August 2013 Newsletter, Volume 72

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


August has seen people moving in, out, and around the OTW with new recruitment efforts and chair appointments.

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is actively recruiting for Web Developers. They are also focused on creating a process to support the 2014 Board election and on refreshing a substantial number of outdated pieces of documentation.

Communications is also recruiting for a liaison to committees working on AO3 who will write news posts and do monitoring of AO3 News accounts.

OTW’s Board recently appointed hele as the new Translation Committee Chair. The staff will be discussing organization and procedures for the next few months, as well as make sure their internal documentation is up to date. Translation will be contacting committees to set up or restablish liaising relationships as soon as they can do so.


Development & Membership is preparing for the October fund drive. They’ve also been working on documentation and considering possible revisions to membership renewal reminder e-mails.

Accessibility, Design, & Technology has been working hard on the Rails upgrade, which was successfully deployed last week (see the Release Notes for more information). Many thanks to everyone involved in the coding and testing of this update! They’ve also been working through a list of topics focusing on organization and documentation before moving on to the next release. So far they’ve discussed committee structure and procedures, talked about our place in the Open Source community, and started a collection of things that need better documentation.

For a new Archive milestone, AO3 passed 200,000 registered users last week! \o/ The committee contributed stats and figures to a news post about the occasion.

Meanwhile, from July 15 to August 15, Support answered almost 450 user-generated tickets. Systems has been fine-tuning the Archive as issues arrive, setting up accounts for the OTW’s new recruits, and working on a more universally usable 32-bit Vagrant distribution of the AO3 for the coders. They’re about to start this year’s installation of new and upgraded servers!

AO3 Documentation is whittling down our list of FAQs that need to be updated. Once they are finished, work will begin on other external help text, as well as tutorials that need updating. They’ll also be checking with AD&T and updating FAQs as new code hits the Archive.

Open Doors has been working on a more comprehensive moderator agreement with much help from Legal, sent a committee role document to Board after feedback from many other committees, and corrected our archived copy of Demeter from a hardcopy of the zine.

Journal is hard at work doing production for the next issue of Transformative Works & Cultures, which is on track to be released September 15. The Journal editors, Karen and Nina, are also working on a fan fiction studies reprint anthology, due out in 2014 from Iowa; the book has gone into layout and they’re expecting page proofs shortly. Nina gave a keynote speech at a convention, and work continues apace for the first two issues of 2014, which are guest edited.


Board set aside 19 August – 19 September for Project Document All The Things. What this means is that they are taking a month to focus on building, updating, and reviewing some of the documentation for how the Board functions and how it interacts with the rest of the OTW. This includes things like Board position descriptions and training plans, procedures for agenda management and issue tracking, confidentiality and conflict-of-interest policies, and more. OTW staff and volunteers will have an opportunity to review and offer feedback on each document before it is formally adopted by the Board.

Fanhackers has gotten approval from Board to become a separate committee. They will continue working very closely with Journal and look forward to welcoming some new people in the near future. More info to come!

In addition, Legal received Board approval to take part in friend-of-the-court briefing in two lawsuits currently pending in U.S. Federal Courts regarding issues that could have important impacts on aspects of fanwork legality. At present, our participation remains confidential, but stay tuned for more news on those briefs.

Legal had an active month working with Communications, Support, Board, Quality Assurance & Testing, Volunteers & Recruiting, Open Doors, Systems, Development & Membership, Content Policy, and Abuse! They have also responded to a couple of legal queries from fans, and requests from outside the organization to participate in policy-related projects.

Strategic Planning is currently finishing up their report on the Wiki Committee and Fanlore, as well as surveying Support, the Survey Workgroup, and the AO3 Documentation Workgroup.


Volunteers & Recruiting finished working on our staff training documents just in time to welcome a new staffer, bookgazing while bidding a sad farewell to co-chair, Curtis.

New Committee Chairs: hele braunstein (Translation)
New Committee Staff: Melannen (Tag Wrangling), dizmo (Tag Wrangling), Lenore (Internationalization & Outreach), bookgazing (Volunteers & Recruiting) 1 other Tag Wrangling staffer, and 3 other Internationalization & Outreach staffers.
New Communications Volunteers: Robyn, caitie, Erin Sullivan, 2 additional
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Firefox

Departing Committee Chairs: Agnieszka Siemienska (Translation), Curtis Jefferson (Communications, Volunteers & Recruiting)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Translation staffer.
Departing Communications Volunteers: 1 Communications volunteer.


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