Board Meeting Minutes: May 5, 2012



May 5th, 2012, 14:00 UTC
PRESENT: Jenny Scott-Thompson, Nikisha Sanders, Julia Beck, Naomi Novik, Ira Gladkova.

GUESTS: Katherine Darnell, Aja.

ABSENT: Francesca Coppa, Kristen Murphy.

  1. Approved a new staffer for each of Journal, Open Doors and Comms, 2 new staffers for Volcom, and 3 new volunteers for the Strategic Planning workgroup.
  2. Discussed a confidential staff situation


  1. We started with committee updates. Open Doors is going well, new staffers getting trained up, prepping for 852 Prospect. Support is going fairly smoothly, talking to OD and working on docs.
  2. Finance got the influx of checks from the drive in the mail and is putting them in the Quickbooks database. A public FAQ on the organisation’s finances is being put together, and they are considering automation of the routine parts of their work.
  3. ADT is working up a small deploy of bugfixes, mail batching, user stats, and open doors tools and which has several contributions from new coder Lal.
  4. Wiki have sent a proposal to board for proceeding on the forums.
  5. Systems have an update on the spam issues we’ve been facing with email, where several OTW staffers are finding their email is getting rejected as spam. If your email gets bounced from our servers it is because the server your email is coming from has landed on one of the giant spam blacklists over which we have no control. The practical short-term answer is to just use a different email address.

The long-term answer is quite complicated. We need the Systems proposal of moving to Amazon SES to be implemented, and we may also then need to change the mailing list settings so that it automatically lets through email from subscribers but moderates email from non-subscribers. Sanders will send a message out through Basecamp and to allvolunteers to inform people.

  1. Annual Report is due to go out May 15th. Comments from board due by 10th (Thursday). Sanders is working on financials for it.
  2. Nistasha has redesigned our Tumblr:
  3. Survey has a totaly of 5,986 responses. Details will be posted on the blog shortly.
  4. Devmem’s last meeting was spent looking at the drive and what worked vs. what was a challenge, and how to plan for September/October in terms of holding a drive focused on renewing members set to expire then and to encourage people to join in order to vote for board members, as well as celebrating the fifth anniversary.
  5. Strat planning workgroup are planning another post to clarify some of the questions that came after the roadmap, and will share more details soon. At the moment they’re mainly talking to us and reading wiki and Basecamp to try and understand more of the stuff that’s documented, and working out what questions we need to ask in surveys.
  6. In response to a wave of Fannish Next Of Kin requests for Abuse, Franzi has been walking the committee members through that and other processes and in general training the staff up on tools — it’s awesome work on her part, and we’re looking at training shortcuts we can give her (e.g. walkthroughs already done before/prepared by Volcom, etc.).


  1. We discussed the difference between staff and volunteers, particularly in the case of workgroups, and our definition of staff and how it relates to the bylaws.
  2. We discussed possibilities of more staff to add to the strategic planning workgroup.
  3. Wiki forums proposal of next steps was approved.
  4. We agreed we want more time to think and discuss on the elections officer neutrality and candidate manifesto proposals.
  5. We discussed the upcoming Volcom-Board purview meeting, which is planned to clarify the relationship between the two groups, particularly where it affects authority, responsibility and confidentiality on personnel matters. This expanded to a discussion of purview and the role of Volcom, Board and chairs in improving volunteer retention and monitoring personnel/volunteer engagement.

The meeting was adjourned at 16:00 UTC.

Minutes approved by the board on 26th May.

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