March 2010 Newsletter, Vol. 36

Welcome to our March 2010 newsletter. Get all the OTW news that’s fit to print, right beneath the cut!


Abuse continues to enjoy being largely useless. We’re contributing perspectives to the Content Policy discussions on non-fanworks and giving Support a hand when we’re needed to clarify policy.


AD&T and all its many members have been busy as usual! March saw another ginormous code drop onto the Archive, with more features for collections and challenges, a complete renovation of our front end code, new features for tag wranglers and the addition of user icons! The testing team were kept busy testing all this shiny new code, while tag wranglers have been hard at work getting to grips with their new wrangling tools and developing new policy. Forthcoming: more internal stuff to train and support our volunteers, the first steps towards user skins for the Archive, and lots more shiny code!


The Board has been writing the 2009 annual report, which should be released shortly, and doing our 2009 taxes. We have also been examining contingency plans for credit card processors, and working with Content Policy, ADT, and Open Doors on an Importing Policy for the Archive of Our Own.


The OTW Communications team wishes you a Happy Ada Lovelace Day, and worked on promotions for the March Fundraising Drive and the exciting March issue of Transformative Works and Cultures.

Content Policy:

Content Policy is preparing to revisit a big issue: whether the AO3 should host non-fanworks, specifically stories not based on any existing source. (At this time, we don’t anticipate ever hosting non-fanwork art or video, regardless of what we decide about stories, because of the greater resource and policy demands.) We welcome your thoughts, which can be submitted at our contact form.


The Development & Membership team is celebrating the success of our recent membership drive, and preparing to send out our new, fancy stainless steel water bottle premiums to those donors who opted for them! (They’re still available, of course, and we welcome new donors and new members year-round.) We’re also working with the Webmasters team to upgrade and improve our donation software and making improvements and updates to the information we offer to our membership and to the public. And finally, we’re spending time on two of our big goals this year: seeking out grants to help fund some of our awesome projects, and improving our outreach at in-person fan conventions and gatherings.


Documentation continues on our quest to keep the OTW organized, but has no major update for the month.

Finance Update:

The update from the sharks can be summed up in one word: Taxes. As in buried under. We’re preparing to file the 990 return for 2009, filed the DE state form, and have (temporarily) lost our chair, Celli, to tax related psychosis.


The academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures, released No. 4, a special issue dedicated to the WB show Supernatural and guest edited by Catherine Tosenberger, on March 15, 2010. Work is already underway for No. 5, which is a general-themed issue.

International Outreach:

No report.


Still not sued!

Open Doors:

Open Doors has been collaborating on the archive Importing Policy; we have also slowly been adding personnel in anticipation of there being lots incoming archives when the importing policies and procedures are worked out. We are also still in the process of redesigning our site on


Support has had a busy month – we’ve been training up our new volunteers (welcome on board! \0/), liaising with other committees about our procedures, and working through tickets requiring further attention. We’re excited to also be moving forward with our project for a support board on the Archive itself; we’re finishing up on collecting initial ideas/requirements and going into the mock-up stage. Finally, we’ve also been handling a lot of requests relating to the most recent updates to the Archive, ranging from lots of feedback on the new look to handling new importer and parser issues. As always, if you run into any problems, please let us know via the Support and Feedback form!


As previously newslettered, the Systems group has moved services onto new servers. With this came some upgrades, some improvements, and some problems in the fall out. A few things went kaflooey and discombobulated [those are technical terms! Honest!] requiring tweaking and tuning, especially of Rails. This mainly involved the AO3 services.

Vidding History:

No report.


Volunteers has continued to add lots of people as coders, testers, and tag wranglers. We welcome new volunteers, regardless of skill level, and have recently helped AD&T with their new coder training.


The Webmasters are happy to report that from a technological standpoint, the recent membership drive went very smoothly. We’ve completed our annual check for outdated website content, and we’re in touch with various committees about making revisions. We continue to work with Open Doors on the development of their new website, which is progressing well. We’re making a big push to update our internal documentation. And we continue to focus on training our new members, who have just graduated to serving on-call rotations! ::pins gold stars on them::


The wiki committee is pleased to say that in early March we reached 100,000 edits. This past month, we installed and tested the Sphinx search engine. It’s up and running. We also put the first draft of our Fandom as a Category policy out for comment and hope to have the revised version written and out for comments by the beginning of April. In mid-April, we plan to put the new Image policy out for comments.

We’d also like to let everyone know that, we will announce the call for comments on the OTW News, as well as the wiki itself, but for the time being, we will be using the Dreamwidth Fanlore community for comments and discussions.


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