Five Things Eskici Said

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Five Things Eskici Said
Interviewer: Claudia Rebaza
Interviewee: Eskici
Date(s): August 16, 2018
Medium: online
External Links: Five Things Eskici Said
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Five Things Eskici Said is a 2018 Q&A guest post, conducted by the Organization for Transformative Works' Communications Committee with Eskici.

It is part of a series. See Five Things Said.


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

The mission of the Open Doors project is to collaborate with the moderators of offline and at-risk archives and help import their works to the AO3, in keeping with the OTW’s goal of preserving and providing access to fanworks. So my duties as an Open Doors staffer range from directly interacting with archivists, creators, and fans; to actively participating in imports; to making improvements to our procedures and documentation. One nice thing about being on Open Doors is that it’s a very small committee, so there’s a lot of opportunity for anyone interested to learn every piece of the import process and to take initiative with additional tasks internal to the committee.

Open Doors’ work fits into the OTW by requiring quite a lot of cross-committee collaboration. For instance, we work with Translation and Communications to publish import announcements in multiple languages and spread the word on social media. Systems helps us to transfer hosting and domains of imported archives to the OTW as well as to set up redirects from original URLs to their imported copies on AO3. AO3 Documentation writes the FAQs on our website, and these require Open Doors approval throughout the drafting process. We collaborate with Accessibility, Design, & Technology, who manage AO3, via our fabulous liaison who also serves as Open Doors’ technical staffer. We also work closely with Tag Wrangling, who “map” the tags used on original archives to their counterparts on AO3 and whose Special Project Volunteers assist with searching the AO3 for existing copies of works before we do imports, so that we don’t end up with duplicates.

I currently serve on four OTW committees, so I have my hands on a lot of different moving parts! My role as a Tag Wrangler allows me to build relationships between tags so that AO3 users receive more complete, accurate results when they filter works. As a Media Outreach staffer with the Communications Committee, I interact with the OTW community by providing fans with content about what’s happening within fandom and within the OTW, and I help increase the OTW’s visibility and strengthen its connections to the media. On the other hand, in my staff position on Volunteers & Recruiting, I get to strengthen the OTW’s infrastructure by keeping our personnel records up-to-date, coordinating recruitment drives, and participating in projects that enable our volunteers to do their work more easily.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I started actively reading fanfiction on AO3 in early 2016, but I didn’t really know what the OTW was until I saw the Spotlight on Legal Advocacy post that was linked in a banner over the site during the October 2016 fundraising drive. Impressed, I spent an evening browsing the OTW’s website and reading up on the OTW’s structure and goals. I’ve been moderating fan-run forums since the early 2000s, including a six-year stint acting in various mod roles on a fanfiction-based community until it closed down just a few months before that time, so when I learned that the OTW was a volunteer-run organization, I was immediately interested in joining it as a volunteer.

Three months later, the OTW announced that several committees, including Open Doors, were recruiting new volunteers. The Open Doors Committee’s work in particular resonated with me, as I had previously been a member of several archives that had closed down or were in danger of doing so (one of which, Unknowable Room, has since actually been imported to the AO3 through the Open Doors project!). I applied, and now four committees later, here we are!

What fannish things do you like to do?

Besides modding and volunteering, fanfiction has always been the part of fandom that I’m most active with. I go in and out of binge-reading phases, and I’ve been on a slow-but-consistent writing kick ever since I joined the Supernatural fandom, although my one true fandom will always be Harry Potter.

I love getting my hands on every interesting piece of writing I can find about my chosen characters or ships, so that I can see the connections between which creators were influential over other creators and the ways that tropes and headcanons spread within a fandom over time. As a writer, I also love filling in the gaps before and between canonical events, finding canon-compliant ways to explain plot holes and canon inconsistencies, and exploring interesting alternatives that arise from canon divergence—all while adding as much character development and angst as possible.