5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Claire Baker 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 Claire Baker, who volunteers as a member of the OTW Board.

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

The OTW’s current Board members tend to wear many hats, and I am no exception. I co-chair the AO3 Documentation Committee (call us Docs!), wrangle tags in a handful of fandoms, do layout editing for Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), and also serve on our Board of Directors.

Docs and Tag Wrangling are both AO3 committees: Docs writes FAQs, tutorials, and other user-facing help documentation, and Tag Wrangling sorts the tags users put on their works so that all the works about the same topic (fandom, character, pairing, etc) can be easily found. With TWC, I’m on the production team: my job is to take articles that have been written and copyedited, and add html formatting.

The Board of Directors oversees everything, though this oversight works best when we have direct communication with those who will be affected by our work. As such, we end up meeting either synchronously or asynchronously with chairs and committee members on a regular basis. We’re aiming to build strong connections between us and each part of the OTW. And if we’re not, I hope the committees can lead us to understand how we better can do our job!

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Agnese Pietrobon

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Agnese Pietrobon is an independent scholar in fandom studies with a master’s degree in social psychology and psychology of communication. She is currently president of the cultural association fanheart3, dedicated to fans and fan culture. Today, Agnese talks about her work for fanheart3, Italy’s first fanfiction convention, and her fannish history.

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

I discovered fandom before I knew what the word fandom meant! When we were kids, me and my friends used to reenact scenes from movies and shows. We loved to try and give them different endings: Star Wars, movies with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill… Then, in high school, my best friend and I used to share a journal where we wrote self-insert stories where our fictional selves met Backstreet Boys (embarrassingly normal for adolescents) and Kevin Spacey (embarrassingly not normal at 15 years old).

It wasn’t until years later that I realized those were fanfictions (and NC-17 rated, too). In my defense, the Internet was still something very, very new at the time, and living in a small town in Italy did not give me access to fanzines or similar media. So being a fan for me mostly meant these things, and collecting pics from magazines, or watching and re-watching VHS while analyzing every expression my favorite characters wore, while sharing all of this with the people I had around.

It was only when I started reading the Harry Potter books, though, that I finally gave a name to the things I was doing: I joined a blog dedicated to this fandom where I could chat to no end with other people about our favorite ships and about my absolute conviction that Snape was Harry’s father. Only 4 books had been published at the time, so we spent a lot of time discussing theories and ideas.

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5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Rachel Bussert 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 Rachel Bussert, who volunteers as a staffer in our Volunteers & Recruitment Committee.

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

The mission of any organization is driven by the people who dedicate their time and resources to it. Volunteers & Recruiting (VolCom) is very central to that for OTW. Throughout the year, we handle recruitment for all the positions needed, which readers may see regularly in our announcement posts. Below is a chart of OTW’s volunteer numbers over time. As you can see, the number of folks involved in the organization have increased over time to accommodate the work of each committee, and Volunteers & Recruiting is the first step in making sure those staffing needs are being met.

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