A first look at the Archive Of Our Own!

Want a first look at the Archive Of Our Own? Come browse!

While we’re still very much a work in progress, with many of our most exciting features still in development, you can now go to http://archiveofourown.org and browse for stories!!

(Please note that this early version of the archive only works/looks right with the Firefox browser.)

(Read on for many more exciting details!)

Yay! How do I get an account?

Account creation is coming soon! We’ve started with OTW staffers and testers because they couldn’t get too mad at us if everything broke. 😀 Now with this read-only launch, we are hopefully going to get some information about how the archive performs with lots of people reading. Once we see our performance results (and fix or speed up the slowest things), we will start up an invite system where archive admins and current users can send out a small number of invite codes.

(This invite system is not intended to exclude anyone, it’s just to let us control how many new accounts we get during these early beta stages. Once the archive is out of beta, anyone will be able to create a new account at any time.)

Remember, we’re totally still a work in progress, and things may break, change suddenly, or not perform as expected. Plus many of our coolest features–like subscriptions and communities–are yet to come! So when you get a beta account, please do be prepared for occasional bugs!

Oh my god, it looks totally broken on my screen!

Did we mention it was optimized for Firefox?? The Archive is currently optimized for FIREFOX USERS ONLY! Eventually, the Archive will work with most browsers, including the dreaded IE (boo, hiss!) but that’s going to be some of the last coding we do; for now, it’s Firefox only. However, Firefox is an awesome browser that you should totally be using anyway, and its available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and can be downloaded here.

What features are currently available for users with accounts?

A user with an account can set up a profile, add different pseudonyms, upload new stories and port over stories from existing URLs. They can make some stories visible only to other users. They can bookmark stories and create rec lists.

Wait! Where is feature x? Where is feature y? You said–!

We’re working on it, we swear! This Beta version is functional, but does not yet have all the features that the Archive will eventually have. In particular, the subscription feature (coming soon!) is likely to change how you use the archive; users will be able to subscribe to particular tags, meaning particular authors, fandoms, kinds of stories, etc. But for now, you can use full-text search or browse from our “people” page or our “works” page, you can browse and filter search results with tags, and sort by spiffy things like wordcount.

We will eventually also offer a more customizable experience vis a vis fonts and interface displays; for now, these things are standard. Icons will be coming too; for now, you’ll see only placeholders.

That being said, we really want user feedback and opinions on what we’ve got in place so far. What works for you? What doesn’t work so well? Does everything work as expected? We can’t promise to change/fix everything immediately, and we won’t be able to please everyone, but as the coders keep coding, we want to get some feedback from real users. Please write to us and tell us about your experience searching, browsing, and reading.

There is a feedback form on the site linked on every page in the footer; please talk to us! Exact descriptions of problems are helpful; screenshots are awesome.

Hey, is there anything in particular I can help you with?

Glad you asked!

Giving us feedback and reporting the inevitable bugs will be a huge help all on its own. If you find yourself giving a lot, and you’d be interested in getting more involved, we can always use more volunteers for our awesome team of official testers, who go over user feedback and pass bugs up to the coding team, and who check to make sure the bugs are actually fixed.

And if you are a coder or play one on TV or even just would like to someday play one on TV, you can also contribute to the archive code! We are always looking for volunteers, so if you find a bug and feel like helping to fix it yourself, please get in touch with us through volunteers@transformativeworks.org.

If you are into web design or graphics, we’re currently working on our browsing and searching interfaces extensively, trying to come up with the best way to cram in as much information as possible about a story or a user or a bookmark, while keeping results compact (so we can fit a lot on a screen), and making it all accessible for users with disabilities or limited computer setups. We would really really love any sketches and design proposals you might come up with — please send them to us at feedback@archiveofourown.org!

And as our interfaces firm up, we will also be needing translation volunteers to help us actually put in the translations (we’ve got the infrastructure built for translation, as you’ll see on the site, but haven’t actually been adding translations yet while everything has been changing so fast). If you’d be able to help, please contact us through volunteers@transformativeworks.org and let us know what languages you can help with!

Thanks so much for checking out the archive, and in conclusion, YAY! \o/

Brought to you by the Accessibility, Design, & Technology committee & all the fabulous OTW coders and testers! Contact us at adt@transformativeworks.org!

10 thoughts to “A first look at the Archive Of Our Own!”

  1. Yes!!! The newest revision looks yummy! Oh, and seriously, come and help us translate! 😀

  2. OMG you guys, this is so awesome there are no words. No. words.

  3. YAY!!!!! I adore the archive already, and I adore all of you for working so hard to bring it to life.

  4. So much gratitude for the time and effort and positive energy that created this: you all worked, many will benefit. Also, wow, nice design: very elegant. Icons for content classifications terrific.

    As an addict of great writing (that happens to be fanfic), you have my eternal thanks.

  5. OMG, YAY! It looks so awesome. I cannot wait to set up an account there and start posting my fic and setting up subscriptions. The tagging feature is awesome. You’ll let us know if you need more beta testers, yes?

  6. Because I so, so, so, SO volunteer. I have been wanting a place to archive all my fic (and oh god, it makes me kind of nauseous to think about just how much that IS, urgh), and I have been waiting for THIS THIS THIS. So if you guys want betas for the site? I’m so IN. (And if not, that’s okay, too, because I will wait.) 🙂

    THIS IS FABCAKES WITH AWESOMESAUCE ON TOP.

    *beamy*

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