Archive of Our Own

  • Looking for Tag Wranglers once again!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 - 5:00pm
    Message type:

    Updated: Thanks to a quick response from many readers, we are temporarily closing tag wrangling recruitment again. If you've missed your chance, keep an eye on our website, as we'll be reopening intake once we've processed the newest tag wranglers.

    We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Communications Graphics Volunteers, for which chairs are currently reviewing applications.

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

    • Tag Wrangling (reopening) - Applications accepted on an ongoing basis (role may be temporarily closed based on level of interest)

    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@transformativeworks.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.

    Tag Wrangling

    The Tag Wranglers are responsible for keeping the hundreds of thousands of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! We choose which form of a fandom title appears on the Media pages, as well as all the character, relationship, and additional tags which appear in the filters and the auto-complete, and we link tags together to make all the works and bookmarks on the archive easier to browse and search (so that users can find exactly what they're looking for, whether that's Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff).

    If you like organizing, bringing order to chaos, excuses to fact-check your favorite fandom canons, or you just get a kick out of seeing all the wacky and wonderful terms fans come up with, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join our team, click through to the job description and application form.

    Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling volunteering, we're currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. We’re currently seeking wranglers for the following fandoms and fandom types. (If you have no knowledge of or interest in wrangling any of the below, please don’t apply at this time, as there won’t be any wrangling work available for you to do. In the future we’ll open recruitment for other fandoms, as needed!)

    • Any fandoms listed on the first 3 pages of the Fandoms in need of a wrangler page
    • Any fandoms with a canon originally in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Russian. (Volunteers interested in these should preferably have some fluency in the language, due to lack of English-language references for many.)
    • Homestuck
    • Star Wars (especially the Extended Canon)
    • Finnish Music RPF
    • DCU (comics and animated canons)

    Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

  • AO3 Newsletter - May/June/July

    By Camden on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 - 7:02pm
    Message type:

    Hello AO3! This newsletter has been, um, a long time coming for which we sincerely apologize. Here's what we've been up to in the past three months.

    Cool stuff on the Archive!

    To our overwhelming delight, Time Magazine named us as one of the "50 Best Websites of 2013." Thank you to everyone -- from staffers to users -- who make this website what it is!

    852 Prospect moved in with us in May. This move was orchestrated by the hard work of the 852 Prospect archivists, Open Doors and AD&T. Please join us in welcoming the Archive to the Archive!

    Tag Wrangling has been hard at work with their new tools to help users search by original language titles as well as transliterated fandom titles. Check out more information about these tools here.

    There were two small deploys in early May and late June: Releases 0.9.6.1 and 0.9.7. 0.9.6.1 focused on code needed for the 852 Prospect move as well as a couple of fixes. 0.9.7 included more fixes as well as integrating Travis-CI into the testing process.

    Our Content Policy workgroup has been hard at work with our TOS and FAQ in anticipation of the inclusion of fannish nonfiction on the Archive. These proposed changes went up for public review at the end of June. We thank everyone who provided input!

    The OTW unveiled the Archive of Our Own Diversity Statement, a statement which has been years in the making. We encourage you all to read it and hold us to it as we continue to develop the Archive in the many years to come.

    What’s up in the world of tags?

    Several small changes to guidelines have clarified what freeform tags we canonize, including how we handle episode tags and fandom fusion AUs - check out the subtags of Alternate Universe - Fusion to find Jane Austen fusions and your fandom favorites with Pokemon! We've also changed guidelines for translated fandom tags, so you may notice Japanese, Cyrillic, and other non-Latin alphabets when browsing the fandoms lists.

    Adventures with Support

    We have new people! Annie, girlmarauders, and Katherine have all joined our merry little band. Bring on the tickets!

    AD&T Committee business of note

    AD&T has been busy with small fixes and releases as well as working on documentation and necessary groundwork to recruit new coders in the fall!

    Tag Wrangling Committee business of note

    We've inducted and trained almost 50 new volunteers in May, and are planning to re-open wrangling volunteering on a limited basis in July. The wrangling staff has also posted several more advanced tutorials for both our new wranglers and experienced wranglers, so all of us are wrangling "on the same page", so to speak. With over 12,000 canonical fandoms on the Archive, all the work of our wrangling volunteers is very appreciated!

    Questions? Comments?

    We welcome feedback from users! If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments of the latest news post, or send in a Support request (if you're reporting a bug, please send that to Support, as they're super efficient - comments on our news posts sometimes get overlooked).

    Mirrored from an original post on AO3 News.

  • Announcing the Archive of Our Own Diversity Statement

    By Curtis Jefferson on Saturday, 29 June 2013 - 7:48pm
    Message type:

    The OTW is delighted to announce the implementation of the Archive of Our Own Diversity Statement.

    The AO3 Diversity Statement is intended to codify the Archive's pre-existing commitment to open expression and inclusive participation in the Archive project. We, the staff and volunteers of the OTW, have written this statement to express our principles, and to give you, our users, friends, and fellow fans, an explicit set of standards to which to hold us as we continue to develop the Archive. We hope that going forward the Diversity Statement will form a vital part of the Archive experience.

    The Diversity Statement has been years in the making, and was spearheaded by the Internationalization & Outreach committee in collaboration with multiple other OTW committees. A big thank-you goes to those committees, especially the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee and the Archive team, and to I&O's chairs and staffers past and present who put time, thought, and energy into seeing the statement go live.

    Mirrored from an original post on the Archive of Our Own.

  • Proposed Content Policy ToS and FAQ changes

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 28 June 2013 - 6:08pm
    Message type:

    In mid-March our Content Policy workgroup asked for user feedback about the following ways in which we would have to address the addition of fannish non-fiction content to the AO3. Because work type is not yet in place as part of the basic upload form, we have been working on a general policy focused on tagging. Based on internal and external feedback, we have made some changes to the initial proposal, though the basic structure remains the same.

    Continue reading on AO3 News

  • Translated Fandom Tags

    By Claudia Rebaza on Monday, 17 June 2013 - 9:13pm
    Message type:

    Good news for everyone in non-English-language, non-Latin-alphabet fandoms - our fandom tags will now include titles in the actual language, not just transliterations!

    Tag Wrangling policy has always been to make our fandom tags in the form "Original Language Title | Translated English Title". However, due to limitations in the Archive code for writing systems such as Chinese, Cyrillic, Hangul, and Japanese, we've used transliterated titles, rendering those languages into the Latin alphabet. This has caused problems because there are multiple transliteration systems in use. Since users have to guess which one we're using, and because in many cases the transliterated titles are never used by anyone in the fandom, the tags aren't reflective of real fannish practices.

    The Archive now has improved features for wrangling fandom tags, however, so we've changed our guidelines for wrangling them. Starting immediately, we'll be wrangling fandom tags in all languages as "Original Language Title | Translated English Title", using the original language's writing system. (For fandoms which do commonly use the transliterated titles, such as many anime and manga fandoms, the canonicals will be in the form "Original Language Title | Transliterated Title [| Translated English Title (if it exists)]"

    This is an interim solution; we hope to someday get full support for tags in all languages. This guideline is a test case to see how well such tags work for users. For now we're mostly going to stick to handling new fandoms this way, and only changing existing tags on a limited basis until we have a better idea of their usability, and as we have the resources to do so. (With several thousand non-English fandoms on the Archive, it'll take the wranglers time to review all of them!) We also won't be changing most character and relationship tags until we have better support for making those in non-Latin-alphabet languages.

    So what does this mean for you?

    1) You'll be able to search for fandom titles in either the original language or the English translated title, and find the tags in the autocomplete under either title.

    2) For fandoms which only use the original or translated titles, you'll be able to browse alphabetically in the fandoms-by-media listings by the English translated title. (We don't yet have proper support for listing tags in non-Latin-alphabet order). So the fandom ボクと魔王 | Okage: Shadow King will appear in Video Games under "O", not "B".

    We hope this change will make the Archive more inclusive and welcoming to fans of all fandoms, in all languages. Please let us know what you think of this change, and thank you for your patience as we work to improve the Archive's tags!

    Mirrored from an original post on AO3 News. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

  • Archive of Our Own among TIME's '50 Best Websites 2013'

    By Curtis Jefferson on Wednesday, 8 May 2013 - 1:58am
    Message type:

    The Organization for Transformative Works was pleased to learn that one of our projects, the Archive of Our Own, has been named among the '50 Best Websites 2013' by TIME magazine staff. We are excited to be included in this list and in the company of a number of other great websites.

    We would like to extend a thank you to OTW members whose generosity has helped to support the continued development of the AO3 and to AO3 users who provide the content that helps make it one of the 'Best Websites'. We look forward to continuing to build the AO3 to make it even better in the years to come.

  • Join Support for a Chat!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 1 May 2013 - 5:09pm
    Message type:

    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.

    After receiving positive reviews of our previous chats in November and February, we're continuing on with Open Chat sessions with the Support Staff in our public chat room (the link will be made available on the day of the chat). We will be there this coming Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 16:00:00 UTC lasting through this Sunday, May 05, 2013 at 04:00:00 UTC. Members of Support will be available to interact with you one-on-one in live chat. See what time that is where you live. We are going to try to have future sessions at different times to make sure we eventually cover all time zones. If you can't make it to this one, keep an eye out for the next!

    If you're having a problem using the Archive, want help trying something new, or would like an explanation of one of our features, please drop in and talk to us in person!

    Some guidelines, just to keep things running smoothly

    We don't have a fancy presentation or material prepared--there are plenty of FAQs, tutorials, and admin posts for that. The point of live chat is to talk with you, not at you. We're happy for you to drop in and say "hi", but it's even better if you drop in and say, "Hi, what's up with my work that won't show as complete even though it is?!"

    As Support, our function is to help users with bugs and issues, and pass reports on to our Coders and Systems team, who actually keep the place running. This means that policy questions are way over our pay grade. (Just kidding--none of us get paid!) So, if you have questions or comments about AO3 or OTW policies, good or bad, Support Chat isn't the right place for them. If you do want to talk to someone about policy issues (meta on the Archive, philosophical issues with the tagging system, category change, etc.) we can direct you to the appropriate admin post or contact address so you can leave feedback directly for the people dealing with the area of your concern.

    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 a user to the Support Form so we can communicate via email.

    So, now that that's out of the way, what kind of things are we going to talk about?

    Live chat is best for questions of a "How do I...?" or "Why does it...?" nature.

    For example, you might have been wondering:

    • How do I use the new search and browse system to find a certain type of work?
    • I'd like to run a challenge, but I'm not sure how to do what I want.
    • For that matter, where did my work submitted to an anonymous challenge go?!
    • I want to post using formatting the Rich Text Editor won't give me. How do I do it using a work skin?

    We'd be happy to help you with any of these questions, and anything else you're having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive.

    Mirrored from an original post on AO3 News. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

  • Archive of Our Own Newsletter - March/April 2013

    By Camden on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - 1:34am
    Message type:

    March and April were busy busy busy months for the Archive. Our output included, among other things, a new header, an updated roadmap, and our annual April Showers promotion, a joint effort between Fanlore and the AO3 to highlight the fandoms you love!

    All the Archive news that's fit to print!

    As part of the continuing discussion about the OTW's decision to include meta, or fandom nonfiction, on the Archive, the OTW's Board released a statement. This statement outlined the history of the decision as well as the Board's reasons for including fandom nonfiction on the Archive. Another post, which was the culmination of a discussion between several committees, further clarified the position of the Archive's thoughts on fandom nonfiction and tentatively outlined the steps that would be necessary in introducing fandom nonfiction into the Archive.

    The OTW Board released an updated Archive Roadmap. The Roadmap outlines future improvements and changes of the Archive. It is maintained by the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee, though it was created with the input of several other committees including Abuse, Internationalization & Outreach, Open Doors, Support, Systems, Tag Wranglers, and Translation. If you're interested in the future of the Archive, go check it out!

    Although the event was not run by Archive committees (big props to the Development & Membership committee for all their hard work!), AO3 was happy to host a banner for the OTW's annual April Membership Drive as well as contributing a post sharing how much it costs to run the Archive. This year's drive was the most successful drive in OTW history. Thank you to everyone who donated!

    Release 0.9.6 went live and what a release it was! It presented us with, most notably, a new header and new notification emails. Other new features included the ability to disable guest comments, and a new and improved front page. This release fixed several bugs, updated Tag Wrangling and Admin features, and gave us several other goodies. Unfortunately, this release also presented some unanticipated problems for several users. Our known issues posts describes these issues and we encourage any users who are encountering problems with Release 0.9.6 to look at the above post or contact Support.

    Fanlore and AO3 ran their annual April Showers promotion, showcasing fandoms on AO3 and on Fanlore. The Archive's tumblr ao3org with the Fanlore twitter highlighted a fandom a day for the month of April.

    Adventures with Support

    In the months of March and April so far, we've managed 798 unique tickets so far - and we still have a couple days to go!

    AD&T Committee business of note

    In addition to releases, we've been working on documentation to start recruitment for selected positions soon.

    Support Committee business of note

    We will be holding another Open Chat session with the Support Staff in our public chat room (the link will be made available on the day of the chat) this coming Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 16:00:00 UTC lasting through this Sunday, May 05, 2013 at 04:00:00 UTC. Members of Support will be available to interact with users one-on-one in live chat. See what time that is where you live. (Real Life Monsters ate the April chat.)

    Tag Wrangling Committee business of note

    Tag Wrangling opened for volunteers and had such an overwhelming response that we had to hit the pause button long enough to catch up! We've now inducted the over 50 (\o/) new volunteers, and should be re-opening recruitment soon. In concert with that, staff have been hard at work putting together a comprehensive training plan; our basic tutorials are already completed and in use, and more advanced instruction is on the way. Meanwhile our new wranglers have enthusiastically been helping all our experienced hands in cleaning up tags in fandoms across the Archive; we're looking in better shape than ever!

    And finally...

    We are floored by the generosity of the participants in AO3 Auction. From the bottom of our squeeing hearts: THANK YOU!

    Questions? Comments?

    We welcome feedback from users! If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments of the latest news post, or send in a Support request (if you're reporting a bug, please send that to Support, as they're super efficient - comments on our news posts sometimes get overlooked).

    Mirrored from an original post on AO3 News.

  • April Membership Drive: How much does the Archive cost to run?

    By Curtis Jefferson on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 4:18pm
    Message type:

    The Archive of Our Own is growing rapidly! We now have over 145,000 registered users, and about 275,000 unique visitors a day. All these visitors rack up roughly 4.3 million pageviews a day (that's almost 3,000 a minute on average). It cost more than US$52,000 to keep the Archive up and running in 2012. Our costs will only increase as the Archive continues to grow, and we anticipate spending at least US$70,000 in 2013.

    The Archive is funded entirely by donations to the Organization for Transformative Works. As part of the OTW's membership drive, we'd like to share some details of what we have to pay for and how much it all costs.

    Hardware

    The Archive of Our Own is hosted entirely on servers which are owned by the Organization for Transformative Works. This is a key part of our mission: fanworks often disappear from the internet because a site goes down without warning, or because a takedown notice is issued and site owners are unable or unwilling to resist it. By owning the servers, we ensure we're in a position to protect fanworks and keep them available.

    Servers are a one-off cost, although over time they have to be replaced or added to. Over the lifetime of the Archive, we've spent US$58,099 in total on hardware. This was spread over several years:

    2009

    When we launched the Archive in 2009, we started with two servers with upgraded RAM, which cost a total of US$8,165 (including shipping).

    2011

    In 2011, we expanded our server family substantially, adding four more servers and a switch. The total cost for the new hardware was US$17,234.

    2012

    By the end of 2012, the extremely rapid growth of the Archive meant that we needed to add more new servers. After some extensive research by our Systems team we settled on three new machines, at a cost of US$28,200. In the same year we upgraded our existing machines by adding some solid state discs — a cost of US$1,650 — and upgrading the RAM — this cost approximately US$2,200.

    The size of the Archive codebase and the number of volunteer coders we have working on it meant that in 2012, we also needed to upgrade our testing and development environments. These are used to host web-based coding environments so that our volunteers don't require very high performance computers to code on, and a test environment where our testers can test the new code before it goes onto the live site. We were lucky enough to have these machines donated, so we didn't have to pay up front for them, but we bought a hardware-based firewall for these servers at a cost of US$670.

    Our total cost for hardware was US$32,720.

    Colocation and hosting costs

    The servers themselves are only a small part of the cost of running the site. We also have to pay for them to be physically hosted in a colocation facility: we rent the space for them and pay for electricity, bandwidth, and the physical maintenance of the machines (so if we need to add a new disc, for example, our colocation hosts do it for us). We also pay for a managed firewall at one of our colocation hosts.

    Our hosting costs are US$1,365 per month, which breaks down as follows:

    Hosting costs: US$1,315 per month
    Managed firewall: US$50 per month

    Additional tech costs

    In addition to paying for hardware and hosting, there are a few other ongoing costs in keeping the Archive up and running. We pay a licence for a product which enables us monitor activity on our servers and to identify performance problems. This cost us US$1,400 in 2012 for June-December and will cost an estimated US$3,500 in 2013. (The cost goes up as we add more machines.)

    We pay for backups and image hosting (only used for icons and collection header images). This costs an average of US$65 per month. In 2012, we also paid US$835 for cloud hosting to do some enhanced testing of the Archive code, prior to launching our new tag filters.

    We currently pay to use a hosted ticket system for our Support and Abuse teams, which is used to keep track of queries from users. This costs US$180 annually.

    And the rest

    The above costs don't include smaller sundries such as the cost of our volunteer chatrooms, mailing lists, or other volunteer tools. The Archive is a project of the Organization for Transformative Works, so these costs are rolled into the OTW's overall expenses and it's not really possible to break them out as individual Archive costs.

    Finally, there's one big cost which isn't included above: volunteer time. The Archive is entirely designed, coded, tested, and run by volunteers, who give many hours of their time to develop the site, support users, wrangle tags, and manage the servers. Their work is priceless. <3

    Support the Archive!

    As you can see from the above, it costs a lot of money to keep the Archive up and running. These costs will increase in years to come as more users join the site, and we expand the types of things we host (multimedia hosting is still very much part of our plans). In the next year, we expect our expenses to grow by nearly 50 percent, to a minimum of US$70,000, and you can help get us there.

    The Archive is entirely funded by donations to the Organization for Transformative Works: we don't run ads on the site or charge people to use it. If you enjoy using the Archive and have a little money to spare, please donate to the OTW to help keep us thriving! A donation of US$10 confers membership in the OTW and the right to vote in organizational elections. At higher donation levels there are some awesome thank-you gifts to choose from, like our AO3 Kudos Water Bottle at the US$75 level.

    Thank you to all our donors, past, present and future! We appreciate your support!

  • April Showers at the AO3 and Fanlore!

    By Curtis Jefferson on Monday, 1 April 2013 - 3:45pm
    Message type:

    Here at the OTW, preserving fannish history is a central part of our mission! We're proud to be able to offer fans a place to archive their works on the Archive of Our Own, and tell their own fannish histories on Fanlore. As of March 29, 2013, Fanlore has 24,423 articles which have undergone 439,529 edits, while the Archive of Our Own recently passed 143,000 users, and more than 640,100 works have been posted on the AO3, across over 11,600 fandoms!

    We're really pleased and proud to see so much fannish representation. However, we know that there are many, many wonderful fanworks out in the world which haven't found their way to the AO3 - for example the classic television show M*A*S*H has only 264 works on the AO3 while Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman sits at 83. There are even more fannish stories left untold on Fanlore - we'd love to see the fannish activity over the Veronica Mars movie documented as it unfolds! Last year, we welcomed in lots more edits to Fanlore and works to the AO3 with our April Showers promotion. This year, we're hoping to do the same! This month, bring us fannish April showers by digging out those old zines, memories of past cons, archived personal webpages, tales of shipwars and fannish events, works on slowly-decaying archives, new works you've been putting off creating, and more! Upload your old (and new) works to the AO3 and tell your tales on Fanlore.

    We'll be highlighting a different fandom for each day of the month on our Tumblr ao3org, to help jog your memories about fannish loves of the past and highlight some currently active fandom activity. When uploading to the AO3, you can tag your uploaded works April Showers 2013 - at the end of the month we'll round up all the works with this tag and post stats on how many were uploaded for each fandom. However, don't feel you have to stick to these fandoms - we hope people will reach into their personal fannish histories to preserve what's important to them!

    We kick off today by hearing the people sing with the 2012 film version of Les Misérables. Bring your works beyond the barricade into the AO3 and share all of the dreams you dreamed on Fanlore!

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