July 2011 Newsletter, Volume 51

Welcome to our July newsletter!

Fandom in the news

Communications has been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that fandom is well represented in the mainstream press during the sudden interest in fandom due to the end of the Harry Potter film series. We worked with Lev Grossman of Time magazine on The Boy Who Lived Forever, a feature article on fanfiction, and contributed to two NPR pieces, one on Pottermore and one on fanfiction.

Archive of Our Own

Accessibility, Design, & Technology (AD&T) did a major deploy and then a smaller one with some important bugfixes. We passed 200,000 works on the Archive, and users have already set up 21 prompt-based challenges! We’re continuing to work on training, performance improvements, browsing, challenge nominations, translations, art hosting, and many other projects. In addition, coders are currently running Bug Count Bingo, which has been a fun way to get everyone active in sorting through and working on our existing known bugs.

The Content committee is starting work on art hosting policies. Suggestions are welcome; expect a discussion draft policy sometime soon.


Legal continues to respond to various queries from fans. We also worked with Australian fans and lawyers to submit comments protesting Australia’s most recent attempts to censor the Internet.

Transformative Works and Cultures

The Journal team is working hard to put two issues through production: a general issue, to be released on September 15, 2011, and a combined special issue on Textual Echoes and Race & Ethnicity in Fandom, due out on November 15, 2011. The Symposium Blog continues its regular posting schedule.

We recently issued calls for papers for two special issues: “Transnational Boys’ Love Fan Studies” and “Appropriating, Interpreting, and Transforming Comic Books.” Submissions for both issues are due in April 2012.

Meanwhile, the Webmasters and Systems committees have been working behind the scenes to upgrade the TWC website. We’ve fixed a bug that was causing the page layout to break in some browsers, and we’ve increased the default font size to make the journal a bit easier on the eyes.


The Vidding committee are reorganizing much of our project into a broader “Fan Video” category. New web pages including a fan video bibliography, evaluations of hosting/streaming sites, directions for streaming on your own site, and how to add translations and captions to your video will be available soon!

Volunteers & Recruiting

Volunteers & Recruiting (VolCom) is planning for the end-of-term evaluation process: this year, we’re planning on conducting the Still Willing to Serve process via a web-based survey, which will be faster for staffers to respond to (tickyboxes!) and give VolCom information in a format that’s consistent and easy to analyze. (This process was formerly conducted via e-mail.) VolCom met with International Outreach to discuss adapting their internal survey of translators for this purpose, and is working with committee chairs to devise questions that are relevant to each committee’s needs. In similar news, at the request of Tag Wrangling, we are planning to send a re-enlist email to current tag wrangling volunteers, to check that our records are up to date on who is active.

VolCom has been working with several other committees to develop and test a new internal forum to encourage cross-committee brainstorming and socializing among volunteers and staffers; this will be rolling out in stages soon.

VolCom is continuing to work with other committees to offer monthly training sessions the hour before org-wide meetings. This month, Kylie, testing lead for AD&T, led a session on introductory-level testing.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions or suggestions.

  1. ratcreature commented:

    Did the Fanlore committee recruiting go well? I saw the post in the middle of July, but nothing in this update as to whether they found new people or not yet.

    • Rachel Barenblat commented:

      Hi ratcreature — Rachel here from the wiki committee. We’ve had some response to our recruiting post; I know that at least one new member is interested in joining the committee, which is great.

      (That said, we would be happy to have more people joining us as well, so we’re going to keep reaching out, too.)