Board Meeting Minutes: August 24, 2012

ORGANIZATION FOR TRANSFORMATIVE WORKS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
August 24th, 2012, 18:00 UTC

PRESENT: Naomi Novik, Ira Gladkova, Nikisha Sanders, Jenny Scott-Thompson, Francesca Coppa, Julia Beck.

GUESTS: Eylul, Curtis Jefferson, FishieMishie, Renay, sunusn, Lady Oscar.

ABSENT: Kristen Murphy.

DECISIONS TAKEN SINCE THE LAST MEETING

  1. We approved a new staff member for Abuse

OPEN SESSION

  1. AD&T has lots of new coders. ADT and Systems are working on the ongoing firewall/https issues (there’s a public post up about this in our outlets).
  2. The new dev server is awaiting resolution of insurance issues. Because those are taking longer than anticipated, the plan is to upgrade the webdev linode in the meantime.
  3. ADT is working on a revision of the internal roadmap and on a bunch of docs improvements as well as a major cleanup of google code issues. Also, ADT have now gotten an Amazon EC2 instance set up and working; this uses a clone of the full archive db and therefore will allow us to do much more accurate performance testing.
  4. Francesca went down to PBS yesterday to be a talking head for their new Off Book documentary on fandom and is putting together a bunch of UK fanfiction writers to be interviewed for BBC Radio 4.
  5. Volcom have two docs up for review: Because these documents will impact all of us, we are placing them on the Internal Wiki for your comments and questions between August 24, 06:00 UTC and September 7, 06:00 UTC. You can find them at http://wiki.transformativeworks.org/mediawiki/Code_of_Conduct and http://wiki.transformativeworks.org/mediawiki/Constructive_Corrective_Action_Procedure. Please follow the directions on the wiki pages to provide feedback. We are all delighted with this.
  6. Volcom also remind us that liaisons and/or chairs need to notify them if people are going on hiatus or vacation. They also need notice when there are staffing changes, like chairs being replaced or new staff joining a committee.
  7. There’s also a request that we clarify the steps for when a chair or lead changes. It’s been unclear who notifies whom with what information, whether the chair needs to notify Volcom directly, if the liaison from the committee does it, or if the Volcom liaison passes on information. When people are approved and Board communicates that approval, Volcom should be CCed. We agreed to add it to next week’s agenda.
  8. Finally, Volcom reminded us that general staff and volunteer recruitment is closed currently. Recruiting is closing completely in a little over a week so VolCom can put in place our new procedures and processes gained by their research. They will be sending out a message about this soon. They hope to complete this work in 1-3 weeks.
  9. Legal’s doing their routine work of answering queries and reviewing documents, and they’re also finishing work on some language that was requested of Open Doors about wills and estates, both by living fans looking to make such and for fans operating for other fans after they’re gone.
  10. Journal is gearing up for the September issue–this year, aside from their regular two issues, there are two special issues for a total of four, which is like doing two full books a year.
  11. Journal are in really preliminary talks with the University of Iowa to work on a conference there.
  12. We gave a quick summary of the current status of the email discussion on meta:
    • We agreed to declare the last vote non-binding and affirm the meta discussion to be ongoing.
    • We plan to finish drafting/editing the “positions” writeboard, release it to staff, and a reasonable time later (3-5 days) release it in public. This would help address the immediate problems of confusion and lack of transparency.
    • We then want to get more input from the committees involved, and are discussing how to do this most productively.
    • Later, we will spend some time brainstorming about how we can better structure our discussions of complex or controversial issues to make them more manageable, ensure that everyone feels heard, clarify the voting process, and make sure that major decisions are announced in a planned manner.
  13. We’ve been discussing Emerita and Advisory Board via email, and need more board members to weigh in with their views. The remaining board members agreed to try and reply this week.
  14. Six months ago, we agreed to Amazon SES for email hosting for the AO3 notifications to users, and agreed to review in six months. Sadly we don’t actually have this up and running yet, but Naomi will get us stats on email volume for next time.

CLOSED SESSION

  1. We discussed board participation rubrics. We’d really like to progress this soon, so we can provide something to candidates. Those who haven’t yet said much in the email discussion will try and weigh in this week.
  2. We discussed board workload. Julia has handed over Survey workgroup leadership.
  3. We discussed the Emerita Board mailing list, and agreed to put it on hold until the main Emerita and Advisory Boards discussion is concluded.
  4. We discussed the draft announcement about meta. A couple of board members have further updates to make. Since it’s a very long document, but the nuance is important, we agreed to email a condensed summary to staff, with a link to a wiki page with the full version.
  5. We discussed the education project.
    • There’s a new print edition of Henry Jenkins’ book “Textual Poachers” with a teacher’s guide being written by Louisa Stein, and she had wanted to link to places where syllabi about fandom were being collected, which was a goal for the education project. It’s a print guide, so the url is permanent and can’t be changed. The Fanlore page is http://fanlore.org/wiki/Syllabi.
    • The education project was the idea that we would have a landing page or resource page, similar to Open Doors, for people who wanted to teach about fandom. It would have things like sample syllabi, readings and assignments. This is on the theory that a way of spreading a more accurate view of fandom was to help teachers who wanted to use fandom to know how to do that. We also wanted to provide a curriculum on fair use, because there are groups providing “anti-piracy” curricula to 5th grade and up, telling kids NOT to do or make or think anything. Some of this has now moved on, as other groups such as the EFF have produced resources, but it would still be helpful to link to them.
    • We agreed that Francesca would set up a basic educational splash page with Webmasters, linking to the Fanlore pages and other key resources. She will also work with Comms to announce it on our blog.
  6. We discussed organisational structure. Naomi had a proposal which she agreed to detail in email, and Francesca offered historical information to be added to the email discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 20:00 UTC.

Minutes approved by the board on 1st September.