April 2013 Newsletter, Volume 68

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.


There were two huge pieces of news for the OTW this month: the success of its membership drive and its new volunteer recruitment system. Development & Membership received more than 2,054 individual donations totaling US$53,243.99 over the 3-9 April drive period. Thank you to everyone who participated! (See the thank-you post for more about the drive.)

We would also like to say a huge “thank you” to the mods, writers, and bidders of http://ao3auction.tumblr.com, an independently organized fan auction benefiting the OTW. The auction recently closed with an amazing pledge total of US$16,729! For tax reasons, the OTW cannot officially endorse third-party fundraisers — that’s why we didn’t promote the auction while it was still going on. However, we’re extremely grateful when fans choose to put on such events. Aside from the money they raise, it means a lot to all the OTW staff and volunteers to see our fellow fans making such a wonderful show of support for our work. Thank you.

Another happy event was the success of the new Volunteers & Recruiting process and the reopening of volunteer recruiting. The new system was the culmination of months of work involving people from across the organization. Many thanks are due to the Webmasters Committee for their work and support in creating the new volunteering page. VolCom will continue to work with chairs and leads to get additional roles open and projects staffed as efficiently as possible.

VolCom’s next major projects include an audit of access to organization tools, chair training and support documentation, personnel privacy and confidential information guidelines, and collecting training resources that can hopefully be used across the organization.

A large number of applications for the AO3 Documentation Workgroup and Communications Committee are being reviewed by those groups and the positions should be filled in coming weeks. In the meantime 53 new tag wranglers have already been inducted and are going through training!

*New Staffers List*: Matty Lynne (Abuse)
*New Tag Wranglers*: Sumeria, Claire, KeriArentikai, dizmo, Zeggy, Eleanor, vtn, subluxate, ParkerStark, Lia Ferrari, Abbie, JanOda, Sibilant, PetuniaDreaming, Eve Forbes, Nikibee, AiedailEclipsed, BeautifullyHeeled, miss_lucy, pedanther, Erin C., Elizabeth Young, Delwyn Cole, spock74, very, thegiggleloop, jet, Terizia, Helen Ryan, Adrienne Gorney, mmmdraco, Rachel S, lkthegreat, Janejenajeny, Jess, SevenCorvus, Alisha Miller, Yuppu, KeroseneChica, Cat P., Marta Kwasniewska, readerofasaph, stasha2g, Impsy, hvalrann, llutien, wantstothrill, tealeafer, blackPlague, PatentedPineapple, Zhang, WTCelesta, mremre
*New Testers*: Jenny Scott-Thompson

*Departing Staffers*: Alex Jenkins (Journal), Arrow (Systems), Matty Lynne (Tag Wrangling), Jenn Calaelen (AD&T)
*Departing Testers*: Jenn Calaelen
*Departing Tag Wranglers*: Kim McGreal

Tag Wrangling had such an overwhelming response that the OTW had to hit the pause button long enough to catch up! They should be re-opening recruitment as soon as the committee has finished helping the new wranglers settle in. In concert with that, the staff have been hard at work putting together a comprehensive training plan; basic tutorials are already completed and in use, and more advanced instruction is on the way. Meanwhile our new wranglers have enthusiastically begun helping all our experienced hands in cleaning up tags in fandoms across the Archive.


Accessibility, Design and Technology‘s deploy early in April to the Archive of Our Own included a major revision to the Archive header and some new designs for emails and they’ve had lots of feedback about both. Most users are enjoying the new header, which makes it a lot easier to find things on the Archive. Reactions to the new emails have been more mixed: we’ve listened to all the feedback and will make some changes to address common concerns, although we won’t be able to implement these immediately.

AD&T is gearing up for two more important pieces of work which have been on their (and Open Doors‘s) to-do list for a while. The final touches are being put on the code needed for the long-planned import of the 852 Prospect Archive: we’ve done a test run and are almost ready for the real thing. Once this code has been deployed, they’ll be doing a big revision of the site to switch it to Rails 3.2 (Ruby on Rails is the web framework the AO3 is built on). This is a really important piece of work which will help to ensure site stability and security going forward.

Meanwhile Support will be having another Open Support Chat. On May 4th-5th, scheduled from 16:00 UTC on the 4th to 04:00 UTC on the 5th so if you’re having problems with the new AO3 features or other workings of the site, stop by and chat with them!

Internationalization & Outreach has been working with AD&T to finalize plans to put the Archive Diversity Statement up on the AO3 later this month. As part of this process, I&O is currently seeking feedback from OTW staff on the statement.

Abuse dealt with a combination of plagiarism, spam and warnings/ratings complaints, as well as a marked increase in reports of blog-type posts and announcements being uploaded as fanworks. This could be due to a confusion of what constitutes meta or simply enthusiastic and unknowing fans assuming the Archive also works as a social media site. Content Policy is still reviewing and integrating feedback to the AO3 for a revised Terms of Service document.

April Showers also came to a close at the AO3 and Fanlore. A quick scan of its 30 days of activities can be seen at the Fanlore twitter and through the april showers hashtag on Tumblr.

Lastly, but never least, Systems has been working to close holes in their documentation as well as finding better ways to formalize their training procedures and better track the committee’s projects. They’re also testing out the latest version of Debian Linux for our servers, setting up test servers to reflect production systems, plotting upgrades, and continuing their plan to take over the world ;)


Board and Finance have been working on the 2012 Annual Report along with Communications. And Strategic Planning released their report on Volunteers & Recruiting. They have already received excellent and useful feedback, and are looking forward to more. Their report on Open Doors is currently being reviewed by Board, and the report for the Wiki Committee and Fanlore is in progress. The Translation survey has also begun.


Legal has been (1) answering lots of answering internal queries from various corners of the org; (2) putting together the Canadian Law Q&A for the transformativeworks.org blog; (3) starting work with ChillingEffects to update their FAQ on fanfiction; and (4) handling a few external queries.

Journal is working with guest editors for the first two issues of 2014. The next two issues of 2013 are in various states of undress but are mostly done. The Fanhackers blog has been building content since its launch last month, including some interesting discussions of fandom internationally.


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