Today, after 20 years of service to fannish and wider internet communities, Yahoo! Groups was shut down. The decision was announced by Verizon earlier this year on October 14.
Every month the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts to provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom. These posts express each individual’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.
Leah is a librarian/program coordinator in a small town library. She has been writing fanfiction since 2009. Currently, she spends all her free time participating in and facilitating fandom events. Today, Leah Elisabeth talks about her work with the Secret Santa Exchange in the Untamed fandom.
How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?
My first active fandom was Supernatural. I started watching in the first half of season 5 and was immediately addicted. When the mid-season finale aired, I was absolutely distraught and immediately started looking online for things to tide me over until the show came back in the new year. I found fanfiction on Fanfiction.net. Shortly after that, my laptop broke and I had to send it away for repairs. This was before I had a smartphone, so with no access to my newest addiction I was inspired to start writing my own fanfiction.
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 Paula, who volunteers as a staffer in AO3’s Support Committee.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
I’m Support Staff and a tag wrangler. As a Tag Wrangler, I wrangle tags. I make sure you can find your MPREG and Fluff. We’ve had plenty of awesome tag wranglers explain it better than I ever could so, I’ll skip to my other role. As Support staff, I help people who use the site to…well…use the site LOL. When you contact Support about not being able to get your account set up, that’s me. When your work doesn’t post with the correct date or is acting otherwise wonky? I’m your girl.
We also do quite a bit of bug hunting. When someone reports a weird site behavior we’re on the job. We help our Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee figure out if it’s a problem with the site, a browser issue, or just a one-time gremlin we can’t track down. We also look for trends in what’s being reported so that we can let the people who need to know that there’s a problem, know that, well, there’s a problem.