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Published:
2021-07-22 13:15:38 -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 Fiona M, who volunteers as an AO3 Documentation staffer.

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

I’m an AO3 Documentation Committee staff, so I’m part of the team that writes the AO3 FAQs and any other documentation you might find on the Archive, like tutorials.

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

My weeks vary a lot depending on what kind of tasks I’ve taken on, and what stage the document is at. Some weeks I put in a lot of hours, and some weeks I don’t put in a ton of time.

Usually I start at the beginning of the week by filling out our check-in and catching up on what the other staff are working on. I also check to see if any documents have been moved to the open (“free-for-all”) beta read stage, so I know if I need to make time for a beta read during the week.

Then, I work on the tasks I have assigned to me. That might be drafting a new document, or beta-reading someone else’s document. I might be testing out new archive features and taking notes so I can write about them, discussing grammar and phrasing issues with other staff, checking HTML code, or any of the other various steps needed to take an FAQ document from the beginning of drafting to the end point of uploading new/updated documents to AO3.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I really wanted to be able to give back to the organization that has given me so much. I am super passionate about the importance of fanfic, both in my personal life, and as an art form in general. Transformative works have been quite literally transformative for me. I’ve read legitimately life-changing fics, as well as made some wonderful friends through reading and writing fic.

I had been keeping my eye on volunteer postings for a while, and the kind of work that Docs does aligned well with my skills. I’ve now been a volunteer for almost two years, and I love getting to have a hand in helping others understand how to use the site.

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

I’ve had to learn a lot about Archive features that I didn’t know how to use! When you’re suddenly testing all the instructions on how to run a Prompt Meme, for example, first you have to quickly learn what a Prompt Meme is! But that’s been a wonderful challenge that I enjoy very much. Being an AO3 Docs staffer has made me so much more knowledgeable about all the features the site offers and everything that users can do.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I write a lot of fanfic, mostly for sitcom fandoms. I read fanfic almost every day as well, whether I’m rereading old favourites, or looking for new fics. I also run a tiny Tumblr blog where I rec fics, write meta and just in general discuss my favourite characters.


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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Kirk and Spock and the Enterprise

The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive, a Star Trek fanfiction archive focusing on the relationship between Kirk and Spock, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive was built on the eFiction software platform, which hasn't been updated since 2005. In its current version, it is no longer supportable, nor supported by the developer, and is subject to constant security attacks. The archive moderator felt that the Archive of Our Own offered the best path forward to preserve these works.

The purpose of the Open Doors Committee’s Online Archive Rescue Project is to assist moderators of archives to incorporate the fanworks from those archives into the Archive of Our Own. Open Doors works with moderators to import their archives when the moderators lack the funds, time, or other resources to continue to maintain their archives independently. It is extremely important to Open Doors that we work in collaboration with moderators who want to import their archives and that we fully credit creators, giving them as much control as possible over their fanworks. Open Doors will be working with Killa to import The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. Eventually links to the old site will redirect to the collection on AO3, which can be searched and filtered in order to locate individual imported works.

We will begin importing works from The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive to the AO3 after July 2021.

What does this mean for creators who have work on The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. We will then permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive.
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the archive mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive!

- The Open Doors team and Killa


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:
2021-07-13 13:39:17 -0400
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Organization for Transformative Works Elections News: Cast Your Vote!

The Elections season is in full swing! We have chats with candidates coming up soon. You can also find links to the candidates' answers to your questions at the bottom of this post.

Chats

There will be four public chats, all of which will last 90 minutes. All of them will have 2 candidates in attendance. Chats will take place in our public chatroom.
They are scheduled for:

During these chats, chat attendees will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions not already covered in their platforms, bios, and Q&A, as well as to ask individual questions of specific candidates. New questions will only be accepted for the first hour of the scheduled chat time to make sure candidates have time to finish them all.

We hope that you can join us for one or all of these chats!

Please note that though the link to the public chatroom is already active, chatting capabilities will not be enabled until approximately half an hour before the chats begin. Read on to learn more about using Discord.

  • On the login page, you'll need to provide a screen name.
  • Once you enter the server, you'll find a list of users on the right and a list of chat rooms on the left. Settings are available via the gear icon on the lower left, near your screen name; there you can choose, among other options, whether you prefer a dark or light chat room appearance.
  • There are three rooms available to chat attendees who are not candidates or Elections Committee staffers: general, candidate_chats, and open_chat.
    • General is where you'll find a list of rules for the chats. Please read through these carefully before entering the other two rooms.
    • Candidate_chats is where the candidates will answer questions and debate amongst themselves. Only the candidates and moderator will be able to chat in this room.
    • Open_chat is where all attendees can participate and talk to each other. We ask that you try to stay on topics related to the election. A moderator will be in the room, so if you have a question for the candidates, you can signal the moderator with o/, the candidate's name, and the question. Use o// if it's a follow-up question to the current discussion.

Q&A

When we posted the Board candidates' bios and platforms, we asked the public to submit additional questions for them. Once again, our sincere thanks to everyone who did so! We have been posting groups of questions as the candidates finished them, and 2 have been posted so far. For the categories that have not yet been posted, the dates they will be posted are listed in parentheses.
To navigate answers by individual candidate, please use the links below:

The following is a list of the topics covered by the questions. Clicking on a topic will take you to the tag containing all the candidates' answers on that topic.

To read all the posts regarding Q&A, simply select the 2021 Q&A tag.


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:
2021-07-07 09:55:25 -0400
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OTW recruitment banner by Blair

Do you want to rescue at-risk fan archives? Do you know MySQL? Would you like to help wrangle AO3 tags? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Open Doors Staff - closing Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 30 applications]
  • Open Doors Technical Volunteer - closing Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 30 applications]
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteer - closing Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 100 applications]
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteer (Russian) - closing Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 35 applications]

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our email address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

 

Open Doors Staff

Are you interested in the rescue and preservation of fanworks? Enjoy coordinating projects and liaising with people? Still guiltily--or not so guiltily--love the first fanwork that opened your eyes to fandom?

Open Doors is a committee dedicated to preserving fanworks in their many native formats, and is looking for volunteers to support this goal. The work we do preserves fan history, love, and dedication to fandom: we keep online archives from going down, divert fanzines from the trash, and more.

If you're interested, click on through for a fuller description of what we're looking for and the time commitment.

Applications are due Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 30 applications]

 

Open Doors Technical Volunteer

Do you know MySQL and want to rescue at risk fan archives?

The Open Doors project receives many requests to rescue fan sites which are at risk of disappearing because their owners can no longer maintain them. The sites we import to the Archive Of Our Own range from database-driven archives based on common software packages like eFiction and Automated Archive, to hand-coded HTML sites that are over twenty years old!

As a technical volunteer for Open Doors, you will process the contents of legacy sites to do the following:

  • analyse the original data to find all the content and metadata needed for the import
  • remove spam, legacy navigation and personal information from HTML files
  • convert tags to official AO3 tags as specified by the Tag Wrangling team
  • ensure chapters are correctly combined into complete works
  • resolve duplicates, such as works already imported to AO3 by their creators or previous imports
  • convert the cleaned data to MySQL tables in a standard format that can be ingested automatically into the Archive

As the person responsible for ensuring that all the content from the original site is correctly imported to the AO3, you will have an excellent eye for detail and an ability to work independently within the rules of Open Doors. You will also liaise regularly in chat with other Open Doors volunteers, keeping them up to date with your progress on your assigned tasks.

Applications are due Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 30 applications]

 

Tag Wrangling Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Shěn Wēi/Zhào Yúnlán with ABO Dynamics, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and fill in our application form. There will also be a short questionnaire that will help us assess whether you have the skills and attributes that will lead to your success in this role.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. For this role, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only, which will change each recruitment round. Please see the application for which fandoms are in need.

Wranglers need to be fluent in English, but we welcome applicants who are also fluent in other languages, especially af Soomaali (Somali), Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), Español (Spanish), Italiano (Italian), Polski (Polish), Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), Українська (Ukrainian), తెలుగు (Telugu), ไทย (Thai) and 中文 (Chinese) — but help with other languages would be much appreciated!

Applications are due Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 100 applications]

 

Tag Wrangling Volunteer (Russian)

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that's Roque Alva/Richard Oakdell romance, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

If you're a fluent Russian speaker who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and fill in our application form. There will also be a short questionnaire that will help us assess whether you have the skills and attributes that will lead to your success in this role.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. We’re currently looking for applicants who are fluent in both English and Russian. The work will involve both regular Tag Wrangling work and translating tags from Russian into English.

Applications are due Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 23:59 UTC [or after 35 applications]

Apply at the volunteering page!


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:
2021-07-04 12:26:37 -0400
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Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works

I. ELECTIONS ARE COMING

Elections is happy to announce that this year's Board of Directors election will be contested, with 4 declared candidates running for 2 open seats. Bios and platforms for all 4 candidates are now available at the Elections website with Q&A responses forthcoming. Bios and platforms have been translated by Translation into 21 languages, while news posts regarding the election are being translated into 26 languages. The election will take place August 13th - 16th, and anyone who became an OTW member by June 30th is eligible to vote! To ensure that everyone interested in voting is eligible to do so, Development & Membership ran a mini membership drive from June 24th - 27th advertising the election and the requirement to become a member in order to vote.

II. AT THE AO3

Systems is pleased to announce that they have installed two new archive servers, which bring capacity and performance improvements to AO3! Accessibility, Design and Technology posted about the growing traffic at the site and how it compared to growth in prior years. (Spoiler alert: It's grown a lot.)

Meanwhile, with help from Communications and Translation, Open Doors announced the imports of Weaver of Dreams, Land of Dreams, and Sarek and Amanda Archive.

In May, Tag Wrangling handled more than 440,000 tags across more than 44,000 fandoms -- at a rate of nearly a thousand tags per active wrangler! At the time of this writing, so far in June, Policy & Abuse had received approximately 1500 tickets, while Support was on track to receive around 1300, on par with their monthly average for the last three months.

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Fanlore held a very fun and successful Bingo Challenge -- thank you to everyone who took part! They are now well underway with planning and editing pages for our next themed month, Fandom in Colour, which will be advertised on their social media channels in July. They also published two more Meet the Team features with Social Media & Outreach staffer Masha and Gardener Auntags.

The Board of Directors will be holding another public meeting on July 11th at 16:00 UTC (what time is that for me?) to discuss their prospective new officer roles -- check Twitter closer to the time for the link to join!

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 24 May to 24 June, Volunteers & Recruiting received 99 new requests, and completed 90, leaving us with 27 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 June 2021, the OTW has 1,007 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Chairs: Kate Sanders (Strategic Planning) and Ranowa (Policy & Abuse)
New Committee Staff: Allegra, Shyamala Parthasarathy (both Communications), and 1 TWC staffer

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Elections staffer; BooksAreLife and tarael2020 (both Policy & Abuse); 1 Support Staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: crimsonherbarium, Emyn Nefydd, Stay and 6 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Cageot, Ellisa_SS, Ely_Baby, tezzin and 3 other volunteers

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


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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In May of last year, we posted a look at the Archive’s traffic numbers, which had increased rather dramatically early in the year (most likely for pandemic-related reasons). We now have the numbers for the whole year and can confirm that yes, people sure did consume a lot of fanworks in 2020! We can also provide a brief update on traffic numbers for the first quarter of 2021.

 

Daily traffic in 2020

A chart showing daily traffic in 2020. Lowest records are around 35 million, highest around 58 million.

Image: A chart of AO3 traffic in millions of page views per day, for each month of 2020. Traffic consistently peaks on Sundays, creating monthly lines with hills and valleys. For January through March, the lines cluster around 35 to 40 million page views; the other months are clustered noticeably above that, between 45 and 55 million, with December’s Sunday peaks reaching closer to 60 million.

Traffic in March, represented by the dashed green line in the chart above, began rising sharply mid-month. The six months after that were characterized by higher traffic overall, and less of a pronounced contrast between the work week and the weekend.

The lowest number on record was 31.3 million page views on Monday, January 13, with a typical Sunday at that time racking up around 43 million. From April to September, the numbers meandered between roughly 45 million and 51 million page views.

Only in late October, traffic started increasing above the new normal, with a series of record highs in November, shown in orange. December, has always been the busiest month for the Archive, and 2020 was no exception. Most notable are two drastic traffic slumps on December 24 and December 31, with a veritable mountain of page views between those holidays. Barely fitting on the graph, the record for 2020 was reached on Sunday, December 27, with 61.1 million page views.

📈 Raw data can be found in this spreadsheet: Daily AO3 Traffic in 2020 (Google Sheets)

 

Site activity in 2020

A chart showing new comments per months as well as traffic per month in 2020.

Image: A line chart depicting how many comments were left and how many page views were recorded for each month of 2020. Comments in black, starting at roughly 2.15 million in January and ending at roughly 3.5 million in December. Traffic in red starting at 1.2 billion page views and ending at 1.7 billion. Both trend upwards, with a common pattern of slight dips in June and September, rising sharply again in December.

As site traffic started increasing in March last year, so did user activity as measured in new works, chapters, bookmarks, comments and kudos created every month. Users posted roughly 2.3 million comments in the month of March, about 150,000 more than in January. In April, that number jumped to 2.9 million.

(Following a similar trend, users hit the kudos button about 17.3 million times in March, compared to 16.9 million in January. In April: 20.4 million.)

📈 Raw data can be found in this spreadsheet: Monthly AO3 Activity in 2020 (Google Sheets)

 

Traffic over the years

A chart showing weekly traffic year by year. Around 17 million mid-2012, 130 million mid-2016, 270 million in early 2020, and over 400 million by the end of 2020.

Image: A chart showing AO3 traffic growth from mid-2012 to the end of 2020, measured in weekly page views. Each week is a dot, each year a meandering line of dots. Traffic trends upwards every year, with recurring patterns. For example, September tends to be a slow month, with noticeable dips. Most of the lines are relatively close together, representing a steady growth in traffic over the years, with a much wider gap between 2019 and most of 2020. Lowest point: 15.8 million in the last week of June, 2012. Highest point: 419 million in the last week of December, 2020.

Again, 2020 stands out with a big jump in mid-March, when lockdowns were implemented around the world and/or people were starting to self-isolate. Traffic went up from roughly 270 million page views a week in January and February to 330 million by early April, and 340 million by May. At the same time in 2019, traffic was hovering around 230 million page views a week.

Traffic did level out below the 350 million mark until late October, in a pattern more consistent with previous years, and then started increasing again towards the end of the year. The very first week of January, often including the tail end of December, is usually when new record highs are reached.

For comparison, here are the page views (in millions) for the week ending on:

  • Jan 06, 2013: 27.6
  • Jan 05, 2014: 49.5
  • Jan 04, 2015: 84.6
  • Jan 10, 2016: 114
  • Jan 08, 2017: 158
  • Jan 07, 2018: 189
  • Jan 06, 2019: 219
  • Jan 05, 2020: 281
  • Jan 10, 2021: 414

📈 Raw data can be found in this spreadsheet: Weekly AO3 Traffic in 2020 (Google Sheets)

 

Daily traffic in 2021

A chart showing daily traffic for the first quarter of 2021. Lowest records are around 58 million, highest around 66 million.

Image: A chart of AO3 traffic in millions of page views per day, for January, February and March of 2021. Traffic consistently peaks on Sundays, creating monthly lines with hills and valleys. In January, daily page views ranged between roughly 58 million and 64 million. Traffic in February and March was higher (between 60 and 66 million), and both months followed the same pattern of decreasing traffic from Monday to Friday and a sharp rise on weekends, with almost identical numbers. A new record was reached on Sunday, March 28, with 68.6 million page views.

Site usage remains high in 2021, but has currently stabilized at just under 70 million page views on peak days. While traffic is no longer growing by leaps and bounds, 2021 is still shaping up to be another record-breaking year!

We're grateful to everyone who uses the Archive to share and enjoy fanworks, the donors whose contributions pay for the powerful servers that handle this traffic so smoothly, and all the volunteers who keep the site running. We look forward to what the rest of the year brings!

📈 Raw data can be found in this spreadsheet: Daily AO3 Traffic in Q1 2021 (Google Sheets)

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OTW Elections News

It's almost election time! Being a member of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) means being able to vote for its Board of Directors. This helps affect how projects such as the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures are run now and going forward. This year, our election for the Board of Directors will be held from August 13 to August 16. (Access the full Elections Timeline for 2021).

In order to vote, you need to be a member of the OTW by midnight UTC on June 30, 2021 (What time is that for me?). That means that you have to have made a donation of US$10 or more between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, AND have chosen the "membership" option. If you're unsure whether this applies to a donation you've made, please contact our Development & Membership team.

If you participate in this voter registration drive, you will receive a specially designed icon, only available during this drive. Thank you for your support of the OTW! Register to vote and donate today!


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:
2021-06-22 13:00:38 -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 Jenny McDevitt, who volunteers as a co-chair and communications specialist in our Elections Committee.

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

I’m a Co-Chair and Communications Specialist for the Elections Committee. We run the annual elections where OTW members elect who sits on the OTW’s Board of Directors. We work hard to ensure all the seats on the Board are full, preferably by holding contested elections so that our Board is made up of members who represent the interests of OTW members. The process involves recruiting candidates, ensuring both OTW staff and OTW members know the details of the election process, running election events like Q&A and chats, and setting up the election software itself.

As a Communications Specialist, I write templates for internal and external newsposts and coordinate with the Translation and Communications committees to post election news every year. As a Co-Chair, I support the rest of the committee in their work, do administrative paperwork, and help recruit new Elections Committee members (my favourite part of the year!)

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

“Typical” really depends on what time of year it is! Before the election, we decide on the election dates, coordinate the posting schedule, get all our posts for the season ready to go, and update the Elections website with new deadlines. During the election season, I show up when it’s time to publish newsposts, lend support to our Candidate Liaisons, sometimes moderate chats if we need an extra hand, am present when we open and close the election, and am generally on-call in case something needs attention.

After the election, we collect feedback from other committees and from the candidates to help us make our roadmap for the next year. We try to improve the election process for everyone every year. This is also when we recruit new committee members! From there, our workload is quieter while we make those changes in response to feedback, and then the whole cycle starts over with the lead-up to the election.

What made you decide to volunteer?

It was 2014 when I first started volunteering, which seems like a lifetime ago. I remember being excited to make some friends, give back to fandom, and get a useful CV line while doing it, and I’ve certainly been able to do those things. I value my Elections Committee colleagues, especially those I’ve been working with for years, and I’ve learned a lot from them. I’d also never heard about the OTW election process at the time, and I felt that we should try to improve our visibility, as well as work to maintain the integrity of the election process. I’m really proud of the work we’ve been able to do in that regard.

What part of your work do you find most interesting?

I love meeting the candidates every year and helping them through the process of running in the election. We get such a wide range of people from around the OTW and the world, and it’s always interesting to read about their accomplishments as OTW volunteers and hear their opinions during the Q&A and chats we run. That answer might be cheating, though—everyone can meet our candidates by following the election.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I’m first and foremost a fic reader and writer, but I love consuming podfic, vids, and art as well! I’ve been primarily writing in Men’s Hockey RPF for the past few years, but I also livetweet Critical Role religiously every week and have recently succumbed to the relentless charms of BTS. I’m always reading in many fandoms, and I’m a huge multishipper—I’ll read almost anything, but I have a soft spot for pairings no one else is paying attention to. I’ve been the first to post a fic in more than one rarepair tag and written the primers to convince people to join me to varying success.


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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