seventhe: (Irvine: blur)
[personal profile] seventhe
So I have mixed feelings about the OTW in general. Some days, I love the OTW; other days I legitimately find I couldn't give less of a fuck. I think what it comes down to is that I want to like the OTW – I want to support them and get involved and help them out – but at the very same time I deeply mistrust a lot of what I see, I give a very hesitant sidelong eye to a lot of their discussions, decisions, and actions, and I'm very wary and weirded out by a lot of it. I'm really not sure how I feel about them.


It isn't the whole "fandom is srs business!" vs "it's just fandom, FFS" argument either: I've met my best friends through fandom, and I've also used it as a silly escape mechanism, and – as I am the kind of person who can treat both everything and nothing as serious business – who am I to say where fandom falls? I don't want to have that argument here. My ambivalent feelings towards them aren't caused by their stance on fandom, or my stance on fandom – everybody has their own stance on fandom and that's cool. I'm fine with the OTW taking fandom seriously. I'm fine with other people not taking fandom as seriously. That isn't the source of my wary ambivalence at all.

It's just something about the way that I see all of this action come through. The OTW isn't super prevalent in my corners of fandom – which is its own separate and distinct issue – and the way that I see the information flowing around really doesn't help these mixed feelings. Nothing I've read about them lately makes me feel anything other than ambivalent and wary and, honestly, very weirded out by some of it.

(Also, I will admit to a small personal conflict here too, because I've watched over the past couple years as the OTW has drained two of my very closest and dearest online friends, who used to have lots of online spoons and energy to run fandom events and create fanworks, with me, and there's a small selfish part of me that feels like I've lost them to this giant behemoth of a thing, whether it's to 'cooler people' or 'more important work' or if they're just too burnt-out from the wringer the OTW has run them both through.

I've burnt out too, in my own ways and on my own projects!, so it isn't any kind of criticism: I'm sure, especially after this year, that there are friends of mine who look at my job, or grad school, and go, why the everloving fuck does she still put up with that? So I'm sympathetic. But: I still look at what this organization has taken from my friends, what it continues to put them through, and it makes me want to firmly shake the thing by its shoulders and tell it to grow up and get some perspective.

I want to like the OTW even more because it's something my friends care about so much, but watching from the outside the way that it treats them – it, as a whole, not necessarily the individuals within it, mind you; the OTW is its own entity in addition to being the sum of its own parts – doesn't foster any sort of interest on my part. Come join us! so that you too can experience total informational overload and brain paralysis within a disorganized and dysfunctional organization that doesn't appreciate you! No thanks, I already have that, it's called my job, and I need another source of nonreedeming headaches, frustration, and time consumption the same way I need another four dozen meetings scheduled on my day off (guess when project reviews were scheduled, for example! "fridays off" is a gigantic myth in SevLand, fuck my ongoing and actual life).

So: I am selfish, and prejudiced, and I love my friends with the kind of stupid defensive love you see only in mother cats and overprotective idiot people, and this taints my view of the OTW, probably unfairly because they love it and do what they do willingly, but hey, I'm a Taurus. Bull mama, baby. Full disclosure.)

So I am not sure what to make of the announcement about the Board expansion. I am – my feelings are, as always, mixed.

I understand that the Board members are overworked – frankly, uh, is anyone involved in the OTW not overworked? please leave a message at the beep – and I understand the logic that expanding the Board will help alleviate this to some extent and more hands help things move along faster. More heads means more ideas. More people means more power, more availability, more time. I do hope that this is the case. I truly do.

I also am somewhat sympathetic to the concerns and issues found in using new Board members as a band-aid to try to cover up what may be a much deeper and more fundamental problem.

And I'm sympathetic to the concern that pulling (already over-worked) experienced members of the OTW into the Board will only leave more holes in an already-bullet-ridden organizational structure.

But mostly, overall, I'm disconnected and ambivalent. Should I care? Should I get all worked up about this - pro or con - and have some kind of thoughts, opinion, whatever? I look at it and I go, "oh", and then I go back to playing FFXIII (my team: Sazh and some other people). It's like, eh. Suddenly there is communication! and transparency! and full disclosure! and lots of talking about lots of things! and I am just like, eh. My brain says, you're not Sazh and tunes out. I cannot convince myself to invest a fuck. I am disconnected.

(I had an idle thought about ways that they could pull people from the outside into the organization. I mean, when we're looking for personnel here at work for an important position, we interview both internally and externally. We look at people who are already experienced with our system, but we also open the doors to people with other kinds of experience who may bring in new skills. Now, with an elected system, I'm not sure how that would work; probably most people… want folks who have already done time in the OTW? The learning curve is too steep? You need somebody from the inside? The Board wouldn't listen to a newcomer? I mean, how would somebody like me, knowing as little as I do about how all their crap works (again, its own problematic discussion!), step into something like that? It was just an idle thought; it seems heavily unlikely (for a myriadic plethora of reasons) but with all of the talk going around, all of the problems the OTW faces right now anyway, would there at all be any benefit to bringing somebody new in? Somebody org-new? OTW-new? Yes it's dangerous but there are advantages to another point of view. *talks out of ass forever* I just get thinky, okay? I'm a brainstormer.)

The entire situation just seems strange to me. But then again, I don't know how any of the shit works.

I'll admit flat-out that the only part of the OTW I personally interact with / use is the AO3. Apparently this makes me a horrible person in the eyes of the OTW. But we have so many other projects! Great. Still rarely giving any shits. I wish I could! I really try to give shits about their other stuff. It sounds really cool! I think it's awesome that they have these big other projects underneath their umbrella! I just don't have as much of a use for the other ones, personally. To me, the AO3 is the most important and the most valuable. Sorry guys.

(That doesn't mean I think it should have the highest priority within the OTW or whatever – or that it should be the most important: I'm not the Board. I'm an end-user, a customer, sure. But I'm one of many and "making Sev happy" sure as heck ain't nobody's mission statement but mine. I actually – honestly – think it's great that the OTW can and does prioritize this other stuff, even as an avid user of AO3 and basically only AO3.)

But even the AO3 is an awkward penguin. I love posting there – I do. I love that my fic can look how I want it to look; I love that I can use the tags I want; I love the gifting system; I love the commenting and the kudos. As a writer, it's awesome. It was excellently designed by someone who combined the good things about ff.net and LJ/DW and other sites, and I absolutely love the way it works for my work.

As a reader, it falls anywhere from "meh" to "balls" on any given day. Yes, it's easier to browse in some ways than ff.net, with the flexibility of tags and the longer summaries and all of that – but it's a polar bear to search – it always has been – the search function suck(ed)(s) and I'll just say it – and the horrible thing about flexible tags is how difficult it is for me to find fic I really know I want, seriously WHERE IS MY KORRA/MAKO/ASAMI/BOLIN because of the flexibility. So yeah, a thing I love is also a thing I don't love so much, depending on my intentions. And to add to that there are all kinds of difficulties in interaction – stemming from everything in-between poor searching and 502s – which means my fandoms have yet to really cement themselves in a place where it would be awesome to have a presence.

The AO3 bit has nothing to do with my feelings about the Board thing; it kind of just came out. I guess it's relevant because I have mixed feelings on AO3 as well; it seems my feelings here are all hanging out on the fence together, looking for ponies, and watching the shapes of the clouds.

I think the thing that I'm talking about here, the thing I'm really talking about, is the way that all of these issues present themselves to me in a way that makes me just go, "...uh." I'm a get-involved, get-your-hands-dirty type person. I'm usually the queen of "don't whine if you haven't tried to fix it yet", or "be a part of the solution", or "if you have a problem maybe you should try to help", but: I don't even feel comfortable and close enough to the situation to start whining- this is, I think, the first post I've made about the OTW. It's the first serious one, anyway.

Maybe it would be better if I knew more. But the OTW isn't really a big presence in my fandom circles – which on the surface doesn't inspire me to get involved, especially because it seems to be the symptom of a much deeper and silent disease – and even when I do have the fucks to go looking around, I look at it from this distance, with a confused reluctant ambivalence I can't even explain (although I have been trying, and probably/apparently failing, to explain it for this entire entry).

I think back to the people I know who are involved, and the other people whose posts I see on DW and Tumblr and that fandom anon meme, and: I love that they are so invested in something like this; I love that, I respect it, I even yearn for it sometimes. But I simply watch from the outside and wonder time after time how in the actual land of fuck do they continue to have so much to give? (Yeah, my job's a legitimate four-trailer-pileup, yarn-tangle, herding-cats clusterfuck right now, but I get paid for that.)

I feel like I should care, but I haven't been handed the right reason to (yet?). I would say "a good reason", but there are plenty of legitimate, meaningful, valid reasons out there. They just aren't yet right for me; it's the wrong size fitting, the wrench is too big, it's an incompatible solvent. That shirt just isn't my color, although it looks good on you. I'm not invested, I guess, and there are plenty of people who also aren't invested, but I even feel weird not being invested. Because so many other people are so invested.

I want to want to help, but there's just some weird disconnect: come on in, says the concept, we're building fandom island!, but in between every single line all I can hear is the water's fucking freezing and we only have half a life raft and oh, there are sharks!* And I – I can't decide whether it's a cry for help, please come in and help us build this life raft, we need you, or if it's a warning sign: here be teeth and frozen toes. No lifeguard, enter at your own risk.

I kind of just look from my carefully preserved distance, and I feel no inclinations to step any closer, even to formally criticize or engage or discuss. I just feel really weird about the OTW.

So this post doesn't really get me anywhere, does it.

(And yet I feel like it needs to be said, because I feel – grey and invisible, sure, because that's where all of my feelings on these things are hanging out, grey and invisible land, but – I wonder if I really am alone in this, or if there are other people who kind of feel this way too. People who are trying to like the OTW but don't really know what to do with it. Yet; I hope I can say yet, because I still hope they're going to get better.

But it means I don't know how to feel about this Board thing. I feel like I should be all "yay finally!" or "oh god no!" when really my only reaction is, "…uh." I just feel disconnected.

And weird.)

And those are some of my thoughts on the OTW.



* I also realize in retrospect that I've seen a lot of ongoing OTW criticisms about criticism. Like, very strange discussions about internal people not feeling comfortable (or being made comfortable, or being given an avenue for) expressing criticism, and also very strange discussions about a lack of accountability for org-people who unhelpfully slam the OTW. It's… guess what, it's also weird. It's like the analogy above is happening, but then there are people saying, hey, you can't talk about the sharks! or those sharks are an endangered species and this is their habitat or don't criticize the sharks, at the time they seemed like the best way to protect our treasure, or the sharks are a part of OTW culture, don't slam our beloved sharks in public and this analogy is going overboard (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) so I will stop before I jump the shark.

The thing is, I don't think that's healthy, and I hope that by mentioning what I seem to be reading between the lines I'm not contributing to a culture in which criticism (of a constructive sort) is looked down upon.

I'm not implying everyone is like oh god Sev this shit is bananas there are fucking sharks do you hear me sharks get away and they shouldn't be – frankly I would appreciate a healthy and mature discussion about any ongoing sharkitude in an organization that theoretically is inviting people like me to dip a toe into their seductive waters – nor am I saying that la la la this water is fucking great it's the goddamned fountain of youth all up in here is an acceptable alternative.

Nor do I mean to imply, "man, I would love to throw my hours and my brain behind volunteering for the OTW, but all of these complaining whiny posts are really turning me off." Because that ties back into a culture where critique and commentary aren't helpful and aren't helping. It isn't the presence of the critique; it's the atmosphere in which it happens, and the response to it. That's what makes me feel weird. It's the fact that accompanying every paragraph that might be even tinted with a hint of criticism, there's some sort of disclaimer, or exclamation, or comment; or something unfolds out of that tightly packed space into some new sort of disastrous mess.

I'm barely even commenting on the criticism culture that's grown up in and around the OTW, because it makes me feel additionally weird. I just hope that my terrible shark analogy isn't taken as a comment on the criticism situation.

**this post is not an invitation to trash the OTW, or AO3. Or me.*** Or sharks. I'm defensive about shit my friends love even when I myself am ambivalent towards it. Let's discuss, not hate. Make talk, not war.

***that's a lie. trash me anytime, baby

Date: 2012-07-25 01:19 pm (UTC)
novel_machinist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] novel_machinist
I mean, I'll be flat honest. I would love to get involved with things too, but I also feel pretty damned invisible. I don't want to bother already overworked people and I don't feel like I really can contribute in a meaningful way. And that's when I have the fucks to give.

To be honest, lately, I don't.

Right now by the time I get home from my extremely physical job without air conditioning I'm totally checked out.

Date: 2012-07-25 01:44 pm (UTC)
ser_pounce_alot: (Avengers // Science Boyfriends)
From: [personal profile] ser_pounce_alot
a large part of my problems with otw come from people who are on the board who i have experienced less than stellar things with in the past, aka people who run yuletide. yuletide and ao3 are its own ball of wax, but the board SHOULD have stepped in a long time ago to either say, "hey, yuletide is an official otw/ao3 exchange that is why we are devoting so much time to it so that everyone not involved cannot use the site for a month" or completely distanced the two, and i think they did the worst possible thing by failing to do either. but. i suspect this is because of PEOPLE ON THE BOARD who are the big-shots with yuletide. or were. or whatever. i don't know a lot about that except that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

that aside, i adore ao3. i love it. i love being able to get KUDOS so that i actually get some kind of notification that people are reading - they don't have to leave a comment! kudos are fine with me, because maybe they didn't have anything to say, but they wanted to let me know they enjoyed it. THIS IS MARVELOUS. this is 535923849328 times better than posting on lj and getting like three comments. i LOVE getting hit counts; i had to have a paid account on lj to do that, or use lj-toys before they became defunct. i LOVE these things. the searching could be okay except that it's constantly down due to overload, so that sometimes pulling up a tag i know to have over 4000 words posted in it (a relationship tag from supernatural, for instance) nets me a grand total of 2 works. LOL WHAT?! so, things like that, a little iffy. but overall i like ao3 WAY more than reading on lj. it's far easier to go by tags and pairings, and i'm not stuck watching literally 34 different communities trying to keep up with the fic that is posted every whichway.

that being said, otw isn't in my old fandom at all. and it felt mostly like they gave zero shits, because we weren't a western fandom. we were an eastern fandom and therefore we didn't exist in their eyes, or on ao3. and it sucks, because the gifting/exchange sign-up stuff they have on ao3 is AMAZING. it practically runs your exchange for you! and this would be awesome... if my old fandom was part of it. again, we never got invited. we never felt particularly welcome. so. :/ i think that says a lot, since there are a lot of people not in western fandoms.

tl;dr

i also don't give enough fucks lol

Date: 2012-07-27 12:11 am (UTC)
shahrizai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shahrizai
You stoled my words! I'm not a fan of astolat (the techy person of Yuletide), but elynross (the adminy person) seems pretty nice. And no1curr about eastern fandom over there.

I dipped my feet into my first big western fandom - Thor/Avengers - and ao3 is amazing for it and it's totally the place for western fandom peeps.

Date: 2012-07-27 01:59 am (UTC)
ser_pounce_alot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ser_pounce_alot
me, too! supernatural and avengers are the two fandoms i am in on ao3 and HOLY CRAP it's a wet dream for fandoms over there. i love being able to search via certain tags and parameters, and having all the stuff in one place. but eastern fandoms are non-existent. i'm lucky to get 12 hits in my old fandom on stuff. blech!!!

Date: 2012-07-25 03:04 pm (UTC)
crankyoldman: Really don't be that guy. (that guy)
From: [personal profile] crankyoldman
Zero fucks. Tumblr has done more for fandoms I care about than the OTW, and that's kind of ridiculously sad because tumblr is a crap shoot of porn and extremely misguided discussions.

In general, I like what their aim is, but they have yet to give me a reason to care beyond keeping AO3 running. Hell I don't even think I'll be doing Yuletide this year because the matching on it is so well, bleh.

I do however care that some people are getting burned out on it and put through the ringer--I really feel bad for them.

Date: 2012-07-25 08:40 pm (UTC)
siva630: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siva630
I must admit I backed away as soon as I found out what "OTW" stood for. It's an admirable thing I'm sure, but highly intimidating and elite-looking. Even AO3 scares and confuses me.

But I'm sure the people involved will go on to do great things if they stick at it, whilst my fandom life is limited to writing porn, chatting 'bout cocks and raiding picspams of hot footballers.

Also: I like Sazh too! He was my second favourite, after Vanille (who I think is one of the most interesting characters they've ever come up with, and was blatantly the main character of the game even though the marketing went to irritating moody-butt Lightning). I feel like checking out the fandom again but last time I looked (ages ago) it was all Fang/Lightning or Hope/Everyone, Twice and that was it.

Date: 2012-07-27 12:12 am (UTC)
shahrizai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shahrizai
But-but-but cocks are awesome and everyone is happy with cocks!

Date: 2012-07-25 10:10 pm (UTC)
stealth_noodle: Max from Sam & Max, with his head on fire. (head on fire)
From: [personal profile] stealth_noodle
AO3 is the only part of the OTW that I'm at all invested in (despite its quirks, I really love it as an archive; also, I tag wrangle and am dismayed that tag wrangling is being treated like a sustainable, scalable solution when it's pretty obviously not, but that is a tangent unto itself), and I've observed enough on the sidelines not to want any deeper level of involvement. I am pretty sure it would burn me right the fuck out. And if I really cared I'd jump in anyway, but I've never managed to shake the feeling that I'm just not the OTW's target audience, you know?

I would really, genuinely like to see the OTW succeed (mostly because I like AO3 and want it to thrive), but the org has some systemic problems, and I've perceived a certain resistance to addressing those. And that is what really keeps me from giving sufficient fucks, I think.

Date: 2012-07-25 10:57 pm (UTC)
flecksofpoppy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] flecksofpoppy
When I first saw the OTW via AO3 once I got my user account, I was like, "THIS IS REALLY COOL. HOLY SHIT." At the same time, like any board and/or project, it's just gotta be full of cluster fucks.

I know little about the board, so from an outside point of view, I can say that I was relieved when AO3 popped up. I DESPISE ff.net. Talk about horrifying search system...the number one I love about AO3 is the pairing tag. THE PAIRING TAG. Then again, I am a ship person. I mostly search by ships...(sometimes I remember that there is an entire FANDOM OF THINGS for the fandoms I'm in, but when I get fixated with a ship, often that's All That Exists for me).

Anyway, in theory, I think it's really cool. And it's funny, because fandom, like everything IN THE ENTIRE WORLD EVER, goes through overhaul after overhaul of organizing information. How do you sort it, how do you access it, how does it work? And also, WHO IN THE EVER LOVING GOD HAS THE SKILLS AND TIME TO SEE IT THROUGH? (Whatever "it" is.) I remember before LJ existed, when there were webrings and MLs and all that...and then I remember when I first signed up for LJ and it was like, "OH FUCK WHAT IS THIS." And then with AO3 I was like, HOLY FUCK WHAT IS THIS, as you do with anything different.

I'm a big one on the organizing info. I could rate what I think are the best and most useless inventions in fandom when it comes to that...like, I thought LJ was BRILLIANT. I mean, I guess that was also the advent of blogs, so yeah. WAIT YOU CAN TAG THINGS?! HOLY CRAP. IT'S INDEXED SOMEHOW?!! Then there was DW, etc. etc. etc. Archives devoted to pairings with e-mail submissions back ca. like, late 90s (GEOCITIES HOLLA)...even better, the fucking HUGE ONES. I remember Icy Brian like it was the goddamn bible. RPGamer with their weekly posts, and if you got on it was like, "LOLOL OH MAN I IZ FAMUS." (I mean, you know, when you're like 13.)

Being new to tumblr, I think the tags are fabulous. I can see every damn post that someone tags with "Grell Sutcliff" in one go...that's cool. I see all kinds of new things; and I see all kinds of fucking garbage...AND I SEE WAY TOO MANY GODDAMN RP BLOGS. No offense to RP blogs...but that's when the system starts getting fucked up, because what I'm looking for is about 20% of what's popping up. And that's when you get into the muck of what the most efficient system is to access information. Thing is, I know tumblr also doesn't exist TO MEET MY NEEDS, so I go out and seek out something that I feel does.

AO3 works for me because of the tags and the way I seek out fic.

However, I think we've all been at that place late at night, desperately googling all variations of a pairing phrase to find that ONE FIC YOU MISSED because you've read EVERYTHING ELSE.

So all in all, I just found this post really interesting, because I find the entire evolution of the Internet and how it organizes and present access to information interesting. And I experience it directly through fandom. That, and I am rabidly desperate and obsessive once I find a ship...so I spend A LOT OF TIME trawling through about 60 BAJILLION different databases of information...whether it be ff.net, AO3, LJ, DW, Insanejournal (HOW MANY VARIATIONS ARE THERE?!), tumblr, comm tags, ship comms, recs, even old ... wait for it... "PAIRING SHRINES." (lol)

It's just such a goddamn huge job. O_O As far as AO3 goes, behind the scenes aside (a whole OTHER kettle of fish I know nothing about but ohgod from your post), I am grateful it exists. I hope more people post on it. I LOVE IT. I also despise ff.net from the depths of my soul and any passion I possess...because it is so awful in so many ways (I respect the mission, but holy god...just the upload system...WHAT IS THAT. GOD ALMIGHTY ON HIGH WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT). My frustration with it leads me to be so relieved there's other modes of gaining access to the content I WANT that I think proportionally it's just like, "AO3 HOLD ME. THANKS." But like I said...behind the scenes...a whole other story, as with any project. O_O

tl;dr

Date: 2012-07-25 11:06 pm (UTC)
traxits: A close up of Reno, from FF7: Advent Children Complete. (FF7 Reno)
From: [personal profile] traxits
Honestly, I think it's very interesting that your post and your opinions on this are almost exactly my own. I love AO3 as a writer, and honestly, as a reader, I enjoy it WAY more than LJ/DW reading (well, DW maybe not but only because there's only a handful of communities that I follow here instead of the seventy-billion on LJ for the same fandoms) and really, when I want to read fic, it has become my default place to go.

That said, OTW is... just. I have REALLY WEIRD feelings about it, and that's exactly the reason I don't even consider doing more for it.

(Let's not even get started on fandom visibility on AO3, shall we?)

Date: 2012-07-25 11:34 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
I'm so sorry, Sev.

I'm so sorry.

Date: 2012-07-26 02:44 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Well, no, not that about that but...about how I sort of threw you over for OTW work. That wasn't very fair of me, even if I didn't realize about what was going to happen with regards to my committee this year. I could have compensated more and made more space. I never meant to make you feel like I was choosing it over the fun things we did together. :(

Date: 2012-07-26 03:24 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
If by "jump the shark" you mean, caught the shark, beached it, ripped it open with its teeth, ate the insides and left the carcass rotting on the sun bleached sand at high noon....then yes.

Date: 2012-07-26 03:13 am (UTC)
ambersweet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ambersweet
1. OTW does stuff other than AO3? I'm genuinely surprised.

2. Fandom eats its young. I spent nearly 10 years volunteering in local con-running fandom and there was no healthy way to participate. You either got sucked in and burned out (after it took over your life) and quit in a storm of guilt and self-loathing, or you jumped in, realized how batshit it was, and ran like a motherfucker. There was no middle ground, and no way to volunteer SOME of your time without certain people making you feel like a terrible person for not giving up ALL of your time/energy/extra money. I suspect that the OTW has the same sort of problems. There is always more work than there are people to do it, and (most) fans are not the type who are good at recruiting people.

Date: 2012-07-28 02:00 am (UTC)
sanders: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanders
Not only does fandom eat its young, so do a lot of non-profits, especially in the early years, and good God, we have a lot of cannibalizing going on. (I say this as a 4+ year vet of OTW and now a first year board member)

And, yeah, we have some other projects that are pretty awesome in my opinion. I love the AO3 as much as the next fic writer and reader, but the academic journal and fandom wiki are both great things that have come out of the org. They just get a lot less attention, which is an internal failing of the org to promote the projects, and an external tendency to overlook the things fandom doesn't generate a ton of wank about or that doesn't feed our immediate (and totally valid) need for text-based porn.

Date: 2012-07-28 03:01 am (UTC)
ambersweet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ambersweet
Case in point, so far as lack of promotion goes: you mention two other things OTW is doing, but don't link to either one. XD

Marketing is very not a fannish skill.

Date: 2012-07-28 03:17 am (UTC)
sanders: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanders
*headdesk* Can I blame it on doing org work in between watching the Olympics opening ceremonies?

There's more info on all of our projects here, in a brief overview. Fanlore is the wiki project, this is the current issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, the academic journal.

I'll just be over here, mildly embarrassed. /o\

Date: 2012-07-28 04:47 am (UTC)
ambersweet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ambersweet
Lol, I think the Olympics are an excellent excuse. They're certainly weird enough to distract. XD

Incidentally, somebody might want to take a look at the AO3's SEO, because if you Google "fanfiction" it pops up on page 2, but "fanfic" doesn't pop it up in the first eight pages (I didn't look beyond that).

Date: 2012-07-26 06:32 am (UTC)
owlmoose: (otw)
From: [personal profile] owlmoose
I love that the OTW exists. When it was created, I felt like it was high time for fandom to start building some of these tools and structures we use for ourselves, rather than depending on non-fandom profit-motivated corporations to continue doing it for us, and I happily give them money and use AO3 (which I personally think is fantastic, I don't relate to most of the complaints I hear people make about it at all, it's almost a perfect archive for my needs) and have even contributed to Fanlore a little bit. And I feel like I should be all over volunteering as well, because I believe in the cause so deeply, but so far I have kept my distance and, for all the same reasons you talk about, will probably continue to do so unless the house starts getting a little more in order.

So yeah, I don't have much to add to this, but I'm glad you came out and said it.

Date: 2012-07-26 07:13 am (UTC)
auronlu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] auronlu
You're not alone in your feelings.

I'm not the active person in fandom I used to be, but still, I like the premise of OTW but wince at what little I've seen of its workings. I've been community mod (one of many) on a 60,000 member LOTR forum, so I know a little something about scaleability, ambitions, and organizer burnout. I have fled every fandom obligation since I burned out there.

OTW scares me because I'm projecting my own post-burnout-stress-disorder onto people I like, even though they're Handling It, dangit!

Also, yes, there has been some odd stuff which you expressed very well.

Mostly I just appreciate AO3. I get more feedback and comments on ffnet, but AO3 is the way I wish an archive could be, apart from the searching issues (although discovering quotation marks and logical operators has recently helped, a bit.)

Apparently I've missed the Yuletide slowdowns, probably because that's a busy working time of year for me.

IMO, the best thing OTW has done is establish a fic archive that enables fandom. AO3 ain't perfect, but fandom-creativity is the core of famdom; meta can never be more than meta.

Date: 2012-07-26 10:35 am (UTC)
trialia: Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), head down, hair wind-streamed, eyes almost closed. (ncis] ziva - keep your head down)
From: [personal profile] trialia
Well. Where to begin? Word.

I'm a tag wrangler on AO3, and yes, I feel there is a big issue with how criticism is taken in the org at large. A recent "official" post on the TW list almost made me answer very snippily with a comment about how we couldn't possibly sound even a tiny bit hostile because that would be the end of the world, wouldn't it? I held it back, but good grief how I wanted to say it. The basic "command structure" within OTW really don't take criticism well. Especially when it's phrased in a way that lets them know how frustrated we are.

I'm tired of trying to coax changes. I'm not a diplomat, I'm not a politician, I'm just doing my best to get this system working & workable & I do not think that means I should have to withhold criticism because I'm not great at phrasing my frustrations in a way that won't unsettle anyone! *deep breath*

Wow. I love what I'm doing. I do. But sometimes the attitude of the people more directly central to the org makes me want to hit things.
Edited (Autocorrect made "lets" "let's", grr.) Date: 2012-07-26 10:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-27 03:03 am (UTC)
cypher: (alot better than complaining)
From: [personal profile] cypher
y-yeah, I. Honestly, I think keeping a safe distance is the only way to not get any parts bitten off. There are definitely sharks. :/

I've been staff on the Wrangling Committee for a long time now, until I had to take a hiatus this year because the stress of it was so unpleasant -- it's a very rock-and-hard-place position, where we have very little ability to effect change without going through other committees for help, and there have been a lot of instances in the past few years where we didn't get a chance to offer input on changes that would affect us, or where things our volunteers really wanted just didn't make it to the top of the too-long list of things for the coders to do. So there's a huge feeling of frustration and powerlessness sitting there like a big unfriendly rock on one side.

And then on the other side is the hard place of the volunteers who see us as the authorities/insiders and hold us accountable for everything that doesn't get done (or done fast enough) and every communication failure -- it's certainly not all the volunteers, but it happens often enough that a big unofficial part of being on the committee is honestly "be someone to blame."

...I imagine you've probably heard a fair bit of that from Renay before, honestly. But I just. There's so much work that needs to be done to get to a point where the organization functions in a remotely healthy way.

Date: 2012-07-28 01:37 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
And then on the other side is the hard place of the volunteers who see us as the authorities/insiders and hold us accountable for everything that doesn't get done (or done fast enough) and every communication failure -- it's certainly not all the volunteers, but it happens often enough that a big unofficial part of being on the committee is honestly "be someone to blame."

+1. The saddest +1 ever.

I hope you're taking care of yourself over there. ♥

Date: 2012-07-28 01:39 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
This. All of it.

Date: 2012-07-28 02:06 am (UTC)
sanders: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanders
Sev, thanks for this post. You nailed some of the things I feel, even from inside the org. There are seriously days when it's just hard to give a fuck at all, and we have some overlapping dear friends, so I know exactly what you mean when you talk about finding it hard to watch them get run down and run over and wondering how the hell they keep coming back (I've told Renay to run, far and fast, in fact, but I'd die here without her).

I wish I'd met you when I still had energy to be interesting and engaging because Ira and Renay both make you sound amazing.

Date: 2012-07-28 10:23 pm (UTC)
lassarina: (Lulu - Hurt Them)
From: [personal profile] lassarina
You know this already, but +1000 to this entire post in full.

Date: 2012-07-30 03:56 pm (UTC)
lindorie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lindorie
Basically what everyone else has already said!

I think that it's great the OTW exists - I continue to support it, if at all half-heartedly - because I see it as a start. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway, from my little perch on a tree waaaay outside of it all.

I love the AO3. It is a beautiful archive - everything I could ever want in one, structure wise. My only complaint is how damn invisible I feel, waving my tiny final fantasy porn Eastern fandom flag. The part of me that's an egotistical fuck is like "HOW MOAR READERSHIP?" because let's face it, as much as I deeply loathe ff.net and want to set it on fire, I get the most feedback there from other people in fandom!

Regarding the org itself, I can't say much because I honestly don't have enough information to make more of a judgment, but yeah: basically your post. The water's cold and there be sharks! :/

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