Election 2009 News!

And now for (some of) the news you’ve all been waiting for: the details of the OTW’s 2009 Election Season! We have great news for you: two fabulous people are joining the OTW Board! Because only two candidates came forward, we won’t be holding a contested election this year. However, they are both awesome and eminently qualified for Board service. Without further ado, let’s introduce them!

Elizabeth Yalkut is a student at Columbia University in New York City. She has worked in development, marketing, and strategy for nonprofit legal and theater organizations, is a long-time American Civil Liberties Union volunteer, and currently works for the Educational Technology department at Barnard College. Elizabeth has been a staffer with the OTW since 2007 and has been particularly instrumental on our Content Policy committee, where she helped to research, write, and publicly workshop our complex, fan-friendly, and highly-readable AO3 Terms of Service as well as general policy documents across the OTW. She also serves as a member of our Development committee, and was asked, as someone intimately familiar with Archive policy, to chair our Abuse committee at the beginning of 2009. Food is one of her fandoms: Elizabeth blogs about food at A Very Uncommon Cook, serves as treasurer of the Columbia University Science Fiction Society, and currently enjoys the hell out of Merlin, Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Elizabeth plans to work on outreach (organizational, fannish, international), accessibility, and education during her term on the Board.

Allison Morris works in a public library as a public services supervisor and has a BA in Japanese Literature from the University of Michigan. An OTW staffer for two years, Allison currently chairs the OTW Webmasters committee, which is responsible for building and maintaining all of transformativeworks.org, including the OTW blog, donations software, Open Doors subsite, and elections subsite; this requires her to work closely with the Drupal and CiviCRM open source software communities, as well as with people involved in a broad selection of OTW projects. This year, Allison also serves as co-lead with the Tag Wranglers subcommittee and heads the cross-committee Merchandizing workgroup which organized and is carrying out the OTW’s new donation premiums. A lifelong fan, Allison is particularly interested in not only works that transform canon but also fanworks that honor the work of other fans and transform other fanworks, like remixes, podfic, recs, and meta, among other fan arts. She has been a devoted creator and advocate of podfic; she built and maintains the Audiofic archive, providing a stable, permanent home for a constantly growing collection of podfic — currently ~3700 recordings covering ~290 fandoms, including readings in five languages — and she has conducted several podfic workshops at cons. She has many theories concerning robots, clones, and John Sheppard, and has presented on those and related subjects at WisCon and Writercon, as well as informally to whomever will listen.

Allison plans to work on increasing the OTW’s profile among technical women’s organizations as well as on creating a grantwriting team.

We would like for all of you to get to experience their awesomeness yourselves (or bask in it again, if you’ve already met them) and to ask questions about the details of the experience and ambition they bring to the table. They are your Board members – come say “Hi!” To this end, we’ll be hosting a chat at 1400 UTC on 24 October 2009.

Time clock for this event is here:

The chat will take place in our Public Discussion room on Campfire, which can be accessed via this URL:


Alas, the tea and coffee we can provide will be only virtual, but you are welcome to bring your own mug to the computer.

Although we didn’t get to hold a competitive election this year, we are delighted to have attracted two such marvelous new Board members. Welcome, Elizabeth and Allison!

If there’s anything we didn’t cover here that you’re concerned about, or if you want any more information, please respond to this with any questions, comments, or objections you may have. You can reach Elections by leaving a comment on this blog post or any of its mirrors, or by using the Elections contact form; you can reach the Board by leaving a comment on this post or its mirrors, or by using the Board contact form.

Visit the OTW Elections website.

AD&T Weekly Meeting: 10 October 2009

Welcome to our weekly update from the chair of ADT. All the news that’s fit to print about the progress of the Archive of Our Own is below the cut. Comment or ask questions below or on the original post at http://samvara.dreamwidth.org/425207.html.

Saturday 11pm – 1am and then I faffed around til 2 and slept in. It was a smaller meeting than usual because of wincon *waves forlornly*

Deploy schedule: the testing team are regression testing on Test right now (yes, that’s a lot of use of the word ‘test’) and barring suddenly finding something awful we’ll be deploying that to the AO3 on the 17th. One of my jobs this week is to write up the Release Notes – made infinitely easier by [info - personal] cal who writes up a ‘what’s new’ document for the testers that I can crib off 🙂

  • Admin FAQ/Updates: On Test; I’m thinking I might shove some historical updates in when we go live just so we have the history in the same place. We’ve got the draft FAQ up and edited (OMG [info - personal]zooey_glass has worked so hard on it), Known Issues is still written in our peculiar internal language which no-one wants to read – we’ll clean that up for posting I promise!
  • Admin Metrics: This is something probably only I get worked up about – the ability to measure what’s going on on the AO3. [info - personal] cesy has been looking at this which is VERY EXCITING FOR ME
  • Bookmarks: On Test; next round of development will be as a result of public responses – I think we might put up a ‘Bookmark Views’ post so there’s a place for discussion
  • Collections: nothing new to report *pets lovingly*
  • Front Page: On Test; we originally wanted to deploy this page with Open Beta so it has a visible ‘Request an Invite’ link – which is now hooked to a help file saying ‘Coming Soon’ – which it is!
  • Internet Explorer 7: We’re still adding fixes 🙂 If you happen to have Javscript skills we could totally use you right now. *makes grabby hands*
  • New Users: We’re putting in a help page for newly created account holders with tips on what you can do now you’ve got an account
  • Notes field: We’ve added the ability to add Notes at the front and the end of your work – a lot of people asked for this

Open Beta: Mid November, we’ll need enough to time to thoroughly test Invitations and we want at -least- a week, preferably two after we deploy the new code for ‘stability’. That is we deploy, cautiously use it, and eye it suspiciously for a little before we subject it to heavy use.

Stuff coming up:

  • AO3 Logo: We’re going to have a competition! I have no idea who is going to run it, in fact if you feel like volunteering please do. We want someone who can coordinate setting up simple guidelines, who can promote it widely and who can handle the submissions / final selection process. There are a bajillion people out there with those skills so if you can think of someone who might be interested please nudge them gently and ask them why they’d want to sleep at night anyway 😉
  • Code Optimising: Just starting to look at what we can work on – the likely candidates are Search, Filters and Caching but I’d like to do some more diagnostics
  • Filters: We’ll be changing the search filters to be slightly more intuitive (these are the tickyboxes on the right when you’re searching for works). The filters are set to AND, not OR and we do this for performance reasons – we’ll be trying to make that a bit more obvious.

Release numbering: we tend to only do one release at a time so we’ve been referring to them as ‘the one in May’ or ‘the one with the Tag Wrangling fixes in it’ and other such illustrious titles. It gets a bit hairy when we’re planning four in a row though so we’ve gone to a numbering system. Next week’s drop is now called 0.7.0 (first drop to contain serious code contributing to Collections and Challenges) to be followed by 0.7.1 (which has more C&C code) and so on and so forth. The first drop to contain any code for Subscriptions will jump to 0.8.0. This is relevant if you ever visit our issues list as we’ll start tagging things to which release we think they’ll go in. Incidentally Release 0.7.0 currently has 90 patches in it, that’s a lot of work!

Gay Geekery: The Organization for Transformative Works

Fans looking for reasons to become a member of OTW during our current drive might check out Jack’s latest article over at The New Gay: Gay Geekery: The Organization for Transformative Works. In this column, Jack explains how his support of the OTW is connected to his own politics around queer liberation and sexual freedom. “But even beyond that,” Jack adds, “I want people to know that what we [fans] do is truly meaningful artistic work.”

Read the rest of the article, and then join the OTW! (And thanks for the shout-out, Jack!)