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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.

As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, we have a special retrospective Five Things this month. Today's post is with Naomi Novik, one of the founders of the OTW, a past board member, and a current staffer with the Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee. The following is an interview transcript which has been edited for length and clarity.

What was the first year of the OTW like? What do you remember most from it?

I don't remember the high points as well, I find that over time what I remember are the problems. In the beginning there was a lot of work we had to do to reassure people about what we were trying to do, such as that they weren't going to get into [legal] trouble, that there would be ways to give people control over their stories. The other piece that first year is that some people expected to see something 5 minutes after we formed! You know, where is the Archive? But it all takes time, there were a lot of growing pains you have when you're putting things together from scratch that the OTW has been left with. But my philosophy is to do the thing if you have the momentum, and it's better to have done something that was not perfect than to not have anything done at all.

There were certain ways in which a sustainable organization doesn't work on passion, at the same time that you want to be able to harness passion. I think we were struggling a bit with how to get an organization running but at the same time have it grow. A lot of the details are gone for me now -- I have a terrible memory for this sort of thing because once something is no longer my problem, I forget about it, it's just gone.

One example is figuring out Communications and what it was going to be like [for the OTW and as a committee]. [The early volunteers] were all on LiveJournal, and so regarding communications I thought that it would be just the newsletters we have, and then people from the organization posting on their journals and talking to other fans on an individual level. And it didn't work very well, and I wasn't involved myself, but I remember frustration that we weren't being very successful at doing what we wanted to do there.

I was more involved on the technical level, which we had plenty of disagreements about too. Because the question was do you design it first, to have everything the way you want it, and then you build it or do you just start building? And I feel very very strongly that we ended up doing it the right way. We really did just dive in and start building. Overall, I'm quite happy with the success of that strategy, and then later, we know it's imperfect and there's things it doesn't do, so that unfortunately you haven't served everyone as well as you could have. It's a trade-off to having an archive.

I do think, fundamentally, it was the right call, and we are not, by far, the first organization that had to make that call. There are many different ways to make that call and we could have done it in a better way. Now the cost of that strategy has to be paid over a long time. But what matters most to me is that we made something. And the work is being done to get it to a sustainable place. At the beginning there was a very propulsive sort of drive to establish something and to get it running.

What do you see as the major turning points of the OTW during its ten years?

We had a huge advantage at the beginning, which is that we started with a small group of people who mostly all knew one another. Me, [current OTW Legal staffer] Rebecca Tushnet and [current Transformative Works & Cultures staffer] Francesca Coppa knew each other, and the other first Board members were in relatively close geographical proximity to one another, so we could get together face to face and discuss things. That was a big help. But we also had enormous expertise in the early group -- legal, academic, pro writing, technical experts. The people on the first board were the lynch pins of their respective committees. So it was a small group that could work together closely and develop things quickly in their own areas.

For a while in the middle of the OTW's growth we fell away from that. Being on the Board is a tough job and it takes an enormous amount of time to do the work well. I have done it well and have also done it poorly. It's not entirely, but is largely, based on how much time you have to offer, as well as the people you work with, and whether you can communicate with them effectively and whether there's a level of personal trust among you.

I feel there was a terrible low point that we went through. There was a middle wave; there's been research done on this process among non-profits that shows that what the OTW went through is a common pattern. There is a visionary founder, or team of founders, who bite off much more than they can do. That approach leaves a lot of loose ends. The people who are then recruited and pulled in because of the vision that the founders established see the problems with what was done or with what is happening, but they feel frustrated because they may not have the access to the founders or to ways of solving the problem. So then things turn antagonistic on either a personal or organizational level. So the OTW then had lots of people running for the Board being against what was happening to the Board.

So while things aren't going well and the Board isn't doing everything great, at the same time the people on the Board know a lot about what's going on in the organization because there have already been discussions and arguments that led up to that point, they've been there, and know the reasons for why things are happening. But there's no trust anymore and the Board as a group has gotten dysfunctional. And we have had several dysfunctional Boards.

Then you have the third wave who are happy doing their thing within the OTW and don't necessarily want to be on the Board. But they've seen the problems, they've come up in the organization and have seen what is going on at the top. And even though they'd rather just be able to keep doing the work that they've been doing, they feel they have to step up and fix this situation we've found ourselves in. That's the kind of Board we have now, and that's a good place. The OTW got through those growing pains, which is important because there are a lot of organizations who don't make it through that period, through those transitions.

In the beginning the contrast was, we had lots of disagreements but it was a foundation when everyone knew each other and respected each other's skills and knew of one another before ending up on the Board. That can be good but it also creates insularity. Those first few years were about just vrooom -- anything you wanted to try, you just tried. There wasn't anything that stopped you. There was nothing there yet so you just created something.

So in the beginning you didn't have people already doing things a certain way that then would all have to be changed -- you can't do that to people and disrupt their work and processes in that way. Especially on the coding side, that's an enormously creative period in the beginning where you're just creating. And in general, many people like to build new things and do not like to maintain old things, technology-wise. So at the beginning it's much easier. We all got our hands dirty. None of us had ever worked on anything the scale of what the OTW is now and we were just figuring it all out. For some people it is stressful having to start something, but for others it also is to maintain and grow it.

During your time with the OTW, what have you personally achieved that you feel the most proud of?

The Archive of Our Own is there, just, it exists. On a meta level, when I first made the post about building an archive, I wasn't thinking of it as something I would do. I even said it was something we needed and if someone else would do it then I would help them. But then I saw that no one was volunteering, and I had a moment, I remember this moment, knowing that setting this project in motion would be an enormous time sink, and an emotional sink, and that it would have opportunity costs for the rest of my life. But I did it anyway.

That original discussion generated a certain momentum, and we needed to build on it right away. There's one moment when you can take an idea to the table, and if you miss it, it's going to collapse, it's not going to be a thing at all. At the time I made that post I did it because I was mad and I believed it, I believed we had to do something. It's that whole cliche 'You have to be the change you want to see in the world.' And so I went to Rebecca and Francesca and said 'we're going to do it, but I can't do this without you.' And they said 'alright, we're in.' We'd had conversations before about the problems we wanted the OTW to address and this was the time to do something.

What do you see as the role of the OTW now and do you think that's changed since it began? How might it change in the next 10 years?

The #1 thing that I feel like the OTW has now that it didn't at the very beginning was the role of maintaining things, such as keeping the AO3 up and functioning. And now the Archive, and Fanlore too, but Fanlore is much easier to keep up. It's not easier to grow it, but just to keep it from falling down it's easier. Even the AO3 is hard to grow over the next 10 years just because you need to bring it up to a modern technical level. There should be discussions going on, and I expect there are, about version 2.0 of the Archive. But the AO3 should not look the same 10 years from now, and we need to start thinking about that plan [of how to get there] now rather than later.

We took a responsibility on and I know that -- even during the darkest moments of the Board where I literally thought that the entire tech staff would quit and there would be no one to run AO3 -- that what kept people on [as volunteers] even though there wasn't any kind of good resolution to the problems, it was the inertia of not wanting to drop the ball. There can come a time where there can be too high a personal cost in continuing to work on our projects, but if it requires me [personally] to keep working on it then it's not going to survive anyway. I could not be the one responsible at that stage of my life to continue the maintenance and development of what we had started. I had a small child, my life was changing. And I actually had tried to have conversations with the Board, which was difficult, that if you don't trust the staff to know what to do and to have the room to make those things happen then the project isn't going to survive. There's just a few people keeping it up, and there still are only a few people doing that work, but now there are contractors involved to help move us forward and a process for making the Archive more maintainable.

We all need to gracefully agree and also gracefully fail. And there can be a day when the lights don't come on. There could be a day when we can't afford to keep it running but we keep the stories available for download and provide the data so that someone else can take it on. It's the same thing that Open Doors is trying to save us from, that there are sites that just shut their doors, bye, all your work's gone. [The website] iMeem did that to [fans who were] vidding. Just one day, oh we're not going to host vids anymore. I feel very strongly that we have an obligation not to do that, that's the mission, that the #1 thing the OTW has to do. And I feel that it's happening [that we're keeping things going and maintaing them] so I'm happy with that.

I also feel that legally we're in a better place than we were which is great, and I'm really proud of everything that the Legal Advocacy team has accomplished. It's been amazing to see their victories. I feel like the OTW has done a good job of preserving things too through Open Doors, that's something I'd like to see more focus on, preservation work. But the major thing to work on is also the next generation. Fandom is much larger now than it used to be so we don't need to get everybody, to have the OTW be something to every fan out there. But you do need to be in a place where the kids are at, there's not enough engagement with Wattpad for example. So I think we have people come to the Archive and want and expect things of it, and then go away without quite understanding what it's supposed to be.

One thing I don't want the OTW to do is to try and become hip and trendy and reinvent ourselves in order to try and do that. We want to be the library, the boring place but the one that everyone knows about, and it's there if you need it.

What has been the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Building the AO3. I love coding, I think it's enormously fun, just building and coding something. I love that, that's the best.

Now that one of our founders has said five things about what they've done, it’s your turn to add one more thing! How long have you known about the OTW? Do you use the different projects? How long have you been in fandom?

You can also check out earlier Five Things posts by some of our other volunteers.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.


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

I. 2017 Election Success!

The 2017 Election went off without a hitch thanks to the Elections committee and their collaboration with the Communications, Development & Membership, Translation, Volunteers & Recruiting, and Webs committees! Elections would like to thank all of the members who sent in questions for the Q&A and everyone who voted in the election. They also thank all six phenomenal candidates, and send congratulations to Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, and Jessie Camboulives for becoming our newest Board members!

II. At the AO3

After the upgrade to Rails 4.2 in July, Accessibility, Design and Technology has begun testing upgrades to move AO3 to Rails 5.1 and Ruby 2.3. You can keep up with all the changes made to AO3 in our release notes.

Open Doors had a very productive August! They worked with Translation and Communications to announce the import of The Collators' Den and The Fandom Haven Story Archive to AO3. They completed three semi-automated imports: Daire's Fanfic Refuge, HL Raven's Nest, and StargateFan. They also finalized preparations and began manually importing works from the archives Hammer to Fall, Bang and Blame, and Least Expected.

In August, Abuse received over 600 tickets, and Support received over 1,300 tickets. As a reminder, all Abuse and Support reports must now include an e-mail address for the submitter.

III. Legal Advocacy and Fannish History

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was at the forefront of the Legal committee's August activities. They submitted a petition to the Copyright Office seeking to renew the vidders’ exemption to the DMCA, which allows people to rip DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital files for the purpose of making make non-commercial fanvids.

Legal also submitted comments to the Canadian government suggesting what Canada’s copyright law priorities should be as it renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trilateral NAFTA talks between the governments of U.S., Canada, and Mexico began in August, and will be resuming in September.

Lastly, the Fanlore homepage has a new section that features articles that require expansion. Go check it out and see what you can contribute!

IV. It's All About the Peeps

As of the 28th of August, the OTW has 680 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: 1 AD&T, 1 Open Doors, 2 Communications
New Fanlore Gardener Volunteers: Syd and 2 other Fanlore Gardeners
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Chai, Canislupa, Andy D, Stephanie Godden, Windian, Relle, Miss_Chif, Annie Staats, leftmost, snowynight, kenzimone, Hannah Miro, Leo, Eliana, Evie D, Alex D., Dre, Lily_Haydee_Lohdisse, Reeby, Zed Jae, Nemesis, Koi W, Saoirse Adams-Kushin, englishsummerrain, RussianRadio, Amy Lynn, ElleM, and carboncopies.
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Staff: Asanté Simons (Volunteers & Recruiting), Amy Shimizu (Abuse), gracethebookworm (AO3 Documentation), 1 Abuse Staffer and 1 Communications Staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 Tag Wrangling Volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: Maliceuse, Kyanite and 2 others


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2017-09-06 11:46:19 -0400

OTW Recruitment Banner by Erin

Do you have experience with Linux system administration, or personnel and project management? Or would you like to help wrangle tags or assist AO3 users by resolving complaints? The Organisation for Transformative Works is recruiting!


We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Wrangling Volunteers, Fanlore Gardeners, and Communications: News Report Writer Staff.

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

  • Abuse Committee Staff - closing Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC
  • Communications Committee Chair-Track Staff - closing Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC
  • Systems Committee Staff - closing Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteers - closing after 60 applications, or Wednesday 13 September 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.

Abuse Committee Staff

The Abuse Committee is dedicated to helping users deal with the various situations that may arise. We also handle any complaints that come in about content uploaded to the Archive of Our Own. The team determines if complaints are about legitimate violations of the Terms of Service, and what to do about them if they are; our major goals are to adhere to the TOS, to make our reasoning and processes as clear and transparent as possible, and to keep every individual case completely confidential. We work closely with other AO3 related committees such as Support and Content.

We are seeking people who can keep in close contact, be patient in rephrasing explanations, make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it's needed. Staffers need to be able to handle complex and sometimes-disturbing content, and must be able to commit a sufficient amount of time to the team on a regular basis.

Applications are due Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC

Communications Committee Chair-Track Staff

The Communications Committee is the central information distributing arm of the OTW, responsible for the distribution of information internally to OTW personnel and externally to the general public, the media, fans, and other fannish organizations. Communications is also typically the first point of contact for someone interested in or wanting help from OTW, and serves all of the organization's committees and projects. The position of Chair Track Staffer is designed for individuals with ample time to learn all aspects of Communications' activities, and who would like to work toward being considered for the role of chair.

Are you good at managing workflow? Would you like to help keep the OTW's internal and external outreach on track and running smoothly? Communications chair-track staffers are responsible for a combination of assigned tasks, individual study and training, and shadowing of other staff in order to become familiar with leading and managing the committee. Specific responsibilities include distribution of news posts, responding to inquiries from the public and the press, personnel management, policy and process development, and oversight of social media accounts.

Applications are due Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC

Tag Wrangling Volunteers

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to keep the millions of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff.)
If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. See the application for which fandoms are in need.

Applications are due Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC, but will close earlier if we receive 60 applications.

Systems Committee Staff

The Systems Committee is dedicated to supporting, troubleshooting, and expanding the technological infrastructure that underlies the OTW’s many projects. Systems staff members manage many day-to-day aspects of Linux system administration, such as Email Server administration, DNS updates, Apache/nginx management, and user/group rights and permissions. Committee members also tackle larger projects like virtual machine installation and configuration, researching better ways to manage our infrastructure, optimizing, and planning for the future.

We are seeking individuals who have some experience in remote Linux administration. A focus in one of the following areas is greatly desired: email server administration, routing/networking, configuration management (such as Chef, Puppet, Salt, Ansible, or CFengine), virtual machine configuration and management with VirtualBox, VMWare, or Xen, and/or MySQL database administration.

Keeping the OTW and its projects on the web is a serious commitment. If you aren’t sure you meet these requirements but you want to volunteer, please apply. We can provide training for an applicant who has some skills and shows promise.

Applications are due Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC

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


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2017-09-04 20:05:06 -0400

OTW 10th anniversary celebration

Today is a very special day: it's been 10 years since the OTW launched. The Organization for Transformative Works is the parent organization of multiple projects including AO3, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures and OTW Legal Advocacy. We have a number of activities planned this month to celebrate and we hope you'll join in!

Each weekend in September we will be hosting chats with guests and offering Q&A sessions with OTW staff representing different areas of the organization. Below is our schedule of events and special posts for the month. Links to our chatroom will go live during the hours shown, so check back here on the day in order to click through and attend.

Room attendance is capped at 60 people at any one time. If you can't get in you can try again later or check out the transcripts, which will be posted within 24 hours (Available through all OTW news outlets)

Saturday, September 9th from 05:00 to 07:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • The OTW's Fanlore Committee held an open house. Thanks to those who took part and be sure to check out pages for your favorite fannish topics on Fanlore.

  • Sunday, September 10th from 16:00-18:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • The Magicians author and journalist Lev Grossman will be joining us to discuss his work in a talk about "Television and Book Fandoms."
  • Read the transcript

    On Wednesday, September 13th we'll be making a special Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said post with one of the OTW's founders, Naomi Novik. She'll be looking back at the OTW's early days and the organization's arc. (Available through all OTW news outlets)

    Saturday, September 16th from 17:00 to 19:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • In a discussion about the Romance Genre, authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings will discuss their work as Christina Lauren, along with romance author and professor Catherine Roach.
  • Read the transcript

    Sunday, September 17th from 16:00-18:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • Authors Seanan McGuire and Martha Wells will be joining us for a discussion about "Fantasy and Fandom", their works, their time in fandom, and maybe some filk too!
  • Read the transcript

    On Monday, September 18th we'll be taking a look back at our history with "25 Things to Know About the OTW." (Available through all OTW news outlets)

    On Thursday, September 21st we'll be sharing a Guest Post from noted media scholar Henry Jenkins. (Available through all OTW news outlets)

    Saturday, September 23rd from 14:00-15:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone) and 19:00-20:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • The OTW's Legal Committee will be holding an open house. If you've ever wanted someone to answer your questions about fandom, fanworks and legal issues take this opportunity to find out more! Have you ever had questions about why the AO3's terms of use allow posting of some kinds of fanworks but not others? Do you find yourself puzzling over whether Patreon and crowdfunding change the legality of fanworks? Have you ever wondered what fans can do to keep their fanworks from being exploited by others? Are you worried about ways that countries may seek to regulate the Internet? These are just a few of the many topics Legal could chat with you about. (Here are some more examples of questions Legal could discuss). Just keep in mind that the chat can't be used to give you personal legal advice, and 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) the Legal staff will redirect you to the Legal contact form so you can communicate via email.
  • Thanks to those who attended, and if you missed asking your question, you can contact Legal by email.

    Sunday, September 24th from 14:00-16:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • The OTW's Support Committee will be holding an open house to answer your questions about using the AO3. Live chat is best for questions of a “How do I…?” or “Why does it…?” nature. For example, you might have been wondering how to run a challenge, how to post using formatting the Rich Text Editor won’t give you, or perhaps you want to add a lot of your older works to the AO3 so what would be the easiest way to do that? Ask away! Two caveats though: Support's function is to help users with technical bugs and issues so any questions or comments about AO3 or OTW policies -- good or bad -- Support Chat isn’t the right place for them. 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 you to the Support Form so you can communicate via email.
  • Thanks to those who attended, and if you missed asking your question, you can contact Support by email.

    Monday, September 25th we'll launch a 72 hour OTW Trivia Contest. Submit your answers and try for a variety of prizes, including some donated to us by author Tamora Pierce! (Available through all OTW news outlets)

    Thursday, September 28th a post from editors Kristina Busse, Francesca Coppa, and Karen Hellekson about books that support the OTW! (Available through all OTW news outlets)

    Saturday, September 30th from 17:00-19:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • Author Tessa Gratton will be discussing her work, which includes YA novels and the Tremontaine series based on Ellen Kushner's Riverside books. Kate McNair, a YALSA Board member and the Teen Services Coordinating Librarian for the Johnson County Library will also be joining us to talk about the Young Adult genre.

  • Read the transcript

    Sunday, October 1 from 17:00-19:00 UTC (check when that is in your timezone)

  • The OTW's Translation Committee will be holding an open house to answer your questions about how the OTW communicates in over 30 languages, but also to chat with you about fandom and fanworks! If you've wanted to make contact with other fans at the AO3 in your native language(s), wondered what it might be like to be on the OTW's translation team, or considered how many ways you can translate 'kudos', take this opportunity to find out more!
  • Thanks to those who attended, and if you missed asking your question, you can visit Translation's committee webpage.

    More Ways to Participate

    1. If you want to find out more about the OTW's history, you can read its first announcement as a new organization, or browse our Pinboard account for news posts old and new, which includes announcements from all our projects as well as news from AO3 and Fanhackers posts.
    2. You're a part of fannish history too! Chances are the fandoms you've been in and the works you know about could use more information on Fanlore. And if you'd like some help starting out, drop into the Fanlore chat session this month.
    3. Thanks to our graphics volunteer Rachel G, we have some snaggable art below which you can repost on your fannish accounts to let everyone know that you're also celebrating our birthday this month! Copy the information in the text box to post a linked version of the larger badge, or right-click to download the smaller badges.

    Celebrating OTW's 10th Anniversary


    <div style="text-align:center"><a href=""><img src="" alt="Celebrating OTW's 10th Anniversary"/></a></div>

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    The Alpha Gate archive header

    The Alpha Gate, a Stargate SG-1 fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

    In this post:

    Background explanation

    Opened in 2002, the Alpha Gate Archive is a repository of Stargate SG-1 fanfiction, and was originally composed of writers from The Alpha Gate’s active Yahoo! Group. The archive has been host to over 3,900 works for the past 15 years, and is making the move to the AO3 because its hosting software, eFiction, is no longer supported.

    Open Doors will be working with Biblio, PhoenixE, Babs, Devra, Sideburns, Sallye, Imagine, and Michelle to import The Alpha Gate into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

    We will begin importing works from The Alpha Gate to the AO3 after September.

    What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on The Alpha Gate?

    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. Open Doors will then set up the URL redirects, and we will permanently close down the site.

    Please contact Open Doors with your Alpha Gate 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 Alpha Gate 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 Alpha Gate mods 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 The Alpha Gate 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 The Alpha Gate!

    - The Open Doors team and The Alpha Gate mods


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    OTW contested election banner

    Now that the 2017 Election is over and the results are final, we’re happy to share with you our voter turnout statistics!

    For the 2017 Election, we had 5376 total eligible voters. Of those, 682 voters cast a ballot, which represents 12.7% of the potential voters. Our voter turnout is somewhat less than that of last year, which had a turnout of 15.1%. We also saw a decrease in the number of ballots cast, from 951 to 682, which represents a 28.3% decrease. The 2017 election did, however, improve in other areas: Six candidates ran for three positions, doubled from 2016, when three candidates ran for two positions on the Board.

    Elections is committed to continuing to reach out to our eligible members to encourage them to vote in elections. Whoever is elected to the Board of Directors can have an important influence on the long-term health of the OTW’s projects, and we want our members to have a say in that.

    For those who might be interested in the number of votes each candidate received, please note that our election process is designed to elect an equal cohort of Board members in order to allow them to work well together, so we do not release that information. As a general rule, we also won’t disclose which of our unsuccessful candidates received the fewest votes, since we don’t want to discourage them from running again in the future when circumstances and member interest might be different.

    Once again, a big thank you to everyone who participated at every stage of the election! We hope to see you at the virtual polls next year.


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    2017-08-17 12:23:17 -0400

    Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

    Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Chien, who volunteers as a translator.

    How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

    As part of the Chinese translating team I assist in putting together Chinese versions for anything the OTW posts online, from AO3 guidelines to write-ups of amicus briefs. Basically I'm part of the bridge of communication that connects the OTW to the Chinese-speaking fannish community, helping to reach out to more people who might be interested in what we do!

    What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

    I joined the OTW right before my last year of high school and now I'm preparing for my UEC certificate exams in October, so generally my week is similar to that of any typical Chinese independent school student -- except I use Google Drive a lot more often! I live in the school dorms too, which (gasp) don't have any WiFi amenities, so I normally make my task for the week available offline and use my smartphone app during the week, then hand it in when I'm home for the weekend to save data charges XD. I also handle the occasional "do you get paid for your work?" from curious dormmates, but overall my work is like a de-stressing pastime for me.

    What sorts of OTW content have you worked on?

    Other than pages for the AO3 site and legal write-ups, I've done news posts and election manifestos too. I also dip into the Tag Wranglers' chat room to help out with fandom tags. And when I'm 18 in two months I'll apply for Abuse tickets too, because all experience is good experience, no?

    What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

    Fandom tags are really great fun, especially when a familiar series pops up every so often (I was so hyped when the first Chinese tags for Yuri!!! on Ice came in.) It also keeps my mind on its toes as I jump back and forth between two languages, and I've always had a thing for linguistics, haha! Plus I've learned more legal terms in the past year than I have in my entire life, which could be a good conversation starter if I need one.

    What fannish things do you like to do?

    I made my account when I was twelve, then moved to AO3 after getting into Free! My Tumblr blog is basically a collection of art reblogs from whatever fandoms I'm into, which could be anything from Steven Universe to Game of Thrones. I occasionally rant about issues in the fandom too, when I'm struck by the fancy. Then there's headcanons with fellow fans too, which may or may not be turned into NSFW fics on AO3.

    Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.


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    OTW contested election banner

    The Elections Committee would like to thank all of our candidates for their hard work in this year's election. With that, we are pleased to present the results of the 2017 Election.

    The following candidates (in alphabetical order) have been officially elected to the Board of Directors.

    • Claire P. Baker
    • Danielle Strong
    • Jessie Camboulives

    The new members of the Board will formally begin their term overlap on October 1, 2017. We wish them well with their terms. With that, the election season comes to a close. Thank you to everyone who got involved by spreading the word, asking the candidates questions, and, of course, voting! We look forward to seeing all of you again next year.



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