April 2010 Newsletter, Vol. 37

Welcome to our April 2010 newsletter. Get the updates on our activities, just beneath the cut!


We continue to aspire to enter the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with the entry Mostly Useless, and fandom is doing a great job not giving us work. In between sitting around eating bon-bons and watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand, we’re talking with Content Policy about the enforcement issues surrounding the discussion of “original” work in the Archive.


The entire AD&T team has been incredibly busy once again, with a host of new features on the Archive, including a plain text skin, a new ‘light’ style, new features for related works and translations, and tons more cool stuff. April saw FOUR new code releases on the Archive, and we’re already stacking up lots more stuff for the next release.

We asked for feedback on features people would like to see for fanart on the Archive, and got an AMAZING response. We’re now working through the wishlist and figuring out what we can implement when – we’re excited! We also provided input on the Vidding Project Roadmap and bounced around in glee a lot!

News from sub-committees coders, testers and tag wranglers: Everyone is working like crazy and being AWESOME.


The Board has been working hard on a number of things, including: our 2009 annual report, our policy on gray-area fanworks and original fiction, and our Vidding Project Roadmap (coming soon! see below!)


Communications continues to bring you all the OTW news that’s fit to print and to be the first point of contact for people who need things from us. We are also hoping to bring you more stories focusing on international fannish issues in the near future, so stay tuned!

Content Policy:

No report.


Development has been working with International Outreach on plans for…international outreach! We’ve also been working at reaching more fans online, via social networking sites, and on reaching more fans offline, via in-person networking at conferences, conventions, and other gatherings. We’re also working with the Webmasters committee to upgrade our donation software, and we continue to lay the groundwork for grant applications.


Documentation is sad to report that two of our members have had to step down on account of RL over the past month, but the rest of the committee is still working away at keeping things tidy for the organization.

Finance Update:

The sharks of fincom are still making sure the bills get paid and getting ready to file the annual federal tax return (990).

Academic Journal:

The academic journal team plans to launch a new blog, edited by Dana Sterling and cryptoxin, called Symposium. It will provide news and meta aimed at the acafan. We have a tentative launch date of early June.

International Outreach:

We’ve been discussing some of our suggestions for the OTW website with Development & Membership and Communications. Among other things, we’re looking into integrating more international content into the OTW News blog, improving the OTW presence on other networking sites, and reworking some of the current website content.


Still not sued! 🙂 The Legal Committee also continues to be a resource for individual fans who have legal questions or concerns.

Open Doors:

In response to questions, Open Doors recently clarified that the Fan Culture Preservation Project is open to fans around the world. Both the OTW and our partner, The University of Iowa, are interested in preserving fannish artifacts that are not in English or come from countries outside the U.S. International fans are also welcome to request copies of materials from the project at the same page rate, though postage will vary depending on where the materials have to go. Open Doors is still working on revising its website; we are clarifying our procedures for bringing works into the Archive now that we have new automated Importing and Collections features. So stay tuned!


Support’s been super hard at work answering tickets — we’re down quite low again and so proud of our awesome and amazing volunteers! We’ve had an administratively quiet month but we’re back in the saddle and working hard to get us closer to the much-coveted Support Board — we really can’t wait! As always, we are super happy to hear from users and help with questions and concerns, so please do keep contacting us through the feedback form!


Your Systems Monkeys are hard at work obtaining global dominion, one server at a time. This month that involved transferring DNS to a new, cheaper but reliable service, researching backup server hosting services, starting up a new Symposium WordPress blog on stage for Journal, doing a test upgrade of CiviCRM (eep!), Beta deployment support, fixing bugs in OJS, and the usual daily monkeyworks.

Vidding History:

Big news on the vidding front! The Board of the OTW has approved a five-step VIDDING ROADMAP! This will be released ASAP–we’re just putting the shine on. Many parts of this project can happen right away–with your help! If you are interested in helping us make this project a reality, please volunteer using the Volunteers webform or the Vidding contact form.


The Volunteers committee kept busy with bringing new people into the Org and handling.various and sundry staffing related tasks.


The Webmasters are testing some software upgrades, designing new styles for the otw-news mirror sites on Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, and InsaneJournal, and working with the Journal committee on their upcoming new project.


Wiki has been busy this month! The Wiki committee welcomed new member Aethel~, who has been doing amazing work with our help pages. We have posted two new policies. The Fandoms as Category Policy is now final, and we have begun the process of creating the new categories and links to go along with that. The Image Policy has been posted as a draft on the wiki and on the Fanlore Dreamwidth community for comments for the last week. We’ve received a ton of good feedback on the policy and it’s now headed back to the drawing board for revisions based on that feedback.

  1. Cesy commented:

    Yay vidding!

  2. were_duck commented:

    The vidding roadmap looks fantastic, yay!

    And thanks to all the OTW volunteers on all of the committees for all of your hard work <3

  3. ellia commented:

    Just wanted to say that i’m thrilled about the open doors project, and think it’s wonderful that people are supporting it.

    We continue to aspire to enter the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with the entry Mostly Useless

    I think my sarcasm detector is broken, for a minute i thought you’d got an article about the OTW in peer review over at Hitch-hikers, i really need to get away from the pc for a bit.

  4. DarkEmeralds commented:

    Any report that includes the sentence “Not sued yet” is okay by me! Congratulations, and thank you for all you do.

  5. Juno commented:

    I know this question is somewhat unrelated to the newsletter, but I figured this might be a good place to ask it anyway … is there a list somewhere of authors who explicitly *approve* of fanfic? Like Mercedes Lackey, Jim Butcher, or Anne McCaffrey?

    • allison morris commented:

      elizabeth perry replied below with a link for you — i just wanted to make sure you saw it. <3

  6. Elizabeth Perry commented:

    This might help — http://www.journalfen.net/users/airawyn/651.html.

    • Juno commented:

      Thank you! That’s a great starting point. 🙂