I love Yuletide, and I like the AO3; there is no need to defend either to me.
This is how I personally define Yuletide: a rare fandom
fic exchange, where rare fandoms are "rare to the best of my knowledge and google-fu" as opposed to "on AO3/ff.net/archive of your choice/LJ/DW/IJ/JF/etc.", and keeping in mind that I am only a part of English-language fandom. To me and to many others, this is what we understand to be the purpose
of the Yuletide challenge- to write and receive fic in fandoms that we (members of English-language fandom) cannot otherwise find, or find very little of. This is what we love about Yuletide.
The AO3, on the other hand, is a tool
. Yes, it is very shiny, and yes, I do like it there- as behind on my uploading as I am- but it is not the end-all and be-all of Fandom Everywhere. If the parameters and purpose of the Yuletide challenge are indeed supposed to be what I have laid out above, I find the sole use of AO3 statistics to be disingenuous*. It is illogical to claim that the AO3 is any more than a subset of fandom, or that it can, will, or should be the One Heart of Fandom to anyone and everyone, when our individual needs and preferences are so varied. (I don't have the time or words to express this properly at the moment, but if you're curious, my thoughts are along the lines of wistfuljane
Obviously, the parameters of Yuletide are the sole decision of the mods, but in my opinion it would be to everyone's benefit to have a clear outline of what the parameters are
, if only so we can make informed decisions about whether or not this challenge is for us.
* If you're wondering why I'm "only bringing this up now," well, I'm not the first. Many people brought it up before this Yuletide season began (I seem to remember a round of questions in August?), and also suggested that the rarity of fandoms could be confirmed by some organized crowdsourcing- with two thousand-odd members of yuletide
, not to mention their flists, there is a very large pool of potential volunteers. I don't know of any response to their concerns.