It's Why I Joined/Support OTW Week over at otw_news. Although I am not on the board or any committee, I have donated so I feel I can say that I do support the OTW. If you are new to the Organization for Transformative Works, it's a Non-Profit group of fans that have organized to provide "services" to fans like an Archive for fanfiction, vids and art, a Fan History wiki and an academic journal. Please check out their website and their LiveJournal community for tons of info. The archive will allow fic only when it opens, with vids and art added in the future. I read and enjoy fanfiction, but I really love vids, so I can't wait for vids to be added to the archive along with the fic!
The first is for the archive. I LOVE the idea of an archive that will accept fiction, videos and art for all fandoms, and that will have so many features for searching and finding exactly what I want when I want it. Check out the Archive's Roadmap for more details on the features. I can't tell you how much that excites me, because I want to spend my time reading and watching instead of searching post after post on a hundred different websites to find what I want. And after all that searching you might find a dead link or a down site and not get what you were looking for after all. I want our works to be permanent and not disappear tomorrow. I wish I had the time to learn how to code, but I just don't right now. I also love the fact that the archive software will be open source for anyone to use. That will be a great contribution to fans everywhere.
The second is because I want our community to last. I love watching movies and TV, and I love turning to fanvids and fic to dig deeper into the characters and plots. It's a way for me to prolong my enjoyment and deepen my interest in the shows. I love that there are other people out there that love those things just as much as I do. I am fascinated that women have been writing and vidding for decades, and I am excited about the Fan History Wiki so that I can read about how it all got started, how vidding has changed over the decades. Our community centers on what we do with the source; without our creative responses the way we interact would change. Right now the longevity of our work is tenuous because we don't own the spaces where we play; we lease them from someone else. (check out Cesperanza's post) We are subject to their thoughts and policies. Lets own our own space and do everything we can to preserve it. It is worth preserving, worth remembering all the women who came before us.
The third reason is for the OTW itself. Over the last several months I have been following the progress being made and I'm really impressed with how the organization is shaping up. Every measure is being taken to ensure the longevity of the organization. The volunteers are all committed to the project and handling everything in a very professional way. I feel that I can trust them to handle my donation wisely and to construct an organization that is stable. I want the archive to last a LONG time, and I see the OTW as being the support structure to enable that. The OTW will operate as a Non-Profit, and that is important so that no one can claim anyone is making money off of fan works. It's also important for the longevity of the archive. The organization will outlast any single member. It cannot be destroyed or taken offline by any single member, or small group of fans. It will last as long as the collective group wants it to and is willing to invest in it.
I support the OTW because I want to use an archive that will last for as long as we want it to.
*NOTE: If you choose to browse the AO3, please know that adult (sexually explicit and/or violent) material is allowed! However, those works should be marked as such in the upper left-hand corner of the work posting (click on the images to get a symbol key. Please check the information before reading or viewing. More info on ratings and warnings.*
If you want an AO3 invite there is info available here.
ETA 10-4-08: The archive is in Open Beta! Anyone can get an account and post their fiction now! You can find the fan wiki here. Anyone can edit the wiki after making an account. The academic journal can be found here.
ETA 6/14/10: The OTW has released their Vidding Archive Roadmap!! There are lots of exciting projects in the works. My account with the AO3 is RDphantom.
ETA 10/14/11: The AO3 now allows embedding streaming video into works posted! So even though vids aren't directly hosted by the AO3, you can still post them to the AO3. There are currently 625 vids posted to the AO3, and at least two Collections dedicated to vids: Vividcon and Festivids.
There are currently fanworks listed in the following Gerry fandoms:
The Phantom of the Opera
P.S. I Love You
Reign of Fire