Website: Archive of Our Own
aka: AO 3
Archive of Our Own
(also known as AO3) is a relatively new Fan Fic
Web site. The site itself has been running since late 2008, but only started to become widespread and popular from 2011 onward.
The inception of the Archive started after the decline of Livejournal
as a fanfic hosting platform, especially the Strikethrough '07 which resulted in many fans losing the contents of their journals. AO3 as a project of the Organisation of Transformative Works was a response to this and the goal of the 'archive of our own' is to ensure a safe archive that would not purge fanworks as had happened on Fanfiction.net
To give an indication of how young it is compared to the existing behemoth Fanfiction.net
(which started in 1998), AO3 reached one million stories in total on February 15, 2014. The Harry Potter
fandom on FFN had roughly 674,000 on its own on the same day.
The rise in popularity has been helped along by the rise of Tumblr
as both sites share a similar fandom mentality and outlook, as well as by AO3 being the official hosting site or encouraged posting site for a few popular fanfic fests and events such as Yuletide. It also gained popularity when Fanfiction.net had a crackdown on Mature Content Fics in June 2013 (the last time that website did such a crackdown was back in 2002). AO3 is very popular because it allows users to view fics as one single document instead of the separated chapters and even download stories as HTML, EPUB, MOBI and PDF files, making it great for people who want stories on the go.
It also has a much
less restrictive Review system than Fanfiction.net—like Livejournal, it uses comments which may be edited and stacked on at your leisure, rather than having a single use for each chapter that can never be edited, replied to only privately.
Also notable is the "Kudos" system, which allows someone to say that they like the work without going to the trouble of a comment, but still better than another tick on the view count.