10 years of AO3

Ten Years of AO3: james_

When asked to write up a few words about his time with the OTW and AO3 in particular, james_ had so much to say that he had trouble sticking to the word count. (He’d like to thank Priscilla for helping him to edit!) Below you can read about some of the tougher times that james_ has seen during his time as a member of the Systems and Accessibility, Design and Technology committees. You can also hear about the rewards he’s gained from his hard work to keep our vision clear and our morale high. As you can see below, james_ was amongst the staffers who accepted the Hugo Award for Best Related Work on behalf of AO3.

Volunteering for the OTW in the early days was exciting, stressful, exhausting, and demoralising, but also worth it. At that time we were working with five servers and we were constantly adjusting the load between the few systems we had. We reached out to our friends at Dreamwidth (thanks, Mark) and they helped us. We were learning even as the tsunami of growing AO3 traffic beat down upon our shore.

While there are always people willing to try and pull you down, they are greatly outnumbered by those supporting us and buoying us up. I am grateful to each person who donates to the OTW. Your donations mean that we can afford the machines that keep the Archive running stably, and that nowadays I rarely get woken in the middle of the night due to unexpected downtime. Read More

10 years of AO3

Ten Years of AO3: Rebecca Sentance

Rebecca Sentance is the chair for Fanlore, a staffer for Docs, and a layout editor for Transformative Works and Cultures. We’re hearing from her as the second part in our five-part series celebrating ten years since the launch of AO3. Whilst she hasn’t been at the OTW quite as long as our previous poster, Francesca Coppa, Rebecca has made a big name for herself as an OTW volunteer involved in many of our different committees. Here is what she has to say about her experiences working for us:

I first became involved with the OTW as a volunteer in 2015, but I’d wanted to volunteer for years before that. A combination of being a full-time student and always just missing the window for recruitment kept me from doing it until the summer after I’d finished my Masters degree. I’d finally decided to get serious about volunteering, and had set up an alert on the OTW Volunteering page to monitor it for any changes. The first committee that opened recruitment after I did that was the AO3 Documentation Committee (Docs for short). I applied, and the rest is history! Read More

10 years of AO3

Ten Years of AO3: Francesca Coppa

We’re beginning our 10th anniversary celebration series about the AO3 by hearing from Francesca Coppa. Francesca is a founding member of the OTW and its longest-running board member (serving for five years). She is still with the OTW today.

Francesca was very enthusiastic about contributing to this series! Here’s what she had to say:

I have been in school nearly all my life and the OTW has been, hands down, the best school I ever went to: like they say, “everything I really needed to know I learned in the OTW!” I have such fond memories of those early days in the summer of 2007, after the call for an Archive of Our Own. The meetings lasted for hours! Naomi Novik and Michele Tepper were evaluating technological tools and drawing up user experience blueprints, and Rebecca Tushnet and Susan Gibel were working on our nonprofit paperwork and creating the legal and institutional structures governing our existence. (I think Susan is the unsung hero of the early OTW.) Read More