franzeska: shows Minamoto no Hiromasa (hiromasa)
[personal profile] franzeska
I promised you guys some posts on the technical side of setting up AO3 challenges, so here's one on tags.

But first, please check out the fandom promotion posts on livejournal and dreamwidth. I've listed a few fandoms in the bodies of those posts, but you are welcome to promote any fandom you like. There's still a while before I open signups; that's plenty of time to let everyone know why your fandom is awesome.

And now tagging:

The first thing to know is that AO3 (the Archive of Our Own) is still in beta. Lots of things about how tags look and work and what our internal guidelines are for "canonicals" are subject to change. This is not an official OTW/AO3 post; it's just my personal take on things, but I am going to talk a little bit about those internal guidelines as they affect this exchange.

Ok, a little vocab to start: OTW is the Organization for Transformative Works, which runs a bunch of different things including AO3, the Archive of Our Own. OTW has various committees to manage different parts of its projects, including the Tag Wrangling Committee, which supervises wranglers, sets policy, and talks to challenge mods, among other things. "Wranglers" are volunteers who keep track of the individual fandoms and manage tags directly. (The difference between OTW "staff"--who are all also unpaid volunteers--and OTW "volunteers" is how much time they spend on OTW work and how much responsibility they have.)

The second thing to know is that "canonicals" (the "official" tags AO3 uses in filters and for challenge signups) are not canonical in the fandom sense. They're not better or the "right" way to tag. We need them because of technical constraints on how the search interfaces and challenge signups work. We have internal guidelines for canonical formats. Wranglers don't post about them all that often because 1. they change frequently and 2. a lot of people want us to tell them what the "correct" tags are, and we can't do that. But I think going over a couple of them would make things clearer here, so what the hell.

Pairings: Pairings are called 'relationships' on AO3 since that field is for friendship tags and other kinds of non-romantic relationships too. It's also for "pairings" that are more than two people. The most significant thing for Asian fandoms is that canonical format on AO3 is alphabetical by family name. Users are welcome to tag with AxB and BxA, but the canonical will end up being A/B. (But users browsing AO3 will still see BxA or whatever you actually put in your headers.) Pairings won't be part of our signups, but you may want to tag your assignments with them when you upload them.

Non-English: The basic guideline for canons that weren't originally in English is "Original Name (transliterated, in the original order) | English Name". This goes for fandom names or character names or whatever else. If there's no official or commonly-used English name, we just use the original name. I'm sure I don't need to tell you guys how fraught and political this can get though. Movies that were made with a Mandarin version and a Cantonese version at the same time? Video games that have one name in Japan, another in the US, and still another in Europe? Wildly different scanlations and later official translations?

Sometimes, Wikipedia is more than sufficient. Other times, wranglers have to look at other language wikipedias or fandom specific wikis or AsianMediaWiki or something. I've occasionally resorted to searching fan blogs in Japanese. The more research it takes and the fewer wranglers speak a given language, the more likely we are to have a canonical that's just the English name. (Or with messed up diacritics. Or with Mandarin when there should be Cantonese.) If you see anything you think is wrong, please do tell me. I probably added it myself, and I may have just messed up.

Wranglers are mostly done setting up tags for this exchange. (Thanks, guys!) I just need to check back about a few fandoms, and then I'll set up the challenge signup form. I'll be posting more here once I've done that. Please feel free to ask questions, and don't forget to go promote your fandoms in the fandom promotion posts.

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