Board Meeting Minutes: 08 March 2020

Organization for Transformative Works – Board of Directors

Minutes of the meeting: March 08 2020, 17:00 UTC


Claire P. Baker
Danielle Strong
Kirsten Wright
Natalia Gruber
Rebecca Sentence


Frost The Fox
Stephanie Godden

Decisions taken since the last meeting


  • Approved Strategic Planning’s OTW-Wide Meetups Feedback Summary.
  • Approved dates for the 2020 April drive: it’ll take place on April 23-27, 2020.
  • Approved Strategic Planning’s Vision Statement draft 2.


  • Approved new co-chairs for AO3 Docs, Translation, Elections, and PAC.
  • Approved new staff for AO3 Docs, Communications, Elections, PAC, Support, Translation, Tag Wrangling, Fanlore, and Webs.


  • Approved Board’s Budget for 2020.
  • Approved the purchase of new virtual machine servers.
  • Approved the purchase of new Elastic search servers.
  • Approved payment for support services for the VM servers.
  • Approved various state filing fees.
  • Approved payment for network switches to support new vm servers.
  • Approved a payment request to pay the second half of the audit & tax return prep fees for 2018 activity.

Legal Committee

  • Signed the OTW on to the letter opposing the sale of the .ORG registry domain.

Open Session

This was a Q&A session. No decisions were made, but the Board answered questions.

  • What is PAC?

PAC is the Policy and Abuse committee. They were formally known as just Abuse, but as much of their work deals less with abuse and more making sure that things on AO3 meet our Terms of Service in various ways, they decided to expand their name.


  • What is Strategic Planning and what do they do?

Strategic Planning is, to put it quite simply, in charge of the OTW’s strategic plan. Pretty much, making sure that the organization as a whole is working towards the same strategic goals, which have been developed by the OTW as a whole (spearheaded by Board and Chairs, but with input from across the organization.)


  • How long are terms for boards and chairs?

Board members serve 3 years after election – we elect new [board members] every year so it’s a gradual change.

There is no absolute term for Chairs. Officially, it’s 1 year for most, but with infinite renewals.


  • Can you speak to the specific actions taken and role played by Board in the creation of the OTW’s strategic plans, as compared to the role played by chairs or by the Strategic Planning Committee?

Board and Strategic Plan meet regularly. A while back, we had a couple meetings where we brainstormed and developed goals that we think will be important for the OTW to focus on in the upcoming years. Strategic Planning then refined these goals into statements, which the Board then discussed a bit further. From there, we took them to Chairs to discuss feasibility, and whether or not these were things that they thought were useful, and if there were any major areas we thought that we were overlooking, especially when it came to their committee or project. And from there, we, along with Strategic Planning, defined them a little further, and then Strategic Planning organized for volunteers as a wider whole to have a chance to look them over and provide feedback. We’re now in the process of refining for hopefully the final time based on that feedback.


  • Does Board play any role in strategic plan implementation, or is that all SP?

That’s mainly SP, but they can ask us to poke a committee if need be, and see if there’s any way we can assist.

A surprising amount of Board work, really, is communicating with other parts of the OTW and seeing where things are going smoothly and/or where additional help is needed.


  • How independent are committees? Is the board fairly hands off unless a committee comes to the board?

Board will check in with committees on a regular basis, roughly once a quarter, to make sure everything’s running smoothly. Otherwise, we’re just here to help if they need something from us! We will also talk to a committee’s chair(s) if we have an issue that falls under their purview, or liaise between a couple of them if something needs cross-committee attention. But by and large, they’re independent, and we don’t micro-manage or try to dictate what they do.


  • Have there been any projects that the board works on on their own or do you mostly work in collaboration with committees?

Most of what we do is in collaboration with other committees. Our day-to-day work involves a lot of approving things that other committees put forth, and our overall goal is to serve the whole of the OTW. We do some planning and administrative stuff by ourselves, but ultimately, even most of that will end up touching other committees in one way or another, whether it’s emailing Legal to get their opinion before we do something, or working with other committees to make sure the decisions we make will give the most positive impact 3 hours and 3 years down the road.


  • I remember hearing that once upon a time in the early days of the OTW, there were plans to make a fanlore page that would be linked to from each canonical tag. As a user there were so many times I would have paid in blood for that! Do you think something like that might ever be implemented, even for some tags but not all, or would it be too complicated/invite drama/be impractical?

One issue is that Fanlore pages are not named to match AO3 tags, which follow tag wrangling guidelines. Fanlore pages don’t; we don’t have the same considerations that wranglers need to bear in mind and so we follow fandom’s most common usage most of the time, and do whatever best serves the needs of the wiki in terms of creating multiple pages to reflect different variations on use, etc. The second consideration is purely traffic. AO3 sees millions of pageviews a day. Fanlore isn’t structured to take that kind of load.


  • Further questions were on the board member’s experiences working on the board, and each member present discussed their experience and what they have learned. Some questions were also answered in part by guests in the meeting who work on the projects in question, and were able to give a more in-depth answer.

Closed Session

No items

The meeting was adjourned at 21:50 UTC

Minutes approved by the Board on 28/06/2020



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