November 2012 Newsletter, Volume 65

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

I. RETURN OF THE FILTERS

Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed new code which not only brought back tag filtering at the Archive of Our Own but a number of additional features, concluding several months of coding, testing, more coding, and more testing. Feedback has been largely positive, and further improvements are in the works. Unfortunately, wranglers and staff were affected as the new search engine is having some trouble with new wrangling connections and metatags, so wrangling is currently off-line as Tag Wrangling helps coders and testers iron out the bugs there.

Accessibility, Design and Technology are now hard at work on the next release, which will also focus on challenge & collection bug fixes. Since site performance has been stable and the new filtering code has made the servers happier, the number of invites going out every day has been increased from 500 to 750, a huge jump compared to the 100 to 150 increase made back in July. The automated invitation queue, which has been holding steady at over 30,000 requests during our busiest months, is now on the decline, leading to shorter wait times for people wanting accounts on the Archive.

II. GETTING FEEDBACK

The Category Change workgroup solicited feedback from AO3 users about the current Fandom Categories in the Archive and how people find material. They spent some time this month acknowledging and gathering those responses for further review.

Meanwhile Content Policy worked with Abuse and Support on proposed Terms of Service FAQ changes. The changes are basically housekeeping and clarifying current practice. The documents are currently open for public review and feedback until December 10.

Support had its first Open Support Chat this month. In spite of short notice quite a few people came by with questions, and fans are still finding the announcement posts and using them for open discussion. Support found the experiment was a success and it is something they plan to do again in the future!

Legal issued a call on behalf of the EFF, by having fans who lost content due to the Megaupload seizure contact EFF to share their stories.

III. GEARS TURNING

Abuse has focused on a number of tag-related complaints, mostly regarding incorrect warnings, but also concerning the new trend toward “creative” tags, as well as dealing with a slight uptick in harassment complaints. They’re working with Support on complaints that bridge both committees, and with Legal on fanmix download issues.

Strategic Planning released its first report internally focusing on Tag Wrangling. The Tag Wrangling Committee is currently reviewing the report for factual accuracy before a wider release. They’re also working on reports for Volunteers & Recruiting, the Wiki Committee and Fanlore editors and gardeners, Open Doors, and Systems, and putting together surveys for the rest of the OTW teams.

Translation have three new staffers and are slowly working on translating content and working with other committees to get important documents accessible for non-English speaking fans. They are also exploring ways to create a better community for translators, part of which involves working with Grants and Webmasters.

Webmasters was focused on finalizing committee roles for the next term, selecting a piece of software to help them track incoming work, and closing out our Drupal 7 upgrade. Webmasters also provided input into Volunteers & Recruiting‘s need for a Drupal update.

Wiki had some great news: they completed the upgrade of their mediawiki version! They are still working on fixing some remaining bugs, and also spent time working on improving internal documentation and cooperating with Legal regarding fair use issues on Fanlore.

IV. GOVERNANCE

New Board members Franzeska Dickson, Eylul Dogruel, and Andrea Horbinski officially took office on November 1. Recently the Board has been working on committee chair, workgroup lead, and Board liaison appointments for 2013. The Board also elected new officers, as follows:

  • President: Kristen Murphy
  • Secretary: Ira Gladkova (interim, to be reconsidered in early 2013)
  • Treasurer: Nikisha Sanders
  • Elections Officer: Eylul Dogruel

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been busy completing a number of projects as the end of the year approaches. Following the large-scale revision of induction and removal procedures for all personnel roles within the organization, they started on a project to revise recruitment procedures – the first step in the process to reopening external recruitment. At this point, there is no target date for that to occur as there are a number of steps and other committees involved, but things are moving in the right direction.

They have also deployed the ‘Still Willing to Serve’ (SWTS) survey, which asks all current staff on OTW committees to indicate their staff plans with the organization for 2013 and provide feedback regarding their experience with the organization this year. SWTS closes on November 30th, at which time the committee will begin preparing for the removal of any departing staff and analyzing feedback solicited through the SWTS form.

Additionally, due to the large number of inductions during the first part of the year and some updated information regarding tool access requirements for specific roles during induction/removal revision, they are planning an audit of access to all organization tools managed by the committee over the next couple of months. Along with ensuring access for all personnel is up-to-date, they will be revising how access is tracked in personnel records and building a procedure for regular periodic audits of each tool.

New Staffers: christycorr (Translation), marina (Journal), Andrea Horbinski (Board of Directors), Eylul Dogruel (Board of Directors), Franzeska Dickson (Board of Directors), Tuulia (Internationalization & Outreach and Translation)

New Tag Wranglers: Curtis Jefferson, Schuyler Dade, Tuulia
New Translators: Tuulia

Departing Workgroup Members: Copracat (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Coders: echthroi, Schuyler Dade