Board Meeting Minutes: 10 August 2013


10 August 2013, 19:00 UTC

PRESENT: Cat Meier, Eylul Dogruel, Franzeska Dickson, Ira Gladkova, Kristen Murphy, sanders

GUESTS: Claudia Rebaza, james_, Lady Oscar, Sam Johnsson

ABSENT: Andrea Horbinski


1. The internal announcement of the Board documentation project was approved and posted.

2. We approved a proposal from Legal to participate in an amicus brief. One of the partner organizations in this initiative has asked that we refrain from publicly disclosing the subject of the amicus brief for the time being.

3. We approved one new staff member for Tag Wrangling.


1. Update from AD&T:

a) AD&T and the new QA&T subcommittee have been working on our upcoming release: the Rails upgrade. There’s a spreadsheet which shows the scope of the work being done, which includes contributions from coders and our newly recruited testers. The data is available here: [link redacted]

b) We have cleaned up the AD&T Basecamp section, filed appropriate material on the wiki and removed old material that was no longer relevant. The current Writeboards and Messages are relevant to ongoing work and projects, and the calendar now includes most of the meetings with other leaders across the organization so far this term.

c) We’ve re-started discussions with I&O about the cross-committee proposal and will continue to discuss the viability of inter-committee liaison positions once I&O is comfortably staffed. We’ll be working on getting the proposal on the internal wiki and organizing a vote of the proposal soon. For now, it can be viewed here: [link redacted]

d) AD&T has finalized a draft of a proposal for engaging a third-party contractor to work on specific AO3 coding projects. In the meantime, the contractor has taken on a different project and will have to get back to us afterwards.

e) AD&T, Support, and Systems continue to work together on a daily basis to: identify bugs, create bug reports, check up on old bugs, work on code, and monitor the Archive for problems. We’ve had an issue with our search engine running out of memory, and we’re paying close attention to the problem. More detailed information about this work, our code, and news updates about the issues, can be found at the following links:

f) We have a new liaison from Volunteers & Recruiting, Renay! The position description is available on the wiki.

g) We’ve been leisurely putting new content on our Tumblr ( and plan to use some of the following topics eventually: [link redacted]

h) We are planning a period of internal conversations about our committee status, projects and workflow, a breakdown of which is available on Basecamp: [link redacted] After this period, we’ll get started on the backlog of bugfix submissions from staff and volunteers ( and Work Type Filtering.

2. Update from Web Strategy, Design, & Development: Web is currently prioritizing election prep and a couple of technical issues with the website (one is a backend admin thing and the other has to do with editing contact forms). They’re also reopening recruitment for their developer positions.

3. Update from Development & Membership: DevMem is focused on drive prep and documentation at the moment. One recently completed doc is a step-by-step guide to the premium fulfillment process.

4. Open Doors will start recruiting on August 12. They’ve sent us their role doc for review. They are also at work on documentation, tidying up their part of Basecamp, etc.

5. Fan Video & Multimedia is basically inactive, which is partly due to insufficient liaison contact earlier in the year; Franzi is working to address this.

6. Update on the Translation committee: The Board is currently in conversation with a potential chair.

7. Finance update (see chart below).

3-Aug 10-Aug Difference
BoA 119753.50 117925.65 (1827.85)
PayPal 12486.46 13311.47 825.01
CD 10103.54 10103.54 0.00
Total 142343.50 141340.66 (1002.84)

The major expenses this week were for colocation fees, Basecamp and Campfire, the remote deposit fee for the bank, and Web hosting. sanders will be working on the federal tax return/Form 990 this week.

8. Update from Volunteers & Recruiting:

a) Recruiting dates have been set for the rest of the term. There’s a message on allchairs — if Board has any questions, please email us.

b) Working on Internationalization & Outreach inductions and will open Web and Open Doors staff roles in two days. No committees are pending recruiting for our next recruiting date.

c) Have emailed Nele to set Fanhackers tools.

d) We’ll be sending our Records and Retention Policy later this weekend.

e) Eylul should have an update re: the new liaison relationship between VolCom and AD&T, including the position description. This is formalizing work Renay has already been doing less transparently than she liked.

9. Discussion of possible dates for the August org-wide meeting, which will have an election-related discussion topic. We decided to hold the 
meeting on August 25.

10. Discussion of Phases 2-4 of the hardware purchase proposal from Systems (Phase 1 was approved on 20 July 2013). The discussion focused on the financial aspects of the proposal. Following the discussion, the Board voted to approve Phases 2-4, which are summarized as follows:

“Phase 2: We need a new machine to run virtual machines (including Fanlore and our incoming email server) and to replace the NAS (network attached storage server) in [US location], enabling us to move the current NAS to a third datacenter for geographic redundancy. This is a capital expense of $10,685 and an additional $1,200 ongoing per year.”

“Phase 3: We start to expand our services and have to have a separate rack of our own in the [US] datacenter. We buy a second system which would be capable of holding our database and running it as the production system–currently we lack this capability. We additionally buy two new servers that actually generate pages for the archive. This is a capital expense of $39,915 and an additional $10,920 ongoing per year.”

“Phase 4: We need a new dev system to allow developers who do not have home systems capable of developing for the organization to do so on our own systems. This would be hosted in the UK and is a capital expense of $11,200 and an estimated additional $900 ongoing per year.”

11. Discussion of the Board documentation project. The internal announcement discussed last week has been circulated to staff and volunteers. Sanders shared a writeboard listing the documents to be developed; we agreed that each of us will sign up on the writeboard for documents we’re interested in working on and add links to any drafts in progress.

12. Discussion of the eligibility requirements for candidates in Board elections. For the past two weeks we have been collecting staff feedback about a suggestion that the length of service requirement be reduced. (See minutes of 27 July 2013 for background information.) After discussing the feedback, the Board voted in favor of the following:

a) The eligibility requirements will be changed to require that candidates have 9 months of service by November 1.

b) Disclosure of candidates’ OTW service experience (e.g., “served on X committee”) will become a explicit requirement of the elections process; it will be left to the discretion of the Elections Officer to develop guidelines for how this will be implemented and the level of detail that will be required.

c) The Board is interested in the possibility of extending candidacy to volunteers (currently only staff are eligible). We will discuss this possibility with Volunteers & Recruiting and with the chairs of committees that work with volunteers in order to determine whether it is feasible and desirable.


This meeting did not include a closed session.

The meeting was adjourned at 22:00 UTC.

Minutes approved by the Board on 19 October 2013.

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