Archive of Our Own

  • So, About those Additional Tags...

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 14 December 2012 - 6:49pm
    Message type:

    The following is a post created by a member of the Tag Wrangling Committee to address some ongoing questions and discussions involving freeform tags on the Archive of Our Own.

    So.

    Let's talk about those Additional Tags.

    More specifically, let's talk about the long-form descriptive tags that are frequently being placed in the Additional Tags field. I want to get some facts on the table so our users - both consumers and creators - can have this important discussion properly. Any numbers cited are as of 0100UTC, 27 Oct 2012.

    Full disclosure: Hi, I'm Sam J. I am a Wrangling staffer, a Wrangling volunteer, a Support staffer, and an Archive user. I have four horses in this race and, frankly, they're running in at least two different directions, leaving me with a varying opinion of these tags depending on when you ask me.

    • At last count, there were around 160 Tag Wrangling Volunteers. There are 10,232 Fandoms on the Archive. Of those, roughly 5,300 do not have a wrangler listed, so they are not tightly monitored. Many of these unwatched fandoms are occasionally wrangled by volunteer teams, or are metatags containing fandoms that are tightly wrangled.
    • As per the precedent established in the AO3 Terms of Service, we consider the tags on a work to be part of the content of that work. As such, the Tag Wranglers do not—and cannot—change, add, or remove tags from a creator's work. Any such changes to tags have to be initiated by Abuse, who only act in cases of tags that are against policy and are handled according to their protocols and the Terms of Service.
    • In recent months, the Archive's seen an overall increase in the number of Additional Tags on works. From last October to November, the number of Additional Tags on the Archive increased by 2,535, while the number of total works increased by 7,046. From this September to this October, that number has increased by 12,920 while the number of total works has increased by 22,936. Neither increase is linear - the works-per-month growth has been roughly stable since April, and the Additional Tag growth has been consistent, plus or minus 10%, since July.
    • The rate of growth for canonical Additionals over the last year has remained fairly consistent, gaining a average of 220 a month. (Four months were aberrations: March increased by 388; May, 296; March, 288; and September, 147.)
    • The Additional Tags were not responsible for the Death of the Filters. The sheer number of works on the Archive are what stressed the old code, and the sudden spike in readers/viewers starting in May pushed it past its capacity to fulfill requests. Because the filters pulled and displayed the canonical forms of tags, there were often far fewer Additional Tags listed than in the actual search results.
    • Non-canonical tags with only a few uses put almost no strain on the servers. It's the popular canonical tags and metatags that put the most strain on the servers.
    • Additional Tags are not distributed evenly throughout the fandoms—the massive increases in Additional Tags are concentrated in a limited number of fandoms. Even fandoms of similar sizes can have wildly divergent Tags/Works ratios. Drawing from random fandoms :
      Fandom Tag Works using Fandom Tag All Additional Tags* Additional Tags per 1000 Works Canonical Additional Tags Canonical Additional Tags per 1000 Works
      Buffy the Vampire Slayer 10847 692 63.80 184 16.96
      Cats - Andrew Lloyd Webber 37 4 108.11 0 0
      Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling 19422 2391 123.11 344 17.71
      Hockey RPF 1381 179 129.62 82 59.38
      Homestuck 9990 2475 247.75 97 9.71
      Inception (2010) 3796 300 79.03 19 5.01
      Marvel Avengers Movies Universe 16442 3164 192.42 166 10.10
      Naruto 3167 281 88.73 19 6.00
      Sanctuary (TV) 1359 117 86.16 53 39.03
      Sherlock (TV) 18300 3981 217.54 60 3.28
      Xena: Warrior Princess 293 16 54.61 4 13.65

      *NB: These numbers do not include Additional Tags already wrangled into "No Fandom", as the system does not have a way to generate those numbers. However, the number of "No Fandom" tags tends to be proportional to the fandom-specific Additional Tags.

    • When users create new tags (be they Fandom, Character, Relationship, or Additional/Freeform), they automatically:
      • will not show up on that fandom's Show Tag page;
      • will not show in the Filter sidebar of Works pages (exception: your personal bookmark tags will show in your personal bookmarks filter), though they can be filtered on, to an extent;
      • will not show up in auto-complete fields.

      A wrangler has to manually add Fandom links (or toss the tag into No Fandom) by typing in the Fandom name(s), and/or mark it as Canonical (allows the tag to appear in the auto-complete and be filterable by anyone) via a checkbox. The Wrangling interface does allow for mass-wrangling tags into a fandom and mass-marking them as canonical. The guidelines for Additional Tags are very selective as to what should or should not be marked as canonical.

    • Users can search for works using unwrangled Additional Tags by either clicking on the tag where it appears or by using the Works Search. (The Works Search uses a string search for the text of the tag, in addition to searching via wrangled tags.)
    • Logged-in users have the options of a few skins that affect how Additional Tags display in search lists. This skin shortens the Additional Tags to around 15 characters. This one puts all tag fields over a certain length into a scrollbox so they take up less room on the works pages, and this one hides the appearance of Additional Tags in search lists completely. If you do not yet have an AO3 account, the CSS listed in these skins can also be used in third-party site scripting tools, such as Stylish.

      Additionally, a logged-in user has the option to go to their Preferences and activate "Hide additional tags". This turns the entire content of the "Additional Tags" field to a "Show Additional Tags" link.

      Currently, both of these options are primarily available to logged-in users and do not apply to email subscriptions or tag ATOM Feeds.

    • Wranglers and Coders alike have been considering ways to additionally mark these tags in the front-end code, so that via a site skin, a third-party plugin, or another method, a user can have more fine-grained control over tag viewing when browsing. (Any coding solution will, almost by definition, require more data pulled from the servers, so there's a lot of evaluation before we push any buttons.)
    • The wrangling interface does need some improvements. (Depending on who you ask, a lot of improvements.) We are working on them, but our coders' time is a limited resource. As well, we have wranglers on as many browser and OS combinations as our users in general, so it takes significant testing to make sure the interface doesn't degrade for anyone, which is time-consuming.

    There will be a second post tomorrow stating the Tag Wrangling Staff's official point of view on the sustainability of the current Wrangling system. If there's something you have a particular question about, leave a comment and we'll try to get an answer for you!

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

  • Archive of Our Own Newsletter - November-December 2012

    By Camden on Thursday, 13 December 2012 - 8:00pm
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    Hello and Happy Holidays from the AO3! This newsletter contains all sorts of fun facts and news from the past two months - read on for updates in the world of the Archive in November and December.

    Cool stuff on the Archive

    Filters are back and our Advanced Search form has been updated! Look at this post for details on how to use our new filters and Advanced Search form. Release 0.9.2 went live and included more than just tag filters; we were also able to deploy bookmark filtering, a new search form for works and bookmarks, and new index pages for works and bookmarks. Releases 0.9.3 and 0.9.3 Redux also went live and included a lot of bug squashing and fixes as well as the ability to anonymously comment on your own anonymous work.

    We're now issuing 750 user invites per day. Our queue is slowly but steadily decreasing. To those of you still on the waiting list, thank you for your continued patience!

    Your Archive needs you!

    The Content Policy Committee is working on changes to the AO3's Terms of Service and would like your feedback on the proposed changes. The content change files are available at the above news post for your consideration. We welcome all feedback!

    Bugs we’ve squashed

    We've been keeping a close eye on performance after the release of the new search engine and filters, and we're pleased with how it's holding up: it's a big improvement over the old system. We quickly located a bug causing tag wrangling changes not to propagate through to works and bookmarks properly, so tag wrangling was disabled while that was being fixed, and it's up and running again now.

    We also tackled a number of collection and challenge-related bugs - 36 of them in Release 0.9.3 alone! Special thanks to Scott in particular for doing a ton of work on those.

    What’s up in the world of tags?

    There's been a few changes in the Marvel Avengers fandoms (some of the Archive's most popular!) To prepare for the coming sequels, the Thor and Captain America movie fandom names have changed, to Thor (Movies) and Captain America (Movies).

    Also, following the official material, the main metatag for The Avengers (2012) and the related movies is now Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    Note that if you tag for any of the subfandoms (e.g. if you tag your work The Avengers (2012) or Iron Man (Movies) that the work will automatically appear under Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can also tag a work with MCU if you like, but it will filter the exact same way as a work tagged with only the subfandoms.

    You may also notice a tag The Avengers - Ambiguous Fandom. This ambiguous tag is necessary due to the existence of two unrelated "Avengers" fandoms, the Marvel superhero team and the British superspy series, and includes all works from both these series. As with MCU, using this tag in conjunction with more specific tags won't change where your work appears (and tagging with only this tag will make your Avengers movie-verse fic less likely for other users to find.) Generally, to make your works easier to find, tag with the most specific fandom (or fandoms) that apply.

    For more information on the wild and wacky world of Marvel Avengers tags, please check out this informative post by one of our brave Avengers wranglers!

    Adventures with Support

    We're still keeping up with support tickets, even in spite of the start of holiday absences. In fact, we're about to hit our 10,000th ticket in our tracking program - that's just about 3,300 tickets a year! Every ticket sent in with an email address gets an individual response, and even the ones without email are still documented as appropriate with other committees. We're incredibly proud of our Support teams over the years and all they've done for the Archive!

    AD&T Committee business of note

    Thank you to all the coders, testers, and volunteers who helped us with Release 0.9.2 and 0.9.3! There's been a ton of work going on behind the scenes, and we're enormously grateful to everyone who's been helping out, and to the tag wranglers for their patience while we've sorted out some bugs.

    We've been cautiously optimistic about performance over the last month, and we've ordered three new servers that we're hoping will help us to keep things running smoothly as we head into 2013. That's enabled us to increase the number of invitations that we send out each day, which is helping to cut down the wait times significantly.

    We're working on one last release for 2012, which will be a small one, focused on bug fixes. There's already code in the pipeline for the first release of 2013, and we're looking forward to adding some long-awaited improvements and new features in the new year!

    Tag Wrangling Committee business of note

    Due to changes in the search engine with the main new filters deploy, tag wrangling was turned off for most of November. With the latest deploy, wrangling is working again and our wranglers have been busy getting all the new tags of the last month in order (our amazing volunteers managed to wrangle over 300 uncategorized fandoms down to less than 5 in a single weekend!)

    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. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

  • Public Feedback for AO3 Terms of Service FAQ

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 25 November 2012 - 8:01pm
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    The Content Policy workgroup is presenting a set of proposed changes to the Archive of Our Own’s Terms of Service and Frequently Asked Questions. These are largely clarifications and changes made to deal with functionality as the Archive has developed. This post marks the start of a two-week public comment period. The Content Policy group will track any comments or questions made here and will then evaluate if further revisions need to be made.

    The content change files are available in either a FAQ revision PDF and and ToS revision PDF or a FAQ revision doc file and ToS revision doc file format and will show proposed changes to the language at different points in the document.

    The proposed changes do not include any discussion of meta, which is still under review by the Board. This document is mostly a matter of language cleanup and putting the answers to some common Support questions in the AO3’s FAQ.

  • Come Chat with our Support Team!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 16 November 2012 - 6:27pm
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    Hi! Support here! 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. So, we've decided to try an experiment!

    Starting this coming Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11:00:00 UTC lasting through this Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 11:00:00 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. 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.

    In conclusion....

    This is a test run of this service, and while we have great hopes for it, we can't guarantee when it'll happen again. Please drop by with your questions and help make it a success!

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

  • Scheduled Archive downtime

    By .Lucy Pearson on Wednesday, 7 November 2012 - 8:06pm
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    The Archive of Our Own will have approximately two hours of planned downtime on 8 November 2012, starting c. 05.30 UTC (see what time that is in your timezone).

    During this time we will be installing new discs in our servers, giving us more space to accommodate the demands of serving lots of data to lots of users!

    If all goes well with the hardware installation, we will also be deploying new code during this downtime. The new release will include the long-awaited return of the tag filters! We're very excited (and a bit nervous).

    Please follow AO3_Status for updates on the downtime and maintenance - we'll tweet before we take the site down and again when the work has been completed. If our Twitter says we're up but you're still seeing the maintenance page, you may need to clear your browser cache and refresh.

  • Introducing the Category Change Workgroup!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 28 October 2012 - 7:30pm
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    Hello, this is Sole G., the Category Change workgroup lead, and I'd like to introduce the workgroup, talk a little about our goals, and ask for some initial feedback from all of you as fellow fans and users of AO3.

    The Category Change workgroup was created to address a long-standing debate, both internally and externally - that is, whether or not the current Fandom Categories in the Archive are the best possible browsing solution. Our goal is to take a look at the current categories and how they work and see what other options we can come up with that might be more effective at representing different fannish traditions, aiding fandom browsing, and reflecting the diversity of the Archive.

    While we are taking previously held discussions into account, we are analyzing the issue from scratch and trying to find new perspectives. We are looking at the Fandom Categories framework and analyzing it from every possible perspective - even considering whether or not they are necessary at all or how the browsing experience can be changed to better reflect the needs of our users.

    The most heatedly contested categories are 'Anime & Manga' and 'Cartoons & Comics & Graphic Novels'. To begin with, this division strikes some fans as artificial, since they are all either forms of animation or different traditions of comics under geographically- or culturally-determined names. Naming those two categories explicitly also implicitly leaves out other traditions, such as manhwa, manhua, bande dessinée and historieta. In addition, the inclusion of all different East Asian comic traditions under 'Anime & Manga' is inaccurate, as well as culturally insensitive.

    Concerns about 'Music & Bands' and 'Celebrities and Real People' have also been raised, again citing the artificial division and the confusing categorization of albums and bands side-by-side. Other issues that have been brought up are, for example, multimedia fandoms, audio-based sources, folklore and mythology fic, etc.

    We're looking for a solution that balances complex, sometimes competing, factors such as diverse fannish traditions, user behavior (current and potential), and ease of browsing.

    Since this is a task that involves the purview of several different committees, a workgroup consisting of members of all involved committees has been formed. These committees are:

    • Accessibility, Design & Technology (AD&T), due to the certain possibility of changes in the AO3 code being required, and the potential impact on design, user experience and archive browsing.
    • Internationalization & Outreach (I&O), since one of the issues with the current Media Categories is related to the different boundaries between media categories international fandoms have.
    • Tag Wrangling (TW), because tag wranglers are in charge of categorizing fandoms, and any changes will have direct impact on tag wranglers' procedure and workload.
    • Support, since any change in the categories will involve responding to users' concerns.

    This workgroup was developed by I&O and then backed by all of the involved committees. Each committee then chose their own representatives from among their interested staff members. While several of the Category Change staffers are also tag wranglers, a tag wrangler volunteer was recruited as well in order to directly represent the interests of that volunteer pool.

    One of our top priorities is to maintain a healthy, fluid communication with the Archive of Our Own userbase, so we want to start gathering feedback as soon as possible. If you have any opinions, feedback, suggestions, knowledge or ideas, you can either leave a comment on this post or you can contact us through the Category Change contact form. We don't see the emails used when you post guest comments, and you can request that any feedback that you send through the contact form be archived anonymously in OTW workspaces so that your name and contact information are only visible to members of the workgroup and not to all staff and volunteers.

    We are particularly interested in answers to these questions:

    1. Do you currently use the Media Categories in order to browse the Archive? If yes, then how do you do it? For example, are you generally looking for a specific fandom or do you browse the different pages to see what fandoms are listed on the site or to find new ones? What are your usual routines? If you want to find a specific fandom on the archive for the first time, how do you do that? How do you find fandoms by more casual browsing? Don’t be afraid to be as specific and detailed as you want; details and step-by-step descriptions are really useful to us.

    2. What issues have you run into with the current media categories? Are there fandoms that aren't listed where you might have expected them to be? Are there other problems you've noticed with fandoms being either grouped with or separated from one another in a way that's not ideal?

    3. How would you like to see the categories and the media/fandom pages be improved? What's your vision of a better way to find, browse, and organize fandoms? We're open to all kinds of ideas, not just different names for the existing categories.

    Please feel free to comment and brainstorm, and also to discuss and engage with each other. We're very interested in hearing what you think, and thanks in advance for your feedback!

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

  • Archive of Our Own Newsletter - October 2012

    By Camden on Thursday, 25 October 2012 - 2:25am
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    Happy October, Archivers! Welcome to this month's newsletter.

    Cool stuff on the Archive!

    This month, we took a look at tag stats and growth over the past two years!

    What’s up in the world of tags?

    Often in wrangling, we change tag names in response to feedback either from archive users, or other tag wranglers (or both!). Our most recent change involves the canonical fandom tags for Jewish and Christian religious scripture. Prior to our changes, "Hebrew Bible" was a single fandom, with "Old Testament" as a synonym. You can view the current tag structure under Abrahamic Religions, which includes a tag for Tanakh separate from the Christian Bible (Old Testament). The old tag "Hebrew Bible" is now a synonym of Tanakh. Thank you to those users and wranglers who provided feedback in this discussion.

    Support issues

    We're seeing some really wonky behavior emerging with Tag Sets pulling characters into multiple fandoms or occasionally a tag vanishing from the list. We're having a hard time tracking this down, so if you see aberrant behavior in the Tag Set feature, please send Support a note so we can document it for the Coders!

    AD&T Committee business of note

    We continue to work on a header redesign and we have also started working on a brand new front page. Our updated roadmap is in the final stages of editing and should be available soon. The reinstatement of tag filtering comes closer and closer as we put the finishing touches on new code and sent it off to our testers. We still can't guarantee a firm date but they're coming - we promise! And finally, this month we celebrated Ada Lovelace Day by honoring our awesome chair Elz!

    Support Committee business of note

    As noted below with the Tag Wranglers, we are eagerly testing the return of the filters.

    Tag Wrangling Committee business of note

    We've been adding to our collection of public wrangling guidelines, and we're excitedly preparing (and testing!) for the upcoming return of tag filters.

    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).

  • If I donate to the OTW, will I get an Archive of Our Own Invitation?

    By .Lucy Pearson on Sunday, 14 October 2012 - 3:29pm
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    No - it's free to use the Archive of Our Own and you can request an invitation by adding your email address to the invitations queue. Donating to the OTW will help us continue to pay the running costs for the Archive (as well as funding other OTW projects), but OTW membership is not linked to having an AO3 account.

  • Archive Of Our Own Newsletter - September 2012

    By Camden on Sunday, 30 September 2012 - 7:57pm
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    Hello Archive creators, users, and lovers! The days have gone by quickly, haven't they? We've got a short--but sweet--newsletter for you this month.

    Cool stuff on the archive!

    Releases 0.9.0 and 0.9.1 were deployed -- check out what's new and what's been fixed! Tag hierarchies are now visible. We're also able to support podfic embeds again.

    What’s up in the world of tags?

    With the new public tag display pages, users on the Archive can now get a wranglers-eye view of tags. So if you're curious, you can check out all the Marvel comics fandoms or all the different adaptations of Hana Yori Dango on the Archive, see how many different characters Stiles Stilinski has been paired with, and hop between a variety of Alternate Universes!

    Support issues

    We're starting to see, due to the dedicated and diligent work of our Coding volunteers, a large number of bugs being squashed. Even so, we still have a number of bugs that we know about, along with common workarounds, at the Archive's Known Issues page. If you want to check to see if something has been reported, that's a good place to start. (There's even a link at the top of the Support form.)

    We're excited about the upcoming changes and want to extend a hearty greeting to all our incoming holiday exchanges, especially the number of exchanges who are choosing to run entirely on the site for the first time! If you as a user or a mod have any questions, drop us a line!

    As a general warning to users posting HTML, both Firefox and Chrome seem to have resumed their trick of converting straight (") double quotes into angled 'smart' quotes, which our HTML Sanitizer does not like. If you're having issues embedding multimedia or adjusting CSS, that would be the first place we recommend checking.

    AD&T Committee business of note

    We're also working hard on bringing back tag filtering and we hope to have it back soon!. Please take a look at this post for more information on tag filtering if you haven't already. We're also discontinuing support for IE6&7. See this post for details and how you can help us with this transition. Release 0.9.0 and 0.9.1 went well and we're very pleased with how they are working out. And finally, we continue to work on an updated AO3 roadmap and its development is going well!

    Support Committee business of note

    We've made notable steps over the last year to maintain a sustainable system for ticket responses, and, having figured out what works, are starting to collect documented guidelines for the fateful day in the distant future of complete staff turnover.

    Tag Wrangling Committee business of note

    We're really excited that everyone can now see some of the insides of the wrangulator, an alpha feature which you may have read about in A New Look at AO3 Tags. We're currently working hard on converting our wrangling guidelines for posting to the archive FAQs section, starting here.

    Apologies

    We've been getting reports from people who have been missing account activation emails -- please do not hesitate to let us know if this is the case with you. We're working on the issue and hope to have it resolved soon but in the meantime please contact Support if you are missing an activation email. The Archive also experienced about 40 minutes of downtime earlier this month when we installed new batteries in old machines and another 40 minutes during a deploy. We apologize if this inconvenienced you in any way.

    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).

  • A New Look at AO3 Tags

    By Claudia Rebaza on Monday, 3 September 2012 - 6:35pm
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    One feature that's been asked for repeatedly since the AO3 launched is a way to see how tags are structured on the Archive. This is now possible! Although this new option doesn't show everything that goes on behind the scenes when tag wrangling, it does provide more information to users as to what tags are in use and how the tags are interlinked behind the scenes.

    We should note right up front: this is a very alpha interface. In fact, all that's been done is that we've changed the accessibility of the pages, and truncated the display of longer tag lists to save the servers. We do have plans for improving them, but we thought it best to get the pages out there and see what information you want!

    We should also note that, in preparation for this release and the guidelines release, we've discovered a number of wrangling terms that are used inconsistently or confusingly. The Tag Wrangling volunteers are currently discussing new terminology, which we hope will be clearer.

    How to Access the Tag Display Page

    There are two ways to access these pages: through navigation, and through direct links.

    If you're browsing the site, you probably already know you can click on a tag to see the works that use that tag or its synonyms. You'll see early in the page "1-X of Y Works found in Tag Name". Select the Tag Name to access the Tag Display page for that tag.

    If you know the name of the tag, you can also enter http://archiveofourown.org/tags/TAGNAME directly into the address bar. (Note: for relationships, replace any / in the address with *s* for the link to work, and for friendship tags replace any & in the address with *a*.) Tag Search also links to the Tag Display pages.

    The tags page

    Near the beginning of the page (in the top right when using the default visual skin), will be two buttons that let you see all of the works marked with the tag you're viewing. Both creators and users of the works may have chosen that tag -- the creators when the works were uploaded, and the users when they decided to bookmark those works.

    The tags page is divided into several sections. In most sections, if multiple tags are listed, they're automatically sorted into alphabetical order. Please note that these sections at present will only display the first 300 tags, in order to prevent unwieldy server loads. In the meantime you can use the Tag Search to find a particular tag. We plan to improve this display in later versions of this feature, so eventually you will be able to see all the tags under any tag.

    A Sample Entry

    A good example to see the Tag Display page in action is the Being Human (UK) fandom tag. Accessing the page, you'll find that:

    • the tag is a Fandom tag, and it has been marked Common, so it will pop up in the auto-complete;
    • the tag is for a TV Show;
    • the tag has a synonym;
    • the tag has a metatag, indicating that it's a distinct part of a larger group (in this case, there are other versions of the series);
    • the tag contains a number of Character, Relationship, and Freeform tags.

    What does any of that mean?

    All the tags on the Archive can be in one of three states -- common (canonical), merged (synonym), or unfilterable. Common tags (also known as "canonical" tags) can be filtered on and appear in the auto-complete. Merged tags (also known as "synonyms") are connected to a single common tag and works/bookmarks tagged with it will appear in the common tag's filter. Unfilterable tags cannot be used in filters but can still be searched and will still bring up lists of works. Here is an example:

    If you click on the merged tag Aido Hanabusa, you can see that this Character tag has been merged into a different tag due to spelling differences. If you then click on the Aidou Hanabusa tag, you will see that it is the common tag. It has various mergers and it is also connected to both broader and narrower tags.

    Any tag can be merged if it has a common meaning with another tag or tags. This is true whether it is a Fandom, Character, Relationship or Additional tag. However, not all tags get merged. Some remain unfilterable both because they have no shared meaning with other tags, and yet they are so rarely used that they are not likely to be searched on by other users. Some may be only temporarily unfilterable, until a tag wrangler has had time to review them and mark them as common or merge them with another tag.

    Here is an explanation of the other sorts of tags you'll see on the tag pages.

    Parent tags

    Each user-created tag has one or more Parent tags. These are broad terms which may contain many subgroups of tags that fit a certain theme.

    • For example, Fandoms will have their Media type(s) listed as their Parent. All television show fandoms will have "TV Shows" as a parent tag.
    • Characters, Relationships, and Additional (or Freeform) Tags will have one or more Fandoms listed as their Parent.

    Tags with the Same Meaning

    These tags are "synonyms" of another tag, which have all been merged into the common tag. There are various reasons why tags are merged, such as spelling variations, fanon names when canon only gives part of the name, or just that there are many different ways to describe the same thing. When tags are merged they all get pooled together for better filter results.

    Metatags and Subtags

    Metatags are common tags that can include one or more subtags that are subsets of the metatag. Metatags are created for a number of reasons — the most common reasons are:

    • Fandoms that include different media productions or different media formats under the same name or within the same universe
    • Ambiguous versions of more specific tags (such as all characters named "Mary")

    So if you click on Star Trek: The Next Generation you will see it is a subtag of the larger Star Trek universe metatag.

    You can also see its subtags, in this case the movies associated with the series, and you can see that those subtags can have subtags of their own.

    Child tags

    Like Parent tags, above, each tag can have Child tags. Different types of tags can have different Child tags:

    Media tags
    These tags, like "Books & Literature" or "Movies" can have Fandom tags.
    Fandom tags
    These tags can have as Child tags: Character tags from that fandom, Relationship tags that involve one or more characters from that fandom, and Additional tags (called "Freeforms", here) that are specific to that fandom.
    Character tags
    These can have Relationship tags that involve specific characters, if set by the wranglers.

    Other tags

    Besides all of these user-created tags, some tags on the Archive are standardized and cannot be wrangled, though they are still tags and their tag pages are visible. Users are probably familiar with Archive-created tag types such as "Warning", "Rating", and "Category" (the latter is for Gen, F/F, F/M, M/M, Multi, and Other). For example, clicking on the Choose Not To Use Archive Warnings tag will tell you "This tag belongs to the Archive Warning Category. It's a common tag. You can use it to filter works and to filter bookmarks."

    Guidelines are coming

    In addition to visible tag structures, the Tag Wrangling Committee is working on making the guidelines that tag wranglers work with available for public viewing. An initial FAQ post about this process is now available. It provides more detail about both terminology and some general concepts.

    Questions

    For those who have questions about tags and what they're seeing, you can always send a question to our Support team, who'll pass it on to the Wranglers. The Tag Wrangling Committee also has a Twitter account at ao3_wranglers for all sorts of tag-related discussion.

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