also writing their report on Support. Reports for the Grants Workgroup and Systems Committee are under review by Board while the Survey Workgroup report is currently being prepared for public release.

Lastly, Communications staffer John Bayard made a presentation at the Mid-Atlantic American Popular Culture Meeting and several people told him how much they enjoyed using the AO3 and the work the OTW does!


Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed Release 0.9.11 at the AO3, and are hoping to squeeze in one more code push before the end of the year. Our servers are in need of an upgrade and traffic has increased noticeably over the last few weeks (and is expected to increase even more during the holidays). As a result, we've been battling some performance and other issues and are working on fixes. Many thanks to Systems and Support for their work on these problems. Systems also brought up a new Virtual Machine server, which is hosting multiple virtual servers dedicated to supporting the Archive.

Additionally, AD&T has decided to apply for a humanities-related grant by February to pay for a good chunk of specific coding work, including an API. Many thanks to Scott for taking point on this.

Tag Wrangling assisted with testing some tag-related bug fixes in the last deploy, and the wrangling committee is currently working with AD&T to track some wrangling bugs. As well, due to the recent server issues, wrangling is currently limited to reduce strain on the servers, so the wrangling of some fandoms may be delayed until that’s resolved.

Abuse is seeing roughly 350-400 tickets a month come in. Their new recruits are settling in and should be starting on some of those tickets soon!

Open Doors held two public chats and provided information on the planned import for StargateFan, a gen Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis archive to the Archive of Our Own.

In its new home, StargateFan will be a separate, searchable collection with its own identity for all of the fan fiction, fan art, and fan comics housed on the current archive. Open Doors will begin manually importing works from StargateFan to the AO3 collection in December 2013.


Volunteers & Recruiting has been busy with final inductions for the year and reviewing the results of the OTW's annual Still Willing to Serve Survey. This allows for current volunteers and staffers to indicate if they'd like to continue on in current positions, move to new ones, or depart the OTW. Recruitment will begin again in January after VolCom has been able to finish processing departing volunteers and taken a well deserved breather!

This is also the OTW's final newsletter for 2013, but it will return in 2014 as committees begin work in the new year.

New Committee Staff: DandalfTheWhite (Abuse), Teddy Escher (Abuse), Elizabeth Young (Abuse), Pteriforever (Abuse), DragonWyrd316 (Abuse), Jess C. (Abuse), Kelsi No (Abuse), 2 other Abuse staffers, Sierra Wilson (Wiki), 1 other Wiki staffer

New Coder Volunteers: Storm

New Translator Volunteers: Agnieszka Górniok, Ania Kopertowska, Bianca, Dai-kun, Espirofito, Jocelin Potash, Katarina Harju, Lenore, Marinet252, monnwilk, Nana, nightmarefluff, Ruth Damaris, WenBunny, Whovie, 6 others

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Internationalization & Outreach staffer, Eva Bolinder (Translation), 3 other Translation staffers, Amy Luo (Communications), 1 other Communications staffer, 1 Journal staffer

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1

Departing Translator Volunteers: Eva Bolinder, 39 others.

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


October 2013 Newsletter, Volume 74

Published: 2013-11-02 20:09:57 -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.


The OTW is finishing its recruitment efforts for 2013 and several committees were looking for new volunteers. Abuse had around 350 tickets come in this month. They're seeking people who can keep in close contact, be patient in rephrasing explanations, translate from fan-speak to English, make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it’s needed.

Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is working with Wiki to recruit a designer to work on Fanlore. Web was also busy with an October release which fixed bugs that were causing errors on the OTW’s contact forms. They also tidied up the theme on the news tags pages, and applied a security patch to CiviCRM. Thanks to Bonnie for implementing the security patch.

Translation is also making a call, so check out our volunteering page!


In the past, our Legal Committee’s updates have often begun with a cheerful “still not sued!” This month, we are especially pleased that we can use the opener, since we received a legal threat from an entity that has developed a reputation for suing those it threatens. Legal mobilized to send a response and, at least for now, we have not been sued.

Legal also solicited people’s stories about their experiences for a couple of projects that they’re working on. One will be a legal brief we expect will be filed in U.S. Federal Court; another will be formal comments that we expect to submit to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce). Those projects are still underway.

The process of soliciting comments has been very moving and meaningful for the committee; although of course we never had any doubt that this was the case, the stories Legal received have reinforced our knowledge that the opportunity to create and consume fanworks has made an incalculable difference in people’s lives. We received report after report from people whose lives were improved, and sometimes literally saved, by participation in fandom; whose careers blossomed from their interaction with fanworks; and other similarly powerful stories. Fandom, it comes as no surprise, not only transforms works, but also in many cases, transforms lives. We appreciate everyone who sent in a story.


Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed Release 0.9.10 to the Archive this month, which consisted mostly of bug fixes. They are now getting ready to deploy 0.9.11, which will fix some tag wrangling bugs and bring back the "Latest Tweets" widget to the homepage. Many thanks to the wrangling staff and volunteers who helped with testing! The deploy after that will include a new feature for offering FAQs in non-English languages.

AD&T has welcomed two new coding volunteers and is hoping to open recruitment again in January. They'll be working towards improved coding environments in the meantime.

Category Change began a second round of feedback for fandom categories on AO3. This concluded at the end of the month, and they will now be evaluating the new comments.

Open Doors has been continuing to work with several mods on a few manual importing projects. Nearly all works in The Good Omens Library have been imported, and they held two open house chats with the GSSU (German Speaking Slashers United) mod in preparation for importing its works to the AO3 beginning in November. They're also working with the mod of StargateFan to begin outreach and import preparations for that archive. Relatedly, Open Doors met with AD&T to discuss possible fixes in the next deploy.


Development & Membership: DevMem would like to thank everyone who assisted with or contributed to the October membership drive. The drive ran from October 1-7 and raised more than US$44,000 in support of OTW projects. (See their drive wrap-up post for more details.) Additional donations since the drive ended have brought our fundraising total for October to more than US$50,000.

All of the premiums from donations made during the drive have been shipped; premiums requested Oct. 8 and later will be shipped in our regularly scheduled monthly batch at the beginning of November.

Since the drive ended, DevMem has been working on a promotion with Smart Pop Books, publisher of the upcoming book Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, edited by Anne Jamison. OTW supporters who are interested in buying the book can order it through a special referrer link and Smart Pop will donate a percentage of the proceeds to OTW.

Board continues to work on Project Document All the Things, their project to build, update, and review many pieces of documentation about how the Board functions and how it interacts with the rest of the OTW. They've completed rough drafts of all the documents in Phase 1 of the project and several of them are in various stages of internal feedback collection.

Board has also been preparing for their first-ever in-person Board meeting, which will be held October 31-November 4 in Berkeley, California. They'll be hosting an OTW meetup in Berkeley on November 3, and anyone is welcome to join us for snacks, giveaways, and conversation with fellow fans and OTW supporters.

In Elections news, no candidates have come forward to run for seats on next year's Board, so they are currently in the process of deciding on how to proceed with filling the seats of those whose terms will be ending this year. Possibilities include further extending the candidacy deadline, filling the seats by appointment, or another solution. There will be a more detailed announcement on this topic in the near future.

Strategic Planning has been researching and putting together survey and interview questions for Development & Membership, Communications, and Abuse Committees and has contacted their chairs to discuss the schedule for the strategic planning process. StratPlan has also been drafting reports for the Grants Workgroup and the Support Committee. The Survey Workgroup report is now under Board review, and the Systems Committee report has been reviewed by the committee chair and is ready to be sent to Board next. The Wiki report is currently under review by the committee.


Our Volunteers & Recruiting folks have been busy in past months as committees have been rolling out the carpet for new volunteers and we appreciate all their work, as well as the work of new and departing volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Natalie (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
New Committee Staff: Karen Johnson (Systems), Nikibee (Support), levade (Support), Cece (Volunteers & Recruiting), 1 Open Doors Staffer, 2 Support Staffers, 1 Strategic Planning Staffer
New Coder Volunteers: 2
New Strategic Planning Volunteers: Natalie
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Ayumi, Beeblebrox, CrossingOver, dreammoon, Em King, Eugecapisce, Fatma Bahr, JennlaFleur, Juliane, Kalli,Medicinal-Outburst, Meimeime, picht, ragingrainbow, riknata, Sarah Bigelow, thefrogg, Waywren Truesong, Whittyrabbit, Wisher112, Yuuhy, yz, ziema

Departing Committee Chairs: sunusn (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
Departing Committee Staff: Natalie (Strategic Planning), 3 Web Strategy, Design & Development staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


September 2013 Newsletter, Volume 73

Published: 2013-10-11 14:25:52 -0400

For more information about the purviews of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.


Several workgroups have been focused on improving aspects of the Archive of Our Own. To that end, Category Change offered a proposal affecting the way fandoms are organized on the site, and asked for feedback from users. The comment period closed on October 1, and the workgroup will now begin evaluating the proposal in light of user comments.

The Content Policy workgroup underwent a similar process a few months ago regarding the addition of fannish non-fiction content to the AO3. The Board has now approved the Terms of Service revision but asked for changes to the FAQ. The ToS revision will be going to the coders for posting shortly while representatives from Support, Abuse, and Tag Wrangling review the FAQ.


Development & Membership has kicked off the OTW's membership drive, and is hard at work answering questions and processing contributions!

Journal came out bang on time with issue 14 which marked their 5-year anniversary. Kudos to the production team members and all volunteers to the committee, past and present!

Speaking of anniversaries, the OTW celebrated its sixth year on September 5, and Communications posted a spotlight on the OTW's Internationalization & Outreach committee.

Legal’s had another busy month, responding to queries from both inside and outside the org. Outside the org, they’ve helped a few fans with legal questions and requests for assistance, and helped Support and Abuse respond to fan queries with legal implications. Inside the org, they’ve responded to queries from VolCom, DevMem, and the Board, and worked with Communications to draft posts about U.S. legal and legislative news relating to fandom and fanworks.

As part of our legal advocacy mission, they have also been collaborating with other organizations on preparing (still confidential) friend-of-the-court briefs in support of pending cases relating to fandom and fanworks. When that work becomes public, we’ll post more about it. As part of this advocacy work, they issued a call for stories relating to DMCA take-downs of fanworks, and how fans have dealt with 'right of publicity' questions. The deadline for sending them this information is October 11, so if you can help, please contact them.

Open Doors welcomed two new staffers, with whose fanpower they’re helping the mod of The Good Omens Library manually import the archive’s stories into the AO3. They are also preparing to help two other archives advertise and manually import their works.

Systems has moved the virtual server hosting the MySQL backup servers and a number of test machines onto new hardware, and has been developing their training plan.


Accessibility, Design and Technology successfully deployed Release 0.9.9 to the AO3, and is currently working on the next release, slated for the start of October. A few more deploys should occur before the end of the year, all relatively small to keep the work load manageable.

AD&T staffer Scott has been working on FAQ backend improvements, and is now adding translation capabilities in cooperation with the Translation committee. They have also launched the first of two new series of posts. AO3 Mailbag discussed why apps will not be coming to the site anytime soon, while two posts offered users ways to filter out certain tags, or generate a list of works that are either one rating or another.

While unseen to AO3 visitors, a huge effort has resulted in the AD&T internal wikispace having nearly half of its 350 pages archived, making it easier for the committee to organize and update pertinent documentation and training materials. They have just begun recruiting coders who have experience in Ruby on Rails, JavaScript/jQuery, MySQL databases, elasticsearch, Redis, Resque, Memcached, or Squid, among others.

Abuse has seen nearly triple the ticket numbers this year compared to last year's totals (2012: ~400 / 2013: ~1150). As a result, Abuse is getting ready to recruit! If you’re interested in serving on the Abuse committee, keep an eye out for their post in a few weeks.

Tag Wrangling staff have been organizing their own final recruitment of the year, focusing on finding wranglers for a few specific fandoms. Meanwhile, its other 200 volunteers work tirelessly to keep the new incoming tags in line across all our fandoms (over 13,000 now with new ones every day!)

Last but never least, Support has added two more people to keep up with the ever-increasing tide of user assistance requests. They received 397 unique tickets in August, a slight decrease from July, but on par with the year-to-date average.


The Board has been hard at work on Project Document All the Things. Each draft will go through several rounds of review: one by the Board, one by VolCom and Legal, and a final round in which all staffers and volunteers may offer feedback. In addition, several documents also have a round of review by chairs before the final org-wide review period. So far one document, the position description for directors, has progressed to the chairs stage of feedback, and many other documents are scheduled to move on to the VolCom/Legal stage during the first week of October.

Strategic Planning has finished surveying the Support Committee staff, Survey Workgroup volunteers and Grant Workgroup volunteers. They have prepared surveys for all other workgroups, both active and inactive, and hope to finish deploying those surveys in the upcoming month. Their reports on Wiki Committee/Fanlore and Systems are currently under review by the respective committees. They have also written the initial draft of a report for Survey Workgroup and plan to begin drafting the report for Support.


Volunteers & Recruiting processed 6 roles for recruitment and answered over 60 inquiries from chairs, staff, and volunteers which, along with documentation work, kept them quite busy!

As always, we welcome our new volunteers and thank our departing ones for their time and contributions.

New Committee Chairs: Matty Lynne (Abuse)
New Committee Staff: Bonnie Eisenman (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Caitlin M. (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Dorothy Stachowiak (Open Doors), Megan Cummings (Open Doors), Ina (Communications), Stephanie Chrystal (Communications), Allie C. (Support) and 1 Support staffer.
Departing Committee Chairs: Sherry Nehmer (Abuse)
Departing Committee Staff: Cat Meier (Abuse), Jay Bee (Systems), 1 AD&T Staffer, 1 Translation staffer, 2 Support staffers, 1 Communications staffer, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer, 1 Tag Wrangling Staffer.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 3
Departing Tester Volunteers: Jay Bee

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


August 2013 Newsletter, Volume 72

Published: 2013-09-03 11:16:43 -0400

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


August has seen people moving in, out, and around the OTW with new recruitment efforts and chair appointments.

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is actively recruiting for Web Developers. They are also focused on creating a process to support the 2014 Board election and on refreshing a substantial number of outdated pieces of documentation.

Communications is also recruiting for a liaison to committees working on AO3 who will write news posts and do monitoring of AO3 News accounts.

OTW's Board recently appointed hele as the new Translation Committee Chair. The staff will be discussing organization and procedures for the next few months, as well as make sure their internal documentation is up to date. Translation will be contacting committees to set up or restablish liaising relationships as soon as they can do so.


Development & Membership is preparing for the October fund drive. They've also been working on documentation and considering possible revisions to membership renewal reminder e-mails.

Accessibility, Design, & Technology has been working hard on the Rails upgrade, which was successfully deployed last week (see the Release Notes for more information). Many thanks to everyone involved in the coding and testing of this update! They've also been working through a list of topics focusing on organization and documentation before moving on to the next release. So far they've discussed committee structure and procedures, talked about our place in the Open Source community, and started a collection of things that need better documentation.

For a new Archive milestone, AO3 passed 200,000 registered users last week! \o/ The committee contributed stats and figures to a news post about the occasion.

Meanwhile, from July 15 to August 15, Support answered almost 450 user-generated tickets. Systems has been fine-tuning the Archive as issues arrive, setting up accounts for the OTW's new recruits, and working on a more universally usable 32-bit Vagrant distribution of the AO3 for the coders. They're about to start this year's installation of new and upgraded servers!

AO3 Documentation is whittling down our list of FAQs that need to be updated. Once they are finished, work will begin on other external help text, as well as tutorials that need updating. They'll also be checking with AD&T and updating FAQs as new code hits the Archive.

Open Doors has been working on a more comprehensive moderator agreement with much help from Legal, sent a committee role document to Board after feedback from many other committees, and corrected our archived copy of Demeter from a hardcopy of the zine.

Journal is hard at work doing production for the next issue of Transformative Works & Cultures, which is on track to be released September 15. The Journal editors, Karen and Nina, are also working on a fan fiction studies reprint anthology, due out in 2014 from Iowa; the book has gone into layout and they're expecting page proofs shortly. Nina gave a keynote speech at a convention, and work continues apace for the first two issues of 2014, which are guest edited.


Board set aside 19 August - 19 September for Project Document All The Things. What this means is that they are taking a month to focus on building, updating, and reviewing some of the documentation for how the Board functions and how it interacts with the rest of the OTW. This includes things like Board position descriptions and training plans, procedures for agenda management and issue tracking, confidentiality and conflict-of-interest policies, and more. OTW staff and volunteers will have an opportunity to review and offer feedback on each document before it is formally adopted by the Board.

Fanhackers has gotten approval from Board to become a separate committee. They will continue working very closely with Journal and look forward to welcoming some new people in the near future. More info to come!

In addition, Legal received Board approval to take part in friend-of-the-court briefing in two lawsuits currently pending in U.S. Federal Courts regarding issues that could have important impacts on aspects of fanwork legality. At present, our participation remains confidential, but stay tuned for more news on those briefs.

Legal had an active month working with Communications, Support, Board, Quality Assurance & Testing, Volunteers & Recruiting, Open Doors, Systems, Development & Membership, Content Policy, and Abuse! They have also responded to a couple of legal queries from fans, and requests from outside the organization to participate in policy-related projects.

Strategic Planning is currently finishing up their report on the Wiki Committee and Fanlore, as well as surveying Support, the Survey Workgroup, and the AO3 Documentation Workgroup.


Volunteers & Recruiting finished working on our staff training documents just in time to welcome a new staffer, bookgazing while bidding a sad farewell to co-chair, Curtis.

New Committee Chairs: hele braunstein (Translation)
New Committee Staff: Melannen (Tag Wrangling), dizmo (Tag Wrangling), Lenore (Internationalization & Outreach), bookgazing (Volunteers & Recruiting) 1 other Tag Wrangling staffer, and 3 other Internationalization & Outreach staffers.
New Communications Volunteers: Robyn, caitie, Erin Sullivan, 2 additional
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Firefox

Departing Committee Chairs: Agnieszka Siemienska (Translation), Curtis Jefferson (Communications, Volunteers & Recruiting)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Translation staffer.
Departing Communications Volunteers: 1 Communications volunteer.

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


OTW July 2013 Newsletter, Volume 71

Published: 2013-08-01 18:49:54 -0400

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


In July, Open Doors was contacted by three archive moderators and they're developing plans to get their archive contents safely onto the AO3 (in addition to touching base with mods for archives already in their queue). Open Doors is also facilitating two donations to the Fan Culture Preservation Project, one of which is a rather large collection (approximately 35 boxes) of materials that is pretty exciting. Lastly, a point for celebration: all unclaimed stories in the 852 Prospect Archive collection have now been unlocked. Woot, visibility!

Accessibility, Design and Technology have been doing lots of work on sustainability. They’re currently in the process of upgrading to a new version of Rails (the web framework the AO3 is built on), which helps ensure good security and means we can take advantage of new developments in Rails. They recently welcomed some awesome new recruits to our Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee and they’ve been hard at work testing ALL THE THINGS to be sure the upgrade hasn’t broken anything. The Test Archive is now in need of some love, as we use it a lot, so AD&T has been working with Systems to plan for upgraded Test servers.

AD&T is simultaneously preparing for a period of reflection, organizing, and decision-making that will start immediately after the Rails deploy. They've assembled a master list of topics to work through, and will have discussion forums and meetings as well as get-togethers to get some of the more fiddly work done (such as evaluating our list of open bugs to check that they are all still relevant and have the right information attached). They will reflect on conceptual and procedural matters, such as our place in the world of Open Source development, and ways to support and motivate our volunteers better. AD&T will also look into cross-committee processes and touch base with relevant partners. This period of reflection is a chance for them to catch their breath and take a look at the big picture, so that they can work more efficiently going forward.

Of particular interest to users, AD&T has been working with other committees, including Support, Abuse, Tag Wrangling, and Internationalization & Outreach, on the plan for adding different work types to the Archive. This is a much-needed piece of work which will make it easier to mark and filter works by media type (art, video, text, etc), and has been a long time coming.

Systems valiantly tried to keep the OTW mailserver from committing suicide, then split it into separate incoming and outgoing mailservers. They've have also tried out some additional monitoring systems (alongside, not instead of, New Relic) and are in the process of upgrading their ticketing system. Systems will soon be hard at work bringing up new machines for testing, beefing up the servers that run the Archive, and bringing up new virtual servers for Fanlore and the OTW’s internal email server, among other things.

Lastly, Category Change is finishing up discussion on the remaining items from the internal feedback round about fandom categories on AO3, and will be dedicating itself to writing the public documentation for the proposal as soon as they’re done.


Tag Wrangling briefly re-opened wrangler sign-ups for a targeted recruitment, looking for volunteers to handle fandoms in need of some TLC. This call was so successful that recruitment closed again within a couple days! They’ll be reopening again within the next couple of months after training up our new people. There is also a team of wranglers reviewing AO3's religion, mythology and folklore tags, looking for better and more consistent ways to handle these complex fandoms.

Journal put out a call for peer reviewers for Transformative Works and Cultures, so if you work in fandom studies or are interested in fandom meta, you can add yourself to their reviewer database. Journal just sent the next issue into production, on track to be released on September 15. The editorial team is working on the first two issues of 2014. Journal's editors also worked with Comms staffer Jintian on a spotlight discussing their production process.

Communications held recruitment for graphics volunteers and have brought in four so far to augment our news posts with images. They are also planning to celebrate the 1000th subscriber to the OTW Tumblr account on Aug 2, which will feature work from its new recruits. The milestone makes Tumblr the third most followed OTW News outlet after LiveJournal and Twitter.

Development & Membership's The Meetup of Our Own at San Diego Comic-Con was a great success! Around 90 people attended and we collected US$365 in donations. Many thanks to Legal staffer Heidi for her leadership role in planning and hosting this event. In other news, DevMem has begun planning for the October fund drive and is developing a training plan for DevMem staffers in preparation for recruitment.


Board announced some changes to our officer lineup at the beginning of July. The current Board officers are:

President: Ira Gladkova
Vice President: Cat Meier
Secretary: Kristen Murphy
Treasurer: Nikisha Sanders
Elections Officer: Eylul Dogruel

Board held an open house chat for chairs, staff and volunteers on July 13-14 and approved Phase 1 of a proposal from Systems to expand our technology infrastructure. Phase 1 includes a new server for test and infrastructure, a temporary new virtual server to build and test the configuration for a new incoming e-mail server, and provisions for upgrading our bandwidth as usage increases.

Board also adopted and announced a reimbursement policy stipulating when and how staff members may be reimbursed for OTW-related costs they have incurred in the course of staff work and approved a proposal from Volunteers & Recruiting to purchase e-books with which they will develop a library of resources on nonprofit best practices.

They have also begun preparing for the 2013 Board election in conjunction with the Elections Workgroup.

Strategic Planning has been interviewing the Support co-chairs and preparing survey questions for Support staff members. They also interviewed the current Wiki chair to update information in the Wiki/Fanlore report that is being drafted. It should be finished along with the Systems report next month.


Volunteers & Recruiting is nearing the end of the foundation stages of building a chair and lead training program. They are also actively working on finishing their committee’s training plan in preparation to recruit for their own committee.

New Committee Staff: 1 AD&T staffer
New Communications Volunteers: Diane Quintal, Bremo
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Gnine, asa, Ruth Damaris, skieswideopen, Baranduin, Claire J. Vannette, sesanye, Ketsu, breadfuls, bscl43, Zain, Liviapenn, Temaris, KeevaCaereni, radondoran, Carrie Haase, Katy Armstrong, antrazi, Jennifer Tifft, Camilla M., jsparc, Gills, Anne R, Llwyden ferch Gyfrinach, Selenay, Lillian Bolen, slylytouchingly, bluehooloovo, Brianna Smith, Lbilover, Swamp Adder, wendymarlowe, DebetEsse, Wordwitch, ereshai, Firefly_Ca, Rav, Alix Mason, Lee H., strina, 3 additional tag wranglers.
Departing Committee Chairs: Moose (Systems)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Systems staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 17
Departing Tester Volunteers: artisan447

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


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