OTW Staff in the News

These past two months have seen a spike in interviews with OTW staff by various media outlets. Here’s a rundown on some of the places online where you can read their discussions about fandom, fanworks, and the OTW.

  • Geek Girl Con did an interview with Anna Zola Miller, who serves on the Open Doors Committee. Anna talks about her increased perception of fandom history, the challenges the project has faced, her favorite archived item, and what she’s feeling fannish about.
  • Board member Francesca Coppa wrote Fandom: Open Culture Vs. Closed Platforms at OrgZine which also brings up the work of Open Doors and looked at the importance of fans’ ability to keep their work from disappearing from online sites. “The social networks of Web 2.0 are mostly for-profit, commercial enterprises; the web is no longer the loose network of university and government servers it was twenty years ago. Fans used to roll their own code and make their own webpages; now others own the ground beneath their feet. And the priorities of these businesses may or may not be the priorities of fans.”
  • Rebecca Tushnet discussed the legality of fanworks with Lauren Davis at io9 which formed the basis of a lengthy piece on this issue, required reading for anyone wanting to debate the topic, and sporting a nifty piece of fan art to boot.
  • Development & Membership staffer Aja Romano is delivering some excellent discussions of fandoms and fannish activities over at The Daily Dot. A notable recent piece provided recs to online sites for people wanting to find the next Fifty Shades of Grey, a badly needed guide if some of the rec lists appearing in the media over this summer are anything to go by.
  • Francesca Coppa and Tisha Turk of the OTW’s Vidding Committee were the guests on talk show Hearsay Culture on KZSU-FM, Stanford, 90.1 FM, a show which focuses on the intersection of technology and society. They discussed their personal histories in vidding, what transformative works and vids are, the work of the OTW, and what our legal team’s effort to secure a DMCA exemption for remixing is all about. Asked what they want the typical non-vidder to do, they exhort listeners to both know their rights and exercise them. (No transcript available).

852 Prospect: Coming Soon

Dear Sentinel fandom!

We’re writing to let you know that the import of 852 Prospect into the Archive of Our Own (which we announced in May) has been postponed until sometime in August. Our apologies for the delay!

The import has been rescheduled because of recent performance issues on the Archive (which our coders are hard at work fixing). We’re now waiting until the next code deploy before we import 852 Prospect, but Open Doors is still working to make sure it happens.

Thank you everyone for your patience, and if anyone has further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Open Doors.

AO3 / SSA = OTP <3

The OTW is delighted to welcome the SSA – the Smallville Slash Archive – to its new home within the Archive of Our Own. The Archivists of the SSA (most recently Danceswithgary) have worked hard in conjunction with ADT and Open Doors to make the SSA the first test case for our new mass importer – and the choice is both a symbolic and a practical one.

It’s symbolic because the SSA is a venerable old archive, a relic of an earlier moment in fannish time. The SSA was founded ten years ago, four days after the pilot episode of Smallville aired. Originally founded by Livia Penn and Calista Rose, for most of its life the SSA was hosted by Minotaur, a fan beloved in many fandoms and communities.

When Minotaur died unexpectedly in 2009, a coalition of fans (including Tallihensia and Elke Tanzer — thanks y’all!) worked with his family to ensure that the SSA archivists retained limited access to the site’s account on the server where the archive was hosted, but this didn’t include the ability to fix broken database code or updating the site.

The limits to the access and the broken code, in addition to the questionable life expectancy of the hosting, meant the archive’s survival was uncertain.They approached us shortly thereafter, and have been waiting patiently for us to build the functionality required to save this archive of more than 4700 stories. And that’s why this archive is a practical first test case for our mass importer — the import will preserve the stories if the archive should go offline, and will also give authors direct access to their stories while keeping them within the context of the SSA.

The SSA’s new home is here in the Smallville Slash Archive Collection on the AO3. Our coders have been able to set up a redirect from the original domain to the new urls, to help preserve the validity of old links, rec lists, bookmarks, etc. The redirect will only work from http://smallville.slashdom.net/ urls; sadly slashdom.com is no longer available for us to set redirects. Because the redirects will be set up to go to the version of the work imported with the SSA, if you have a duplicate on the Archive with with comments / kudos you want to keep, we suggest you keep both versions for now (if you delete the one imported with the SSA, then the redirect will break). Down the line, we’re planning to implement a way of merging two copies of the same work so you can deal with these!

The SSA Collection will be kept open for a while after import in order to allow authors who have existing versions of the imported works on the Archive to add their preferred version to the Collection. The imported stories will be set as visible to Archive users only by default; after you claim them, you can use the ‘edit works’ function to set them all to public at once (if you wish). For more information about what happens with imported works, check out Open Doors Questions and Answers. Please note: If you choose to orphan your works, you will want to check them over first and edit out any remaining identifying data.

If you have questions for the SSA mods (or you’d like to give them a bit of love for their hard work keeping the SSA alive) then you’ll find more information at the mod posts: SSA Migration to AO3 – Q&A (Livejournal) and SSA Migration to AO3 – Q&A (Dreamwidth).

We’re thrilled to be able to begin fulfilling one of our longstanding missions, preserving and protecting fanworks which are otherwise at risk of disappearance from the internet. It’s a privilege to begin with an archive which represents such a large contribution to fandom.

Mirrored from an original post on the Archive of Our Own.