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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Organization for Transformative Works: Part Two AO3

Okay one of my favorite things that the Organization for Transformative Works is their fanfiction archive, Archive of Our Own. I literally go to that website everyday. Founded in 2007, Archive of Our Own (more commonly referred to as AO3) is now the third largest archive for fanfiction.

For the fiction that is available on the site already, there is the most comprehensive and easy to use search engines on any fanfic archive site. You can search by character, ship, language, rating. Rank my comments, kudos, newness. These are only a few of the features you can use to search. I've been reading fanfiction for over ten years now and this is the best search engine I've ever come across. Even better is the tagging system. They make it easy to either use already popular tags that will help people  better find things related to what they want to read or the author can make up their own tags so they can be a specific as they want.

One of my personal favorite features of the site is the ability to add a piece to your account without posting it yet. The site will keep your work for up to a month. This is great for writers who have finished something and may want to keep it for a little while before posting it. Because many fanfic writer participate in bangs or exchanges, it is nice to be able to semi-post something while waiting on the deadline.

The volunteers for the website also run Twitter and Tumblr accounts to keep their users updated with anything that is potentially going on with the site. This is great for times when the website might be down for maintenance or there are problems with your account and you need someone to contact.

I could easily go on and on for pages about the wonders that AO3 brings to the universe. They are a marvel for both fic writers and readers. Despite there being a myriad of archives out there, this is the main one I use. Partly because it is gaining so much popularity, but also because it is most conscientious and helpful websites out there. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Organization for Transformative Works: Part One

I was recently reading an article and it was mentioned that media seems to "see bronies as far more newsworthy that Organization forTransformative Works or the Vlogbrothers' Nerdfighter movement." Now, I see a lot of things about Nerfighters, and the Green brothers in particular, but have not seen much on OTW outside of those in the know. So I decided to fangirl all over one of my favorite organizations for a post. Then I realized that I would need at least a couple posts to fully share my love and appreciation.

The first thing you probably need to know about OTW is their mission statement. Their website states that their mission is to "serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. We believe that fanworks are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate. The OTW represents a practice of transformative fanwork historically rooted in a primarily female culture. The OTW will preserve the record of that history as we pursue out mission while encouraging new and non-mainstream expressions of cultural identity within fandom."

Basically what this means is they want to support fan culture and the history of fan culture any way they can, which is pretty awesome.

The second thing that is probably important is that the OTW has seven main branches: Archive of Our Own, their fanfiction archive; Fanhackers, their fannish news blog; Fanlore, a wiki to document fandom history; Fan Video and Multimedia, a multimedia fandom project; Legal Advocacy, legal advice and help to do with fanworks; Open Doors, a project to help preserve in danger fanworks and archives; and Transformative Works and Cultures, a peer-reviewed academic journal about fandom and fanworks. This does not include the social media accounts (Twitter and Tumblr among others) that keep fans connected with what is going on within the organization and how they can help.

I have a passing familiarity with all of the projects OTW has going on, but I am most familiar with Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures, so each of these articles will focus on one of those three.