October 2011 Newsletter, Volume 54

Welcome to the OTW’s October newsletter! Read about the success of our recent membership drive, election chats, the next round of DMCA exemption hearings, and more under the cut.

October Membership Drive: Thank You

The October membership drive was our most successful drive ever, thanks to the hard work of the Development & Membership committee and the generosity of the many fans who donated and helped spread the word. We raised a total of US$21,456 in support of the OTW’s work. Thank you.

For details about the October drive, please see our drive wrap-up post.

Election Season Continues

The election to fill four open seats on the OTW Board of Directors will take place November 16-18. Two public chats were held in October to give voters a chance to ask questions of the candidates. The OTW Elections website contains transcripts of both chats, as well as the candidates’ responses to additional questions that weren’t answered during the live chats due to time constraints.

International Outreach Gets A New Name

The International Outreach committee has changed its name to Internationalization & Outreach. Here’s why:

To us, international inclusiveness encompasses fandom inclusiveness. When consulting with other committees, we’ve realized again and again that these matters bleed into each other and cannot be neatly separated. This has always implicitly informed IO’s thinking and practice, but we realized it wasn’t readily apparent from our name! We hope that “Internationalization & Outreach” (I&O) makes it clearer that we don’t only want to reach out to international fans, but practice a broader approach to inclusivity.

DMCA Exemptions, Round 2

The Legal and Vidding committees are preparing for the next round of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) exemptions. We won last time, but this time they’ll be expecting us, and we have a new Register of Copyrights in charge of decisionmaking and no particular idea of how she thinks about fair use. We’re asking fan video makers to share their stories to explain why vidding and other transformative uses of video are so valuable and in need of protection. Any questions about the DMCA can be directed to the Legal committee.

Archive of Our Own

The Accessibility, Design, & Technology committee (AD&T) and our coding and testing volunteers have been working hard to prepare for the next AO3 code deploy — read more about it in the latest AD&T meeting update.

The Content Policy committee has received many helpful comments on the proposed art policy, and welcomes further ones.

The Tag Wrangling committee held our very first Open House on the 15th of October. Thank you to everyone who came — we enjoyed showing people what happens behind-the-scenes of wrangling, and we gained some new wranglers! \o/ We’ll be holding more open houses in the future.

Fanlore

This month, the Wiki committee welcomed Doro as its newest member! We also posted a new challenge — Women Characters, Science Edition — and worked on revising the draft image policy additions we posted for comment at the beginning of the month.

In other news, the committee plans to turn off Fanlore’s OpenID support at some point as many OpenID servers (such as LiveJournal) have issues with their stability. Since many users already have OpenID accounts on Fanlore, we have posted some instructions to ensure that Fanlore users can still log in once support is turned off. However, contacting users to warn them of the change has proved difficult since some OpenID accounts do not have an associated e-mail address, so we won’t be turning off support anytime soon.

Also this month, Fanlore editors have been extremely productive: Gardeners have been fighting spam (we are still winning, often deleting the spam within minutes); projects to document fannish websites, webrings, and print fanzines are still going strong; editors worked on organizing the doujinshi articles to make them easier to find; and one enterprising individual created an external tool in English and Japanese that automatically generates the wiki code for a completed doujinshi template to make editing easier for those not so comfortable with wiki code. Finally, Doro reports that one editor got another one addicted to Robot Unicorn Attack, but Fanlore got a page about the game out of it, so getting one’s dreams dashed against the rocks below was worth it.

To see more of what Fanlore editors are up to, check out the Recent Changes page and the gallery of new files.

Transformative Works and Cultures

The Journal committee is looking forward to the release of its next issue, No. 8, Race and Ethnicity in Fandom and Textual Echoes (special guest-edited double issue) on November 15, 2011. Journal has also scheduled the first two guest-edited issues of 2012: Fan/Remix Video on March 15, 2012, and Transformative Works and Fan Activism on June 15, 2012. In addition, a team is working on a comprehensive fan studies bibliography, and the Symposium Blog team is regularly updating the blog with thinky meta (and we’re always looking for contributors…).

Volunteers & Recruiting

In October, Volunteers & Recruiting distributed the Still Willing to Serve survey to all staffers, giving them the opportunity to provide feedback on their time in the OTW and indicate whether they would like to rejoin their committee for the 2012 term, join another committee, or leave. We co-organized Kristen Murphy’s training session on the Enneagram and work styles, which focused on better understanding your personal work style and working relationships with others. We also worked with Tag Wrangling on their open house chat, which was a great success, and continue to work on potential open houses for the future.

Staffing News

New Staffers: We welcomed tekla to Volunteers & Recruiting, Sarah Trombley to Legal, Anna and arithilim to Support, Doro to Wiki, and kinetikatrue to DevMem. Anna also joined our AD&T testers, as did Pslasher, who also became a Tag Wrangling volunteer. Ninamalfoy, summertea, and via_ostiense also joined us as AD&T testers. Dana Katz-Buchshtav and Tahariel joined us as AD&T coders. Welfycat, Pax, foxinthestars, melodiousb, Niko, and Sossity also became Tag Wrangling volunteers. Moose came back from hiatus to rejoin Systems!

Departing Staffers: We bid farewell to Translator volunteer Paceus, who was the founding member of the Finnish translation team, and thank them for their work.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions or suggestions.