AO3 News

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I. PREPARING FOR VOTES

Elections has had a busy few weeks and is ready to receive OTW members' ballots in a couple of weeks. Candidate Q&A posts were all posted by July 31 and voting instructions were emailed to all eligible members. Candidate Tyme LaDow withdrew her candidacy effective July 26. Elections also hosted two chats with candidates, and the transcripts were posted on their website in the days after the events.

If you have any queries, you can contact the Elections Committee through its website. The election will be held August 14-17, and your ballot will come via the email you gave when you donated.

II. AT THE AO3

AO3 Documentation has uploaded some changes to the AO3's Invitations FAQ while
Accessibility, Design and Technology has been collaborating with other committees to wrap up testing of the admin roles code from our contractors. Systems are scoping some further email work, and starting to think about their next round of server purchasing.

Support estimates they will come in at approximately 1300 new tickets this month. Fortunately, their newest class of recruits have collectively closed 1500 tickets since the start of their training period, so they're a great help! Policy and Abuse has received about 1100 tickets so far this month.

Tag Wrangling completed an update to the wrangling policies to describe procedures for wrangling some of the more straightforward non-fandom specific tags, as the next step in the ongoing process of overhauling how those tags are handled. In June, tag wranglers handled more than 333,000 tags across more than 37,800 fandoms.

III. PLANNING AND MOVING FORWARD

Legal has filed our petition to renew the “vidders’ exemption” to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions, part of a process we do every three years. They are also preparing for a meeting with U.S. Congressional staff regarding copyright policy, and answering lots of user queries.

TWC is moving issue No. 34 (September 2020) into production. The editorial teams are working with authors to get manuscripts for the March 2021 issue. TWC anticipates on-time releases despite the coronavirus and the havoc it's wreaking on people's schedules.

Fanlore has been discussing some updates to their editing cheatsheet to help users quickly grab the formatting they need while editing pages, and are making plans for a "themed month" of social posts and graphics in October.

Translation worked on Elections platform content and voting instructions this month. They have also started a new language team — Sinhala!

Communications has replaced This Week In Fandom with a new monthly series, OTW Signal. We encourage link submissions for it from the public. Our OTW Tumblr account also has a new moderator, Szabo Dorottya. So if you use Tumblr, do stop by and say hello!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Board received 14 submissions of various kinds to their internal anonymous feedback form, which they have either passed on to the relevant committees or are discussing the best way to take action. Among the submissions that concerned the Board, they received queries and suggestions about paid employees, OTW diversity and the OTW's founding principles. The anonymous feedback form has been extremely helpful in allowing them to hear from different volunteers who have a variety of perspectives.

Finance is continuing ongoing work for the 2019 audit, while preparing for recruitment and the budget update later in the year.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting received 74 new requests, and completed 77, leaving them with 24 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 July the OTW has 883 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.
New Committee Staff: 1 Translation staffer, 1 Legal staffer
New Translation Volunteers: Dani Lee, farah, forestcat, Hali, Juliette, Leona Malfoy, nõiaelu, Noura Mu, Prerna A. Popat, Quality, and 4 other volunteers
Departing Committee Staff: Cyn (Open Doors), ExpatGirl (AO3 Documentation), Kendal GK (Support), Ashley Pancho (Support), and 2 other Support staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Eugecapisce, g33k_magnet, Stephanie Godden, thomastelbon, 2 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Gil81, Tygermine and 1 other volunteer

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


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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Published:
2020-07-06 13:15:11 -0400
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I. UPCOMING CHANGES

The OTW Board of Directors has been hard at work listening to and addressing the wide array of concerns about the OTW's internal and external approach to racism that came to light in the past month. The result of discussions was announced publicly. This is very much still a work-in-progress, and Board also set up an internal anonymous feedback form for all of our volunteers.

II. AND MORE FROM OUR PROJECTS

Fanlore ran a very successful Bingo Challenge with a record number of participants. Thank you to everyone who helped with the running of the event and to everyone who took part! The committee also announced a new logo for the site, its first since the project was launched in 2008. Follow their Twitter account to stay up to date on Fanlore news.

Transformative Works and Cultures' latest issue on Fan Studies Methodologies went live right on time! Thanks to all team members for their hard work. The next issue, due on September 15 is on track; and Transformative Works and Cultures also released a new call for papers on Fandom Histories for 2022 release.

Legal had a big month. They submitted comments to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Our comments, which were part of the Senate’s ongoing assessment of section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, covered a number of topics: they responded to a report by the U.S. Copyright Office; urged the Senate to consider the needs of Internet users, independent creators, and small service providers; and presented new empirical data drawn from OTW Legal's 2017 OTW user survey regarding section 512’s effectiveness for transformative creators. Thanks again to the many fans that completed that survey—your answers are still helping us make a difference to support fanworks and fan creators!

Members of the legal team also met with the U.S. Copyright Office, continued work on future legal advocacy testimony and submissions, and responded to a number of user queries.

Communications has been reviewing its publication and events process and will have some changes in the works starting in August. They also want to remind readers that suggestions are always welcome for interviewees for our monthly OTW Guest Post series, which includes features on fanwork creators. Meanwhile our Webs Committee restored access to the OTW's website which went offline for over a day in June.

III. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology: AD&T released the big rewrite of the wrangling and filtering code that hopefully means fewer issues with large tags and fiddly tag relationships going forward. Thank you to Tag Wrangling for providing input and helping out with all the testing! All the latest improvements and fixes are detailed in the release notes. Together with Systems, AD&T kept users up to date about issues with email delivery due to a change in IP address and some overworked mailer workers.

They have also been wrapping up the first round of design discussions (together with the Policy and Abuse and Support chairs) on one of the next big projects, namely blocking and muting functionality. There's a lot of tiny interrelated details to consider and we want to make sure we get the launch as close to right as possible, so these features are still quite a ways off.

Support tickets are ongoing, and our new volunteers are an absolute gift! 500 tickets in just three days in June drove the ticket count over 1700. Meanwhile, Policy and Abuse received over 1000 tickets. Their new recruits are halfway through training so current staff are excited to have them start helping with a backlog of 3000 open, unassigned tickets.

In June, Tag Wrangling volunteers continued their heroic efforts in handling the large increase in tags associated with the large increase in usage the AO3 has experienced over these past months. The Archive canonized its 37,000th fandom and volunteers wrangled more than 375,000 tags in May \o/.

Systems welcomed a new technical writer to their team and have been busy with email-related work -- moving the IP we send mail from, fixing the mail system that lost its NVME drive, liaising with other mail providers, and setting up a new mail submission system.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections have been very busy this month and announced 6 declared candidates running in the 2020 OTW Board election. Translation worked on their Bios & Platforms and the Development and Membership committee organized a mini-drive for anyone wanting to become a member by June 30th, the deadline for voter eligibility. Elections also collected questions for the Candidate Q&A posts and began preparing the posting schedule for Q&As and Candidate Chat times.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 23 May to 24 June, Volunteers & Recruiting received 123 new requests, and completed 138, leaving them with 19 open requests. As of 24 June the OTW has 882 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: C. Ryan Smith, Suzanne Fossey, Julie Bozza, Chera Kee (all Open Doors) and 1 other Open Doors staffer, J. Quadrifrons (AO3 Documentation)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 volunteer
New Translation Volunteers: Blursed, Calime, dressedupasmyself, Methi, Mimozka, themeltingsnowflakes, thewordscomealive (all Translation) and 2 other Translation volunteers

Departing Committee Staff: GoldenFalls, Genie Este, Alanai (all Support) and 2 other Support staffers; 2 Finance staffers; Paula (Open Doors), McBangle (Policy & Abuse); Syb (AO3 Documentation); 1 Communications staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Ari, KH Ivywater, NatashaK, SLiverofJade, toby and 11 other Tag Wrangler Volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Monika Liptáková and 1 other Translation volunteer

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


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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I. FANLORE BINGO CHALLENGE

In May, Fanlore ramped up the preparations for their June Bingo Challenge with some fun themed social media posts. The Bingo Challenge is an annual two-week challenge taking place in the first two weeks of June. Challenges are presented on 3x3 bingo cards, with each square containing a different editing challenge. Complete the editing tasks, achieve Bingo! or even Blackout, and win unique badges to show off and display on your Fanlore User page. There are both Beginner and Expert level challenges for newbie editors and seasoned pros. The Bingo Challenge is taking place until June 14: come and take part!

II. AT THE AO3

The Archive of Our Own hit a major milestone this past month, reaching a total of 6 million fanworks posted to the Archive on May 12! Communications commemorated this achievement with a public post which noted that it only took 10 months for the total posted fanworks on the AO3 to jump from 5 million to 6 million.

The speed with which we reached the 6 million mark can partly be attributed to the increased traffic to the Archive since many regions entered lockdown due to the current pandemic. Accessibility, Design, & Technology discussed the recent increases in traffic, posted fanworks, kudos, and comments in a statistics post.

Systems has been busy moving virtual machines onto our new VM hosts and bringing our new firewalls into service. They're also in the process of replacing some of their older servers with newer ones that draw less power. Together with Accessibility, Design, & Technology, Systems changed the IP address the AO3 uses for outgoing mail. They expected this to cause mails from the archive to be delayed or even rejected by email providers, so account creation and invitations were temporarily disabled. That way, the respective emails didn't get lost without ever reaching their recipient.

In May, Policy & Abuse received about 1,000 tickets, and Support received about 1,200 tickets. In April, Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 343,000 tags — the largest number in any month since the Archive’s creation - keeping up with the substantial increase in tagging that accompanied the recent surge in traffic.

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

The 2020 Board of Directors election is fast approaching! Elections, Communications, and Translation collaborated to post the Elections Timeline and additional details about membership and the elections process. If you want to vote in this year's election, the last date to become a member is June 30. The deadline for OTW volunteers to declare their candidacy is June 19, and candidates will be announced on June 21.

May brought some very public new developments in the terms of Disney’s apps and platforms. Legal wrote an educational post explaining what those terms of service mean for fans and why they don’t change anything about the AO3. Legal has also been hard at work on some copyright law advocacy projects for the coming months.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 15 April to 23 May, Volunteers & Recruiting received 124 new requests, and completed 118, leaving us with 23 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 23 May the OTW has 886 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Ace, Indigo, Kelli Randoja, Miss Sycamore, Pangxiuluojun, petricores, Re_Tails, TC, yufei, Zoey, Zurich Z and 9 other Support Staffers; Zoey (Communications); Erlkoenig (Policy & Abuse), 1 Fanlore staff
New Translation Volunteers: CelinaK, Ines, Sima Cass and 7 other volunteers

Departing Committee Staff: Kelly Gritten & Scylle (AO3 Documentation); 1 Elections staffer; Chai (Tag Wrangling)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Dia, Elanya and 1 other volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: 2 volunteers

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


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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I. THANK YOU!

Our April membership drive, "Finding Community in Isolation," was a roaring success! Soaring above our target, donations to the Organization for Transformative Works totaled US$458,501 from 14,905 donors in 96 countries. That's US$328,501 and 253% more than our goal amount.

Thank you to Development & Membership for coordinating the drive and to Communications and Translation for their help publicizing the drive with two news posts translated into 36 languages. And special thanks to everyone who donated, signal boosted, and otherwise supported us through the drive - we're so incredibly grateful for all your generosity!

To learn more about where your donations go, check out the OTW's 2020 budget recently published by Finance. Finance also held a public chat on April 25 inviting users to ask questions about the budget.

II. AT THE AO3

The Archive of Our Own has been experiencing significantly increased traffic due to the ongoing global pandemic. To help our servers cope with this increase, Accessibility, Design, & Technology began caching works for logged-out users. This resulted in temporary issues with both guest hit counts and the adult content warning, so AD&T worked on those issues as well as some problems with the Terms of Service prompt the GDPR requires us to show to all users. Hits are now counted a bit differently, but visits from logged out users do make the counter go up again!

In March, Tag Wrangling handled more than 260,000 tags across 36,400 fandoms. At the time of this writing, Policy & Abuse had received about 1,300 tickets so far in April, while Support was expecting to blow past 2,000 tickets, particularly after receiving about 800 tickets in roughly 5 minutes when the Archive experienced a short disruption on April 22.

Finally, Open Doors was proud to announce the completion of 4 archive imports in 2019. Thank you to everyone for their kind words on the announcement post!

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

The pandemic shutdown across the globe has led to other effects for OTW committees. Communications has had media contacts about AO3 activity, since many people are turning to fanworks during this time. Some of the resulting articles may be coming to the OTW's Press Room. Meanwhile, the creativity being seen as people shelter in place has led Legal to work with allies on legal advocacy related to the copyright lessons being learned from it.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 23 March to 15 April, Volunteers & Recruiting received 45 new requests, and completed 43, leaving us with 17 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 15 April the OTW has 870 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: anotherone674, Bethanyw, Masha, serkestic, Tamara Jerée (all Fanlore); Alex Clark, Amy2, Darcy Lindbergh (all Volunteers & Recruiting)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: abhorsen, AkiJ, BabelGhoti, Cia, cinnamonandtea, Corbae, dytabytes, Echuro, Eithe, Eliromie, EllipsisObsessed, Emily Fowl, Eri, Giles, Gracie, haru, Jacks, Jae Nguyen, Laula, Level4Chaos, MaoMao, Mika, MissMinnow, Myrtle, Mystikel, Nenya, Oniondip, pan2fel, Peaches, Ping, pyrrhuloxia, QED, Rhine, serkestic, Singy, snuffles, Thendal, UnderOrange, Wadeye, wick, Yonah and 1 other Tag Wrangler

Departing Committee Staff: memorizingthedigitsofpi (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4 volunteers

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


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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I. ACCESSIBILITY, DESIGN, & TECHNOLOGY

Accessibility, Design, & Technology (AD&T) deployed releases that made changes to user accounts, admin accounts, our testing environment, and more. Notable in these releases were changes to how kudos are recorded and stored, in order to ensure that we don’t run out of room for the Archive’s 640 million and rising kudos. A side effect of this work was the removal of duplicate kudos from works, but as AD&T explained, the only kudos removed were duplicates from the same user: no unique kudos from unique users were removed.

The Archive of Our Own saw some bumpy traffic this month, with AD&T reporting a drop in page views at the beginning of the month, shortly after users in China became unable to access the site. This was followed by a rise near the end of the month to levels not seen since our usual “busy” January period, with 279 million page views the week of March 17 to March 22.

II. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

AD&T wasn’t the only committee that noticed an effect from the AO3 outage in China. Legal helped users and committees respond to related queries, and Communications staffers were busy this month due to a rapid number of interview requests. As a result, Communications has added a number of OTW mentions to our Press Room. Special shoutout to our two Weibo account moderators, who have done an amazing job wading through tens of thousands of messages and serving as an invaluable interface for the OTW with Chinese fans.

The Board of Directors kept busy with an open house on March 8 that invited users to ask questions about who Board is and what they do. With help from committee chairs and from Communications, Board also released a news post detailing how volunteers and their work for the OTW may be affected by COVID-19, and encouraging fans to explore the OTW’s projects, keep creating, and stay safe.

TWC’s guest-edited issue No. 32, “Fandom and Politics,” came out on time on March 15. TWC and Communications also released an interview, Five Things Kristina Busse Said, that received a great response from fans who learned more about aca-fandom.

Systems had to get our vendor to replace some CPUs in our new servers (they’d delivered the wrong ones), which delayed things somewhat. They’ve also been working on some new firewall infrastructure and improving their monitoring.

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE AO3

In February, Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 250,000 tags in 36,100 fandoms, and Support received about 1,850 tickets—twice the number of tickets Support received in February 2019. A third of these tickets were taken care of with the help of Translation. Meanwhile, Policy & Abuse had received about 1,300 tickets so far in March at the time of this writing.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 22 February to 22 March, Volunteers & Recruiting received 91 new requests, and completed 95, leaving us with 9 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 22 March the OTW has 829 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Chairs: Marion McGowan and Emma Lloyd (both Elections)
New Committee Staff: 1 AO3 Documentation staff, Rivka (Webs)
New Communications Volunteers: Amelie N and 1 other volunteer
New Translation Volunteers: Ayati, bel_thorne, chimyatta, Julija, Link, Lora, Melmëyen, Nira, V. T. Holmes, Yohanna, Zala and 3 other volunteers

Departing Committee Chairs: Michelle Dong (Open Doors)
Departing Committee Staff: buckwicks (Communications), HelmetParty (Development & Membership), 1 Policy & Abuse staffer, Michelle Dong (Open Doors and Volunteers & Recruiting)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: HazelDomain, Kaylie and 1 other volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: soumyaa and 1 other volunteer

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


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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I. LEGAL ADVOCACY

Legal had an active month this February! In response to an outpouring of concern from AO3 users about unofficial AO3 reader apps, Legal answered a number of user queries and released a public news post about apps monetizing fanworks or monetizing access to works posted on the AO3 without the authors' consent, helping creators understand their own copyrights and helping them unravel what they could do to prevent this sort of activity if they didn’t approve of it.

Legal also got a great result in February: Last year, Legal joined allies to file an amicus brief in the case of Smith v. Drake. In that brief, we argued that a use should be considered transformative under the fair use doctrine whenever it uses an underlying work to convey a different meaning or message than the underlying work, and need not provide a direct critique or commentary. The OTW also argued that the transformative use of substantial amounts of source material is legally permissible under the fair use doctrine. In February, the court ruled in that case, and our arguments won!

Legal team member Rebecca Tushnet testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Her testimony focused on how the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA work for small organizations like the OTW, how they advance creative expression by making sites like the Archive of Our Own possible, and how they provide the legal flexibility necessary for a diverse Internet to survive. Her testimony also addressed the failure of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions and the work the OTW has done in creating exemptions that protect vidders and similar creators from those provisions’ overreach.

Finally, Legal addressed a cease and desist letter defending a fanwork from allegations of infringement.

II. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

On February 15, the OTW celebrated its sixth International Fanworks Day! Communications kept busy with 29 hours of party games in our public chatroom, an #IFDrabble challenge with the prompt ‘characters discovering fanworks about themselves,' and a Feedback Fest that invited fans to post recs, leave kudos, and drop comments online. Communications also asked fans to respond to the question: ‘What’s your favourite fanwork trope?’ To see contributions to the various IFD festivities, check out the #IFD2020 tag on Tumblr and Twitter, the International Fanworks Day 2020 tag on AO3, and the content created by participants during the Games and Fan Chat under the AO3 pseud MODEliot.

Fanlore also participated in the celebration with its third annual IFD Fanlore Challenge featuring daily editing challenges throughout the week leading up to IFD. Each participant who completed each day's challenge received a badge that they could display on their Fanlore user page.

Board plans to host an open house on Campfire on March 8 at 20:00 UTC (What time is that for me?). This open house is open to all to ask questions and learn more about who Board is and what they do! To participate, look for a tweet with a link to the chatroom about an hour before the meeting.

III. AT THE AO3

Open Doors was excited this month to begin getting back in touch with moderators of Yahoo Groups about importing the fanworks and meta discussions from their groups to the AO3. If you previously contacted Open Doors about importing your group and would like to know the status of your request, please contact them to check your group's position in the queue. Moderators who managed to save a backup of their group before the Yahoo Groups mass deletion are also welcome to contact Open Doors to start the import process.

Accessibility, Design, & Technology deployed releases, most notably making updates to performance and Elasticsearch-related slowness. Systems contributed a lot of work to reduce that slowness and prevent users from disconnecting from the AO3 due to Elasticsearch load. Systems also is starting to commission the OTW's new virtual machine servers and is looking at improving the VPN some staffers use to access the OTW's infrastructure.

Meanwhile, other AO3 committees have been setting record-high numbers at the beginning of the year. In January, Tag Wrangling handled more than 260,000 tags across more than 35,600 fandoms, and Support received almost 1,400 tickets, a 15% increase from the previous January. At the time of this writing, Policy & Abuse had received about 1,000 tickets in the month of February.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 15 January to 21 February, Volunteers & Recruiting received 163 new requests, and completed 162, leaving us with 13 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 21 February the OTW has 819 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Chairs: Natalia Gruber (Translation)
New Committee Staff: Cyn (Translation), 1 Communications staffer
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: adastra03, Alex of the Winter, Anne Apocalypse, aoglic, axelmania, bde3y, Bean II, blackelement7, Briar, CB, Cedar, Clock, conifer, dark14, Denali, Diana Sakharova, El, Felix Engler, flamethrowr, g33k_magnet, Glassea, HazelDomain, Jacinta Klein, jeansprout, Jingyuan, Joey, Kali, Kyrstin, leonyxx, Lourie, Naphyla, Nexidava, Ngil, Piano, Rae Friedenson, Rin A, Riz, Scatteringmyashes, Shan, SmudgeInktopus, Stellae, ValerieZA, Wendy, Wintersheir, Yveslyn, YZ Koh and 1 other volunteer
New Translation Volunteers: vasilymo

Departing Committee Staff: Erlkoenig, Natalia Gruber, Nrandom (all Policy & Abuse), Sable (Support) and 3 more Support staff
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 Volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: Zane Valule

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


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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Published:
2020-02-02 11:27:57 -0500
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I. INTERNATIONAL FANWORKS DAY

This coming February 15 will be our sixth annual celebration of International Fanworks Day! International Fanworks Day, or IFD, was first celebrated in 2015 to honor the anniversary of AO3 passing the 1 million fanworks milestone. We're very excited to continue this tradition by celebrating the fanworks that we spotlight, share, and advocate for.

Communications announced the upcoming holiday with an IFDrabble/IFDrawble challenge: Characters react to discovering fanworks they are in. Translation has been hard at work translating this and upcoming posts about IFD into a whopping 29 languages. Meanwhile, Fanlore is preparing to launch their IFD Fanlore Challenge in conjunction with IFD as their first event of the year. Stay tuned for more information about IFD festivities coming soon!

II. AT THE AO3

The AO3 broke records this holiday season with 281 million page views in the first week of January and 1.12 billion page views in the month of December. To help tackle intermittent server troubles and keep up with all that traffic, new servers will be coming soon! \o/ Accessibility, Design and Technology also unveiled several code deploys, including an update to our rich text editor, support for the HTML5 audio and video tags, a tweak to how we handle language selection, and some less confusingly labeled buttons.

Open Doors is in the final stages of preparations for their Yahoo Groups Rescue Project with the Board of Directors and the Legal committee, and they hope to begin working with Yahoo Groups moderators to import their Groups to the AO3 in February. They have a long queue of Groups waiting for import, so please be patient if your Group is on the wait list! Verizon has now deleted all data associated with Yahoo Groups, but any moderators who downloaded the contents of their Yahoo Groups in advance of the deletion deadline are still welcome to contact Open Doors about importing them to the AO3. Additionally, Open Doors announced the upcoming import of the Watchmen Kinkmeme to the AO3, with thanks to Communications and Translation!

Policy & Abuse received about 1,250 tickets in December and over 19,000 tickets in the year 2019. Their ticket count for 2018 was around 11600, so that’s quite an increase! They will likely break 20,000 tickets in 2020, while just four years ago their yearly ticket count was only around 5,300! Meanwhile, Support received 1,474 tickets in December and 15,763 total tickets in the year 2019. Tag Wrangling has also been fielding huge numbers, wrangling 216,000 tags in November, 240,000 tags in December, and an astonishing 2.7 million tags in the year 2019.

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Strategic Planning has reached the end of the OTW's 2017-20 Strategic Plan. This was the OTW's first ever strategic plan and allowed the OTW to clarify each committee's role and goals, develop a budget and financial policies, and discuss options for improving the organization's governance structure, among other goals. A big shoutout to all OTW volunteers for their hard work and dedication carrying the plan out to the end!

Over the holiday and year-end period, Fanlore ran several internal editing chats that focused on adding to areas that are underrepresented on the Fanlore wiki. On December 17, they marked the one-year anniversary of the Tumblr NSFW Content Purge with a post inviting fans to share their memories of Tumblr fandom before and after the purge, which was widely reblogged with stories and thoughts. They also spread the word about the 8tracks shutdown and encouraged fans to archive their fanmixes and link them on Fanlore.

Legal celebrated Copyright Week with a Five Things post featuring Legal staffer Stacey Lantagne. They also cooperated with Board to add the OTW’s support to savedotorg.org, a petition to stop the sale of the .org domain, used by us and most non-profit organizations.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of 14 January the OTW has 784 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: 1 Fanlore staffer, 2 Translation staffers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 Tag Wrangler

Departing Committee Chairs: Janita Burgess (Communications)
Departing Committee Staff: Calescent (AO3 Documentation), Janita Burgess (Communications), 1 Finance staffer, Ilona van der Vegt (Policy & Abuse), Mars (Policy & Abuse), & 2 other Policy & Abuse staffers, 1 Support staffer, Megan Diane (Volunteers & Recruiting)
Departing Communications Volunteers: Atiya B, Elin and 1 other volunteer
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: Oxymora
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Kay and 7 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: 8 volunteers

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


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. MILESTONES FOR FANLORE AND AO3

This month, two of the OTW's projects celebrated major milestones, as Fanlore hit 50,000 pages and AO3 turned 10 years old.

Communications made a series of posts marking the AO3's 10-year anniversary, which fell on November 14. We spoke to a number of staffers who have been with the OTW since the early days about some of the challenges they had faced, as well as about their favorite parts of working for the OTW and some of their predictions for the future. The hard work of the Translation committee meant that we were able to publish these posts in 24 languages.

A little later in the month, we were happy to see the 50,000th page published on the Fanlore wiki. The committee marked the occasion with social posts across Tumblr, Twitter and Dreamwidth as well as a post on AO3 news. Check out the post to see the special banner that the team's graphic designers created for the occasion!

Fanlore's next goal is to reach one million edits; they are already at 900,000 and climbing. If you are interested in contributing, you can find more information at Fanlore's Portal for new visitors.

II. AT THE AO3

The Accessibility, Design and Technology committee and the Systems committee have been dealing with some intermittent site slowness on the AO3 over the past few weeks. This is due to strain on the Elasticsearch servers, which became more acute under the heavy traffic of the American Thanksgiving weekend. The OTW had already been planning to purchase new servers and these have now been ordered (as of 27 November) but we ask for users' patience over the next few months until they are delivered and installed. In the meantime, we are working to upgrade the Elasticsearch software in the hope that this will at least alleviate the issue.

We'd like to thank everybody whose generous donations enabled this purchase: this is a real example of what we are able to do with the money entrusted to us by our users.

Continuing the work they began last month, our Open Doors staffers have been working hard (in collaboration with the Board of Directors and the Legal committee) to preserve as much content as possible in advance of the Yahoo Groups closure, currently scheduled for December 14. This work has included expanding archive import procedures to include procedures for importing Yahoo Groups and/or storing their contents.

The Tag Wrangling team created a new team of Chinese-speaking wranglers, who work to translate tags for the rest of the committee. They're also working to standardize these translations so that the same terms remain consistent regardless of who is working on them. That was in November; in October, the wranglers handled around 244,000 tags in more than 34,000 fandoms!

Meanwhile, Policy & Abuse handled 2,000 tickets in October and Support around 1,200 tickets.

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

A few additional updates from our other committees: the Board has been working with Legal, Systems and Finance to explore how we can push back against the recent sale of ".org" domains to a private company. Translation conducted a very successful recruitment round, receiving an unprecedented number of applications and bringing the team to a total of 236 volunteers!

Lastly, Transformative Works and Cultures is working hard on the finishing touches for their next issue, which will be published on December 15.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting: As of 27 October the OTW has 812 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Chairs: Aenya, AliceJane (Policy & Abuse)
New Committee Staff: ami, BooksAreLife, Cerberusia, Haunt_Haunt_Haunt, interstitial, Mars, Seakittens & Zixin Zhang (all Policy & Abuse) and 10 other Policy & Abuse staffers, Beth Boisvert, Gillian Webster, Irina, Jen S, Megan Q, Zoë Renee (all Tag Wrangling) and 2 other Tag Wrangling staffers, Laure (Translation), Hanna White (AO3 Documentation)
New Fanlore Volunteers: Marion McGowan
New Translation Volunteers: Aqilah Norain, aruna, Beste Karataş, Bruna, Cynassa, Cypher, dxdim, Felix Engler, Joyce Zhao, Lauritz, lemoncave, Masha Yankovych, Maya Habee, Melifluo, Reptile Ruler, siobhrag, solrosan, soumyaa, Tygermine, Vincent, wildflower01, Winchester1989, Zoey and 20 other Translation volunteers

Departing Committee Staff: SarkaS (Translation), Cyn (Support), Muriel Kalliokoski (Policy & Abuse), Makari Crow (AO3 Docs), Ona Lu (Legal), Aris Gemenetzis (Fanlore), 1 AO3 Docs Staffer, 2 Communications staffers, 4 Development & Membership staffers, 1 Fanlore staffer, 1 Legal staffer, 1 Translation staffer
Departing Communications Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Development & Membership Volunteers: 1 volunteer
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: BeautifulMistake3, cest_what, Flynn Germain, Giana, Hannah Miro, Minkster, Sam Bailey and 25 other Tag Wranglers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Anya Z, SimK
Departing TWC Volunteers: 2 volunteers

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


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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