March 2011 Newsletter, Volume 47

Welcome to our March newsletter! We’re trying out a new format: this month’s news is organized by topic rather than by committee.

March Drive: Thank you, fandom!

Our March Drive has been going on this week, spearheaded by the hardworking Development & Membership committee. We’re grateful to everyone who’s helping to make the drive a success, including our guest bloggers, staff and volunteers, everyone who’s spreading the word via personal posts and tweets, and our members and donors. Thank you for making the OTW’s work possible. Watch this space for the drive’s grand finale, coming soon!

TWC journal releases new issue

Transformative Works and Cultures released its History issue on March 15. The journal is currently accepting submissions for a special issue on fan/remix video; if you’d like to submit a Symposium piece, the deadline is May 1, 2011. (Many of our Vidding committee volunteers are busily preparing essays for consideration!)

Fanart on the horizon

The Accessibility, Design, & Technology committee (AD&T) is working on plans for hosting fanart at the Archive of Our Own, which is a top priority this year. As part of this effort, the Content Policy committee is starting work on fanart-specific portions of the Archive TOS. To avoid reinventing the wheel, they’re currently engaged in reading the TOS of every other art archive they can find — and they want to read more. Where do you archive your fanart?

More AO3 news

The Archive team has been busy! In addition to working on fanart, AD&T is brainstorming about site design, navigation, and browsing. They’re making great progress on a new translation system; putting the final touches on prompt-based challenges; and getting ready to release the AO3’s first subscription feature, which will make it possible to “follow” a user and be notified by e-mail when they post a new chapter or work. Support and International Outreach are working together to revise the Archive FAQ, including a new section on subscriptions.

AD&T is thinking about ways to do more to encourage and recognize testers, who are an invaluable part of our development process. If you’d like to help with testing, or if you’re already on our testing list, we’d love to hear from you!

AD&T would also like to give a shout-out to the Development & Membership committee, particularly Alexandra Edwards and Megan Westerby, for their great work on the application for the Google Summer of Code. Unfortunately, we were not selected to participate this year, but the groundwork has been laid for future applications, and we learned a lot through the process. Thanks to AD&T’s Rebecca, Cesy, and Eylul for their work on this as well!

Vidding

The Vidding committee is discussing how best to organize their project; after a productive conversation with International Outreach, they’re realizing that some of the OTW’s vidding work is preservational, some is educational, some is legal, and they may not all belong in the same place! So you might see our vidding project splitting into parts, with educational resources separating from the archiving and legal parts.

Vidding chair Francesca Coppa is heading to L.A. to talk about vidding at Transmedia, Hollywood, a conference sponsored by Henry Jenkins to get industry people, academics, and fans talking together about how to make media.

Around the OTW

Open Doors is working with the University of Iowa to process several large donations to the Fan Culture Preservation Project; they’re also working with the Webmasters to prepare for the launch of their new website.

Legal has been giving advice on various projects and answering queries from fans. We’re really happy that people are seeing us as a useful resource for legal inquiries.

International Outreach is collaborating with Wiki on making Fanlore welcoming to multilingual content. IO is also planning a survey of volunteers, members, and AO3 users.

The Volunteers & Recruiting committee has been offering monthly staff and volunteer training sessions, and is working to migrate our old personnel database into its shiny new CiviCRM home.

Communications has been handling e-mail inquiries, churning out news posts on a variety of topics, and writing the narrative portions of the OTW’s 2010 annual report. We’re also experimenting with the newsletter format — please let us know what you think! 🙂