5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Frost the Fox 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.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Naomi Jacobs

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.

Naomi Jacobs is an interdisciplinary Research Fellow, whose work looks at how technology and society interact. In addition to her purely academic writing, she has also co-written two books in the Black Archive series, which takes critical looks at individual episodes of Doctor Who. The second of these (on Kerblam!) is due to be released in November 2019. Today, Naomi talks about her article in Transformative Works and Cultures on fan conventions.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

My first experience of fandom was in 1995, when I was about 14, and came about because I noticed a sign in a local gift shop. It was advertising a painting demonstration by Clarecraft, a company that made figurines of the characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I’d had been reading these books avidly for a number of years, so of course went along.

The lovely lady I met that day was Isobel Pearson, who alongside her husband Bernard (known to Discworld fans as The Cunning Artificer) founded Clarecraft. She told me they were hosting a fan gathering in the summer at their headquarters in rural Suffolk, and encouraged me to come along. Attending that event was my introduction to Discworld fandom, and led to me attending (and eventually helping run) many conventions and events.

Around the same time, we got our first modem at home and I discovered the internet. I was also a big fan of The X-Files at the time, and found a forum where I made many friends, one of whom introduced me to the concept of fanfiction, and got me interested in the (at that time niche) fandom for Doctor Who. We’re still friends! Read More

5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Chelsea Eidbo 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.

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.