August 2010 Newsletter, Vol 41

Welcome to our August 2010 newsletter! Get the updates on our activities and exciting plans just below the cut.

Abuse:
No update at this time.

AD&T/Archive:
AD&T have been busy with lots of exciting things. We met with our awesome Systems team to talk about our plan for upgrading our servers (bigger! faster! shinier!) and are now gathering quotes for the new hardware. We’ll keep you posted as we get more details!

In coding, we have some awesome things about to go live — notably the first versions of our long-awaited Skins features AND some new export options for works — you’ll be able to download fics to enjoy on Kindles, iPhones, and other portable devices! Our testers are being kept busy making sure the code for this stuff is all working swimmingly.

With all these cool features and our plans for expansion moving on apace, this seems like an excellent moment to remind people that this party is for everyone! Anyone can request an invitation to the Archive by joining our invitations queue, and if you’re an account holder you can request invitation codes to give out to other people by going to the ‘invitations’ section under your user home and asking for the amount you need. We’re happy to give out larger numbers if you’re running a challenge or want to bring a whole community over to the Archive. Share the love!

Board:
The Board has been working hard to help all of our committees achieve success as we gain traction in the second half of the 2010 term. We are continuing to liaise with our individual committees, and are working to be sure that the OTW remains sustainable and effective.

Communications:
No update at this time.

Content Policy:
Content Policy is continuing work revising and updating the Archive FAQ and has been doing preliminary work on future Archive multimedia and art policies.

Development & Membership:
DevMem continues to grow and become ever more effective at the work of sustaining OTW’s future stability and effectiveness. This month we lured the amazing Minervacat onto our team, and got jjtaylor settled and up to speed — they are both full of plans and energy, and are exactly what we need! Look for great things from both of them (some of those great things will not be flashy, but if you feel inexplicably positive about the world one of these days? Well, it’s probably their work in action.) We’re excited about our graphics challenge to publicize the TO3 and generate happy buzz about the OTW’s vidding roadmap, so look for a signal boost about that here soon! We’re continuing our social media growth, and are gratified to see that OTW conversations are continuing outside our more “official” spaces. Also in social media news, the OTW has just been added to social-relay site JustCoz — an online relay system that lets you donate a tweet a day to help raise awareness for causes that matter to you. It’s a way to potentially allow members and supporters to help us to reach out to our communities. Finally, we are hip-deep in big plans for our October funding drive — we’re planning to turn the spotlight around and ask the community to focus on all the reasons we each support fandom and the OTW! Intrigued? It’s going to be fantastic, so be ready!

Finance:
Finance is thrilled to share the news that we are still not broke! And we are very very good at counting money, so you can trust us on that one. Aside from assiduously maintaining the OTW accounts, we’ve been helping AD&T and Systems with their plans for eventual server expansion, and planning budgets that will work within our ability to maintain steady growth into the future. Finance is also delegating a committee representative to examine the practical applications of adding value via glitter from vaunted expert in glam maximization Adam Lambert, and we will be applying those lessons to our work in the future for the betterment of the entire organization.

International Outreach:
We’ve continued to work with Webmasters on reviewing the OTW website — our combined goal is making it more accessible to international readers. (A big thanks to Charlottes for taking time out of their busy schedules to do this with us.) We’ve also been working with Tag Wrangling and AD&T on multilingual issues: how to make tags work in more than one language and how to post stories that are in more than one language.

The translation teams continue to work hard on translating content, and are always on the look out for new translators to help them. We’ve also been psyched to assist Support with a first query in a language other than English (keep them coming! <3). Journal:
The TWC team is completing layout and polishing our editorial for our fifth release, a general issue ranging through a wide variety of topics of interest to both fans and fandom scholars. We’re working on our sixth issue, focusing on the history of fans and fan engagement, and due out in Spring 2011, as well. Calls for papers for several guest-edited special issues have been released and are on TWC’s web site.

Legal:
The Legal committee continues to stay abreast of issues of concern to fans, and is working behind the scenes to advise fans who have legal concerns in reference to their fannish (and transformative!) work.

Open Doors:
No update at this time.

Support:
A somewhat quiet month for Support! As promised last time, this month we focused on talking to our wonderful and awesome sister committees, Tag Wrangling and AD&T, about how we will be working together, both in the immediate future and with some tentative ideas for post-Board. We discussed ways to keep AD&T and Support abreast of each others’ doings so Support can answer tickets quickly and accurately and so that AD&T can be made aware of bugs and top user issues/priorities; likewise, the Tag Wrangling committee helped us settle on ways to efficiently pass wrangling-related tickets between committees and follow up on them. We have even more plans for more and better inter-committee communications and procedures coming up — but our Support team will look a little different by then!

We have some major changes to our staff this month. Last time we welcomed aboard two amazing new staffers; this month we bid goodbye to our previous chair, Ira, who’s stepping down for health reasons (but will remain on staff) and welcome our new chair, Megan! Megan hails from Development & Membership and looks forward to helping Support support our community and create a specialized Support board for our needs!

As always, we continue to work hard on answering tickets, and improving how we do it! <3 Systems:
Systems is keeping the OTW humming along, and is working with Finance and AD&T on plans for server upgrades.

Tag Wrangling:
Tag Wrangling’s first full month as a committee has been a busy one! We have come up to speed quickly and are working with other committees to create good, accessible solutions for use in wrangling guidelines, assuring that we can get as close to our goal of fannish inclusiveness as possible, and so that the AO3 can welcome fandoms from a variety of sources and fan traditions. We’re also working on the more practical side of wrangler wrangling, developing clear volunteer hiatus, leave, and resignation guidelines so that everyone who needs a break can get one, and everyone who needs to move on to other work can do so without worrying that their carefully wrangled fandoms will fall into neglect (we love our fandoms, you see.) 🙂

Vidding:
Vidding has been working on the first two parts of the Vidding Roadmap: specifically, the Vidding Resource site (including hosting for vids and other video cited in scholarly work) and the Dark Archive (we are currently pricing cloud space and examining software options; in particular, we are considering using Drupal as our content management system.) More news as we finalize these decisions!

Volunteers & Recruiting:
Volcom has had another busy and productive month! We continued to add new volunteers, including coders, testers, and tag wranglers. We’re instituting a new workflow so that we can continue to do our day-to-day tasks while working on larger projects that will help the OTW run more smoothly — first up is some database cleanup in preparation for a move to a new, easier to use system. Sounds exciting, right? It is. To a certain sort of person. A certain awesome sort of person! If you’d like to get involved by joining us in the Volunteers & Recruiting Committee or elsewhere in the OTW, please get in touch via our contact form. We’d love to have you join us! See what we did there? Recruiting! It’s super fun. :D!

Webmasters:
In the last month we’ve rolled out new, customized styles for the OTW mirror blogs on Dreamwidth, InsaneJournal, and LiveJournal. We also finished a lengthy round of Drupal software upgrades with the help of our hardworking friends in Systems. More recently we’ve been assisting the Journal committee with layout markup for the upcoming issue of TWC and collaborating with Development and Membership on the TO3 multimedia challenge.

Wiki:
We’ve had a good month for getting things fixed: the TOC problem with one of our Fanlore skins has been fixed. We’ve also gotten our user rights management extensions set up. We’ve also been working on correcting system and user messages, and on updating the help pages.

On the policy side, we’re working on an Administrative FAQ that will be out shortly, as well as continuing to work on a Content FAQ and the Image Policy FAQ.

And lastly, we’ve resumed the posting of challenges to the Dreamwidth Fanlore community and we’ll be posting a new one every 2 weeks for the remainder of 2010.