AO3 News

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The Organization for Transformative Works is staffed by volunteers located around the world. We work from home, in libraries and coffee shops, and even during downtime in our other jobs. This means that, as more and more of us need to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how we work won’t actually change much, but our time commitments will. Some of us will have extra time to devote to the OTW and will get more done than we ever anticipated. Others will have family or personal commitments that will cut down on the amount of time we can donate to keep things running smoothly. And some of us may need to spend more time enjoying AO3's vast collection of fanworks and less on building its infrastructure for the sake of our mental health. Please keep this in mind if you experience delays in responses when reaching out to us.

In the meantime, consider exploring our projects. Discover a new fandom on AO3, and record your fannish experiences on Fanlore. Learn about how to save and protect fanworks and fan history with Open Doors and Legal Advocacy. Go down a research hole with Transformative Works and Cultures, and connect with other researchers through Fanhackers.

Times may be a little distressing right now, but we can get through this together. Keep creating. Keep researching and recording. Keep leaving comments and kudos. And above all else, please, stay safe.

And if you have time to share a few recs, please do! We could all use some amazing fanworks to get us through the day.

Note: Due to the potential dangers of misinformation on this topic, we reserve the right to remove comments containing non-factual statements about COVID-19.

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We're making a few behind-the-scenes changes to kudos to make sure the Archive can continue to handle the tremendous number of them (659 million and counting!) that users and guests have left over the years. Kudos will continue to work the same, but there will be a new check in the database to make extra certain duplicate kudos can't be left. This will result in a one-time drop in kudos on works that already have duplicates.

Previously, we relied on the kudos code to make sure a single user or guest could only leave kudos on a given work one time. This worked just fine in most cases, but sometimes a slow connection or quick double press of the kudos button could lead to multiple kudos being recorded.

We'll be adding a constraint at the database level that should prevent this from happening. However, this change will also make any existing duplicates invalid and remove them from the database. This means that if you have received multiple kudos from the same user or guest on one of your works, your kudos total will go down when we deploy this change. For example, if your work has three kudos from the same user, the total number of kudos on the work will drop by two.

We plan to make our changes on Monday, March 16, and we expect some brief downtime at the end. We can't predict for certain what time it will be, but we will do our best to give a heads up on the @AO3_Status Twitter before it happens.

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Did you know you can post and browse works in over 70 languages on the Archive? In fact, AO3 is home to roughly 400,000 fanworks in languages other than English, with more posted every day! To help everyone find works in their preferred language, we've made some small changes to posting and searching.

Previously, the "Choose a language" field on the posting form was set to English by default, which made it easy to accidentally post a non-English work with the language set to English.

To fix this, we've updated the "Choose a language" field so English is no longer the default. Instead, everyone will need to select the correct language when posting a new work. If you forget, don't worry -- we've also added a friendly error message to remind you.

We've also made it a little easier to search or filter for works based on language! While we provide a "Language" field on our various search and filter forms, sometimes it's not enough -- for example, if you want works in either Spanish or Italian.

A search like that used to require knowing some numerical codes unique to the Archive. Now you can use these standard language codes with the search operators described in our cheatsheet. For example, to find works tagged with "Friendship" in either Italian or Spanish, you would enter language_id: es OR language_id: it in the "Search within results" field on the work listing for the "Friendship" tag. (The old numerical codes will continue to work, so there's no need to update bookmarks or links.)

We hope these changes will make the Archive a bit better for everyone, regardless of which languages you use for creating and consuming fanworks. And as always, if you notice a work with the wrong language, you can contact our Policy & Abuse team and they will help correct any mislabeled works.

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Published:
2019-11-07 03:36:14 -0500
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We're excited to announce we've recently added support for the <audio> and <video> HTML elements! With this change, you'll be able to use these tags to embed your self-hosted audio or video fanworks on AO3.

Unlike the Flash-based audio player we already offer, these new elements will work in all modern browsers, and they will continue to work even after Adobe ends support for Flash in 2020. (While we have no plans to remove Dewplayer at this time, we strongly recommend updating to the <audio> tag.)

Basics

There's still a lot of design, policy, and coding work to do before we can host audio and video files, so for now you'll need to upload your files to your own web space. Once you've done that, you can embed the file in your work with a small bit of HTML:

  • <audio src="AUDIO URL"></audio>
  • <video src="VIDEO URL"></video>

That's all it takes! Exactly how the resulting media player looks depends on the browser being used to access the work. We do, however, make sure that playback controls are available and adjust the width of videos using CSS to ensure big videos will fit on everyone's screens. We also make sure autoplay can't be enabled, and we add the preload attribute to gently suggest browsers save bandwidth by not loading the full file until you press play.

Complex examples

If you'd like to do something more complex, we support that as well. For example, you can include a poster for your video using the poster attribute (poster doesn't work for audio, but you can still include an image above your audio player):

<video src="VIDEO URL" poster="IMAGE URL"></video>

Because some older browsers don't support these elements, you can also include fallback text on either element to provide a download link:

  
<audio src="AUDIO URL">
  <p>Your browser doesn't support streaming with the HTML5 audio tag, but you can still <a href="URL">download this podfic</a>.</p>
</audio>

Because different browsers support different file formats, you might want to use the <source> element to include multiple formats.

  
<video>
  <source src="WEBM VIDEO URL" type="video/webm">
  <source src="MP4 VIDEO URL" type="video/mp4">
</video>

If you'd like to include captions or subtitles to improve the accessibility of your media file, you can do that with the <track> element:

  
<video>
  <source src="VIDEO URL" type="video/mp4">
  <track src="SPANISH SUBTITLE URL" kind="subtitles" srclang="es" label="Spanish" default>
  <track src="ENGLISH SUBTITLE URL" kind="subtitles" srclang="en" label="English">
</video>

List of allowed tags and attributes

Here is a full list of the tags we've added support for and which attributes you can use on them.

<video> element

  • class attribute
  • dir attribute
  • height attribute
  • loop attribute
  • muted attribute
  • poster attribute
  • src attribute
  • title attribute
  • width attribute

<audio> element

  • class attribute
  • dir attribute
  • loop attribute
  • muted attribute
  • src attribute
  • title attribute

<track> element

  • default attribute
  • kind attribute
  • label attribute
  • src attribute
  • srclang attribute

<source> element

  • src attribute
  • type attribute

You can get more information on using these elements and their attributes in these articles from MDN:

Edit November 8 at 07:53 UTC: If your audio or video file isn't loading on the Archive, you probably need to enable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) on your website. Your web host's documentation or support department should be able to help.

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Published:
2019-09-13 12:34:07 -0400
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Outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement

We’re as excited as you are about the AO3’s Hugo win, and we are shouting it to the rafters! We are grateful to the World Science Fiction Society for recognizing the AO3 with the award, as well as to the many OTW volunteers who build and maintain the site, and all of the amazing fans who post and enjoy works on it.

The World Science Fiction Society has asked us to help them get the word out about what the award represented—specifically, they want to make sure people know that the Hugo was awarded to the AO3, and not to any particular work(s) hosted on it. Therefore, while we can all be proud of the AO3’s Hugo win and we can all be proud of what we contributed to making it possible, the award does not make any individual fanwork or creator “Hugo winners”—the WSFS awarded that distinction to the AO3 as a whole. In particular, the WSFS asked us to convey this reminder so that no one mistakenly describes themselves as having personally won a Hugo Award.

Thanks for sharing our enthusiasm, and consider yourselves reminded! We appreciate every one of your contributions.

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To cut down on abuse, we have just rolled out some changes to co-creating works, chapters, and series on the Archive. Until now, it was possible for any user to list you as a co-creator without your approval. We've added creator invitations to ensure you won't be listed as a co-creator until you accept the invitation. Additionally, we've added a preference that requires you to opt in before other users can invite you to become a co-creator.

Nothing will change about existing co-created items: all creators will still be able to edit the work, chapter, or series even if they do not enable the preference. Before you can be invited as a new co-creator, however, you will need to enable the "Allow others to invite me to be a co-creator" option on your Preferences page. (Where can I find my Preferences?)

Turning the preference off will not remove you from any co-created items, nor will it prevent any of the item's existing co-creators from making changes. You can turn the preference on and off as many times as you like. Turning the preference off will not delete any co-creator invitations -- you'll still be able to find them by following the "Creator Invitations" link on your Dashboard when you turn the preference back on.

If you need to add a co-creator who does not have the preference enabled and who you are unable to contact, you can use the Notes field to provide proper credit.

We're sorry we weren't able to announce this change ahead of time like we usually do, but adding co-creators who did not wish to be associated with a work was becoming an increasingly common abuse and spam tactic, and we didn't want to cause a spike in these incidents by publicizing it before this fix was live. We hope the changes provide relief for users who have been targeted and help everyone feel more in control of their experience on the Archive.

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Outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement

The Organization for Transformative Works is excited to announce that the Archive of Our Own has won the 2019 Hugo Award in the category of Best Related Work! This is the first time an OTW project has won — or been a finalist for — a Hugo Award!

The award was given on August 18, 2019, as part of Dublin 2019: an Irish Worldcon, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention. You can check out detailed results for all award categories on the Worldcon website.

Naomi Novik, one of AO3’s founders, gave a speech as she and other OTW personnel accepted the award, and she gave everyone in the AO3 community a well deserved thank you:

All fanwork, from fanfic to vids to fanart to podfic, centers the idea that art happens not in isolation but in community. And that is true of the AO3 itself. We’re up here accepting, but only on behalf of literally thousands of volunteers and millions of users, all of whom have come together and built this thriving home for fandom, a nonprofit and non-commercial community space built entirely by volunteer labor and user donations, on the principle that we needed a place of our own that was not out to exploit its users but to serve them.

Even if I listed every founder, every builder, every tireless support staff member and translator and tag wrangler, if I named every last donor, all our hard work and contributions would mean nothing without the work of the fan creators who share their work freely with other fans, and the fans who read their stories and view their art and comment and share bookmarks and give kudos to encourage them and nourish the community in their turn.

This Hugo will be joining the traveling exhibition that goes to each Worldcon, because it belongs to all of us. I would like to ask that we raise the lights and for all of you who feel a part of our community stand up for a moment and share in this with us.

We were proud and excited to see how many Worldcon attendees stood up to represent AO3 and accept our Hugo Award — and this award belongs to you, too! The AO3 is founded on the love and work of all of our users, and we at the OTW are delighted to share this award with you. Thank you!

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5 million fanworks

On 17 July, the Archive of Our Own hit 2 million registered users. Today, we have reached an even more significant milestone: 5 million posted fanworks! \o/

AO3 entered open beta in November of 2009. It took until February of 2014 to reach the first 1 million fanworks, but almost every year since then we've reached another million. In July of 2018, we reached 4 million fanworks, and in October of that year, we reached 30,000 fandoms.

Thanks so much to everyone who visits AO3, both those 2 million registered users and the many unregistered users who visit the site alongside them, for helping us get to this point. It's because of you that AO3 is what it is today.

In celebration of this 5 million fanworks milestone, we're presenting you with a challenge: AO3 Bingo! AO3 Bingo is a cross between regular bingo, a fanworks rec list, and a scavenger hunt. Everyone can play AO3 Bingo, and we have different reward badges according to the number of challenges you complete.

But first, here’s how the AO3 Bingo card works:

The graphic below is your AO3 Bingo card. Each square contains a type of fanwork or fanwork-related element that can be found on AO3. For each square, you recommend a fanwork or related element that you love by providing a link to an AO3 page that contains something that matches the square. Once you complete one of the types of bingo listed below, you win a badge!

You can play by posting your cards and links on social media using the hashtag #AO3Bingo. You can also comment on this post to play.

Follow the links below to access your badge, and you can post it on social media, hang it up on your door, wave it around in a parade, or otherwise put it wherever you please. We’re using the honor system here, so we’re counting on you to keep track of your own completed challenges.

How to get a bingo:

Complete five of the challenges in a line across, down, or diagonally (much like normal bingo), and you will have earned the bronze badge.

Complete the challenges in a checkerboard pattern (either all of the red squares or all of the white squares), and you will have earned the silver badge.

Finally, if you complete all twenty-five challenges on the AO3 Bingo card, then you will have earned the gold badge!

Good luck, and don’t forget to use the #AO3Bingo hashtag on social media so we can find your post!

The #AO3Bingo card (html version):

Fanworks bingo card. Celebrate 5 million fanworks on AO3 by recommending a fanwork for each square!  Cross them off as you go and show off your favourite fanworks. Squares for each column, listed from top to bottom, are as follows. B: a fanworks challenge; a meta work; a photo manip; a podfic over 1 hour; a fanwork for when you're happy. I: a podfic under 30 minutes; a fanwork with one of your favourite tropes; a character study fanwork; a fanwork in progress; a fanvid. N: a comment you left on a fanwork; a creator with only one posted fanwork; Free! Your favourite fanwork; a fanwork for when you're sad; a 100-word drabble. G: a fan art based on another fanwork; a fanwork from a small fandom; a crossover fanwork; a favourite additional tag; a fanmix. O: a fanfic over 50,000 words long; a canon-divergent fanwork; a fanwork with a colour in the title; a fan art comic; a

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