January 2020 Newsletter, Volume 142


This coming February 15 will be our sixth annual celebration of International Fanworks Day! International Fanworks Day, or IFD, was first celebrated in 2015 to honor the anniversary of AO3 passing the 1 million fanworks milestone. We’re very excited to continue this tradition by celebrating the fanworks that we spotlight, share, and advocate for.

Communications announced the upcoming holiday with an IFDrabble/IFDrawble challenge: Characters react to discovering fanworks they are in. Translation has been hard at work translating this and upcoming posts about IFD into a whopping 29 languages. Meanwhile, Fanlore is preparing to launch their IFD Fanlore Challenge in conjunction with IFD as their first event of the year. Stay tuned for more information about IFD festivities coming soon!


The AO3 broke records this holiday season with 281 million page views in the first week of January and 1.12 billion page views in the month of December. To help tackle intermittent server troubles and keep up with all that traffic, new servers will be coming soon! \o/ Accessibility, Design and Technology also unveiled several code deploys, including an update to our rich text editor, support for the HTML5 audio and video tags, a tweak to how we handle language selection, and some less confusingly labeled buttons.

Open Doors is in the final stages of preparations for their Yahoo Groups Rescue Project with the Board of Directors and the Legal committee, and they hope to begin working with Yahoo Groups moderators to import their Groups to the AO3 in February. They have a long queue of Groups waiting for import, so please be patient if your Group is on the wait list! Verizon has now deleted all data associated with Yahoo Groups, but any moderators who downloaded the contents of their Yahoo Groups in advance of the deletion deadline are still welcome to contact Open Doors about importing them to the AO3. Additionally, Open Doors announced the upcoming import of the Watchmen Kinkmeme to the AO3, with thanks to Communications and Translation!

Policy & Abuse received about 1,250 tickets in December and over 19,000 tickets in the year 2019. Their ticket count for 2018 was around 11600, so that’s quite an increase! They will likely break 20,000 tickets in 2020, while just four years ago their yearly ticket count was only around 5,300! Meanwhile, Support received 1,474 tickets in December and 15,763 total tickets in the year 2019. Tag Wrangling has also been fielding huge numbers, wrangling 216,000 tags in November, 240,000 tags in December, and an astonishing 2.7 million tags in the year 2019.


Strategic Planning has reached the end of the OTW’s 2017-20 Strategic Plan. This was the OTW’s first ever strategic plan and allowed the OTW to clarify each committee’s role and goals, develop a budget and financial policies, and discuss options for improving the organization’s governance structure, among other goals. A big shoutout to all OTW volunteers for their hard work and dedication carrying the plan out to the end!

Over the holiday and year-end period, Fanlore ran several internal editing chats that focused on adding to areas that are underrepresented on the Fanlore wiki. On December 17, they marked the one-year anniversary of the Tumblr NSFW Content Purge with a post inviting fans to share their memories of Tumblr fandom before and after the purge, which was widely reblogged with stories and thoughts. They also spread the word about the 8tracks shutdown and encouraged fans to archive their fanmixes and link them on Fanlore.

Legal celebrated Copyright Week with a Five Things post featuring Legal staffer Stacey Lantagne. They also cooperated with Board to add the OTW’s support to savedotorg.org, a petition to stop the sale of the .org domain, used by us and most non-profit organizations.


As of 14 January the OTW has 784 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: 1 Fanlore staffer, 2 Translation staffers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 Tag Wrangler

Departing Committee Chairs: Janita Burgess (Communications)
Departing Committee Staff: Calescent (AO3 Documentation), Janita Burgess (Communications), 1 Finance staffer, Ilona van der Vegt (Policy & Abuse), Mars (Policy & Abuse), & 2 other Policy & Abuse staffers, 1 Support staffer, Megan Diane (Volunteers & Recruiting)
Departing Communications Volunteers: Atiya B, Elin and 1 other volunteer
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: Oxymora
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Kay and 7 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: 8 volunteers

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


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