elz: (ada-queen victoria)
Short notice, but I have a ticket to the Welcome to Night Vale anniversary show tomorrow night at 7pm in NYC which I unfortunately won't be able to go to. Drop me a line if you'd be interested or know someone else who might be!

(I have duly learned my lesson about volunteering for things without paying close attention to the date. Alas!)
elz: (AO3: learn ruby)
AO3 1 Million Celebration

Five and a half years after the first one, we have our millionth work on AO3! Champagne time! We had a crowd in our chatroom this morning refreshing the front page over and over - hopefully some of them are actually getting some sleep now. :)

Misc TV

Feb. 10th, 2014 01:31 am
elz: (facepalm)
aka, things I was watching before the Olympics started up and I began having sudden and intense feelings about luge.

Teen Wolf

I feel like watching this show is more than a little like rooting for the Mets. You go in with very low expectations, because you know what you're getting yourself into. Then there are some pleasant surprises, and there's that point mid-season where they get hot, and you think, hey, there's some real potential here. Maybe they're actually going somewhere! Maybe this time will be different! And then, of course, it's not, and everything collapses, and you end the season lying on the floor clutching an empty bottle, wondering why you do this to yourself. (I'm pretty sure Dylan O'Brien is Matt Harvey in this analogy.)

So yes, the last few episodes are the equivalent of the midseason hot streak, and I'm definitely intrigued by what's going on, but it's hard to have confidence that it's actually going to end up in any sort of coherent and satisfying way. I live in hope of being proved wrong. (That goes double for the Mets.)

Downton Abbey

I knew I'd like this show, but if I'd known just how much of it was an epic bitchfest between Professor McGonagall and Harriet Jones (MP), I'd have gotten around to watching it a lot sooner. Currently up to early S3, not so unspoiled that I don't know what awaits me at the end.

The After

This is one of the Amazon Prime pilots, from Chris Carter of The X-Files, co-starring (among others) Aldis Hodge, Adrian Pasdar, and an almost unrecognizable Jamie Kennedy and Sharon Lawrence.

spoilers )

TGIM

Dec. 30th, 2013 09:04 pm
elz: (ada-reboot)
I have the next two days off, a bunch of stuff to code, a giant pile of laundry, an empty fridge and a bottle of wine. If I can accomplish something other than just opening the bottle of wine, 2014 will be off to a pretty good start.
elz: (ada-reboot)
I've seen a lot of talk going around about the Big Bang Press kickstarter and whether it's a good idea to contribute to or not, and I have some thoughts on that.

1. If you put in an amount of money that you're comfortable paying for three as-yet unfinished and unreviewed novels by new authors with established fanfic backgrounds, you'll either get three novels out of it or you'll get your money back if they don't actually deliver. (Kickstarter ground rules.) Backing a kickstarter doesn't make you liable for any legal or financial problems the owners run into, so it's pretty much on them to decide whether those risks are too high. If you don't think the books are worth it or you don't have the money to spend, obviously that's also a completely valid choice.

2. Is their fundraising goal too high? Do they have professional editing and publishing experience? Do they have an actual lawyer on staff? I'm not sure I care. The thing is, I'm coming from the tech world, where it feels like a white guy can walk up to a VC and get $10 million to build an app that makes barnyard animal noises. I want to see more women out there in the world asking for money and starting businesses and taking risks. $40,000 doesn't exactly seem like a wildly exorbitant sum to launch a company, and worst case scenario is that they end up with more professional experience and some useful business and life lessons to go on with. And if they get more money than they need and turn a profit on their work? Why exactly would that be wrong?

Have you heard of Wattpad? It's a fiction hosting site founded by two men that (from what I can tell) seems to be used mostly by teenage girls posting One Direction fanfic. To date, they've raised at least $20.8 million by making the claim that they're out to disrupt the publishing industry.

Do you know how much money Etsy and Pinterest (both founded by men) have raised to date, on the backs of women creating and sharing content on their sites? At least $91.7 million and $338 million, respectively. And while I'm reading stories about these sites on Hacker News every day, I'm still looking around the internet and seeing a lot of talented women who are underemployed or trying to make ends meet while generating value in the form of content for other people's companies. So yeah, I love the fannish gift economy and have done thousands of hours of unpaid labor on its behalf, but I also respect the fact that people have to eat and pay rent, and I support their efforts to make money to do that as long as they're not hurting anybody. Will I be more cynical the fiftieth time I see people in fandom doing the same thing? No doubt. But if any of them make it big, I'll be thrilled, and in the meantime, if I pay for a book and I get a book that I enjoy as much as my average Amazon purchase, that's a perfectly good deal for me.
elz: (ada-tubes)
I have assembled ALL the furniture this weekend! For the love of god, someone please remind me to stop buying assembly-required furniture that involves doors and hinges, because that is the worst.

I've also celebrated the return of cable tv into my life after an absence of four years by marathoning many ancient episodes of Law and Order, because what else is cable for? Lennie Briscoe, how I missed you.

Next on the list: acquiring a bottle of wine, and possibly a small Christmas tree. And oooh, I think it might be snowing. Clearly the appropriate time for this expedition!

Heresy

Nov. 2nd, 2013 03:54 pm
elz: (Default)
There's nothing like the prospect of moving to force one to acknowledge that maybe there is such a thing as too many books.
elz: (AO3: learn ruby)
-Today I watched all of S3 of Haven. I think I need to find a magic barn to go take a nap in to recuperate. No deep thoughts, but I definitely enjoyed it, and it remains the OT3est of shows. Now on to S4...

-mumble's been compiling AO3 search tips for users and doing some posts about them: The "Search Within Results" Field and You, Part 1 and Part 2. The problem on our end is that the search engine can do so many different things that it's difficult to add/convey all of them through the interface without overloading people with complexity. But while we figure that out, there's a lot you can do manually to exclude tags and refine searches, so check that out if you're interested.

-Other than that, I had four and a half hours of OTW meetings today, deployed a couple of tiny fixes to AO3, did some much-needed cleaning and laundry, and played around with some API code. The first item on tomorrow's agenda is "go outside", because I'm working on a thing where I try not to spend entire weekends on my laptop anymore. It's a work in progress.
elz: (ada-queen victoria)
The weather's gorgeous today, so I walked downtown after work. By Gallery Place, there was an unmarked bus parked by the side of the road and a woman standing next to it in a red tutu, hula-hooping. Another woman in a business suit walked up to her and said, "Can you tell me where this bus is going? Someone just told me that I should get on it." I kept walking, so I'll never know what happened next, but I'd like to believe it involved some sort of buddy comedy roadtrip adventure.

---

I watched Sleepy Hollow last night: liked the actors, but the show is extremely. [ETA: that was going to say 'extremely goofy', but 'extremely' also covers it.] May give it a couple more episodes just to see what sort of weekly format they end up with. I guess it says something about me that I can take in stride the idea of George Washington sending Ichabod Crane to fight the four horsemen of the apocalypse but I get irked by inaccurate portrayals of Westchester County law enforcement, but there it is.

Goal for this weekend: start catching up with Haven, since I left off pretty early on in S3. I'm also getting closer to being caught up with Night Vale, which I'm really enjoying. And then next week - SHIELD! Definitely the show I'm most looking forward to this fall. (Please don't suck.)
elz: (otw)
*cough*

One thing we periodically toss around is the idea of having an OTW con where people could actually meet up in person - we've had a lot of small, unofficial staff meetups over the years, but nothing org-wide or formally planned. I think it would be pretty awesome, and what it mostly needs at this point is someone to pick a city and date when at least some number of people could make it, and get the ball rolling. I know absolutely nothing about event planning or how to book a venue, but Lady Oscar actually does and was encouraging my flights of fancy, and therefore, a poll! Highly speculative and unofficial:

Poll #11240 OTWCon Planning
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 19

Could/would you come to an OTW-related con next March in Washington, DC?

Yes
7 (36.8%)

Maybe
9 (47.4%)

No
3 (15.8%)



Assume the cost to be around whatever a fan-run con usually costs and attendance to be open to any staff, volunteers or fans who would like to come. Obviously you could have this event anywhere in the world at any time of the year, but what the heck - DC's a big city, easy to fly into, cheaper than NY (unless anybody has venue tips for NY) and about as central as anywhere, given that we're scattered all over the world. Though I myself would not be averse to going to Europe. There could theoretically be regional meetups on the same weekend for people who couldn't travel quite as far, with some sort of video hookup, maybe? Google hangouts? Cross-chatting? Something, anyway. We could have brainstorming and hackathoning and vid watching and teamly bonding and general shenanigans! Field trip to a Caps game! Multicolored alcohol! Just think of the possibilities. :D

Ideas, suggestions, alternate times or places? If there's interest, we should totally make a Party Planning Workgroup and get a bunch of people together to hammer something out (all meetings to involve party hats and sparkly balloons).

And please link around to anyone who might be interested!

Misc

Jul. 9th, 2012 09:07 pm
elz: (black widow)
Was up in NY this weekend - the weather was at least a tiny bit cooler, although the subway made me appreciate the fact that, for all its faults, the DC metro does at least have air-conditioned stations. Visits with family are always a bit draining these days, but this morning I wandered out and enjoyed the 80 degree temperature in Central Park. And went to see Spider-Man, which was fun. (Andrew Garfield: A+, rest of movie: B)

The next two days I'll be off to AdaCamp in DC, yay. Then in a fit of (for me) utter decadence, I took Thursday and Friday off work as well. Or at least off paid work - at this rate, it'll take me the whole four-day weekend to catch up with OTW emails, let alone coding and code review. /o\

Such is my exciting life this month.
elz: (ada-tubes)
This sounds fascinating from a future-of-vidding POV: Valve hands over its own movie-making tools to gamers

The new tool will allow gamers to make their own movies using the acclaimed Source game engine directly. This means that users will have almost any element from a recent Valve game at their disposal, including characters, locations, props, particles, textures, and sounds. New assets can even be created from scratch using the Source SDK and imported into a video project. People will then be able to position objects and choose their shots as if it were a real-world location - even lighting and visual effects can be adjusted on the fly.
elz: (ada-queen victoria)
YAAAAAAAAY )

And while I'm at it: Cabin in the Woods was also very enjoyable, in a very, very different sort of way. I'm pretty thrilled that Avengers is making buckets of money and Joss will hopefully get more opportunities to make things that don't get cancelled or shelved.

\o/
elz: (Default)
First, apologies if I'm slow in getting back to anybody about OTW stuff right now. My schedule was pretty jammed before I started working 16-24 hours a day, and that is sadly not hyperbole. /o\

Second, anybody in DC interested in going to see The Avengers (or perhaps more likely, going to see it again) on Saturday or Sunday? Pretty sure I'd be too zonked out to enjoy a midnight showing, which is terrible and sad.

Third, hi! Still mostly alive over here! I'm enjoying Game of Thrones immensely, periodically starting posts that I don't actually finish, and otherwise basically working all the time and daydreaming about vacations.
elz: (ada-queen victoria)
Great video on SOPA/PIPA:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.



And some bizarro-world quotes from the MPAA on the matter:

Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.


So just to be clear, when the MPAA bribes Congress for the right to censor the internet, it's totally cool. When you black out your own site, that's an abuse of power!

Do remember to call your senators if you're in the US! This is some serious stuff with some potentially awful ramifications.
elz: (Default)
Posting here instead of as a comment on yuletide-admin because of length! These are all in the main collection.

Yuletide works with 0 or 1 comments )
elz: ao3 logo with pirate hat and sword (ao3 yarr!)
(To anyone who doesn't care about OTW: I'm so sorry? Also, maybe we should hang out more. That would be refreshing.)

Just to clear up a couple of misconceptions here: Naomi isn't the AD&T chair this year (and hasn't been since 2008), and thus she's not the manager of AO3-related coding projects. Amelia and I are the co-chairs, and we're the ones responsible for what goes on. Concerns about management of AD&T or coding or testing volunteers should be directed to us, to the volunteers committee, or to Kylie, our testing lead.

lim is a highly competent adult who has the right and ability to speak for herself and to make her own decisions. She volunteered to do the CSS overhaul, which is a project she'd undertaken twice before in the past. We don't ask anyone to do anything they don't have the time and energy for, and if we stopped people from working individually on big projects that interested them, nothing on the site would ever have gotten built.

I am incredibly grateful to Naomi and lim, the 10 other coders, and the dozens of testers who worked on our last release. There are some quality improvements in there: our CSS has been streamlined and reorganized, you can now write a site skin that doesn't include any of our CSS, you can add skins on top of one another, prompt meme listings are more readable, we have an enormous new tag set and challenge nominations feature (which has now had a successful first run with Yuletide noms!), news posts can now be tagged and filtered, and we fixed an enormous slew of bugs. And I know most people can't see the admin side of the site, but oh man, that is SO much better now. There were over a hundred tickets and a thousand code commits involved in this release. It sucks massively when bugs make it through to production, but even though we're always working to make our process better, it's never going to be flawless. I believe in constructive responses: you fix the problem, you do your best to fix the problems that led to the problem, and you keep going. As an example, we haven't had a formal structure in place for doing mobile testing, and due to circumstances which were as much my fault as anybody else's, the need to re-test the site on our phones before we deployed got lost in the shuffle. It's certainly not the fault of the testers for not doing something they weren't aware they needed to do, and it's easily addressed for the future. In this case, we were able to fix the bug within a day. We do our best, simultaneously, to communicate everything that's going on; sometimes it takes a day or two for a full post to appear because the people who would write it are hard at work fixing the bugs or answering support requests. There's not a huge team here. If you'd like to change that, come and volunteer.
elz: (AO3: learn ruby)
I'm really not up to reading anything about anything at this point (I'm building a blanket fort and hunkering down with this season of Merlin), but here are some fun behind-the-scenes stats from AO3:

  • In October 2011, AO3 had almost 500,000 unique visitors and almost 19 million pageviews. Right now, there are over 2,600 people in our invite queue. (We hope to lower that soon!)
  • We started doing self-hosted analytics in July, and the average number of pageviews per day has almost tripled just since then. We hit about 860,000 in a 24-hour period this Sunday, which was up from about 760,000 the Sunday before.
  • Traffic is always highest on Sundays. Posting is generally more evenly distributed across the week, although it is a little higher on weekends.
  • The most popular fandom on the site (by traffic) is Homestuck, and it has been for as long as I've been checking the stats.
  • The fandom with the most works is (unsurprisingly) Harry Potter, with 15,495.
  • If you want to rack up the hits, write a long Sherlock or XMFC AU WIP. Bonus points for mpreg or kidfic!
  • Relatedly (apart from the mpreg, as far as I know), abundantlyqueer's Two Two Bravo Baker is its own phenomenon, with over 1,800 comments and almost 80,000 hits.
  • About half the users of the archive (13,000) have posted at least one work.
  • There are 602 works over 100,000 words long. The longest work in the site is 863,000+ words. And that one's a WIP! (Glass Houses by Viridian5 in Weiß Kreuz fandom)
  • In addition to 25,000 users and 245,000 works, the site is home to 230,000 bookmarks and 10,000 series. There are about 200,000 tags in our system, of which about 100,000 are official versions.
  • AO3 includes works written in 24 different languages, from Spanish (1,400+) and Russian (600+), to Latin (5) and Esperanto (10).
  • Kudos were introduced on the archive last December, and in that time, people have left 1.1 million of them for one another! ♥

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