5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things SoyAlex Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with SoyAlex, who volunteers as a staffer at Fanlore.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

Part of OTW’s mission is to “preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures”, which is exactly what Fanlore tries to do. Documenting what fan history I know, and helping other fans do the same, is something that really appeals to me, which is why I ended up volunteering.

Fandom is huge and multilayered, complex and incredibly rich. It’s also forever changing and unfortunately fleeting. One of the saddest things for me, when it comes to contemporary fandom, is that it shines bright, burns hot, and quickly forgets. Those fans who remember don’t always want to share their experiences, because they either don’t consider themselves “experts”, or they don’t think their personal experiences aren’t representative of the rest of their fandom.

I suspect they simply don’t realize that no side of fandom is too small to put on Fanlore, no personal experience too minor to document. You could say that my personal mission, to go along with the OTW’s and Fanlore’s, is to try and convince every fan I come across that they have something to contribute to Fanlore. I’m happy to report no restraining orders have been filed against me. Yet.

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5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Naomi Novik Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.

As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, we have a special retrospective Five Things this month. Today’s post is with Naomi Novik, one of the founders of the OTW, a past board member, and a current staffer with the Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee. The following is an interview transcript which has been edited for length and clarity.

What was the first year of the OTW like? What do you remember most from it?

I don’t remember the high points as well, I find that over time what I remember are the problems. In the beginning there was a lot of work we had to do to reassure people about what we were trying to do, such as that they weren’t going to get into [legal] trouble, that there would be ways to give people control over their stories. The other piece that first year is that some people expected to see something 5 minutes after we formed! You know, where is the Archive? But it all takes time, there were a lot of growing pains you have when you’re putting things together from scratch that the OTW has been left with. But my philosophy is to do the thing if you have the momentum, and it’s better to have done something that was not perfect than to not have anything done at all.

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5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Chien Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Chien, who volunteers as a translator.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As part of the Chinese translating team I assist in putting together Chinese versions for anything the OTW posts online, from AO3 guidelines to write-ups of amicus briefs. Basically I’m part of the bridge of communication that connects the OTW to the Chinese-speaking fannish community, helping to reach out to more people who might be interested in what we do!

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