Five Things Gloria L Said

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 Gloria L, who volunteers as a Tag Wrangling supervisor.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I’m one of the supervisors for the Tag Wrangling committee. We wrangle tags and tag wranglers, lol. Joke aside, we are responsible for inducting, advising and assisting/supporting our shiny Tag Wrangling volunteers and maintaining our guidelines and tutorials. It’s also our job to communicate with and help other OTW committees on matters related to tagging: for example, contacting tag wranglers and helping answer Support requests related to tag wrangling; doing tag mapping for Open Doors requests to help them import works from other archives/fan-sites with appropriate tags; helping AD&T on testing tag wrangling related features and so on. ;D

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

It depends on whether we’re recruiting.

When we’re not recruiting, I do lots of tasks on Friday and the weekend. As a supervisor I focus on administrative tasks, like handling hiatus/retirement requests from tag wranglers and doing check-ins for new wranglers to make sure they’re on the right track in training, or for returning wranglers to make sure everything is fine.

We usually do four rounds of recruiting in a year, but we have cut it to three now. When recruitment is coming, I do the tasks whenever I have free time to help the team to recruit and induct new wranglers.

I also help the Support committee with tickets related to tag wrangling when other tasks are not too urgent. Recently I’m learning to do the tag mapping for Open Doors requests. 😀

What made you decide to volunteer?

I have done some volunteer work in fan communities, but I hadn’t thought about volunteering for OTW at first. In fact, I had no idea what the OTW was and what was the relationship between the OTW and AO3. Besides, English is not my mother tongue.

Back in 2019, I noticed that the Tag Wrangling committee was specifically recruiting Chinese-speaking volunteers, so I decided to give it a try. Luckily, Tag Wrangling said yes to me. As time goes on volunteering, I know more and more about AO3 and OTW, and I learned lots of things that I hadn’t learned from real life. I’m more than happy that I’m part of it. 🙂

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

The communication. Our volunteer pool contains people from all over the world, and not everybody speaks English as their first language. Also, unlike English, my first language is a high-context language, and I lived many years in a high-context cultural environment, not to mention other cultural differences. Sometimes I’m worried that I step on others’ toes, and sometimes I’m not that straightforward, which makes people confused. I have to say, being an OTW volunteer and supervisor has honed my communication skills on and off work 😀

What fannish things do you like to do?

Enjoying fanworks and reviewing the canon when I found something new in fanworks. I do write some fanfics, but most of them are short one-shots. Hope I can write a longer fic one day XD


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 the comments. Or if you’d like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

Five Things
  1. beggar commented:

    im begging the tag wranglers to finally separate the arthurian literature fandom tag from the hot mess that is the arthurian mythology fandom tag stop making it redireeeecttttt. we dont care about bbc merlin

  2. mekare commented:

    Thank you for all you do! Tags are the lifeblood of AO3 and I’m so glad volunteers like you help organise them.