Announcing: Our Vidding Roadmap

The Board of the OTW is pleased to release its Vidding Roadmap, a guide to the various features and services that we hope to be able to offer vidders, fan artists, and the larger fan community. Our priorities are stability and sustainability — we want to build services that will work long-term with our resources, and that will help protect vids and help keep the vidding community together in a changing legal and economic climate. Full Roadmap beneath the cut!

Our Roadmap includes:

1. Vidding Community Resource Site

The OTW will host a collection of information and resources we hope will be useful to the larger vidding community and that will help explain and contextualize vidding to the larger world.

Resources will include:

  • instructions on How To Stream Video From Your Own Site
  • instructions on how to dispute a YouTube takedown or file a DMCA counternotice; note: this will not be legal advice, but procedural information
  • a bibliography of all academic and legal articles on vidding
  • a library of vids discussed in scholarly articles: we will also provide a point of contact for scholars who plan to publish so that future articles and books have stable references and footnotes.
  • the existing Vidding History project, the Test Suite, etc.
  • Other? Suggestions for useful information? How-to-get-started-vidding guides? Links to community sites? An index of vidding meta? An index of vidding tutorials?

When This Can Happen: Now.

Resources Needed: People power. If you have suggestions for information we ought to host, or are willing to help us write or maintain any of these pages, please contact the vidding committee via their webform.

2. A Dark Archive

The goal of the dark archive is to store and protect vids: a sort of communal vid-vault. The dark archive will not be online or generally accessible: the goal is for people whose vids might otherwise be lost to have a copy stored in a secure and responsible place come vidapocalypse. If vidders place copies of vids with us, we could restore copies to them in case of TOSing or computer failure. We will be asking vidders who want to deposit copies of their vids to fill out a form telling us what we can and can’t do with them; it is possible that the Dark Archive could at some point be used to form the core of a torrent seeding drive (see #3, #5 below).

We would ideally partner with conventions that have vid shows to preserve their collections as well.

When This Can Happen: Now.

Resources Needed: Either external hard drives and back up drives or large, static server space in the cloud; space is cheap but drives can fill up with vids very quickly. People power: catalogers, maintainers, administrators. Librarians experienced with dark archives a plus.

3. A Torrent of Our Own (TO3)

A bittorrent tracker open to registered users to post torrents for fair-use transformative fanworks, including: vids, fic trailers, fan art, zine pdfs, AMVs, political remix, machinima, and other transformative digital fanworks. Users will be able to download without a password. Before posting, uploaders will have to read about fair use standards and agree that what they’re uploading is a transformative fanwork. TO3 users will be able to add torrent urls to the AO3 work template alongside embeds from streaming sites, if any (see #4); this will allow vidders to have all their works in one place, take advantage of the AO3’s tagging system, provide a stable home for comments, etc.

Note 1: Sharing transformative works over peer-to-peer networks is LEGAL: however, we will have a zero tolerance policy for piracy, and abusers will be banned.

Note 2: The more people use the TO3, the stronger the TO3 swarm will become, and the better for the our eventual plan to stream torrents, (feature #5, below.)

Note 3: We hope that the AO3 will be eventually be able to seed copies of vids and fan art for the TO3; this will however require significant additional resources and will not be part of the initial stage of the TO3.

When This Can Happen: Now.

Resources Needed: Technical personnel to select, implement, and brand the tracker and uploader registration system; dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to promote the swarm among fans far and wide (tell your friends!); users with the ability to seed vids.

4. AO3 Embed Code:

The OTW’s Accessibility, Design, and Technology Committee (ADT) will work on the code for embedding fanart and vids in the AO3. When this is coded, we will be able to host embeds from YouTube or other streaming sites, including a fan’s own site (see #1), alongside torrent urls (#3) or other pertinent information. Vidders will be able to change the source of a vid’s embed without losing meta-information, tags, and comments.

When This Can Happen: c.6-12 months (depending on coder availability)

Resources Needed: Experienced coders with knowledge of HTML sanitizing, testers willing to bang on the new code (no experience required!).

5. Integration of the TO3 into the AO3

Our hope is to eventually be able to stream video from torrents in the TO3 within the AO3, so that each AO3 vid would offer both a stream and a torrent for downloading.

Ideally, the OTW would be able to convert the Dark Archive (#2) into the core of a vid-seeding drive, either from the cloud or from hard drives spread over the computers of an organized group of volunteers, each of whom would take a sub-section of the total archive.

Note that successful implementation of this integration involves several challenges: 1) the TO3 will have to be fairly robust; 2) we will have to implement the Swarmplayer or similar technology for streaming from torrents; 3) if the OTW has to seed a significant number of vids to maintain availability and/or performance, this will require a significant ongoing financial commitment; 4) stabilization of best practices for fair use video.

When This Can Happen: This is a long-term plan which would require a high level of stability on the Archive of Our Own as well as a significant amount of resources. This will happen after Release 1.0 of the Archive of Our Own – assuming the Dark Archive, TO3, and AO3 continue to develop as planned, we’d start work on this full integration in about two years.

Resources Needed: Additional financial resources to ensure ongoing stability; lots of people power needed to code, test, administer and support the AO3 and TO3.

Supporting Vidding Through the OTW

One of the key resources we need to make this project (and others) move forward quickly is people power. We always welcome more volunteers to code, test, help with user support and tag wrangle on the Archive, as well as people to help with policy, communications, volunteer management, etc, throughout the OTW. The Vidding project will also need people to contribute information to our resource pages, catalog the Dark Archive, help install the TO3 etc. etc. Most jobs don’t require any previous experience – just a willingness to learn!

One area in which we do need expertise is Systems – if you are an experienced Sys admin with a bit of time to devote, we need your help! This will become increasingly important as we move forward with expanding the AO3 and including art, vids, and other media.

If you’d like to volunteer to work with the OTW, then get in touch with our Volunteers and Recruitment committee.

Announcement, Vidding
  1. Jack commented:

    Going along with the bibliography of academic work on vidding, another thing I think might be helpful (though perhaps not in the same set of resources) would be a style guide for citing vids and other fan works. I know that there are already citations for some things in the TWC issues that have been released, but it might be nice to have a little central place that talks about the OTW’s citation recommendations.

    • fcoppa commented:

      This is an awesome idea. Yes, we can do that!!

    • Nele commented:

      Ooo, style construction talk. What would be the properties of a specific bibliographic style for citing fanworks? There are other styles for citing, for instance, online video -what would we want a specific fannish style to do that those other styles don’t? Allow for adding information like fandom, pairing or even rating/warnings? Those are things that aren’t absolutely necessary when you want to instruct others on where to find the works referenced, but OTOH, I like the idea of a mix between purely “academic” referencing and the fannish way of referencing fanworks.

      • Holdt commented:

        This table was made for me by Doro, when I expressed a small discontent with the way my userpage was set up.


        It doesn’t involve any specialized terms (that Im aware of). What it does do, is lay out pertinent vid information in an easily digestible format for viewers, who can see those details before visiting the abstract page for a vid.

        • Nele commented:

          That is a really nice overview. If we’re talking citation, we probably can’t use any formatting that’s more “special” than italics -whack me if I’m wrong, but pretty much every citation format I’ve ever seen has only one continuous line of information and citation software can’t handle tables. Visually speaking, we probably don’t have a choice besides boring plain text… I’ve tried putting the info on the first vid in a vaguely citation-like format. It could look something like this:

          Holdt. Apex. 23/05/2010. Source work: Battlestar Galactica. Music: Adam Lambert, For Your Entertainment. Author warnings: Challenge vid, Pop music, strobe lights, may cause an uninhibited desire to dance wildly. (Last visited 21/05/2010)

          How does that look to you? The info in “summary” I left out for now, because that field may not be quite essential for citation purposes and could cause trouble with summaries that are several sentences long. But we should debate what information is “essential” for a fan-friendly citation format, of course. IMHO, warnings should definitely be in there. Perhaps pairings too, if there are any. Summaries and author’s notes, maybe not. Thoughts?

          • fcoppa commented:

            I submitted this request to Karen Hellekson, who is devising a citation style that I think you’re going to love! Will post examples asap! \o/

          • dhara commented:

            i am having a little geekgasm over here, because omg people are talking about STYLE GUIDES and FANNISH CITATIONS. *sigh*

            i love ya’ll.