September 2015 Newsletter, Volume 95

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. 8 and 20

Communications assisted Journal in celebrating the release of their 20th issue soon after the OTW as a whole turned 8 years old. Journal’s editors extended kudos to production editor Rrain Prior for her stellar work handling all the production details and to Communications volunteer caitie~ for the fabulous artwork for Issue No. 20. Systems also updated the software TWC uses, OJS, to its latest version and Journal has been able to bring some new recruits on board for production work.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology produced 5 code releases, which included resolution of a few issues created (and addressed!) in hopes of making the lives of their fellow volunteers in Systems and Abuse a little bit easier. They also created a budget proposal for 2016, and worked closely with Development & Membership to create an Accessibility, Design & Technology-focused post and finalize an email about the upcoming membership drive. They’ve also been working up a few news posts about some upcoming changes we’re really excited about. Stay tuned!

Abuse received over 300 tickets in September. They sadly lost a few staffers recently, but are in the process of recruiting. The committee has been working on documentation and is trialing a chair training track with two lucky volunteers. They will be evaluating the training as they go along, and one volunteer may get to join as co-chair next year.

AO3 Documentation are working well towards their goal of having new versions of all AO3 FAQs up by the end of the year. In September they uploaded the new version of the About FAQ, and have completed new help text for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ that all AO3 users see after creating their account.

Support had another 700-ticket strong month; as such, they are a touch behind on tickets, but are trying to catch up. They will also be transitioning between ticket tracking software over the next month or so to a system that will better handle the capacity we’re receiving. User alert: there will be bumps!

Open Doors has just about finished helping the Table for Three mod import that archive, and will be helping the Seamus/Dean Forever mod soon.

Tag Wrangling welcomed 3 new staff members and said goodbye to 2 staff members who we will be missed very much. For projects, they began a new system called AO3_Wrangling_Project, which should make it easier to regularly wrangle unassigned fandoms in need. They’ve also have 12 new guideline discussions; they’ll begin exploring those topics as a team shortly. Tag Wrangling has also responded to several requests from the Support team, from wranglers, and from users on Twitter, and have hosted several tag wrangling parties.

III. SLOW BUT SUCCESSFUL

Legal celebrated a victory! In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Lenz v. Universal, agreeing with the OTW and its allies that “[f]air use is not just excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law.” This is what we argued in our amicus brief in the case, which was submitted to the court all the way back in December 2013. Justice sometimes takes a long time! As Legal said in the OTW News post about the case, the Lenz ruling is good for fans and transformative creators, but our work is far from done—we will continue to fight for fair use in the U.S. and around the world.

For example, in September, Legal submitted a comment to the South African government in response to the government’s call for comments regarding possible copyright law reforms. Our comment urged South Africa to adopt a fair use standard to replace its narrow and outdated copyright exceptions.

Translation received 90 applications total in the August-September recruitment round. They accepted 40 new recruits, most of whom have already finished training and are hard at work, including two new language teams: Greek and Norwegian! This month, Translation is working closely with Development and Membership, translating the upcoming October drive posts, and with Elections, preparing content for the upcoming OTW elections and a few static pages on their website.

Wiki has been at work coordinating Stub September at Fanlore. Engagement has been good on Dreamwidth and Twitter, and significant additions have been made to many stubs!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Strategic Planning now has the 3rd and semi-final version of the OTW strategic plan under internal review. They will be presenting the strategic plan at the OTW Annual Meeting with the hopes of having it and the implementation support plan approved by Board. They will also be asking the Board for their strategic guidance on the focus, scope and reach of the next round of strategic planning.

Elections announced 8 candidates this year, and worked with them to provide individual Bios & Manifestos for OTW members to read. Voters will be able to choose who joins the Board during our election spanning November 6th to 9th. Eligible to vote are any members who joined between October 6th, 2014 and October 6th, 2015 (including both days!) For more information, please see the Eligibility and Voting Instructions posts. Other questions can be directed to the Elections Contact Form

Currently candidates are composing responses to the over 50 questions submitted. Thank you for the enthusiastic response! Candidates’ answers will be posted in batches once they are completed by all candidates. On September 27th, it was announced that the Board had directed the Elections Committee to remove former Treasurer Nikisha Sanders from the ballot. Dan Lamson also withdrew his candidacy for the Board on September 27th.

Development & Membership continues to prepare for the October Drive and are looking at adding a second payment processor to the donation page called iATS, which specializes in nonprofits. They hope to have it up and running for the drive so that anyone not wanting to use Paypal will have another option. Development & Membership also sent some documents to Legal for review regarding the possible use of Cafe Press as an OTW Merchandise Store platform, and they hope to have a store up and running by the end of 2015.

Internationalization & Outreach worked on training new staff and updated their training and recruitment materials with the hope of recruiting again soon. Staff have been at work revising the committee’s plan to make the OTW more inclusive, in response to internal feedback received.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting did a lot of recruiting in September, seeking staff for Abuse, Communications, Systems, and Volunteers & Recruiting and continued inductions from August. Thank you to everyone for volunteering, and those departing staff and volunteers for their work.

New Committee Staff: Kathryn Soderholm (Internationalization & Outreach), Phoenixacid (Tag Wrangling), Sass (Tag Wrangling), and 1 other Tag Wrangling
New Journal Volunteers: Sarah New, Latina Vidolova, Rebecca Sentence, Gabriel Simm and 2 others
New Translator Volunteers: wordsoftreason, halfslytherin, Ana Beatriz, theimprobable1, gallica, marrjoram, Hatoko, Ipek and 18 others

Departing Committee Staff: Matty Lynne (Support), Llwyden ferch Gyfrinach (Tag Wrangling), 2 Abuse, 1 AO3 Documentation, and 1 Communications
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1
Departing Translator Volunteers: Nari, Chloe, Mary Tagus, and 1 other

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.