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 Frost the Fox, who volunteers with the Volunteers & Recruiting Committee.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
I am a volunteer for the Volunteers & Recruiting committee within the OTW. The OTW is a non-profit organization, relying fully on its volunteers to achieve its goals. Volunteers need to have access to the tools required for their position, as well as training and support for these tools as required. My work with Volunteers & Recruiting helps with exactly that — we setup our new volunteers with accounts on our organization wide tools and maintain the documentation regarding them in order to prevent confusion on how a particular tool functions, or how to do specific things within that tool.
In addition, whenever other committees require additional volunteers and request recruitment, we facilitate the setup of application forms on the OTW website and we manage the recruitment campaign throughout its duration. This includes organizing applications and sending them to committee chairs after the closing date. These activities help provide the infrastructure for the rest of the organization and is why I consider Volunteers & Recruiting one of the core pieces of how the OTW functions.
I also volunteer for the AO3 Policy & Abuse committee, which fields reports of Terms of Service violations on the Archive. Volunteering for both internal and external positions in the OTW is unique because it provides me with insight into how we are interfacing with each other inside the OTW, as well as how the OTW interfaces with users of its projects.
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
I typically start off my daily work with the OTW’s internal chat platform, which allows me to effortlessly check up on things I missed overnight and see what others are up to, as well as comment on anything needing feedback within our committee or other committees. From there, I move on to our ticket queue, where I check for any new cases. From here is where things vary throughout the week as we have many different types of requests. Some examples are volunteering queries, induction of new personnel, and other tasks such as name changes.
After working on tickets, I move on to any other committee work, which also varies depending on the time of the year. Sometimes I might be facilitating a recruitment campaign, while other times I might be contributing to various committee projects such as implementation of new OTW-wide tools or auditing tool accesses. One thing I learned since joining the OTW is that no day is the same — one day could be quiet, and the next could be full of different cases.
What made you decide to volunteer?
My first encounter with fanfiction was a number of years ago when I stumbled across a fic about a YouTuber I watched at the time. I only remember it vaguely, and I since have not been able to find it, but I remember at the time thinking it was surprisingly well written for some random story I stumbled across on the internet. It didn’t lead to anything at the time, but I like to think it planted a seed in my mind for later.
A few years after that, I stumbled across some fanfiction again on Reddit. The particular post linked to a fic on AO3. From there, I began surfing other stories on the site. I got hooked and haven’t stopped reading fanfiction since. Eventually, having read on the Archive for at least a couple months, I began to wonder, who runs this “Archive”? That was when I discovered the OTW, read more about it and its history, and fell in love. I’m a little bit of a workaholic by choice, and love contributing my free time supporting things I enjoy. So naturally, I applied for the first position that was available, and here I am!
What’s the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?
The people! There is always socializing going on in the internal OTW chat, and it’s not hard to find a channel or group of people to discuss a common interest. Although I haven’t been a volunteer for as long as some, I feel very welcome everywhere, and my fellow volunteers are polite and helpful. I have never felt like I couldn’t ask someone a question. Everyone is passionate in what they do and I have only the utmost respect for everyone for being able to keep things light, and at the same time get things done.
What fannish things do you like to do?
Moderating Discord communities, attending (and more recently, staffing) conventions, and reading/writing are some of the fannish things I do. I love reading, both normal books and fanfiction, but have trouble finding the time to do it. In the realm of writing, I’ve written a decent amount of fanfiction which is lying in my Google Drive not doing much. I mostly work on it when I’m bored with nothing else to do, and perhaps some day I’ll have something worth releasing into the wild. Most of the time when I write, it’s in the form of documentation or a technical setting, but I still enjoy doing it a lot. There’s something rewarding about finding those perfect words to explain something.
At the end of the day, I have to say the most fannish thing I like to do is, of course, my OTW work. In my opinion, nothing is greater than my work for the OTW and the Archive. I’m proud to volunteer and I am happy to have had the chance to do so.
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you’d like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.