June 2023 Newsletter, Volume 179

I. BOARD OF DIRECTORS UPDATE

Board held a public meeting on 2 July; they’ve heard the feedback about needing to improve for the next meeting, and they are exploring options. Thanks to everyone who offered up ideas for making Board meetings run better in the future – they fully intend to make changes for next time and beyond.

During the meeting, they shared updates on diversity, including their recent post, and they also shared an update to our Code of Conduct to include caste as a protected class. Board hopes to have more updates, including additional progress in their search for a DEI consultant, by its next meeting.

As part of the diversity consultant process, Board asked their Diversity Consultant Research Officer (DCRO) to help with requirements gathering and to survey volunteers for high-priority topics. The DCRO has finished this feedback period and are hoping to begin entering negotiations with specific consultants by September; they’ll be reaching out to consultants early in July.

II. AT THE AO3

Open Doors announced the import of Stayka’s Saint Seiya Archive, an archive dedicated to fanworks inspired by the manga Saint Seiya, and Smoochies, a multi-fandom fanfiction and fanart archive. Meanwhile, Support was on track to receive 1,600 tickets again in June at the time of this writing.

Accessibility, Design & Technology has been working with Policy & Abuse, Support, and the wonderful team at the OTW’s spam detection service to stay on top of some gnarly spam issues.

Finally, Tag Wrangling took some actions this month to update several canonical freeform tags related to the alpha/beta/omega-verse trope across a number of fandoms in order to remove an acronym that they learned was also an offensive slur. It would like to thank the volunteers and users who took the time to alert the committee to this issue. In May, wranglers handled more than 420,000 tags across more than 58,200 fandoms—more than 950 tags per wrangler!

III. FANLORE OUTREACH

Fanlore Bingo was a big success this year with 37 participants who completed at least one bingo and 26 who got a total blackout! Fanlore’s graphic designers created some lovely fruit and vegetable themed graphics while other volunteers pitched in to award badges.

Fanlore also geared up for its next themed month, Fandom in Color, running throughout July—so be sure to follow its social media (Twitter and Tumblr) for some awesome page spotlights!

IV. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Development & Membership’s table at Euro-Con in Sweden was a huge success! Its volunteers are continuing to work on updating their convention outreach materials and have been applying to table at more conventions this year.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since the last one, but Legal is preparing its submission to the U.S. Copyright Office seeking renewal of the legal exemption that allows makers of vids and fan edits the ability to use material from DVDs, Blu-Rays, and streams. Legal also responded to a number of user queries about intellectual property law and proposed U.S. legislation and worked with a few other committees to write a post responding to user questions regarding AO3’s policies regarding, among other things, CSEM response and data retention. The committee is also thrilled to extend a huge welcome to two new interns.

Systems kept busy in June auditing the OS versions of its systems in preparation for upgrades to the recently released version of Debian.

Communications has been reviewing its news distribution practices to social media outlets which affects both our future staffing and training plans. We have dropped manual posting to two little-used accounts—LiveJournal and Dreamwidth—in favor of automated feeds available at those sites. You can find out where to receive OTW News by visiting our Where to Find Us page on our website.

V. GOVERNANCE

Election season is upon us! The candidates’ platforms and bios are on Elections’ website. (Sadly, one candidate has withdrawn—we wish them the best!) The election will take place August 11 – 14, and Development & Membership worked with Elections to hold a mini-drive at the end of June to register voters.

Looking ahead, Finance has been focused on prepping for the 2022 audit by making year end adjustments, reconciling accounts, and updating audit schedules, and Strategic Planning has been reviewing and incorporating final suggestions to the upcoming 2023-2026 Strategic Plan in preparation to post the complete version.

VI. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 25 May to 24 June, Volunteers & Recruiting received 110 new requests, and completed 107, leaving us with 40 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 June 2023, the OTW has 934 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Communications Volunteers: Claudia Rebaza (Media Outreach Lead), 1 Site Moderator, and 2 Chair Assistants
New Development & Membership Volunteers: dearjenna, 2 Graphic Designers, 4 Volunteers
New Elections Volunteers: Dae
New Legal Volunteers: Kate H. and 1 other Intern
New Support Volunteers: Apollo Cowan, Calliope, Conroy, CrypticKatt, DeeDee, Ekevka, Flocotillo, Hugh, Karlo, Kasi, katdusk, Marta Cardoso, Neutrino, theFleaDane, and 14 other Volunteers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Chrome, Madi, Vio, and WhitedSepu (all Supervisors)
New Translation Volunteers: 1 Translator and 3 News Translators
New TWC Volunteers: M. Lisa, Robin F. (both Copyeditors)

Departing Directors: Heather McGuire
Departing Committee Chairs: Heleen (Translation)
Departing Communications Volunteers: Claudia Rebaza (Media Outreach Volunteer role only)
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: 2 Import Assistants
Departing Policy & Abuse Volunteers: 1 Volunteer
Departing Support Volunteers: Re_Tails and 4 other Volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 9 Tag Wranglers, Christina L Simpson, Petrichorrr (Supervisor role only)
Departing Translation Volunteers: 1 Volunteer Manager, Emyn Nefydd, Panwonderland, siobhrag and 3 other Translators
Departing Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers: 1 Volunteer

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

Newsletter
  1. Muccamukk commented:

    We have dropped manual posting to two little-used accounts—LiveJournal and Dreamwidth—in favor of automated feeds available at those sites.

    For the record, the Dreamwidth community was not “little used.” You asked if we used it, over fifty people spoke up to say that they did, and why they didn’t want to switch to a feed, and a bunch more would have if they’d known it was judged on pure metrics. Comms ignored all feedback, and shut down the comm anyway.

    In favour of Twitter, which many people can no longer use at all.

    The entire interaction was both tone deaf and disrespectful of the community on dreamwidth, and Comms should be ashamed of their behaviour.

    • Muccamukk commented:

      I see HTML is still striped from comments here. The first sentence was meant to be a quote.

    • Satsuma commented:

      +1 to all of this!

    • Sheliak commented:

      Seconding all of this.

      It’s disingenuous to equate the Dreamwidth comm (which had overwhelming support for keeping the comm, followed by equally universal unhappiness about the decision to abandon it despite that feedback) with the Livejournal (which had *0 comments* on the equivalent post).

      Especially in light of recent developments with Twitter, shutting down the Dreamwidth was a poor decision.

    • TA commented:

      +1 This has just been another example of how utterly incompetent and petty the head of Communications is. I have absolutely no trust or faith in that committee anymore after how Claudia has repeatedly fumbled on AO3 news posts and the Dreamwidth community.

    • Hokuto commented:

      + 5

    • Makamu commented:

      I would like to +6 the comment above

  2. late commented:

    I’m a Dreamwidth user that missed this whole debacle, now regretting not engaging sooner. Though given all I’ve backread, it seems I wouldn’t have been heard, anyway. I don’t feel good about the community being cut off, when I thought the OTW’s mission involved being accessible as possible…

  3. Rodo commented:

    Asking here because I don’t know where else: would it be possible to do AO3 status updates in a place that is not Twitter? I can’t access it because I don’t have an account, so the helpful note on the 503 page is not very helpful.

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      Hello Rodo — We apologize for this as we realize many people are being sent by the default AO3 messaging to the Status account, which has now become invisible to many. We are also posting to the AO3 Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/ao3org — Claudia Rebaza, OTW Communications