July 2015 Newsletter, Volume 93

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

I. OTW JOINS COALITIONS

In July, the OTW was proud to join three new legal-focused coalitions. First, in early July we joined the Harry Potter Alliance’s Fanworks Are Fair Use Project, a community of fan creators, readers, artists, and enthusiasts who are committed to the protection and preservation of fair use law.

Then, a few days later, we announced that we’d joined the Re:Create coalition—a group of organizations representing innovators, creators, and consumers united for balanced U.S. copyright policies, including robust fair use laws.

More recently, we’ve added our support to the Save The Link project, a global coalition opposed to policies that would allow governments to block hyperlinks or block sites based on where they link to—yet another set of ideas we’ve long believed in and are thrilled to support.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed a variety of small bug fixes in releases 0.9.65-0.9.69; worked with the Legal, Support, and Communications teams to research and respond to the unofficial Archive app recently released into the Google Play store; and identified and began testing new issue trackers to replace Google Code, which will be shutting down in a few months.

AO3 Documentation completed and uploaded three documents this month: the Posting and Editing FAQ, the Statistics FAQ, and a tutorial on “Posting a Work on AO3. They’ve also welcomed five new members to the Docs team.

Abuse handled over 300 tickets in July. They are currently working with Accessibility, Design & Technology to make it easier to identify and deal with anon trolls and harassment. They are also in the process of updating their documentation, which should make it easier to help deal with tickets. Meanwhile, Support‘s ticket count is averaging, for 2015, around 725 tickets a month. They’ve also signed on seven new staffers to help with the increasing workload.

Systems has been interviewing potential new recruits and are working on documentation. They’re installing and setting up lots of new servers and development systems, namely for Open Doors and the AO3 coders. They’ve also been working on our offsite backup solutions to better protect the OTW’s data.

Tag Wrangling implemented a new procedure for revising the wrangling guidelines, which should smooth out the process of keeping everything up to date. They also assisted Open Doors with tag mapping for upcoming archive imports, and held several wrangling parties in chat so everyone could work together and give each other advice on tricky tags. Wranglers also continued to assist each other with translations, and responded to several Support requests.

III. INFORMING FANS

Legal corresponded with the creators of an unauthorized “AO3 App” for Android, whose product and promotion used the OTW’s trademarks in a confusing manner. We are pleased that so many people love the AO3, but we don’t want people to be confused! For more information about AO3’s position on an app, please refer to this post.

Legal also responded to several queries from fans about fair use and fandom law and got help from Translation with a query in French.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Legal Chair Betsy was on a panel moderated by Legal staffer Heidi which discussed the evolution of fandom and fanworks and the laws that surround them. They were joined by panelists from Tumblr, Wattpad, Zefr, Supernatural Wiki, Chaotic Good, and the New Statesman. Video of the panel is now available.

Communications‘ Media Outreach subcommittee covered the San Diego Comic-Con “Fandom is my Fandom” panel. It also released a guest post with Donna Davies, creator of “Fanarchy,” a documentary on fan films. Many more guest posts are being planned by the Media Outreach group, and they would welcome suggestions for future guest posts.

Communications has begun actively moderating the OTW News twitter account, and is still looking for suggestions for non-English-language fan accounts to follow. A moderator for the OTW’s new Weibo account has been inducted and is currently completing training. The Weibo account should become active within the next six weeks. A new graphics volunteer has also been inducted and is currently completing training.

Communications is also working on the upcoming 20th issue celebration for Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC). A panel chat with contributors to TWC is planned for September 19th, focusing on the field of Fan Studies. If you have questions on the topic, please let us know!

Journal‘s next issue of TWC is on schedule. Editor Karen updated paperwork for TWC’s listing in a compilation of Open Access journals.

Translation welcomed and trained several new volunteers as a result of June’s Spotlight post, including two brand new teams: Japanese and Croatian!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Development & Membership welcomed one new staffer in July and said a fond farewell to four others as they continued work toward the upcoming October drive. They are currently developing a proposal to add a second payment processor (besides PayPal) to address international donor needs.

Elections came to a consensus regarding the extension of the voting period for OTW elections. The voting period will now be four days, spanning Friday to Monday. In addition the committee’s confidentiality and neutrality policies were drafted, agreed upon, and sent to Legal for further review. They also finalized a social media policy and selected a Twitter team for their account.

Internationalization & Outreach has been taking internal feedback on a plan that it has developed to promote inclusivity and internationalization within the OTW. They also updated some internal documentation in preparation for their new recruits.

Strategic Planning will be publishing the final draft of our long-range plan for consideration and hopes to work out details of what implementation will look like at our October meeting with the Board. Strategic Planning has a few last-minute meetings with several committees regarding the timeline of certain goals.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been continuing to work on implementation of their new task tracking system with plans to go live in early August. They recruited for Tag Wrangling volunteers and Internationalization & Outreach staff in July and are presently planning for August recruiting. They have also started discussions for the annual Still Willing to Serve campaign for current staff and a number of end-of-year tasks.

New Committee Staff: OutToGarden (AO3 Documentation), Rebecca Sentance (AO3 Documentation), Robin Gaitan (AO3 Documentation), Kaitlin (Support), Wes (Support), Genie Este (Support), kiki-eng (Development & Membership), sveritas (Communications), 1 other AO3 Documentation staff, and 4 other Support staff
New Communications Volunteers: ElenaWho
New Translator Volunteers: Hana Yu, Tanya Lokot, EmptyLot, tezzin, AndreyVas, and 7 others

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Systems, and 4 Development & Membership
Departing Tester Volunteers: erialeduab
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1
Departing Translator Volunteers: Karagodina Elena and 4 other Translators


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