July 2014 Newsletter, Volume 82

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

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

I. STEPPING OUT

As usual, there’s lots happening with Legal! On July 26, staffers Betsy and Heidi, together with Josh Wattles of deviantART, gave a well-attended presentation at San Diego Comic Con entitled “Fans, Love, and the Law.” We hope to be able to post a recording of the presentation in the future. Legal is continuing to work on the USPTO/NTIA copyright law Green Paper project, and has been participating in working group meetings as part of that process. They also took part in the USPTO Green Paper Roundtable in Los Angeles on July 29. Legal has responded to several legal queries from individual fans, and helped an individual fan who received a cease & desist request regarding fanworks. Finally, they’re working on a legal brief to be filed next month — we’ll be letting everyone know more on that when they’re able to make it public.

In another look at legal issues, Fanhackers chair Nele Noppe wrote a well-received post about the censorship problems faced by anime and manga fans.

Also, the Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee has temporarily halted anonymous commenting on the OTW website due to a major spam wave. We hope to see this restored soon.

II. OVER AT AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology has squeezed three more code deploys into the last month and are wrapping up Release 0.9.15 with 110 closed issues in the bugtracker. In preparing for the next Release, they are now down to 25 pull requests (code submissions), and will focus on Quality Assurance & Testing recruitment and larger coding projects next.

Unfortunately, dealing with the day-to-day tasks of running the Archive (fixing bugs, planning code updates, monitoring performance and server stability, etc.) has left AD&T with little time to clean up and optimize old, crufty code. They’ve been in search of a Ruby on Rails freelancer to help out with specific coding and refactoring tasks, which will be important for adding new features and future-proofing the Archive for increased traffic, and have now found a contractor, Marie, they are very excited to be working with. Thanks go to Board and Legal for enabling AD&T to outsource a small amount of their workload, and to OTW’s donors for contributing financially to the future of the Archive.

Support had 485 tickets and counting for the month of July, which is right in line with their new average. They also had an Open Chat at the end of June thanks to all of the Support and Translation staff and volunteers who volunteered their time. There are plans for another Open Chat at the end of August, with two more to follow later this year.

Tag Wrangling Staff has worked with Support on quite a few tickets and continued refining their training documentation. They’ve also made arrangements with Translation to request their services for tags or works that wranglers need help with, to help streamline non-English wrangling. Tag Wrangling welcomed another 28 new Tag Wrangling Volunteers from their June recruitment, making this class of 43 new wranglers the biggest yet. Congratulations to everyone for their progress in training thus far!

Abuse talked about a lot of different policies and what warnings mean this month. It’s harder than it sounds! At the same time the committee dealt with about 200 reports of abuse from AO3 users.

AO3 Documentation just wrapped up some major internal workflow restructuring, and things are now merrily chugging along as they work on a bunch of FAQs.

III. PROJECT TIME

Journal is not resting on its laurels after the successful on-time release of its latest issue in June. They are prepping to go into production for the September issue and are wrangling content for the first two issues of 2015.

Wiki added 3 new staffers and 2 new gardeners as a result of recent recruitment efforts. They successfully closed several identity protection cases and continue to deal with various outside requests. They’re also working on a DMCA policy with Legal and discussing a few future projects.

Development & Membership is in the process of brainstorming and concocting a scheme for year-round fundraising as well as moving forward with discussions about the OTW’s visual identity.

Open Doors is still working on strengthening documentation and assisting with on-going manual imports.

Translation volunteers and staff started developing tools for language-specific translation training—very important, but a lot of work! They’ve been testing PhraseApp, a potential tool for Archive interface translation, and are cautiously optimistic. They’re also preparing for a big volunteer recruitment next month, so if you’ve been thinking of volunteering, keep an eye on OTW News!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Through June and July, Board has been discussing their retreat. Board is very pleased with how the new office hours have been going and plans to continue office hours until at least the end of the term. Per best practices, transcripts are not being made public, but anything Board needs to discuss and/or vote on that’s brought up in any director’s office hours is either put onto the agenda for Open Session (1800 – 1900 UTC in Public Discussion on Saturdays) or voted on and put into the minutes for that week.

In July, Cat Meier, President of the Board, also began regular office hours on Wednesday/Thursdays from 23:59-02:00 UTC.

Strategic Planning is excited to announce that they are currently in the process of planning out Non-Profit 101 discussions, open to all OTW staff and volunteers. The purpose of these discussions will be to help educate the OTW as a whole about how non-profits are generally organized, structured, and run; how the OTW works as a non-profit; and how strategic planning fits into the picture, both in the non-profit world at large and specific to our organization. Also, starting in September, Strategic Planning will be going back to active committees that they spoke with more than six months ago to ask for updates in order to make sure they bring the most current information to the upcoming Board retreat.

They’re also in the process of interviewing and surveying Legal, Finance, Category Change, Translation, Fan Video, and Journal, and they have reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, Development & Membership, and Internationalization & Outreach in progress.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been hard at work clearing a backlog of requested tasks, as well as keeping up with the new ones filed in July. They’ve brought the annual Still Willing to Serve Project forward a few months, and are also working some annual document revisions, including a project to revise induction/removal documentation. They’ve also formally welcomed the following:

New Committee Staff: Rachmel and 2 Other Wiki Staffers;
New Workgroup Members: briar_pipe (Elections), Trey C (Elections), Carli Anderson (Elections)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: MichelleMS, Aderam, Meu, drashian, Penny S, ChelseaIBelieve, okdreaming, cannothink, White Hawk, Sylwia Reszczynska, Ania Kopertowska, Goose, covur, ryasdfghjkl, MissGloryAnne, Jenny McDevitt, kiii17, FallenAngel, spock74, astoryandasong, QueenAlkmene, Shivakshi Rana, Arithanas, Dai-kun, mefisto, Wade, Sammie Jarrett and 1 more;
New Translator Volunteers: 1.

And we say goodbye with thanks to:

Departing Committee Chairs: Natalie (Web Strategy Design & Development);
Departing Committee Staff: Natalie (Web Strategy Design & Development); Cynthia (Communications); Cece (Volunteers & Recruiting), tekla (Volunteers & Recruiting); 1 Translation Staffer; 1 Development & Membership Staffer; 2 Abuse Staffers; 1 Internationalization & Outreach Staffer;
Departing Workgroup Members: Claudia Rebaza (Elections).