Board Meeting Minutes: 27 March 2023

Organization for Transformative Works – Board of Directors

Minutes of the meeting: 27 March 2023, 01:00 UTC

Present

  • Alex Tischer
  • Antonius Melisse
  • Heather McGuire
  • Kari Dayton
  • Michelle Schroeder
  • Natalia Gruber

Guests

  • ✩ 𝐋𝐔𝐙 𝐃𝐎𝐔𝐑𝐀𝐃𝐀.
  • Amara1783
  • Anagrrl (Ana)
  • ArsanL
  • Auntaggie
  • baustin
  • bjorn
  • C-chan
  • cmdonovann
  • darg
  • Egg
  • flammifera
  • Gojō Sakunosuke
  • gridlyf
  • herothief
  • julia-sets
  • Kaysa
  • kibigo!
  • ladydragona
  • lurea
  • MIDRASHIC
  • missizzy
  • ozymandias
  • punk
  • raktajino
  • Relena
  • sarcasticallyinclined
  • Satsuma
  • Scribi
  • SpectralJo
  • That’s a Nice One!
  • wasteland of reality
  • yachtzee
  • ZG

Open Session

Decisions taken since last Meeting

  • approved minutes of last meeting
  • approved filing fee for a UDRP (Uniform Domain Resolution Procedure) for a page impersonating the archive for phising purposes
  • approved signing letter to US Senate re Section 230
  • approved filing fees for various states
  • approved audit fees
  • approved purchase of new database servers
  • approved purchase of replacement storage for VMs
  • approved purchase of software for current and future VMs
  • approved increased bandwidth allotement cost
  • approved ticketing software for Open Doors
  • approved purchase of training software for Policy and Abuse
  • approved purchase of additional domain name
  • approved purchase of additional licenses for volunteer management software
  • approved Kristina as co-chair for Transformative Works and Cultures
  • approved Amy2 as co-chair for Develoment and Membership
  • ongoing communications/answering questions from press, users, members, and volunteers

Financial update

  • There wasn’t a Finance update during this meeting, as this year’s detailed Budget was scheduled to be published shortly after.

Dissolution of Content Policy subcommittee

‘Content Policy’ is a subcommittee inside of Legal, mainly responsible for AO3 content policies and Terms of Service. However, for many years now, all members of Content Policy have also been members of the Legal committee, and in practice, all of Legal gets consulted on any policy decisions.

We have discussed with Legal and Content Policy leads, and we think the best way forward is to dissolve the Content subcommittee, and officially fold their responsibilities into Legal.

Should this motion be approved, all responsibilities of Content Policy will be transferred to the full Legal committee, with no impact expected to any ongoing or future policy work. The only current member of Content Policy, Rebecca Tushnet, is also a current Legal committee member, and will continue to serve in that capacity.

  • Voted on and unanimously approved

Update on the OTW’s diversity work

This section will be a permanent addition to all Board of Directors public meetings going forward, as we realize the OTW needs to be more transparent and proactive with regards to keeping fans in the loop with regards to what we have been able to do so far to make our organization and projects safer and more welcoming to fans of color.

In our first update, we’d like to talk a bit about the work our Diversity Consultant Research Officer has been doing.

As a reminder, the role of this officer is to liaise with the organization in order to assess our specific needs for an external diversity consultant, and also to look into available consultants who could work within our organization and our specific challenges, such as a fully online environment, international workforce, the full anonymity of most of our volunteers, and so on.

In the first quarter of 2023, Zoë has presented the Board with a plan to contact different stakeholders in our organization, so she can get a clearer picture of what OTW leadership and volunteers expect from a consultant, what concerns they have, and what they see as priorities for this work.

She will be reaching out to the organization gradually, to make sure she can dedicate proper time and attention to each person who wishes to communicate with her. Additionally, she has begun some preliminary research into potential hires, and while it is still too soon for us to determine whether specific companies would be suitable and able to work with us, we are hopeful that we will find a company to that can contribute in a meaningful manner towards making the OTW a more diverse and anti-racist space.

Board has also met with the Strategic Planning committee this month in order to discuss, among other things, the Diversity section of the upcoming plan.

We know that many people are anxious for updates on this area since the OTW’s Vision Statement got published last year, and we would like to reassure you that discussions and feedback are ongoing, in order to help us create a plan that is helpful, efficient, and has achievable steps for our organization.

Finally, we wanted to highlight a recent Archive of Our Own update that makes it possible for you to mute other users (https://archiveofourown.org/admin_posts/24853). Muting someone means that you won’t see their works, bookmarks, or comments. This should help people avoid or greatly reduce their interactions with people or content they don’t wish to engage with, such as racist content and creators (Please note that in order to use this feature you need to have an AO3 account). Muting is one of many steps towards making the AO3 a more welcoming and positive space for our users. We are incredibly grateful for your patience as the OTW slowly progresses on our goals; your support and feedback is invaluable on this work.

Some guests asked about a timeline for this

Zoë expects the first round of interviews, focusing on OTW leadership, should last about two months, in between asynchronous and live chats. Once that part of the work is reaching conclusion, she’ll begin planning for a wider round of feedback and discussion with OTW volunteers, which will likely take a few months, depending on how much response there is.

We are, however, not able to provide a more detailed estimate for specific steps on the project. Unfortunately, there are many aspects that make it hard for us to have detailed timelines for large projects in the OTW. For one thing, while we can occasionally rely on the work of contractors, the vast majority of OTW work is done by volunteers who need to balance their responsibilities to our organization with their own professional and personal responsibilities. Our volunteers are spread all over the world, and it can be difficult to have the necessary discussions to carry projects forward. We also want to make sure we fully consider every possible aspect of any changes we make, to make sure we’re not causing unintended difficulties and problems for our users, volunteers, and organization.

That all means that we often need to change our plans as we go along, and be flexible with timelines. We also don’t know at this time, once we managed to find a Consultant, how long they will need to get familiar with the OTW and its problems, whether they will be able to start working with us right away or need to finalize other contracts, and whether we’ll managed to get our first option, or have to move through more than one company.

Closed Session

  • no items

 

The meeting was adjourned at 02:00 UTC
Minutes approved by the Board on ’16/04/2023′

 

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