January 2011 Newsletter, Volume 45

Welcome to the OTW’s fourth term! Below the cut, you’ll find our January newsletter, with information about our committees and their goals for 2011.

Abuse:
Abuse is gearing up for what will hopefully be another uneventful year.

AD&T/Archive:
AD&T never sleeps! The Archive made it through its second Yuletide – thanks to all of the coders and testers (with huge help from Tag Wranglers and Support omg!) for their tireless hard work — and to the users for their patience and enthusiasm! With the change of terms, we’re sad to be losing some folks who have done amazing work in the past, but we’re also excited to be bringing a few new faces on board who have already started doing amazing work of their own. Special kudos to Kylie, who is taking over as the sole lead of the testing subcommittee for this term.

Two big things we’re working on to start the term:

1) New servers! We’ve got ’em! Working jointly with Systems, we sourced and purchased 3 powerful new servers to join our 2 existing servers, a storage server to hold lots of data, and a switch to let them all communicate. The servers that fandom bought! \0/ \0/ \0/

2) Improving our process. We’re always brainstorming ways to make things run more smoothly, and next month, we’ll be moving our code from the subversion version control system to git, which offers some better workflow options for our coding team. To go along with that, we plan to move to a regular monthly deploy schedule, which should make it easier for testers, support, wranglers, users and challenge mods to keep track of what’s going on and when new code is coming through the pipeline. We’ve also been working on improving our documentation and training for new volunteers, and we’re excited about the possibilities for the coming term!

Board:
The first major task of the 2011 Board was to appoint committee chairs and approve potential staff members for the new term. We’re delighted to welcome all our new chairs, staffers, and volunteers, and look forward to a productive year. We’re also pleased to announce that after spending last year as a subcommittee of International Outreach, Translation is once again an independent committee. Though related, Translation and IO have distinct purposes that we hope will be well served by this change in structure.

Communications:
Communications have met for the first time and are working on our strategy for the term. Our aims are to keep the OTW transparent and to provide information about the issues that impact our members and our mission, and our newly international committee should help us to deliver that better than ever.

Content Policy:
Content Policy is just getting up to speed, and we’ll begin meetings and policy discussions soon. Projects we anticipate for 2011 include completing the update to the original/nonfanwork policy, continuing to work on the importing archives/Open Door policies, and beginning to draft fanart and fanvids-relevant parts of the TOS.

Development & Membership:
Development & Membership are proud to welcome a number of new members and to start the new term with big goals and plans! Our intern Benny has been working on documentation and pre-planning for the March Drive. Expect steady progress from this incredibly international team as we cement our grant application process, plan activities and outreach to unite the Org and generally shout from the rooftops with excitement.

Finance:
FinCom just shelled out for our shiny new servers, and we have never been so happy to spend so much money! \o/ We’re also gearing up for our busy season – annual reports and filings and taxes, and all the things we love to do (so you don’t have to).

International Outreach:
We have been regrouping after the break and reviewing our internal structure. We are collaborating with other committees on various exciting projects, which will come to fruition later on during the term. We also continue to provide international news coverage to the OTW blog.

Journal:
Journal has just sent the guest-edited March History issue to copyedit, which kicks off production. We welcome a few new people in Symposium, Review, Symposium Blog, and proofreading. We are hard at work on submitted content for the September issue. And several exciting guest-edited issues are generating some buzz in acafan circles. In short, Journal anticipates another year of on-time, high-quality issues!

Legal:
Legal welcomes some new committee members, who will be learning more about what we do. We look forward to another smooth year.

Open Doors:
Open Doors is excited to welcome a new committee member, and we’re happy that the rest of the committee wanted to serve again. We’re looking forward to a busy year: we have archives to save and import, and lots of zines and fannish paraphernalia to archive with the Fan Culture Preservation Project.

Support:
Support stood strong through term break, continuing to support users on the finest Archive in the land through numerous year-end challenges. Support is delighted to welcome additional staff members to the team, bringing fresh eyes to help strengthen our process. A FAQ and Tutorial review is already underway and plans are to proceed full steam ahead finalizing the underlying policies and front-end interface for the AO3-integrated Support Board.

Systems:
Systems has grown by two more monkeys – er, members. Deborah Kaplan, a veteran, has rejoined our ranks, and our newest victim is James_, a long-time Unix admin who lives in the UK near Cambridge.

In other news, Moose has volunteered to be our gardener. We are doing vault clean-up and code-work. We’ve upgraded the dev system because there are so many busy ADT coders. The new AO3 ixsystems servers have arrived and are racked at the colo, but we’re waiting for the switch to starting bringing them into the fold. Drupal just had an update, and we’re working on the new VolCom db.

Tag Wrangling:
The Tag Wrangling Committee welcomes both new staff members and new volunteers this term. Wranglers are hard at work wrangling tags left over from holiday challenges, while committee members are looking for ways to streamline our process for future challenges and make wrangling clearer for staff, volunteers, and users alike.

Translation:
The translation teams have kept working hard through the break to translate the website, and some of our oldest teams are begining to tackle the translation of the Archive of Our Own FAQ. We’re also preparing ourselves to do a rehaul of some of our older documentation to make sure no part of the website is falling through the cracks. In more immediate news, we’d also like to welcome hele as our new chairperson!

Vidding:
Vidding is biting its nails waiting for the new servers to be installed – and then boy, have we got some fun things for you! Stay tuned for increased multimedia at the AO3 and elsewhere in 2011!

Volunteers & Recruiting:
We’re delighted to welcome four new members this term! Over the break, we trained our new staffers and began setting up all the new staffers and volunteers on your committees. We also debriefed last term’s committee chairs to develop a better understanding of what worked, what didn’t, and what resources everyone needs in order to make chairing a smoother and more rewarding process. We purged the old mailing list archives and chat transcripts, and went through the mailing lists, 16Bugs, and 37 Signals to see that everyone has the right access. Looking forward, we are excited about the new database and are planning a redesign of VolCom’s presence on transformativeworks.org, to make volunteering for the OTW more transparent.

Webmasters:
We’re delighted to welcome two new members this term! First on our agenda will be the annual check for outdated content, when we review the website and encourage committees to update the information about their projects. We’re also gearing up to work on our major goals for the term; our first priorities will be to finish and launch the new Open Doors site and fix some style bugs on the Journal site.

Wiki:
The fabulously international 2011 Wiki committee met for the first time recently, and we’ve begun brainstorming about what we want to do in 2011. Our first priority is outreach — we’d like to get people from many more parts of fandom participating in Fanlore — and we welcome your suggestions on how to reach out to the corner of fandom where you hang out! Meanwhile, the first challenge of the year has been posted to the dreamwidth community: Origin Stories. Tell us how you got into fandom!

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