October 2013 Newsletter, Volume 74

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

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

I. LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS

The OTW is finishing its recruitment efforts for 2013 and several committees were looking for new volunteers. Abuse had around 350 tickets come in this month. They’re seeking people who can keep in close contact, be patient in rephrasing explanations, translate from fan-speak to English, make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it’s needed.

Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is working with Wiki to recruit a designer to work on Fanlore. Web was also busy with an October release which fixed bugs that were causing errors on the OTW’s contact forms. They also tidied up the theme on the news tags pages, and applied a security patch to CiviCRM. Thanks to Bonnie for implementing the security patch.

Translation is also making a call, so check out our volunteering page!

II. THANKS FROM LEGAL

In the past, our Legal Committee’s updates have often begun with a cheerful “still not sued!” This month, we are especially pleased that we can use the opener, since we received a legal threat from an entity that has developed a reputation for suing those it threatens. Legal mobilized to send a response and, at least for now, we have not been sued.

Legal also solicited people’s stories about their experiences for a couple of projects that they’re working on. One will be a legal brief we expect will be filed in U.S. Federal Court; another will be formal comments that we expect to submit to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce). Those projects are still underway.

The process of soliciting comments has been very moving and meaningful for the committee; although of course we never had any doubt that this was the case, the stories Legal received have reinforced our knowledge that the opportunity to create and consume fanworks has made an incalculable difference in people’s lives. We received report after report from people whose lives were improved, and sometimes literally saved, by participation in fandom; whose careers blossomed from their interaction with fanworks; and other similarly powerful stories. Fandom, it comes as no surprise, not only transforms works, but also in many cases, transforms lives. We appreciate everyone who sent in a story.

III. AROUND THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed Release 0.9.10 to the Archive this month, which consisted mostly of bug fixes. They are now getting ready to deploy 0.9.11, which will fix some tag wrangling bugs and bring back the “Latest Tweets” widget to the homepage. Many thanks to the wrangling staff and volunteers who helped with testing! The deploy after that will include a new feature for offering FAQs in non-English languages.

AD&T has welcomed two new coding volunteers and is hoping to open recruitment again in January. They’ll be working towards improved coding environments in the meantime.

Category Change began a second round of feedback for fandom categories on AO3. This concluded at the end of the month, and they will now be evaluating the new comments.

Open Doors has been continuing to work with several mods on a few manual importing projects. Nearly all works in The Good Omens Library have been imported, and they held two open house chats with the GSSU (German Speaking Slashers United) mod in preparation for importing its works to the AO3 beginning in November. They’re also working with the mod of StargateFan to begin outreach and import preparations for that archive. Relatedly, Open Doors met with AD&T to discuss possible fixes in the next deploy.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Development & Membership: DevMem would like to thank everyone who assisted with or contributed to the October membership drive. The drive ran from October 1-7 and raised more than US$44,000 in support of OTW projects. (See their drive wrap-up post for more details.) Additional donations since the drive ended have brought our fundraising total for October to more than US$50,000.

All of the premiums from donations made during the drive have been shipped; premiums requested Oct. 8 and later will be shipped in our regularly scheduled monthly batch at the beginning of November.

Since the drive ended, DevMem has been working on a promotion with Smart Pop Books, publisher of the upcoming book Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, edited by Anne Jamison. OTW supporters who are interested in buying the book can order it through a special referrer link and Smart Pop will donate a percentage of the proceeds to OTW.

Board continues to work on Project Document All the Things, their project to build, update, and review many pieces of documentation about how the Board functions and how it interacts with the rest of the OTW. They’ve completed rough drafts of all the documents in Phase 1 of the project and several of them are in various stages of internal feedback collection.

Board has also been preparing for their first-ever in-person Board meeting, which will be held October 31-November 4 in Berkeley, California. They’ll be hosting an OTW meetup in Berkeley on November 3, and anyone is welcome to join us for snacks, giveaways, and conversation with fellow fans and OTW supporters.

In Elections news, no candidates have come forward to run for seats on next year’s Board, so they are currently in the process of deciding on how to proceed with filling the seats of those whose terms will be ending this year. Possibilities include further extending the candidacy deadline, filling the seats by appointment, or another solution. There will be a more detailed announcement on this topic in the near future.

Strategic Planning has been researching and putting together survey and interview questions for Development & Membership, Communications, and Abuse Committees and has contacted their chairs to discuss the schedule for the strategic planning process. StratPlan has also been drafting reports for the Grants Workgroup and the Support Committee. The Survey Workgroup report is now under Board review, and the Systems Committee report has been reviewed by the committee chair and is ready to be sent to Board next. The Wiki report is currently under review by the committee.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Our Volunteers & Recruiting folks have been busy in past months as committees have been rolling out the carpet for new volunteers and we appreciate all their work, as well as the work of new and departing volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Natalie (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
New Committee Staff: Karen Johnson (Systems), Nikibee (Support), levade (Support), Cece (Volunteers & Recruiting), 1 Open Doors Staffer, 2 Support Staffers, 1 Strategic Planning Staffer
New Coder Volunteers: 2
New Strategic Planning Volunteers: Natalie
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Ayumi, Beeblebrox, CrossingOver, dreammoon, Em King, Eugecapisce, Fatma Bahr, JennlaFleur, Juliane, Kalli,Medicinal-Outburst, Meimeime, picht, ragingrainbow, riknata, Sarah Bigelow, thefrogg, Waywren Truesong, Whittyrabbit, Wisher112, Yuuhy, yz, ziema

Departing Committee Chairs: sunusn (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
Departing Committee Staff: Natalie (Strategic Planning), 3 Web Strategy, Design & Development staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4