A Week in the Life of a Tag Wrangler

Written by Franzeska Dickson

Tag wranglers are our biggest pool of volunteers, with over 100 wranglers around the world working to organise the Archive’s 100,000+ tags. The wranglers put in a varying amount of work, each wrangler deciding for themselves how much time they can dedicate to wrangling. We now profile a week in the life of one of our… more dedicated wranglers…

Monday: Look at all those fandoms without wranglers. How is InuYasha still missing a wrangler?! I’d better do some emergency wrangling before it gets any more out of control. That’s funny: these character names aren’t in Japanese order. Or are they? Maybe the original manga uses names in a weird order. I’d better go look at Wikipedia…

5 hours later:


Tuesday: 20 minutes spent making a google docs spreadsheet of all the Japanese names. 5 minutes spent wrangling all the pairing and character tags now that I’ve decided on a standard format. 5 hours spent catching up on all the Tuesday tv shows. (What’s up with that, US networks? Why is everything on Tuesday?!)

Wednesday: Hey, I know that obscure 19thC novel! I don’t remember this character though. Maybe there’s a copy on Project Gutenberg…

Thursday: Robin Hood doesn’t have a wrangler. That should be easy to wrangle… Huh. There’s a megafandom page on the internal wiki.

Just how many Robin Hood adaptations are there anyway?! And they all spell the names differently! At least the megafandom team has a spreadsheet.

Friday: Characters and pairings seem pretty well under control, but my fandoms are full of freeform tags. Hey, ‘Bob’ isn’t a character in my fandom. Who’s Bob? I wonder if this is on Fanlore

Saturday: Dreamwidth’s content search is awesome! I can search for my name, and my new fandom, and that weird word from word a day that I’m pretty sure no one has actually used in any posts. Look, someone posted about tag wrangling. And they have a question. That I know the answer to!

Sunday: This series isn’t even on Wikipedia. Maybe if I google it, I can find something. Hey, a bunch of the characters are listed on the TV Tropes page…

What do you mean it’s Monday already?!

Archive of Our Own, Spotlight
  1. Cesy commented:

    I particularly liked the TVTropes mention at the end.

    Except you didn’t mention the bit where you go, “Wow, I’ve never heard of that pairing before, but it sounds awesome. 1 Work. I’ll give it a try,” and five hours and six tags later you realise you haven’t slept and you have work tomorrow, but you have a new OTP?

    • Helka Lantto commented:

      Ahahaa, yes, tag wrangling is dangerous business. 😀