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Q&A: Let's meet neatao3tags

Within less than a week of creating the Twitter account neatao3tags, Kate amassed more than 10,000 followers. She posts a mix of fandom-specific AO3 tags and some that are so multifandom relatable that they have gained thousands of likes. Kate herself is a multifandom reader and says the majority of her time is spent reading fanfiction, watching cosplay videos on YouTube and hanging out on Twitter. Some of her favorite fandoms to read for include "Les Mis," "Young Avengers," "The Bright Sessions" and "Boku No Hero Academia."

FANFICED spoke with Kate about the creation of neatao3tags, keeping up with tweeting and what fanfiction means to her, so check out the process behind one of the fanfiction community's new favorite accounts!

FANFICED: Why did you decide to make the neatao3tags account?

KATE: Basically, I kept seeing tags that were really funny while reading fic, and I kinda had that instinct where you wanna like, share the funny thing with people. So, I went on Twitter to see if there was any funny AO3 tags-type account I could submit to, but I couldn’t find any, or at least any that were still active, so I just kinda figured I’d make one?

The account gained 10k followers within a week of being created, what has that recognition been like for you? Did you expect that response?

I didn’t expect this at all. I honestly don’t think it’s hit me yet. One day I had zero followers, and the next I had thousands, and it was quickly climbing. And as for what it’s been like, it’s been both crazy and also really really cool. After about a day, I had to turn my notifications so it only showed me stuff from people who are following me, and even then, the notifications are very overwhelming, but it’s great to see that people find the tags I post funny as well. I love seeing people quoting and replying to my tweets with their ships, or them and their friend/partner, or even just "me," and I try to like most of them, but if I miss yours, I’m sorry.

How do you find the tags you use? Are they mostly from fics in fandoms you read for?

As for the tags I find, they’re from fandoms I read. When I first made the account, I went through a lot of fandom tags for my favorite fandoms to find tags to put in the drafts, and I still have a fair few of those. I’ve also been adding ones as I read more. However, I also get a lot of suggestions, and a lot of them are really good. A couple of the ones I’ve tweeted that are suggestions are from fandoms I read, but I also get a lot of fandoms I haven’t read from before (mostly kpop tbh). I’ll post stuff from fandoms I don’t read of course, but I won’t use any with specific names/references if I’m not familiar.

How much time do you expect to devote to the account daily? Is it a lot of work?

I don’t really have a specific amount of time I spend yet, it’s kind of differed. I assume I’ll have more of a dedicated amount of time once I get my footing a bit more. I’ve definitely spent a fair amount less time since I turned my notifications so they only showed me stuff from people that follow me (which I’m kinda sad about, I don’t want to miss any quoted replies just because they don’t follow me). Still, it’s been a good few hours a day, which I don’t mind, I’m on summer break right now, I imagine it might be a bit more of a hassle once school is back in session. I’ll probably figure out priorities then, right now, I’ve been going through my notifications, liking/replying to quotes and replies, responding to DMs and adding them to my drafts, and tweeting. That, plus reading and adding tags whenever I find good ones, is a fair amount of work, but I don’t really think of it as work. It’s really fun, and I enjoy seeing the response to my account.

You post multiple tags a day. Is it hard to find that many?

It hasn’t really become a problem yet. I have A LOT of drafts, between ones I’ve found and suggestions. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate suggestions, they’re really helpful, in both keeping my drafts from running low and giving me options in what I want to tweet.

Do you tend to get a lot of DMs?

Yeah, kinda. I don’t really know what the average for an account like mine is. The DMs I do get are great though, some people send just one or two they found funny, and some people send lists of like thirty, because they went through their bookmarks looking. There isn’t really an in between. Both types are really helpful though.

Do people in your everyday life know that you run this account?

Yeah. I wasn’t really ever planning on hiding it, and my dad asked why my phone kept buzzing, so my family knows. As of writing this, I haven’t really had the chance to tell my friends, but I will.

What do you see the future of this account looking like? Are you planning on running it for a long time?

I haven’t really thought that far ahead, honestly. I’m not planning on stopping in the foreseeable future, I know that much. Even if it becomes too much, and stops being fun and more of a chore, or becomes otherwise detrimental to my mental health, I’ll probably just look for another admin to start transferring some of the work over to.

Has there been any negative response to the creation of the account that you've noticed?

Honestly, not really at all, no. The closest I can think of is a couple people DM-ing me about posting more kpop, or more stuff that’s explicitly about kpop idols. They were respectful for the most part, they were just a bit pushy. Which is fine of course, wanting an account you like to post more about your interest is totally chill. I’d just rather not explicitly post about kpop, because I know practically nothing about it, and RPF makes me kind of uncomfortable. I’ll take RPF tag suggestions if they don’t have specific names/references, and I don’t mind people people quoting/replying with their RPF ships—any kind of interaction with my tweets makes me happy—but I’d rather not explicitly post about it for personal reasons. But yeah, there hasn’t been any like, actually negative response as far as I know.

What does fanfiction mean to you?

Well this is a difficult question. It’s been such a large part of my life for so long, and a lot of the best pieces of literature I’ve read that have influenced my life the most have been fanfiction. That plus the fact that it in its essence is just a bunch of people taking characters and worlds they really love and exploring and being creative. Of course, not all fic is beautiful pieces of literature, but all fic is still people being creative, even if it’s rather unconventional. So anyways, I’ll stop being dramatic and wordy and sum it up, basically, I think that fanfiction, or at least the fanfic I like to read, is a love letter to characters people love, or the original fiction they’re from. That was still dramatic and wordy, wasn’t it? I just really love fanfiction, ok.

You can find Kate on Twitter at @neatao3tags and show her some love by following, liking/retweeting and sending her some of the best, unique tags you've come across!


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