The Board would like to issue a public apology to our Support and AD&T staff and volunteers, our members, and the users of the AO3.
It is the Board’s responsibility — including the responsibility of the position I, Hele Braunstein, hold as Board liaison to both AD&T and Support — to keep an eye on any organizational issues that would affect both the quality of the product put forward to our beta install and the amount of work and responsibility of our volunteers. It is, in addition, our particular responsibility to ensure that they are not blamed and held accountable in public for what are, at their heart, organizational failings.
It was the Board’s responsibility to act on these failings, and avoid their having the impact that they, regrettably, have had.
As apologies are nothing if they are not followed by action, we can promise to take measures to avoid this happening in the future. The AD&T committee will work to figure out where we went wrong and what measures to take and guidelines to set to avoid it happening in the future. They will work with their current Board liaison, the Board as a whole, and their future Board liaison.
I especially apologize for being only able to set things in motion, as I’ll not be returning to Board next term. However, I promise to be available to the people working on it next term as well, if needed.
Finally, and most importantly, we want to thank each and every volunteer and staff member who has worked on this, both before and after the deploy. Your work was not at fault, and it’s deeply appreciated. Without you, and your efforts, OTW and its many projects would not exist.
Edited to add: This post was made in response to a number of conversations that were, and are, happening both inside and outside the OTW in reaction to the AO3 deploy; we find ourselves in the position of offering another apology as a result, as this post, in practice, proved to be opaque to the larger OTW community, which includes diverse interests in all our projects. To clarify, there were issues with the latest deploy to the AO3 — the deploy was somewhat hurried, limiting the ability of our testers, coders, support team, and other staff to do their jobs, and making the process harder than necessary, both for our volunteers as well as for our users.
As a result, many volunteers were put in a position where they felt personally liable for larger organizational or group-level errors; this is why we, as a Board, felt it was necessary to acknowledge their distress and to respect their very hard work. They addressed many of the problems and corrected them within 48 hours — we are grateful for their efforts, and wish to apologize for the necessity. (edits made 14 November 2011 5:00 UTC)