April 2012 Newsletter, Volume 58

I. OTW EVENTAPALOOZA

April saw numerous activities taking place throughout the OTW which required coordinated activity from various committees and workgroups. The most notable was our incredibly successful membership drive under the leadership of our Development & Membership committee. The drive broke records in terms of funds raised — 1,256 individual donations totaling over US$35,744. This support is both welcomed and necessary to sustain the OTW’s projects and help the organization continue developing resources for fans.

The OTW also launched a survey intended to gather information from members, interested fans, and anyone with awareness of the OTW or its projects. This online survey ran from April 19 to May 2, and we heard from just shy of 6000 respondents! Our I&O committee who organized the survey is a little overwhelmed at the task ahead but they’re extremely happy at how successfully fans spread the word to get this volume of response. Needless to say, full results of the survey will take some time to collate as it contained many places in which fans could express themselves in their own words. Expect to see updates on the results as the year goes on with the first results out later this week.

One surprising effect of the survey was reported by our Abuse committee: the AO3 has been receiving an increase in Fannish Next of Kin requests and they invite everyone to designate someone for their account.

And yet another event of note was the April Showers event at Fanlore and the Archive of Our Own! ADT estimates that there was an increase of about 3,000-4,000 new works in April but due to the SSA import in March which brought many new works to the AO3, April numbers need to be compared to February. Using those figures, 19,822 works were posted in April in 1,959 different fandoms, compared to 15,863 new works in February. Traffic numbers have also exceeded what the system could handle only a month or two into this year!

Particularly significant is that there were 1,888 new fandom tags created in April, up from only 429 in March! There were also 82,116 new bookmarks created in April, up from 69,041 in March. So there are clearly many new works for readers to dig into!

II. FANLORE and TWC

The Wiki committeewas busy promoting April Showers as they invited everyone to add their fandom memories to Fanlore via Twitter. They also held two Fanlore editing chats to answer questions about wiki editing. Summaries of those chats were posted on the Fanlore community at dreamwidth. They also posted about the Fanlore forums and received some awesome feedback! These forums are still at the early planning stage and Wiki would welcome any input from users, particularly from people with experience modding forums.

In the meantime the Journal committee is talking to various parties at the University of Iowa to plan an academic conference for 2014; stay tuned for more information!

III. HAPPENINGS AT THE AO3

2012 has so far brought an unbroken streak of monthly deploys, adding series subscriptions and better page titles as well as several bugfixes — see the Release Notes on the AO3 for more details ! The ADT committee has also been running training for Open Doors on the archive import process, and is soliciting feedback on the new email-batching and user stats features that will be coming up. Fun with stats!

In the meantime Tag Wrangling recently hosted their first Open House of the term. Questions were asked and answered, and there was a lively discussion about guidelines and procedures. The staff hopes to host several more before the end of the term at varied days and times to accommodate users across the globe.

The Support committee reported that their ticket count is holding steady at about 200 new tickets coming in each month. Most tickets are resolved within 48 hours. Certain tickets, however, may take a bit longer as they need more in-depth research. Support recently met with the Tester Leads who will be helping Support investigate some of those trickier bugs. \o/

Open Doors is getting the ball rolling on an import for 852Prospect.org. They’ve been collecting feedback on the SSA import to revise and properly document the archive import process; training with Support to prepare for answering 852Prospect tickets post-import; training with AD&T on more technical aspects of importing to improve future troubleshooting abilities; and moving toward bringing importing directly under Open Doors.

IV. SEEING AND SPEAKING

Vidding members Francesca Coppa and Tisha Turk are, along with members of the Legal committee, preparing for DMCA testimony in early June. They are also continuing pre-planning work on a Dark Archive for multimedia fanworks. Last but not least, April saw them unveiling a Showcase of Fan Videos at the A03. Check it out if you haven’t already seen it!

V. GOVERNANCE

The Board has been busy as usual – you can see the full details in their minutes for 31st March, 7th April and 14th April. Planning has started for next year’s election. The Strategic Planning Workgroup presented a roadmap for creating a plan, which was announced as part of the spring drive. Board members also helped Devmem co-ordinate things for the April drive, and the new Grants committee has also been launched.

Meanwhile Finance prepared financial statements for the annual report, and supported DevMem by monitoring income during the drive and answering questions from members.

VI. OUR TECH WIZARDS

Systems resolved 73 tickets; deployed Errbit to production; aided in TW.org’s recovery from the overwhelming response to the membership drive/survey mailing (\0/); tightened security on otw5; and underwent other security maintenance procedures as outlined in our documentation.

Webmasters took an early step toward redesigning transformativeworks.org, by working on internal and external outreach to gather feedback about the site. Questions about the site were included in the OTW Community Survey, and an internal questionnaire is being developed that will be used to gather feedback from OTW committees.

VII. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been working hard to engage with and process a swell of new volunteers resulting from the recent drive and survey projects! While other recent months saw about 20 willing-to-serve (WTS) forms per month, VolCom received roughly 140 forms in April. VolCom is working very hard to find placements for all of these volunteers and is also using the surge in WTS forms to test new intake procedures, as well as creating documentation for existing procedures. Some examples of their work last month:

*New Staffers List*: Curtis Jefferson (Communications), crowa (Internationalization & Outreach), anatsuno (Journal), Francesca Coppa (Open Doors), Hadrien Asbury (Open Doors), tartan (Open Doors), arrow (Open Doors), Stiney (Open Doors), baerga69 (Webmasters), moonmagicks (Webmasters), Natalie (Webmasters), Lady Oscar (Support)

*Departing Staffers List*: Suzanne Scott (Journal)

*New Workgroup Members:* Matty (AO3 Documentation Lead), hele (AO3 Documentation), Kylie (AO3 Documentation), lionpyh (AO3 Documentation), mumble (AO3 Documentation), Scott S (AO3 Documentation), jrho (AO3 Documentation), Yshyn (AO3 Documentation), Maia Bobrowicz (Elections Workgroup), Lucy Pearson (AO3 Documentation & Elections Workgroup), Claudia Rebaza (Elections Workgroup)

*New Tag Wranglers*: Batsutousai, supergreak, Salahra, afterandalasia
*New Coding Volunteers*: Anoel, just_chiara, Lal, Mark Bowers
*New Testers*: Vel, mary0111

*Departing Tag Wranglers*: welfycat