Board Meeting Minutes: June 15, 2011


June 15, 2011, 1:00 UTC

PRESENT: Hele Braunstein, Francesca Coppa, Sheila Lane, Allison Morris, Kristen Murphy
ABSENT: Rachel Barenblat, Ira Gladkova


  1. We discussed the response to an idea Hele shared with the committees about offering public training chats. Hele is going to discuss the idea further with those who have expressed interest.
  2. Hele reported that Translation conducted an internal survey of its volunteers and is considering how to act on the results. The main finding was that many translators want clearer direction and deadlines. Possible solutions include establishing clearer guidelines and/or taking a more hands-on approach to liaising with the volunteer teams; Translation may seek an additional staff member to support this effort.
  3. We discussed anticipated near-future staffing needs. Allison reported that VolCom is working on recruiting additional staff members for Support, Wiki, and Translation, plus AD&T tester volunteers.
  4. We began talking through our previously brainstormed list of diversity ideas and identifying next steps for each of them, as follows:
    1. Fanart hosting on the AO3 — Hele will check with AD&T on the status of this project. Allison suggested that we make a post collating the suggestions and ideas to date and soliciting additional ideas.
    2. AO3 translation interface — Hele reported that there is a coder, Rebecca, working on this, and Zooey is preparing a post about it.
    3. AO3 language browsing and translation relationships between works — Hele will ask AD&T about this; it may be part of the current browsing redesign effort.
    4. Recruit fannish insiders from different communities to host a series of brainstorming/wishlist/killer app for your fandom/genre/practice discussions — Allison recommended that these posts should take place on and be signal boosted in our other venues. Hele suggested that the survey being planned by International Outreach would be a good way to identify communities and insiders. Francesca suggested e-mailing the membership and AO3 users to encourage them to participate in the survey. Hele said that IO will present a draft of the survey to Board for feedback.
    5. Establish a public AO3 forum for community building and brainstorming feature requests — Francesca noted that this has been suggested in the past, but circumstances may have changed since the original decision not to pursue it. Allison and Hele noted that the already-in-progress Support board project might serve this function.
    6. Establish an internal, asynchronous discussion forum where staff/volunteers could socialize and engage in cross-committee brainstorming — Allison suggested that this could be hosted on VolCom’s Drupal site; she will discuss it with VolCom. Hele will bring both this and the previous item up for discussion at the next org-wide meeting. Kristen noted that we should make it clear that the forum is a discussion space but not an official channel for recommending actions, since it would be very time-consuming for someone to monitor all the discussion threads and pull out suggestions.
    7. Recruit people from anime, video game, and other underrepresented fandom communities to join Communications and blog about issues affecting those fandoms — Kristen reported that Communications is currently developing posting guidelines and strategy, and that it would be helpful to make more progress on that before expanding the staff. Allison commented that this is related to the IO survey. Francesca said, and others agreed, that recruiting from within the current staff/volunteer pool would be preferable in this instance, since Communications staffers need to be very familiar with the org.
    8. Develop and/or solicit public skins for the AO3 that are visually appealing to anime fans. Perhaps we could have a skin-designing challenge for this purpose. — The Board was enthusiastic about the idea of a challenge; Hele will suggest this to AD&T.
    9. Develop a Yuletide communications plan to reduce confusion about which messages & decisions come from the Yuletide mods and which come from OTW/AO3. — This needs to originate with AD&T; Hele will speak to the AD&T chairs about it. Communications should be involved once AD&T has identified what points need to be communicated. Support may be able to offer input on what has gone wrong in the past.
    10. Identify specific fandoms to target for outreach and publicly solicit suggestions about how/where to reach out to those fandoms — This is related to the IO survey and the “brainstorm your killer app” posts. We discussed the fine line between outreach and perceived intrusiveness; Kristen suggested that we could get current users to act as ambassadors by, e.g., giving them batches of invitations to hand out to their friends, fest participants, etc.
    11. Vidding is working with IO to make sure we have a range of different kinds of fan video from different communities populated in the archive for when we do a push for people to embed their video works — Francesca confirmed that this is in progress and that Vidding has sent drafts of some materials to IO and Webmasters.
    12. Produce an issue of TWC dedicated to anime or other non-Western fandoms — Francesca reported that Journal has just issued a call for papers for a special issue on “Transnational Boys’ Love Fan Studies” to be published in March 2013. Kristen suggested a post highlighting all of the currently open CFPs, and that perhaps Journal could do a spotlight post on what’s involved in submitting a Symposium piece for TWC. Francesca will bring these suggestions to Journal.


No items.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:50 UTC.

Minutes approved by the Board on June 21, 2011.

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