Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

November 2016 Newsletter, Volume 108

I. NEW SERVER PURCHASE: BETTER FASTER STRONGER!

This month Systems determined which of several quotes to move forward with and purchased a new server to give OTW more space after holding together mail with sticks and strings. This has been a process with much deliberation and planning involved, and sets up the OTW to improve functionality, especially now that we have over a million AO3 users to serve!

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This Week in Fandom banner by James Baxter

This Week in Fandom, Volume 34

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s newsletter of things which are happening! Before we start, a quick mention that the Fansided network has published the results of its Fandom 250 project, a ranking of the most popular fandom of all sorts. Check out next week’s TWIF to learn more about the project.

It’s December, which means it’s Year in Review time. Lots of sites have begun posting about what all happened in 2016. The Tumblr Fandometrics posted a breakdown of the 20 most popular subjects in a bunch of areas of entertainment. Puppies were the most popular animals of 2016. Kittens came in second.

On a similar note, The Verge also published an article about Tumblr trends during 2016. According to this article, Tumblr users (specifically, teenage Tumblr users) had a good year. As a dedicated Tumblr user myself (and moderator of the OTW’s main Tumblr account), I was somewhat perplexed by this conclusion. The article mentioned some memes and viral posts, as well as some shipping-related content (and the word shipped was in quotation marks), but only half of a paragraph was spent on the social issues that trended on Tumblr. The article also seemed to ignore the fact that the most popular ship, Clexa from The 100, is itself a social issue. So there were definitely things that got in the way of Tumblr teens having a straight-up good year, even if they were delighted by a caterpillar named Chicken Nugget.

The Mary Sue published an article that perhaps explains the lighthearted trends mentioned in the Verge article. This article discussed how the Hamilton fandom helped one person deal with stress related to the US Presidential election.

“I’d never seen a fandom so united in a common goal. We don’t really know each other; the only thing we have in common is this musical. The amount of love, grief and rage coming from the fandom all at once was a little overwhelming. At the same time, however, it validated the reason I fell in love with this weird musical about the Founding Fathers in the first place—there’s something about Hamilton that brings people together and reminds us that there’s a place in the narrative for everyone.”

Fandom is often recognized for its external charity and fundraising work, but equally important is the support given within the fannish community. And sometimes that support means being serious, and sometimes it means squeeing about fun things together. How has fandom helped you get through tough times? Let us know in the comments!


We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Celebrates

International Volunteer Day

In 1985 the United Nations designated the 5th of December as International Volunteer Day, a day to celebrate and honor volunteerism in all countries. Given that the OTW has always existed solely because of the time and efforts of volunteers, we salute all of those, past and present, who have given their time to us.

Although the exact number changes from month to month, the OTW’s 595 active volunteers and volunteer-staff come from a number of countries across all timezones and serve in many different positions on our committees. While those committees have changed over time, what has kept them running, and thus our projects open to the public, is the dedication of many people giving freely of their time and talents. Without them there would be no AO3, Fanlore, Transformative Works & Cultures, Open Doors, or Legal Advocacy.

The OTW’s staffers and volunteers’ countless unpaid hours allow the OTW to make progress in its mission of providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan cultures while still operating on a minimal budget for projects of our size. Whether volunteers have joined us recently or have been with us for most of our nine years, we all owe you a huge thanks.

If you would like to know more about some of our volunteers’ experiences, check out our Five Things series for a look at the tasks that make up their weeks.