July 2013 Newsletter, Volume 71

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

I. CREATING A BIGGER HOME

In July, Open Doors was contacted by three archive moderators and they’re developing plans to get their archive contents safely onto the AO3 (in addition to touching base with mods for archives already in their queue). Open Doors is also facilitating two donations to the Fan Culture Preservation Project, one of which is a rather large collection (approximately 35 boxes) of materials that is pretty exciting. Lastly, a point for celebration: all unclaimed stories in the 852 Prospect Archive collection have now been unlocked. Woot, visibility!

Accessibility, Design and Technology have been doing lots of work on sustainability. They’re currently in the process of upgrading to a new version of Rails (the web framework the AO3 is built on), which helps ensure good security and means we can take advantage of new developments in Rails. They recently welcomed some awesome new recruits to our Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee and they’ve been hard at work testing ALL THE THINGS to be sure the upgrade hasn’t broken anything. The Test Archive is now in need of some love, as we use it a lot, so AD&T has been working with Systems to plan for upgraded Test servers.

AD&T is simultaneously preparing for a period of reflection, organizing, and decision-making that will start immediately after the Rails deploy. They’ve assembled a master list of topics to work through, and will have discussion forums and meetings as well as get-togethers to get some of the more fiddly work done (such as evaluating our list of open bugs to check that they are all still relevant and have the right information attached). They will reflect on conceptual and procedural matters, such as our place in the world of Open Source development, and ways to support and motivate our volunteers better. AD&T will also look into cross-committee processes and touch base with relevant partners. This period of reflection is a chance for them to catch their breath and take a look at the big picture, so that they can work more efficiently going forward.

Of particular interest to users, AD&T has been working with other committees, including Support, Abuse, Tag Wrangling, and Internationalization & Outreach, on the plan for adding different work types to the Archive. This is a much-needed piece of work which will make it easier to mark and filter works by media type (art, video, text, etc), and has been a long time coming.

Systems valiantly tried to keep the OTW mailserver from committing suicide, then split it into separate incoming and outgoing mailservers. They’ve have also tried out some additional monitoring systems (alongside, not instead of, New Relic) and are in the process of upgrading their ticketing system. Systems will soon be hard at work bringing up new machines for testing, beefing up the servers that run the Archive, and bringing up new virtual servers for Fanlore and the OTW’s internal email server, among other things.

Lastly, Category Change is finishing up discussion on the remaining items from the internal feedback round about fandom categories on AO3, and will be dedicating itself to writing the public documentation for the proposal as soon as they’re done.

II. LOOKING FOR HELP

Tag Wrangling briefly re-opened wrangler sign-ups for a targeted recruitment, looking for volunteers to handle fandoms in need of some TLC. This call was so successful that recruitment closed again within a couple days! They’ll be reopening again within the next couple of months after training up our new people. There is also a team of wranglers reviewing AO3’s religion, mythology and folklore tags, looking for better and more consistent ways to handle these complex fandoms.

Journal put out a call for peer reviewers for Transformative Works and Cultures, so if you work in fandom studies or are interested in fandom meta, you can add yourself to their reviewer database. Journal just sent the next issue into production, on track to be released on September 15. The editorial team is working on the first two issues of 2014. Journal’s editors also worked with Comms staffer Jintian on a spotlight discussing their production process.

Communications held recruitment for graphics volunteers and have brought in four so far to augment our news posts with images. They are also planning to celebrate the 1000th subscriber to the OTW Tumblr account on Aug 2, which will feature work from its new recruits. The milestone makes Tumblr the third most followed OTW News outlet after LiveJournal and Twitter.

Development & Membership‘s The Meetup of Our Own at San Diego Comic-Con was a great success! Around 90 people attended and we collected US$365 in donations. Many thanks to Legal staffer Heidi for her leadership role in planning and hosting this event. In other news, DevMem has begun planning for the October fund drive and is developing a training plan for DevMem staffers in preparation for recruitment.

III. GOVERNANCE

Board announced some changes to our officer lineup at the beginning of July. The current Board officers are:

President: Ira Gladkova
Vice President: Cat Meier
Secretary: Kristen Murphy
Treasurer: Nikisha Sanders
Elections Officer: Eylul Dogruel

Board held an open house chat for chairs, staff and volunteers on July 13-14 and approved Phase 1 of a proposal from Systems to expand our technology infrastructure. Phase 1 includes a new server for test and infrastructure, a temporary new virtual server to build and test the configuration for a new incoming e-mail server, and provisions for upgrading our bandwidth as usage increases.

Board also adopted and announced a reimbursement policy stipulating when and how staff members may be reimbursed for OTW-related costs they have incurred in the course of staff work and approved a proposal from Volunteers & Recruiting to purchase e-books with which they will develop a library of resources on nonprofit best practices.

They have also begun preparing for the 2013 Board election in conjunction with the Elections Workgroup.

Strategic Planning has been interviewing the Support co-chairs and preparing survey questions for Support staff members. They also interviewed the current Wiki chair to update information in the Wiki/Fanlore report that is being drafted. It should be finished along with the Systems report next month.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting is nearing the end of the foundation stages of building a chair and lead training program. They are also actively working on finishing their committee’s training plan in preparation to recruit for their own committee.

New Committee Staff: 1 AD&T staffer
New Communications Volunteers: Diane Quintal, Bremo
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Gnine, asa, Ruth Damaris, skieswideopen, Baranduin, Claire J. Vannette, sesanye, Ketsu, breadfuls, bscl43, Zain, Liviapenn, Temaris, KeevaCaereni, radondoran, Carrie Haase, Katy Armstrong, antrazi, Jennifer Tifft, Camilla M., jsparc, Gills, Anne R, Llwyden ferch Gyfrinach, Selenay, Lillian Bolen, slylytouchingly, bluehooloovo, Brianna Smith, Lbilover, Swamp Adder, wendymarlowe, DebetEsse, Wordwitch, ereshai, Firefly_Ca, Rav, Alix Mason, Lee H., strina, 3 additional tag wranglers.
Departing Committee Chairs: Moose (Systems)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Systems staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 17
Departing Tester Volunteers: artisan447