News of Note, Comics, Fanfiction , OTW Sightings
- An article from the Oakland Tribune provided a good exploration of fanfiction and the activities of people who write it. "The online communities -- fandoms -- are vast and develop their own guidelines, techniques and even vocabularies. People write about, talk about, have mini conventions about, make videos about and even edit each other's stories about everything from favorite novels, TV shows and comic books to Japanese anime and mangas, poems, video games or popular songs...'It's really big, it's really diverse, and if you've only seen one little slice of it, you haven't seen anything.'" The piece also featured discussion with OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt, and mentions OTW projects the AO3 and Fanlore.
OTW Board, Announcement
The Board regrets to announce the resignation of Julia Beck, effective immediately. Julia, who was elected to the Board in 2011, went on hiatus in September 2012 and had hoped to return at the beginning of this year, but personal and professional commitments outside the OTW made this impossible. An OTW staffer since 2008, Julia was the founding chair of the Internationalization & Outreach committee, and we will miss her deep commitment to and passion for that cause within the OTW, and the OTW itself. Thank you, Julia, for all your hard work and support over the past four years; you will continue to remain an inspiration to the rest of us.
Archive of Our Own, Event, Support Committee
Hi! Support here, again! In fact, Support is always here--when you submit a ticket through the Support and Feedback form we'll respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do our best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn't seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren't always ideal.
Archive of Our Own, Accessibility, Design, & Technology, Archive Update, Support Committee, Tag Wrangling Committee
Welcome to the January-February Newsletter! We hope you had a good holiday season and are having a happy new year! Despite the term break in December, January was busy busy busy with upgrades and releases for all. February is also turning out to be a big month with releases, spotlights, tag wrangling fixes, and header posts galore! Here's what we've been up to:
- News of Note, Intellectual Property, YouTube, Television, Entertainment Industries
- While a lot of fans are aware that older fiction is often part of the public domain, many might assume the same to be true about speech by deceased celebrities and historical figures. But as a Freakonomics podcast discussed, a century old speech might still be restricted.
Archive of Our Own, Announcement
After a long period of discussion, the OTW Board has voted to allow the posting of meta on the Archive of Our Own. We considered a range of issues while making this decision, including how this move would fit into the overall mission of the OTW, the technical and financial resources required, and demand from users of the Archive and members of the OTW. We determined that there is already a demand for meta on the Archive, and that this use of our resources is consonant with our purview and mission.
We're aware that this decision has taken some time, and we sincerely apologize for the delay. We had hoped to reach a decision sooner, but the complexity of the discussion meant we needed to think carefully about the issues. As the term of some OTW Board members ended while the discussion was ongoing, we also needed time for the new Board members to get up-to-speed with all the issues involved.
- News of Note, Sports, Television, Fandoms, Fannish Practices
- After Ellen focused on femslash shipping. "The term femslash can be applied to really any female romantic/sexual pairing between characters, even OTPs, but its original purpose was as a reference to alternative lesbian romances based on subtext. Crackships, which is frankly just fun to say, are pairings that are very unlikely to ever occur. In a nutshell, it comes down to the difference between subtext and pure, fun fantasy."
Archive of Our Own, Category Change, Report
This is a short update from the Category Change workgroup. You can read about what our work entails and how we were formed in our introductory post. As we want to keep users in the loop, we wanted to provide some information on what we’ve been doing since then, and what we’re planning to do in the near future.
We began by compiling user feedback we received either in comments made to our last post or directly through the Category Change Contact Form. We then grouped together similar ideas.
Business Models, News of Note, Commercialization of Fans, Sports, Fan Videos, Entertainment Industries, Fandoms
Although there's been a lot of talk recently regarding fanfic authors going pro, there's been less focus on fan video makers.
Archive of Our Own, Spotlight, Systems Committee
The OTW's Systems teams work behind the scenes to support, manage, and maintain all the technical systems needed to run the OTW and its projects, such as the Archive of Our Own and Fanlore.
Systems' work mostly happens behind the scenes, but they are BUSY, fielding requests from all parts of the organization and working hard to keep all our sites up and responsive. Systems team members have to be 'on call' in order to deal with emergencies at any time of the day or night: if the Archive of Our Own goes down, it's Systems who fly to the rescue (while over 130 thousand users wait impatiently!).
2012 was a particularly demanding year for Systems because of the speed with which the OTW and its projects grew. Over 2,970,103 people now access the Archive of Our Own in the course of a month, up from 808,000 a year ago. Meanwhile, Fanlore has also grown, passing 400,000 edits in 2012, and other projects have continued to develop. Managing these projects and their volunteers also requires technical resources, and Systems have helped the OTW to transition to some more effective tools over the past year.