Strategic Planning Workgroup: Update on our activities

The Strategic Planning workgroup has been hard at work developing our processes and moving forward with our work, so we wanted to give you another update.

Now that our group is two months old, and we’ve seen how things work for us and what we, as a group, need in order to govern ourselves, we have created board liaison and workgroup member agreements, which clearly lay out responsibilities and expectations. These agreements were voted in unanimously and posted to the internal wiki on 12 May 2012.

We spent several meetings reviewing the group we’ve chosen to be our first focus for a draft strategic plan. We chose Tag Wrangling specifically because there is so much excellent documentation to work with, and so many people with thoughtful opinions on how this group should work and what it needs in order to move forward successfully. We spent several weeks reading through the documentation and discussing it to better our understanding of the group; we also attended Tag Wrangling meetings (including orientation for new wranglers and a staff meeting), and reached out to the committee staff to prepare them for the group chats, interviews, and surveys we’re using as our primary information gathering methods.

We spent the past week and will spend the next formalizing our survey for the Tag Wrangling volunteers and organizing the questions we have for Tag Wrangling committee staff. We expect to have the survey live within the next two weeks, and allow 10-14 days for volunteers to fill it out. The survey will be confidential to the Strategic Planning workgroup (although we will share aggregate data and anonymized answers with the Tag Wrangling staff and Volcom), and will include an option for the respondent to meet confidentially with the Strategic Planning workgroup to further discuss opinions, ideas, and concerns. Also in the works is a user-end survey, as well as putting our heads together with the group working on the OTW survey to facilitate synthesizing the information collected in the OTW survey into what we are collecting.

On 19 May, we had the pleasure of talking to Emilie, the Tag Wrangling co-chair, in a chat during our weekly meeting. We learned a lot during this chat and realized that we need to refine our process of interviewing, which we discussed the week after and during our 26 May meeting. Our thought, based on the experience of interviewing Emilie, is that our procedure of live interview first, then follow-up email may better serve all involved if adjusted to email first with follow-up live interview to clarify any outstanding points.

Last but not least! One of the things our group has recently done is both expand and contract. We’re sorry to say goodbye to Lindsay, and we’re very excited to have our new members!

Claire is a very new member of the OTW, having joined in March. Their academic background is in narrative theory: the study of how stories operate and affect our lives. This makes them highly invested in questions of fandom’s role in the world (as does their love of fandoms such as Inception and Marvel’s Avengers). As part of the Strategic Planning Workgroup, Claire consults especially on issues of survey construction and data analysis.

Jessica has been writing fanfiction online since the late 90’s, and has been using AO3 as her primary fanfiction archive since 2010. She also writes original science fiction and fantasy novels, and her first publication should be hitting Amazon, soon. When she’s not writing, she’s a lawyer. She practices primarily family law, but also has a strong interest in how the law impacts fandom.