July 2012 Newsletter, Volume 61

I. IMPLEMENTING THE FIXES

This month has had another strong focus on technology across the board with a number of committees collaborating on different issues. The Wiki Committee is still working together with Systems to install new anti-spam solutions. Fanlore is now using ReCaptcha to reduce the number of spambots. The transformativeworks.org website was also hit by a deluge of spam in the past weeks, prompting the Webmasters to temporarily suspend comment tracking to these blog posts until subscribers stopped being hammered with emails.

Another forthcoming project for Wiki will be their forum, which is still under construction. If you are familiar with mediawiki and/or CSS and would be willing to help them out, Wiki would love to hear from you!

The AO3 was running much more smoothly this month than last, with the 502 errors banished. Behind the scenes Support kept up with the ever-growing number of tickets as more users joined the site, and Tag Wranglers caught up on wrangling the tags created by those new users (and the backlog created when the performance errors slowed down their work). Support staffer Yshyn provided a discussion of Support ticket stats for our users which provided a great insight into what questions are asked about the Archive!

Systems performed a RAM upgrade and some software upgrades to help our servers cope with all the new users and are still at work on new code for the filters. With the hard work that Systems have put into improving AO3 performance, we were pleased to have an apposite moment to thank them publicly on SysAdmin Day. Aside from the afore mentioned work, Systems also ameliorated the leap-year issue, collected stats for webmasters and the Archive, fixed failing discs on the Archive, and closed 35 tickets in July!

II. REPORTING ON PROGRESS

While something working or not working on one of our sites tends to be fairly noticeable, other progress isn’t always as obvious. However July saw a variety of updates from different workgroups being shared in news posts. Among these was news from the Survey Workgroup, the Strategic Planning Workgroup, and the Elections Workgroup.

Board meeting minutes were posted for the June and July meetings, and board member Julia Beck wrote the first of several forthcoming posts from the group regarding work done by board members. Perhaps the most notable item for OTW members was Board’s decision to add two members to the current group of seven, thus opening the way for an election this fall.

And Development & Membership has been collaborating with Open Doors on convention outreach. In mid-July they hosted an information table at Ascendio, a Harry Potter con held in Orlando, Florida.

III. DISCUSSING CHANGES

Those groups not posting about their work were nonetheless still at it. Content Policy was part of a well-attended cross-committee meeting on the question of where nonfiction meta fits into the OTW’s various activities, and hopes to have an updated FAQ and clear answer as soon as possible. Abuse has also been part of that discussion, but has also been dealing with cases concerning plagiarism, mis-labeling works, or incorrectly warning/rating them. Several of those plagiarism complaints turned out to be Archive users mistakenly posting favorites under their own name to “warehouse” them, because they did not understand the AO3’s bookmarking feature.

Open Doors has been working on internal documentation, updating the FAQ on their website, and creating a tutorial screencast to walk fans through the process of claiming their stories after a mass-import. Webmasters were also occupied in laying the groundwork for upgrading the transformativeworks.org website to Drupal 7, and Journal‘s Symposium Blog team has been meeting to consider ways to widen readership.

Legal worked with the EFF on responses to questions the Copyright Office had after the DMCA hearings. There will be an additional round of responses in the coming weeks. They also looked over the participant agreement for a fanfic reading contest and alerted fans to potential problems with its terms.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting continued to bring people into the org, and as can be seen from this list a lot of people have been taking on new tasks!

New Staffers List: Amplify (Systems), Reena (Support), Sole G. (Support)

New Workgroup Members: Aja (Survey), Betsy Rosenblatt (Survey), Bingeling (Category Change), Blue (Elections), Crowa (Category Change), Elz (Category Change), Eylul (Category Change), Franzeska Dickson (Category Change), Hele (Category Change, Survey), Highlander II (Category Change), Jenny Scott-Thompson (Survey), Lady Oscar (Category Change, Survey), Lesann (Survey), Sole G. (Category Change Lead, Survey), Vera (Survey)

New Tag Wranglers: Abydosorphan, Age, JLR, Morgan, Silverr
New Front End Volunteers: malandanta, Mermels, Nathan J Xaxson, strongfemalecharacter
New Communications volunteers: Rachel G.
New Coding Volunteers: Aria, larissa, MistressParamore, Scott S.
New Testers: Fighter Chi, Lady Oscar, On Pluto, ses, Yuugaijin
New Translators: gabsy, Gabriel, Melisa Bruckner
New Wiki gardeners: Sparcicle and Espresso Addict

Departing Staffers: Age (Volunteers & Recruiting), Anne Kustritz (Journal), Julia A (Communications), Lena (Webmasters), Anne Kustritz (Journal)
Departing Tag Wranglers: Jenny Scott-Thompson