November 2019 Newsletter, Volume 141


This month, two of the OTW’s projects celebrated major milestones, as Fanlore hit 50,000 pages and AO3 turned 10 years old.

Communications made a series of posts marking the AO3’s 10-year anniversary, which fell on November 14. We spoke to a number of staffers who have been with the OTW since the early days about some of the challenges they had faced, as well as about their favorite parts of working for the OTW and some of their predictions for the future. The hard work of the Translation committee meant that we were able to publish these posts in 24 languages.

A little later in the month, we were happy to see the 50,000th page published on the Fanlore wiki. The committee marked the occasion with social posts across Tumblr, Twitter and Dreamwidth as well as a post on AO3 news. Check out the post to see the special banner that the team’s graphic designers created for the occasion!

Fanlore’s next goal is to reach one million edits; they are already at 900,000 and climbing. If you are interested in contributing, you can find more information at Fanlore’s Portal for new visitors.


The Accessibility, Design and Technology committee and the Systems committee have been dealing with some intermittent site slowness on the AO3 over the past few weeks. This is due to strain on the Elasticsearch servers, which became more acute under the heavy traffic of the American Thanksgiving weekend. The OTW had already been planning to purchase new servers and these have now been ordered (as of 27 November) but we ask for users’ patience over the next few months until they are delivered and installed. In the meantime, we are working to upgrade the Elasticsearch software in the hope that this will at least alleviate the issue.

We’d like to thank everybody whose generous donations enabled this purchase: this is a real example of what we are able to do with the money entrusted to us by our users.

Continuing the work they began last month, our Open Doors staffers have been working hard (in collaboration with the Board of Directors and the Legal committee) to preserve as much content as possible in advance of the Yahoo Groups closure, currently scheduled for December 14. This work has included expanding archive import procedures to include procedures for importing Yahoo Groups and/or storing their contents.

The Tag Wrangling team created a new team of Chinese-speaking wranglers, who work to translate tags for the rest of the committee. They’re also working to standardize these translations so that the same terms remain consistent regardless of who is working on them. That was in November; in October, the wranglers handled around 244,000 tags in more than 34,000 fandoms!

Meanwhile, Policy & Abuse handled 2,000 tickets in October and Support around 1,200 tickets.


A few additional updates from our other committees: the Board has been working with Legal, Systems and Finance to explore how we can push back against the recent sale of “.org” domains to a private company. Translation conducted a very successful recruitment round, receiving an unprecedented number of applications and bringing the team to a total of 236 volunteers!
Lastly, Transformative Works and Cultures is working hard on the finishing touches for their next issue, which will be published on December 15.


Volunteers & Recruiting: As of 27 October the OTW has 812 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Chairs: Aenya, AliceJane (Policy & Abuse)
New Committee Staff: ami, BooksAreLife, Cerberusia, Haunt_Haunt_Haunt, interstitial, Mars, Seakittens & Zixin Zhang (all Policy & Abuse) and 10 other Policy & Abuse staffers, Beth Boisvert, Gillian Webster, Irina, Jen S, Megan Q, Zoë Renee (all Tag Wrangling) and 2 other Tag Wrangling staffers, Laure (Translation), Hanna White (AO3 Documentation)
New Fanlore Volunteers: Marion McGowan
New Translation Volunteers: Aqilah Norain, aruna, Beste Karataş, Bruna, Cynassa, Cypher, dxdim, Felix Engler, Joyce Zhao, Lauritz, lemoncave, Masha Yankovych, Maya Habee, Melifluo, Reptile Ruler, siobhrag, solrosan, soumyaa, Tygermine, Vincent, wildflower01, Winchester1989, Zoey and 20 other Translation volunteers

Departing Committee Staff: SarkaS (Translation), Cyn (Support), Muriel Kalliokoski (Policy & Abuse), Makari Crow (AO3 Docs), Ona Lu (Legal), Aris Gemenetzis (Fanlore), 1 AO3 Docs Staffer, 2 Communications staffers, 4 Development & Membership staffers, 1 Fanlore staffer, 1 Legal staffer, 1 Translation staffer
Departing Communications Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Development & Membership Volunteers: 1 volunteer
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: BeautifulMistake3, cest_what, Flynn Germain, Giana, Hannah Miro, Minkster, Sam Bailey and 25 other Tag Wranglers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Anya Z, SimK
Departing TWC Volunteers: 2 volunteers

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


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