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Published:
2019-10-03 11:00:53 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with SimK, who volunteers with the Translation Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I'm a translator, beta and the team coordinator for the Malay language translation team. We translate, among other things, news posts and announcements, as well as support sections for the OTW and AO3 such as the FAQ and Terms of Service. While there's not much fanfiction in Malay on the Archive, it's important that it remain accessible to non-English speakers, or anyone who has an easier time with their native language, especially sections that can help members use the site to their full enjoyment.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

When it comes to translating and beta-ing, I don't really have a set schedule and generally do it after work on weekdays. As a team coordinator I organize team meetings that I try to keep fairly regular, where we discuss terms and some of the more complicated translations we face. We work together to set standard terms in order to maintain consistency throughout our translations, but that isn't always easy. Colloquial Malay, which we use on an everyday basis, can differ very much from standard written Malay, and we often end up with long discussions about exactly how formal or "slangy" we should go.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I'm not living in Malaysia at the moment, and when I saw the recruitment notice I saw it as an excellent opportunity to maintain my command of Malay and to keep in touch with the language, especially living in a country now where almost no one speaks it. I've also been using the Archive almost since its inception; it's only right that I give back to the community that has given me so much joy over the years.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Finding out how much work goes on behind the scenes. Most people are familiar with the Archive, but aren't aware of the many other branches that the coexist with it, such as Fanlore, Transformative Works and Cultures, Open Doors and Legal Advocacy. Running all that takes a lot of work and it's just great to be a part of that.

Within the translation team itself, my favourite parts are the post-meeting chats where we talk about some of the stranger phrases we've had to translate, complain about Malay and English language conventions, and reminiscence about our Malaysian education system. Also sometimes just wrangling with a particularly tricky translation can be immensely satisfying. I really enjoy translating legalese, FAQs and any exciting announcements that the OTW and AO3 have to make, such as this year's Hugo Awards News Packet.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I read and write a lot of fanfic, and every now and then try my hand at a fanvid. I joined fandom in the early 2000s (when Geocities was still around!) and haven't left since. Over the years, I've cycled through various fandoms, making a [bad?] habit of arriving slightly too late once most of the excitement has passed. But as it goes in fandom, there's always someone still hanging around, or discovering it at the same time as you are, so it's never dull. I love rarepairs, and in my current fandom I'm trying to nurture a few pairing canoes, alongside the steady tugboat of my OTP.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2019-09-08 11:35:38 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Frost the Fox, who volunteers with the Volunteers & Recruiting Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I am a volunteer for the Volunteers & Recruiting committee within the OTW. The OTW is a non-profit organization, relying fully on its volunteers to achieve its goals. Volunteers need to have access to the tools required for their position, as well as training and support for these tools as required. My work with Volunteers & Recruiting helps with exactly that -- we setup our new volunteers with accounts on our organization wide tools and maintain the documentation regarding them in order to prevent confusion on how a particular tool functions, or how to do specific things within that tool.

In addition, whenever other committees require additional volunteers and request recruitment, we facilitate the setup of application forms on the OTW website and we manage the recruitment campaign throughout its duration. This includes organizing applications and sending them to committee chairs after the closing date. These activities help provide the infrastructure for the rest of the organization and is why I consider Volunteers & Recruiting one of the core pieces of how the OTW functions.

I also volunteer for the AO3 Policy & Abuse committee, which fields reports of Terms of Service violations on the Archive. Volunteering for both internal and external positions in the OTW is unique because it provides me with insight into how we are interfacing with each other inside the OTW, as well as how the OTW interfaces with users of its projects.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I typically start off my daily work with the OTW's internal chat platform, which allows me to effortlessly check up on things I missed overnight and see what others are up to, as well as comment on anything needing feedback within our committee or other committees. From there, I move on to our ticket queue, where I check for any new cases. From here is where things vary throughout the week as we have many different types of requests. Some examples are volunteering queries, induction of new personnel, and other tasks such as name changes.

After working on tickets, I move on to any other committee work, which also varies depending on the time of the year. Sometimes I might be facilitating a recruitment campaign, while other times I might be contributing to various committee projects such as implementation of new OTW-wide tools or auditing tool accesses. One thing I learned since joining the OTW is that no day is the same -- one day could be quiet, and the next could be full of different cases.

What made you decide to volunteer?

My first encounter with fanfiction was a number of years ago when I stumbled across a fic about a YouTuber I watched at the time. I only remember it vaguely, and I since have not been able to find it, but I remember at the time thinking it was surprisingly well written for some random story I stumbled across on the internet. It didn’t lead to anything at the time, but I like to think it planted a seed in my mind for later.

A few years after that, I stumbled across some fanfiction again on Reddit. The particular post linked to a fic on AO3. From there, I began surfing other stories on the site. I got hooked and haven’t stopped reading fanfiction since. Eventually, having read on the Archive for at least a couple months, I began to wonder, who runs this “Archive”? That was when I discovered the OTW, read more about it and its history, and fell in love. I’m a little bit of a workaholic by choice, and love contributing my free time supporting things I enjoy. So naturally, I applied for the first position that was available, and here I am!

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

The people! There is always socializing going on in the internal OTW chat, and it’s not hard to find a channel or group of people to discuss a common interest. Although I haven’t been a volunteer for as long as some, I feel very welcome everywhere, and my fellow volunteers are polite and helpful. I have never felt like I couldn’t ask someone a question. Everyone is passionate in what they do and I have only the utmost respect for everyone for being able to keep things light, and at the same time get things done.

What fannish things do you like to do?

Moderating Discord communities, attending (and more recently, staffing) conventions, and reading/writing are some of the fannish things I do. I love reading, both normal books and fanfiction, but have trouble finding the time to do it. In the realm of writing, I’ve written a decent amount of fanfiction which is lying in my Google Drive not doing much. I mostly work on it when I’m bored with nothing else to do, and perhaps some day I’ll have something worth releasing into the wild. Most of the time when I write, it’s in the form of documentation or a technical setting, but I still enjoy doing it a lot. There’s something rewarding about finding those perfect words to explain something.

At the end of the day, I have to say the most fannish thing I like to do is, of course, my OTW work. In my opinion, nothing is greater than my work for the OTW and the Archive. I’m proud to volunteer and I am happy to have had the chance to do so.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2019-08-11 11:34:26 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with telescopicpoems, who volunteers as a staffer on the AO3 Documentation Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I’ve been part of the AO3 Documentation Committee ("Docs" for friends and family) since late 2016. Docs is mainly responsible for writing, revising, and updating the FAQs and Tutorials found on AO3 (for the most part, it’s whatever can be found in the Archive FAQ). We’ve also been working with Open Doors on updating their user-facing documentation. Our goal is to help the people who use the Archive understand how everything works and use it to its full potential!

Other than that, I’m also an Open Doors staffer, still on my training wheels, learning to help keep both fanworks and fandom history alive.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

Open Doors work is more sporadic and it involves a lot of replying to emails, which I usually can do on (IRL) "work days". Every now and again I’ll have to do something that’s more labor intensive which I leave for the weekends (more often than not it has to do with new archives that we are looking to import).

My Docs work is done almost exclusively on weekends, as I need a lot of time to think things through. I usually have an ongoing task to work on, but if I’m waiting on a response from a beta or an author, I’ll pick up a new task: that can be drafting a document (which might mean either writing it from scratch or updating it) or doing beta. Other than the Alpha review round, which is done by one of our chairs, we have three rounds of beta checks, with each round consisting of two different types of beta that happen simultaneously.

On the first round we make sure everything is working as it's described and that a document is as accessible as we can possibly make it. That might mean using "fanworks" instead of "fanfics"; not assuming gender; or assuming that the user is based in the US, so using examples from, say, the Sailor Moon fandom instead of the Harry Potter fandom and so on.

Since that first round might end up with a document being significantly altered, it's only on the second round we start looking at it from a "format" point of view: we'll go over grammar and what's its reading level; if all the other documents that are linked in it are working fine; and if everything that you could possibly need referring to is being referred to.

Finally, there's the Free for All and External rounds. Free for All is the last chance for all Docs staffers to go over a document. External gives other committees a chance to read it so we can make sure that everything on there is nice and accurate.

Ideally, every Docs staffer should have gone through the documents at least once over the course of these three rounds. So it ends up being a lot of collaborative work, a lot of checking and double checking and discussing all sort of things, from testing issues to what should be capitalized and when.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I was actually away from fandom for quite a while before I decided to volunteer, even if I kind of kept tabs on it. On a random day, I spotted a post on Tumblr about volunteers being needed for some committees, Docs included, which made me think this could be a really awesome learning experience, as it has been! That and, to be honest, I also happened to be looking for a new job at the time and thought it would look good on my resumé.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

As cliché as it is, and, well, that doesn't exactly count as fun, but I love what the OTW stands for, that it’s made by and for fans, and that it’s a non-profit. (Weird as it sounds, it's important for me to know that no one's getting rich(er) at the expense of my work -- or that of any volunteer).

Not only that but since the busyness of life is what made me step away from fandom stuff in the first place, I also really like that volunteering for the OTW keeps me in touch with it, so it’s always part of my life one way or another, no matter how lazy and/or busy I’ve been to actually participate in it. Plus it really helps that there are also some really cool people in here!

What fannish things do you like to do?

I had a very intense fandom phase maybe ten years ago, but have been in an on and off relationship with it ever since, so I usually chase after whatever I’m fancying at the time, which varies a lot. I also have a special liking for those fandoms with six people and a shoelace, so there’s that. Generally speaking, I'm quite the lurker and for the most part I read fanfic, will maaaybe write something, and look at awesome fanart I could never make myself.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2019-07-11 11:28:02 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Chelsea Eidbo, who volunteers with the Development & Membership and Tag Wrangling Committees.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As a staff member of Development & Membership, DevMem for short, I help with the Membership Drives and fundraising; work with users to resolve issues surrounding donations; and brainstorm for fundraising ideas, future drives, drive graphics, and gifts for donors. As a Tag Wrangler, I help to organize user-created tags in a variety of fandoms to make them searchable and make all creators’ works easier to find.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

In a typical week, there is a weekly meeting with DevMem staff to discuss any upcoming projects, plan for any upcoming changes that might affect or interest users and work on graphics, banners and posts for the next Membership Drive. I wrangle in any spare time I have. I work with other wranglers on several mega fandoms as well as maintaining about twenty-five fandoms solo.

What made you decide to volunteer?

It’s not overly exciting. I had just quit my job and planned to spend the next two months living with my grandmother to help her out. I needed something to do in my downtime and wrangling seemed perfect. I joined DevMem two years later because I’d done fundraising as a teenager and was interested in doing it again and I was, and still am, highly motivated to make sure the OTW gets donations.

Plus, it’s fun!

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Walked right into that one. There is so much fun to be had! Watching the Membership Drives happen from the volunteer side of it is awesome because all the volunteers are in a positive mood and excited to see how much users care about the OTW and AO3, and that they want to donate to keep us up and running. In the October 2018 Drive, we introduced the AO3 heart-shaped stress balls which were a huge hit and I’m psyched to have one, even though my cat has co-opted it as his favorite toy.

What fannish things do you like to do?

So many things. I read and write fanfiction on AO3 endlessly. Lots of crack fic and fluffy, fluffy romance. Lately, I’ve been letting my OTW friends inspire me for the most crack-filled ships to write about. I also listen to and record podfic, and get my fill of drama by reading the Fanlore pages. Most of my free time is either volunteering or meandering through my favorite AO3 tags.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2019-06-23 11:18:59 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Kate Flanagan, who volunteers on the Fanlore Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

Fanlore is a wiki about fanworks and fan communities that anyone can edit. As a project of the OTW, Fanlore helps to fulfill our mission to preserve fannish history –- while also ensuring that as fans, we play an active role in the documentation of our own communities and creative activities.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

Fanlore is a big project supported by a small (but growing!) team of dedicated editors and committee members. This means that our work really varies from week to week, and we all get to pitch in on a wide range of tasks. We respond to inquiries from Fanlore users, address issues and feedback on the wiki itself, review potential violations of our editing policies, manage our social media channels, work on our user-facing help pages, and plan promotional events and challenges to engage new editors on Fanlore. We have staff meetings weekly, and I'm usually lurking on the OTW's internal chat platform throughout the week as things come up.

Fanlore is perpetually a work-in-progress –- that's kind of the point of a wiki! -- so there's always something new to address. One constant in our work is the need to be responsive to the users, editors, and volunteers who engage with and support Fanlore.

Balancing my OTW work with my other commitments is an ongoing juggling act. I typically commute to work by ferry/train/hiking in the woods, so I often find myself catching up on things while I'm on the go. While my committee work is rarely the same from week to week, I do try to always make time to edit Fanlore, or to at least check in on other editors' recent changes. It can be difficult to stay motivated when there's so much to balance, and when so much of your work is self-directed. I've found that the best way to stay engaged with and excited about my committee work is to make sure that I'm actively contributing to Fanlore as an editor. So that's a big part of my week, too!

What made you decide to volunteer?

As fans, I think we all have stories of moving from passively appreciating a text or project to actively participating in its continued life. That's definitely the story of my own involvement with Fanlore.

I'd been casually using Fanlore as a resource for years, and I would often come across pages that I knew were missing something cool or important about our histories and our creative practices. But for some reason, I never felt equipped to contribute. I've talked to a lot of other fans who have also felt daunted about editing Fanlore; I think that we often discount the value of our own knowledge as fans, and it can also be overwhelming to start editing a wiki without any prior experience. Once I started editing, though, I found that I really loved it -- and it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be!

While I wasn't an active editor when I joined the committee, I came to Fanlore with a deep interest in fandom history, and more specifically, in communal forms of preservation and archive-making within fan communities. As a fan and a researcher, I'm so glad to live in a world where Fanlore exists – and I was really excited at the opportunity to help sustain it as a member of the Fanlore Committee.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

There's a lot to love about volunteering for the OTW! It's really exciting to work in community with other fans, and to hear about their fannish interests and the work they're undertaking on their respective committees. The sense of community is something I wasn't necessarily expecting when I first started volunteering, and that's brought a lot of joy to my life over the last year.

Editing Fanlore is often a very fun (and funny) experience –- fans have wicked senses of humor, and you'll stumble across some real gems on the wiki.

I've also really come to enjoy sharing the OTW's mission and my own experiences as a volunteer with "non-fans" out in the world. The OTW is such a unique organization for so many reasons, and I've had great conversations with folks who aren't at all familiar with fanworks and fan culture, but who are really interested to hear about what we do and how we do it. That's definitely been another unexpectedly fun aspect of my experience as a volunteer.

What fannish things do you like to do?

Over the years, I've written meta and fic, organized fanworks challenges, recorded podfic, and beta read for other fans. But at this point, my main fannish activity is actually wiki editing! Ultimately, I'm a fan of fandom, and I really enjoy both the technical and creative aspects of wiki editing. In my experience, wiki editing is a type of fan labor that isn't often considered in conjunction with other fannish practices, like writing fanfiction and meta, drawing fanart, making fanvids, beta reading, and so on. I definitely think about fannish wiki editing as a practice of transformative fanwork, and it's become one of my favorite fannish things to do.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2019-05-17 10:29:43 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Arly Guevara, who volunteers with the Strategic Planning Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I work on implementation monitoring, where we try to support other committees in reaching the goals proposed by our current Strategic Plan. In an organization founded by and for fans, it's very important for us to make sure the plan follows the same principles, tailored to our needs so the OTW can keep being a place where we feel safe and validated.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I meet on Saturdays with the other members of Strategic Planning, and the rest of the week I work on any assignments I might have. If there are any projects where I'm involved, I might meet during the week to work on that.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I saw a post on the main page of the OTW website! I've been a fan of the OTW for many years now so I decided to take part in it. I was also encouraged by the fact that the job description aligned with the things I was learning at Vocational School at the time.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

I really like working with my teammates! It's great to meet people outside of my home country, learn about their own experiences and points of view. Besides that, it also feels great to be part of an organization I've admired for so long.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I. Read. Fanfiction. A lot of it. I really like to be involved with fanfic writers and be part of discussions/analysis, too. Besides that, I looove attending conventions and I'm trying my hand for the first time in cosplay (though I usually only do characters that have the same hair color as me, sorry, I'm lazy).


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2019-04-21 11:02:35 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Nrandom, who volunteers as a staffer in our Policy & Abuse and Tag Wrangling Committees.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As a member of the Policy & Abuse Committee, I respond to tickets sent in by users about issues like plagiarism, harassment, non-fanworks (works like prompt lists, fic searches, requests for a beta, or roleplay ads), as well as other violations of the Terms of Service. As a team, we do our best to help users with any issues they have while also ensuring that the values AO3 was founded on are upheld. I also get to do a lot of work with the Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee (AD&T), particularly in situations like last year, when the archive was experiencing a spam epidemic.

In addition to Policy & Abuse, I volunteer for the Tag Wrangling committee. This involves organising and linking tags together for easier filtering, often working with a team to get everything done. It’s a lot of fun to work with the other wranglers, and it’s always interesting to see how people are tagging their works! I get quite a few fic recommendations from this - my “Marked for Later” list is always substantially longer after a couple of hours spent wrangling. I also serve as a volunteer manager for the Tag Wrangling committee and complete some of the administrative tasks, such as training new wranglers and writing new guidelines and documentation where needed.

In general, I love that I can help the OTW behind the scenes through my work with the Tag Wrangling Committee, but that I also get the chance to work with our wonderful user base as a Policy & Abuse Volunteer.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

When I’m working on things for the OTW, I tend to start curled up in a blanket with a laptop, a cat, and a cup of tea. If I’m working on P&A cases, first I’ll check if there were any updates in my ongoing cases, before perusing the ticket queue and grabbing a few to work on that day. Each case is investigated and weighed equally, regardless of the number of tickets sent in, so we always have plenty to do. The P&A team is very friendly and collaborative, it’s a pleasure to work together to help users and to maintain the archive as a space where creators can post a variety of fanworks.

On days I’m working on wrangling tasks, I check my to-do lists to see if I have any tasks in progress or if there are any I would like to pick up, before choosing a couple of fandoms to work on and opening AO3 to look at new tags. I’m lucky enough to be on teams with other volunteers for some of the fandoms I wrangle, and it’s always fun to chat about everything as we work.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I started volunteering 2 years ago when I saw an advertisement for Tag Wrangling on the AO3 homepage, realised that I had the time, and thought it might be fun to help with the archive I frequented so often. Little did I know what a difference that decision would make in my life today. I’ve met some of my closest friends while volunteering, and have found an amazing fannish community to be a part of. A year ago I joined Policy & Abuse as well, drawn to the committee by the chance to be able to interact with and help users directly. Through that I’ve learned a lot about fandom, but I’ve also had the chance to work with a great team and develop customer service skills.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

I absolutely love the community of volunteers. In addition to our volunteer work, we often do things together like play games, share recs, and just generally flail about fannish things. I’ve made so many amazing friends.

Before I joined I never really engaged in fandom, but since joining I’ve learned quite a bit about fandom and the people in it. It’s exciting to be a part of a fannish community, and to be able to do my little part in keeping AO3 running.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I’ve always been primarily a reader of fanfic, which is what drew me, like many others, to AO3 in the first place. Some of my frequent fandoms are Harry Potter, Marvel, Yuri!!! On Ice, and Star Wars, but I tend to jump from fandom to fandom quite frequently. I joined fandom in 2013 and have since enjoyed learning about its history, from where a lot of current fandom practices have come about. Recently, I have also started recording podfics and subsequently flailing at fandom friends while editing.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2019-03-17 11:22:01 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Clark Seanor, who volunteers as a staffer in our Elections Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

Being in the Elections team in general means that you're responsible for the OTW's Board elections running -- and running smoothly. Voting Process Architects, or VPAs, help with the technical side: we investigate (and solve!) issues and make sure that processes are documented.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

In a typical week, I'll set aside some time to work on the tasks my team have distributed amongst ourselves. We're always working toward a goal. Up til recently part of this would have been a weekly team-wide meeting, but we're testing out an asynchronous meeting style to deal with more disparate time zones. So, VPAs meet once a week to discuss what we've done, then we report to the rest of the team and check their reports.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I decided to volunteer because I appreciate the work the OTW does as a whole. Fandom needs its own, not-for-profit spaces to thrive, and AO3 is a big part of that. In truth, the work of other teams is what inspired me to join mine: Accessibility, Design, & Technology for making things work, Legal for advocating for fan issues, wranglers for making the AO3 tag system possible. There are a lot of teams and a lot of people behind the scenes who all form a small part of what we do, and I find that amazing.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

The most fun thing about volunteering for me is talking to the people I've met through it. I know many people across many teams who I've learned a lot from and even made friends with. Though that isn't what I joined for, it's definitely been a factor in continuing to volunteer!

What fannish things do you like to do?

One of the big things I like to do is cosplay: my favourite ones I've done include Bucky Barnes and Tony Stark from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Bucky cosplay had a metallic-looking arm that was my first experience in foam armour, and the Tony cosplay had a 'working' arc reactor. I like the process of building cosplay: you learn something every time you build something new.

I've also built a few models of characters from books and graphic novels I've liked. The one I'm most proud of is still the first one I made -- a figure of the character Chris Shane from Lock In.

I also write a fair amount of fic. Most of it is gen, and most of it is Marvel, though I often write in smaller fandoms for fic exchanges. Fic is important to me because I get to write stories about the characters I love and imagine them in new scenarios. And sometimes other people like what I write too, which is always a good feeling.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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